wrestling / Columns

News From Cook’s Corner 05.22.12

May 22, 2012 | Posted by Steve Cook

Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and I hope you all are having a fantastic week! We have no shortage of topics, so I don’t have to kill time up here with stuff that most people don’t really care to read about. OK, last week’s Alison Brie mention got some run, but other than that…

Next week’s NFCC was originally going to feature the third annual 411 Wrestling Hot 100, but I’ve decided to postpone it a week since I haven’t really gotten to work on it. Too much other stuff going on…hopefully I’ll get a chance to do more research this week, but the feature needs more time to percolate. People often ask me what the criteria for it is, and I tell them that when I figure it out I’ll let them know. Basically, the column consists of me making a list of all the women in wrestling that I can think of, rating them in some way based on looks, talent & various biases, and throwing it on the website for everybody to tear apart. Usually I forget tons of people that deserve to make the list because nobody thinks to mention them to me until I post it. So if there’s somebody out there that deserves to be ranked alongside all those women that appear on television every week, let me know in the comment section or via e-mail at [email protected]

You can’t count on me to know every single lady competing in professional wrestling. I had to cut back on the whole stalking thing after the first twenty restraining orders.

Ummm..he also mentioned TNA employees Hogan and Flair…guess you missed that huh? LOL.Guest#4164

WWE mentions Hogan & Flair all the time, so that isn’t worth mentioning. They just had Will Sasso doing a Hulk Hogan impression not that long ago on Raw. Flair was inducted into the HOF again this year and they just signed his daughter because she’s Ric Flair’s daughter. I just watched a WWE DVD set chronicling the greatest superstars of the 21st century that included Kurt Angle & Jeff Hardy. They put Sting in the Alumni section of their website despite the fact he’s never worked for them. Remember the night on Raw where they showed several video packages of Brock Lesnar beating people currently employed by TNA? WWE mentioning or featuring people from TNA is not newsworthy. They do it all the time. It’s notable when they mention Bruno because he despises the company and will never be on good terms with them. As for Backlund…well, I just like the crazy old dude. I think he’s still rejecting their HOF offers because he thinks he can still have one last run. Good times.

FCW is blowing ROH out of the water. What an interesting time this 2012 is.Guest#1531

WWE has gotten much more active at finding established indy talent over the past couple of years. The success of guys like CM Punk & Daniel Bryan helped them realize that there actually is great talent toiling away in the indies. Yes, they should have figured that out sooner. In any event, they’re a lot more likely to bring in guys from the indies now that people have emerged from those promotions and become valuable cogs in the WWE machine. That initiative on WWE’s part has taken away guys that could make ROH better than it currently is. TNA has been taking people from ROH for years, but adding WWE to the mix makes things that much tougher.

While WWE has gotten better at finding talent, ROH has gone in the opposite direction. Most of the guys that are getting a good buzz these days can regularly be found in places like PWG & the Gabe Sapolosky promotions, not Ring of Honor. Dean Ambrose is thought of as the next indy guy that’s going to be a huge star in WWE, but his ROH appearances never resulted in anything more than dark matches. Sami Callihan gets tons of love from indy fans and has had great matches in EVOLVE, CZW & countless other companies, but when he was in ROH they did nothing but job him out. Guys like Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor, Ricochet & AR Fox that have gotten huge indy buzz in the last couple of years…they’re not in ROH. They’re everywhere except ROH.

ROH still has some great talent, but they’re not always getting the tip-top guys anymore. They seem to be getting people that fit into a certain mold, which is kind of funny because that’s what ROH fans used to make fun of WWE for. I also think that some indy guys are reticent to sign a contract with ROH because they don’t see themselves working there long-term and it’d keep them from working other places where they might be better off. The new management situation probably doesn’t help matters, and maybe when they get things more situated they’ll have more luck with that.

Wyatt is going to be a sensation when he gets called up. This is the 2nd video of the kid I have seen. Man Waylon Mercy was a pretty awesome character back in the day. This kid is taking it to another level. Where can I watch FCW shows online?tstrike

Various people upload the FCW show to YouTube, so your best bet is going over to You Tube & searching “FCW”. If you know when the show aired you can type in the date with it and get more appropriate results.

Not even gonna credit me for stealing my OTT sig, Cook?

