Let Them Eat Raw

The news is all over every site already. WWE has announced that beginning with it’s 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw, airing on July 23rd, Monday Night Raw will permanently switch to a three hour format. Yes, Gilligan, a three hour format.

You’ve got to hand it to Vince McMahon. When demand for his show is slowly sinking, and ratings are mirroring an arythmic heart, he has found the solution: More is more! For all that 12-17 demographic whose attention they can’t hold with a two hour show, add in another hour. If there’s anything people love, it’s three hour television shows.

Facietiousness aside, this could end up being one of the best or one of the worst decisions WWE has made in recent years. Of course there is the argument that moving to three hours was one of the major factors that led to the downfall of WCW, but WCW seriously lacked the ability to support a three hour show and showed no backstage organization in preparation for it. Though we often hear about WWE changing plans the day of the show, it’s rare that Raw looks chaotic and confused like Nitro used to. Ultimately, three hours of Nitro was a drop in the bucket of what was a flooding disaster.

What good could come out of this, you might ask? Well, for one thing, maybe WWE can finally manifest Divas matches that last more than a minute on Raw. Doubtful, as they seem to care as much about the Diva division as I care about Hornswoggle. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Divas matches get an entire two minutes in the future! Wouldn’t that be something. Eight moves instead of four… seriously, though, giving more time to the divas is one thing on a long list of things they should be able to do.

In addition to increasing time for the women, perhaps we could get more wrestling over promos. These seems like a longshot, as there is a fear they’ll want to get people watching so we’ll get promo heavy moments at the beginning and end of each hour, as we typically do. Remember when wrestling shows used to open and close with wrestling matches? Wild idea.

More wrestling, more divas, what more could you want? More talent, perhaps. I’m not talking bringing back guys like Kevin Nash (sorry Kev,) but new, young, rising talent. Something fresh for the WWE. I wouldn’t be opposed to them bringing in some established guys from TNA either, though I consider that doubtful (outside of Matt Morgan, at the moment.)

Granting themselves another hour could give WWE the time and space to make good choices and build a better show. Unfortunately, their track record has shown that three hour Raws are usually total disasters where the first hour is essentially useless. This doesn’t mean it will be like that every week. Hopefully, they’ve got something better in mind.

An interesting thing to consider is the overall effect on the ratings. It seems likely that the first hour of the show will be the lowest, as it typically is during three hour Raws. That being the case, it’s possible that the low rating for hour one could drag down the overall rating for the whole show, which won’t look good for the WWE either.

Ultimately, I find it hard to wrap my head around this one. With attention faltering, ratings wavering and interest depleting, why make this move? Usually you supply a demand, you stock up when you’re selling out. You don’t fill your stock room with more and more of a product that less and less people are buying. Even Nitro went to three hours when they were commanding a massive audience, not when the people started turning away.

This is the same audience that swelled post-Wrestlemania with the entrance of Brock Lesnar, but returned to normal within a few weeks. WWE has the ability to pull those people back on occasions like this, they just can’t seem to keep them. So.. three hours then?

I’d like to see this succeed and I’d like to see a lot of amazing things come out of this. New talent, more matches, a better quality show and an increased probability of success in WWE’s future. Unfortunately, I’m not a look at the bright side type of person, especially when it pertains to WWE who have time and again show the prominent ability to take what is prophesied as great and turn it into total garbage.

So, it remains to be seen. In the end, it comes down to you, the fans, the people who are invested in this business and want to see it improve. Whether or not three hours of Raw keeps you wanting more, or pushes you away. At this point, the ratings remaining the same as they have been would be a success for an additional hour every week. If ratings begin to decrease, however, will WWE stick with it or pull the plug? Figuring that out is figuring out the mind of Vince McMahon and that takes much longer than three hours.


Heartbroken: John Cena

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And I’m here to remind you Rocky of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know…
‘Cause the joke that you laid on the bed that was me
And I’m not gonna fade as soon as you close your eyes, and you know it
And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back
I hope you feel it…well can you feel it?

Last night, as I watched Monday Night Raw with my laptop open to twitter, it finally dawned on me. All of this rage toward the Rock that John Cena has bottled up inside of him comes from a familiar place. A dark place. A black place that grows inside of you over time, threatening to consume everything that makes you who you are until you have no choice but to explode, let it out, scream to the sky and rain hell down upon whoever is in your path at that moment. It is a place so many of us have been, and will return to someday. It’s abandonment, it’s loss, it’s heartbreak. John Cena is… heartbroken.

I used to love that chant. It’s tough for me to even call him ‘The Rock’ anymore because I used to love the Rock just like you guys.. and then he morphed into Dwayne.” – John Cena.

This statement by John Cena rings true of so many statements which have been made in the aftermath of a breakup. It sounds a little like “I used to love you, but you’ve changed.” John Cena is clearly having difficulty with the fact that the Rock became a different person (although, more accurately, he was always Dwayne Johnson.. “The Rock” was a fictional character) and he’s struggling to come to terms with the nature of his reality. Things are different now, and despite all of the love that existed in the past, things can never be the same as they used to be.

He is a Champion with people. He has an entourage of his little goons. He has Brian, you saw his picture on the tonight show, the guy who writes all of his jokes…. he’s got a crackpot staff of rentacops to make sure nobody messes up that million dollar smile.” – John Cena.

Here, we see, Cena has moved on to the next stage of accepting the deterioration of the relationship. Here, Cena is attempting to find someone else to blame. It’s that “Well, I didn’t do anything wrong, it can’t be me” state of mind that, ultimately, leads Cena to laying blame elsewhere. All of these people have gotten between them, they used to be close, there used to be a connection but now, no matter how hard he tries, Cena just cannot get through to the Rock anymore. (Needless to say, Cena has an entire WWE creative team writing for him and, last I checked, there is security to stop people from jumping in the ring to mess up Cena’s fifty thousand dollar smile.)

The thing I’m most proud of, the thing that makes me sleep at night, through all that B.S. I always showed up and I never left. And when it comes down to Dwayne, the first time that he got a taste of the bright lights of Hollywood, he was out of her faster than I could say ‘Rocky don’t go.’” – John Cena.

Typical jilted lover behavior here: “I didn’t change, I didn’t leave. You left me, you gave up on us.” John Cena is hurting. The Rock left him, the Rock decided that after a decade of physical pain, a grueling schedule, difficult situations and countless complications, he had to move on somewhere better, somewhere he could be happy. John Cena hasn’t yet come to accept that, Cena hasn’t yet reached a place where he wants The Rock to be happy. He’s still in that scorned lover ‘I hope you get caught in a car fire for breaking my heart’ state of mind.

