Hey there wrestling fans, Sean Oâ<80><99>Maniacs, and yes even you Mac-haters out there! Welcome to another edition of Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches from yours truly. Before I dive into some issues this week, I have a couple of housekeeping items to touch on.
First, my apologies to all the readers whoâ<80><99>ve been wondering where Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Takes on Raw and Smackdown are. I just moved into a new house, and the satellite folks havenâ<80><99>t shown up yet to get my television up and running. Theyâ<80><99>re supposed to be here by next Monday, so hopefully Iâ<80><99>ll be back up and going in time for the next episode of Raw.
Next, for those of you who havenâ<80><99>t discovered it yet, I hope many of you will take time to check out the newest sports-entertainment site on the Web, totalwrestling.net. With your truly, former WWE announcer Kevin Kelly, Mike Mitchell, Nick â<80><9c>The Man of 1,000 Namesâ<80> and other working hard to develop the site, thereâ<80><99>s new things popping up every day. Of course, we want you to still check out WrestleZone, but be sure to pay us a visit over there as well.
Finally, Sean Oâ<80><99>Mac is working hard on a project that hopefully you fans out there will love. Iâ<80><99>m not going to let the cat out of the bag quite yet, but letâ<80><99>s just put it this way. Youâ<80><99>ve all been able to voice your opinions in The Punching Bag since I arrived on the scene and, with your participation, the soap box is about to get a lot bigger! So keep your eyes open for the big announcement in the near future.
Now, time to dive into the news of the week – and boy are there some big headlines to tackle.
THE SWANTON DIVE
Anyone and everyone who follows the news in this business knows by now that WWE Superstar Jeff Hardy, the man who has been more over with the fans recently than probably anyone, has been suspended for 60 days for his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. No concrete details are out that Iâ<80><99>ve found saying what he got nailed for, but the rumors are flying around like, well, Jeff Hardy in a wrestling ring.
Iâ<80><99>m normally not one to go on rumors, and my journalistic side leads me to operate without assumptions and to only fully believe what I can confirm. But then again, rumors do influence us whether we fully believe them or not.
Word has it that Jeff is now in rehab, that he was noticeably unhappy after his chat with Vince prior to the last episode of Raw and that he may be dealing with a drinking problem. But, as with all rumors, take that for what itâ<80><99>s worth.
But on this topic, while trying to steer clear from assumptions, I will say this:
IF (and I stress the â<80><9c>ifâ<80> here) Jeff did indeed feel that he was above the rules and got nailed doing something he shouldnâ<80><99>t have, then what a huge waste. The man was getting the push of his life, adored by the fans and rumor has it that there was even talk of a WWE Championship run in the future. Now, with two strikes against him, itâ<80><99>s likely that if and when he returns it will take quite a while to re-establish enough trust for the company to push him this hard again.
Now, Iâ<80><99>m likely to get some ribbing from my keyboard comrade Kevin Kelly over this, but I have to admit I am a Hardy fan. Iâ<80><99>ve always enjoyed the nimble, exciting high-fliers.
Admittedly, Hardy certainly isnâ<80><99>t the best technical wrestler Iâ<80><99>ve ever seen, and his mic skills leave much to be desired. But I still enjoyed watching him each night. Who wouldnâ<80><99>t want to join in a â<80><9c>holy shit!â<80> chant after watching that man dive off the top of a steel cage or from the lighting tower?
If Jeff does have a problem, then itâ<80><99>s my sincere hope that he recognizes it, gets it take care of, and steers a straight enough road that he can find himself back in the spotlight once again. If heâ<80><99>s simply doing what heâ<80><99>s doing because he thinks heâ<80><99>s invincible and doesnâ<80><99>t give a damn about the rules, then heâ<80><99>s getting exactly what he deserves.
I donâ<80><99>t know which one it is, and Iâ<80><99>d be lying if I claimed to. But itâ<80><99>s Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s S.O.P. to give people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. So, best of luck, Jeff Hardy. Get this fixed and get back in the ring.
Ok, so weâ<80><99>ve got this great idea. Letâ<80><99>s bring The Big Show back. And for his first rivalry, letâ<80><99>s bring in a pint-sized dynamo prize fighter to take him on. Itâ<80><99>ll be great! Show will be a monster, everyone will root for the underdog, itâ<80><99>ll be the biggest thing at this yearâ<80><99>s WrestleMania!
Look folks. Iâ<80><99>m glad Show is back in action. Heâ<80><99>s looking good, and personally Iâ<80><99>m a fan of the guy. But whoever took charge of this idea needs to be chokeslammed. Now, donâ<80><99>t get me wrong. The idea had merit. The underdog taking on the monster, the fighter against the wrestler – itâ<80><99>s actually not a bad way to inject a dose of real sport in sports entertainment, even if it too is scripted. But â<80><9c>Moneyâ<80> is anything but. Mayweather couldnâ<80><99>t carry a mic to save his life and would be best served by throwing some of that cash toward a speaking/acting coach.
