wrestling / Columns

The MeeThinks Friday FreeThinks: 09.21.07

September 21, 2007 | Posted by John Meehan

Welcome back!

Boy, what a week it’s been. Wasn’t it the late, great Eddie Guerrero who once said “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying?!?” Must be something in that New England water, I tellz ya — as BOTH the New England Patriots AND John Cena have managed to walk away champions *despite* flagrant violations of the rules over the past seven calendar days.

Must suck to be a Chargers fan or a Randy Orton fan, eh?

Enough gloating for one day. Let’s stick to wrestling and see what we’ve got…

On tap this week:

  • RAW Rating Takes a Dip
  • Sonny Siaki, and Marcus Cor-GONE
  • ECW Roster Suspiciously Thin
  • Randy Orton Attempts Suicide?
  • YouThinks: Vincest Keeps it in the Family
  • YouThinks: Total Nonstop Angle
  • YouThinks: Bill Goldberg — Done For?
  • YouThinks: Hornswoggling a Kennedy Push After All

    Rock & Roll

    WWE News

    RAW Rating Takes a Dip
    Monday’s 3.3 Down from Last Week’s 3.9

    Ok, so Monday’s RAW didn’t fare quite as well as the rating over the past few weeks. Understandably, a lot of folks are taking this as a sign that the company’s current direction is “disappointing” at best (many critics are saying how this drop “proves that fans are unhappy with the Hornswoggle payoff to the McMahon/paternity angle”). But in the end? MeeThinks a fair number of people are making a bigger deal out of this than might otherwise be necessary.

    Here’s why:

    1) The “BIG REVEAL” to the McMahon storyline was last week, and all of the hype for weeks/months on end leading up to that “big reveal” was pretty much spent in it’s payoff. Ergo, the “must-see” episode of the storyline was in the big reveal… which was LAST WEEK. No matter WHO the mystery kid wound up being… last week was always intended to be “the payoff,” whereas this week was always intended to be reserved for the fallout.

    2) A lot of folks are slagging on this rating and suggesting that the drop-off PROVES that nobody’s keen on Hornswoggle being revealed as the mystery child. Sorry folks, but I’ve got news for you: short of Vince’s “mystery son” being revealed as somebody as huge as, say, The Rock (or maybe Chris Jericho) — NOBODY was going to compel people to tune in this week with the same level of command performance as was reserved for last week’s “big reveal.”

    If it was Kennedy? People already see him every week… so no big deal.

    If it was a new face (say, like Teddy Hart or what have you)? A lotta’ folks don’t know him, and so they ain’t gonna’ tune in to learn all about him at once.

    If it was Hunter? The “smart” fans already grew sick of him in the spotlight ages ago.

    If it was RVD? Fun though it might be for the short run, Van Dam has proven time and again that he is *not* the kind of guy you wanna’ bank a company’s long-term success off of — especially with a high-profile drug hearing right around the corner.

    Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    3) A LOT of RAW’s biggest stars are currently injured or suspended, and fans know that. With no “big reveal” on tap for this week, Monday Night Football was a great alternative to what many fans knew would be little more than a “filler” show.

    4) The Unforgiven PPV may not have been all that great to begin with, but it also served to “table” the Orton/Cena feud through the next PPV (thanks to the on-show announcement of the last man standing match for No Mercy). As a result, fans already knew that Orton and Cena wouldn’t be squaring off again to settle their beef until October — and so there was little reason to tune in on Monday just to see where ‘Da Champ and The Legend Killer would go next. In other words, it ain’t just Hornswoggle.

    5) This week’s Monday Night Football (which had a higher rating than BOTH of last week’s MNF games) was simply a better matchup on paper than the slate of games from last Monday night. Simply put, the NFC East is one of THE most popular and closely-followed divisions in all of professional football — and so an in-division clash between two teams with a longstanding rivalry is an easy sell. No disrespect to the Arizona Cardinals, of course.