Finally, The Rock has come home, and he’s never leaving again… and then he left. Again.” – John Cena.

I imagine that, most nights, when the lights have shut off and the arena has grown quiet, Cena prepares to drive away from the building after he steps out of that ring. He slumps at the shoulders, drops his bag into the trunk, slides into his driver seat and has a good cry as he rolls out of the parking lot singing Alicia Keys: “You wore the crown, you made my body feel heaven bound. Why don’t you hold me, need me? You told me you’d never leave me.”

April 9th, the Monday after, when I’m at Monday Night Raw and Dwayne’s on a movie set sipping a Mai Tai, laughing at his stunt double… I promise, Rocky, as entertaining as you’re gonna be, as much as you’re gonna try to bring it, as many boots as you want to put to as many asses, you don’t got the club in the bag, son. I’m here, I’ve been here, I’ll always be here.” – John Cena

Finally that emotional volcano has erupted. John Cena is finally living true to that broken heart. He isn’t going to lay around at night smelling Rock’s pillow and crying over him anymore. He’s going to take a long, hot shower, brush his hair, put on one of his ten thousand “Hustle. Loyalty. Respect.” shirts and go out there to show that the Rock hasn’t broken him. No matter the pain, no matter the consequences, John Cena is not going to be afraid to love again.

John Cena marches toward Wrestlemania 28, where the true challenge will be. He has to try and show that, not only does he not still hurt, but he’s better than he was when Rock broke his heart. It’s like that awkward moment when you bump into your ex. She’s slimmed down, gotten in shape, wearing that short skirt with those long legs. She’s waiting in line, checking out some candles, cooking supplies and hanging on her arm is the guy she’s bringing home with her that night. He’s clean cut, muscular, nicely dressed and offers so much more than you could. So you just try to avoid eye contact, ring up their items, take the money and bag the merchandise.

When the dust settles, maybe Rock’s got the better life, but John’s still got the right to love again. Well, that and his fancy shirts and camoflouge shorts. After Wrestlemania, when John Cena takes the elevator up to his hotel room and his body is sore and aching from that clash between he and the one who broke his heart, he’ll crawl beneath the covers, look up at the dark ceiling and whisper to himself “I’ll never let another man break my heart.”

Monday Night Raw – July 18

Tonight RAW is LIVE from Green Bay, Wisconsin
@WrestleSarcasm:  I’m pretty sure @onecountkickout isn’t having live tweets in his Raw report tonight.
[Twitter is currently down, will include tweets as soon as it is back up.  If you send a message directly @ me I can read it and respond.]

The show opens with a shot of the live crowd and then Vince McMahon’s music hits.  He comes out with John Laurenitis.  Vince is wearing an ugly, pink suit jacket.  Michael Cole informs us that the WWE title is not here following last night’s Money in the Bank PPV.  Vince enters the ring and grabs the microphone, they show a large section of the Raw roster watching on the monitors backstage.  The crowd chants “CM Punk, CM Punk”

Vince says we will never, ever again hear him say the name “CM Punk.”  He tells the fans they are chanting the name of the biggest ingrate in WWE history, the name of a man who turned his back on everyone.  He says Punk is an “egotistical, selfish turd.”  Vince says there is no man bigger than WWE, not Hogan, not Bret Hart, not the Rock and not Austin.  He says WWE cannot be stopped so tonight he is going to crown a new WWE champion.  The crowd responds to this with a chorus of boos.  He says eight superstars will compete in a tournament.  Rey Mysterio will face Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger will face R-Truth, Kofi Kingston will face Alberto Del Rio and Alex Riley will face The Miz.  Vince says you may have noticed that John Cena is not in that tournament, and when the crowd boos he says he’ll boo him too because he let him down.  He reminds us that if Punk left Money in the Bank with the title he said that he would fire Cena.  McMahon says there will be severe consequences here tonight.  He tells us tonight will be historic, and it will be a night we will always remember.  He says to enjoy the show and his music hits once again.

Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole discuss what will be the severe consequences for Cena.  They then discuss the “big news” about how they will crown a new champion tonight on Raw.  The Miz’s music hits and he comes striding out, he has a little limp as he sells last night’s injury.

[Commercial break 1]

Match 1:  The Miz vs Alex Riley (WWE Title Tournament): [4 minutes and 58 seconds]
The match begins with Riley going after the Miz’s injured leg while the Miz does what he can to keep him away from it.  There is a roll up but an immediate kickout.  Riley gets the Miz in the corner and Miz punches his way out until Riley lands a kick to his knee.  Riley begins working on the knee with kicks and elbows.  Riley gets Miz into a single leg Boston crab but Miz rolls out of it and kicks Riley out of the ring.  Miz limps over to the ropes and Riley kicks him in the head then slides in for a two count.  Riley charges at Miz in the corner, Miz moves and Riley hits the ring post.  Miz covers for a two count.  Miz sits on Riley and begins punching him until the referee pulls him off.  Riley begins fighting back, slamming Miz’s head into his knee.  Looks pretty vicious and stiff.  Riley begins throwing clotheslines and then lands a spinebuster.  Miz kicks out at two.  Riley goes for a headlock, Miz revereses into a full nelson, Riley pushes Miz into the corner but Miz catches him with a boot.  Miz goes for a move from the top but misses and Riley locks in the texas cloverleaf on Miz who climbs over and grabs the bottom rope for the break.  Miz rolls out, Riley chases him and he rolls back in but Riley takes him down and begins throwing punches.  The referee gets in the way which gives the Miz the opportunity to hit the skull crushing finale for the pin at 4:58.

They show us the tournament bracket, Miz will face the winner of Kofi vs Alberto Del Rio in the next round.  We see R-Truth walking around backstage.  His match is next.

[Commercial break 2]

We return from commercial and they air a promo about John Morrison showing many of his match highlights.  Michael Cole says he is battling his way back from injury.  R-Truth begins making his way to the ring, and Cole points out that it was in fact R-Truth who knocked John Morrison out of action.

Match 2:  R-Truth vs Jack Swagger (WWE Title Tournament): [4 minutes and 18 seconds]
The match begins with both men locking up, Swagger however gets a headlock on Truth and then knocks him down with a shoulder block.  Swagger puts him in a headlock once again but Truth punches his way out then lands a kick to Swagger’s face.  A quick roll up but Swagger kicks out at two.  Swagger throws a forearm into Truth’s back and then chokes him on the middle rope followed by a belly to back suplex.  Truth throws a punch but Swagger counters with a knee to the jaw and then a barrage of punches and stomps against the ropes.  Swagger whips Truth into the turnbuckle and then lands the Swagger bomb for a two count.  Truth begins fighting back against Swagger, the crowd is chanting “Little Jimmy.”  Truth lands an ax kick but only gets a two count.  He slaps Swagger but misses a second ax kick.  Swagger goes for the ankle lock and Truth reverses it into a roll up for the pin at 4:18.

