wrestling / Columns

Your News, My Views 3.29.05

March 29, 2005 | Posted by Larry Csonka

Welcome to the news column that that people stay up late in anticipation for, “Your News, My Views!” As always, I am “The King of Wrestling Media” Larry Csonka and it is time for the news you read all week, and the views on it you craved so much! We have the major news from this past week, and more of the highly successful “Top 25 of All-Time” series with #16!

Next week after WrestleMania the Top 5 of the Top 3 will return. It was a temporary Friday feature, and I’ll need the time to formulate new rankings especially with WrestleMania next week. I also have heard the requests and will consider making it a Top 10 of the Top 3. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

If you guys have time, please stop by and fill out THIS SURVEY! It would be appreciated by the 411 staff.

Many of you have probably seen that 411 is hiring! Now is the time to submit applications to the Editors of the area that you would like to be a part of. NOW here is some advice from me to you. If you want to send an application, you need to follow some basic rules.

#1. SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK! No one is perfect, but already in the first day I have seen so much red and green in my MS Word when I opened a few it was crazy. It only takes a few minutes, run the check, read it over and check again.

#2. Don’t be a jerk. I have had applications like, “This is better than half of the stuff you have now, so go ahead and hire me.” It’s cool to be confident in your work, but don’t be rude because that’s a quick delete from me. Also, don’t send us a 1000 email praising your work, and then not provide a sample.

#3. Put your best work forward. 200 words of rambling are not going to be considered. Send a complete example of what you’ll be writing. If you only send what you “may” write, I can’t judge that. Don’t send me half and say, “you’ll get the rest when I’m hired.” Things don’t work that way.

#4. For Video recappers. If you are going to review a show, have a defined format. If I can’t tell who won the match the average reader won’t be able to and won’t come back to read.

#5. Be yourself. Out of the applications I have had already, half of them are “rip offs” of columns 411 has already. If we already have these columns, we won’t hire you. We already have JD Dunn, Dave Schilling, Steve Cook, Matt Nute and others. We don’t want knockoffs of them.

There’s some friendly advice for you. I look forward to more applications.


The man that comes in at #16 is considered wrestling royalty and holds the following accomplishments:

8-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion

8-time NWA Central States Heavyweight Champion

7-time Missouri Heavyweight Champion

6-time NWA Central States Heavyweight Champion

5-time AWA World Tag-Team Champion

2-time NWA Florida Tag-Team Champion

1-Time Central States Tag Team titles

1-time IWA World Tag-Team Champion

1-time Calgary Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion

1-time NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion

1-time NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

1-time NWA Mid-Atlantic United States Heavyweight Champion

1-time WWA (Chicago) World Heavyweight Champion

1-time NWA United National Heavyweight Champion

1-time PWF World Heavyweight Champion

1-time NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Champion

1-time WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Champion

WWF King of the Ring

1973 Match of the Year (Race vs. Dory Funk Jr.)

1977 Wrestler of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up

1978 Wrestler of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up

1979 Wrestler of the Year

1979 Match of the Year (Race vs. Dusty Rhodes)

1980 Wrestler of the Year, 1st Runner-Up

1983 Wrestler of the Year

1983 Match of the Year (Race vs. Ric Flair)

1994 WCW Hall of Fame Inductee

1994 Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

1996 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame Inductee

2004 Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee

2004 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee

The King, “Handsome” Harley Race

Much like Terry Funk, Harley Race started his wrestling journey on a farm, but Race’s training was in Missouri. The farm belonged to Stanislaus and Walter Zbyszko. Stanislaus was a former world champion in the 1920’s and his brother Walter was also considered an accomplished wrestler. In his teens Harley worked the farm all day and then after the work was done then came the training. He would head to the barn where Stanislaus and Walter would take to stretching him. After a long session Harley would rest and just when he started to feel a bit better, he was stretched again. It was through this that Harley decided that he wanted to be a wrestler. His first “break” came when promoter Gust Karras allowed race to drive wrestlers back and worth from the airport. It was through this that Race met Buddy Austin and Ray Gordon. Two very experienced workers that took a liking to Race, and were a huge part of his training. Race would debut in Tennessee under the name of Jack Long and win the Southern Tag Titles with his partner John Long. Shortly into his run he suffered and injury, and would return home to recuperate. It was then after a talk with his father that he decided to wrestle under his name, Harley Race.

