Friday, May 29, 2009

Knockouts see WWE Retiree in Path

Former WWE Diva Victoria let Angelina Love (as well as the rest of the Beautiful People)know the hard way she has a contender for her belt Thursday night.

Victoria, whose real name is Lisa Marie Varon, retired from the WWE in January and was in the midst of training for a career in the MMA when she had a chance meeting with Dixie Carter, TNA president, at a UFC fight they were both attending. It was rumored then, because they were seen talking to each other, that Varon was heading to TNA, but Varon blogged on April 10 that she would remain "focused" on MMA and nothing had been presented to her by TNA, but also said the thought of going to TNA had crossed her mind.

Fast forward to Sunday, TNA has a new Knockout signed and ready to debut on their Thursday show. It appears Varon will be performing under her real name, Lisa Marie, since the TNA website is calling her "the former Victoria" and Varon's MySpace has "TNA Knockout, Lisa Marie" above her photo.

Varon debuted in the WWE in 2000, shortly after meeting Chyna in a gym Varon worked in. Chyna encouraged her to become a wrestler and in a short period of time Varon was in the ring and employed by the WWE, starting out a the Godfather's "Head Ho." Then, she became Victoria, and after getting about 2 1/2 years additional training, was back on TV as Trish Stratus' nemesis. Victoria held the Women's Championship twice, and was the one responsible for Molly Holly getting her head shaved in a Hair v. Title Match at Wrestlemania 20.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

McMahon v. Kroenke

So, we've had our fun and games in LA, and somewhere in Denver, E. Stan Kroenke is boiling. Why do I know this?

If you saw the press conference on with McMahon's announcement of change of venue for Raw, you'd know. See, Kroenke's team's "amicable" solution was for Raw to be held Sunday night at the Pepsi Center contingent on a joint press release. This press release included a quote, apparently written by Paul Andrews (Kroenke's spokesperson for all of this, if you call simply shooting out a press release once as a spokesperson), in which McMahon is to praise Kroenke and his staff.

Fortunately, Vince held back the urge to rip it up and practice his basketball skills with it and his circular file so we could all read it, also on

Some (those who feel the need to make a distinction between what is a "real" sport) have argued Vince is the villain in all of this for parading around insulting Kroenke every chance he gets. Not only is this what makes Mr.McMahon a great character, but this is what makes him the P.T. Barnum of our generation in marketing his product. This is a great businessman at work.

Who knows? Perhaps Vince was even aware of the situation he was possibly getting into when he signed the contract in April, and was even cheering the Nuggets on so he could get this great publicity opportunity.

Is it wrong? No. Anytime you can get your product out there, especially as a news item for free, it is a good thing. It's like when celebrities get free stuff, they get it to be photographed or videotaped with it so you or your girlfriend wants it.

What's bad business? Writing contracts without provisions to CYA, breaking contracts, treating another businessman like he is someone in your company you are trying to get to "amicably" resign and hiding out waiting for it to all blow over. Oh yeah, and letting one of your competitors save the day and help rub it in your face.

No matter what happens in the land of the NBA (I almost taped the game Monday night just to see if anything was mentioned about the mess, or if the cameras normally reserved for Jack or Eva sightings were aimed at the owner's luxury suite), I think Kroenke came out as the fool, and the Pepsi Center's chances for WWE events have become extinct.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Does STAPLES have RAW?

The Associated Press reported at 6:42 p.m. Wednesday that the WWE was moving Monday's RAW show to the Staples Center in Los Angeles because of the scheduling conflict with the Pepsi Center in Denver. has not confirmed this, but that is the report from the AP, which did not directly quote anyone.

Jim Litke of the AP wrote his column on the debacle and reported that a buyout was in the works, but no terms were known.

I am guessing there will be some fun poked at the Nuggets during Monday's show.

Around the ring

While the WWE continues its battle with the Denver Nuggets, there are plenty of interesting happenings to touch on in the squard circle:
* First off, Balls Mahoney and Snitsky waged one final "Loser Goes Through a Door" match at the J-Cup in Manville last Saturday. Mahoney won the battle royal but went through a door for the fourth time this month after an epic battle. Gavin Quest won the J-Cup tourney finals over TNA's Jay Lethal. The Red Mask is looking forward to more NWS shows in the future.
* Speaking of TNA, Mick Foley is running wild, attacking Jeff Jarrett in his hometown last week. One can only assume that Jarrett will be the fourth member of the Sacrifice title match, in which each contestant must put something vital on the lone. This observer's guess says Jarrett will enter himself and give the company over to the winner as his "sacrifice." Angle is putting up the leadership of the MEM and Sting is putting up his career. Heck of a 4-way there.
* Also, the fake Suicide guy who came out to make it look like Daniels and he were two people was about 50 pounds heavier than the normal Suicide. Now the question is, who is the imposter?
* One last thing on TNA - what happened to Lashley? He showed up three times just walking around, and then it trailed off. Will he or won't he participate in some way? This is worse than when Pac Man Jones sort of, kind of, showed up in TNA wrestling. Lashley is having no trouble in his MMA career, though, as he dispatched opponent Mike Cook in 24 seconds in his last bout over the weekend. He faces Bob Sapp on June 27, and he is giving up some weight there, so we'll see how that goes.
* Back in WWE, Ric Flair is having a Brett Favre-like itch to be involved in wrestling, but will he compete? He said he would never diminish the sendoff he got last year by wrestling again, but once you come back and get involved in matches, you are pretty much back, aren't you? Flair plans to call out Randy Orton at the next RAW, wherever that ends up taking place. (Pepsi Center parking lot? Stay tuned.)
* ECW has had some interesting goings on lately. First, the new Hart Foundation (you heard about it here first quite a while ago) is gaining momentum with the resurgent D.H. Smith (or David Hart Smith as he is now known) and Tyson Kidd teaming up with Natalya. They look like a faction to be reckoned with, but they could use a leader like Orton to take them over the top. Will Kidd or Smith step up, or will they recruit a leader?
* Also on EC-Dub, Christian is giving Tommy Dreamer a shot at the ECW title on Superstars tomorrow night. Dreamer has been wrestling tough matches and getting people over for a while. Here's hoping they let him have one more title reign - however brief - to honor him for a great career that is winding down.
* I guess we were wrong - the Hardy feud is not over. I am not sure they take this much further, but apparently, they are going to try. No matter what, life imitates art, because Jeff is more interesting and a better performer than Matt, so maybe he should be jealous, who knows.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Raw is War