The bracket shows that Truth will face the winner of the Rey Mysterio / Dolph Ziggler match.  Kofi vs Del Rio is up next.

[Commercial break 3]

We return from commercial to see Alberto Del Rio driving into Raw with his briefcase in hand.  Whatever happened to his personal ring announcer?  Anyway, Del Rio gets into the ring and takes the microphone.  Cole says WWE is trending on twitter, not sure how that is possible since it’s down.  Del Rio says his name is “Mister Money in the Bank” but you already know that.  He says he tried to cash in last night but CM Punk ran like a chicken.  He says all of this happened because John Cena couldn’t get the job done.  Del Rio says he hopes that Cena gets fired because the WWE needs a new, better, stronger leader.  He says it is his destiny to be WWE Champion.  His music hits again and Ricardo Rodriguez comes out to introduce Alberto Del Rio for a second time.

[Commercial break 4]

Match 3:  Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston (WWE Title Tournament): [5 minutes and 7 seconds]
The match begins with Del Rio kicking Kofi in the corner and then landing a drop kick to the back of his head.  Kofi fires back with a few punches and a dropkick of his own.  Del Rio throws a knee into Kofi’s midsection and then knocks him to the mat.  Del Rio gets caught by a flying elbow and Kofi covers for a two count.  Kofi jumps on Del Rio in the corner and begins throwing punches, knocking Del Rio down with a european uppercut.  Del Rio throws Kofi into the ropes, and then lands outside where Kofi squashes him with a suicide dive.  Kofi throws Del Rio back into the ring, but Alberto lands a kick to the back of Kofi’s head for a two count.  Del Rio begins throwing knees to the back of Kofi’s head and then puts him in a headlock.  Kofi punches his way out but Del Rio slams his head into the mat and throws another kick, covers and gets a two count.  Del Rio puts him in a chinlock and Kofi begins to fight out but Del Rio throws a few headbutts.  He charges Kofi in the corner but gets caught with an elbow.  Kofi goes after Del Rio’s legs but he fights it off and lands a tiltawhirl back breaker but only gets a two count.  He straddles Kofi and throws a few punches.  Del Rio goes for the cross arm breaker but Kofi rolls him up for the victory at 5:07.

Once again they show us the brackets, Kofi will face the Miz in the semi-final round of the WWE title tournament.  We see Rey Mysterio walking backstage.

[Commercial break 5]

After the commercial they show us a quick recap of Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog at Summer Slam 1992.
They show us a recap of Kofi Kingston defeating Alberto Del Rio.  They interview Kofi backstage.  Kofi says he came up short last night but tonight is a new opportunity.  He says Kofi Kingston is taking the first step towards becoming the new WWE Champion.  “One down, two to go” he says to end the interview.  Back in the arena, Rey Mysterio’s music hits.

Match 4:  Rey Mysterio vs Dolph Ziggler (WWE Title Tournament): [4 minutes and 55 seconds]
Ziggler comes out firing and begins beating down Rey.  He whips Rey into the corner but Rey brings his boots up and then throws Ziggler.  He ducks a clothesline, but Ziggler kicks him and throws him out of the ring.  Ziggler misses a baseball slide but succeeds in dropping Mysterio on his face on the outside.  Michael Cole then tells us you can only win these matches by Pinfall or Submission.  I guess a count out or DQ would result in both competitors being eliminated?  He doesn’t really explain.  Meanwhile, Ziggler has Mysterio down in the ring but Rey rolls up him for a two count.  Rey throws a few kicks but Ziggler throws him on his face again and gets a two count.  Ziggler jumps at Rey in the corner but misses.  Mysterio throws a kick and covers for a two count.  Mysterio goes to the top role and lands a seated senton but Ziggler kicks him down afterward.  Ziggler goes for the sleeper but Rey throws him head first into the turnbuckle.  Rey goes for a hurricanrana and then misses the 619.  Ziggler slams Mysterio and gets another two count.  Ziggler stomps Rey a few times but Rey flips him into the ropes and this time he does land the 619 followed by a splash off the top for the three count in 4:55.

Rey moves on to face R-Truth in the semi-finals of the tournament.  Vickie Guerrero is yelling at Ziggler.  We see Vince McMahon talking to Johnny Ace backstage.

[Commercial break 6]

We come back to see Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, AJ, Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Katlyn coming out to the ring.  Their opponents in this match will be Melina, Maryse, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Tamina and the Bella Twins.

Match 5:  Seven on Seven Divas Match: [59 seconds]
Phoenix starts off against Tamina.  Phoenix lands a nice suplex and goes for the cover.  The Bellas interupt and then all the divas begin fighting outside of the ring.  Meanwhile, inside, Tamina and Phoenix go at it.  Phoenix lands the Glamslam for the pin at 59 seconds.

@TheUnratedEXP: The Heel Diva’s > Face Diva
@DivaDirt: We couldn’t get a #1 Contender’s battle royal instead? #WWE #Raw 
@FlawlessEvE1: I called that one from a mile away. 30 seconds, for fucks sake…
@Vixentye: it’s about time Rosa gets fired… she botches EVERY move, she is a pointless object in the WWE, she can take Kelly it her 

[Commercial break 7]

We return from commercial.  Lawler says he thinks Kofi will beat the Miz.  Kofi begins making his entrance.

Match 6:  Kofi Kingston vs The Miz (WWE Title Tournament Semi-Final): [3 minutes and 49 seconds]
The match begins with Kofi going after the Miz’s leg.  He gets a quick rollup but only a one count.  Kofi slams the Miz down hard and then goes after his knee again and then stomps hard on his face.  He gets a two count.  Miz takes control and slaps a headlock on Kofi.  Kofi begins to fight out of it with a few punches to the gut and then lands a big kick to the Miz’s injured knee.  Kingston makes a series of covers on the Miz, all resulting in two counts.  He misses a splash in the corner but then kicks Miz in the face.  He lands a crossbody off the top rope, Miz reverses but only gets a two count.  Kofi hits the Miz’s knee again and then sets up for Trouble in Paradise.  Miz rolls outside the ring.  Kofi grabs Miz who snaps Kofi’s neck on the top rope.  He goes for the skull crushing finale but Kofi rolls him up for a two count.  Miz drops Kofi on the top turnbuckle and lands the skull crushing finale for the pin at 3:49.

