Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is C.M. Punk The Man Who Will Save Sports Entertainment?

His name is Phillip Jack Brooks.  He is perhaps the most visible and most well known practitioners of the straight edge lifestyle.  He has feuded with some of the greatest in the business: Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, Elijah Burke/Pope DeAngello Deniro, Raven, John Morrison, John Cena, etc.  He has held various independent promotion and tag team championships across the country, as well as several of these promotions' secondary titles.  He is a former ROH World Heavyweight Champion, ECW World Heavyweight Champion, and WWE World Heavyweight.  He is known throughout the world as C.M. Punk, the (or at least for the moment one of) reigning WWE Champion.  However it is quite possible that Punk is about to add one more accolade to that list, what will be the highest and most important title of all, that of The Man Who Saved Sports Entertainment.

Okay, so it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the sport and the art of professional wrestling has been on pretty shaky ground, especially within the past year.  The storylines of both WWE and Wrestling, have left much to be desired.  For one shining moment things looked as if they were getting interesting.  WWE introduced Nexus, a cranky and violent bunch of indy veterans who went straight from being the contestants of NXT Season One to the most shocking and feared group since the early nWo.  TNA (it was still TNA then) countered with Immortal, another nWo clone that was doomed to fail to attract an audience.  As for Nexus, though, I was jacked.  They had no regard for anyone, and they were pissed off and out to prove their point.  Unfortunately, the brass began to snip away at Nexus's balls from the very beginning, deciding that Daniel Bryan's attack on ring announcer Justin Roberts was too violent and graphic (really, because it's fucking professional wrestling?), giving him a release for doing too good of a job.  Then, as the months passed, Nexus went from being a bad ass group to a bumbling bunch of fools. C.M. Punk pretty much himself playing a part in the group's demise when he took the group over.

The latter part of last year the business began a slump that slowly lead downhill.  I became so disillusioned by this sport I've been watching since I was in middle school that I even stopped writing and speculating here on this blog, because it had reached the point that it was nearly unbearable to even sit through.  WWE gave the same rehash week after week, and it's only smart move was making The Miz WWE Champion.  TNA/Impact Wrestling has been nothing but a sad rehash of the declining days of the nWo and WCW near the end of Eric Bischoff's first tenure with that company.

There was one shining light in the WWE aside from The Miz's championship reign.  That was C.M. Punk being sidelined due to an injury.  No, it's not that I was happy he was injured.  It was the fact that Punk ended up behind the announce table for a couple of months.  Not only was he great at color, but he brought to the table a great deal of knowledge about the history of the sport, as well as a disregard for WWE revisionist history.  He took the words right out of my mouth during the King Of The Ring tournament when he reminded his fellow broadcasters that Harley Race was actually the first King Of The Ring, due to the fact that he had won the first two WWF King Of The Ring tournaments in the days before it was a PPV.  Punk did not seem like the model WWE broadcaster at all, sitting and wearing t-shirts that obviously did not come from WWEShop.Com, such as his Colt Cabana tee.

Well from there anyone following WWE Raw knows the story.  Upon John Cena being brought back after being "fired" by Wade Barrett, it was C.M. Punk who would blindside him with an attack.  In the weeks that followed Punk would join Nexus, taking over the group after betraying Barrett and causing him to loose in a match that had the stipulation that if he lost he would be traded to Smackdown.  Then Punk took over Nexus, weeding through (and pretty much weakening) the group until he had a team loyal to him.  What followed were months of feuds with Cena and Randy Orton.  Then following the WWE Draft Punk found himself in line for a title shot against John Cena at Money In The Bank.  Punk announced that the match would be his last match in WWE as he contract was going to expire that day, and that he had no intention on resigning.  He promised he would win that match and leave the company with the WWE Championship belt.

