wrestling / Columns

News From Cook’s Corner 04.03.12: Brock’s Return, RAW Thoughts, More

April 3, 2012 | Posted by Steve Cook

Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and rumors of my demise after my Louisville Cardinals lost to the Kentucky Wildcats were greatly exaggerated. The month of March was an incredible time period for the Cards, winning the Big East Tournament & getting to the Final Four when nobody else thought they could. Losing to a buzz saw like Kentucky is nothing to be ashamed of, the Cards didn’t give up and made it a heck of a basketball game. Sure, it wasn’t much fun and I wish I was watching Louisville in the national championship game on Monday night, but the season was supposed to end a few weeks before that anyway. A remarkable run, no doubt about it.

It’s tough to be too depressed when Joey Votto might be a Red for the next decade. I have no idea how they’re going to afford it, but I am totally on board. Guys like Votto just don’t come along every day.

The “news” portions of this column are pretty light this week. We’ve got Wrestle Mania & Raw Thoughts this week, and most of my opinions on the latest WWE news are wrapped up in there. It was a pretty huge week in the world of wrestling, so let’s get right to it.

Cook. You couldn’t be more correct about the Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny match, it’s a total clusterf**k from start to finish.

A few weeks ago we heard that WWE was concerned about it’s lack of roster depth following the elimination chamber PPV and we all thought “yeah you’re right”. The only two wrestlers that WWE seem to trust are Randy Orton and John Cena and every six months they just reboot the company and put both world titles back on them. Nobody in the upper-midcard is pushed properly and the guys that seem to get over by themselves like Ryder just get humiliated on TV for having the stones to do something original.

Anyway I digress, when we heard that the roster lacked depth and they were creating an inter-brand tag match for control of both shows, it sounded like the brand split was coming to an end and I think the majority of us were pleased about that. Yet it appears that the winning GM is only going to get 1 week of control and the higher ups are still going to hold the draft which is completely meaningless because all the top Smackdown guys appear on RAW every week. This dilly-dallying over the brands is hurting them so bad. Either commit to a brand seperation or end it and stick to it. I personally think that having 4 hours of prime-time TV every week is more than enough time to get new talent over as one brand and it will give the ‘B’ PPVs more depth in the card and improve buyrates, but what do I know?Super Blizzard

On the surface I don’t get the point of having the same general manager for both shows. When the brand extension started they had two owners: Ric Flair for Raw & Mr. McMahon for SmackDown. When McMahon won control of Raw from Flair, he delegated authority to general managers: Eric Bischoff for Raw & Stephanie McMahon for SmackDown. Basically, the thought is that part of the shows being different is that they have different people in charge. Now that Big Johnny’s running both shows and they’re still having the draft…well, maybe something will happen on Raw to make this work, but it seems a bit odd as I write this on Monday morning.

ok guys, help me out, i dont watch tna, but who is that tiny hottie on the right?Guest#8866

That was Rosita, who’s very attractive for a woman standing 3’8″.

I’m about as interested in the G.M vs. G.M match as I would be in Al Snow returning to the ring. 😀Andre The Midget

Yes! More Al Snow jokes!

Curious to hear your take on this scenario in comparison to what actually happens on Sunday:

Rock wins clean at Wrestlemania and the hometown Miami crowd explodes and all the old fans who tuned back in are happy and ready to watch Raw again, rather than bored an annoyed by Cena’s BS.

As Rock celebrates, the camera cuts to Cena walking up the runway back to the dressing room with a look of abject disgust. He scans the cheering crowd as though they’ve bathed in shit.

Then Brock comes down and he and Rock have a stare down at the close of the show.

Cena shows up on Raw during the open, interrupting Cole and Lawler as he walks to the ring sans music. He’s wearing a suit or business casual or anything but his gear, carrying a bag.

He cuts a promo saying that the fans abandoned him at Wrestlemania and now he was abandoning them. He pulls a pair of jorts, wristbands, and an HLR Cena shirt of the bag and lays it in a pile in the middle of the ring, then pours lighter fluid on it, and burns it.

The camera shows kids crying in the crowd.