@AprilAnn_: AWEESOME. this guy needs to be champ again!
@TheRealXPac: How about waiting for the guy to make contact before u start to bump
@ThatDariaChick: Doesn’t matter who wins the tournament: Del Rio will be the Champion soon enough 🙂
@TrueMaryseFan: Miz wins again! 😀 *crosses fingers he gets the title*

The Miz advances to the finals and will face the winner of the Rey Mysterio / R-Truth match.  Backstage they interview R-Truth.  Truth says a conspiracy kept him away from Money in the Bank but won’t keep him away from beating up little “Rey Rey” because the title is “gon’ get got”

[Commercial break 8]

We return from commercial and we see a small promo showing Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he begins making his way to the ring.

Match 7:  Rey Mysterio vs R-Truth (WWE Title Tournament Semi Final): [12 minutes and 47 seconds]
The match begins with Truth hammering Rey in the corner then whipping him into the opposite corner, covering he gets a two count.  Truth suplexes Mysterio, another two count.  Truth gets Mysterio down on the mat in a reverse chin lock, Mysterio throws a few punches to get out but Truth nails him with a knee to the midsection.  He gets down and locks Mysterio in a leg scissor but Mysterio elbows his way out of it.  Truth throws Mysterio off the ropes but Mysterio lands the boots and then flings Truth out of the ring and then squashes him with a suicide dive.

[Commercial break 9]

Back from commercial and Truth has Mysterio in a headlock in the middle of the ring.  Truth kicks Mysterio in the face and gets a two count.  The crowd boos as he makes the belt gesture at his waist.  He straddles Mysterio and begins punching him in the face, again he covers and gets a two count.  Truth lands a big, spinning elbow on Mysterio but again only gets a two count.  Truth begins choking Mysterio on the middle rope.  Mysterio fights back, going for the 619 but Truth lays him out and gets another two count.  Truth slams Mysterio down hard, another nearfall here.  Truth charges Mysterio in the corner but Rey moves out of the way.  Rey and Truth exchange a few punches and kicks, Rey bouncing off the ropes with a crossbody for a two count.  Truth kicks Rey in the gut, misses and ax kick and then catches a drop kick from Rey.  Two count.  Truth lands a sick jawbreaker but Rey has his hand on the ropes.  Truth tries to pull him off, so he stomps him a few times.  The crowd chants “Little Jimmy” and Rey snaps Truth’s neck on the top rope, throws a shoulder to the gut and then sets Truth up for the 619.  He lands it and then a splash from the top for the pin at 12:47.

@feelingventi: Lil jimmy show me on the doll where r-truth touched u
@TheRealXPac: Rey wins & Del Rio cashes in MITB seems predictable.
@WWFRAWISWAR: John Cena will be forced to watch TNA. Those are the severe concequences.

Rey advances to the finals and begins celebrating in the ring.   Mysterio will face the Miz for the title NEXT.

[Commercial break 10]

Back from commercial and Vince McMahon begins making his way out to the ring.  He climbs in and grabs a mic.  He says he has to postpone the finales until next week.  He says we’re out of time and he has something else he needs to do.  He tells Rey not to be selfish and that this is “bigger than you.”  Vince says Cena isn’t bigger than the WWE, he can make a new John Cena.  The crowd chants “CM Punk.”  Vince says he can’t deny the contributions of John to the WWE.  He says he isn’t doing this for ego but for the good of the business.  You can’t understand right now but in time you will and you’ll thank him for this.  He says “Lets get this over with.”  John Cena’s music hits and he comes out.

Cena gets in the ring and Vince takes a deep breath.  Cena grabs the microphone from him and tells him to relax.  He says he is ok with what he’s about to do.  He won’t go through what Shawn Michaels had to go through, he says Vince made him bend over backwards.  All they ever said about Shawn was that “he screwed Bret” and he had to take it with him his entire career.  Cena says if he was in his shoes he would not want to be the guy who screwed Bret, or CM Punk.  Cena says it was all about Vince, how he doesn’t want anyone to embarass him but Cena says he refuses to be his patsy.  Cena congratulates Punk on “one hell of a match.”  Cena tells Vince he doesn’t do business this way.  Cena says it’s ok to make an example of him but that leaves him eight months to find a new opponent for The Rock.

Cena says he belongs in the WWE and if Vince is about to tell him he doesn’t belong there, and if he makes him walk tonight he’ll walk onto someone elses TV show and keep doing this “Brother.”  Cena says the one thing he will not do is kiss Vince’s ass.  Vince says he will not be denied the satisfaction of what he is about to do.  He says “John..” and then Triple H’s music hits.  Triple H comes to the ring wearing a suit.  He begins whispering in Vince’s ear, Vince gets another microphone for Triple H.

Triple H says there was a board of director’s meeting this morning, Vince looks shocked.  Triple H says the board asked him to come to Raw to talk to him because they’re concerned about the current situation.  He says the board is concerned about Vince.  They understand that he has built a global empire, everything we have is because of him, but at the same time the board is concerned about Vince’s extremely questionable decisions as of lately.  Triple H says the board has filed an injunction against Vince, and the family agrees.  On top of that, the board has appointed someone to take over the day to day operations of the WWE.  He can’t even say he’s going to say it but it’s him, Triple H is now in charge of WWE.  He says they’re not going to fire John Cena, and Vince won’t be doing anything.  He says Vince taught him that no one is bigger than this business and that includes Vince.  He says this is just business, and with all due respect, he is here to inform Vince that he is relieved of his duties.  Vince begins crying.. not bad acting I must say.  The crowd begins chanting “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.”

Triple H asks Vince to please understand he didn’t want to do this, he just needs to do what is right for the business.  He says “I love you, pop, and I’m sorry.”  He drops the microphone and slides out of the ring.  Vince is left standing in the center, crying.  The crowd begins clapping and Vince mouths “Thank you.”  The show goes off the air with the crowd chanting “Thank you Vince.”

@ImAMelFo: There was no swerve last night, so surely there has to be a swerve tonight right?
@GlamHartDelRio: Really Mr. MacMahon??? Really???
@TheUnratedExp: I hope this is a really big announcement.
@ILoVeTheCORRE: The FUCK! I wanted DEL RIO to cash in! What the fuck!
@EmSkie247: Between cenas shirt and vinces jacket I feel like I need to adjust the contrast on the TV
@Rarleo: It’s THE GAME #HHH in a suit and tie… could this finally be the Raw GM reveal???
@BreakingKayfabe: That transformed from depressing into oddly endearing rather quickly. 

Monday Night Raw – June 27

Tonight Raw is LIVE from Las Vegas, NV
Featuring the return of Raw Roulette and special guest Shawn Michaels.
Your announce team is Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole.