To the shock of many what was considered the unthinkable happened.  C.M. Punk won his match against John Cena, and indeed he left the arena that night with the WWE's coveted championship belt.  In the weeks after he taunted WWE Officials at ComiCon.  He appeared at a Cubs game and was photographed with several members of the team, proudly posing with the belt.  He even put "the holy grail of professional wrestling" in his refrigerator and took a picture of it to post on Twitter with the title, "THE CHAMP IS HERE!", attached to it.

Well this as we know, lead to a chain reaction.  Citing no confidence the WWE Board of Directors voted to remove Vince McMahon from power and replace him with his son-in-law, Triple H.  The result of a tournament, one of Vince's last acts, to crown a new WWE Champion, saw Rey Mysterio capturing that championship for the first time, only to loose it later that same night in a PPV worthy match to John Cena.  And of course, as Cena celebrated, C.M. Punk returned with the championship belt he had taken in hand as the ink dried on his new contract.  Triple H made the decision that both men, for the moment, are WWE Champion, the issue to be resolved in an undisputed championship match tomorrow at Summer Slam.

Since his return Punk has claimed he returned to be the voice of the voiceless.  Triple H and John Cena have been quick to point out that the only reason Punk returned was that without the WWE behind him and as an outlet, that he had no voice, and that basically his return came with perks, including a C.M. Punk ice cream bar.

It's been edge of your seat drama for the past couple of months.  Phillip Jack Brooks, C.M. Punk, walked away from the biggest sports entertainment company in the world with it's championship belt, and thumbed his nose at convention.  His actions and antics between walking out of Money In The Bank, and walking back onto Raw are the things of legend.  You couldn't write a better storyline.

Or could you?

The fact of the matter is Vince McMahon, Triple H and C.M. Punk have pulled off perhaps the greatest work in the history of the business.  It has been rumored and talked about for nearly a year that Vince was planning on stepping down and retiring from actively involved in the day-to-day operation of WWE, and that his son-in-law, Triple H was going to replace him.  Of course I never had any doubt that this would not happen in the most theatrical fashion as possible, and in true Vincent K. McMahon style.  Really, Mr. McMahon removed from office due to no confidence because he had made several "bad decisions" recently?  Has all the carp, the pulling the plug on ECW, the rise and instant wussification of Nexus, the train wreck that is NXT, Snooki teaming with Trish Stratus and John Morrison at Wrestlemania when Morrison should have been in the main event, Sin Cara, The CORRE, Kane changing sides more often than a villain on 24, John Morrison being exiled to FCW, John Cena being drafted to Samckdown and Raw on the same night, sorry match and sorry feud after sorry match and sorry feud... Was it all part of the long con?  Has the past year, what's been an especially bad year in WWE, been designed for the sole purpose of providing Vince with his Vincent K. McMahon exit?

I think that the answer is a resounding yes.  But that isn't all....

There's that little issue of C.M. Punk.  Is he the man who will save sports entertainment?

I think the answer again, is a resounding yes.

You see, this has happened before.  During the depths of the Monday Night War and when the WWF was on the loosing side, an anti-hero rose who made all eyes turn to the WWF, not only generating higher ratings, but also drawing in new fans.  The WWF's Attitude Era began with Stone Cold Steve Austin becoming a proxy face and Bret Hart becoming a heal, switching roles in the course of the same match.  In the years that followed the WWF edged past WCW so effectively that their competition was bankrupted, abandoned by the conglomeration that had ended up owning it, mismanaged by those in control, and dropped from its television network.  Due to the outcome of a suit filed by the WWF against WCW in the beginning of the Monday Night War, the WWF had the right to bid on WCW's assets should they ever become available.  The WWF indeed acquired WCW, and within a year the stagnation of sports entertainment began.

As the Attitude Era stars began to retire and head on to other things the company was turned over to a bumper crop of new talent.  The nature of the company began to change, moving from wild and violent pro wrestling who's stars were foul mouthed and over the top, to a kinder and gentler WWE, that was a responsible member of the community and kid friendly.  Over the past five years or so there's been some growing backlash as long time fans and talent have hoped for a change that would make pro wrestling awesome again.  There was only one thing missing.  There was no Stone Cold Steve Austin within the new crowd.  Or was there?

