September 2012


I think it’s a given that this isn’t 1999 anymore. The demand for more programming for wrestling on TV is much less than it was during that time. These days, there are more channels, more TV shows and more to do as far as entertainment and life is concerned.

WWE is adding yet, another show called “Main Event” which premiers Wednesday on ION Television. I do get that channel but from what I am reading, not everyone gets it. It’s an over-the-air station like the CW but it’s not in every TV market in the country. I remember when Smackdown! debuted on UPN and I was fortunate enough to get it where I lived. I grew up west of Rockford and they didn’t have a UPN affiliate yet and luckily, I was able to get in the station from Madison with clear reception. Shortly before my parents moved us, their station switched to The WB and Smackdown! was gone. When I moved south of Rockford, I was still out of luck because the town I lived in was SIX MILES outside of the “Chicagoland television market” so I couldn’t get UPN on cable and I was forced to use a rabbit-ear antenna which was hit and miss. What sucked more is that I received most of the other Chicago channels with the exception of UPN and WCIU. Today, I am lucky to live in the regional area so all channels are available.

Sorry to get sidetracked, but point being, that was a long time ago. What WWE is doing these days is making us tired of watching their product. I will say that I watch both Raw and Smackdown! every week and honestly, that’s enough. I don’t give a crap about Superstars, NXT, Saturday Morning Slam and now, Main Event. I will watch the first few episodes of the new show but it won’t be a priority. I will record it on the DVR like the rest.

When I was a kid, it was Raw, Heat and Shotgun Saturday Night which the latter, being the only show I had access to since it was in syndication on a local station. When Smackdown! debuted, Shotgun was renamed “Jakked” which was awesome and something I looked forward to. Fans wanted wrestling and more of it. WWF had four shows that were running strong.

Now, we have grueling three-hour Raw episodes (This takes up my entire Monday night and make me stay up late to catch up on all my other shows this night), a two-hour Smackdown!, a half hour of Saturday Morning Slam and now, another hour of the new show, Main Event. If you are a hardcore fan, you spend an hour watching both NXT and Superstars online. In total, this is now 8 1/2 hours of programming a week. In 1999, it was six hours and that was plenty.

I am sure these ratings will do great for the ION network. But the problem I see with this are the fans that have to sit through this when they attend events. I remember a Smackdown! I went to in Milwaukee three years ago where they taped Superstars, ECW and then, Smackdown!. I remember being in my seat ready to fall asleep by the time Smackdown! started. I was there for about four hours. That’s more than I want and more than what most fans want. I attended Raw on Labor Day and I was exhausted being there for the same amount of time. Even having live TV with it going by fast, I still found myself wanting to go home halfway through the show.

Time to say enough of this. If they want to have an extra show on broadcast TV for an hour, fine. But just get rid of the “Superstars” and whatever else people don’t care about. I understand there are little kids who will watch anything wrestling and that’s probably what matters to them but to be honest, WWE will lose those viewers as they get older when they realize that it’s too much. Call me a bit ADD, but I don’t even have the patience to watch Raw anymore with this three-hour garbage. When WCW went to three hours, they went downhill fast. I wonder how these kids will feel as they get older and realize that too much, is tiresome.

I watched SmackDown last night for the first time in a LONG time, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Having only two hours felt refreshing; I wasn’t overloaded with wrestling, and it didn’t feel like they had to fill time up. The show moved along easily and was a lot of fun.

Edge was there which was awesome. He’s one of the best, and it’s always good to see him. The show had a lot of solid matches and moved storylines along well. I think they’re doing a good job with Kane and Daniel Bryan, and I’m always a little surprised how entertained I am by that! But last night at the end of the show when there were like 6 guys in the ring with Kane and Bryan hitting everyone with chairs, I loved it. It was funny and different, but is also developing an interesting story.

Which brings me to my next point: tag teams. I don’t want to jinx it, but I really think they are coming back. There were 4 teams (1 wrestling and 3 watching) in the main event last night, including Kane and Bryan. I know there are a couple more teams on RAW, too, with Primo & Epico and Kofi & R-Truth at least. The others were the Usos, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd, and the Titus ONeill & Darren Young. That’s quite a few, and most of those are often ONLY in tag matches.

This, my friends, makes me very happy. I think tag team wrestling can be SO cool when it’s done well. For a while there was really a lack of it in WWE, but I really have a good feeling about the tag division. Having dedicated tag wrestlers vs. just throwing some popular guys together is really what they needed, and they’ve done it. I’m excited!

I highly recommend everyone goes back to RAW two weeks ago and re-watches the Punk and Cena promo (with Bret Hart). That was a crazy night with Lawler getting sick, and I think now that we know things are good it’s a good time to go back and watch the very end of the show.

I can almost guarantee it will make you care about this feud, even though the PPV they were hyping happened. It. Is. Good.

According to several websites citing various sources (Tweets, family members, etc.), Lawler is doing great!  He is even up and walking some.  Apparently they were worried about brain damage since the oxygen supply was stopped for a while, but tests have come back with really good results of no damage.  It really seems he’s doing as well as possible.  Awesome news!