As injuries healed and the 60’s were in their beginnings Race took to the Amarillo Territory. This is where Race would begin his longtime feud wit not just one, but all 3 Funks in Dory Sr., Dory Jr. and Terry. He had long and brutal matches will all 3, but more so with Terry. After his short time there, he moved on to the Minneapolis based American Wrestling Alliance. Race would team with Larry “The Ax” Hennig and on January 30th of 1965, they captured the AWA Tag Titles from Crusher Lisowski & Dick the Bruiser. Race and Hennig would go onto have many brutal battles with the Crusher and Dick the Bruiser over then next few years. He and Hennig would wear the AWA tag titles 4 times, as well as the IWA tag titles one time. Race was the only partner that Hennig actually stuck with for any period of time. Before leaving the AWA Race would win his 5th AWA Tag Title with Chris Markoff.

Race left the AWA and was a free spirit of sorts as he spent time with several different territories. He went back to the Amarillo territory where he and Terry Funk rekindled their rivalry and it quickly became a blood feud. After a series of matches with Funk, Race returned to his home area of St. Louis and the Central States territory in 1971. Upon his return to the area he won the Central States Heavyweight Title. Race would dominate the territory with multiple wins of the Central States and Missouri heavyweight titles. He was given the nickname “Mad Dog” Harley Race after attacking TV announcer Bill Kersten. Eventually he would win tag gold with Roger Kirby as they captured the Central States Tag Titles in 1972. Harley was highly regarded for his individual work in the Central States area, but many felt he was only a regional draw, but that would change in a big way.

In May of 1973 Race got his opportunity to face off with current NWA Champion against old nemesis Dory Funk Jr. The two men had a classic battle and to the surprise of almost everyone Race walked away with the NWA World Title. He would hold the title for 2 months until Jack Brisco defeated him. As disappointing as the defeat was, the initial NWA Title victory secured Race’s place in the business as a proven main eventer and a true threat to any title he challenged for.

Race returned to the Central States area and worked to regain his slot as the number one contender to the NWA title in hopes of regaining it. He would go on to win the Missouri heavyweight title a total of 7 times, and the Central States title a total of 8 times. He then traveled to other territories and secured the Mid-Atlantic title, the NWA Georgia Heavyweight title, as well as the Calgary Stampede North American Heavyweight title. He then would travel to Florida and defeat Dusty Rhodes for the NWA Southern Heavyweight title as well as the NWA Florida Tag-Team tag titles 2-times with 2 different partners, Roger Kirby and Bob Roop.

Once 1977 hit Race was obsessed with the NWA Title. He went to Toronto and faced off with another old nemesis Terry Funk. Taking advantage of a badly injured knee, Race locked in the Indian Death lock to defeat Funk. Race was the NWA champion for most of the next 4 years. Tommy Rich, Dusty Rhodes and Giant Baba each held the title for short times, but race always found a way to win his title back. Race would have intense battles with Dusty Rhodes, The Von Erichs, Dick the Bruiser, and Ric Flair. He also would battle in inter-promotional matches with the WWWF’s Bob Backlund, and Superstar Billy Graham as well as the AWA’s Nick Bockwinkel. Unfortunately for fans these matches always ended in a time limit draw, tied one fall apiece or a disqualification finish.