And I legitimately laughed when I read the finish to the WGTT/Briscoes match. How fucking terrible has ROH’s booking been over the last few years? Anything that doesn’t involve Kevin Steen has been absurdly poorly booked.Bobby

Bobby provides a lot of good things to offtheteam.com, but I’m pretty sure he’s using a different Alison Brie sig at the moment.

Credit: Bobby

It’s hard to make arguments for good ROH booking that didn’t involve Steen over the past couple of years. His feud with El Generico was awesome, they handled his return to the company after losing at Final Battle very well, and unlike most pushes towards the title in ROH’s history, they actually pulled the trigger on the title change early enough for people to still care. Steen’s one of those guys that just seems to find his way into solid booking in that company, and if he’s involved in something that sucks he can turn it into something that works. That’s an ability that not too many people have, but when they have it you know there’s something special going on.

It’s great that some are optimistic about the talent WWE has in FCW, but I don’t think lack of talent is what is holding WWE back. They have plenty of talent, but good booking and sustained pushes are lacking.
Who will the new wrestlers go up against when there is no lower or middle card that the general audience is attached to? The vid package/squash phase only goes so far and then they have nobody of value to feud with.

Why should I believe the new guys will be worth anything to the viewers after their sustained loosing phase? Guys have survived it, but I can’t think of any that were helped by it.

Will they be allowed to keep gimmicks that have worked for them? Will they be punished for initiative or unexpectedly going over? It certainly helped Punk to reprise his ROH successes. Putting guys in roles where they have been proven to get over in maximizes their – and WWE’s – chances of getting over and making money. But we also have the example of Ryder whom the WWE preferred to throw away rather than gain from.

If these problems aren’t cleared up, it doesn’t matter if WWE brings in every main event talent from around the world. As early as last fall Cody Rhodes and Ziggler looked like they were ready for a main event push. Now they hardly look fit for mid card titles. Then look at the use of Barrett, the Miz, Swagger, and others. WWE actually has the talent for a strong main event and mid card for both shows. They just don’t maximize the use of their talent.

In this way the globalization of WWE has hurt their product. It has allowed them to reap more profits for low additional cost even as their product decays. Yeah, HHH can sneer at those who say the product is worse and talent isn’t pushed. But numbers don’t lie, ratings are down in a big way and so is show attendance. Ratings don’t reliably break 4.0 during the Road to Wrestlemania anymore.

Yeah, WWE can say “cyclical”, “economy”, and UFC. Yet NFL has sustained attendance and their ratings climb. MLB has also maintained attendance.

Worse the poor and antiquated booking will limit international growth. Politics are different out of the US. Hassan as a justified heel will sell anywhere. As a terrorist loses audience. The Cold War is over, but Kozlov went there anyways. Yeah, not a great seller in Eastern Europe I’m guessing. A strong heel who goes to far is understood anywhere.

So the new talent, sad to say, doesn’t matter. Right now WWE is practically at a revenue minimum for wrestling.Guest#0220

There’s not a whole lot here for me to argue. I am excited about the new characters in FCW, and lately they’ve been letting those characters continue on into WWE. The question is whether or not that trend will continue.

Shit, Festus had a unique gimmick and they screwed him up. The WWE writing team, as a whole, flat-out SUCKS. There is no excuse either, they have so many great wrestling minds available working as agents. Yet the hire tv show people to “legitimize” their production to make it seem like it’s Emmy Winning writing. It sucks. I’m so tired of the shit I’ve seem on TV the last year. And I tend to look at the bright side of stuff.The Big Fat F*g

You know things are getting serious when the BFF is angry! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him post anything negative in a comment section on any 411 article.

I agree with you about Ziggler, Miz, and Swagger main-eventing. They all have in they’re own way, and I liked it. They have all the right tools, but WWE won’t commit to them. Now they can’t buy a win. Rhodes was on a great roll match wise and his evolving gimmick. Now add him to the growing players that could be something, but for some reason they’re booked to lose. Maybe they’re paying they’re dues? Maybe WWE doesn’t see anything in them? It’s always darkest before dawn, so I’m hoping tomorrow is bright.The John

It’s tough to say what WWE has in mind for their cadre of young heels, but I think each of them has the potential to be a perennial top guy. Miz has the charisma. Swagger has the athleticism. Ziggler & Rhodes both have a good combination of the two. They’ve all got plenty of productive years left so it’s too early to write any of them off, but it gets frustrating to see their potential get squandered while John Laurinitas is main-eventing PPV events with John Cena.