    All in all?

    A lot of people are jumping the gun on this one, and MeeThinks we should take a few more weeks before blindly writing off the Hornswoggle payoff as a failure. There were PLENTY of variables at play that could easily have affected this week’s RAW rating, and as we’ve mentioned time and again here, there are still a multitude of swerves and twists that could lead to the Hornswoggle payoff actually lending itself to a much bigger (and more lucrative) program on down the line (once people get healthy and un-suspended). ‘Till then? Let’s cool our jets for a bit before we overreact to the next “scary low” rating that still sits comfortably in the 3-point-something range, yes?

    If it’s still consistently this low by No Mercy, then we’ll talk.

    Besides, next week is Tennessee at New Orleans…

    Marcus Cor Von Released by WWE
    Alpha Male Hadn’t Been on Television Since June 19

    Late in the day on Wednesday, subscribers to WWE’s Mobile Alerts service were notified that WWE had “come to terms on the release of ECW Superstar Marcus Cor Von.” However, though this item would again be confirmed on the WWE website, it was not mentioned on the WWE home page, nor was it immediately added to the News page of the WWE web portal (which catalogs all news items posted throughout the WWE website). From the looks of things, the company simply didn’t want to make a bigger deal out of this exit than was necessary — perhaps due in no small part to the particularly sensitive nature of Cor Von’s departure.

    What’s that, you ask?

    Following a death in his family just after the Benoit family murders in late June, ECW superstar Marcus Cor Von (a.k.a. – “Monty Brown” from TNA) had been granted an extended sabbatical by World Wrestling Entertainment in order to deal with “family issues.” According to the Online World of Wrestling, Marcus/Monty was granted a summer-long leave of absence by WWE officials so that he could care for his nieces and nephews (leading one to believe that the death in his family was that of an immediate sibling).

    However —

    After releasing fellow WWE superstar (and former TNA-alumni) Sonny Siaki from a developmental contract earlier in the week for similar reasons, it seems that somebody from the WWE bookkeeping department decided that it might be in the best interests of all parties involved if the ‘E was to part ways with Cor Von as well.

    Frankly, you can’t blame them.

    While it’s admirable that WWE has been able to support both Sonny Siaki and Marcus Cor Von throughout each of their respective family crisis, there comes a point where “condolences” ends and “charity” begins. And simply put, WWE is not a charity, nor are they in the business of supporting non-working employees for indefinite periods of time. Marcus Cor Von hadn’t appeared on WWE television for three months (to the day) at the time he received his release from the company. And during that time, all reports indicate that he continued to receive a company paycheck DESPITE the fact that he neither traveled with nor performed for World Wrestling Entertainment. Siaki’s case is similar, as he’d been working a vastly reduced schedule for the better part of seven plus months (in light of his family issues).

    Now sure…

    WWE could have done more in BOTH of these cases… but there also comes a certain point where “enough is enough” and both sides have to admit to realistic expectations. Three months of paid time off for a deceased family member is UNPRECEDENTED in the everyday 9-to-5 world of average Joe businessman. And in professional athletics? It’s practically UNHEARD of. In 2003, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre played (and won) a football game less than 24 hours after his father died of a heart attack at age 58. On Wednesday of last week, San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore lost his mother (age 46) to kidney disease. After taking off from practice the next morning, he played (and won) a football game some four days later — scoring two touchdowns along the way.

    In the end —

    I just wanted to lend some much-needed perspective on just how “evil” and “heartless” the big, corporate “monster” known as WWE really can be when push comes to shove. Yes, there are plenty of cases of shady business and ruthless politicking behind the closed doors in Connecticut… but WWE’s efforts in both the cases of Sonny Siaki and Marcus Cor Von are a welcome example that every now and again, performers really *DO* get their fair share of specialized, individual attention. And even if folks are given their walking papers in the end — it’s not like they hadn’t exhausted all other recourses prior to pulling the plug.

