quick links


Joe guest co-hosted Dr. Keith’s show at Figure Four, talking about Chris Benoit. It’s subscription only.

I’ve thought a lot about Benoit and thought about writing something here, but I decided I rather my thoughts not be etched on the internet. (I’ll make sure to get them out to an actual person.) Of all the stuff I’ve read, Albert’s blog entry has been the best.

I’ll try to post about non-Cubs stuff tomorrow, if only not to make this the top post on the blog for a day and a half.

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kicking it with Todd


Todd Grisham (and Bruno, who may or may not exist) as soccer announcers blows my mind into teeny tiny pieces.

Will the last 15 minutes of the game be referred to as the maiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin event? Will someone will provide him with roster sheets, so he’s not just talking about “that guy on the Crew?” What does this all have to do with John Cena and Vince McMahon?!?!?!?!?!

(Does this mean the ECW rumor is *gasp* wrong?)

(why doesn’t the MLS own

With Coach doing CSTV and Todd on MLS, Cole theoretically running .com, and JR saucily selling sauce, I guess the thing to do if you’re an announcer is to get a sidejob. Which doesn’t say much for WWE, but eh. Obviously, Steve Romero’s got a future in bullfighting – if anyone knows bull, it’s Romero. Styles has his side job hawking coins, so he’s good. I think I’d like to see Josh call a wrestling match, but that’s just crazy talk.

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ECW 04/03


I watched this show for the first time since – maybe the Hammerstein show? I don’t know, that sounds plausible.

I’m not exactly sure why I bothered, but I was glad I did. The main event had to be one of the better matches they’ve had in this run. They made the most of no DQ and keep the action constantly going; there were no dead spots waiting for someone to set up props, because if that happened at all, it was in the background of two other guys fighting. They kept the focus on whatever fight was on the ring instead of requiring you to pay attention to four different simultaneous battles.

In these types of matches, it’s usually one side does a spot, the other side does a spot, but it was very ECW Original dominated once the weapons came out. The New Breed spent a lot of time being crash test dummies, and all it made sense, because the environment played towards the Originals. Even the finish worked – it was clean and ought to be, and it was semi-flukey, but semi made you wonder if perhaps the New Breed actually might be more something more than four random dorks.

Reading about the New Breed does no justice to seeing them together. The entrance amused me greatly. They are all just different wacky guys who appear nothing in common with each other, except they’re New. That’s not impossible to fix and can be overcome – the ECW Originals are their own motley crew of randoms when you stop to think about it – but I was figuring there’d be some sort of team unity by this time, especially since I could’ve sworn I saw Striker and Burke wearing matching gear on RAW. If this New Breed thing is supposed to work (and it’s probably not, but if I was in it, I’d kinda go for it working), Kevin Throne has to stop being a Vampire who’s in the New Breed and start being a New Breed Vampire, and Matt Striker has to stop being a Teacher and start being a New Breed Teach, and – well, I have no idea what the heck Elijah Burke and Marcus Cor Von are supposed to be at this point, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I’m going to guess this is the match they had planned for WrestleMania at one point, and like rumored (dark) tag team battle royal, it got changed/pushed off and recycled on TV because they didn’t want to wear out the crowd and they didn’t have enough time. It was the right decision.

The winners of the “everyone eligible for every PPV” edict is obviously ECW, because they surely weren’t getting another shot otherwise, but more so that they’ve gotten monthly milestones back and can start building feuds towards a climax again. If they’re only willing to blow stuff of on PPVs, at least now they’ve got many more chances to do so, and there will be far less shows that seem like repeats because they’re just dragging things out.

As everyone says every time WWE does a faction feud, it’d be neat if they finished this off in a War Games match (and every time, WWE says no), but if they’re really bring in tag belts as has been discussed, maybe the ultimate match can be in a championship match for them.

I figure they’re never going to do a big match Snitsky against Lashley. If they’re trying to protect and build up Lashley, him in the ring with Snitsky doesn’t help.

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SD Spoilers by ABC


Albert Ching, who’s written a massive two times for this very site, sent SmackDown spoilers to, and they’ve been met with scorn and fury across this great interweb.

I’m proud to know the man.

I was half asleep but reading websites this morning, and I was halfway down the spoilers when I realized something strange was going on. It made more a lot more sense when I looked at the author title.

offTopic #1: when Sven calls Albert a bad Justin ripoff, he’s fondly recalling the OWF.

offTopic #2: haven’t heard yet what Tanvir thinks of WSX’s Second Coming. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised it rose three days later, but I should stop now before I steal more material.

***** free


If you liked his interview with Joe earlier this week, check out a free edition of Mike Coughlin’s Five Star Radio show on (If you didn’t like his interview, it’s still free!)

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WWE PPV buys


As seen in the quarterly-ish filling.

Events (in chronological order) 	  	December 31, 2006 	December 31, 2005
Backlash® 					  	  — 	  	  	308
Judgment Day® 	  					252 	  	  	266
ECW® One Night Stand 					304 	  	  	333
Vengeance® 						337 	  	  	429
Great American Bash® 					232 	  	  	279
SummerSlam® 						541 	  	  	634
Unforgiven® 	 					307 	  	  	240
No Mercy® 	  					197 	  	  	224
Cyber Sunday™ /Taboo Tuesday® 	  			228 	  	  	207
Survivor Series® 	  				383 	  	  	375
December to Dismember™ 	  	  			90 	  	  	  —
Armageddon® 	  					239 	  	  	280

This year’s Unforgiven had Edge/Cena in a TLC match and DX vs Vince/Shane/Show in HitC, so pick one of them for an explaiantion. Taboo Tuesday moved to (Cyber) Sunday, which explains that 10% bump (though I kinda would have figured more.) The voting concept isn’t a draw, but neither are any of the other PPVs that aren’t SummerSlam/WM/Rumble so it wouldn’t be the first thing to fix. Everything else was down or about the same, but since they were charging more for it, it may not be a big deal.

