Bad news for Alex Wright: he tore his quad during his Saturday Night match with Shawn Stasiak on May 20th and will be out of action for around six months. This really couldn't have come at a worse time for Alex, because he was set to be a major part of a new storyline that would begin the very next week at Nitro. This storyline would've included a match at the Great American Bash, so I've had to shuffle some things around and set up a replacement match.
Locker room pariah Vampiro requested his release, agreeing to forfeit all of the money he was still owed over the year-plus still remaining on his contract. That suited me just fine, so we're both free: he's free to seek employment elsewhere, and we're free of the money we owed him. He has a unique look and isn't a bad performer, which was why I intended to feature him a fair bit as the leading member of Salvation. His attitude is just garbage though, and the fact that not a soul in the locker room liked him only made things worse.
Rey Misterio Jr. must be highly motivated to stick around in the main event scene. He's been looking really ripped recently, and I'd say it's boosted his star quality even further, to the point that he has more of a superstar look than all but a select few guys in the company.
In an out of character interview, RVD said he likes working with bigger opponents because it makes it easier for him to do his high flying with the confidence that his opponent will protect him.
CM Punk is encouraging me to give Matt Hardy some more promo time to hopefully enhance the Hardys/True Heroes program.
Hugh Morrus likes TAKA's work and thinks I should make sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle after dropping the cruiserweight belt.
Big Vito told me I need to book him more strongly so he can start to build some momentum. Has he not figured out that I have no plans to do anything with him?
Scott Steiner thinks Jamie Knoble isn't connecting with the fans and I should write him off. Sorry Scott; not going to happen.
Booker T has been impressed with American Dragon's performances in his recent promos and is encouraging me to give the kid more time on the microphone.
A recent web article published after Katarina made her TV debut touted her as a future breakout star. Hopefully they're right, but she probably won't be wrestling for us right away (at least on TV.)
The WWE signed a bunch of new TV and PPV deals recently, greatly expanding their coverage in many areas. The one that caught my eye the most was Smackdown moving to ABC in the company's return to network TV for the first time since Saturday Night's Main Event was cancelled. That one could be really bad for us, but nobody said this fight was going to be easy.
The first PPV of the WWE era, Judgment Day, was held on May 27th in Memphis (no Jerry Lawler though.) There were no title changes on the show, and there weren't any matches featuring the likes of Angle, Rock, Undertaker or The Boy Toy either. It was very much a one-match show, with Hunter giving the rub to that young up and comer Hollywood Hogan in the main event. Hogan's title retention was a very good main event, but our own RVD/Booker main event was better. Our Mayhem show as a whole was better as well, so hopefully the fans are paying attention.
Lita suffered a minor staph infection in her match on the May 20th Raw, which should keep her out about a month. Dean Malenko suffered some kind of internal injury working with Saturn in a tag against the APA on the Judgment Day pre-show, and is expected to miss a month as well.
In a radio interview, Eddie Guerrero said he doesn't enjoy wrestling against guys smaller than himself. You wouldn't have known it watching his matches against Misterio.
The episode of NOAH's weekly TV taped on June 1st featured an instant classic five star main event in which Akira Taue defeated Mitsuharu Misawa (Taue's GHC Heavyweight title was not on the line.)
The group ran their first show, 'Retaliation' (great name for a first show, Russo!) on May 27th. The main event featured a match between BG James and BJ Whitmer to decide the first TNA World champion. BG is the bigger name so you'd have expected him to win, but he was only there on a one night loan from NWA New Jersey, so Whitmer won the title in the match of the night. They also crowned tag team champions (Ace Steel and Kent Kohl, going under the team name The Globetrotters), who beat Jay Bradley and Matt Cross. Frankie Kazarian beat Sean Royal (NOT the guy from the time-traveling New Breed tag team, although it would be funny if someone did an angle with that team since 2002 was the year they supposedly traveled back from) to win the X Division title, which I guess is going to be their midcard title. They have a women's division but no belt, though they do have NWA Women's champion Selina Majors, and they had her retain that title against Sara Del Rey. The show would've been considered a massive flop for a group of our size, but it was fine for the level TNA is at. Jeff Jarrett did not appear on the show in any way, which is odd since he's easily their biggest star.
