Off The Record – Recent Events

Hello everyone it has been a few weeks since I last posted a column but welcome to another edition of Off The Record. Let me just explain why I haven’t been around all that much in recent days. First I got a new PC which didn’t work and we had to wait 4 days for it to be repaired something which caused me no end of problems. Secondly I have been laid low with a stomach bug for the past few weeks which is still affecting me. It has been causing me to not eat and feel tired almost all day. Thirdly I have had some other things happen to me recently that have been slightly more important to me than wrestling and I just haven’t found the time to write. After all that please forgive me if I keep this to a very brief column.

It has been a busy time in the wrestling world over the past few weeks that you haven’t heard from me. Survivor Series has been and gone, 10 superstars have been fired and I have been to another show by my local independent company the Scottish Wrestling Alliance which I have to say although not brilliant I enjoyed very much. They actually have some decent storylines and WWE could would do themselves a favour to look at independent company’s on how to build up good feuds as they seem to have very little idea on how to these days.

Anyway lets get on to Survivor Series a PPV that I didn’t order. It seems as though most of the IWC would agree with me in saying that the show was a very creditable effort by the WWE. Still not what they should be producing for one of the big 4 PPV’s of the year but certainly better than half the crap they have been producing and calling PPV,s over the past six months. What I think Survivor Series did show from what highlights I have seen is what show are the better brand just now. That Title sure as hell belongs to Smackdown. They seem to have regained the position the held at the start of the brand extension. Theodore Long has been making an awesome general manager and has proved that the GM position should be a face rather than heel. Anyway back to Survivor Series the PPV was heavily booked in favour of Smackdown something in my view that is a welcome change from the heavy way that Vince has leaned towards the Raw brand when booking PPV’s. Raw really only had two matches on the card (very worrying) as you can hardly count Lita v Trish as the Women’s Division is basically dead and as soon as the WWE admit this or hire 3 or 4 decent Women wrestlers (not the diva search girls) the better. On what did happen on the Raw side Christian and Benjamin produced an incredible contest and have really tried to restore some pride to the IC Title. I am pleased they kept the belt on Benjamin as it was in no way time for him to drop it yet and the feud can continue with Christian chasing the Title. The Survivor Series match was OK although nothing special. They again made the right decision when picking a winner here, as nobody would have tuned in to see HHH run Raw. Mind you that pretty much happens every week anyway. What Survivor Series did do was confirm Randy Orton as Raw’s new star and number 1 face if he wasn’t in the position already while also confirm the fall of grace of Benoit by having him eliminated before Maven. On the Smackdown side of things my man Booker T was again screwed out of the WWE Title. Now I have no problem with continuing this feud and it looks as though Booker will have another chance at Armageddon but the amount of times he has been screwed out of a Title run (and I am not just talking about in storylines here) is awful. Wrestlemania 19 was the worst of these. The rest of the Smackdwon card seems to have gone very well with their Survivor Series match stealing the show. If I had to pick bones I would have rather have seen Carlito be pinned by Cena than be chased off and I would like to see Spike involved in some sort of decent feud to prove that there is a Cruiserweight Division. But all in all it has been a good couple of weeks for the WWE and in particularly the Smackdown brand.

Now onto the recent firings by the WWE. They have released a full 10 superstars recently with more rumoured to follow. Now I understand most of these were just getting rid of deadwood and cost cutting exercises. OK fine guys like Test, A Train, Chucky, Nidia, Gail Kim, Jazz and Rodney Mack had all ran their course in the WWE and were just so uninteresting it was a waste of time keeping them. The problem I have though is with the other three guys that were given the boot. Billy Gunn I can just about accept although if the guy had been updated on TV I still think he could have had a lot to give. Rico and Johnny Stamboli however I cannot accept. Why fire Rico? I cannot thing of one reason why he should have been fired. One of the best guys backstage and with fans by all accounts and part of one of the most decent Tag Teams in the WWE. It just does not make sense. All it has done is destroy a decent Tag Team. Johnny Stamboli is another. The FBI had recently been on TV more than they had been in the first seven months of the year thanks in no part to influence from Heyman. I was really beginning to take them seriously but then Stamboli gets fired leaving no hope for Nunzio. Mindless and crazy is all I can say given that guys like Val Venis, Akio, Hardcore Holly and Scott 2 Hotty astonishingly escaped this cull of grapplers.