For the past several years WWE has silently worked to make Randy Orton into the new Stone Cold.  His finishing move is a variant of the cutter, also Austin's finisher.  Orton would attack heel or face whenever it suited him, just like Austin.  He's a loner who has little use for partners, just like Austin.  He has the nickname of the Viper, an obvious play on Austin's "Texas Rattlesnake" moniker.

The only problem has been that as popular as Orton has been in the role of the anti-hero, he's no more the new Stone Cold, as Cena is the new Rock.  Orton and Cena are so much on the same level that when they face one another the fans are pretty split down the middle.  Whenever Cena and Orton were in the ring with a championship at stake I always had the feeling that most people didn't care who won.  Those who did either wanted Cena to prevail, or for Orton to kick Cena's ass and walk away with the belt.

If you've been watching Raw over the past three weeks then you know that this is not the case when it comes to C.M. Punk.  Punk is the only person other than the Rock to get a bigger fan reaction that Cena.  Punk is also the first WWE Superstar to come along in a very long time who actually has some mic skills.  Like the Rock he can galvanize a crowd in his favor, even to the point that they're still chanting his name, even right after he admits that he sold out for the perks.

There is one reason that Vince McMahon was known as the first evil genius of wrestling.  He has always had an eye for talent.  He's always known what direction to go to draw in the fans, even if it takes time for them to get there.  Despite the decline that WWE has been in over the course of the past few years I have a feeling that Vince knew that C.M. Punk was the ticket to returning the WWE to it's glory days of the Attitude Era, he just waited until the time was right to really spring him on the world.

Again, is C.M. Punk the man who will save sports entertainment?

I believe he already has, or at least he's in the process of doing so.  For me, for the first time in over a year, I'm actually looking forward to watching WWE Monday Night Raw.  Maybe a C.M. Punk in the WWE will also make the old farts dragging their heels on 20 year old story lines in Impact Wrestling wake up and realize that they have to step up their game.

Is Punk going to beat John Cena tomorrow night?  Yes.  He may not walk out of the arena as the champion, factoring in Alberto Del Rio and Money In The Bank, but he will beat Cena.  And even if Del Rio becomes the champion C.M. Punk will still walk away from Summer Slam as the big winner, and perhaps the next PPV main event will feature Punk, Del Rio and Mysterio for the WWE Championship with John Cena nowhere in sight.

Yes, C.M. Punk is definitely the man who will save sports entertainment by making it watchable again.  He is the right anti-hero at the right time, and it is also a time when the company is filled with several hot newcomers, and guys who like Punk have been almost at "that level", the main event level, who just like Punk are going to break out and become some of the biggest names in the business.  After all, Austin needs a Rock.  Punk needs a worthy adversary, and it's more than likely to be Mysterio or Morrison than it is John Cena.

So, I'm very interested to see how things will play out over the next several months.  And for the first time in a long time, at least in WWE, I'm optimistic that the action in the ring and the talk on the mic are going to be things that I want to see and hear.

Master Vyle

Sunday, February 13, 2011

These Glasses Are Nexus #Nexus #WWE

About a month ago I went for My yearly eye exam, as always, and has become My habit picked out a new pair of glasses.  I wanted a departure from the ones I usually buy, so I began looking for something really different.  As fate would have it the first ones I noticed were this God-awful pair that was colored yellow on the inside and black on the outside from Ad-Lib.  On a lark I tried them on, and was surprised at how much I liked the way they looked.  When worn the way I always wear My glasses you could plainly see the a yellow stripe at the top of the frames.  I looked around and tried several other pairs on, but it was this first pair that stuck with me.  As I was fitted I initially requested to see if they came in orange (My favorite color), but alas they did not.  The specialist doing the fitting pointed out they had the in brown, which in the catalogue looked orange, but I decided to stick with the yellow, because if the brown ones did not look as orange as they did in the picture I knew I would not want them.