The show opens showing Booker T spinning the Raw Roulette wheel.

Back to the arena, Shawn Michaels music hits and he comes dancing out.  Shawn makes his way to the ring, grabs the mic and tells the crowd he just couldn’t stay away.  He says it is tough to just stop after twenty years of doing something.  He says he’s not the Raw guest host, but he is bothered how guest hosts are always here to plug something.  Then he plus his new show.

Suddenly CM Punk’s music hits and he comes walking out with McGillicutty and Otunga of the new Nexus who make their way to the ring.  The crowd begins booing and Punk smiles, grabbing a mic himself.  Punk tells Shawn his personality is too addictive to stay away.  Punk says July 17th will be his last day and he’s happy to be leaving.  Shawn says it sounds win win since no one will have to hear from him anymore.  Punk tells Shawn that win is what Shawn didn’t do, he lost to the Undertaker and went out a loser.  Punk says he is going to leave at the WWE Champion.  Punk says it is sad that the crowd would rather cheer for the past instead of begging for the future to stay.  Shawn says they cheer him because they know he’s better than Punk.  Punk says “you were better than me.”  No one can hold a candle to him, like no one could hold a candle to Shawn back then.  He asks if that’s a challenge.  Punk says they’re a lot alike.  Shawn says they’re not alike.  Shawn says “we don’t smoke, we don’t drink, we don’t do drugs” to which Punk responds “anymore.”  HBK lands sweet chin music on Otunga.

The anonymous GM chimes in now.  He says that since Punk only has three Raws left so they’re going to make them count.  Punk is going to have the first match tonight on Raw roulette.  They cut to Booker T who spins the wheel.  It lands on a question mark.  Booker tells Punk that means he has a mystery opponent, and that opponent is Kane.  Punk looks surprised.  Kane makes his way out to the ring.

@BritBoJangles: Ugg….I just want you to go away Shawn! PLEASE!
@PinfallMagazine: Man that guy had some f’n epics! 
@LucasSinclairD: I want to see some Sweet Chin Music 
@Barr66: Woo CM Punk! This is about to get awesome

[Commercial break 1]

Match 1:  CM Punk vs Kane: [4 minutes and 17 seconds]
Kane starts on the offensive, throwing CM Punk over the top rope, following him outside and dropping him on the barricade.  Throwing him back in the ring he begins stomping him in the corner, then snapmare and dropkick to the face.  Kane dominating picks punk up and lands a side slam for a two count.  Finally Punk snaps Kane’s head on the top rope, then gets caught for a chokeslam but kicks his way out of it.  Punk is now stomping on Kane, getting him the corner and delivering several kicks.  Finally Kane lands a big boot, taking Punk down.  Making his way to the top rope, Punk catches him with a punch, delivers a few elbows and goes for a superplex but Kane holds on.  He punches Punk off but Punk rolls out of the ring and decided to walk to the lockeroom.  The referee begins counting him out, leaving Kane to win in 4:17.

@Vixentye:  hear those CM Punk chants… yeah baby!
@dasharpshooters: Those anti Kane chants were really loud
@BritBoJangles: Why does Kane only rock the one contact every so often? 
@thatdariachick: That was pitful. 

They show us that later tonight Big Show will face Alberto Del Rio, and John Cena will go against R-Truth.  The roulette wheel will choose all matches.

[Commercial break 2]

The show returns, promoting WWE’s website poker playing game.  Sin Cara’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring.  Evan Bourne is out next.  The Roulette wheel selects: No Countout.

Match 2:  Evan Bourne vs Sin Cara (No countouts): [4 minutes and 52 seconds]
Both men exchange arm drags with Bourne getting the advantage.  They continue to exchange moves and reversals until Cara flips Bourne with the help of the top rope, delivers a few kicks and then does a huge corkscrew arm drag.  Both men now head outside the ring, stare at each other and then roll back inside.  Sin Cara has the advantage here, Bourne sliding back outside the ring.  Sin Cara lands a massive suicide dive.  Cara grabs Evan and goes to slam him but Bourne reverses it into a hurricanrana.  Bourne grabs Sin Cara and throws him back into the ring.  Bourne rolls up Sin but only for a two count.  Cara gets his own little roll up but Bourne kicks out at 2 and then delivers a knee to his jaw for another two count.  Bourne lands a standing moonsault for another nearfall.  Bourne goes for airbourne, missing.  Cara swings him around and gets the pin at 4:52.

@WrestleSarcasm: Sin Cara! Job it good for me please. 
@TheRealXpac: Ok, Im in front of the tv in time for Sin Cara. Lets hope they dont dim the damn lights for the whole match
@Lagana: You voted for it… Tonight you get it. Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne. 
@WrestlingTheory: Tune in to see Sin Cara sell his knee 

Sin Cara celebrates in the ring while Evan Bourne continues to sell outside.  We see Kofi Kingston standing with Booker T by the roulette wheel.  Booker says the anonymous GM is allowing him to spin the wheel to see what kind of a match he’ll have with Dolph Ziggler.  Vickie Guerrero shows up and spins the wheel instead.  The wheel lands on:  Player’s Choice (which means Kofi gets to pick the match.)  Kofi chooses the match he voted for last week:  No Vickie Guerrero at ringside.

[Commercial break 3]

We return from commercial and they tell us the Raw Money in the Bank competitors:  Mysterio, Kingston, Evan Bourne, Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Miz, Riley, R-Truth.

Kofi makes his entrance first.  Vickie Guerrero comes out and gets some major heat from the crowd.  She begins to introduce Dolph but some referees come out and tell her she’s not allowed out here.  Dolph Ziggler comes out next.

Match 3:  Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston: [7 minutes and 36 seconds]
The bell rings and Dolph rolls out of the ring to leave but Kofi catches him, throwing him back in the ring.  Ziggler fights back, both men head to the outside where Kofi takes control until Ziggler runs him into the ring post.

[Commercial break 4]

We return from commercial to find Ziggler dominating Kofi in the ring, locking in a headlock.  The crowd begins cheering for Kofi who begins fighting his way out, reversing Ziggler into the corner but missing a big splash.  Ziggler lands a legdrop to the back of Kofi’s head getting a close two count.  Ziggler picks up Kofi, who throws a few big kicks, then reverses a hold from Ziggler and gets a two count.  Kofi throws some more kicks and punches but catches a boot to the face from Ziggler.  Kofi lands trouble in paradise from out of nowhere for the win at 7:36.

