Eric’s blog: A look at WWE’s ill-balanced rosters: ECW

A) Unbelievable that I found a picture of Tommy Dreamer wearing a T-shirt. B) Holy shit, is that Monty Brown? He needs to come back from the Serengeti.

A) Unbelievable that I found a picture of Tommy Dreamer wearing a T-shirt. B) Holy shit, is that Monty Brown? He needs to come back from the Serengeti.

Finally, it’s time to take a look at the roster of WWE ECW, the red-headed (no offense, Sheamus) stepchild (no offense, Sheamus) of World Wrestling Entertainment. While no longer your daddy’s ECW, Brand No. 3 has turned into a proving ground for new talent (CM Punk, John Morrison, Jack I Love You Swagger) and a place for cast-offs (Christian, William Regal) to ply their trades with a little angle behind them. ECW’s is a small roster, making this a short read (plus they seem to do a lot of even-steven booking; see Burchill, Paul v. Cane, Hurri), and this will probably be the blog entry that doesn’t rank the wrestlers by tier but rather “in order.” But hey, it’s my chance to rank the useless, vapid Bella Twins all the way at the bottom!

(1) Christian: He’s the champ and he wins a lot. He gets the mic and can talk a lot. He still probably won’t headline pay-per-views anytime soon, but after his few-year hiatus, he won the ECW Championship, which means he gets to be on pay-per-views, which means exposure and bonuses. It’s nice to see WWE likes him, they really like him!

(2) William Regal: He’s still being positioned as a/the top contender for the ECW Championship, whether or not Zach Ryder won that battle royal. He gets to talk quite a bit, and he has an entourage. That’s more than the rest of the roster gets. Plus, like Finlay, he’s an old-timer who wrestles tight, which it seems Vince McMahon appreciates.

(3) Sheamus: This big, red blue-chipper is in the same spot Jack Swagger was before being moved to a more prominent brand: getting a push with wins over veterans and talking on occasion. And he deserves it, as he was probably the best prospect in Florida Championship Wrestling at the time he was called up. With his size, good skill, unique look and weird charisma, he could be a big player down the road.

(4) Hurricane Helms: Blecch. He gets that stupid extended entrance, he gets all sorts of face time, and he gets to beat people. God, I hate this fat turd.

(5) Zach Ryder: It seemed for a while that for every win Zach Ryder got over Tyler Reks, he’d lose a match to Goldust or the like. But he kept wrestling on TV, and we all kept deciding we liked him and his ridiculous Guido gimmick. Well, he won a battle royal to face Christian for the title, so that was cool! He’s a goofy fucker with a funny but memorable catchphrase, but Matt Striker is right when he says on commentary that Ryder can be aggressive at times. Which would explain why Ryder got a gimmick and Curt Hawkins is sitting at home not answering his phone.

(6) Goldust: I think Dustin Rhodes is the man — I know he can wrestle and I know he can talk — but it does pain me a little bit to put this 21-year veteran higher on the list than Shelton Benjamin. But that’s Benjamin’s fault.

(7) Ezekiel Jackson/Vladimir Kozlov: I’ll lump these two together because, even though they have distinct looks and personalities, they’re essentially the same person right now. I feel like almost all of the wrestlers above these two would be given wins, even if flukes, against these two, but the wrestlers below them would be less likely to see victory against Regal’s roundtable.

(8) Shelton Benjamin: I love ya, man, but potential don’t pay the bills.

(9) Tommy Dreamer: Probably the best spot for him, someone who can be seen standing next to Christian and not look stupid but who should be putting over younger guys. It’s hard to imagine him beating Zeke or Vlad, but not as hard picturing him pinning Paul Burchill.

(10) Paul Burchill: Poor bastard, stuck trying to unmask the Hurricane. He’s not a great, dynamic wrestler or anything, but he’s serviceable.