I waited for almost two weeks to get them, and then wore them about four days before the realization sunk in.  I was washing My hands at work and when I looked up at My reflection it hit me that My new glasses were Nexus black and yellow.

Okay, so now I knew I had the coolest pair of glasses I would ever own.  The first thing I did was go to one of My assistant managers, a raging John Cena fan, and say, "Hey, My glasses are Nexus."  Oh, yeah, he was pissed, and I have at some point every day we've worked together since then repeated the statement.

I think that these glasses should now be required eye-wear for any member of Nexus who does not have 20/20 vision.  I think they would help CM Punk look even more brilliant than he already is.  Husky Harris would be the best looking cousin at any Wyndham family gathering.  And I can't imagine a guy with as much fashion sense as David Otunga wanting to wear anything other than Ad-Lib frames in Nexus colors.

The A-List Asshole David Otunga would look even more fly with a pair of Ad-Lib Glasses in Nexus black and yellow!
So this one goes out to all those Nexus fans out there.  Need new glasses?  Ask your vision care specialist if they have Ad-Lib frames in their catalogue.  As for Me, more than likely, I'll be sending Mine back next year to have new lenses put in, because these frames rock!

Master Vyle

Sunday, January 23, 2011

TNA: The Hardy Boys Vs. Generation Me, A Match I Want To See!

Last night, in between editing chapters of The Sound Of her MASTER'S VOICE , I noticed what seemed to be some quipping going on between Matt Hardy (MATTHARDYBRAND) and a Hardy Hater on Twitter.  The Master of Mattitude even when as far as to say that, "I guess that's why I am a multi-millionaire because of pro wrestling moron."  The line was retweeted by several of Matt's followers, including Max Buck (GenMeMax).

Since then I have been turning the idea over in my head, a match between the Hardy Boys and Generation Me.  I had though of it months ago when Taz had made the comment that, "1999 was calling and that the Hardy Boys wanted their look back", or something close to that effect during one of Generation Me's matches as he noted the simularity in their attire to the Hardys attire when they debuted on WWF Sunday Night Heat.  But my thoughs on the reality of such a match were that it was not likely as Matt Hardy was still working on WWE Smackdown at the time.

Well, now things have changed, and not only has Matt come to TNA Wrestling but he has also joined Immortal.  So the reality of a Hardys Vs. Gen Me match is now a possibility.  Although I would say that Matt and Jeff need to train together because despite their showing against Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam a couple of weeks ago it was pretty apparent that they had not been training together as a team as they had been before their return as a team on WWE Extreme Championship Wrestling as few years back.

I remember when I was my youngest son's age I was dying to see a match between The Rock & Roll Express and the Midnight Rockers.  It never happened, or so I though, as yeas later I learned that they had had a series of matches on the independent circuit before The Rockers were signed with the World Wrestling Federation.  The other match I wanted to see, and did at the NWA Great American Bash, was the Original Midnight Express vs The New Midnight Express (Coundry & Rose with Paul Heyman against Eaton & Lane with Jim Corenette - not Bart Gunn & Bob Holly).

I am glad to see Matt in TNA which is a slight ray of hope in what has become a dismal promotion playing WCW Monday Nitro rip-off.  I even went as far to tweet @ Matt that he and his brother as a team could possibly breathe some life into the turd that is TNA Wrestling as it slowly circles the bowl.  With so many combinations of people to put together and set at odds against each other, a match between the Hardy's and Generation Me is the only thing I can think of that I want to see, as the only true teams left in TNA other than them, Beer Money and The Motor City Machine Guns are already at odds over the TNA World Tag Team Championship, and it is painfully obvious that the Guns are on the slow road to breaking up over their miscommunication issues. (Hey TNA Storyline Development, Russo, Sullivan, I though tag team wrestling was relevent in TNA because it was original, so why are you stealing the story of every WWE Tag Team Championship holder who's lost the title for the past couple of years with the exception of Slater & Gabriel?)