    ECW Roster Gets Thin
    Just a Dozen Active Grapplers Remain on WWE’s Third Brand

    Even though Marcus Cor Von’s release was not a “major” blow to WWE (simply because he hadn’t been on television long enough to establish any real momentum), it was definitely still something of a noteworthy development for ECW fans nonetheless.

    Why’s this important, you ask?

    Because with Cor Von released and Morrison suspended, WWE’s ECW brand only features a grand total of TWELVE active wrestlers. Let’s see if I can name ’em off the top of my head:

    C.M. Punk
    Tommy Dreamer
    Stevie Richards
    Balls Mahoney
    Big Daddy V
    Matt Striker
    Elijah Burke
    Kevin Thorne
    The Miz

    Dammit — only got 11. DAMN YOU, MIKE KNOX!!!

    Now then —

    A lot of folks complained about WWE’s Unforgiven PPV last weekend (where I went a whopping 6 for 8!). The biggest gripe heard ’round the webz was that Elijah Burke didn’t even receive an on-camera entrance (a telltale sign that he’s not likely to win), and that the ECW championship — once a “World” title — was the curtain-jerking match to open a PPV.

    To that, I’ll say…

    Ok, you’re half-right. There really is little excuse for not at least having the decency to give Elijah Burke a proper on-camera entrance given the fact that there were only eight matches (most of which were very short) to fill the better part of three hours. But as for the ECW title curtain-jerking the show? I really can’t blame WWE too much on this one. Sure, it’s nominally the “biggest prize” (read: ONLY prize) that ECW has to offer… but when ECW’s active roster only consists of 12 performers? That’s not even a “bingo hall championship,” folks. In fact, there are more men currently eligible to challenge for gold in WWE’s fledgling tag team ranks than there are in all of ECW (Haas/Benjamin, Deuce/Domino, London/Kendrick, Cade/Murdoch, The Majors Brothers, The Highlanders, MVP/Matt Hardy = 14 tag wrestlers).

    Ok, Charlie Haas is suspended… but that still leaves us with 13 guys who can (in theory) fight for a tag team title. ECW only has 12 😉

    Bottom line?

    ECW’s roster is hella-thin right now, and the distance between “ECW Champ” and “curtain-jerker” is really no larger than ten guys or so apart. Sure, the ‘E can elevate the ECW title by having it defended later in PPV programs… but the long and short of it is that with only a dozen regular performers on the roster (at least three of whom rarely — if ever — win a match on television), it’s gonna’ be a tough sell to make fans believe that the ECW Championship title is really worth all that much in the end no matter WHERE on the card it is defended during any given pay-per-view event.

    Regardless —

    With Cor Von’s departure and the latest slew of suspensions, ECW is in some serious need of a talent overhaul… and fast. As such, MeeThinks you can expect the ‘E to put some serious effort into bolstering the ranks of their third brand in short order. Once “No Mercy” is in the books, I’d put money on at least a new face (or three) being added to the ECW mix in order to keep the show fresh. Of course, that’s all just speculation on my part — but MeeThinks it’s a smart bet, just the same.

    While we’re talking about idle speculation, however…

    Did Randy Orton Attempt Suicide?
    Irv Muchnick Comes Forth with Suspect Claim

    Irv Muchnick, nephew of erstwhile ‘rasslin’ promoter Sam Muchnick (sour grapes much?), self-proclaimed “wrestling journalist” and “industry expert”-author who appeared on a number of television interviews in the wake of the Benoit family murders (and who, by all reports, is planning to write aNOTHER “expert tell-all” book in the next year — on the Benoit murders, of course) suffered a tremendous blow to his credibility this week when he hit the webz with a half-cocked story about a Randy Orton suicide attempt. On his website, Mushnick reported the story as follows:

    A rumor is swirling that World Wrestling Entertainment star Randy Orton attempted suicide within the last year. Very well-placed wrestling sources tell me that the rumor is true. In the wake of the June murder-suicide of Chris Benoit and the scandal involving scads of WWE performers who ordered steroids and human growth hormone from the Internet gray-market dealer Signature Pharmacy, this is serious stuff.

