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Talk Wrestling Online Newsletter - Issue #63 (TWC / TME: Smackdown...)


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Talk Wrestling Online Newsletter - Issue #63 - 26th May 2004



Hey all,


Welcome to Issue 63 of the TWO Newsletter! Sorry for another late release, this is always my busiest time of the year, I've had so much on in the last few weeks.


In last week's edition, I advertised the position of the US News Report for this very newsletter and I have received a good amount of interest. A decision will be made sometime this week, and you will see the new appointment's first column in next week's newsletter.


Goldy is on hiatus so Adam Sibley's UKScene column from W101 is brought in, draVen also brings you an in depth look at The Wrestling Channel, Chris2K is back in a big way with EWR WWE Corner and finally Stephen Ashfield is back once again with a main event! The usual features are included too, and a new piece about the FWL.





TWO Newsletter Editor



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The Week in History



20 years ago this week - The first card of NWA wrestling in the New York area in 20 years, dubbed "The Night of Champions," is held in New Jersey's Byrne Meadowlands Arena.


10 years ago this week - Ray Candy of a heart attack at 43.


1 year ago this week - The NWA and WWA (World Wrestling All-Stars) World Heavyweight titles were unified when NWA World Champion, Jeff Jarrett, pinned WWA World Champion, Sting, to unify the belts in Auckland, New Zealand.



Forum Focus



gkdanko posted talked about Randy Orton's IC Title reign this past week. He commented on whether Orton can beat the Honky Tonk Man's record of holding the IC Title of 15 months and the TWO members had this to say:


"I hope that Orton will make the title so prestigious that it will actually matter again so we can go back to the days where the second best around was Intercontinental Champion and he challenged the World Champion (Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, title vs. title)" - Jack Bibby.


"You never know, Orton may just do it. By holding the IC belt for over 15 months he would have vanquished the record of another legend." - Boyo.


"I don't think the WWE would leave Orton with the title for that long, mainly because I expect him to be in a feud with HHH very soon. HHH's face turn will probably occur in a month or so and will set up a rivalry between the two. It wouldn't surprise me if Orton lost the strap shortly before or after the turn and it occur due to HHH's interference. Also I would think that Orton will be gunning for the world title soon." - AlanJP.


"Used to love the IC title before they started putting it on losers like Godfather, Chyna, Billy Gunn and Albert (to just name four). At least now its around the waist of a really good performer and as long as he's given proper feuds, he will continue to restore a sense of prestige that it hasn't had since Benoit/Jericho in 2000." - E2K.


"Orton seems to be on a rocket ride to future World Title glory but who is surprised? He is in with, and being groomed by, two of the most influential and experienced men in WWE, Slick Ric and Hx3. I would like to see him break away from Evolution and win the title on his own so as to not tarnish his win and reign with assistance from Evo. As stated earlier on this thread he could bring respectability and prestige back to the belt. He could use it as bait as he fishes for more legends to kill." - MachoMat.



Forum Threads of the Week





draVen's thread entitled Official RAW Thread (17/05/04) wins this week's Thread of the Week! It was a high quality read and stood out above the rest for last week. Great discussion by a large range of members. Good stuff!



http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12229 - draVen




Not much went on this past week. Pretty quiet week, not much to choose from at all. HSM's thread about his online poker experience bag's this weeks award.


HSM'S GREAT POKER EXPERIMENT! - http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12233 - HSM



TWO Member of the Week



Who is this week's TWO member of the week?


Nicole wins Member of the Week for the very first time! Had a very good week on the forums, made impressive posts all over the boards. Was also made the Music Forum Leader!


Well done to Nicole on becoming the TWO member of the week!



New at Wrestling 101



Loads of new columns this week for you all to check out and they are:


> Total Extreme Warfare 2004 Review (By Russ)



> UK Scene #123 (By Adam Sibley)



> Future-Shock #15 (By Scott Future)



> Kenzo Suzuki Profile (By Robert Heard)



> ST: Camaraderie in wrestling (By Saracen)



> Allan "The Terminator" Grogan Interview (By Dan)




Fantasy Wrestling League ZONE!!!