Matt and Jeff Vs. Jeremy and Max.  Yeah, it is a match that I definately want to see.  How about you?

Master Vyle

Friday, January 21, 2011

TNA - 02-03-11 - Who Are "THEY" Now?

Well for the past two weeks we've witnessed attacks on Abyss and AJ Styles from Amazing Red's "little brother" Crimson.  The warning, although not as catchy as it was last year is that on 2-3-11 "THEY" are coming, and "THEY" are going to take out each and every single member of Immortal.

Okay, so who are "THEY" now?

Way prior to TNA Bound For Glory and 10-10-10 I nailed it right off saying that "THEY" (at that time) were already there and that "THEY" were Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, of course using the usual Hogan and Bischoff MO of doing nothing unique, innovatie or surprising.  Now, however, I find myself a little stumped when trying to guess who "THEY" might be this time around.

I am sure the first people to come to mind are nWo Wolfpac breathern Kevin Nash and Sting.  I guess if we were to go with doing nothing unique, innovative or surprising they would be a sure bet to be the new "THEY".  However, true to his reputation "silent but violent" Sting has been pretty silent.  While not too long ago Kevin Nash was again ranting and complaining because no one was calling him the "icon".  So unless TNA has been able to dig into a really big wallet I doubt we will be seeing Nash show up within the next couple of weeks.

As for the other founding members of nWo Wolfpac, Scott Hall and Shawn "X-pac" Waltman, I am going to say it is a sure bet that neither of them will be part of the new "THEY" either.  The last anyone heard from X-pac he was sniffing around, trying to appeal to the McMahons in the vain hope that they will bring back the Attitude Era to the WWE now that Linda McMahon has lost her bid for the U.S. Senate.  And old "cowboy" Scott Hall as of late is in Juggalo Championshit Wrestling, and in pursuit of in his words "The only title left in this business that means anything", the JCW Championship.  (Really?  Scott you seriously need to lay off that shit you're smoking and drinking before Nash has to pull out that suit he says he bought for your funeral a few years back.)

Could "THEY" be the ECW Originals/EV.2?  I tend to doubt it.  I have the feeling most of those releases the Bischoff was handing out were not there as kafaybe plot devices or story elements.  EV.2, even the heavy hitters who helped build TNA in the past such as Rhino and Raven did little to advance that fiasco of a storyline.

Barring those who should be the usual suspects I think perhaps that "THEY" will be a group new to TNA, possibly made up of relative unknowns like Crimson, and perhaps a few more recently released WWE talent such as MVP, and one hopes, Shad Gaspard.  It definately would not hurt TNA's terribly shaky credibility to acquire Low-Ki, especially considering the popularity and following he brought with him during his run on WWE NXT Season Two, and the history and controversy surrounding his asking for a release so soon after being moved to the Smackdown main roster.

Is 2-3-11 going to be a mindblowing night, or is it going to be another fart in the car from the creative team at TNA?  Based on the company's history over the past year + I am afraid that the fans are in for antother let down.

Master Vyle

Friday, January 14, 2011

Will Wade Truly Be Alone Against Big Show?

Just a little food for though on tonight's WWE Smackdown.  Last week after apparently being kicked out of Nexus Wade Barrett showed up on Smackdown and picked a fight with the world's largest athlete.  History has shown us that Barrett never acts alone, or without a plan.  In light of Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater walking away from Nexus this Monday I would say it is highly likely that the two will come to Barrett's aid on tonight's Smackdown as he takes on the Big Show?

Master Vyle

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome Back Tough Enough, R.I.P. NXTurd (One Hopes)

I was talking with El Chupacabra, a wrestler on the independent circuit, about a week ago who informed me that he had applied to be on the next season of Tough Enough.  I looked at his tweet for a minute and then asked back if he meant Tough Enough or NXT.  He told me that Tough Enough was coming back, that he had seen a posting on a reality TV casting site and had filled out an application to be considered.