Throughout the show we get reactions from other superstars, with Rock the only one to not express shock, but rather disgust. Cena then jumps him Nexus-style as Raw goes off the air. Brock comes out and stands on the ramp.

Then Cena gets his win back at the next PPV with Brock destroying Rock (sets up Wrestlemania next year) afterward.

Never gonna happen, but I’m praying WWE grows a pair and makes Wrestlemania an event with some real fallout from the biggest show of the year, instead of just another Raw…uh..I mean PPV.

They don’t do that anymore.TK

Well, let’s see what actually happened.

-Rock beats Cena. No Lesnar.

-Rock comes out the next night, shows Cena respect and promises to be the WWE Champion again one day.

-Cena shows Rock respect. He gets Brock Lesnar coming out and F-5ing him.

Is your way better? Maybe, but WWE just isn’t ready to give up on John Cena merchandise. He’s got a new green t-shirt to sell, it’s going to do well, so they might as well keep him doing what he’s doing. Now Brock Lesnar’s his new rival, and the people that supported Rock will support him as well. Hell, maybe we’ll get a Rock & Brock Connection. Rock said he’s going after the WWE title. I don’t expect CM Punk to be WWE Champion all year, but that’d be a hell of a WrestleMania match.

It means that Beadle along with a majority of the fanbase find Bryan as boring and uninteresting as I do. No matter how many previously successful gimmicks from the past they give him he still barely gets a crowd reaction. I would use this weeks Raw as an example except they barely reacted to anybody, including the Rock before he got on the mic.Guest#7302

I try not to speak on behalf of wrestling fans everywhere, but in the defense of Daniel Bryan I would use the Royal Rumble as an example of the fans reacting well to D-Bry. Or the fan reaction on Monday’s Raw episode. But I’m sure people will still try to claim he isn’t over because that’s what they do.

This is just a shot in the dark…but wrestling pay-offs historically have been a sort of fly by the seat of your pants deal. I wonder if Janice Carter is simply trying to introduce some standard accounting practices to TNA. It sounds like the guys who have set, guaranteed deals like Angle or Sting have been paid as usual…while guys who might be paid on a show by show basis are being made to wait. Now that sucks for them, but I tend to think that a quicker pay-off might end up in them being shortchanged. What promoter is not going to underestimate payouts done on rough counts of money to be split up? Again, who can really know except the Carters and their confidantes, but I think it’s a stretch to suggest the timing of payments as indicative of larger financial troubles. That’s not to say they couldn’t be…just that in and of itself you can’t read to much into a delay in payments.Guest#7752

The news items about Impact financials last week were contradictory, to say the least. I know if I was used to getting paid at a certain date and it got moved I probably wouldn’t be happy about it, so I get where people are coming from on that. I think it really comes down to Janice Carter trying to run that aspect of Impact Wrestling like it’s an actual business and most wrestling people not being used to that.

Steve Cook playing favorites and trying to get over “his” companies? Yet, he bitches about politics in wrestling…Guest#1999

Seriously? Cook has never been one to outwardly promote Dragon Gate USA or Ring of Honor. And GLOW is actually topical. Damn you Steve Cook! Damn you for covering topics that are of current interest!Greg DeMarco

Greg sums it up pretty well. The reader was complaining about there being a question about Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in Fact or Fiction. I found out the promotion was coming back last Monday and thought it might be something to ask the fellas since Ryan Byers recapped Wrestlicious for 411wrestling.com & Tony Acero is known for his love of the lady wrestlers. If it had been two other people I might not have gone with it. I thought Ryan & Tony would have interesting answers to the question given their backgrounds.

Besides, there’s politics in every single workplace. I only complain about politics in wrestling when it results in stuff like Garett Bischoff having wrestling matches on television. As long as it doesn’t affect the show in a negative way none of that stuff really bothers me.

And now, some fake WrestleMania thoughts!

I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to take in WrestleMania 28 amongst the people. It was a pretty good crowd. WrestleMania always does a much better crowd than any of the other WWE PPVs they air there, but that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Biggest show of the year and all that. Below are some of my thoughts on the show combined with what the crowd was reacting to. It was tough to hear most of what was going on over the crowd noise in BWW, so while I didn’t have to put up with the announcers I also can’t comment on what the Miami fans were doing.