Here's a look at their initial roster list:
Sara Del Rey
Vince Russo (ugh)
AJPW ran their 'Blue Army' PPV on May 27th. Genichiro Tenryu retained the Triple Crown over Dr. Death Steve Williams in the main event, but they were completely outshined by the semi main event where Hiroshi Hase and Jushin Liger beat Masanobu Fuchi and Mike Barton. That match was far better than anything else on the show. It wasn't as good as a lot of their recent shows have been, but was still a good showing for them.
Some of the sheets are saying that retired AJPW legend/authority figure Stan Hansen and main event star Tosahiaki Kawada are no longer on speaking terms. I wonder what happened there?
Killer Kowalski has officially left the business after over fifty years.
Rumor has it that Rob Black's XPW may be going under soon. I don't think that would be much of a loss for the business. I'll put Rob Black's wrestling acumen this way: Juventud Guerrera is a regular there, but their heavyweight champion is Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse. That stupid clown even beat Juvi to retain the title last month.
Circle of life: one company is in trouble, two more open up. Rob Feinstein of RF Video has started up Ring of Honor, which will be based out of the Tri State region and is going to be heavily centered around exciting modern-style matches. They immediately announced a partnership with Gabe Sapolsky's Pro Wrestling IRON, which makes sense considering their similar focus. A guy named Court Bauer also announced a new group in the South East called Major League Wrestling, and based on the web article it sounds like they're going for a sort of mix of the ECW and Japanese styles.
Originally Posted by michgcs
LOL at Vampiro being everyone's punching bag.
Great job at the Lex-Katarina segment. I like how you're subtly shoring up the women's roster with ladies who can go in the ring (Kat, Melissa, Mickie).
I like Double A's decisiveness in giving Misterio and Destroyer a #1 contender's match, too. Nice touch.
He's no one's punching bag now.
If you count Katarina, there are currently nine women in the division. There's still one out injured and another seven down in developmental. I don't have the TV time to manage all of that, so what I'm trying to do is gradually call women up and begin sprinkling them in so most of them should hopefully have somewhat established characters by the time I can get the women their own show.
Originally Posted by DGenerationMC
Danielson-Styles is making my reader's mouth water a bit.
Should be pretty good, but I have a feeling it's going to be a lot better in a couple of years when they're both hopefully main event level.
Originally Posted by K-Nection
Love that Lex segment! I'm pretty sure some Kristi Myst fans were let down but they still rather be seeing her in her bread and butter anyway.
We know what Gene prefers.
They had a couple of matches in ROH that I'd say had (marginally) better production values, but I get your point. I remember seeing AJ standing on the stage during the post-show of Bryan's "retirement" and just shaking my head at the thought that Bryan was done right as AJ finally made it there. Oh, what might have been.
DDP vs. Book should be a good one! I'm guessing this is a giant thank you to DDP for not strangling Punk for obvious reasons lol.
That's part of it, yeah. He actually has great morale in-game since that entire incident was created by me and thus didn't upset him, but it felt like something that made sense for the story. I also think he's capable of delivering a solid main event match with Booker.
Rey vs. The Destroyer should be good too! I like how your rumble bookings always mean something (the way they should). WWE always squanders most of their storytelling opportunities when they do them.
I didn't have that match planned out before Mayhem, but it felt like a logical progression. Same thing with AJ vs. Danielson as an extension of Chavo being upset with how AJ eliminated him. Even when I wrote that elimination, I didn't have anything planned beyond it.
Hardys vs. True Heroes should be awesome! Also for some reason I don't remember AJ and Sting getting their Tag Team shot?....Did I miss it somewhere?
No, they haven't gotten it yet. I didn't forget it either. I just haven't felt there was a suitable time to do it yet, but it'll happen eventually.
Originally Posted by shawn michaels 82
This could definitely be DDP's chance at a final moment at the top, especially after winning Mayhem, but sadly he will be handed to Booker T for his first defense. But I would like to see a DDP title reign. The Lex segment was great, I laughed the whole time. Seems like the women's roster is slowly beginning to take shape. Interested to see what comes out of the Scott vs Unnatural feud.
Lex may not be able to give me good matches or promos, but I'm having fun writing him!
It's always interesting to see the ways each UFS affects things going forward. Last time we got the True Heroes team, the elevation of AJ Styles and a big part of Booker's logic for his heel turn, now we've got the Steiner/Unnatural fallout.