Finlay is Gone

From PWI:

WWE RELEASES TOP BACKSTAGE NAME
By Mike Johnson on 2011-03-29 12:45:38
World Wrestling Entertainment released their top Producer/Agent Dave Finlay yesterday, PWInsider.com has confirmed.
The story making the rounds is that The Miz was booked to come out an interrupt the national anthem during a house show in Champaign, IL over the weekend. There were a number of representatives for the national Guard, who are a HUGE partner and sponsor for WWE, in attendance. Obviously, they were not pleased with the anthem being used to get heel heat.

When word made it’s way back to WWE management, the decision was made to release Finlay, who as the top Producer of the show, “had to fall on the sword”, as it was described to me.

There were a lot of shocked people within the company today as word began to make the rounds among the wrestlers and staff. Finlay was well liked and more than a few people I spoke to hoped that it was a situation where he was let go only to be brought back down the line.

Finlay, a third generation wrestler, had been with the company from 2001 and was considered the top Producer backstage, with Arn Anderson directly behind him in the line of command. Finlay had long been given credit for the rise and improvement of the WWE Divas division over the last decade. He worked for several years behind the scene for the company before returning as a wrestler in a full-time role as well in 2006, mostly to help introduce the Hornswoggle character and work with younger talents that needed help in the ring. WWE had quietly retired him as a wrestler last year when the decision was made to go with younger faces on the television product.

Finlay had been wrestling since 1974. He was considered one of the top heels in Europe in the 1990s and also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. He finally made his way to the United States during the Monday Night Wars for WCW as the “Belfast Bruiser.”

I would be willing to bet he’ll be back by the end of the year. – Dusty

Eric’s blog: A smirk is worth a thousand buys

"Hey, buddy!"

We at Stunt Granny bandy about the idea that the brand “WWE” and the product “WrestleMania” essentially sell themselves, so no matter the headline matches and no matter the build-up, WrestleMania will always be a huge success and the hook that WWE hangs its hat upon. The stadium will be sold out, and the buyrates will continue to be the company’s golden goose, strangled or not.

For a little bit of context, I Googled “wrestlemania buyrates” and found these results for the past four WrestleManias:

WrestleMania 23: 1,250,000
WrestleMania 24: 1,041,000
WrestleMania 25: 960,000
WrestleMania 26: 885,000

Last year’s drastic dropoff can be attributed to a number of things, most likely the economy and somewhat less likely Vince McMahon’s postulation that the WWE universe was gathering in groups and pitching in $5 a piece to order pay-per-views. (Sorry, Vince, my friends and I have been doing that since 1996.)

However, one major reason for a nearly 100,000-buy decline between WM25 and WM26 is the lack of hype for the main events: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, while a spectacular match, had a seemingly forced build-up; Edge vs. Chris Jericho suffered from Edge’s poor reception as a babyface returning from a long hiatus to feud with a white-hot heel Jericho; and John Cena vs. Batista was at best an insult-fest with a hint of “you broke my neck, even though I was back four months later and feuded with a lot of other people since then” added in.

So when we look at the build to the headlining matches at WrestleMania 27, one could step back, look at the bigger picture and rationalize some concern. Undertaker vs. Triple H has six weeks of build despite having a decade-old history; John Cena vs. The Miz is the “undeserving” champion defending against the guy who squashed him numerous times one year ago and is now pre-occupied with the third-biggest star in WWE history; and Michael Cole vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler is a match-up of announcers.

It’s the little things that are selling these matches.

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SG Poll: Which rumored WWE WrestleMania 27 match would you have wanted to see?

Some of these matches were proposed or speculated upon by the Kellers, Powells and Meltzers of the world… and I think a couple of them popped out of our Stunt Granny heads like mogwai after being splashed by water. Nonetheless, as good as the card for WrestleMania 27 has become, do you feel it would have been greater given any of the above matches? And don’t forget, leave a comment!

Kevin’s Blog: Definitely Live & Half Assed Review of Raw

Big Week here at Stunt Granny HQ.

I typed in “Big Week” in the Google image search. I had a hard time figuring out why this would be under that category. I guess spring break is a big week. I only had a real spring break when I was studying over in Italy. That ruled.

CM Punk is sitting Indian style in the ring. Nice start. Never would think they’d go in this direction. Huge reaction for him. Are we in Canada? An excellent choice for an opener. This feud needed more time on TV than it has gotten. Punk gets the DDT. Randall thinking about the punt.  Crowd against Punk now. Keith collapses under his own weight. Crowd chants CM Punk. I’m confused. Randy chant. Make up your mind.Orton is playing hurt well. Punk hits the GTS but gets to lose at Wrestlemania. Punk is one of the few people to not get embarrassed in his hometown.