In 1981 Race lost the NWA title to Dusty Rhodes and was then tied with Lou Thez with 6 world title reigns. He would win his 7th against Ric Flair in 1983. This would serve to set up bigger things for Flair, and the wrestling world as a whole. He put a bounty on Flair, which Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater decided to act on. They destroyed Flair, injuring his neck and causing the apparent retirement of Flair. But Flair would return, and at the initial Starrcade, Flair defeated Race in a steel cage match to win the NWA title and in many people’s eyes pass the torch to the Nature Boy.

Flair and Race would face again though for the NWA title in 1984. They battled in New Zealand and Race walked away with the title. Three days later in Singapore Flair regained the title. The switches were picked up by the Japanese press, but ignored in the US until the early 1990’s when the NWA officially recognized the switch and Race was then an 8-time champion.

It was at this time where decided on becoming more of a promoter than a wrestler. His dream was to make the St. Louis territory the best of the NWA. He succeeded and was under constant fire from Vince McMahon Jr. Race eventually would lose upwards of $500,000 and has to sell to Jim Crockett. Race needed to become an in ring performer again, and in the most unlikely of places.

At first he toiled on the Independent territory circuit, but eventually came to a deal with Vince McMahon Jr. Race was signed to a good deal out of respect and debuted with Bobby Heenan as his manager. In 1986 he won the Sam Munchnick Tournament as well as the King of the Ring. Now known as the “King” of wrestling Race went on to appear at WrestleMania 3 in front of the record setting crowd, as well as the first two Survivor Series. Eventually severe internal injuries sidelined Race and he would leave the WWF as the 1990’s started.

After he was able to recover he once again hit the North American wrestling scene, not as a King or a wrestler but as a manager in WCW. He managed the likes of Paul Orndorff, The Collossal Kongs, Super Invader, Yoshi Kwan, Vinnie Vegas and Mr. Hughes. His biggest successes as a manager came as he led both Big Van Vader and Lex Luger to WCW World Title runs. After his induction to the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994, Race faded into the background of the wrestling business.

In 1999 Race started his own small promotion WLW (World League Wrestling.) He ran much of the same area as the St. Louis territory he had operated previously and started his own academy of wrestling. This helped complete a void in Race’s life that left when he was doen as a performer. In these past few years Race has appeared for the NWA TNA promotion as an NWA Official and member of their championship committee. He was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 and made an appearance as a manger at the recent Wrestle Reunion seconding Mike Graham and Dusty and Dustin Rhodes to victory over CM Punk, Abdullah the Butcher and Kevin Sullivan.

When all is said and done…

There is no arguing the fact that Harley Race is a first ballot Hall of Famer and deserving of a spot on any and ALL Top 25 of the best wrestlers of all time. Race proved he was more than a small time worker and took all of his training and determination and became an 8-time World Champion. I don’t think anyone can deny his place in wrestling history and I for one and very excited that the fans of today had enough respect for his accomplishments to add him to this list.

#16 on the Top 25 of All Time, Harley Race.

Random Raw-liners

Just my thoughts as I watched Raw tonight, let me know if you enjoy this little feature. I know others do stuff like this, but I yell a lot of shit out when I watch TV…

The Captain of the Bimbo Brigade™ vs. Trish in an arm wrestling match? What is this, the Steiner/HHH build up?


That’s right Chris; use that “First Ever Undisputed Champ” line as much as possible!

Ain’t No Stoppin’ me…NAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

BURN! Shelton is starving AND is the only one currently with a belt!

The Highlight Reel = Awesomeness!

Why is Tomko in the 6-man and Kane isn’t?

Benoit got busted open! It’s a gusher!

He’s the man!


So Kane was just there for the post match fun.


The Captain of the Bimbo Brigade™ vs. Trish in an arm wrestling match is next. Technically isn’t Lita the GIMP?

Randy’s out…the Bimbo Brigade™ better run and hide, incase he wants to RKO some more bitches.


THAT was a response.

A World Tag Title match?

A Triple Threat?

There are 3 teams?

**weeps for the tag division**

USA chants? Are they cheering for Maven and Dean?

Hassan is wearing his PJ’s again.

So, does Angle cost HBK the match?