    It’s already clear that WWE’s response to the Signature revelations — generated by the district attorney in Albany, New York, and reported by Sports Illustrated and others — is a joke. Some vague number of the miscreant wrestlers, not named, were “suspended,” but the suspension appears to have consisted of simply being downgraded for a few weeks in TV storylines.

    From the same evidence, Randy Orton was not touched at all. That is more than a little strange. Orton’s Signature Pharmacy order marked, at the very least, his second “strike” under WWE’s so-called wellness policy, which would have called for a 60-day (rather than a 30-day) suspension.

    The suicide whispers mark the problem as more than a game of “gotcha” or even taste (Orton acquired the gimmick “Legend Killer” after WWE blithely turned Eddie Guerrero’s 2005 death into just another “angle”). It’s a matter of life and death.

    Orton, 27, is a third-generation wrestler. He is engaged to marry Samantha Speno, a part-time gymnastics teacher, this fall. Last year Randy and Samantha moved into a country-club estate in High Ridge, Missouri (suburban St. Louis), complete with a gym, a hot tub, and four decks.

    Over to you, WWE.

    Irvin Muchnick

    Now then, a few major holes in Mr. Muchnick’s story:

    1) Randy Orton started using the “Legend Killer” gimmick WAYY back in the summer of 2003 — some two-plus years prior to Eddie Guerrero’s passing in November of 2005.

    2) Since the Signature Pharmacy scandal broke late last month, Muchnick claims that Randy Orton was “downgraded for a few weeks in TV storylines.” “Downgraded for a few weeks in TV storylines?” Umm… try “feuded for the WWE Title,” or “headlined not one but TWO pay-per-views.”

    3) Regarding the rest of the pack who were disciplined… now correct Mee if I’m wrong there, Irv… but I’m having one HECK of a time spotting guys like Mr. Kennedy, Booker T, John Morrison, Umaga, William Regal, Chavo Guerrero, Sho Funaki, and Chris Masters on WWE television these days. Sounds a lot more like a “suspension” than it does an on-air downgrade in my book.

    4) Muchnick later recanted the part of his story where he suggests the timeframe of Orton’s suicide attempt as being “within the last year.” In a radio appearance shortly after his blog entry, Muchnick adjusted his time frame to suggest that the alleged “suicide attempt” actually took place in the Spring of 2006 — well over “the past year” as he’d initially speculated.

    5) Why is that final paragraph even included in Muchnick’s story? What difference does it make how many decks Randy Orton’s new house has? Is Muchnick actually implying that wealthy people don’t get depressed? If so, somebody should have told Owen Wilson. Or Lindsay Lohan. Or Hunter S. Thompson. Or Kurt Cobain… or…

    All in all —

    Muchnick’s “news report” was knee-jerk, sensationalist, and desperate at best; sloppily put together, factually-inaccurate, and poorly-researched at worst. If this is the same level of fair and balanced, “quality journalism” we can expect from his long-form books about professional wrestling?

    No thanks, I’ll pass.

    Even casual wrestling fans will point to the glaring historical discrepancy in his report, and so much as a quick glance over some of the guy’s older stuff evidences that this is hardly the first time he’s flubbed a major detail when reporting a story (Muchnick recently identified Tom Davis, US Congressman from Virginia, as hailing from Maryland. Close, but no cigar). Irv may well have plenty of “unimpeachable” sources at his disposal, but when it comes to actually being a QUALITY wrestling journalist? Muchnick has a long way to go. His latest error-riddled “exposé” is proof positive that the guy is just looking to make a name for himself at someone else’s expense; be it Vinny Mac, Randy Orton, WWE, or the Benoit family — bottom line here is that this hack has a pretty clear bias, and a wicked habit of never letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Do yourself a favor, folks —

    Don’t waste your time, money, or attention on anything further from this sour-grapes windbag from here on out. He’s just trying to garner some buzz to sell his next round of sensationalist schlock, with (not surprisingly) boasts the oh-so-subtle, sensitive working title of “CHRIS AND NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death!”