After the first week of FWL action, the top ten looks like this:


1) tgo - 395

2) armigersacolyte - 355

3) Scott_Y2J - 330

4) TwistedJon - 325

5) Rockin Roller - 310

6) Rocko_Rock2003 - 310

7) 619boy - 305

8) Baye - 290

9) SavageFury - 285

10) Verb - 280


Full leaderboard:



tgo opens up a big lead ahead of nearest rival, armigersacolyte. TWO newbie,

TwistedJon is positioned nicely in 4th place with 325 points. TWO veteran Verb, is in 10th place with 280 points. Expect this leaderboard to dramatically change over the next few weeks!



UK Scene 123 by Adam Sibley



Welcome one and all to my voyage through another week of UK Scene happenings. There has been a lot going on at the site as you can see so I shall be talking more about this in the column. Also I'll be taking a look at the latest TV exposure for UK wrestlers and wrestlers being lured away to foreign destinations. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading.


Now if you were in on Friday night and not off out painting the town red you hopefully will have watched "Distraction" It's the new game show on channel 4 with the presenter that looks like Johnny Vaughn. Well the show has gained a cult audience since it started just for the sheer stupidity of it all. On the show contestants to have to answer as many questions correctly to get through all the rounds but they have to answer the questions whilst having something stupid done to them like electric shocks for instance.


Well last night (21/05) the Flatliner and the Dominator fresh off the back of EWW Resurrection were used on the show to distract the contestants. Whilst the contestants answered questions they were flung around a matted area by the pair. I was quite surprised with how well this piece came off it looked really good and the second girl looked like she was in agony. This section was the only 5 minutes that managed to grab my attention away from Raw as the show is too bizarre for my liking but the ratings don't lie.


On another bit of TV news I can't remember where I saw it now but you know when companies sponsor TV shows and at the beginning and end of the trailers they get to screen their little video package which links the show to the product like say when Muller fruit corner sponsored Blind date. Well I can't remember what show it was now but it was sponsored by Vodafone and low and behold who appears in the promo none other than our Flatliner. I think that man is an asset to the UK Scene as he seems to have a lot of links in the media world as he pops up everywhere.


Now the UK Scene could be in for a bit of rocky time in the upcoming months as finally the inevitable has happened Scott Conway is starting a wrestling promotion out in his new native homeland of Thailand. Scott ran wrestling shows for decades in the UK Scene and were second only to All Star with the amount of tours and shows they put on during their run. Well due to constant work being offered Conway had a group of wrestlers that were very loyal to him and he had a good working relationship with them taking them up and down the country. He had a lot of guys he knew he could depend on.


Well since TWA disbanded in the UK there has not been a great deal of work to go around outside All Star and they couldn't take on all of the TWA boys so this has left a lot of talented guys in limbo for the last year or so well now there seems to be a solution. Scott Conway is offering the chance to UK wrestlers to come and work for his new promotion in Thailand for three months at a time. Now looking it at a wrestlers point of view who wouldn't say yes to three months in a hot country they may not have been to before working a lot of nights making money so it would come as no surprise to me to see a few guys leaving our shores for a while.


Scott says he already has a host of UK guys booked for his first run but wants to book more UK guys for tours and shows to come in the future. As he doesn't have time to get back in touch with everyone individually that use to work for him he is offering an open invitation for UK workers to get in touch with him if they want to be considered for work in Thailand. If you are a UK worker and are interested email: TWAwrestling@aol.com. Whoever Scott books it could lead the UK Scene a little thin on the ground especially if guys are involved in storylines over here and then are away in Thailand for three months it could cause a lot of headaches for UK wrestling promoters.


After being able to look more closely at in-depth reviews from EWW resurrection it looks like once again they are using very strong storylines to draw the fans. That is the UK Scene's main problem is that we have the talent but not enough promotions work hard enough on the storyline aspect but I must give a round of applause to the EWW creative team who seem to be at their best again. This time round we see a power struggle between rebel groups PMS and the Dead Souls who are determined to run rough shod over EWW. The next time you can see EWW is at "Unified" again at the Palace nightclub on the 27th of August.


FWA are once again gearing up for another tour event next weekend from the Morecambe Dome. The card currently looks like this:


> Alex Shane and partner TBA v Jack Xavier and Aviv Mayaan (with DJ Pep)

> XPW European Champion Jonny Storm v James Tighe

> Simmons v 'The Righteous' Paul Travell

> Nikita v Stevie Knight


This will be an event with a difference though as it will be the first tour event to have a fan fest during the day of the event. The fan fest kicks off at 3pm and will give you a chance to meet the wrestlers attend a FWA press conference and battle as your favourite FWA superstar in a FWA X-box challenge. Admission for the event is £5 and will take place at the Waterfront bar at the Dome.