Random Thoughts and Comments

I know I am a big Booker T fan but I also like JBL and I just wish they would put him over cleanly in one Title match. His entire Title reign has been full of interfering and cheating to win matches.

JBL has now held the WWE Title longer than either Benoit or Guerrero. Yes that’s right folks JBL has officially received a bigger push that either of these two hard workers.

I am glad to see the RVD/Mysterio v Suzuki/Dupree feud starting uo again. Why it was stopped in the first place is a mystery for me.

RVD and Mysterio are developing into an awesome Tag Team. Long may they continue to be partners?

I cannot help but feel that Jesus might be getting the US Title.

Armageddon is already shaping up nicely with one match already announced and two other possibilities from the above thoughts. All this without mentioning Kurt Angle or Big Show.

I really cannot stand all this Tough Enough and Diva Search stuff being plastered over both shows. No wonder the WWE is firing so many guys.

I am pleased for William Regal and Eugene. If anyone deserves it these two do. Hopefully it can spice up the Tag Division on Raw.

This Simon Dean guy just pisses me off so much. Either have him wrestle or get him or our screens right now.

I cannot wait till Kane returns.

Chris Jericho is long overdue a push. How many columnists have you heard say that?

Reader Feedback

Just one feedback given my absence.

I agree that Gene Snitsky is horrible in the ring, but I think we should give the guy a chance before judging him, I notice that there wasn’t any of this kind of crititism when Brock Lesnar first arrived and he was given a push similiar to Snitsky. Another thing, why are WWE sending wrestlers away on WWE produced movies? Maybe to make money(which I don’t think they will from it) but surely they have enough problems with The Rock always being away when, judging by the ratings that WWE gets when he’s on the show, he would be able to help the WWE if was always there. But now WWE themselves are sending away guys the likes of John Cena and Kane to do movies which are surely going to fail, purposely weakening their roster! I agree that the power HHH holds backstage is getting out of hand, with him constantly being in the title race and blocking potentally interesting storylines from happening. What I think is happening is that WWE is slowly turning into WCW, when Eric Bischoff was showing loyalty to the likes of Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash, pushing Goldberg for about a year and then pushing him out of the picture almost totally, which is what I think is happening with Chris Benoit, WWE pushed him as World Champion, made him lose it to Randy Orton and since has been completely underused. One thing WWE has been doing right, is pushing Edge as a heel, what I think they should do is put him back in a team with Christian and reform Edge and Christian, as one of the biggest mistakes that WWE made I think was breaking them up as they clearly worked as a heel tag team. Pat Patterson leaving was also terrilble by WWE, particularly Vince McMahon, how can he listen to an egotistical idiot like HHH, which I think he is backstage, off camera, as well as on camera, over a man who has done more for him that anyone else in the company, who came up with the great storylines that WWE had in 1998 and 1999. It’s not just that, Vince is listening more to HHH than he is to his own son and daughter, Shane and Stephanie! What did HHH ever do to deserve that kind of preferred treatment? Mark Robinson Northern Ireland

Response: Hey thanks for the feedback. Good to here from someone on my side of the Atlantic. I was hoping to get through this entire column without mentioning Snitsky but oh well. He has been pushed far too quickly. WWE really need Cena and Kane just now but NO they are away making movies. HHH’s backstage power has long been something I have included regularly in my columns and I hate it. I stand by what I have said. Edge and Christian desperately need to be back together as a team as neither is going far with singles pushes.

Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming to

Apologies for this being a column all on recent events. I will try and return with a proper column soon.

Until then that’s it

Euan Conway