wrestling / Columns

Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report 02.14.13

February 14, 2013 | Posted by Sean Kelly

Greetings, folks, and welcome to another edition of Thursday Sports Entertainment! For those of you who are into celebrating Hallmark holidays, we here at the TSENR would like to wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day. At the Kelly household, we celebrate by exchanging small gifts – this year, the wife gets a ton of her favorite chocolate, Awesome Ladybug Girl gets a beginner’s magic kit, and her little sister gets a huggable, talking Peppa Pig. Luckily, the wife doesn’t take Valentine’s too seriously, while the kids get really excited about it. Pretty much how it should be.

Let’s see what you, my special Valentines, had to say last week:

I would prefer a ladder match to the awful 6-man tag, Wrestlemania payday match. I’d put both the IC and US titles up. Then you have the option of potentially unifying, thereby killing off a belt- and with the brand split dead that makes sense- or you could have one guy escape with the US title at the midway point, then another guy take the IC title at the end

-Willie Beamon

YES! I like it! Have they ever had a “double ladder match” before? If not, it would be a historic, intriguing way to get people’s attention. Bravo, sir!

I don’t disagree with your rant on wrestlers doing it for the money…although I think you’re being a little overly cynical.

Still doesn’t change the fact that I’m not a fan of baseless rumors that are defamation of character.
I’m willing to forgive and forget all thanks to that Eve = Mac Tonight gag though. I nearly spit out my water.

– Capt Sassypants

Oh, Capt. Sassypants, I could never be upset with you…

In my defense, I explicitly said I was being cynical, and openly admit that my thoughts were baseless brain feces. I wouldn’t even call what I wrote rumor because rumors are usually a distortion of some sort of fact. Besides, everyone knows how wrestlers are REALLY able to cheat the Wellness Policy. Here is, IN THEORY, how a roided up monster can still abide by Wellness Policy rules:

Section 13 of the WWE Wellness Policy states that if a performer is found to have a positive result, they have 72 hours to provide a prescription from a doctor showing that they tested positive for a valid medical reason. If said performer can produce the prescription in time, then they are not considered in violation of the policy.

So here’s where the loophole lies. (I’m not a doctor/lawyer/nose-breather, so keep this in mind when reading this next batch of brain feces). Many men who have taken massive quantities of steroids for long periods of time require “hormone replacement therapy.” Basically, because the body was given artificial supplies of male hormones for so long, it reacts by shutting down the process used to naturally create said hormones. (aka shrinks ya balls). If that person were to suddenly stop taking artificial hormones, he would find himself with a body unable to adequately produce the hormones he needs. That’s where hormone replacement therapy comes into play. This is where a doctor prescribes steroids to account for the body’s inability to produce hormones naturally due to years of abuse.

So let’s follow the cycle:

– Wrestler X bulks up by taking steroids for a good bit of time
– Wrestler X’s body says “oh look, I don’t need to make testosterone anymore” and stops producing hormones naturally
– Wrestler X stops taking steroids and goes to a doctor. Sure enough, his tests show that his body isn’t producing enough natural hormones
– The doctor prescribes testosterone as part of hormone replacement therapy to combat this deficiency, giving Wrestler X the required paperwork to be exempt from any future steroid-related Wellness violations

And there you go. I’m not saying that any current or former Superstars have ever used this tricky method to skirt the rules (winkwinknudgenudgesaynomore), I’m just saying that the loophole exists and it COULD be exploited by a crafty Sports Entertainer or two. Or fifty.

And as for the Eve Torres/Mac Tonight thing, I am glad so many people thought it was funny. But it uncovered a DISTURBING trend among you internet wrestling fans that is positively SICKENING!

More on that later. First, the news!



While WWE made the call to pull the Intercontinental Cup, there is talk of the WWE Main Event TV show will soon focus around the Intercontinental Title. This would be similar to how RAW focuses on the WWE Title and Smackdown focuses on the World Title.

Sooooo, will the name be changing to WWE Midcard Event? I suppose this is good news, as it gives the show focus and puts the spotlight on the Intercontinental title. Lord knows it could use some. Remember when holding that title meant that you were on your way up to greatness? Now it’s just something for a midcarder (or the occasional main eventer) to do while lingering in limbo.

I looked up the championship reigns of various WWE superstars, and there was one Intercontinental title statistic that surprised me. I asked myself – who was the last person to win the Intercontinental Title and then go on to win his first World/WWE title? In other words, who got the traditional build of winning a midcard strap then advancing to win his first Main Event strap? You know who that was? Jeff Hardy. He won the Intercontinental title in September 2007 and then his first World Title in the Summer of 2009. (I’m not counting Dolph Ziggler’s 11 minute World Title reign for obvious reasons.) Every IC title holder since Hardy dropped the belt in March 2008 was either already a World/WWE champion before winning (e.g. Chris Jericho, Big Show), OR, has never held a Main Event title since winning the IC title (e.g. Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes).