Sheamus d. Daniel Bryan for the World Title: Having Bryan get squashed made sense for the storyline & for the characters involved, which is why I was afraid it would happen. The emotional sting was taken away by the inevitability, but I got my hopes up a little bit when this was the opening match. Surely they wouldn’t start the show with a squash, right? Wrong. I bet the dozens of people at ringside with YES signs were even more disappointed than I was.

I blame AJ.

Bryan’s loss was the beginning of a bad night for people with new entrance attire. He did have a damn nice coat.

Kane d. Randy Orton: Upset city here, as I guess somebody realized that Kane needed something to keep people interested in him. I didn’t have much interest in this angle going in…the match was decent enough but it didn’t make me want to see more. I guess they continue to feud with some sort of EXTREME match at Extreme Rules?

It’s tough for me to judge the Deadliest Catch skit since I couldn’t hear most of it, but it seemed like it was dying until Ron Simmons saved it.

Big Show d. Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Title: The trend of my favorite wrestlers with new entrance attire losing continued with this match. Cody did some good stuff and Big Show finally got to have his WrestleMania moment. I guess it’s nice that they consider winning the Intercontinental title a WrestleMania moment. Big Show has now held every active title in WWE except the Divas title. I don’t see him going after that one, but stranger things have happened. I guess.

As a Cody fan I was outraged that Show wasn’t disqualified on that spear. That was a bit below the belt.

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos d. Beth Phoenix & Eve: I was more interested in this match than most because of Maria’s involvement, and she did a pretty damn good job in there. Next time she might not want to wear white pants if she insists on stink facing a Diva, but other than that she looked good. Her injured ribs gave the match more of a story than 95% of the Diva matches in the past year. Kelly trying to do a hot tag to her while she was crumpled on the apron was pretty hilarious. I guess I should be outraged about the Divas Champion coming out to somebody else’s music & losing to a non-wrestler, but I’m really not. At this point Beth’s lucky if she gets on a PPV. Not saying it’s wrong, not saying it’s right…it is what it is.

Undertaker d. Triple H in Hell in a Cell: I loved the WM 27 match the first time I watched it, and a little less on each re-watch. I have a feeling that this match will be just as divisive as that match was, but I thought this was some pretty epic stuff. Shawn’s involvement added a ton to it, with Triple H basically realizing he couldn’t end the streak by himself and demanding that Shawn stop the match. The superkick into the pedigree really seemed like it was going to be the end, but fortunately Undertaker moved to 20-0. I’m still not sure what era was supposed to end, but it did feel like the end of something when UT & Shawn helped H up the ramp.

There was quite a bit of support for Triple H to end the streak among the fans. I don’t know if it’s just a Triple H thing, or if people would like to see somebody rise up and end the streak at some point. I still think Triple H would have been the wrong choice to do that, but it’s not like I can think of many better options.

Team Johnny d. Team Teddy: Why didn’t somebody on Team Teddy stop Zack Ryder from taking Eve to ringside with him? It was fairly obvious to everybody not named Zack Ryder that Eve was setting him up for the fall. Either they’re just as dumb as he is or nobody noticed because there were already fifty people out there. I was disappointed that we didn’t get a Brie/Nikki catfight. It was surprising that Booker T did most of the work for Team Teddy. I thought this feud really got over with the people, and
the crowd reaction at BWW was really strong. Team Johnny got the loudest boos of the night and Team Teddy was beloved.

CM Punk d. Chris Jericho: Jericho’s jacket & tights were amazing. I liked Big Johnny adding the stipulation that Punk would lose the title via DQ to the match. It set up the first part of this with Jericho trying to goad Punk into getting disqualified really well. Punk wouldn’t let that happen, and they proceeded to have the type of match that we hoped they would. I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to live up to the considerable hype going into this one, but they rose to the occasion. Don’t worry about Jericho, he’s going to get himself another title match somehow. Tonight was Punk’s night, and another step towards him being “The Man”.