That December to Dismember number, wow. 90,000 buys is horrific. Between ONS and that massacre, they burned off 73% of the people who were willing to pay for ECW PPVs. That could not have gone more wrong. (And yet, wouldn’t it be better than any TNA number ever?)

Of course, everything else was the same
– tons of money from DVDs
– no money from films
– made more money than comparable period from last year.

Live event attendance was up 9%, or 27% when you take out the ECW shows they won’t be running anymore, and that’s the indicator that’s supposed to foreshadow a boom (according to Meltzer.)

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RAW 12/25


Montage of more trooperstar interactions. Torrie was proposed to by three Iraqis! She and Kidman are still meant to be, damnit. Chris Masters says his fiancee’s brother is stationed in Iraq. OMG, Chris Masters and Chuck Palumbo are engaged.

– Justin Shapiro, RAW 12/25

at least this reporter didn’t blow the “how UFC got new rules” bit


I’ve always wondered what Dave might look like with an editor.

(With all the So and But’s, I think I’m still waiting.)

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Sambo vs SamHo


RAW 12/18 @ F4Wonline

Sambo is “a modern martial art, combat sport and self-defense system developed in the former Soviet Union“, and not the nickname of Sammy Hung, star of Martial Law, as I might have believed last night.

I contend that segment was, in fact, the worst on RAW last night. (I know, I know, I know and I’ll get to it.)

My general point boils down to “What the utter heck is SAMBO?” No offensive to those trained in the Russian martial art, but it’s not exactly the a household name. Outside of Russian Dude on RAW, I vaguely knew it was a form of wrestling (only because Atlantis explained the different forms of wrestling he was awesome at on a recent CMLL show), but I didn’t have any more knowledge of it than that, and I like to think I up on these sort of things. Given the way WWE presents non-pro wrestling styles and lingo (“pound and ground”), I don’t think WWE has really expects the fans to have a clue about – and don’t know enough themselves to give an explanation.

I don’t think it’s even a credidental to those who might know Sambo. MMA fans know what Sambo is, because various Russians have been Sambo champs and very good MMA fighters. It’s hard to believe those Russian Dude will measure up in his worked Sambo style (even if he does such a thing), because if he was actually good at it, he wouldn’t be in wrestling.

The other thing is, this basically boils down to Russian MMA Fighter (where Sambo is MMA), and, looking around, didn’t they just try that with a non-Russian, and give up after three weeks? They quickly gave up as treating Turkey and Burke as anything special because of their MMA background – they’re just guys now in ECW’s midcard, wearing tracksuits and Elijah’s cutting promos, and they’re just guys. Being a MMA dude on ECW and SmackDown really didn’t make a difference, but now that it’s a Russian MMA dude, we’re supposed to believe it’s a deal? Eh.

This is the worst segment because it forebodes bad segments for months to come. It doesn’t matter if no one understands it or no one believes it, Russian Sambo Dude will get segment weekly to ‘establish himself’ and a midcard feud to go over someone to prove something (Crazy vs MMA!), and on and on. The best case scenario over all is they realize it’s pointless, and banish him to Heat, but then I’ve got to write on it weekly and that’ll be sad.

I know I’m jumping ahead here, but all I thought during that interview was “I’m going to be so sick of this guy” and “What’s SAMBO?”. Cryme Tyme with the Prez was at least secretly enjoyable in many ways. Listening to a crowd turn on a segment’s always fun, laughing at their inability to end the segment is fun, and JR deciding just to sit out all but the last bit was awesome. There’s nothing salvageable about Russian MMA dude.

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Heat 12/16


Recap is here. Last week’s Crazy/Conway match was better. It’s weird to see Crazy throwing so many punches. Eugene as a heel has nothing.

I think the upcoming schedule is
12/23: studio episode (Christmas theme? With a Xanta Klaus match? I can only dream)
12/30: studio episode (Eid ul-Adha theme? Christmas in Iraq highlights)
01/06, 01/13, 01/20: shows with matches

Monday: How do you get to 30?

Charlie Haas
Chris Masters

Jim Duggan
Jeff Hardy (fun for him!)
Johnny Nitro

Lance Cade
Randy Orton
Ric Flair
Rob Conway

Shelton Benjamin
Super Crazy

Trevor Murdoch
Val Venis
Shawn Micahels
Triple H

That’s 25, and DX is last because they might not be in it if one of them wasn’t going to win. Cena can’t be in. Umaga shouldn’t be in if he’s getting a title shot anyway, but we’re 5 short so he’s in. Lawler? In and out fast enough to talk about it, maybe (though a 3 hour show building Lawler vs Cena might be great.) That’s still 3 open spots – Coach? Estrada? (which would make no sense given his reluctance to face Cena last week) The rest of the Spirit Squad? Slaughter? Losers from other groups?

I think they announced 30 without actually figuring the 30, not that it’ll make a difference in the end.