Isn’t that sad? In the last 5 ½ years, not one single person got a sustained push from IC champion to main event. It’s either been main eventers slumming in the midcard, or midcarders remaining stagnant. This only reinforces the notion that WWE has been terrible about building new stars. The US title fared slightly better, with both the Miz and Daniel Bryan holding the title in 2010 before going on to win their first main event championships. Before them, the last US Champion to do that was he-who-must-not-be-named in 2006.

It’s interesting how since 2007, only three talents have received that sustained push from midcard to main event. It used to be the norm all the time. Legends of the industry such as Steve Austin, the Rock, HHH, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, etc. were all elevated to first-time WWE Champion within a YEAR of dropping the IC title:

Austin: Last held the IC title December 1997, won his first WWE title March 1998 (3 months later)

The Rock: Last held the IC title August 1998, won his first WWE title November 1998 (3 months later)

HHH: Last held the IC title October 1998, won his first WWE title August 1999 (10 months later)

Shawn Michaels: Last held the IC title October 1995, won his first WWE title March 1996 (5 months later)

Bret Hart: Last held the IC title January 1992, won his first WWE title October 1992 (9 months later)

I know what some of you are thinking. “Sure, you’re going by the LAST time they had the IC title. What about the FIRST time they won the IC title? How long did it take for them to go from FIRST winning the IC title to FIRST winning the WWE Title? Huh? Howabouthat?”

Okay, let’s take a look:

Austin: First held the IC title August 1997, won his first WWE title March 1998 (7 months)

The Rock: First held the IC title February 1997, won his first WWE title November 1998 (22 months)

HHH: First held the IC title October 1996, won his first WWE title August 1999 (34 months)

Shawn Michaels: First held the IC title October 1992, won his first WWE title March 1996 (41 months)

Bret Hart: First held the IC title August 1991, won his first WWE title October 1992 (14 months)

On average, there was about a 2 year span of time between when these men won their first IC title and first WWE title. When you think about the fact that Kofi Kingston won his first Intercontinental title nearly 5 years ago, you start to see the problem. And when you toss in the fact that there are now TWO midcard titles and TWO main event titles, it makes zero sense that so few Superstars have made the leap from midcard champ to main event champ. WWE has, for the most part, lost their way in building midcarders into main eventers. Let’s hope they realize their mistake and work to fix it. Maybe the change in format of Main Event can somehow be a part of the solution.

The last episode of WWE Raw scored a 3.16 rating with 4.26 million viewers, down 11% from a 3.56 and 4.81 million viewers last week. The show did hours of 4.35 million, 4.25 million and 4.18 million, making it the fifth straight week that viewership dropped from the second to third hour and the twenty-eighth time in the last thirty weeks.

 photo newrawlogo.jpg

So that’s your standard ratings report for the week. I’m including it because I want to provide some context on ratings. In the wonderful world that is the IWC, there is often reference to the bygone days where RAW would pull in ratings between 4 and 6. They point to 2013’s ratings of 3.56 and 3.16 and say “look at how much the ratings have dropped!”

They have dropped, without question. But not by as much as it may seem. You see, that 3.56 rating from last week is a percentage, meaning that 3.56% of all households with a television were watching RAW. The tricky thing about ratings is that they are taken as percentages against an ever-growing number: the television watching population. So let’s do a ratings comparison between the year 2013 and the year 2000, which was part of the high times of wrestling viewership.

According to Nielsen, the number of television watching households in 2012 was 114.7 million, while in 2000 that number was 100.8 million. Doing a straight up division of 114.7/100.8 shows us that there are 1.14 times as many television households now compared to 2000. That means that in order to compare apples to apples, we need to take today’s ratings and multiply them by 1.14 to get its year 2000 equivalent.

So let’s take last week’s RAW rating of 3.56. If this were the year 2000, that 3.56 rating would be reported as a 4.06 rating. Again, much lower compared to the 5-6 rating it used to get, but that’s a ratings increase of half a point when you account for population growth. And when you consider that today’s ratings are diluted because of the switch to 3 hours, it’s not that bad.

This doesn’t change the fact that WWE needs to expand its viewer base, but accounting for population growth takes a little bit of the sting out of comparing today’s numbers to yesterday’s. Just some food for thought.

CM Punk tweeted a Nazi joke about the news that Pope Benedict XVI is retiring due to his age at the end of the month. Benedict has been often criticized for his participation in the Hitler Youth program in the late ’30s, a participation that he defended by saying that all children who grew up in Germany were forced to join the group. Punk retweeted the following from a friend, calling the joke “magic”:

The pope resigned? I did nazi that coming.

When someone else replied to it saying that Punk was pushing the envelope, Punk replied:

Oh piss off. Pope was a nazi.

youngpunk photo youngpunk.jpg

To anyone offended, lighten up. I’m Catholic and I thought the play on words was kind of funny. Tasteless? Yeah, but in comedy nothing is sacred, so I’m not annoyed by the original comment.

