Greetings all you faithfully reading Sean Oâ<80><99>Maniacs! Back with another action-packed, jaw-dropping, death-defying edition of Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches in high definition!
Ok, not so much. But we are going to be stirring the pot some this week, so hang on and enjoy the ride.
ABOUT THOSE WALLS …
Many of you can remember that yours truly was among the throngs of fans full of anticipation and excitement at the prospect of Chris Jerichoâ<80><99>s comeback. Word leaked out early that his return was imminent, the viral campaign began and the more obsessive fans, along with a few of us journalists, started combing through the spots trying to find the solution to what would turn out to be a non-existent code.
Then, he arrived. He was here, fans, to save us all from Randy Orton and take back the WWE Championship. We watched as he locked in the Walls of Jericho and heard the crowd explode as Orton seemed to be mere seconds from tapping out. We then gasped in disgust when the triumph was ruined by a miffed JBL.
So, of course, Jericho set his sights on avenging himself upon Layfield. And granted, they had a decent little feud there. But now what?
John Cena returns and gets his shot at the title, fails, but stays in the running. Triple H earns his way back into the title picture by taking the Elimination Chamber.
Yet the man who writers had winning the WWE Championship were it not for outside interference must slowly claw his way back up.
Fans, Iâ<80><99>ve stepped up to defend the main event between Trips, Cena and Orton – and still believe it will be an exciting match to watch. But the writers had better be careful not to push Jericho down to near mid-card status.
Jericho is a top-notch star in my book. Heâ<80><99>s pretty good in the ring and great with a microphone. Not many have graced the WWE ring and done such a great job with their character, whether he is a heel or a face.
They did do right by bringing back â<80><9c>The Highlight Reelâ<80> last week, and the more mic time Jericho gets, the better. But the right thing to do here is to take it a step further and put Jericho right back in the main-event level. To that end, Sean Oâ<80><99>Mac is officially pulling for Jericho to win this yearâ<80><99>s Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania.
From there, the skyâ<80><99>s the limit. Jericho can do thing fairly, he can take on a heel champ that we need â<80><9c>savingâ<80> from, or he could make a heel turn and do the opportunistic â<80><9c>Edge-likeâ<80> thing by taking advantage of a severely weakened face champ.
Either way, itâ<80><99>s time for the creative team at WWE to let Y2J break those walls down again. He was much-hyped coming in, and itâ<80><99>s this writerâ<80><99>s opinion that he should have a belt around his waist very soon.
SPEAKING OF BELTS
Itâ<80><99>s time for WWE to make some decisions. We all know the WWE and World Heavyweight championships are highly sought after, and whoever is wearing them also has a standard-issue target to wear.
Remember the days when epic battles were fought for â<80><9c>lesserâ<80> championships? Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship ring any bells?
But seriously. Donâ<80><99>t look. Donâ<80><99>t bring up Google, or Wikipedia. Tell me off the top of your head right now exactly how long itâ<80><99>s been since either the U.S. or Intercontinental champions defended their titles?
Iâ<80><99>d be shocked if a quarter of you could do it. And no, MVPâ<80><99>s defense against Batista on this Fridayâ<80><99>s Smackdown! doesnâ<80><99>t count.
And whatâ<80><99>s the deal with the ECW Championship? Does it mean anything anymore? If so, then why was the champion participating in the Royal Rumble for a shot at another title?
And letâ<80><99>s not even dive deeply into the state of the tag-team division. There are some diamonds in that rough (e.g. Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore), but the whole tag-team concept is a shell of what it used to be.
So whatâ<80><99>s it going to be, WWE? Are these belts going to mean something, or should we just cast them off? If you plan on keeping these titles in play, itâ<80><99>s time to step up and start making them worth something again. Itâ<80><99>s time to start having some great battles over the IC belt or others. Itâ<80><99>s time to pump tag teams once again.
Itâ<80><99>s either that, or letâ<80><99>s just drop everything but the two big ones and have everyone kill each other over them.
Next week, Iâ<80><99>ll dive into some more rants I have about how looking to the past could be the best possible move for the WWE.
THE PUNCHING BAG
Time to dive into Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s mailbox once again, and weâ<80><99>re starting off with what should be a classic. Donâ<80><99>t forget that you, too, can be heard by sending e-mails to email@example.com.