(11) Yoshi Tatsu: Has victories over wrestlers higher than him on this list, but he’s still a newbie and has a long way to go. But people who know him better from FCW than I do insist that he could be something big down the road.

(12) Tyler Reks: Turd.

(13) DJ Gabriel: Who?

(14) The women, the least of which being the awful Bella Twins.

The Architecture of Wrestling – Ring My Bell

Overview of the Bell Centre in Montreal

You couldn't create a little more space between you and the giant glass tower?

The WWE’s last pay per view Breaking Point took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  It was finished being built in 1996 (more information on the history here).  I noted how old Joe Louis Arena is but this one was designed and built after HOK started making stadiums and arenas well designed structures. Bell Centre was actually designed by the Consortium of Quebec Architects, which obviously is not one specific firm and I couldn’t find confirmation on who was in the group.

Same elevation, different perspective

Same elevation, different perspective

On to the building design which is the important part. The above photos show the northwest side of the building (Google map here) although the lower photo does show the southwest face too.  They have used three different materials – brick, block and glass – but what is strange to me is the use of two different type of stone, one of which is a beige color and the other which is more gray. The beige block matches the block from St. George’s Anglican Church which is  so I would think that they would stick with it rather than having two different types. The beige stone along with the brick and glass also matches some of the other buildings around the area.  I’d suggest using the “More” tab on the map to click around the area’s pictures. The gray stone continues to make little sense after leafing through the photos. The glass could be lighter and still be opaque so that it would match the surrounding area more but the contrast in colors that it creates helps offset that problem.

The stone tower, with the Centre Bell sign, along with brick with the small slats help to create a vertical feel visually which terminates with the beige stone. On top of the stone is the black (maybe a dark blue) glass which continues the horizontal banding which carries around the northwest face to the soutwest. The banding helps to make the building flow. Normally, stone or brick is built up in a staggered formation (called stretcher bond) but the beige stone is a stacked bond, which lines it up so that the joints are linear. The stack helps to emphasize the verticality of the tower and also the horizontal nature of the stone above the brick and glass corner. To the left of the tower is a combination of gray stone and glass. It also does a good job of combining horizontal and vertical banding. The stone columns and the mullions (or fenestration if you prefer) create the verticals. The horizontal nature comes from the stone above and below the main portion of the glass. The condensed nature of the windows on the top help provide the horizontal feel too.

That’s all I can analyze though because all of the pictures that I found on Google are of this elevation.  It’s quite obvious the design quality has been upgraded since 1979. -Kevin

WWE Needs Your Help!

Well, it's better than a red bird cage.

Well, it's better than a red bird cage.

I just checked my email a minute ago, and there was one from WWE. They need my help! Apparently, even though they have a full “creative” team on their payroll, they need to do fan surveys to figure stuff out. I’m starting to wonder if the creative team serves any purpose whatsoever other than figuring out ways to get themselves on television because they are all marks for themselves and are hurting the business and deserve to suffer great pain for the rest of their lives.

But I digress. The point is, I was sent a survey to help the helpless figure stuff out. The purpose was to determine what should be the name of the PPV that features Elimination Chamber matches in the main events of the show. The choices were as follows:

-Elimination Chamber

-Heavy Metal

-Battle Chamber

-Chamber of Conflict

-No Way Out

They had you rank the five choices in the order you like them. I voted for No Way Out since, as logic would dictate, that’s the name they’ve gone with in the past, it’s not a bad name by any means, and why change something that doesn’t really need to be changed? I also wouldn’t mind using the name “Elimination Chamber” much in the same way WCW called their show “War Games” when it featured a War Games match.

The other three names are ridiculous and if that’s what the creative team gets paid to come up with, where do I sign up? – Dusty

Just a reminder, you can discuss the Elimination Chamber, the Chamber of Conflict, the Halloween Havoc Chamber of Horrors, and whatever else you like to discuss by registering for our free message board: http://www.stuntgranny.net/cgi-bin/yabb24/YaBB.pl

Meet Lilian’s Replacement

She's a real pretty lady, Richard...