Show is doing his best to carry what is otherwise a complete flop of a story, and doing a respectable job considering what he has to work with. But I canâ<80><99>t wait for him to leave this one behind and move on to something a bit more respectable – and Iâ<80><99>m sure he canâ<80><99>t either.
THE PUNCHING BAG
Here it is as always, fans. Your chance to voice your opinions on the state of affairs in the WWE, and even your opinions about my opinions. Donâ<80><99>t forget to send in your votes for the best WrestleMania matches of all time. Send your top three picks, ranked first though third, by e-mail to Sean Oâ<80><99>Mac using the link at the top of the page.
And now, itâ<80><99>s your turn.
I like what you wrote about the belts.
Well, glad to hear it!
Well, Hassan, I have to be honest with you. Iâ<80><99>m not sure what youâ<80><99>re really asking me with that first part about Taker and Kane. As far as Triple H being responsible for Y2J not getting a push, I canâ<80><99>t speak with authority on that. Of course the rumors always fly that Trips is heavily involved with many creative decisions within the WWE. But I canâ<80><99>t say for sure either way. I certainly do think thereâ<80><99>s a chance we could see the belt on HBK again, but I wouldnâ<80><99>t be foolish enough to predict when. He certainly deserves another title run in my book.
What up Sean!
Thanks for replying to last weekâ<80><99>s writer, Ken. But now we all know what the chances are of a Hardy title run. Iâ<80><99>ve already given my two cents worth on the Show-Mayweather fiasco. Thanks for reading, writing and â<80><9c>all that crap.â<80>
the IC title was last defended on raw. Hardy v Orton. Orton wanted to be the 3rd person to hold IC and WWE @ the same time.This was right before they had their match at Rumble 08
How right you are, Tim. I probably wasnâ<80><99>t counting that one in my head when I asked that rhetorical question.
Hey what’s up Sean I agree with you 100% about the other titles and the tag titles meaning absolutely nothing. I am 21 years old and have been watching wresting almost all of my life and what you said about the belts and the tag division is so true, I was over my friends house the other night playing wrestlemania 19 for gamecube (We play for money) and we got into the conversation and I was saying the same exact thing as you. In order to bring back the WWE the way it was.. First F**K this roster split garbage and put all 3 brands into one again. When doing that you have a much better roster and more room to work with, What ever happen to stables? You don’t have them anymore because there is nobody on the rosters, having a stable with 2 top guys and a couple guys trying to make it to that top level always got them over but you can’t make stars like that anymore because the wrestlers are always having the same matches and working with the same people every week, having a stable was good and exciting but they don’t do that anymore and that’s a really good way to elevate talent. Also when a guy is receiving a push he could only go through 2 or 3 guys the most before he loses it or goes for the title and loses to Cena or whatever, back in the day when giving someone a push they put them with a good manager with a good reputation and there were so many other guys he could go through and beat and get that reputation that he is the real deal, With this roster split it also gives no room for the tag team division who turned to shit and right now TNA is gonna kill them as far as tag teams go.. The IC and United States title is never defended ever and that is terrible and gives no credibility to the titles at all, They are having a money in the bank ladder match for the number one contender but don’t even think about Jeff Hardy defending the title, Who Wouldn’t like to see Shawn Michaels and Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for the IC title.. Come on they make Jeff Hardy lose while he is the IC champ to Randy Orton which gives even less Credibility to the title.. These other titles and even the World Titles these days are kept on the champs for years now.. What is the deal with that? What happened to people losing the belts on Raw or Smackdown, They don’t lose the titles until Wrestlemania most of the time now which is crazy.. It’s the same matches over and over and if they don’t make a change soon TNA is going to come and come strong in the coming years because they have a fresh product and I was at the NEW YORK show and they mean business. Basically I think the end of this roster split could do wonders for the company, it would give a chance for stables and alliances to form It would make the tag division much better and it would give fresh fueds all the time. As far as titles go have one World Champ,IC Champ,US champ,and Tag team Champs and have them defend the titles every PPV. I have a lot more to talk about and really know wrestling from a business stand point.. I am a real fan but not an obsessive one, I know what’s wrong with the business and I don’t like it going to shit and would like to voice my opinion on the site maybe as a writer if that would be possible.. Please get back to me and tell me what you think about everything I said.
Well, Mike, that was quite a mouthful. But it sounds like weâ<80><99>re pretty much on the same page. As far as writing for WrestleZone, youâ<80><99>d have to go a bit higher on the food chain than I and give it a shot!