So I have to say I was jacked over the initial news.  After all if Tough Enough is coming back and it's going to be broadcast then there's no need for WWE to continue its production of that piece of crap known as NXT.  It was only a day later that the information El Chupacabra was giving me was confirmed, as it was announced during WWE Monday Night Raw that WWE Tough Enough was indeed coming back and it would be broadcast on the USA Network.

Since then there has been a spate of rumors as to who will be part of the new Tough Enough.  Al Snow, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock's names have all come in in connection to the revived series, many people speculating what their roles will be if any of them indeed actually appear on the show.

Rejoice, rejoice.  WWE NXT is dead!  Long live Tough Enough!


Well so far WWE has been tight lipped as to the fate of what was first hailed as "The Next Evolution In Sports Entertainment", and it somehow is still being called "An Internet Sensation", NXT.  I would think that the death of NXT and the rebirth of Tough Enough would go hand in hand.  In fact what I would love to see would be the first round of hopefuls for the new Tough Enough decimate the final contestants on NXT on its last broadcast.

So if NXT is going to be cancelled why now announcement from the company?

I see Tough Enough as a slightly more legitimate competition to award a WWE contract.  I say slightly because all you have to do is look back at the original Tough Enough to realize its track record for producing stars from non-winning talent is only slightly better than NXT's.  My first observation when I began watching NXT Season One was that guys like David Otunga, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater would end up with contracts whether they won or not due to the fact that the company would be crazy to pass them up, and because so many Tough Enough failures had ended up with WWE contracts in the past: Christopher Nowinski, Josh Matthews, Matt Morgan, Nicholas Mitchell and Michael "The Miz" Mizanin (the reigning WWE Champion).

Of course there will be plenty of time for announcements.  The revived series is scheduled to start the night after Wrestlemania XXVII, so NXT has until April at the least.  Who will end up as trainers?  I doubt it will be a huge and big name star like the Rock or Austin or Shawn Michaels, but I would suspect that they or people on their level might put in an appearence as a special guest pretty much the same way superstars would appear on the original Tough Enough.

Until I know for sure I wait with somewhat baited breath to see if that Nexus recruiting ground WWE NXT will be tough enough.

Master Vyle

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Looking Back & What's Ahead In Wrestling

Well another year has past and 2010 has been a very different year in the world of professional wrestling.  There have been changes and new faces, some good and some bad.  It has been a year of off the charts excitement and abysmal disappointment.  For the first time in quite a few years I actually find myself hoping that 2011 is a much better year in sports entertainment.

TNA Wrestling:  It has been a very blah year for TNA.  The promotion started on a high note with the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.  I myself along with a great many people felt that their association with the company would take it to the next level and place the promotion on the same level of WCW in it's glory days, and a return to the Monday Night Wars which made both WCW and the WWF agressive and innovative in their plans to compete with one another.

Well TNA was certainly taken to the level of WCW.  That is WCW in its decline.  It now is a combination of endless WCW Monday Nitro nWo style promos for Immortal, and WCW Thunder grade matches.

For those unaware TNA for the most part rose from the ashes of WCW, built upon both personalities and behind the scenes workers who were not snatched up by the WWF when it acquired WCW's assets in 2000.  Put together by the Jarrets it ran its intiail shows from the Asylum in Tennesse and later Universal Studios in Florida.  For several years it had attained the level of WCW's intital flagship show WCW Main Event, and even featured entrance tunnels on either side of the ring, one for faces and one for heels in much the same design WCW had used for its program.  TNA also incorporated the use of a six-sided Lucha Libre style ring, which most fans and even the promotion saw as an innovation.