    *Bad writing 101 = Always keep things black and white! “Humanize” the victims (referring to them on a first-name basis, and collectively at that), and “demonize” the big, bad, nameless and faceless enemy (“Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death!”).

    YouThinks Reader Mail
    We’re starting with some Mickey Mouse smack-talk from Matthew Douglas:


    Nice to see you back on Fridays…..now on to business. I am not a fan of The Mouse in any way shape or form, they’re like the mob….they have a cast of colorful characters, people don’t hesitate to hand over their money, and they are always watching.

    As far as the illegitimate son angle….WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE???!!!!!….We all know that Triple H is Vince’s son in law and you are alll frothing for an incest angle…..They live in Connecticut, not Kentucky you sick freaks….

    Later Meehan

    – Matthew Douglas

    Thanks for writing, Matt.

    As far as the Disney thing goes, I’ve always thought it’d make for one heck of a marketing ploy to have a guy dressed in a Goofy costume grab you by the ankles and shake you upside-down until all the cash fell out of your pockets the second you walked into the park. Coming from an all-out Disney fanatic like Mee, though I’d admit the experience would totally be a bit jarring… it might just be a bit more honest and direct way of getting things done in the long run, no? Kinda’ like ripping off a Band-Aid, I guess.

    Now as for the Vincest angle (see what I did there?) —

    I don’t think that anyone is actively *routing* for such a payoff, per se… but I do think there are a fair amount of wrestling fans out there who simply wouldn’t put such an approach past the WWE creative team, is all. Given what Vince himself (and Stephanie) had said on the McMahon DVD — it’s not like such a thought hasn’t ever been spitballed in a WWE production meeting before, ya’ know?

    Next Up – John Bryant Bateman, who’s never at a loss for some off-the-wall questions:

    Wow Totally Nonstop Angle. Is it me or can the Booking Committee go one year without totally building the entire company around one man? I mean the 1st 3 & a half years of TNA it was the All Jarrett All the time thing. now it’s Angle. What will it take for these guys to shape up and stop building the company’s show around one man.

    as for who this Former World Champion is, it could very well be, Mr. Monday Night, Rob Van Dam. no one seems to be taking that into consideration, at least not from what I read. now as for the whole Jailhouse Jones, I mean Pacman, situation, how asinine can you get? do you realize how bad it’ll hurt TNA’s credibility if this constant Police-car riding moron, and yes he is a moron if you’ve watched the Bryant Gumbel interview, if he were to I dunno, miss No Surrender due to being arrested? I mean the way TNA is booking i’m surprised they didn’t hire Michael Vick to do an Angle with Rick Steiner. oooh, too soon?

    TNA has failed to capitialize on Money Matches, I mean who in their right mind didn’t want to see James Storm & Chris Harris go at it one more time after the 2 awesome matches they had? and then poof the feud was over I’m guessing because Angle got jealous they did better than he did in the ring. TNA needs to shape up and fly right in the Business world otherwise the statement that TNA at the moment resembles WCW at the end, will be very very true.


    Interesting points there, JBB. You’re right on in noting how TNA has definitely erred too far on the side of booking an entire promotion around just one performer. But then again (as we’ve seen with ECW), there’s also something to be said for only being able to fit just *so* many people into one hour’s worth of television each week, ya’ know? I’ll grant you that TNA more often than not finds themselves focusing WAAAAY too closely on just one performer… but on the off chance that the guy they’re focusing on happens to be popular with the crowd? Like it or not, people stay tuned to the program.