Hey sean O’mac, I think you’ve got a good all around take of wwe and where its at right now. I was just wondering your perspective on factions in wwe. First of all, and I’ll say it with utmost confidence: factions equal ratings. This business was at its height 8-10 years ago, when it was just an all out faction brawl (the nation of domination vs. the brood vs. DX vs. the corporation etc.). But its more than that: factions give credibility to and build up young superstars. Where would the Rock be without the Nation, or hhh without dx? I cant tell you how enthusiastic i was when the whole Edge-Edgeheads angle started, it successfully turned the nonexistent Major Brothers into players on Smackdown. For the record, I think it should be called the Rated R Entourage (and add Morrison to the mix fighting for the US title and i think they really have something going). Why is this the only existent faction in WWE? That just makes no sense to me! They can do so much more. Lets face it, Pro wrestling is the only arena where the race and ethnicity card is still acceptable (Finlay, etc.). And I know its a racially driven idea, but why can’t MVP, Burke and Shelton start a faction. They are all flashy-they are all heels, i just think it makes sense (maybe Shelton could finally get the push he deserves). Maybe Orton is ready to start his own brand of Evolution? Factions would no doubt jump start the non-existant tag team division, and it would propell the large pool of young talent in the bottem of the wwe that just cant quite get over
I think factions can be a great thing when done right. Who amongst us doesnâ<80><99>t remember the glory days of the Four Horsemen? The battle between NWO and the Wolfpack? DX, The Nation, Evolution, the list goes on and on. Some are done better than others, but suffice it to say having a strong faction involved in storylines does add a dose of excitement. Factions have come and gone through wrestling history, and Iâ<80><99>m pretty confident that youâ<80><99>ll see more of them in the future. Orton needs to stay a loner, though. Heâ<80><99>s at his best playing the arrogant ass who needs help from no one.
hey sean, I totaly agree with you on y2j ‘s use. I was at no mercy in chicago right after cena went down. the whole building was chanting y2j ALL night. I thought in would be a perfect time for him to come out and take the title. there is so much they could have done with him. Get a fude with him a jeff hardy going. The qualifying match on raw was decent, and when was the last time they did a face vs. face match at a ppv.What, he was good enough to be the first undisputed champ but isn’t good enough for the belt now? Even though i root for more heels than faces I would not mind seeing jeff hardy with the belt. Just to get a new thing going. I don’t think he’s ever faced cena before. Also I can’t stand the use of some of the “newer” wrestlers. Kennedy, Shelton Benjerman, Carlito, are all great wrestlers that a lot fans love to hate. Yet they continue to do b.s. storylines with them. Cena ond Orton are boring one trick pony’s doing the same moves day in and day out. I think the raw me. is the same thing we’ve seen for years now, let’s switch it up a little.
Iâ<80><99>m definitely in the cheering section for Jericho to get another title shot. I think itâ<80><99>s ridiculous to have him nearly win the belt, not get it because of outside interference, then just completely drop his pursuit of the strap. Personally, I wouldnâ<80><99>t be afraid to put a wager on him winning the Money in the Bank ladder match, but letâ<80><99>s face it. As much as I love the WWE, they donâ<80><99>t always do the right thing or what makes sense.
I’m still trying to figure out what the WWE attributes a ratings drop to. You know as well as I do that there was a time when they were the WWF they were pulling off a 6 or 7.0. And that was because they had a formula that worked. Whether it was a World Title match, or an IC Title match, those belts were constantly defended, people tuned in to see what was going to happen. Also a title change on Raw would really help as long as its not the same old shoddy finish they used to “crown a new champ”
Anyway keep up the good work I enjoy reading your columns.
– Dave from Mississippi
I definitely think there should be more title matches on Raw and Smackdown. They shouldnâ<80><99>t be completely, or nearly completely, reserved for PPV events.
hey man, love the column. Just thought I’d mail you as an awesome idea came to my head re: ECW.
It’s never gonna reach the heights of its former days, so why don’t the WWE experiment with it? From what i gather (I’m from the UK) it’s still going up against TNA or at least in competition with it in ratings, so why not make it an X Division style show.
There are plenty of smaller, talented guys not being showcased as they should be in WWE. Guys like Jimmy Wang Yang, Kendrick, London, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy, CM Punk, Carlito etc. They could run an angle where Big Titty V and my man Mark Henry destroy everyone in ECW week after week in order to get the respect they deserve, ruining match after match. This could draw major heat on these two as fans want to see some wrestling.
Armando could announce that enough is enough and he’s requested permission from the board of directors to a) sever ties with Smackdown and b) deem any ECW wrestler over 275lbs as a free agent. You could then see a rebellion of the smaller underused guys, moving to ECW to wrestle there, throw in a few ECW originals (guys like Tajiri, Rey Mysterio and RVD are a must) and ECW type matches and we’ve got an hour packed of action, high flying, entertaining wrestling, whilst being different and more innovating than the 2 main brands. And for god sake push Shelton Benjamin please!!!!
Keep up the good work! By the way I’m off to mania end of the month and as a UK fan, I’m stoked!!!
Some good ideas, Cap. Will they happen? Your odds are better of building a snowman in hell. But I like the way you think. Enjoy WrestleMania!
Sean “O’Mac” McGuinney’s day job is as a newspaper editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 10 years and has covered everything from government to sports. The wrestling? Well, that’s just been enjoyed since he was a kid. Don’t ask how long ago that was.
Donâ<80><99>t forget fans to cast your votes for the top WrestleMania matches of all time! Send me an e-mail with the subject heading â<80><9c>Best WM Matches,â<80> rank your top three, and weâ<80><99>ll check the results before the big bash!
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?