Edge explains that he can attack Del Rio on Raw. Christian and him are headed to the ring.

Grabbed myself a beer. Yuengling rocks. I’m trying out how to pimp this blog. Flipping through my Twitter as Del Rio takes his grand time getting to the ring. Dana White pimped the #WWE because his boy the Rock is on Raw. Nothing going on in the match with Clay starting for the heels.

Clay has to be called impressive. Dude has had 3 matches in the last week. Who was the winner of NXT again? Del Rio trips up Edge going for the spear. Edge ends up giving it to Clay anyway. Del Rio attacks Christian, Edge runs him off. Del Rio gives Edge the Cross Arm Breaker. Guess we know two winners on Sunday now. Del Rio shouldn’t win the title already anyway. Talk about too much, too soon. Oh my lord, the “bar” that Snooki & Trish are at is terrible.

Why is Cole pimping an iPad? Is he supposed to be slick and cool like the Miz because of it? Cole tells King he has to wrestle Swagger. Not much meat to sink my teeth into writing wise so far. They’re highlighting the matches so I can’t bitch. South Park’s “Montage” will never leave my had as they show video of HHH & Undertaker.

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The Architecture of Wrestling – Wrestlemania Set Design Part III

Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro, GA

Neoclassical architecture came about in the 18th Century, as did the American or Georgian Colonial, in response to the exaggerated styles of Rococo and Baroque. This style imitated more closely Classical Greek architecture and the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. Robert Adams was the architect to bring this style to the United States. He called it “Federal architecture.” The main example in the Atlanta area of Neoclassical architecture is Stately Oaks Plantation which was the inspiration for Tara in the book “Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell.

The style is quite similar to that of the American Colonial as you can see the symmetrically spaced windows and the square floor plan. The porch that covers the main entrance and bedroom above does give the plan a slightly different shape. In the Colonial style, the pilasters held up entablature. Because of the structural needs of the porch, the pilasters have been converted to full sized columns.

The details are the samilar to Colonial architecture from the mutin bars in the windows, although they do have them in both lites, to transom and tansom light. The door in this instance does have side lights (windows beside the doors). Chimneys are on both sides of this building too.

Villa La Rotunda by Palladio. This Villa is some next level work.

Analysis: Since this building is style is pretty much the same as the previous one, I’m going to use the same wrap up. This building is suited for use by the WWE because of it’s simplistic design and it’s symmetrical look. Unfortunately, there isn’t much for the WWE to cartoon up. They love to use oversized columns but I’m not sure they’re going to be willing to use an entablature or cornice around the set. I don’t think they’ll use this style, but I’ll give a final verdict after going through the other 3 design styles. – Kevin

SG Poll: Which TNA personality is most likely to be busted next?

In light of Jeff Hardy’s next impending court date and Kurt Angle’s recent arrest for, um, sliding his car off a patch of ice and into a median and they didn’t smell no alcohol on my breath I’m an Olympic champion, we at Stunt Granny wonder what TNA personality is next in line for a legal beatdown, beeotch?! As always, leave comments!

Michael Cole stands up for WWE, uses homosexual slur on Twitter

Nope, nothing gay to see here.

From the “Good One, Dipshit, Way to Almost Ruin Three Other People’s WrestleMania Payoff” Department, according to Prowrestling.net, Michael Cole referred to Josh Mathews as a “fa***t” on Twitter. He used the actual word; I know we’re crass on this Web site, but even we wouldn’t repeat that word here. You’d think that a 14-year employee with a huge WrestleMania match coming up featuring the legendary Jerry “The King” Lawler, the equally legendary “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and upstart Jack Swagger would have a little more common sense than to say something so gay on Twitter.  -Eric

Stunt Granny Big 11 Week Ending 3/26/11

1. Abdullah the Butcher – I told a co-worker for the first time since I started here that I’m a pro wrestling fan. Of course he wanted to make sure I knew it was fake, but then he knowingly talked about wrestlers using pieces of razor blades to cut themselves during matches. I told him about Abdullah the Butcher and the scar tissue into which he can insert a quarter. I thought my co-worker was gonna puke. – Eric