Obviously you can’t push everybody to the top at the same time, and other than Laurinitas it’s tough to argue against the heels that get top matches right now. Daniel Bryan has been on fire as of late, and Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio are both deserving contenders. The Lord Tensai experiment appears to be going through an adjustment. I think we would be ok with all of these guys being at a lower level if they weren’t playing the role played by guys like Barry Horowitz & the Brooklyn Brawler back in the day.

All four of them lost at the PPV. Miz got to dance like a lunatic, so at least he had that.

Why not have some type of tournament the leads to a contract between a bunch of the FCW guys? That would be my preferred method of introduction for a bunch of the new guys. Even in a loss, people will remember their faces/names.Ryan Raze

I think it would be interesting, but a response to the comment hit a little close to home.

You mean like a whole dedicated to the FCW guys? Where maybe they can use current wrestlers to help get the guys over and the tournament will be system of judging based on how well they do in the ring and various other aspects of the WWE lifestyle? Then the winner of the show would be guaranteed a future title shot? If only something like had once existed it could changed the face of wrestling forever.Guest#9073

It seems like they’re trying again in Florida, but it remains to be seen if it’ll last long-term. If nothing else we’ll get some fun Internet TV out of it for a few weeks.

And now, the fake news!

Monday Night Raw will become a three-hour show every single week starting on July 23. Back when I was a kid I would have been really excited about this. For one thing, I had to go to bed at 10:00 before I went to middle school, so I’d be getting to watch one more hour of wrestling than I would be otherwise. Also, I didn’t think there was such a thing as too much wrestling. When you’re a fan of something you tend to want to see more & more of it. Especially if it gives you a reason to put off doing homework.

WCW Monday Nitro convinced me that there was such a thing as too much wrestling. It stripped away at the uniqueness of the three hour PPV events that would happen once a month and usually had lots of downtime where not much of importance was going on even if Tony Schiavone was telling us that later in the night something cool would take place. It seemed like the WWF got it…their show stayed at two hours, but it usually had more stuffed into its timeslot than Nitro did. Two hours (plus an overrun) seemed like the perfect amount of time for Raw. Three hours just seems like a long time to watch a weekly wrestling show. Why, back in my day most wrestling shows only went one hour & aired on Saturday mornings. And we liked it, by God!

We’re not in my day, though. So Raw will be going three hours, and word is that there will be a lot of interactive content. People voting on matches & stipulations via Twitter seems to be a certainty, which I actually think is a great idea since they seem to be re-writing the show multiple times every week. Why not let the fans decide on a match or two? Why not let them pick the winner? If you really want the show to be interactive, you might as well go all the way with it and save your writers some grey hairs.

People don’t seem to be too optimistic about this. The most positive argument I’ve seen for it is that people can fast forward through the bad stuff with their DVR machines. Which isn’t a very positive argument. Some within WWE worry that three hours of Raw each week will burn out the audience & the writers. And there’s also the thing where if they have a Raw on the West Coast the show will be starting at 4:30. Good luck getting a full arena at 4:30 on a Monday. I imagine the 5:30 time slot they’ve been working with for years wasn’t ideal either, but at least that was an extra hour or so for the kiddies to get home from school, shower up and ready to go see some wrestling.

When will Chris Jericho be finishing up with WWE? One can never be sure, but our friends at PWInsider say that this week will probably be it for him. A tour with Fozzy awaits the man who remains the best in the world at everything he does, even if he can’t buy a win at a PPV. I think he’s less concerned about that than many of his fans are. He even replied to a Twitter fan asking him if he’d win a PPV match again with “Nope. It’s in my contract…” I for one think it’s a nice change of pace to have a veteran wrestler that doesn’t want to win all the time.

John Laurinaitis may have defeated John Cena at Over the Limit, but he didn’t escape the show at 100%. WWE.com reported that Big Johnny was showing signs of “a possible concussion, a possible broken clavicle, possible ACL damage to his knee and a possible spinal injury.” That’s a lot of things possibly wrong with the man. No word yet on the people that possibly thought it was a good idea to have John Cena beat Brock Lesnar one month and then lose to the on-air authority figure the next.