@justinruff: Vickie banned from ringside? Nooooooooo!!
@Nuer0tica: I’d be better able to pretend this wasn’t rigged if they weren’t making it so blatantly obvious that it is.
@TheHistoryofWWE: Wait, didn’t Vickie Guerrero do the spinning? So how come @TrueKofi gets to pick the stip for spinner’s choice?
@SmarkingOut: Lawler is an asshole. Look in a fucking mirror for once! YOU’RE FATTER THAN VICKIE! 
@TheUnratedEXP: Awesome finishing sequence by Ziggler and Kingston!

We see Booker backstage with Maryse.  Booker talks about the match we just saw when Del Rio shows up and asks why he has to face the Big Show again.  Maryse says she agrees with Del Rio, since he already beat the Big Show at capitol punishment.  Alberto asks Maryse to spin the wheel for him, since maybe she’ll bring him some good luck.  Maryse spins and Del Rio will face the Big Show in a: steel cage match.  Del Rio gets angry and Maryse walks off.  Booker says “TELL ME she did NOT just spin that?”

[Commercial break 5]

We return from commercial with the steel cage down around the ring and the announcer runs through the rules for us.  Alberto Del Rio is out first.  After his 3 minute entrance, Big Show’s music hits and he comes charging out.

Match 4:  Alberto Del Rio vs the Big Show (Steel Cage): [5 minutes and 15 seconds]
The match begins with Del Rio trying to escape immediately but Big show takes him down, then smashing him into the cage wall.  Del Rio gets control when he delivers a few kicks to Big Show’s injured knee.  Del Rio continues punishing the limb with Big Show down in the middle of the ring.  Suddenly Mark Henry begins making his way down the ramp.  He begins circling the ring and can be heard yelling “I do what I want to do.”  Del Rio still has Big Show in a toe hold.  Big Show kicks his way out and then clotheslines Del Rio down.  He locks in for the chockeslam but again Del Rio kicks his knee and then delivers a DDT.  Cover but only a two count.  Big show puts Del Rio on the top rope and sets up, then delivers a massive superplex.  Both men are down.  Mark Henry begins trying to get into the cage.  Henry rips the door off the cage and carries it into the ring with him.  He lands a big boot on the Big Show while Del Rio crawls out, winning the match in 5:15.

After the match, Henry picks the door back up and rams it into Big Show who goes crashing through the side of the cage.  Henry then begins yelling “You think I’m playing?!”  The referees all come out to keep Henry away from Big Show but Henry tells them to stay back.  He asks “What’cha gonna do, fire me?”  Henry then shoves the announce table.

@ILoVeTheCORRE: I’ve said it once I’ll say it again…- FUCKING love Del Rio!
@KirasCabana: Del Rio, no one is even in your way. Must you beep the horn like an obnoxious dbag with road rage?
@TheUnratedEXP: So Big Show wasn’t on RAW last week because of a leg injury, but now he’s running to the ring?
@PinfallMagazine:  Henry going to pull the cage off its hinges?
@Wnewsarena: Henry attacks Show allowing for Del Rio to escape the cage and win.

[Commercial break 6]

We return and they show us again what just happened between Henry and Big Show.  The crowd really seems to be into it.  Then, they show us that during the commercial the Big Show had to be helped to the back.

Kelly Kelly’s music hits and she comes out with her newly acquired Divas title.  This match is not for the title and her opponent is Nikki Bella.  Booker T spins the wheel and match they will compete in is:  submission match.

Match 5:  Nikki Bella vs Kelly Kelly (submission match): [1 minute and 12 seconds]
The match begins with Nikki in control.  She begins working on her arm, gets her down on the mat and is twisting it while Kelly screams.  Kelly Kelly takes down Nikki, locks in the boston crab for the win in 1:12.  After the match both Bella twins begin beating down Kelly who gets saved by Eve.

@FlawlessXtina: Kelly looks great with that title 🙂
@ILoVeTheCORRE: Wow, no pillow fight??? Shocked…
@johnreport: Kelly vs. Nikki Submission match. Armbar. Boston Crab. That was the whole match. Less than a minute. Worst submission match ever.
@MajorMagnus: A submission match ends that early? Hadn’t even finished heatin my hotpockets

[Commercial break 7]

We return from commercial to see a recap of Andy Leavine winning Tough Enough with Andy talking about the experience.

Booker T is standing with Rey Mysterio, the wheel is spinning to see what match he’ll be in:  Tornado match.  DDP comes walking out holding the very best of Nitro DVD.  Drew McIntyre comes over and tells them they need to leave or they’ll be leaving on stretches.  Suddenly HBK delivers sweet chin music.  HBK says he’s never seen any of it, he was working when Nitro aired.  Booker says he’ll send him a copy.

[Commercial break 8]

Match 6:  Rey Mysterio &  Alex Riley vs The Miz & Swagger (Tornado Match): [11 minutes and 41 seconds]
The match starts, all four men in the ring.  Miz and Riley / Mysterio and Swagger going at it in opposite corners.  The heels are in control.  Miz crushes Mysterio with a clothesline, then Riley does one to Miz and Swagger does one to him.  Miz goes outside the ring and stomps Riley while swagger crushes Mysterio in the corner.  Swagger lands the Swagger bomb on Rey but only for a two count.  Miz gets to the top rope but Mysterio pushes Swagger into the corner and then Riley crushes them both before swinging Mysterio into them. Swagger rolls outside and Mysterio lands a seated senton.  Riley does a hiptoss to the Miz off the rop rope.

[Commercial break 9]

We return from commercial to find Miz and Riley battling in the ring.  Swagger comes up behind Riley and begins pounding on him.  Riley fights back, rolling up the Miz but swagger breaks it up.  Mysterio comes off the top rope, Swagger catches him and then throws him onto Miz’s knee for a two count.  Mysterio begins fighting back but Miz flattens him with a DDT while Swagger works on Riley in the corner.  Riley though dumps Swagger over the top rope, and Miz sends Riley out after him.  Miz goes for a superplex on Mysterio but Mysterio blocks it, shoves him off lands a seated senton, blocks a Swagger clothesline and goes back to work on the Miz.  Mysterio goes for the 619 but Swagger pulls him out of the ring.  Riley comes in, hitting a spinebuster on Swagger but Miz breaks up the pin attempt.  A lot of nearfalls in this match so far.  Riley and Miz both go spilling over the top rope, Swagger runs Mysterio over with a big boot.  Swagger goes for the gutwrench suplex but Mysterio goes for the 619.  Swagger catches him and puts him in the ankle lock while Miz chokes him.  Riley pulls Miz off the apron and then slams Miz on the outside barricade.  This time Mysterio lands his 619, Riley lands a brain buster and Mysterio lands a splash for the pin at 11:41. 

