AS I SEE IT – Another WWE PPV Already?

AISIAS I SEE IT – Another WWE PPV Already?
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

So Hell in a Cell is next Sunday.  The question is, after the disaster that was the Battleground PPV…how many people will be turned off buying WWE PPVs altogether?

This past Sunday saw a major UFC PPV, with Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Del Santos, which likely got a lot of buys. Whether WWE chooses to admit it publicly or not, UFC IS a competitor for PPV dollars. In this tight economy, if fans are forced to choose, they are less likely to make the choice ofa PPV this coming weekend which ended with a non-finish over versus this past Saturday’s conclusion to a strong series of Heavyweight UFC matchups.

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AS I SEE IT: Is the WWE starting to panic?

AISIAS I SEE IT: Is the WWE starting to panic?
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

How do you spell “Stop the panic in Stamford”?

C-E-N-A.

After the disastrous Battleground PPV, the ratings for Monday Night RAW were the third lowest of the year. Expectations for the Battleground buyrate can’t be very good. Recent buyrates have been down overall.

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AS I SEE IT – Should the Lights Have Stayed Out?

AISIAS I SEE IT – Should the Lights Have Stayed Out?
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

You’ve got to be kidding me. Really?

An inane storyline of a “power couple” (second or third time now this one’s been done) that has gone on for what seems forever…babyfaces made to look like clowns…a build to a PPV with the main event the filling of the vacant title, then a five minute power failure with the venue’s video wall flashing green, the WWE set going dark (but lights in the venue staying on) and the InDemand feed going off for five minutes….power is restored…then finally an awkward beginning to the main event.

OK, so the power came back on. Still plenty of time for the match. Match begins slowly, as if Orton and Bryan knew…look, this is a no-finish ending…don’t give it everything tonight.

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AS I SEE IT: Dixie Carter is no Stephanie McMahon

AISIAS I SEE IT: Dixie Carter is no Stephanie McMahon
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

First, if one heel owner storyline wasn’t bad enough, what’s worse?

How about a second, copycat storyline…by TNA…with Dixie Carter playing heel owner against babyface AJ Styles and face of the company (rather than its still considerable talent base) Hulk Hogan?

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AS I SEE IT: Raise a Glass!

AISIAS I SEE IT: Raise a Glass!
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Was anyone really surprised at Daniel Bryan getting the title yanked off of him last Monday? Or that it took that long?

So…this week, time for the WWE Monday Night RAW Drinking Game. You know the drill: when ridiculously common things happens on Monday Night RAW; have a drink of your favorite adult beverage.

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AS I SEE IT – Remembering Jim Ross in the WWE

AISIAS I SEE IT – Remembering Jim Ross in the WWE
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Meanwhile, if the McMahon-Helmsley Era v. 2.0 wasn’t bad enough, now WWE fired Jim Ross over the WWE 2K14 press conference, at which Ric Flair went into an off-message and possibly alcohol-assisted story-telling session where WWE blamed Ross, feeling he didn’t keep Flair in line.

For those of you who haven’t seen this press conference, here are highlights:

Oh, I know…officially, Jim Ross “retired”. Ross’s blog even took the high road.

If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

He got fired by Vince McMahon in another installment of the sadomasochistic relationship that the company has had with Ross over the last 20 years.

For years, Ross has been periodically treated like crap on and off-air by WWE, including on air segments seemingly designed to humiliate him, including the 1999 storyline, where (in storyline) he has been “fired” because of his Bells Palsy. Two similar storylines were done in 2011 related to “inflammatory bowel disease”.

No matter how much fans respond to Ross, WWE seems to view him as a throwback to the “wrasslin” era, and prefers the Michael Cole “sports entertainment” style of parroted McMahon commentary that all too often doesn’t get over storylines and characters in the way that Ross still can to this day.

If that’s not bad enough, how about the HHH Twitter congratulating him on his “well-earned retirement”. News bulletin, folks: anyone over the age of six with a computer realizes Ross did not want to retire. So you’re not fooling anyone.