    Such was the case with Christian Cage about a year or so ago. During much of 2006, Captain Charisma was ALL OVER the place on TNA’s programming (and before him, Samoa Joe pretty much decimated the X-Division). Thing is, both of those guys are “net favorites,” and so IWC’ers don’t get as peeved when a 60-minute show features some 20+ minutes of The Samoan Submission Machine or The Instant Classic.

    Double standard much?

    Granted, the amount of television time glommed up by the “Planet Jarrett” stable and the “TNAngle” programs is undoubtedly higher than the amount of time we’ve ever seen hogged up by guys like Joe and Christian — but the bottom line is that it’s an inevitable shortcoming of ANY wrestling promotion: You have a hot angle (or a hot performer)? You overexpose the hell out of ’em.

    Happened to the nWo, happened to latter-day Steve Austin, happened to Triple H, and continues to happen in TNA. Shoot, it’s even happening with John Cena and The Undertaker — ‘cept that both of those guys continue to move merchandise, sell tickets, and pop buyrates in spite of it all.

    Speaking of a guy who’s pops buyrates (well, in his own mind, at least) — this next letter deals with Bill Goldberg:

    Hi. my name is Jason and i just read your column on 411wrestling. i want your opinion on this. after reading that interview with Goldberg that he did on those Radio shows i have some questions. 1. first off. whats the odds of Goldberg Wrestling again? 2. after what Bill said about TNA whats the odds of Goldberg ever working for TNA? 3. do u think most likely that Goldberg is done with Wrestling?


    Thanks for writing, dude. To your questions, in order:

    1) Not very likely. Especially in North America.
    2) Again, not very likely. Goldberg thinks he’s worth WAAY more than TNA could afford.
    3) More or less, yes. There might be a match or two in Japan — but MeeThinks we’ve probably seen the last of “‘Da Man” in a major North American wrestling promotion.

    Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer on you there, but if Bill Goldberg keeps it up with the ego and the smack-talking, then wrestling fans are probably better off without him in the long run.

    Speaking of “long runs,” we’ll close with a letter from Brian Heath, who’s got a few ‘Thinks of his own on how this Hornswoggle angle could well play out before all is said and done:

    Hey John,

    I just wanted to send this idea about the whole “Hornswaggle McMahon” situation. What most fans (particularly the IWC) doesn’t realize is, Kennedy or someone else can still get the main event Wrestlemania payoff for this angle, and they don’t necessarily have to be Vince’s kid.

    Here’s how I see it playing out. Over the next few weeks (or even months) Triple H and Hornswaggle make Vince’s life a living hell with all kinds of funny “little” segments. Then, at the end of October, during a pay-per-view match with say, Umaga, HHH could get brutally attacked by Kennedy (I mean, just get the crap beat out of him). Kennedy could come out on the next Raw and tell Vince that even though he doesn’t share the McMahon blood, he knows that when he brought out “the old McMahon” and gave him a hug he realized that he could be Vince’s true heir. Vince would take him under his wing, and Trips and Kennedy could set up for a match, possibly as soon as Survivor Series (maybe a main event special stipulation such as Last Man Standing).

    Then, Randy Orton could get involved and become Vince’s other “protégé” He and Kennedy would run roughshod over the WWE until Hunter got some backup in the form of his old DX partner, Shawn Michaels. This would set up Kennedy/Orton vs DX, either for Royal Rumble or even Wrestlemania (maybe even the first tag team Hell in a Cell match?) I think maybe Royal Rumble.

    The only question is what to do with John Cena in the meantime. I think Cena beats Orton Sunday, so they would need to set up a person for him to face over the next few weeks. Possibly Orton beats him and then Cena wins it back by Survivor Series, then they could either include HHH, Michaels and Kennedy in the mix for the title, or feed him a couple of contenders to pass the time (maybe Big Vis, Umaga and Snitsky in a four way dance with Cena facing impossible odds or even Carlito and Shelton, though I think they’d be a better fit for the IC title, hey, maybe even Jeff!). Eventually, by Rumble time, they could set up Batista moving to Raw or even Lashley or dare I say, Flair?