Oh by the way…Extreme Rules is in Chicago. Punk vs. Jericho would kick so much ass there. Add in a Bryan/Sheamus re-match and there’s the recipie for some interesting crowd reactions.

The crowd at the bar was slow to get into it, and apparently that happened in Miami as well. Perhaps this match would have been better served being early in the show, but I say it needed to be dark so Jericho’s jacket could appear in its full glory.

The Funkasaurus came out, which was notable because Offtheteam.com’s Snowman was shown on air for a few seconds while he called his mum. Penguin, Critchell & I had a couple of pints with him after the Royal Rumble, he’s good people. Nice to see Brodus, Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks make random appearances during the show.

The Rock d. John Cena: I could have lived without the concerts, especially the first one where MGK blabbered on about Cena being an underdog. Come on son, everybody was picking him to win this match. I thought it was funny that Cena came out in a new t-shirt with Boston Celtics colors after we’d been told for months that WWE wanted a 50/50 crowd split at WrestleMania. It was pretty close to 50/50 at BWW, though the Rock fans eventually realized they were being silly yelling at kid Cena fans and turned their attention to the match.

The crowd was into this one just a bit. It wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but Rock looked like the same Rock that was kicking ass and taking names in the early 00s. He got a bit winded, but when you’ve been out of the ring for most of the past decade that will happen. Both dudes brought the intensity, and the finishing stretch was some good stuff with some believable near-falls. I thought for sure Cena had it won with that AA after rolling through Rock’s cross-body block. Rock winning was not what I expected, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t mind being wrong. John Cena was obsessed with The Rock for seven years, and when he finally got the chance to defeat Rock and prove that he was the better man, he couldn’t get the job done. Where does he go from here? Can he rise above his own hate?

Rock winning was the right result for the fans that went to the show and for the people that bought the show to see him. Hopefully there were a lot of those people. Cena deserves respect for his performance, and hopefully his fans will get over this crushing defeat. There’s no shame in losing to The Rock at WrestleMania and joining a list with names like Steve Austin & Hulk Hogan on it. Oh, and The Sultan. Can’t forget The Sultan.

Overall Thoughts: WrestleMania 27 was a show that I liked a lot on first view, but not as much in later showings. Once you got past Undertaker vs. Triple H there really wasn’t much there. I think WrestleMania 28 will age better simply because the matches were better and there was slightly less nonsense. All three of the main events (Let’s face it, Bryan vs. Sheamus wasn’t a main event even though they told us it was) delivered the goods. Rock vs. Cena & Undertaker vs. Triple H instantly had an epic feel while Punk & Jericho brought fans into their match and gave them reason to want more. The other matches were mostly filler, but I think sometimes people forget that most WrestleManias are like that. People go into WrestleManias with such high expectations that it’s rare that you don’t see people complaining about how disappointing the show was.

I can’t say I was disappointed.

There were three big names being talked about over the weekend. Batista & Lita were in town for the Hall of Fame ceremony. I don’t expect to see either of them back anytime soon. Brock Lesnar…well…yeah.

WWE wanted to set a record for the quickest title match at WrestleMania with the Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus match, but fell ten seconds short of that. I get what they were going for with it, but they misread how fans would react to it. Common sense dictates that somebody who paid good money to travel to Miami and take in WrestleMania wouldn’t be thrilled with an eighteen second match, especially if they were looking forward to it. Bryan’s fans would obviously be pissed off because their guy lost in ridiculous fashion, and fans rooting for Sheamus probably wanted to see him do more than just a Brogue Kick and some posing. People defending the decision will tell you that it will work out in the long term, and it very well might. Bryan will surely go crazy blaming everybody other than himself, there will be a rematch, and hopefully that’ll get the chance to be something. I find it hard to blame people for not having faith in WWE to do something like this since they have a tendency of mucking these things up.

Hell, they even mucked up the match. If the referee had waited until after Bryan kissed AJ to ring the bell, they could have had their record.