Reader Dave Cottom sent his thoughts on this fiasco to me. It said a lot of what I wanted to say better than I did (even if I just did), so here it is:

<i>”I just had to get this off of my chest…

I have been a wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. Truthfully, I have never been able to get over the days of old school wrestling–the interviews with announcers before and after matches, the introductions in the ring (a la Michael Buffer) and the days of kayfabe (protecting the business and blurring of real vs. fake)–treating it as a real sport. Loved that stuff.

I heard today that Jim Ross has been fired from the WWE. I felt I had to say this, if no one else would….

Jim Ross is the single greatest wrestling announcer in the history of the sport, period.

He is the best that has ever done it…

Yes, I know Gordon Solie was great and legendary, Vince McMahon of the 70′s and 80′s had a distinctive and most recognizable voice and Tony Schiavone is inseparable from the glory days 1980′s NWA Championship Wrestling. Jim Ross would tell you that Gordon Solie was the best and as far as Jim’s enjoyment as a fan goes, he’s probably right. The difference here, is I have experienced both from a fan perspective and I think Jim Ross is untouchable as an announcer.

Jim Ross, at his best, always made wrestling must-see TV. I can’t remember anyone announcing so many important matches in the span of a career. On TV and pay per view, Jim Ross made ME believe and understand that I was watching a big time sporting event. I never, ever questioned his passion for the game and legitimacy that he brought to the matches he announced and to the sport (yes, sport) in general. Heck, I could listen to him announce just about any sport all day long. XFL anyone?

I heard today that this might be the end for him in wrestling. It is a sad thing. I don’t care too much about the politics behind the scenes. I care even less about what goes on behind the curtain DURING a show–it cheapens the product to see so much garbage behind the curtain anyway, in my opinion, but that’s a conversation for another day…

Professional Wrestling has always been about two guys “hooking up” and seeing which one could get the best of the other—playing by the rules or not. The best matches tell a great story and NO ONE has ever done it better than Jim Ross.

As a big, long-time professional wrestling fan, I just felt and somehow wanted him to know that I KNOW he was the greatest…..and that’s all that matters.

Dave Cottom

Until next time….

— Bob Magee

AS I SEE IT: The McMahon-Helmsley Era – Version 2.0

AISIAS I SEE IT: The McMahon-Helmsley Era – Version 2.0
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Is anyone as unexcited by the McMahon-Helmsley Era version 2.0 as I am, after watching the last few RAWs?

The whole idea of having a program with heel chasing a face, is for fans to buy into the possibility that the face ventually gets back at the heel for what the heel did  to him, right? Well, right about now we have a situation where WWE has again painted itself into a corner with very little way out.

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AS I SEE IT – Remembering CZW star Christopher Bauman

AISIAS I SEE IT – Remembering CZW star Christopher Bauman
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

It was over eight years ago, on August 18, 2005, that CZW wrestler Christopher “Chri$ Ca$h” Bauman Jr. was killed as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home. Bauman had been riding a motorcycle on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus turned in front of it from Higgins Drive. The motorcycle then struck the car on the driver’s side of the vehicle, driven by Daisy Gwin of Glassboro, NJ.

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AS I SEE IT – Remembering Brian Hildebrand

AISIAS I SEE IT – Remembering Brian Hildebrand
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

It will be 14 years on September 8…the 14th anniversary of Brian Hildebrand’s passing after fighting a two year battle against cancer.

There are few people within wrestling who were held in such universally high regard at the time of their passing. When people eulogized Brian, the words they used weren’t the kind that social obligation or courtesy often require. Lots of people become posthumous heroes. Brian was one for the two years of his fight, and was an inspiration to many within wrestling for all the years her worked within the business long before that.

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AS I SEE IT: The real story of SummerSlam weekend

AISIAS I SEE IT: The real story of SummerSlam weekend
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Usually before a major PPV, I’ll offer some guesses as to who’s going over in the scheduled matches. Sometimes right. Sonetimes wrong. And you would have read this yesterday, of course.

On the weekend before a major PPV, USUALLY WWE is busy building up to a major PPV like SummerSlam the weekend before. A buildup that’s usually a predictable series of scheduled events including Fan AXXESS, community-based PR events, and the like, leading up to the actual PPV. Newspapers in that city often report on community-based events. Those happened this weekend.

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