Lawler even posted a short video on Tout – for once I find this service very useful.  
Posting a link isn’t working, but here’s the URL:
http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2012-09-10/jerry-lawler-tout-26051951

Update 9-11:
It has been confirmed that Lawler had a heart attack and is now in stable condition.
As awful as it was, it’s pretty lucky this happened at a WWE event with all of the medical personnel so close. The immediacy of the care he got was likely helpful.
Also, I think it’s important not to blame WWE for this. Lawler wrestles on the independent circuit regularly and I believe he truly loves it and wants to wrestle. He’s not young, but from what I’ve heard he’s always been relatively healthy. For more on that, JR posted a great blog; he obviously knows quite a bit more than I do about King and the whole situation so it’s a good read.
http://www.jrsbarbq.com/blog/jrs-thoughts-jerry-lawler-and-montreal-raw

Earlier tonight on RAW, Jerry Lawler collapsed in the middle of a match while doing commentary.  Doctors were of course in the building and reportedly provided CPR.  As of about 10 PM CDT, Michael Cole said that Lawler is now breathing on his own and is currently at a hospital awaiting a CT scan.  Cole is not doing commentary for the rest of the show, but is at ringside to provide updates.  I’ll try to keep this updated, but in the mean time keep Lawler in your thoughts.  Let’s all hope for a full and speedy recovery from this scary moment.

Sorry I am a bit late with this. Work has been hectic. I would have to say, WWE picked the wrong night, overall, for a good Raw. It was Labor Day and the ratings were pretty low for viewership. It was one of the best Raw’s I have seen in a while and being there in person made it even better. Both of my signs made it on TV. Click here if you want to see the pictures. My signs said “Put Some Pants On” and “Larry Horse Wants Ice Cream”.

I noticed below that there wasn’t a full recap but I’ll try to fill in the void. After the Goldberg Ryback match, Santino lost to Antonio Cesaro. Can someone tell me who this Cesaro guy is? He’s been on TV for a few months and he already has a title? I forgot this is WWE we are talking about. They usually give titles to bums and thus, making them irrelevant. I remember when the U.S. Title actually meant something. Cesaro is not an upcoming star. Ryder vs. Slater was up next. Ryder had a huge pop from the crowd. He actually isn’t that bad at wrestling either. The goofy character though needs to go away.

Vickie cuts a promo complaining about A.J. A.J. promptly comes out, apologizes and Vickie says that she can’t attack anybody anymore. So Vickie slaps her twice, laughs in a very evil way and then, walks to the back. A.J. goes nuts in the ring by smacking the chair on the ring. She really knows how to play the part. As this is happening, I am reminded of that crazy girl I dated for a bit back in college. Scary. Also, some guy was arrested for trying to throw something at A.J. in the ring. I couldn’t see what it was but four cops came down and dragged him out. Idiot. Last but not least was the match between Cena and Del Rio. This was actually pretty good. Punk returning and riding off with Paul Heyman was a fine way to end the show.

Last week, I went to the house show in Rockford and was able to get some handshakes from John Cena at the end of the show as he was thanking the fans. That was pretty awesome. On Monday night, John Cena allowed a fan dressed as the Macho Man to go in the ring and do a pose. Say what you want about John Cena whether how he is wrestles or his personal life, but he is a class act. The guy shows up to work and does what is asked. Even on his days off, he is probably working somewhere. He is the Hulk Hogan of this generation and that’s why he is the top guy. I am a fan of the guy and even if you aren’t, you still respect him. Lastly, my sign that said to put some pants on received a funny response from Randy Orton and Sheamus at the end of the show. Both of those guys came by to high five us near the crowd and as I held up the sign, Orton pointed to it and laughed while Sheamus pointed to his tights and said “old school” to me.

What a night. Til next time.

 

Hope everyone had a relaxing and safe long weekend!
I did watch RAW last week but obviously did not post; it was fine, not a terrible show but not much that was really spectacular.

RAW was in Chicago last night. I didn’t go but Fro did, so hopefully we’ll be able to hear the live review soon! I believe he brought the ever-popular “Put some pants on!” sign again, as well – something CM Punk obviously paid attention to as he was wearing jeans, which is strange.

CM Punk isn’t even super huge and AJ looks just absolutely tiny next to him. I’m still trying to figure out why she’s GM.

So, Mysterio tagging with Sin Cara could be cool, but I have to say putting Tensai in the match kind of crushed my hopes for that match. It was alright though. I like Rhodes actually and it’s good to finally see Rey back, hopefully he can stay healthy (and out of trouble).

Seriously, the anger management segments are gold. One of my favorite things they’ve done in a while. It’s very different and they’re doing it well.

Bahaha, Punk taking the day off.

Cool finish by Sheamus to get Swagger to tap. Sheamus has kind of grown on me, I don’t remember being a huge fan when he first emerged but he seems like a guy that works really hard and is actively trying to improve all the time.

Does anybody else find it odd that Layla now has Tiffany’s old entrance music? Uh, so, that Divas match. I’m fairly certain Katilyn is already better in the ring than Eve. The neckbreaker at the end looked good though.

I thought Miz did a pretty good job as an announcer. He has a character to play and is a wrestler, not an announcer, so I was pretty impressed.

I’m also impressed with how the WWE has gotten people to like Ryback so much and so quickly.

And Ryback’s match is the last I saw. TiVo has just crashed again 😦