I welcome all opinions, debates, arguments, and rants. Just keep them short, folks! The mailbag gets full quickly these days!
I have no choice but to start this one off with some contributions from a, well, interesting reader.
As much as I hate it you are right. Cena, while with nothing special besides he pulls in crowds, is always in the ME every time. Now here is the question ECW has no credibility at all it is a blow off brand and hardly outscores TNA Impact why not send a high caliber star to SmackDown so then he can pull in crowds for both ECW and SmackDown since RAW was the “A+” Show while Cena was gone and while he is back it still is…infact ratings dropped since he got back haha.
Well, itâ<80><99>s always nice when readers agree with you. But then again, I heard from Mr. Destructo three days later:
I am just going to stop reading your take cause it does nothing but piss me off reading your garbage, you claim to be a fan, but all you do is slam it (admittedly your slamming is fair) but c’mon you can say Brandon what ever was bad, but what would you do if you had to get in the ring with Show? Exactly. Also your boxing gloves in an MMA match — Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Boxing, any form of fighting…If you are a boxer you would generally wear…you guessed it! boxing gloves!
Ok, dude. Seriously. Are you bipolar? They have medication for that, you know. One minute you agree with me, then next my writing is garbage. All I do is slam the WWE? What articles are you reading? If you cruise the net, you wonâ<80><99>t find many that are as big an advocate for the WWE as Sean Oâ<80><99>Mac! Yes, I do slam things that deserve it, but you said it yourself – my slamming is fair.
And in all honesty, if you want to show any degree of reality, a fighter who is getting paid to get in the ring with Big Show should give it his all. I have no doubt that Show could break my like a twig, but if the WWE shelled out the right amount of money, I guaran-damn-tee you Iâ<80><99>m going to make sure he at least has a hangnail by the time heâ<80><99>s done chokeslamming me into oblivion!
It was announced as an MMA match. I admit, I donâ<80><99>t watch MMA a whole lot, but I sure havenâ<80><99>t seen one where the fighters wear 12-ounce gloves. But you miss the point! Why in the hell would anyone step into the ring wearing gloves against an opponent who can make you eat his no knuckles?
Ok, Iâ<80><99>m done with that can. If I piss you off that bad, hey, Iâ<80><99>m not assigned reading! There are plenty of other readers who think my fingerâ<80><99>s right on the pulse of things. Donâ<80><99>t believe me? Read on!
Hey Sean O’ Mac,
I think Matt is definitely in for a push once he returns. And you wonâ<80><99>t have to wait long – word has it heâ<80><99>s already made an appearance at a recent house show, and his official MySpace page certainly hints that his return is imminent. With the history between MVP and Matt Hardy, it wouldnâ<80><99>t take much time or effort to set up a WM match between the two, at which time I would expect Hardy to take the belt. Itâ<80><99>s wait-and-see time!
Thanks for reading, Rob, and for the letter. I love the cruiserweights as well, but I canâ<80><99>t say with confidence weâ<80><99>ll see that belt coming back. Right now, the WWE isnâ<80><99>t even putting the right emphasis on the belts they have, yet alone another. All three of the names you mentioned are deserving in their own rights, but Iâ<80><99>d probably put my first vote on Double A, but that just my opinion. As far as deaths in the last year go, itâ<80><99>s amazing to me. It seems like only yesterday that we lost Eddie. But 2007 was a bad year. We lost Bam Bam Bigelow, Mike Awesome, Chris and Nancy Benoit, and plenty more. But itâ<80><99>s hard to say which one â<80><9c>shocked meâ<80> other than Benoit as that one was just so unbelievable.
Hi there Sean, love reading your column each week. Just to touch on something someone mentioned in your mailbag on the last edition, on the Royal Rumble commercial it wasn’t Benoit being thrown from the train by Batista, but actually Charlie Haas, if you pause on the commercial just at that moment you can clearly see it is Haas, and plus earlier in the commercial you can see Haas wearing the attire he is thrown through the window in.
I didnâ<80><99>t notice that, Mark. Thanks for the input.