There have been some rumored signings of people to backstage positions. Terry Taylor is back with the company and is expected to be part of the WWE developmental system. David Finlay is also rumored to be back with the company in a producer role, but he denied the report. Also, they hired some volleyball guy to be the Director of Talent Development and people are freaking out about it since he‘s a volleyball guy and not a wrestling guy. I’ll withhold judgment until he signs some people. His name is Canyon Cemen. That is quite the name and will undoubtedly lead to a lot of off-color jokes at Titan Towers.

A New Orleans man was choked to death with a wrestling hold by his cousin while they were watching WrestleMania. Stephen A. Arceneaux III, a twenty-four year old man standing 5’10” & weighing 220 pounds, was put in a rear naked choke by his fourteen year old cousin that stands 5’6″ & weighs 110 pounds while they were wrestling on an air mattress. He was in the hold for thirty to forty seconds & refused to tap out, so he turned blue and ended up dying at the hospital.

Justin Gabriel will be out of action for six weeks after he injured his elbow in the dark match at WrestleMania. Sadly most of us won’t notice since he only wrestles on shows we don’t see, but Gabriel is a good talent and deserves a shot on one of the main shows.

-Watching the WWE Hall of Fame before the show. JJ Dillon doesn’t look a day older than he did when he was managing the Horsemen. The rest of the Horsemen…well, Tully didn’t look bad & Barry looked good for a guy that had a stroke a few months ago. Arn & Ric look like they lived the Horsemen life.

-Shawn & Hunter really are like an old married couple. Mike Tyson’s speech was entertaining, if not entirely coherent.

-Edge with short hair…well, it’s a good thing he didn’t lose that hair vs. hair match with Kurt Angle all those years ago.

-Big Johnny makes some huge matches out of the gate, including making CM Punk defend the WWE title against Mark Henry! People power indeed.

-Someday Punk will learn not to call his bosses toolboxes. OK, maybe he won’t.

-The Rock comes out to a huge ovation.

-The Rock still has it.

-Rock shows Cena respect. They made history at WM & they did it for the fans!

-I wonder if Cena will have the same positive feelings about the show that Rock did.

-Did Rock just say he was going to be WWE Champion again? My goodness. That would be electrifying.

-The fans reply with YES YES YES YES YES YES! Nice.

-The Rock got the CFL trending. They should send him a jersey or something.

-Santino defends the US title against Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger. If Ziggler & Swagger can’t decide who’s going to win, Santino’s got a chance here.

-Sure enough, Santino takes advantage of Dolph & Jack’s foolishness & wins! He truly is the cerebral assassin.

-He even fakes them out with the old “Over here!” bit.

-The Funkasaurus is backing Santino up! Ziggler runs right into a head butt!

-The Funkettes come out and the good guys dance! Santino’s got some moves.

-Good crowd tonight. So far we’ve got “YES”, “LET’S GO ZIGGLER” & “FUNKASAURUS” chants.

-And now, the debut of Lord Tensai! Sakamoto is the man with him, apparently he’s been in FCW for some time.

-Alex Riley is the jobber opponent.

-Let’s face it, Tensai looks about as Japanese as Mike Tyson does. But he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

-Might shoulda gone with a different finisher than the Baldo Bomb.

-Oh OK, now he’s using a claw assisted with mist. Or just spit, I couldn’t really tell.

-WWE’s Twitter account says that Sakamoto is Lord Tensai’s “follower”. Well, it wouldn’t make sense for a Lord to have a manager, unless his name is Lord Steven Regal & his manager is Sir William.

-CM Punk vs. Mark Henry! Tough draw for the Punker here, Henry didn’t exert as much energy in his WrestleMania match with fifty other people.

[email protected] is complaining about Penguin & I sharing a Twitter account. He claims it takes 15 seconds to set up another one. Should we have separate ones? I’d hate to possibly lose some of my non-wrestling followers. Yes, I have a couple of them.

-Speaking of “YES”, I enjoy how the people are chanting it. I assume it’s to show support for Daniel Bryan against THE MAN. I’m sure the anti-Bryan camp will bitch & moan about it, but this is exactly what needs to be done to show WWE management that there’s interest in Daniel Bryan. PEOPLE POWER!

-Punk & Henry bringing it tonight. They don’t take a night off.