Did Eric say Keg? I’ll be back, I need a beer.

Long draw out video package, and Eric coming to the ring. I didn’t miss much according to the wife.

We have security…I WANT A MASS BEAT DOWN!

So a face off is just like the debate from Smackdown. We have the Lack of Creative Team™ to thank for this.

HHH said crap! He’s a poopy mouth!

HHH gave him everything, including his “supplement” hookup.

Fun Fact. A few years ago on Wrestling Observer live, Jim Cornette was discussing an “impressive physical specimen” named Leviathan. He said, “Dave (Meltzer,) I can see Leviathan headlining WrestleMania by WrestleMania 22.” Cornette was a year off on Batista’s rise but a hell of a prediction to make in 2001.

Are you talking to me? BWAHAHAHAHA!

Damn right Flair’s a legend!

Credit my pal Ryan: “You can really see Harley Race’s influence even more on HH these days. Not only with the high knee, but the beard/stash combo he has happening.”

Well, Batista is over like no one’s business. Let’s see if he can back it up this Sunday in the ring.

You should be watching the UFC show after Raw, it kicks ass!

WWE news, notes and happenings:

Updated WM Card

World Title Match
Triple H vs. Batista

WWE Title Match
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. John Cena

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane

WWE Women’s Title Match
Trish Stratus vs. Christy Hemme

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton

Sumo Challenge
The Big Show vs. Akebono

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Piper’s Pit featuring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Your News: Vince McMahon was seen walking backstage at the Smackdown taping. It is unknown if he has actually recovered that much or if he was just sucking up the pain as to not look injured in front of the staff.

My Views: Damn. Dude has 2, count them, 2 torn quads and he’s sucking it up and walking around a bit just to look strong for the troops. I tell you, you may not like everything Vince does but the fact it that he tries to motivate the troops constantly by doing things like this. I don’t think it’s smart, but god bless him for trying.

Your News: Both Lance Storm and Tommy Dreamer “came out of retirement” this past week at the OVW show. They were on opposing ends of a 6-man tag.

My Views: Cool to me. They are doing this to get into shape for the ECW PPV. Rumors were that Dreamer wanted to work with Storm, so starting now isn’t a bad idea at all. Add to that the fact that I am a HUGE Lance Storm mark and I am a happy camper.

Your News: WWE.com has announced that Chris Jericho, not Steve Austin, will now be inducting Roddy Piper into the WWE Hall of Fame on 4/2. No word on why WWE made the change.

My Views: This was apparently a decision by creative. In a way it makes sense because I feel they want Austin’s first words to be at WrestleMania. Add to that the fact that Jericho wanted that “Piper’s Pit” feel when he started the “Highlight Reel” and it seems like a good plan.

Your News: Hulk Hogan appeared on the Steve & DC Radio Show yesterday. During the appearance, he cut a promo on Muhammad Hassan and teased a confrontation between the two at WrestleMania 21.

My Views: Oh joy! The long awaited Hassan vs. Hogan match! Seriously, I don’t know how else to express this. Hogan, shut up, accept the Hall of Fame award and be thankful and then stay out of the ring! I really don’t want to see him wrestle anymore. I have no problem with the Hall of Fame deal, he deserves that. But stay out of the ring, it will do you or Hassan no good.

Your News: WWE spokesperson Gary Davis says Shannon Moore is “home recuperating and doing well” following a car wreck this past weekend. Moore was returning home from a RAW house show when he was involved in a head on collision with a vehicle that was driving on the wrong side of the road.

Davis told Fayettville Online that Moore had been expected to take part in Wrestlemania 21 but that his involvement is uncertain at this time. “Usually all of the talent comes out and we’ll take his situation day by day,” Davis said. “It depends on if he feels up to it and can travel.”

My Views: I am glad to see that he is doing well. He was lucky to only escape with the concussion and whiplash. I hope he recovers quickly as I like to see no one suffer injuries. Once again, get well Shannon and you’re a lucky bastard.