I’ve noticed a lot of vitriol from my fellow 411 writers towards the whole idea of having Cena lose to Big Johnny after beating Brock the month before. I’m not as mad about it because it became really obvious it was going to happen after last Monday’s show. Especially when they insisted on replaying the Big Show thing in its entirety on the other shows, and all the WWE Superstars tweeted about Big Show. It’s tough to get mad about something that you know is going to happen in advance. I might be alone on this since the ten year olds at Buffalo Wild Wings seemed absolutely shocked at Big Show punching John Cena out. Maybe they were shocked that Cena went down after one punch since Brock killed him last month and he still came back & won. I should have conducted an exit poll.

Cody Rhodes may be taking some time off. He tweeted the phrase “Time off” yesterday…people have assumed that means he’s taking time off from wrestling, but I am hoping this only means that he’s taking time off from Twitter. Twitter can be a dangerous thing if you don’t use it right. My Tweeting experience has been fine so far, but I’ve seen some people do some weird stuff on there. Obviously Cody wasn’t ready for Twitter and needs to step away from it.

And obviously I’m in denial about the idea of Cody Rhodes taking time off.

The revolution that WWE has been hyping on their website will be coming on May 28. Hey, that’s the date of next week’s Raw! The Internet speculation I read says that it has something to do with Dean Ambrose, but obviously we’ll have to wait & see on that one.

WWE.com has shortened Lord Tensai’s name to Tensai on their roster page. It seems some changes are in store for Tensai’s character, as he was said to be more aggressive in his match on Superstars last week. He shoved Sakamoto out of the way on his way to the ring & did not wear his robe. The match with Tensai teaming with Daniel Bryan against CM Punk was ill-received by critics & casual fans, and it revealed that the Lord Tensai character wasn’t quite ready for the main event. With some adjustment it may be, and if Tensai shows the fire that he showed in Japan he could still have a bright future.

Sin Cara returned to action on a Saturday night house show in Florence, South Carolina, and has been booked for the Raw & SmackDown tapings. Expectations for Cara are pretty much at an all-time low at this point. It’ll be interesting to see if the crowds remember him & if he steps his game up this time around. He has to know that this is his last chance to deliver and he has to make the most of it.

WWE has signed Ashley Flehir to a developmental contract. Ashley is the daughter of Ric Flair that started wrestling training not too long ago. I’m sure the fact that she’s Ric Flair’s daughter had nothing to do with her getting signed a few days after putting on wrestling boots for the first time. It can’t be that since Ric’s other kids turned out pretty crappy in the ring. They must see something in her.

Lilian Garcia made some mistakes on last night’s show that people backstage were none too happy about. The main mistake I noticed was her announcing Hunico as competing against Ryback when he was actually wrestling Camacho. I’ll defend her on that one, it’s not like we were paying attention to Hunico’s promo. As for Lilian making mistakes in general, it’s not like this is anything new. She’s been mangling intros for over a decade now. CRZ got half of his material off of botched Lilian introductions. As long as she remembers the words to the National Anthem and looks a good ten-fifteen years younger than she actually is, she’s doing her job.

Kelly Kelly placed a solid #38 in Maxim’s Hot 100, up from #82 on last year’s list. I don’t want to add on to the Kelly hate that clogs up people’s Twitter feeds for no apparent reason when they aren’t expecting it, but Maxim ranking Kelly ahead of Kate Upton is more ridiculous than any of my horrible rankings over the past two years. I can only assume that there’s some feud going on with Maxim & Sports Illustrated, which would be kind of like if VHS & Beta were still feuding.

I kid Maxim & SI. Especially if they’re hiring.

Layla came in at #95, which puts her below people including Amanda Knox, Stephen Colbert & Lois Griffin. And people think I don’t rate her high enough…

-The shots of the shocked & quizzical fans at Over the Limit are pretty choice.

-SERIOUS JOHN CENA is here. Where was he last week when they were trying to sell a PPV?

-At least Cena tries to explain why he toyed with Big Johnny. It’s a ridiculous explanation, but he tried.

-That’s no way for Cena to address the woman that broke up his marriage!