@BreakingKayfabe: Self. High. Five.
@smarkingout: Diamond Dallas Page Mother Fucker! YEAH!
@Vixentye: Alex Riley looks like he could be Lex Luger son with that penis hair cut, hermit crab eyes and stupid smirk on his gross face!
@IAmWWEman: This is a whirlwind RAW! Some good moments but it’s all a little to crammed and fast. I think cause they’re taping two RAW’s
@GlamHartDelRio: THE MIZ!!! 
@nuer0tica: WWE knew how much I like all three guys in the ring, so they had to ruin it with Rey. Thanks
@TheUnratedExp: Hip Toss from the top rope! Alex Riley showing some fire tonight!
@PinfallMagazine: Probably the TV match of the Week right there, but it’s early in that race.

Booker T tells R-Truth to spin the wheel for his match with Cena.  The wheel lands on a tables match.  Truth says he can dig that, tonight John Cena is gonna get got.  He says all the little jimmies know what he is saying.  

[Commercial break 10]

We return from commercial with the ring announcer explaining the rules.  R-Truth comes out first.  The crowd pops loud for Cena initially, then a lot of boos can be heard.  Mixed crowd.

Match 7:  R-Truth vs John Cena (Tables match): [5 minutes and 15 seconds]
The match begins with R-Truth throwing punches and kicks with Cena down on the mat.  Cena quickly reverses things with a fisherman’s suplex to Truth.  He heads out to get a table but R-Truth catches him with a shot to the head and then rolls him back in.  After a few holds exchanged, Cena lands a horrendous looking dropkick on Truth.  Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Truth reverses it and takes Cena down. He then brings a table into the ring.  Truth sets the table in the corner and attempts to suplex Cena but gets reversed.  Truth charges at Cena who pulls down the top rope and sends him flipping outside.  Cena follows and throws him into the steps then walks over to get a different table.  Cena throws the table in the ring, and then R-Truth.  CM Punk comes running out and moves the table so that Cena misses with his AA attempt.  Punk and Cena begin brawling outside the ring.  Both men go into the ring and Truth tackles Cena into a table for the win in 5:15.

After the match Punk grabs a microphone and walks to the top of the entrance ramp.  Punk says he has a lot of things he wants to get off his chest.  He doesn’t hate Cena, he actually likes Cena.  He just hates this idea that Cena is “the best.”  He says Cena is not the best, he is.  CM Punk says the one thing Cena is better at is “Kissing Vince McMahons ass.”  He says he’s as good at it as Hogan was, although Dwayne is better.  Punk says he is the best wrestler in the world and has been since day one.  He’s been looked down at because he was a Paul Heyman guy.  He says he is going to leave with the WWE Championship.  Punk says he has grasped so many of McMahon’s brass rings that he now understands they are fake and the only real thing is him.  He is the best on the microphone, in the ring and on commentary.  Yet, no matter how many times he proves it, he’s not on cups, not on programs, he’s barely promoted, he doesn’t get to be in movies, he’s not on the Wrestlemania poster, he’s not in the shows opening, he’s not on Conan and Jimmy.  He says the fact that Dwayne is in the main event of Wrestlemania next year and not him makes him sick.  He says to those of you who are cheering him right are the biggest part of him leaving.  Punk says maybe he’ll go to New Japan Pro Wrestling, maybe he’ll go back to Ring of Honor.  He then waves to Colt Cabana.  He says Vince McMahon is going to make money, he should be a billionaire but he is not because he surrounds himself with glad handing yes men like John Laurenitis that tell him everything he wants to hear.  The company will get taken over by his idiotic daughter and stupid son in law.  Punk says he wants to tell us a story about Vince McMahon but they cut his microphone off.  He stands there yelling to the camera but you can’t hear him.  The camera just goes black.

I haven’t said much tonight, but I will say this.  If you did not see this, find it online.  I cannot describe how amazing this promo was.  Truly.

@TheRealXPac: Truth is priceless with this new persona. Little Jimmies all around the world are conspiring:)
@IAmWWEman: Booker T thinks R-Truth is crazy. Coming from the man who teamed with Goldust, Talked to his Hand, and Was King Bookah!  
@AprilAnn_: God r-truth is epic. Noone understands! Lol. 
@nuer0tica: its a strange feeling to actually be cheering for Truth in a match.  
@Vixentye: I love how Cena narrowed his moves down to 2 now, it’s run back and forth to the ropes, tire the opponent out and hit the AA! lol 
@Alkaline_Perez: ♞Punk wearing an Austin shirt!!! hahaha♞
@FutureWWEDiva: Really!? Come on WWE! Can you not take the fact that everything CM Punk is saying is true!

This show was 3 out of 5 stars, CM Punk’s promo was 5 out of 5 stars.