Your News: Christy Hemme’s recent appearance on Howard Stern will air in two parts on the E! Network this Monday 3/28 at 11 PM and this Tuesday 3/29 at 11 PM.

My Views: Why am I reporting on this? Because we should all watch the leader of the Bimbo Brigade™ get schooled by the 11-year old kid in current events!

TNA stories, scuttlebutt and rumors:

Your News: TNA is looking for members to join their street team in Los Angeles California. The goal is to stand outside the Staples Center before WrestleMania XXI and hand out posters, flyers, stickers and other TNA related material. For helping TNA do this you’ll receive Destination X Posters, Lockdown Posters, a t-shirt, badge, stickers and a mention on the web site.

My Views: Great idea. There will be around 20,000 wrestling fans at WrestleMania. Wrestling fans love free shit. If they get enough people to hand stuff out, there’s a chance to attract a few new viewers. The fans there are die hard fans for the most part, so this is a great idea and opportunity.

Your News: Rumor has it that at TNA’s 3rd Anniversary show, entitled “Slammiversary” that AJ Styles will defeat Jeff Jarrett for the NWA Title.

My Views: Will it be good for JJ to lose the title? Yes. Is AJ Styles a good choice? Yes. Will it be anything new? No. That’s the main problem, they aren’t doing anything fresh. AJ has defeated JJ for his only 2 title losses. While it puts AJ over big again, and that’s a good thing, it is still nothing new. I really feel they need to get things in check, they have a chance to be something different and maybe even special. They just need to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Your News: TNA is planning on having an audio show for the TNAWrestling.com website featuring Bob Ryder, Bill Banks, and Jeremy Borash. The show will be similar to the old WCW Live show at WCW.com. The show will start as a weekly broadcast plus pre-PPV specials.

My Views: I think this is cool. I admittedly was a HUGE fan of the WCW Live show, and even called into do trivia against Shane Helms and Kaynon! If they do this, I hope they run it like the WCW Live show, because that was always fun and had the vibe that they just wanted to cut loose. No one looking over them and demanding Kayfabe. It could be a really fun thing, and I’ll give it a try.

Everything else that needs covering:

Your News: Former WCW World champion Lex Luger is currently being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He was arrested two weeks ago for what is listed as “contempt of court” stemming from Luger’s failure to maintain child support payments to his ex-wife. He is also on probation for a DUI back in January.

My Views: Once again Lex is in jail for his stupidity. If it isn’t drugs, it’s a DUI and if it isn’t that it is not paying his child support. Start the countdown until he dies of an OD or off’s himself. I’m not saying that to be mean, but it look’s as if the odds are in my favor. I really hope that he can get himself together, but to be honest things aren’t looking good.

Your News: The NWA Legends convention announced that former WWF and WCW World champion Bret Hart will be appearing at their NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest on the 8/19-8/21 at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. Hart will be appearing on Sunday 8/21 to take part in an afternoon Q & A Session, followed by an autograph signing

My Views: These conventions have been pretty successful. This one is four hours away from me, and with the In Laws living in Charlotte now I think Larry Will be attending this bad boy. I am really curious to see what Bret will say at the Q&A, it may be the same old song, it may be different. Hopefully I will go and have some goodies for you kids.

Your News: Yesterday during IWA: Puerto Rico’s television show “Zona Caliente”, Savio Vega revealed that IWA had join forces with the WWE and TNA. Savio announced that WWE developmental talent Mike Knox and WWE Raw’s Rhyno will work the Judgement Day V event. The interesting thing is that TNA wrestlers Jeff Jarrett, America’s Most Wanted and Team Canada will work the event as well. It is the first time in Puerto Rico that WWE and TNA wrestlers work a show for the same promotion. IWA also has a deal with Ring of Honor, which gives them an amazing amount of foreign talent to feed from.