-Big Johnny comes out on a Rascal. What kind of hospital lets this man travel with all of the possible injuries he has?

-Wait a minute, Johnny re-hired Big Show on Saturday? That means he should be fired for interfering in the match! Odds on them remembering this?

-How does Big Show figure he received no sympathy? Did he check his Twitter mentions?

-Boy, I sure am excited for that No Way Out show featuring a main event of John Cena vs. Big Show!

-David Otunga comes out dressed up like a bellhop. I thought that was Teddy Long’s new gimmick.

-Cena & Otunga have a lot of matches together for people on vastly different levels in WWE.

-Otunga’s vow to beat Cena doesn’t go too well. Hawkins, Reks, Young & O’Neil come out to attack Cena, Sheamus comes down and cleans house. I think those four just wanted some TV time.


-Apparently Santino & Ricardo Rodriguez are feuding now. Santino Cobras Ricardo and introduces Alberto Del Rio. I dunno, I like Ricardo’s introduction better, but Santino’s wasn’t too bad.

-Alberto with an old school Rolls Royce! Nice!

-Michael Cole assures us that Big Show’s contract was signed after the Cena/Big Johnny match. Either WWE saw everybody tweeting about it or Big Johnny & Big Show did a bad job of explaining things. Both options make sense.

-And they’re going three hours every week with great writing like that! Hoo boy.

-On the bright side, they can have Orton & ADR fill time so they don’t have to write stuff.

-Jericho attacks Orton and insists he is the best in the world at everything he does. 3 Codebreakers! He done flipped his lid.

-I guess that losing stuff bothers Jericho more than he lets on.

-Bryan’s gear he debuted last night with “YES” on his tights & kick pads is pretty awesome.

-The footage looks pretty legit to me.

-Punk shows Bryan the footage from SmackDown (where Bryan hit Kane with a chair in the back and Kane thought it was Punk), and introduces his opponent…Kane! This hardly seems fair.

-Punk tries to hit Kane with the chair, Bryan pulls the chair out of Punk’s hands…so of course Kane sees Bryan with the chair in his hands. Bad things happen to Daniel Bryan.

-Punk puts Bryan in the Anaconda Vice for no good reason, and then steals his catchphrase. What did Daniel Bryan ever do to anybody?

-AJ really enjoyed watching CM Punk beat up Daniel Bryan. She cries, Punk hooks up with her. Happens a lot.

-What is it about Punk that attracts the crazy hot girls? I just get the crazy ones.

-Christian takes on Jinder Mahal. Jinder puts his turban in a box to keep the common people from soiling it. OK then.

-Christian finishes Jinder with the frog splash. Better than Rey or Chavo’s attempts at it.

-Hey, it’s Twitter’s most popular lady wrestler!

-One segment after CM Punk talks about liking crazy chicks, Beth Phoenix comes out all mad & stuff.

-Not exactly the highest Kelly’s gotten up for the Glam Slam. She may have been knocked silly though.

-Cena & Sheamus’s mystery opponents are Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger & Tensai. He’s no longer a Lord.

-These lumberjacks don’t seem to be friends of Cena or Sheamus.

-Johnny’s possible injuries seem to be doing better. Good for him!

-I think working with Ziggler is rubbing off on Swagger. Dude’s even trying to bump like him!

-The match goes for awhile. It was decent enough, but you figured it had to be leading to some type of a schmozz. And it did, with everybody else running down to the ring and a huge brawl starting. Of course none of that mattered…

-Cena goes backstage to find Big Show & gets knocked out.

-Oh well, I’m sure those other people will get a chance when the show’s an hour longer.

Impact Wrestling will be airing live from the Impact Zone every Thursday night at 8PM starting on May 31. The announcement indicated this would be taking place throughout the summer, and the list of dates on their website runs until August 23. You might remember Hulk Hogan talking about how most of Impact’s problems would be solved if they went live. This is our chance to find out if he was actually right.

Spike TV might be the best television partner in the history of pro wrestling, as they’ve given TNA every single thing they’ve ever asked for. They wanted to be on Thursday nights instead of Saturday nights, so Spike made it happen. They wanted a 9:00 timeslot instead of 11:00, so Spike made it happen. They wanted two hours, so Spike made it happen. They wanted to be on Mondays, so Spike made it happen. Then they wanted to be back on Thursdays, and Spike made that happen too. Now they want to be live every week, and Spike’s down with that. Where were the people running Spike TV when ECW was on TNN? I’m sure Paul Heyman wishes he got to deal with these people instead of the owners of the Nashville Network.