Just read your latest article on wrestlezone.com (Great as per usual), but Mark sent you a message saying he thought Benoit was in the ad for the Royal Rumble, being thrown out a window. It’s not Benoit, but actually Charlie Haas. If you want further proof, if you look at the WWE Royal Rumble Wallpaper they had on WWE.com, Haas is in the top right hand corner. Coincidentially (I hope), he is also making a cut throat motion.
Thatâ<80><99>s interesting. Wearing similar tights might be a coincidence, but also making the â<80><9c>throat slashing?â<80>
In your latest column you mentioned you were excited to see the Rock return to induct his family into the Hall of Fame, but here’s something that came to mind. what if the live crowd isn’t as excited?
I donâ<80><99>t think fans would go that far, Joe. Youâ<80><99>re more likely to hear more positive chants start up like those that rang out when Hogan was inducted. â<80><9c>One more match, one more match.â<80>
Itâ<80><99>s going to hurt, Michael. I live in a pretty good-sized area, and the local cable company here doesnâ<80><99>t even carry MyNetwork. In fact, when I called to ask them about it, the guy hadnâ<80><99>t even heard of it! Luckily for me, I have a satellite carrier that does have it. But no doubt, MyNetwork has some pushing to do to even come close to the audience that CW has.
Iâ<80><99>d be surprised if heâ<80><99>s not in there eventually.
Hey “Mac”, I’m sure you get plenty of props everyday so I will spare you the norm, bud. I do love the column though. I have a question and a quick comment to the readers, some in particular. Has anyone noticed, since the death of the Benoit family and then his legacy….that pro wrestling in general, not just the WWE has really taken a trun for the worst? Did “The Crippler” make pro wrestling tap out, with his final actions and the circumstances surrounding his death? My statement would be directed to those in favor of Jeff Hardy’s career demise. I am so tired of hearing whining front running, “all about business” fans complain on a day to day basis about how he sucks and can’t really run with a title. Does anyone remember the days of “pro wrestling.” Or has it come down to simply who sells tickets. Look, in my opinion he is a bit sloppy at times, but he is competing in a business that is always sloppy…because it’s live, all of them screw up. Get used to it. he has worked hard and had his bad times, is that to say that Randy Orton’s antics in the back as a rookie should disqualify him form being a champion. Have you read these sites lately he has grown into a true leader. This industry is losing its honor and glory days, when hard workers were rewarded. It has become a business above business. Frankly, politics are going to bring a whole new look to this industry and I really think it has the chance of killing it off. Next time you get the chance to see a young man grow into his own and accomplish so much and get to witness a career unfold….it might be better if the crtics of this young man, try and place themselves in the shoes they once filled as a child and take a second look.
Well, readers, this oneâ<80><99>s addressed to you! I leave it in your capable hands.
I agree with just about all of your points in your “Take on Raw”… The Big Show/Mayweather thing makes me want to hurl whenever they promote it. I always enjoyed the Big Show as the giant jerk who thinks he can take on the world (especially back in the day when he and Shane were allied in 2000), but Mayweather is boring, uncharismatic, and does NOT know how to work within the confines of a WWE ring whether it be speaking on the mic or dealing with WWE matches or storylines. He comes off as a pompous asshole, and if Show is the heel, its like two negatives crossing each other out at a waste of a match at WrestleMania 24.
Well, the McMahons canâ<80><99>t be knee deep in the biggest storylines ALL the time! In recent times thereâ<80><99>s been feuding with DX, Vince blowing up â<80>¦ Iâ<80><99>m sure weâ<80><99>ll see them in the mix of things more.
Wouldnâ<80><99>t surprise me to see Orton pit Triple H and Cena against each other, but thatâ<80><99>s pretty predictable. Watch for perhaps an appearance by some alumni. Other than that, I have to be honest I havenâ<80><99>t thought about it that much!
I think Jeff will stay in the mix for a while, and may even eventually get a shot at wearing the big belt for a bit. Weâ<80><99>ll see.
For the record, Jeff is 30. Heâ<80><99>ll be 31 in August.
That would have been good to see at that point.