This leaves WWC in a bad situation. WWC originally had a deal with TNA, which ended when WWC started using WWE talent. But due to WWC’s bad reputation, WWE cut all ties with them (with the exception of Carlito) after Steven Richards and Rosey complained about WWC not paying for their hotels and acomodations when they worked a show for them last month. It seems like IWA has all it needs to finally force WWC into closing down.

My Views: Great news for all involved. Some of the WWE’s lower rung guys can get some extra work and paydays while helping out IWA. IWA also gets TNA guys, which will keep their product fresh and draw crowds. The TNA guys get more paydays, and maybe they can do some cross over stuff with IWA that will help the TNA product. The only one it sucks for is WWC, which looks to be S.O.L…and you know what that means.

Larry’s Wrestling VHS/DVD of the Week!

This week’s DVD selection is The Final Nitro! Sure it’s a shameless plug, but with the 4-year anniversary of the event, I figured that it was a good one to use.

The Card:

Ric Flair Promo

Title Unification Match – Booker T (US Champion) vs. Scott Steiner (WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Winners to face the Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions “Primetime” Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo – The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi and Jimmy Yang) vs. 3-Count (Shannon Moore and Evan Kourageous) vs. Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman

WCW Cruiserweight Title – Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. “Sugar” Shane Helms ©

WCW Tag Team Titles – Team Canada (Lance Storm and Mike Awesome) vs. Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire ©

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. “The Mecca of Manhood” Shawn “The Star” Stasiak w/Stacy Keibler

WCW Cruiserweight Titles – Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman vs. Kid Romeo and “Primetime” Elix Skipper ©

WCW’s Final Match – “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. Sting

The Flair promo is AWESOME just for the pure emotion he shows. Bigelow and Stasiak should not have been on the card because it had no importance and was crap. The rest has something for everyone, faces leaving with the titles, some bad-ass Cruiser spotfests and Flair vs. Sting one last time. The show isn’t groundbreaking wrestling or a series of the greatest matches ever. It’s the end of an era, the final nail in the coffin of the Monday Night Wars. Is it a must see? I think so, for historical reasons. File this one away as something you pull out once a year, something to remember a time you enjoyed.


From Chris on Orton vs. Taker – The streak that the Undertaker has of being undefeated at WrestleMania was not originally planned. He always won because his character was so dominant. They realized that he was undefeated around 2000, 2001. My opinion is that they should just have him keep winning. When you think about it, if he wins until he retires, then loses at his LAST WrestleMania, it will not only give an awesome rub to his opponent, but it will also set a record that will probably stand forever. I think that the Undertaker deserves this accomplishment, not only due to his loyalty, but also because of his longevity and ability to keep the fans interested in his character for over a decade. I believe this would be a fitting way to honor him, more so than an induction into the hall of fame, which he will eventually get. Thanks.

I don’t think it was planned since day one, that kind of thinking is silly. Ok, here is my deal on this. Now I figure he’ll win this year because Orton is hurt, which is fine. So if he isn’t losing this year, then he needs to NOT lose. What would it prove for someone to beat him on his last WrestleMania when he is older, slower and more worn down. The only reason I pushed for it this year was more of an effort to rebuild Orton. I do believe at this point now that he does deserve an accomplishment like this to stay untouched. He was very loyal to Vince at a time where he could have made a big jump. It would have hurt the WWF without him, but WCW probably would have wasted him. So at this point, yeah, I don’t see him losing at WrestleMania this year or any year. Thanks for the Email.

From Matthew Langkopp on WrestleMania locations – I was thinking of something related to the WWE and WrestleMania. I would like for your opinion on the matter. Here goes. WrestleMania is bound to sell out no matter where in the United States you have it. Why do you think the WWE continues to give it to cities with strong fan bases over cities with relatively large facilities. If the WWE is a profit making entity why doesn’t it search for the largest venues and a city with a decent tourist appeal? If your wondering I’m very bias to the City of New Orleans since that is where I was born and raised. But think of the possibilities of having a WrestleMania in a city like New Orleans or a Las Vegas. Both cities with huge convention centers and enough hotel rooms. Ok now that my question or more like idea is out of the way I would like to tell you that I’m a long time reader of your column and if you actually plan on responding to this please don’t rip my theory completely to shreds.