She's a real pretty lady, Richard...

So, I’d like to introduce you to Lilian Garcia’s replacement, Lauren Mayhew. She won’t technically be replacing Lilian, I should point out, since she will be acting as the Smackdown ring announcer while Justin Roberts slides over to take over the duties on Raw. I’d like to congratulate Justin on the promotion, since I feel like he is great at what he does and definitely deserves it.

As for Lauren, obviously I don’t know much about her, but I do know she has a YouTube page (which can be found here http://www.youtube.com/user/laurenmayhew) and a website (which can be found here (http://www.laurenmayhew.com), so everyone should just go to those sites if they are desperate for more information about her. Here is a video of her doing the National Anthem, and I can tell she’s already worlds better than the ol’ Perpetual Failure she’s replacing. – Dusty

Bret Hart Open To Returning

Best General Manager there ever will be?

Best General Manager there ever will be?

According to my double main man Jason Powell at prowrestling.net:

Bret Hart is open to the idea of appearing on camera for WWE again, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. He has had talks with the company about returning as a weekly storyline character, and his interest is one of the reasons they went with the screwjob finish at the Breaking Point pay-per-view.

Obviously, I don’t think Bret will or should come back as a full time wrestler. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him wrestling once or twice (see Rick Steamboat’s “comeback” as evidence that it can be good if it’s done right), but the much more likely scenario would be for him to be the new General Manager of one of the brands.

Now, seeing as though as he is probably not going to want to be on the same brand as Triple H and Shawn Michaels (and I can’t really blame him for that, and Triple H is a real problem and he needs to go away but no one with any power can tell him that), it would seem as though Smackdown would be the best fit for him. Luckily, with the whole Teddy Long abduction storyline, it would appear that Smackdown might be in need of a new General Manager anyway. Everything’s coming up Milhouse Hitman! – Dusty

WWE Needs To Sign Rampage Jackson Like Now

Rampage don't play.

Rampage don't play.

So Rampage Jackson just issued a public statement announcing he was quitting the magical world of mixed martial arts fighting. I’m just going to quote the entire thing, because a.) it’s flippin’ awesome, and b.) it’s flippin’ awesome all the way until the end of it.

I’m done fighting.

The UFC has done a lot for me but I think I have done more for them. The UFC bought WFA to get my contract & they saved my life, so I felt loyal to them. They pushed me into a fight with Chuck Liddel even when I clearly stated I wasn’t ready to fight for the belt because the American fans didn’t know me but I took the fight and didn’t complain & after I won the American fans booed me for the first time which changed the way I saw them & it hurt me deeply.

Then before I can even get out of the cage they announced that I was fighting Dan Henderson without even asking me. After I beat Dan Henderson, I made history in becoming the first undisputed champion in MMA but was never even given the pride belt in the cage & I was never promoted as the undisputed champ. Later Anderson Silva was.

Then they had me coach TUF season 7 and fight Forrest and the fight was very controversial & normally when a fight is that close & controversial there is normally an instant replay. I can name a couple of instances. Instead they offered me the Vanderlei Silva fight which I gladly accepted even though I know it was a very risky fight for me to take because of all the drama that was happening to me at the time. I fought that fight with a jaw injury and then a couple weeks later Dana called me and asked me to fight Rashad. For the first time I said no, I didn’t want to fight because it was such short notice & I wouldn’t have had a long break between camp. Dana talked me into fighting Rashad anyway but Rashad refused the fight and so I had to fight Jardine as a favor to the UFC instead of getting my belt back (which wasn’t even worth it to me financially).