Enter Hogan and Bischoff.  Gone on week two was the six-sided ring, forever eliminating one of TNA's signature matches, Six-Sides of Steel.  For the most part TNA had been pushing young and undiscovered talent, but on the first Impact of 2010 the promotion was instantly besieged by a slew of established stars from WWE and ECW which has continued throughout 2010.  From the middle of the year on not only had TNA become predictible, but at many points it became too predictible.  From the moment Abyss first mentioned "They" and 10-10-10 I already knew that "They" were Hogan and Bischoff.

The main saving grace so far has been the fact that Jeff Hardy turned heel and became the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.  Although he has now held the title longer than all his WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship reigns combined, and the unfortunate other side of the coin, is that nothing really fantastic has been done with this development.  Jeff needs a manager, because he can't cut a good promo, especially if he has to do it on the spot as opposed to the edited promos shown on the big screen.  Jeff's inability to speak off the cuff makes him an ineffective villian, which makes his feuds with Rob Van Dam, Matt Mogan and Mr. Anderson seem pretty dull, as the apparent faces are the ones doing all the talking.  I know Jim Mitchell is pretty much doing nothing at the moment, and since Jeff is now the Anti-Christ of Professional Wrestling then the Sinister Minister would make a great voice for him.

TNA Wrestling was a hot and innovative, home grown, promotion until the beginning of 2010, and since then it has steadily went downhill.  Without the six-sided ring and an overproliferation of established stars, many of the "veterns" of TNA have been left out in the cold to promote storylines in the hopes of gaining ratings that have yet to materialize.  TNA's other unique quality, the fact that there was a great deal of actual women's wrestling was quickly undermined by the Hogan-Bischoff regime, and I would rather they not have female competitors if their only goal is to clone the WWE Divas division.

On top of this Eric Bischoff himself displayed a lack of faith in the promotion in a recent interview saying (And I Quote), "TNA comparatively is a Kool-Aid stand compared to Coca-Cola in terms of its (WWE's) resources and infrastructure."

Recently on Twitter Bischoff revealed that he and his family had spent a day chasing geese across two states.  Unable to resist I asked if those geese had names like Ratings, Talent and Storyline Development.

In another side note TNA's  TNA IMPACT! follow up show, the boring and lame, TNA Reaction was canceled by Spike TV due to poor ratings.  The main reason anyone watched that boring crap anyway was to see the results of the IMPACT! main event.

The Death Of ECW and The Rise Of NXT:  In 2010 Linda McMahon ran for the United States Senate.  In preperation with this, over the period of the past few years, the WWE made an effort to clean up its image, because although she no longer worked for the company it was a given (and judging from the ads from her opponets a correct assumption) that her links to WWE would come into question.  This in my opinion lead to the final eradication of WWE Extreme Championship Wrestling, because let's face it a hardcore promotion that is not allowed to be hardcore or show more adult content is useless.  So now I know what Captain Kirk meant on the old episode of Star Trek when he stated that it had been hard to watch Abraham Lincoln die again.  Watching the demise of ECW for a second time (the third if you count the WWF Invasion storyline) was pretty disheartening, especially when the ECW Championship changed hands in the last match.  I still can't figure out why WWE storyline development would want to portray Ezekiel Jackson as ECW Champion without it having a relevant purpose, and thus far is has not.

In place of ECW came WWE NXT, "The next evolution if sports entertainment."  (Whatever) I had my doubts, even planned on not watching NXT at all because I thought it was going to be a straight reality show like Tough Enough.  However I did start watching it from the first night when I saw that the format had actual wrestling, and learned that all the contestents worked for FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling).  I loved the concept and though it was great, although I was at issue with the emimination of Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver.