So don’t “completely” rip it to threads, but partially is ok? I kid, I kid. I don’t rip on people unless they are assholes. Ok, I do like when they run the HUGE venues like they have in the past. It truly gives it a big time feel that they strive for. The reason the didn’t do it last year was because WrestleMania I and X were at Madison Square Garden, and it was like a tribute to their beginnings. This year it’s quite simple, at least in my mind. Wrestling isn’t as important as it was. You can still get tickets for this year’s event if you look hard enough, and I am not talking Ebay. If they went to a huge venue, they would have to paper a good bit this year I think. Live gates are down for them across the board here in the US. I think it’s a matter of, “Let’s get 18-20,000 that paid to see this and will most likely be a hot crowd all night.” I think if they can get a business turn around and start selling out places and PPV’s again, because those have been selling bad too, that they will return to a bigger venue, just not now. Thanks for the Email.

From Kevin Smith on the Cruisers and Marty – OK – the cruiserweight division. Look, it hurts me to say this, but honestly, I think we’ve *really* got to let go of this idea that WWE is ever going to take the cruisers seriously. Ever. You said that Jannetty would fit in nicely and help “build up the division,” but god, how many times have we heard that before? I mean, this goes back to 1998 and Jim Ross entering this line into every single one of his Ross Reports:

“I’d really like to see us start taking our cruisers seriously.”

Never happened. Not once. Ever. That was SEVEN YEARS AGO. Jannetty coming back is cool and special, and it shouldn’t be wasted on a division that is doomed to irrelevance forever. What’s more, Jannetty, right now, is cool to WWE casuals *by association to HBK.* Remove him from that situation, and his shelf life, in the eyes of a lot of WWE fans, becomes a mere month or two, after which you’ll see Jannetty jobbing on Velocity before making a quiet and sad exit from WWE forever. There is a LOT of cool waiting to happen by keeping Marty and Shawn in close proximity to each other.

Instead, do a Rockers reunion, have them lose the title shot (an actual title reign might feel too “novel”), and have Marty kick Shawn’s ass, FINALLY getting revenge on the bastard. Pick your reason:

a) Marty accuses Shawn of “throwing the match” because he doesn’t really
wanna keep tagging with Marty,

b) Marty claims that he was carrying the Rockers all along. (Why not?)

c) Marty suddenly wakes up and remembers, oh YEAH, this guy sent me flying
through a plate glass window a while ago! I never DID give him a comeuppance…you can excuse the delayed realization by claiming “the adrenaline rush of being back in WWE caused him to not care right away.” Then when the novelty of being back on TV wears off: BAM! Time for revenge. It’s plausible.

d) Marty accuses Shawn of “holding him back” so that Marty doesn’t steal his spotlight “JUST like you did during our first time tagging together”

e) Shawn can keep treating Marty like the aging has-been that he isn’t and Marty can get fed up with it and “show Shawn who’s a has-been.”

Seriously, there is SOOOOO much that Marty could blame Shawn for, justified or not. (It’s great being a heel) The fact that most of it happened years ago is not as important in this case, because Shawn has the ability to turn anyone into a viable heel simply by virtue of his HBKness. Even more importantly, WWE could use this as an excuse to get people to buy classic WWE footage on their 24/7 network of the Rockers tag team success and subsequent feud with each other. This would both make money for WWE AND get people to understand the backstory between the two of them. Thanks to this new 24/7 network, WWE can revive REALLY old angles and have a lot of people still understand what’s going on. It’s a powerful tool if they decide to use it that way.

There’s other ideas that involve Jannetty that I like equally well, but whatever one likes, I think there are infinitely more fun, interesting, and *important* things Jannetty can contribute than a lousy run with the WWE LoserWeights. Yeah, Jannetty could be WWE Loserweight Champion. Maybe then, he too, could be a last minute, unadvertised addition to WWE Heat before Summerslam!