-Punk thinks he’s Kobashi! The crowd chants YES!

-Henry just tosses Punk outside on a bulldog attempt! The referee counts Punk out! Something tells me we’re going to see a re-match, or maybe even a Big Johnny intervention.

-I’ll say it: That match wouldn’t have been out of place on WrestleMania. Without a countout finish, of course.

-World’s Strongest Slam on the floor! DAMN SON!

-Big Johnny promises to make CM Punk defend the WWE title on a regular basis! He also teases a “natural disaster”…well that’s interesting.

-Chris Jericho comes out of the crowd and decides it’s a good time for them to celebrate their classic match with a drink!

-Jericho claims he never drinks to excess. His Twitter account indicates otherwise.

-Jericho douses him with one bottle of Jack, and breaks another over his head! Damn, Jericho ain’t messing around. That was some heavy business right there. Yes, the “make Punk drink” thing was done in ROH, but not in this fashion.

-Sheamus is getting one heck of a mixed reaction. The man has his fans, and I’m one of them, but there are many in attendance not happy with him.

-Before Sheamus can speak, Ricardo Rodriguez makes his appearance! And he’s got Alberto Del Rio with him!

-The fans chant “Si”.

-The fans are having none of this Sheamus vs. ADR stuff. It sounds good on paper, but honestly neither guy is over enough for it to be a big time feud. They really should be over enough, they’ve gotten some strong pushes and are pretty solid talents, but they’re just not on that level with the people.

-Daniel Bryan has not been completely forgotten about, as Josh Mathews tries to interview him and gets nowhere. Something tells me D-Bry will be reacting in some form or fashion to all of this on Friday night.

-Or they’ll have the Funkasaurus squash him. Either way.

-Big Show shows an Embarrassing Cody Rhodes WrestleMania Moment! I love Cody, but that was pretty good.

-Kofi Kingston takes advantage of that to win their match. Another Embarrassing Cody Rhodes Moment!

-Abraham Washington (That is him, right?) offers to give Mark Henry some guidance. I’m not sure Mizark needs much guidance, he did a pretty good number on CM Punk earlier.

-Eve comes out to kiss up to Big Johnny. Pretty sure that’s how she got her job…HI-OOOOOOOOOO!

-The Miz has not lost at WrestleMania. Just everywhere else, including the WM Pre-Show one year if memory serves me correctly.

-How did Peyton Manning come out of nowhere? Freaking Cole.

-Miz beats Zack Ryder. There was a time where this match would have been less than 18 seconds.

-John Cena receives a huge ovation from the crowd! OK, not really.

-The fans inform Cena that he’s a loser. Nice!

-Cena teases lashing out at the WWE Universe. The fans chant “YES!”

-He doesn’t.

-The fans want somebody named “Lesnar”. Who?

-Cena wants the Rock to come down so he can show him some respect. Sure he does.

-Well, WWE just tweeted something very, very interesting.

-That is not Rock’s music!

-That is Brock’s music!

-Oh my indeed, Cole.

-I dunno about this, Brock’s never been much of a guy to stand around and talk…this might not end well for Cena.

-Handshake? Of course not! F-5!

See, this is what I’ve always liked about Brock Lesnar. You think he’s going to stand around for a whole year and talk trash about John Cena? Of course not, he’s going to kick his ass the first chance he gets. Lesnar back in WWE…people better step their game up or he’s gonna pile the bodies to the sky.

Brock Lesnar. Hell yes.

Pretty good show tonight, and now I want to move to Miami. You folks seem all right.

Ric Flair’s appearing at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony was never really in doubt, even though WWE didn’t ask TNA first. You had to figure that even if TNA told Flair he couldn’t go that he’d go anyway, and if they didn’t let him go it would have been a public relations nightmare for them. TNA did approve of Flair going, and they reportedly got WWE to agree to let one of their wrestlers appear on a TNA DVD in exchange for Flair appearing on the WrestleMania 28 DVD. TNA originally wanted Flair to mention their company in his HOF induction speech, but WWE wasn’t interested in that. Neither was Flair if the live reports about his speech are any indication.