Next week's Raw has no home since Denver's Pepsi Center is double-booked-- Also scheduled are the Nuggets and the Lakers in a NBA Western Conference Game 4 playoff game.

How did this happen?

As WWE Chairman Vince McMahon said, "Obviously the Nuggets and Pepsi Center Owner Stan Kroenke did not have enough faith in his own team to hold the May 25 date for a potential playoff game."

The Nuggets are in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1985.

WWE has had the date reserved since Aug. 15, 2008, and the contract was signed in April with tickets going on sale April 11. The show is sold-out and according to an interview Jonathan Coachman, now of ESPN, had with McMahon on ESPN News, the trucks are on their way to Denver.

Vince also said in that interview that Kroenke should be arrested "for impersonating a good businessman."

The NBA is staying out of thie scheduling mess.

"The Nuggets and the WWE understand that the date of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals cannot be changed," NBA senior vice president Mike Bass said on "We are confident that the Pepsi Center and the WWE will resolve their scheduling conflict."

The Pepsi Center's website still has both the WWE and the NBA game on its list of upcoming events for May 25, but the WWE has been updated with a start time of "TBA." The basketball game starts at 7 p.m. Raw was scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. (Denver time, of course, for both)

No matter what, the show will still go on. The Pepsi Center is trying to work something out with the WWE, and other arenas are offering to host the Memorial Day show. One arena opening its arms is the Staples Center, home of the Lakers. On, McMahon is even quoted to saying that because of how tightly everything within the company is scheduled, they may even have Raw in a parking lot somewhere.

No matter what happens, the fans in Denver, whether they enjoy basketball or wrestling or both, are the biggest losers. The man named "the most significant person in Denver's arts and entertainment community" by the Rocky Mountain News, has made himself very significant, pissing off fans of both sports for his lack of faith in the Nuggets and his booting of the WWE.

My only question is, do Triple H and Shawn Michaels still have access to that tank?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bouncing back

The Red Mask has been staying under wraps while recovering from an illness this week, but a few things to note:
- Balls Mahoney and Snitsky highlighted a terrific show in Brick last week. Mahoney evened the Door Match series at 2-2 with an exciting win. If you have a chance to catch the J-Cup show in Manville on May 16, I highly recommend it.
- Shane McMahon really should go away. I doubt he could beat Mickey Rourke right now.
- Christian is the champion ECW needs, but the show still needs to lean more toward its extreme roots to be worth watching every week.

More to come after Smackdown this week.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Who is Suicide? It's CURRY MAN!!

TNA has been wild lately with Mick Foley as heavyweught champ. It is unfortunate that the Red Mask took ill prior to Lockdown in Philadelphia, for I was set to unleash a prediction that Foley would in fact beat Sting in the cage.

Foley has seemingly made enemies of everyone, and now Sting is back to get some revenge in a 10-man match next week. The Main Event Mafia will battle Foley, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett, a group that has its own rivalries within, making the Impact plotlines as interesting as any in the business these days.

But what of Bobby Lashley? This guy is 2-0 in MMA fights, even though he beat two guys who are not at the top of the sport. He has two upcoming matches scheduled in MMA - including a May 15 bout with Mike Cook - and my MMA sources tell me he has a bright future because of his raw athletic ability.

So, if he is not giving up MMA, what is he doing in TNA? I wouldn't think he would risk much in the way of injury if he has a pro fighting career to think of, so will he keep being a walking ruse for a while? Plus, it is notable that no one has ever been in pro wrestling and MMA simultaneously, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

And finally, we come to the question, WHO IS SUICIDE? This unlockable character from a video game has come to life and won the X-Division title, and the Motor City Machine Guns seem to think they have found their masked man in Daniels.

Daniels' "Clark Kent-like" half-denials aside, make no mistake, he is Suicide, just as he was once Curry Man. I guess he will playing both himself and Suicide for a while, as his actual character is getting some run in main event matches. Double duty is something Daniels can likely handle for a while.

It would have been fun to wonder if Suicide was really some other masked freak like Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis, El Dandy, La Parka or some other guy from the old LWO, but Suicide's identity is a poorly-kept secret.