Brooke Hogan will be debuting on the May 31 edition of Impact Wrestling as the executive in charge of the TNA Knockouts. TMZ reported that Brooke would help the Knockouts develop their characters, help with backstage promos, and consult on entrance music. I’m going to assume this is ridiculous information fed to TMZ by the Hogan camp since I have no idea how Brooke would be qualified to help people with any of these things. I would say that at least Brooke was attractive on her reality shows so maybe she’ll be nice to look at, but the picture TMZ posted with the article doesn’t make me confident on that front either. She looks a lot like her mom…which would be good if she looked like a 25 year old Linda Hogan, but it’s closer to 40. The picture on TNA’s website looks better, so maybe they’ll be able to make her into something presentable.

Jeff Hardy is your top merchandise seller in TNA. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering two important factors:

-Jeff Hardy fans are insanely loyal. Emphasis on the insane.
-Jeff Hardy has more merchandise available than anybody in TNA by a wide margin. Dude has eight shirts available for sale on TNA’s website. Eight! Most of TNA’s wrestlers don’t have eight items for sale. Hell, most of them don’t have half of that. Hell, you could combine most of the roster and not come up with eight items for sale.

But this does explain why you hear the Hulkster saying that they should put the title on Jeff Hardy, brother. The people that actually buy TNA merch like the dude. Then again, Zack Ryder sells a ton of merch and WWE has him jobbing on the YouTube preshow. Now I’m not sure which argument to support. I’ve confused myself. Let’s move on.

Austin Aries has re-signed with Impact Wrestling for at least one more year. Aries has been delivering really good work ever since coming back to the company last year, and if anybody there deserves a good contract & a good push it’s him. Aries is a pretty good example of a missed opportunity for WWE, as he tried out for the most recent season of Tough Enough and was rejected. Meanwhile, the guy that won the competition got endeavored from WWE and doesn’t seem to have much of a chance at a future in pro wrestling. Fortunately for Aries & his fans, TNA took advantage of this WWE misstep.

Gunner tweeted that he has signed a three-year contract with TNA. Mr. Intensity has been awfully quiet as of late & seems to be treading water as far as his status with the company goes, but I think he deserves a good contract for working with Garett Bischoff. It seems like he’s treated the younger Bischoff well, so he will likely get a push as a reward in the near future.

That’s right folks, I’m making up my own news. At least I’m honest about it. You’ll see though, in a few months Gunner will get a big push and Meltzer & Scherer will tell us it’s because of the Garett matches. It’s not quite as predictable as Big Show helping Big Johnny at Over the Limit, but it’s pretty close.

Alex Shelley will be leaving TNA when his contract expires. Shelley has been with TNA since 2004. He briefly left the company in late 2004 when he wasn’t being used, but returned in 2005 after a booking change. He was involved in some pretty good stuff during his time there…his Motor City Machine Guns tag team with Chris Sabin was one of the best tag teams in the history of the company, and his Paparazzi Productions segments featuring Kevin Nash were some of the most entertaining moments in TNA Impact history. Unfortunately, there were long periods of time where Shelley was either underutilized or not used at all. He was off of TNA television for months at a time when Chris Sabin was on the shelf with a knee injury. The Machine Guns returned in April and challenged for the tag team titles at Lockdown, but came up a bit short. While Shelley is limited in size, he certainly has the talent & charisma to be a star wherever he goes.

Would WWE be an option? I would usually be inclined to say no due to size, but they’re finding some success with small guys with indy experience. I think he’d at least fit in on the mid-card, and if he finds the right gimmick & push, who knows how high he could go. The latest word is that he might be involved in the long-rumored cruiserweight show for the WWE Network.

Kid Kash is still with TNA, but he has been off to train for an upcoming MMA fight. I wasn’t able to find much on Kash’s MMA exploits other than he lost his debut fight in Frankfort, Kentucky back in 2008, and apparently he was big into the real fighting before he became a pro wrestler, but he decided there was more money in wrestling. He was big on real fighting in the locker room too, so Kash definitely has some experience that could help him here…assuming his opponent isn’t too much younger than him.