Kurt Angle told TMZ last Thursday that he tore his hamstring while in training for the Olympics, and had an MRI scheduled for the next day. No word yet on the results, but some have said this may put a prospective Angle match at TNA Lockdown in jeopardy. I’m not sure about that…after all, this is Kurt Angle we’re talking about here. Remember the time he tore his quad getting out of bed and he was fine? He was jumping around! Seriously though, this is something to keep an eye on but I’d be surprised if Angle missed any significant time.

Scott Steiner has been removed from the roster page on TNA’s website, indicating that his time with the company may be done for now. Steiner more or less confirmed this on his Twitter account on Monday, taking shots at TNA & Hulk Hogan. Whether or not he’ll still be connected with Ring Ka King remains to be seen, but their fans should hope so. Who else will chase them around the building?

Have you guys been reading the excerpts from the E-book The Genesis of TNA? Brett Buchanan of BarbaricWrestling.com has written about the history of TNA and he’s posting chapters daily with insight from various TNA wrestlers, backstage officials & other employees about various events in TNA’s history. If you’re a TNA fan or if you’re just somebody that appreciates wrestling history, you should be checking this stuff out. Here’s an except from a chapter talking about a man that Larry Csonka & I were talking about a lot in 2004-05 & putting over as the guy TNA should have been building around: Monty Brown.


“The Alpha Male” Monty Brown was one of the most charismatic performers TNA had from 2004 to 2006. The former NFL star was a part of TNA briefly in summer 2002, but because of financial disagreements he left the company. Brown returned in 2004 with a further developed character. Brown began to talk about his “Serengeti” being the ring, and how his opponents would feel “The Pounce….period.” Brown’s promos sounded like a cross between The Rock and The Ultimate Warrior, while he worked Goldbergesque squash matches against the likes of Lex Lovett and Jerrelle Clark.

Despite being a heel in 2004 the fans instantly got behind “The Alpha Male.” He quickly jumped into feuds with top TNA stars like Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, and Jeff Hardy. Brown defeated Kevin Nash and DDP in a 3-way match at Final Resolution 2005 to win an NWA title match against Jeff Jarrett later than night. Fans were clearly behind Brown and were ready for a title change, but Jarrett ultimately went over. Brown then turned heel and aligned himself with Jarrett and he was never quite the same. TNA’s mishandling of Brown is often regarded as one of TNA’s biggest blunders.

PETEY WILLIAMS: I think they should have probably pulled the trigger on Monty; they should have gave him the title. That’s my belief anyways, like I said if you watch our show he had a lot of charisma. His promos were really good, he was a solid worker, he had a super over finish, it was just like a shoulder tackle but the way he put it over it was like man this is great. I wish they would have done more with him in WWE too, he’s an awesome guy. Just traveling down the road and stuff, really down to earth, always there to help, super nice guy. I think he probably should have got a title run.

RUDY CHARLES: I liked Monty a lot he was a pretty cool guy. I think he was in line for a title run had he stuck around [in TNA], I’m not 100% on that but I think he left to go to WWE. Had he been there still he would have been in line to continue to be a top guy. I don’t know that I can say that they misused him I mean the Pounce was a freaking killer move, the guy he took it and he was super popular with the fans. I don’t know that I can say that they misused him.

CASSIDY RILEY: He was so young in his career he didn’t really have any experience, but he was such an athlete so he could still come in and handle the situation. There are some ways I did feel like he was kind of mishandled. You have got a guy with that size and that athletic ability, let’s give him the ball and let’s let him run with it. That goes back to I think certain people were scared he might get over too much.

SONJAY DUTT: Monty was actually my roommate in the Nashville days, so I’m kind of biased towards Monty. Monty is a fuckin tremendous human being, I don’t know if he was misused or not man I know they should have pulled the trigger with him. In my opinion they should have pulled the trigger with him when they could have and they missed the opportunity I think he wrestled Jeff Jarrett [at Final Resolution 2005] that was it, everybody thought that was the time for him. Maybe it was maybe it wasn’t I don’t know I’m not a booker but I honestly thought hey this is it he’s got to do it here light the rocket under him and go for it, motherfucker had everything, top to bottom he had everything man.