Chasing CM Punk

It is hard to argue that CM Punk has become one of the most dynamic, charismatic and entertaining pieces of the WWE roster.  His rise was awesome to be a part of and to witness, his heel turn had him burning white hot and to this day whenever Punk steps into a WWE ring the only thing better than listening to his superb promos is watching his sound technique and thoroughly entertaining matches.  Whether he be the leader of the new Nexus, which seems to be less and less a part of his persona with each passing week or looking back upon his Straight Edge Society, pseudo-savior act you’d be hard pressed to find flaws within his execution of everything that he has been given over his time with WWE.
I have to admit when he was the smiley, friendly CM Punk I was not the biggest fan.  I could enjoy his matches, and sure there were times when I cheered for him but there seemed to be an undefinable one dimensional quality that tends to varnish over the gloss of many performers and bury their amazingly interesting personalities under the stereotypical nice guy act.  Case in point could easily be Randy Orton whose vicious, violent heel position was all the more enthralling than the current smile bearing, happy-go-lucky once dangerous now tame viper that comes out on Smackdown every Friday in what appears to almost be a struggle to maintain an aire of friendliness.  This doesn’t take away from Orton in the ring, though his matches are becoming eerily Cena-like in their “superhero” nature and the argument could be made that the rise of John Cena as a face has in some ways diminished the dynamic spin of what a face is.
Either way, face or heel, it is the duty of a performer to connect with that crowd and get them reacting.  A heel will love the boos as much as a face will love the cheers and the worst thing you could get when walking out to that ring is silence.  As soon as his music hits, CM Punk is serenaded with a sea of boos and a growing section of cheers.  Who could forget the 2010 Royal Rumble when Punk preached to the crowd while waiting for new participants.  A genius move that could only be pulled off by someone gifted enough to make it work.  Then there was the period of time when, during injury, Punk performed commentary on Raw.  His work on commentary added a special flash and flare to what had become, and continues to be, a lackluster broadcast from a group of men who are either out of touch with the product, don’t care or are attempting to maintain some terrifically mediocre sense of normalcy.  Either way, Punk was a gift during that time and though it was short lived, it kept Punk fresh in our minds so that his return to the ring would be all the better.
The Nexus storyline began in WWE with a shocking moment that polarized the fans and caught everybody’s attention.  Following that it is hard to argue against the fact that it was bungled, screwed up, failed to maintain consistency and lost it’s way over the months which followed.  Bringing CM Punk in as the new leader seemed to offer some glimmer of hope that what had begun as a good idea was going to continue on and become even better.  Obviously that did not happen as these days the only member of Nexus you see more than once in a while, besides Punk, is Mason Ryan.  Punk came in and immediately brought power back into that group.  His presence as their leader made them appear to be a force once again, though WWE dropped the ball for whatever reason, Punk continues to thrive because love him or hate him you can’t help but be drawn into him.
His contract status with WWE has been a target of speculation for months now.  There has been a steady back and forth debate about whether or not he will leave or remain in WWE.  If he were to leave there is no sure answer as to what he’d choose to do.  Perhaps take some time off, return to ROH, move on to TNA?  Only Punk could possibly have these answers.  Is there anything WWE could do to make him stay, or want to stay?  Again, no one has these answers except for CM Punk himself and he’s, not as of yet, sharing information on it.  However, based upon CM Punk’s apparent penchant for sharing his honest feelings it doesn’t seem, whatever decision he makes, that we’ll be left in the dark wondering why.
All of this has been building up, everyone has been waiting to see what happens.  It appears to be culminating next month at the second annual Money in the Bank PPV where CM Punk will be the number one contender for the WWE title.  This past Monday on Raw, Punk promised to do the “most honest thing” in WWE history.  It turned out that his honesty was explaining not only is his contract with WWE ending July 17th, but that he was planning to leave WWE as the Champion.  Though I would personally love to see Punk capture the title, I’d hope it would ultimately result in him sticking around WWE for a while longer.  I can’t imagine the bland malaise that will come in his absence and what middle of the road segments will come out to try and pick up the massive slack left behind.  Perhaps we’ll get new Hornswoggle segments to horify us or more dancing competitions between Vladimir Kozlov and Saninto Marella.  I dread the possibilities.
CM Punk is one of the best, most talented, entertaining and gifted members of a roster whose depth will come into question should he choose to exit.  This is a man who, love him or hate him, not only makes you want to watch him but have to watch him.  There is no doubt that he has been a high point of WWE television for quite a while now and WWE are undoubtedly aware that his exit could strike a harsh blow against them.  WWE needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat here and work whatever magic they possess in making every attempt to keep CM Punk signed on for the long haul.  We’ve only scratched the surface of everything he has to offer and it would truly be a sad day indeed to see him walk away.  “Beg, borrow or steal” to quote a famous line, whatever is necessary.  Perhaps if Vince McMahon agreed to turn straight edge?  Hey, it’s worth a shot Vince.

With or Without WCW

“The Very Best of WCW Nitro” came out on DVD this week.  The DVD set, which is hosted by Diamond Dallas Page and chronicles what are considered to be the highlights of Nitro harkens back to a time that many refer to as “the golden age of wrestling.”  1995 to 2000 was arguably one of the greatest times in the last fifty years to be a wrestling fan.  Ted Turner owned, Eric Bischoff operated WCW burst onto the scene with a running start that left Vince McMahon and the then WWF in the dust for several years.
The overwhelming success of WCW and it’s Nitro programming not only created memorable and exciting moments for WCW and it’s fans but also forced the hand of Vince McMahon to step into what would become the “attitude era” that would transform the WWF from a cartoon character, child targeting product into an edgy, adult, intense show full of action and shock.  The weight of the WCW product combined with mismanaged funds, poor talent relations and behind the scenes chaos ultimately contributed heavily to the collapse of the company which was then bought out by Vince McMahon.  The great question which now looms is:  would the current state of wrestling be better off if WCW had not gone under, or if someone else had purchased it instead of McMahon?
The argument has been made since that fateful Monday Night when McMahon announced his purchase of WCW.  The wrestling world was in shock.  A massive amount of WCW fans walked away from the product that day, never wanting to turn their attention to WWE.  This was a war, and it was a war the fans took seriously.  Somewhat like the war between TNA and WWE fans though on a much larger scale.  There was fear that the destruction of the main competition would breed a state of lethargy in the creative process and that the hole left from WCW would never be filled.  Some would say that is in fact what has happened and the ratings wrestling is pulling in today are nothing compared to the golden times and perhaps we will never see it reach those heights again.
There are always other companies but the two notable organizations would be WWE followed distantly by TNA and then pulling up the rear way in the back would be ROH.  The “competition” so to speak is not nearly as rabid as it was in those days and though fans are as angry and hateful toward one another as they’ve ever been there is no sense that the companies themselves are hungering to take the other out.  WWE by all appearances doesn’t care at all about any other company other than to take talent from them and TNA, while run by people who seem to want to take out WWE have no ability to construct a product that can truly compete in today’s day and age.  Many often recollect upon the end times of WCW and draw similarities in the leadership and creative direction then to what they currently see going on behind the scenes of TNA.  Of course this is easy to do when you have the familiar faces of Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan.
Dixie Carter, who for a long period has been the main power behind the TNA product (I’m aware of the “Impact Wrestling” name but choose to refer to TNA as it is still the more familiar title) and though she seems to be an intelligent woman with good intentions her mind is not sharp to the politics and backstage antics involved in the wrestling industry and therefore her attempts to brand this product as true competition continue to fall short.  The creative direction of TNA is confused at best, and though there is a roster flush with talent there seems to be a disconnect involved.  Whether you are a WWE fan or a TNA fan you should ultimately be a wrestling fan and competition in wrestling can breed new creative directions.  Hoping for the failure of one company or the other is really only going to keep us exactly where we are.  There should be some semblance of hope for TNA to succeed and at a minimum provide you with an excellent wrestling experience on Thursday nights.
No matter who you are a fan of you must be conscious of the fact that wrestling today is lacing something.  That spark, that flame that sets everything on fire and makes you not watch because you’ve always watched, but watch because you need to see what they are going to do next.  WWE has turned PG and entered a rather stagnant period of mediocre, repetitious storylines.  TNA is fighting to establish itself as a viable, possibly threatening number two company.  Suffice it to say it seems rather apparent to any current wrestling fan that the fall of WCW adversely affected wrestling in more ways than one and the loss of true competition has lead to a period of malaise.  Perhaps one day in the future a new power will rise up and threaten WWE and bring us back into that golden period, or maybe wrestling will remain as it is we will have highs and lows but we will never get back to where we once were.
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