    There are still a ton of people that could main event Wrestlemania right now, and people could switch brands or whatever (I still think they should fold ECW and move Punk to Smackdown). But here are possible contenders:


    I think you could even possibly have Punk or either Hardy (Hardy v. Hardy for the Smackdown belt?)

    And don’t forget about a great opponent for Cena…..


    See. Still very stacked, still good possibilities. As long as they all stay healthy and don’t get suspended. Aye, but there’s the rub.

    – Brian

    Great letter, Brian — and thanks for writing!

    As for the Kennedy-wants-to-be-Vince’s-surrogate-son approach, I like it quite a bit. Unfortunately, pairing Kennedy with Randy Orton only to feed them to a re-re-reunited pairing of HBK and Triple H pretty much spells disaster for anybody not wearing a black and neon green t-shirt.

    Let’s face it, when “Team Rated RKO” squared off against dX for a few months last year, they were pretty much relegated to serving as the “job-boys” to RAW’s two biggest babyfaces. Yes, it sold tickets, and some of the matches were solid — but once Triple H went down to injury? The damage had already been done to Edge’s main-event-credibility (on RAW, anyway) — and so he was immediately swapped to Smackdown, so as to avoid spinning his wheels in another do-nothing program over on the red brand whilst Hunter rehabbed through the summer months. And if Michaels wasn’t headed for surgery shortly thereafter? Hate to sound pessimistic here, but I just can’t see Randy Orton going over Shawn Michaels *cleanly* and then moving onto main event while Shawn was stuck with nowhere to go, feuding with the red roster’s b-team of heels until Trips came back.

    In other words —

    I like the idea of a Kennedy push (Hornswoggle tie-in or no), but I don’t like the idea of yet ANOTHER Randy Orton tag team (especially when he’d be squaring off against Shawn and Hunter again), as you’re basically just rehashing the same exact feud we saw last year… only with Kennedy in Edge’s spot. And Kennedy is a LOT less reliable (both in terms of marketing AND suspensions) than Edge, ya’ know?

    Regardless —

    As you said, there is still a LOT of time before the next WrestleMania (MARCH 30, 2008), and so that leaves us with a ton of options to unfold in the months to come. Like we discussed earlier, though, the ECW roster is hurting for credibility in a big way right now though — and so I dunno how soon the ‘E will feel comfortable “stealing” guys like Big Daddy V or C.M. Punk from their ranks in the near future. Thanks to some tremendous booking on Smackdown! in recent months, a guy like Matt Hardy could easily walk into an ECW title program in a heartbeat, though. Couple a “shocking” Matt Hardy ECW invasion with the fact that John Morrison will be back by ‘Mania (barring any further suspensions), and a Morrison/Matt showdown seems like it’d be a great program for both parties.

    Now as for who else looks good for a big WM payday? In addition to the folks we’ve already discussed, you’re right on in mentioning Lashley and Taker, for sure. Early rumors are already speculating we could see a Batista/Cena cross-branded showdown, too… which could make for a pretty kickass program. A Flair jump to RAW seems like a stretch (given his age and the recent trade to Smackdown!) — but if the Nature Boy plays hardball with the ‘E in this latest go-round of contract negotiations, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that we may see a Ric Flair swan song on the flagship program after all.

    But yeah — still months away, and “never say never” in the world of wrestling!

    And With That, I’m Outta’ Here…

    That’ll do it for Mee again this week, folks. A big thanks if you’ve made it this far, and here’s hoping you have a great weekend. Unless you’re a Bills fan… in which case, I hope you have a good Saturday, at least. ‘Till next time, good luck with yer skoolin’, if you’re still enrolled (just 82 days ’till graduation for Mee), enjoy what may well be the last “summer weather” weekend of the year, and always stay positive!

    – Meehan

    The National Domestic Violence Hotline : 1-800-799-SAFE.

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