However, then the other shoe dropped.  With the arrival of Nexus, all eight NXT Season One contestants, on RAW the week after the finale, and their hiring a few weeks later proved that the NXT competition was nothing but a joke, and a further slap in the fact of WWE's diehard ECW fans.  Three competitors from NXT Season Two are now a part of the Raw roster.  Kaval, the winner of NXT Season Two requested, and was given, his release from WWE within a matter of months of his first Smackdown appearance.  NXT Season Three was an all Diva competition, and I don't even know who won, nor do I think anyone else on earth cares.  The show was such a lame duck that it was moved from SyFy to to give SyFy the room to begin running Smackdown, from Season Three on.  The current Season Four feature Byron Saxton as a contestant.  Hey wait, wasn't Byron Saxton a color commentator on WWE ECW?

WWE Monday Night RAW & WWE Smackdown: It was a fairly exciting year on WWE's two flagship shows, especially during the first part of they year.  However after Wrestemania things began to go a little bit down hill.  When Nexus arrived on the scene it harkened back to the arrival of the nWo in WCW, and when they initallly attcked John Cena this summer I came out of my seat I was so excited.  Unfortunately the storyline went  from exciting to slightly dull.  There were dozens on missed opprotunities by storyline development to build Nexus and make them more fierce and fearsome than they have turned out to be.  I think Cena should have willinglly remained in Nexus and helped Wade Barrett become WWE Champion.  A heel turn for Cena would have given the character some life and rivited the audience to their TVs instead of relying on everyone to watch RAW out of habit.  With CM Punk joining Nexus as apparently their new leader last week one can only hope that Nexus has a larger and more sensable role in 2011.

RAW itself had some great hits, Sheamus's feuds with Randy Orton, Triple H and John Morrison.  The crowining of the Miz as WWE Champion.  I had initially thought that the Miz as champion was a terrible idea, but looking at what he has done with it in the little time he has held the title I now agree with this move by WWE.  Despite all the heirs apparent like Shawn Michaels, Triple H and AJ Styles it is the Miz who actually has that "Flair Factor".  TNA should take note that this is how a true heel and villian champion should speak.

There have also been some huge misses on RAW.  The break up of the Heart Dynasty and Tyson Kidd as a heel.  The anonymous general manager is an irritation instead of an innovation, and this story needs to close real soon.  Michael Cole as a heel announcer.  WHAT?  WHY?

Perhaps one of the worst mistakes as of late was putting the WWE Tag Team Championship on Santino Morella and Kozlov.  One can only hope that the Unified Tag Team title curse remains, because thus far every team that has held the championship has broken up shortly after loosing it with the exception of Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.

Smackdown brought us Alberto Del Rio, who is probably the greatest Mexican heel since Eddie Gurerro.  His whole introduction, driving to the ramp and his own announcer, is total heel gold.  The feuds between Kane with Rey Mysterio, the Undertaker and Edge have made the show worth watching.  It has also been great to see Edge going back old school in his taunting of Kane with a kidnapped Paul Bearer, and one hopes that his being joined by Christian at the Slammy special is more than just a tease that they will be reuniting as a team.

However, despite winning Bragging Rights for the second year in a row, Smackdown has had its share of gaffs and misses.  Probably the biggest it the overturn of talent on Smackdown: Matt Hardy, MVP, Shad Gaspard and Kaval to name a few.  Currently there are only eight real superstars on the roster, and the show is in need of a more permanent Nexus presence.  I had held out the hope that Smackdown would eventually pick up Samoa Joe in 2011, but unfortunately Joe decided to resign with TNA.

The Future: For TNA the future looks pretty bleak.  Without a return to its signature style and a return to promoting the stars who made the company, such as AJ Styles, Jay Lethal and Samoa Joe, I believe it is going to be going even further down hill.  It also looks a little shaky for WWE Smackdown with the depletion of it roster.  Smackdown needs to increase the size of its talent rather than its broadcast team.  For WWE RAW the future looks fairly bright, especially after the final RAW of 2010.  CM Punk can hopefully take Nexus to the level which it needs to go to.  The feud between Miz and Morrison has been a long time coming, and with the WWE Championship at stake it could be the first real feud of the 21st Century.  Only time is going to tell, so keep on watching.

Master Vyle