BILL BEHRENS: Monty was limited, when you look at somebody and should this guy become champion you also have to ask is he the guy that can work with a diversity of people on a diversity of shows every single week and have quality matches or, a little Goldbergesque is he defined primarily not by his ability to tell a story but by his impressive personality and a finish move the people love to see. He and I used to joke in the go area because at first the babyface and the heel go areas were in the same place and they always were in Nashville and it changed in Orlando and we went to babyfaces on one side and heels on the other. I used to tell Monty that no matter what curtain he came out he was always a babyface, only because the crowd wanted to see his finish. Even when he was a heel or he was a face, he bounced all over the place it never really mattered; he was always a babyface no matter what because that is what the crowd wanted him to be. But Monty, indications were his promos ran long, they meandered, he really needed to tighten them up, and he was given the mic way too often live in the ring which was not ever a good idea. His constant line was that he was going to be on the Serengeti and then you would get the Pounce, and that was the tag out. The Pounce part always played, the Pounce period was the ending. But the rest of it used to wander all over the place and made make any freaking sense quite honestly. Meandering weird promos can sometimes play. It’s worked before; I honestly don’t think necessarily that Monty was badly booked; I think that they tried what they could with Monty in the spots they thought best. I don’t think they thought he was ready as the guy to carry the ball. TNA was one of the tough situations as it wasn’t a place where really they could develop anybody, everybody had to get developed in the ring.


Some pretty interesting stuff, and there’s a lot more where that came from. Say what you will about Impact Wrestling, there’s definitely some interesting stories there to be told and I’m looking forward to the rest of them.

Dragon Gate USA, CZW & CHIKARA will be teaming up during next year’s WrestleMania weekend. They’ll all be holding shows at the Meadowlands Convention Center, which isn’t too far from the stadium where WrestleMania 29 will be held. All three of these promotions run most of their shows in the Northeastern US, so whatever events they have planned should draw good crowds for their level. This isn’t them going into some new market and hoping that wrestling fans give them a shot, this is in their backyard.

Ring of Honor will certainly be holding shows in the area as well, but hopefully their iPPV experience will be better for viewers than it was this year. Both of their events in Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend were marred by technical difficulties. The first event had an audio delay where the video & audio weren’t in sync, and the second suffered from a brownout cutting out a good portion of the show. Reports are that the Internet access in the arena ROH was using wasn’t so good, and you have to wonder why they didn’t figure this out before holding their events there. ROH has been doing these iPPVs for a couple of years now and still hasn’t seemed to master the technical aspects of it. Production has been one of the main things holding ROH back in the eyes of many fans, and events like these won’t do anything to help that perception. I hear that Night One is up on the Go Fight Live website now and has been fixed, while Night Two is still missing some matches due to the brownout.

I was involved in a lot of stuff that was posted last week. Here’s all of it, along with quick descriptions:

WrestleMania 20, WrestleMania 21, WrestleMania 22, WrestleMania 23 & WrestleMania 27 – 411’s Countdown to WrestleMania 28 special reviewing previous WrestleManias

Greg DeMarco Show – Raw/WrestleMania discussion with Greg DeMarco & Patrick O’Dowd

MMA Fact or Fiction – MMA discussion with Alex Watt & questionable judging

Man Cave Podcast – WrestleMania preview, NFL news, Kentucky fan bashing & Saved By The Bell discussion with Jeremy Lambert & Todd Bergman

Wrestling Fact or Fiction – Ryan Byers & Tony Acero answer wrestling-related questions

The 411 on Wrestling – WrestleMania preview & Louisville Cardinal talk with Larry Csonka

OTT’s WrestleMania Memories – Otters talk about favorite WM memories. I’m “Socko”.

WrestleMania 28 Roundtable – Previewing WrestleMania 28 with various 411 staff people

Holy crap that was a lot of stuff. And that’s all we have time for this week! Join Nick Marsico tomorrow for the WedWi, and I’ll be back next week with more News From Cook’s Corner! Until then…


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Steve Cook

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