As much as I get frustrated, I still won’t give up hope. Vince has done a lot of good in the world of wrestling for the guys and us as fans, which tends to get lost when we complain about booking and pushes. You have sound reasoning behind Marty turning on HBK, but we’ve seen it before. I don’t think we need to relive HBK vs. Marty. I am sure the matches would be pretty good and all, but been there and done that. He looks to be headed to Raw, and they may run some angle with them but I feel that it would be a waste. I still think that Smackdown and the Cruiser Division would be best for him, not that I didn’t appreciate the “Heat before Summerslam” remark…that’s straight out of my “rip on the E” playbook. Thanks for the Email.

From Steve Masters on My Tirade and regarding a 4th Title for TNA – Obligatory “brown noser” comment: Tirades, 3Rs, the recaps, and Your News, My Views are great. And now that that’s done…

…Like you said, TNA could benefit from a fourth title, but the strong mix would also risk being deluded. I think a more “freestyle” title would be perfect for the company. Something along the lines of a different type of match every time it’s defended, to prove that the champion is a worthy champ.

Another way to improve on the worthiness but not bring in a second title would be a degree system. Say, you win a title. You’re champ. You defend it once, you’re a first-degree champ and so on and so forth. Once you hit five, you take a “Grand champ” challenge. A “Gauntlet for the Gold” type match where the champ has to make it all
the way through the match or else he looses his title. If he wins, his name is added, permanently, to one of the side medals. However, if you lose the title once, you drop a degree or two, depending on the stips. If the champion completes the challenge, he doesn’t rise any higher on the degree system, but gets a one-week extension on the maximum time he holds the belt before he defends again. If he looses the title, he drops down to the beginning, but his name still stays. Of course, the idea could be worked on and improved quite a bit…

Brown noser comments appreciated (marks extra points on Steve’s chart.) Right now I think they still need to focus on, and properly book the 3 titles they have. The one-hour of TV a week makes it hard and bad booking tends to make it worse. As for your idea, I’ll give you mad points for originality, I have never heard that idea before. If implemented correctly and with some tweeking it could work, and definitely set TNA aside as something different. Thanks for the Email.

Pimpin ain’t easy…but the money is great!

Check out my Interview with TNA’s “Wildcat” Chris Harris!

Randle and the Monday News.

Nute and the Finish Line.

Cook was in on Sunday.

Ricky had Saturday’s news!


Wrestling Noir.

O Dog with the Goodness of WrestleMania “What if’s?”

Schilling and the News…?

411 Fact or Fiction with myself and Huckaby!

ASK 411!

10th Day News.

Ying and Yang.

Evolution Schematic on Goldberg Part III.

The Evolution Schematic on WrestleMania.

Campbell and the Puro Love: Accomplish Our Second Navigation.

My Tremendous Tirades returned with the Final Nitro!

Ziegler and Garoon had Punk vs. Joe II as well as ROH Gold from Dayton!

Dunn with more Countdown to WrestleMania with WM X , XI , XII , XIII , and XIV!

Forum Fun!

Looking for some forums, but don’t know where to go? I’ll help!

First off, you don’t even need to leave 411, because we have the largely successful 411 Fan Forums! A large community ran by Big Mike Watters. There are so many topics discussed on a daily basis that you’ll probably get lost your first time! Try it out on a Monday or Thursday night for live WWE discussion during Raw and Smackdown!

Next is a personal haven of mine,The Wrestling Talks Franchise. TWTF celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary in October, and is still going strong. We have many 411 regulars as well as different posters, columns and live Monday Night Raw discussion.

Finally we have Parts Unknown. Another new place on the map in 2005, relaxed atmosphere as well and you may see me hanging out there.

Stay tuned…sometime today…the CURSE OF THE CRIPPLA!

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Larry Csonka