I have been a mark since 69 when I was four. I hate most tv but consider wrestling to be some of the best acting and best example of athleticism that there is. I have seen a lot of bad storylines in almost 40 years so I can tell you that you are absolutely right about the Show and Floyd Whatever. I like rasslin but please Vince, hire writers that don’t consider me a complete moron. A “mixed martial arts match”, that was pathetic and I can’t BELIEVE the amount of money they paid that here today gone the next boxer. They could have spent 10% of that and had a real mma fighter (which is my second choice on tv) participate. I haven’t yet figured out if the Hornswoggle angle is…..interesting. One week it’s good the next week it’s “what the hell”. As a side note JBL is looking freakishly twisted and gay. Overall I thought the show this week was good. Thanks for your time.
Thanks for yours, Garry.
Iâ<80><99>ll admit, Grahame, math is not my strong suit. Youâ<80><99>re quite right, I did say it would be 33 percent more viewing and writing when it is indeed 50 percent more. Thanks for making me feel better about my workload!
Whats up Sean?
Thanks, Jim. Yes, both segments were pretty pathetic. I did touch on how bad the storyline has become, but neglected to say how bad Mayweather was. But then again, sometimes things go without saying.
Honstely I hope HHH wins at WM 24 I wouldn’t be able to stand it if cena gets a long tittle run again enough is enough already I really wanna see a long feud between HBK and triple H instead of orton and cena with HBK winnin the tittle one more time and love ur cloumms by the way.
Iâ<80><99>m expecting a Triple H victory, but thatâ<80><99>s just my prediction. I, too, would like to see Shawn get another title run. Thanks for reading.
1) Take the IC belt off Jeff Hardy: How long has he had it for?? A year??
2) BRING BACK THE HARDCORE BELT!!!!
3) Get rid of ECW.
I have more ideas, but i’ll only boggle you with these three. Let me know
All respectable ideas. The Hardcore belt was fun at times, ECW is a shell of itself, and the IC belt just seems meaningless anymore.
I am a bit tipsy as I write this, so bear with me. I know that the JBL/Horny video was dumb, but I have to give it to the WWE for this one. I for some reason, find the relationship between Finaly and Horny very endearing. I watch plenty of ROH and alternative wrestling programs, and consider myself a pretty big smark… and this storyline excites me for one reason alone. It is setting Finaly up to be one of the leading faces in the company, and I hope in the future, for a world title run. Now, Finlay needs an emotional angle like this to get his foot in the door, because I dont think that he is the typical wrestler that the fans get behind and start to see as a legitimate contender for a world title. Sure, he loves to fight, and any longtime smark will admit, that theres not many people in the WWE more deserving of a title run than Finlay, but I think that the fairweather fans need that endearing quality to give them faith in Finlay as a legitimate competitor the likes of a Chris Benoit, or a Chris Jericho. McMahon obviously has faith in anyone that he puts in an angle that is directly involved with his onscreen “Mr Mcmahon” character. Even though Bobby Lashley is gone, we can all say that last year’s angle with Trump was a legitimate attempt to get him fresh in peoples minds and build him up for a world title run in the future… and though he didnt win it, he soon went on to challenge John Cena for THE title in the WWE, and I think would have eventually won it if he didnt get hurt. I think that this is an attempt to give Finaly a good sentimental following, so that they can boost him up for a run, where people will feel genuine sympathy for the man, and then when he is finally ready to challenge for the belt, play him as kind of an underdog challenger the same way they did with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Though there were many factors in their title wins, I think that it came down to informing the fans that Eddie and Chris were the real deal. They had been wrestling for almost 20 years, around the world and suffered horrible career threatening injuries(like Finlay) and personal hardships, and came back for the simple fact that guys like these ARE wrestling, and not just a hype machine that cant deliver in a ring. These storylines play on the fact that the road to the biggest title in the sport today has been a goal for longer than most of the fans have been alive, and a dream for the competitor… and I think that fans of ALL ages can become very emotionally invested in these angles, propelling the mid carder into main event territory.
Have one for me, Clayton!
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!
Also, be sure to check out TotalWrestling.net, a new site with former announcer Kevin Kelley, Chris â<80><9c>The Man of 1,000 Names,â<80> Chris Ghorst and your truly. Weâ<80><99>re still in â<80><9c>betaâ<80> mode, but keep an eye on it for some exciting developments to come!