Now I must close this week by saying a big welcome to our latest staff member to the UK Scene team K-Star worker Saracen. Now Saracen has been around the UK scene for a little while now and has been always on hand in the forums to share his views and his knowledge to the masses. Welcome aboard Saracen!


Until next time,


Adam Sibley



EWR WWE Corner by Chris2K



Welcome once again to the EWR WWE Corner, with me, Chris2K. Apologies for missing lat week, but unfortunately revision for an AS exam had to take precedent, and I don't trust anybody with taking the column over. That, and nobody actually wanted to. Anyway, this week we go over No Way Out 2004, the day that Eddie Guerrero took his final step to glory.


Real star ratings from Scott Keith of 411Mania.com.


<Opening Match: SmackDown Tag Titles: Rikishi & Scotty © vs. The Bashams and Shaniqua>

Booked As: Match, Handicap, 2vs3, Rikishi wins over Shaniqua


Crowd: 62%

Match: 64%

Overall: 63%

Stars: **

Real Stars: *1/2


An accurate assumption of what was quite a dull contest. The fact Rikishi and Scotty were champions is bad enough, but with the current state of the tag team division, they're actually one of the most experienced. Shaniqua hasn't been seen since. Shame.


<Second Match: Blindfold Match: Jamie Noble vs. Nidia>

Booked As: Match, 1vs1, Singles, Noble wins by cheating


Crowd: 65%

Match: 68%

Overall: 66%

Stars: **1/2

Real Stars: DUD


Well the big feud on SmackDown... wasn't this. And this match was mainly so poor because of the shocking gimmick that was thrown at it. Not that it would've been any good anyway.


<Third Match: APA vs. Haas & Benjamin>

Booked As: Match, 2vs2, Tag, Benjamin wins over Bradshaw


Crowd: 77%

Match: 76%

Overall: 76%

Stars: ***

Real Stars: *1/4


Probably the funniest moment of the night came in this match, as Bradshaw, who had been selling an arm injury for most of the match, used his injured arm to hit a clothesline from hell with no effect to himself. God bless psychology.


<Segment: Goldberg attacks Lesnar>

Booked As: Angle, 1vs1, Run In Attack


Rating: 81%


A move that kind of helped set up the main event a bit, but was mainly to help the feud towards WrestleMania. But the match at WM was so poor, this time was effectively wasted.


<Fourth Match: Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno>

Booked As: Match, 1vs1, Singles, Hardcore wins


Crowd: 76%

Match: 80%

Overall: 78%

Stars: ***

Real Stars: *3/4


The WWE never seem to give up on Hardcore, but I think 90% of fans wish they would. The least charasmatic person in the world can't draw anybody except southern hicks. Still, at least he wasn't in a world title match.... again.


<Fifth Match: Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. © vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.>

Booked As: Match, 1vs1, Singles, Chavo wins by Chavo Classic interference


Crowd: 78%

Match: 88%

Overall: 83%

Stars: ***1/2

Real Stars: ***3/4


The second best match of the night, as you'd expect from two good workers such as the Juniors. Still, I think it was Chavo Classic's presence that tipped it over the edge to a good match.


<Sixth Match: #1 Contender Match: Kurt Angle vs. John Cena vs. Big Show>

Booked As: Match, 1vs1vs1, Triangle, Angle wins over Cena


Crowd: 88%

Match: 76%

Overall: 84%

Stars: ***

Real Stars: **3/4


Another very realistic outcome star-wise, and probably an accurate assumption of how well these three could work together. Angle winning was definitely the right choice, as he and Eddie had a classic match at WrestleMania.


<Seventh Match: WWE Title Match: Brock Lesnar © vs. Eddie Guerrero>

Booked As: Match, 1vs1, Singles, Eddie wins by Goldberg interference


Crowd: 87%

Match: 85%

Overall: 86%

Stars: ***3/4

Real Stars: ****1/2


Brock's last great match with the company really got Eddie over big time, and he soon became one of the most popular world champions in history. Eddie's comeback from his drug and drink problem to winning the world title was a brilliant way of sending out a message, and made for an emotional victory. Shame he didn't win cleanly, but nobody's perfect.




One of the better shows this year, highlighted by the good main event and cruiserweight match. Slight problems with the Noble/Nidia match and the opening tag match dragged it down a bit, but overall it was a solid PPV.


