Don’t worry…I’m still here! Royal Rumble Thoughts

So it’s been awhile, huh?

Yeah…life’s had me pretty busy the last few months, plus the fact that I haven’t really found a lot of inspiration to write for some time as well. However, that changed after watching the Royal Rumble Pay Per View Premium Live Event & because of it, I’m here!

So let’s get down to it. WWE hasn’t impressed me in quite some time and as I’ve argued with a couple friends lately, every time I decide to tune in and give them another shot, it’s the same crap that pushed me away in the first place: Brock Lesnar is the unbeatable monster who does what he wants, beats everyone else to the point that nobody else is interesting because the main event has been so dominated by him & Roman Reigns for the last couple of years that it seems that nobody else matters in the eyes of the writers, so everything else is just background noise that exists in it’s own bubble until someone else starts to get over, only to be smacked in the face and pushed back down the card again.

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Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis & Paralegals with NDAs…Oh My!

Oh boy to I have a lot to unpack here today. So Vince McMahon has “temporarily” stepped down as Chairman & CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment because of an internal investigation which is being conducted by the Board of Directors into a story that was reported to them of a paralegal by a third party, citing an affair with Vince and an ensuing $3M non-disclosure agreement upon her termination.

Apparently, upon looking into these allegations, this one paralegal wasn’t the first of her kind to be given such a deal, and even WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis has also been implicated in other like findings. Talk about doing “what’s best for business” and “people power”! Man, does that stuff not age well these days!

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WWE Hall of Fame 2022

So I have to say that since becoming a lapsed fan, I find myself not really using the Peacock app much at all. I did start to use it a bit to go watch some old Scott Hall stuff from WWF & WCW recently, but it’s largely an app that gathers dust for me. I did use it this past weekend though, because for all the stuff that WWE puts out these days that I just don’t care much about anymore, one offering from them did pique my interest. As you can see above, I wasn’t about to miss this year’s Hall of Fame Ceremony.

There are actually a variety of reasons why I didn’t want to miss this event, first and foremost, of course would be the induction of the Undertaker, which I’ll get to here in a bit, but I was also very interested to see the Steiner Brothers, Shad Gaspard, and especially Big Van Vader be inducted! So let’s get on with my thoughts on this show, shall we?

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Saying Goodbye to “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon, a.k.a. Scott Hall

…Hey yo! Not gonna lie…I’ve been dreading this day now for over a decade.

News broke of the health complications following a hip replacement surgery that Scott Hall was having performed. In an interview, Sean “Xpac” Waltman noted that the isolation during the pandemic was rough on Scott. He started drinking more again and put some weight back on. When Hall fell & broke his hip, he was unable to move & was laying on the ground, unable to get to the phone. He laid there for a few days until his friend, “Diamond” Dallas Page found him while doing a wellness check on him on March 12th. He underwent surgery at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, GA, and during the surgery, a blood clot came dislodged, which caused him to have three heart attacks and was put on life support. Then, on the morning of March 14th, Kevin Nash posted a tribute to his friend, noting that Scott was being kept on life support until the family could arrive to pay their respects and say their goodbyes. At which time, Scott Hall, my favorite wrestler of all time, the guy who “oozed machismo” as Razor Ramon in the WWF, the guy who kickstarted the New World Order, “The Bad Guy” that everyone loved….left this world forever.

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Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, The Garden, MSG, The World’s Most Famous Arena, The Mecca of Basketball (stated as such by Michael Jordan)…this building has more monikers than it has Championship Banners hanging in the rafters. Ok, ok…I digress! My Devils may have a beautiful new(ish) arena in Newark, but this is still the best place to see a pro hockey game. Truth be told, this is THE Arena of all Arenas, and it’s located smack dab in the center of New York City, the media capital of the world. Located just blocks from the Empire State Building and directly on top of the busiest train hub in the country, The Garden is truly an engineering marvel!

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Brendan Byrne Arena/Continental Airlines Arena/IZOD Center

From their inaugural season in New Jersey, after relocating from Denver, Colorado before the 1982-83 NHL season, the newly rechristened New Jersey Devils called the Brendan Byrne Arena home for 24 seasons.

But the Devils weren’t the only New Jersey professional sports team to call the arena home. In fact, the arena was originally built to be a home for the relocating New York Nets, who had previously played their home games at the Nassau Coliseum. And though the arena was built to be a basketball arena, the intentions of building the arena was also to lure an NHL team to New Jersey. By the time the arena was built, the Nets had already moved out to New Jersey and were playing their home games in New Brunswick at the Rutgers University Athletic Center for a couple years. So when the arena was completed in 1981, it had an immediate tenant.

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I’m a lapsed fan…

I’ve been a prowrestling fan for a large portion of my life, however considering the directions that the business & really, WWE moreso in general have taken, I’m finding myself more and more sitting here on the outside, looking in on a business I used to live & breathe almost 24/7. I’ve heard guys like Dave Scherer & Mike Johnson on speak of the lapsed fan who checks in from time to time and continues to leave again for one reason or another & I’ve now come to the conclusion that that group now includes me.

For us lapsed fans, we WANT to like the product, but there’s just a number of bad decisions whether it’s from a talent, creative or any other number of reasons that continue to turn us off from the product. I had been hoping that a return of fans to the arenas might change my stance, but even that doesn’t seem to make a difference to me now. Is it talent? Oh my God, yes! Is it just talent issues? Of course it’s not. Creative storytelling is certainly involved as well.

So how did I get here?

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The Face of WWE is…?

So for one reason or another, this morning I got to thinking about the current lineup for the upcoming WrestleMania show next month, and it occurred to me that WWE may have made a pretty sizable change recently!

Looking back through WWE history, that company/territory has traditionally been a babyface territory. Going all the way back to Bruno Sammartino, WWE has traditionally been a babyface-led territory. From Bruno, Pedro Morales, and Bob Backlund to Hulk Hogan, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, Diesel, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock all the way forward to John Cena & Roman Reigns…until now.

Continue reading “The Face of WWE is…?”

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