Then I reinjured my jaw in the fight with Vanderlei & Jardine. Frank Mir gets hurt so they wanted to switch my fight from UFC 100 to the fight Frank couldn’t make it to but I couldn’t fight cause I needed jaw surgury. So they give Machida the fight against Rashad & they told me they want me to coach TUF season 10 against Rashad. That’s why I wanted Rashad to win so bad but when Rashad got knocked out I told them I wanted to fight Machida for the belt but Dana told me if I coach TUF against Rashad that I could fight Machida afterwards cause this was a different type of ultimate fighter show they were doing. After I signed the contract Dana then changes his mind & says I have to fight Rashad & even told me what to say in the press & so my fans think I was scared to fight Machida. After all that I still never complained & I did it all.

Then this movie role came about that I have been trying to get for over a year & as soon as I found out I was close to getting it, I called Dana right away & asked to push the Memphis fight back just a month or so. I told him what this movie role meant to me. I told him that I used to bond with my father watching the tv show as a kid when my parents where still married & it represents the memories I had with my father when we lived together. My dad became an alcohalic & addicted to drugs & we grew apart. But after my dad got his life back together, I was so proud of my dad & I told him I would always take care of him in the future & make him proud of me. My dad & I are still very big fans of the show & I am basically doing this for the childhood memories I had spending time in front of the tv with my dad. Dana went on the internet & mocked me because of that & I still did nothing. Dana & I finally talked & we made up & then after that he went back on the internet & said some ******** & he was talking bad about the movie when information is not even supposed to be released & talking about payments which is not even true could really hurt my future acting career, which could very well last longer than my fighting career. I’m not like Randy Couture. My body has been getting so many different injuries that I wont be able to fight until my forties & neither do I want to fight that long. So I feel like my second career could be in jeopardy.. so I’m done fighting. I’ve been getting negative reviews from the dumb ass fans that don’t pay my bills or put my kids though college. So I’m hanging it up. I’m gonna miss all my loyal fans but hopefully they’ll follow me to my new career & I will gain more loyal fans along the way. & all you hater fans out there can kiss my big black hairy ass! & anybody that don’t like what I just said can come try to kick my ass!

I still feel the UFC is a great organization and I felt like I was very loyal to them but they didn’t respect my loyalty but I wish the UFC the best. I did a lot of things for them. I wish no bad blood between us but I have kids & a family back in Memphis to provide for & thats all that matters to me!

Now, not every MMA fighter should be a pro wrestler, and not every wrestler should be an MMA fighter. Obviously. But Rampage Jackson should be a pro wrestler. I have no doubt in my mind that he would succeed. He has good size, a good look, he can talk, and he might be legitimately insane. With some proper training, Jackson could do very well for himself in the world of professional wrestling, and make some good money doing it.

A lot of people on the internet think they have all the answers, and they think they know exactly how to fix every facet of the wrestling business. I have no such pretentions (although I do like to come up with ideas myself, sure) but I do think if it’s possible to do it, WWE should sign Jackson (and Angelina Love, if that is possible) TONIGHT. Right now. Get it done and start working towards making money with him. Because I think the potential is there for lots of money to be made. And that used to be what wrestling was all about. – Dusty

And next week’s Raw guest host is…

And the lord said you've got to rise up-ah!

And the lord said you've got to rise up-ah!

Continuing along with the Monday Night Raw news, and proof that we’ll put anything on our site if it means getting a few more views for the day, the Rev. Al Sharpton is slated to be the guest host for next week’s Monday Night Raw show.

This, of course, has led to a lot of speculation for how they use the black wrestlers on their roster. My prediction is that they will somehow find a way to have Mark Henry, MVP and Kofi Kingston all job, much in the same way they always like to humiliate people when the show comes to their hometown. Lilian being gone and the potential trainwreck awesomeness of Al Sharpton hosting makes Raw a must see show for me next week! I am being very sincere in the things that I am saying! – Dusty

Just as a reminder, you can discuss Lilian Garcia’s horse face, Al Sharpton’s failed presidential run, and any other freakin’ thing that you so desire by registering for our message board at http://www.stuntgranny.net/cgi-bin/yabb24/YaBB.pl. It’s totally free and it’s totally cool, daddio.

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