This Pope sure had his flaws, but being a Nazi wasn’t one of them. If a ruthless regime forces you to join their party, you should not be considered one of them, especially when you got the hell outta dodge as soon as you could. Punk knows this but decided to perpetuate the myth anyway. Whatever. Just add it to the list of dopey tweets from the former champion.

Punk seems to be one of the growing numbers of notable, loud mouthed atheists. Guys like Ricky Gervais and Penn Jillette (both of whom I like very much, by the way), that take every opportunity to knock organized religion with an “I’m smarter than you” condescension in their tone. People like that drive me nuts, they’re just as bad as the Christians that never shut up about how right their religion is. Whatever happened to believing what you believe and shutting up about it? I don’t care whether you’re an atheist or believer, just stop yapping about how right you are all the time.

But this Pope thing is a nice segue to something funny that happened at home the other night. Awesome Ladybug Girl is learning about how the church works as part of her CCD classes, and recently learned all about the Pope. So it was with great interest that I told her “Hey Victoria, guess what? We’re getting a new Pope!” Upon hearing this, her younger sister – 3 ½ years old – exclaims loudly: “WE’RE GETTING NEW POOP?!” Man, I was dying.

Pwinsider.com reports that a source in the TV industry has confirmed that going forward, Monday Night Raw will be listed as three separate one hour shows on cable programming guides. The change was made by the USA network, and not by WWE. From now on, the show will be listed as one hour blocks, all titled “WWE Monday Night Raw.”

 photo Tivo_zps5494f5b6.jpeg

Here’s my non-expert thoughts on what’s going on. By separating RAW out to be three 1 hour shows, they have three separate programs with three separate advertising rates. Since hour three is usually the lowest rated portion of the show, it will no longer drag down the ratings of hours 1 & 2, affecting RAW’s overall advertising rates.

Also, this could be an attempt to avoid DVR conflicts (ironic, huh?) I have 4 DVRs in my house, three of which can record 2 programs at once and one that can record 4, so missing a TV show isn’t normally a problem for me. However, most folks with DVRs have only one that can record at most 2 shows simultaneously. So, for example, on Monday nights at 8PM, let’s say that Daddy gets a season pass to How I Met Your Mother and Mommy gets one for Dancing With the Stars. That leaves Lil Jimmy’s season pass for RAW at priority #3, meaning the entire three hour show won’t be recorded on the family’s DVR. With RAW broken into three separate shows, lil Jimmy can now record hours 2 & 3, while Mommy & Daddy still get to watch their shows. It’s actually not a bad idea when you think about it.


As part of my duties for putting together this fine bit of wrestling nonsense, I am encouraged to put some images into the column to help break up the text and make the column more visually appealing. I agree with this approach, and try my best to pepper my mind farts with some pretty, pretty pictures of your favorite Sports Entertainment icons.

During the course of my tenure here at 411, I have included numerous photos of the lovely WWE Divas, talented ladies that work hard and want nothing more than to earn your respect. They are, after all, human beings with hopes and dreams – lofty aspirations of becoming some of the best Sports Entertainers of all time. We ought to appreciate their efforts and respect them enough not to objectify them in any way, right?

That being said, in using Google to search for tasteful pictures of said Divas, I noticed a bizarre and disturbing trend in the “auto suggest” feature that Google uses. In a nutshell, Google guesses what you are searching for based on the search history of its entire user base. So, for example, if I were to type “Declaration of” into Google, it would automatically suggest “Declaration of Independence,” “Declaration of Rights of Man,” etc. Well, I noticed a weird trend when searching for photos of the Divas, and, sure enough, the trend continued for nearly every WWE Diva on the roster. Check it out (notations in red added by me):

 photo EveTorresFeetJPG_zps9159778e.jpg

 photo KaitlynFeetJPG_zps56893a8f.jpg

 photo NatalyaFeetJPG_zpsbf3828f4.jpg

 photo TaminaFeetJPG_zps6630f395.jpg

 photo AJLeeFeetJPG_zps8d25a6b5.jpg

 photo AksanaFeetJPG_zps1d1e0d82.jpg

 photo AliciaFoxFeetJPG_zps1b743bbb.jpg

 photo BethFeetJPG_zps93e2c05d.jpg

 photo VickiFeetJPG_zps129dcbd6.jpg

Really? {WWE Diva name} + “feet” was in the top 5 suggestions in Google, most often occurring at #2. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Good Lord, what the hell are you people doing in your spare time? You should be ashamed of yourselves, you sick little monsters! I can understand searching for a Diva’s name + “bikini” or “hot” or any of the other suggestions that come up…but FEET?? Even Vicki Guerrero is subject to your perverted fantasies. My word, what kind of demented freak sits around all day searching for pictures of female wrestlers’ feet??


 photo snitsky_zps70babf0f.gif

For shame, IWC! FOR SHAME!!!


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Thank you for making Thursday Sports Entertainment your go-to destination for Wrestling News, Opinions, etc. Join us next week – same Sports Entertainment time, same Sports Entertainment channel. Oh, and let’s tone down the feet thing, okay?

Hasta Jueves,

This is Sean.


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