TNA officials are still interested in bringing in John Morrison & Melina. The two have kept busy working indy shows since their departures from WWE. Morrison has stated in interviews that the door is open for him to return to WWE and he just wanted to take a break from their schedule. I don’t think the door is quite as open for Melina, and it’ll be interesting to see if she has a role in influencing his decision on future employment.

Ric Flair’s conduct outside of the ring had TNA wondering if it was worth keeping him around. It turns out he didn’t appear on those Louisiana house shows or the last set of TV tapings because he was pulled from the events. Flair has reportedly been involved in “a number” of incidents in bars & establishments around Orlando since arriving in TNA, whether it be refusing to pay a bar tab or acting inappropriate. In other words: he’s being Ric Flair.

The problem is pretty simple…as somebody with the company told PWInsider, TNA is getting Ric Flair behavior without Ric Flair level performances. If he was drawing TV ratings, PPV buyrates or live event attendance, he could continue being Ric Flair and people would deal with it. Since he’s not, it’s an unnecessary headache. Even Spike TV isn’t thrilled with having Flair around, as they’ve requested that he not appear in his wrestling gear and that he not be bleeding. This takes away most of the things that Ric Flair brings to a wrestling ring.

Sources are now reporting that Flair is done with the company. I fully expect Flair to end up with WWE in some capacity. WWE never really wanted him to leave in the first place, it was a request that he made because he felt that he could make more money making appearances outside the company and he still wanted to wrestle. Perhaps if Flair had just accepted his role in WWE, the embarrassment that’s been the last couple years of Ric Flair wouldn’t have happened.

The Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen match from Border Wars will be airing in its entirety on ROH’s television show this weekend. Considering the bad publicity they’ve gotten from their recent iPPV efforts, ROH basically needs to do stuff like this to get the fans back on their side. I know some people will say its bad business to give away a title match that people paid to see on free TV, but they need to do something to win the people back over. Reminding their fans that they put on some kickass matches should help matters a little bit, and with any luck they’ll get to the point where they don’t have to do this every time they put on an iPPV.

Of course, if they absolutely had to keep putting good matches on their TV show I can’t say that I’d mind that much.

ROH sent a cease and desist letter to Gabe Sapolsky after some comments he made on his Facebook page slamming the promotion. Gabe signed an agreement not to publicly criticize ROH after he was released from the company, but he believes that it doesn’t apply now that ROH has different ownership. Also, he’s been trashing them for most of the time he’s been out of their employ. I think Gabe would be well served focusing on his own promotion. You know, the one that couldn’t draw more than 200 people to either of their shows in North Carolina.

Extreme Reunion will be debuting in New York City on June 29. They say they’ll be running in a new venue that has never played host to professional wrestling before. Considering how many Northeastern indy promotions there are I find this hard to believe, but maybe they just built a new place.

We were considering taking a week off from The 411 on Wrestling, but there was way too much wrestling news last week to consider doing that. OVW Womens’ Champion Taeler Hendrix joined the program to update us on recent events in her career, and good times were had by all! We don’t bring many guests on the show, and most listeners seem to like it that way, but it’s always great having OVW’s Leading Lady on. She has an insanely positive attitude and brings an air of class to the proceedings. I don’t know what those crazy fans are thinking calling her a “prostitot”. As Taeler pointed out, it’s not even a word! Good stuff from the One Girl Revolution, make sure you give it a listen.

Fact or Fiction pitted fellow Tuesday writer William Renken against indy wrestling guru Chris Methods!

Sarnecky celebrates the anniversary of WWE getting the F out. They couldn’t even use that slogan today!

Weyer looks back at the Dangerous Alliance.

Tonight’s Greg DeMarco Show will feature former WWE, TNA & ROH competitor Brian Kendrick! Apparently he’s off the hippie lettuce…I’m not sure if that will make him more or less interesting to hear from.

Ford recaps the ROH show in Cincinnati that I attended. I think we have pretty different taste in professional wrestling, but it’s all good.

Napier ranks the top ten Canadian wrestlers.

Well, that’s all we have time for this week! Nick Marsico will be in tomorrow, 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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