2. The Miz – Let’s see how many times he ends up on the list this week. The Miz’s appearance on “Conan” was the stuff televisions were made for. Not too many people could verbally get the better of Conan O’Brien, but Miz unabashedly talked over the host, then gave him the nickname “Ginga Ninja” and the catchphrase, “Step into my dojo, mofo!” I really hope it sticks. – Eric

3. Bret Hart – The Hitman relieved himself of the old “HitmanBretShart” Twitter handle but kept up the juvenile, one-sided war of words with Hulk Hogan, particularly via Twitpic (or YFrog, or whatever, who cares), portraying Hogan as a withered-up old hanger-on, to the enjoyment of a few thousand smelly Internet nerds. Meanwhile, Hogan made a cameo on “American Idol,” still one of TV’s biggest rated shows. In other words, fuck you, Bret Hart. – Eric

4. TNA Impact – I swear I am trying to watch this show but damn they make it difficult. This is the exact train of events of trying to watch this week: I went to the DVR menu. I chose Impact. I fast forwarded thru the end of Gangland. I stopped when I saw Ken Anderson. I started getting annoyed at the opening. I fast forwarded until I saw a marker board in the ring. I got more annoyed. I shut it off after four minutes of viewing. I then got a text from Dusty. It wasn’t positive. How the hell were we watching at the same time when we are in different time zones anyway? – Jeremy

5. Michael Cole – Cole is the greatest heel in wrestling. He would make a great character in WWE comics. I mean he already has his own hideout in the Cole Mine as well as a loyal henchman. – Jeremy

6. Eddie Edwards – He won the Ring Of Honor title. He defeated Roderick Strong. Past champions in ROH include CM Punk, Samoa Joe and Homicide. We once met Homicide in Orlando, which is the home of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.  We were trying to drunkenly speak with Cheerleader Melissa. She was a very nice person but her friend was annoyed. I bet if she knew who we were it would  have had a much more positive effect on her. By the way,  I used these names so I can tag them without a hint of guilt for hits for the site. – Jeremy

7. Kurt Angle – As Eric posted earlier today, Angle was arrested today in North Dakota when he couldn’t keep his car on the road. Police smelled alcohol on him and he was done for. Does TNA have the least professional locker room in wrestling history? There just seems to be no discipline or personal responsibility whatsoever there. – Dusty

8. Kurt Angle’s mugshot – It’s as if he’s simply taking a fan photo on a sunny afternoon.

9. Ian Rotten – Recently ethered into oblivion on some blog talk radio show by a 40 year old weirdo. I experienced this audio in the following way: The two idiots are yelling at each other. I am drowsy. I fall asleep. I wake up. The two idiots are still yelling at each other, now in harsher tone. Ian is basically every lowest common denominator wrestling fan ever, separated only by the fact that he actually got to run his own shows. So kudos for that. – Dusty

10. WWE’s partnership with Kmart – I guess WWE figures before all the Kmarts in the world are driven out of business by the existence of Walmart and the fact that they are crummy, dirty stores, they better form a partnership with them to promote their house shows. Soon enough, though, Ian Rotten will be hosting IWA MS shows on the parking lots of each and every one of these fine retail stores. – Dusty

11. TNA’s Spring Cleaning Sale – Don West is the fucking fucking man.

Dusty

Stolen Breaking News: Kurt Angle arrested for being drunk in a median

Hhhheeeeyyy, ooffffiiicccerrrrrr, IIIII sssllliiipppeeeddd ooonnnn sssooommee iiiiiccceeee..." (read it drunk, it's hilarious)

Does the fun ever stop? According to Prowrestling.net (and first, TMZ.com), Kurt Angle was arrested in Grand Forks, N.D. (home of a recent TNA house show, as if that town needed less to do) and charged with being white trash. And also being in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was found in a median and failed a field sobriety test. I guess that means he was in control of a motor vehicle but not his body or brain. Somebody teach that boy how to recite the alphabet backward!! -Eric

Stunt Granny Audio #134

Holy cow, grandkids, it’s the Wonder Twins edition of Stunt Granny Audio! Dusty and Eric tag team this bee-eye-itch and, in light of his upcoming devouring of the main-event slot at WrestleMania, discuss the legacy Triple H has created for himself from 1995 to the present day. Why does he latch onto the top slot with such a white-knuckle grip? Does he deserve it? What has he accused others of that he himself has done? And is he a dark shade of brown because he fake tans or because he’s so far up important people’s asses that he chews their breakfast for them? All that, and a rant on Ian Rotten, is just one click away!

Stunt Granny Audio #134

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