1. Royal Rumble 2004 - 79%

2. No Way Out 2004 - 77%

3. WrestleMania XX - 75%

4. Backlash 2004 - 74%

5. Armageddon 2003 - 70%


Join me next week for Judgment Day, which should be.... interesting. Until then, have a nice week.





The Wrestling Channel: So Far!! by draVen



Any Internet wrestling fan who lives in the UK and hasn't at least heard about The Wrestling Channel must either be very picky about what sites he chooses to view or is just very isolated. Since Wrestlemania week, we have been treated to the delights of UK, US, Mexican and Japanese wrestling, free to all those with Sky Digital. We've all got to grips with what the channel is about, so now I'm going to take a look at the positives and negatives of the channel. I'll start with the negatives first.




- FWA: Now, I'm all for British wrestling being put on the map. I myself work with a company called FCW (http://www.futurewrestling.co.uk - hey c'mon, it's my column, so I can plug at least once) based in the West Midlands, and I think it's great to see people like Jonny Storm and Doug Williams on TV, the blueprint of the scene, so to speak. However, I'm gonna go on record in saying that bar 3PW, FWA is probably the worst product on the channel. Now this could be down to two things - first, the other products are simply excellent. It's a simple enough reason I suppose. The second is as simple though; the product isn't good enough, and FWA need to change it. In-ring wise, ok, the action is pretty good. The production isn't too bad and the workers can work and try very hard. But it's outside the ring where they suffer. The presenter looks wooden, the promos look and sound awful (and don't get my started on the whole camera angle thing), and they are presenting their product all wrong. Doug Williams said it best to me, that promos are not FWA's strongpoint, and I agree. They drag the whole show down, and FWA can't afford to drive fans away with their inane dribble. Be unique. Show everyone a product they can't see on TWC, not just a cross between ROH and WWE on an ECW budget. Alex Shane is not The Rock, never has been or will be. No FWA guy is a UK version of any WWE guy. WWE is in a league far far superior to FWA in almost every way. So stop treating it like it isn't and be something totally unique and fun.


- Attitude: This may be a personal vendetta on my behalf, but I find a lot of the channel representatives to be arrogant and obnoxious when dealing with viewers. Well sorry, not all of them. But one of them, who predominantly features on the UK Fan Forum and the TWC forums. I had a conversation with Dave Prazak of IWA:Mid South about his product being on TWC and he told me a story of what happened between IWA and TWC and told me to get fans rallying behind IWA if they wanted it on the channel, so I did. The channel representative (herbie747) decided to take personal shots at me for no reason, other than that I was stating what a US company representative had passed on to me. I was told to grow up and that my source was basically rubbish (of course, one of the top guys in any company is rubbish - pardon my dumbassness). It's quite funny because not one day later, IWA and TWC got in touch again, TWC apologised, and ended up buying a show which will be shown in a few weeks time (Stylin' And Profilin'). Funny that, isn't it? It's not just me though. I've seen him be an arrogant you-know-what to many others as well, including one recently who took his time to praise Herbie to the high heavens, only to be told "ever heard of a PM". For crying out loud, take the compliment and shut up. Be thankful people are even taking time out to say thanks, and publicly too. I mean, I seriously love the channel, and I appreciate everything that it and you are doing for us fans. But you are doing us a service, not the other way around. You do your service in order to keep us happy, and to keep us watching. If we ain't doing either, you're screwed. Think about that before you take shots at your viewers.




- CZW: I had heard a lot about this group, both good and bad, leading up to their appearance on TWC. When I finally got to see Fake You TV, I wasn't disappointed. John House and Eric Garguilo are a good commentary team, and provide a lot of enjoyment to the proceedings. Alex Shelley is an excellent talker for an indy worker, and Ruckus is one of my new favorites amongst the wrestling scene. It's come along way since the age old days of Zandig and Wifebeater 24/7. Ok, so the ultraviolence still exists, but hey, it's all in moderation, so no complaints from me. As long as the product stays as good as it has been, I'm happy. Keep up the good work, guys.


- NWATNA: I'm just randomly picking shows here, I know. But TNA has the chance to be a really big deal for TWC. It is without doubt the second biggest company behind the WWE in the US, and has good production qualities, and looks big time for the channel. Sure, it may be a few months out of date, but we can forgive them for that. Just be careful over the next few months, as TNA starts to hit a really big dark age. But trust me - as soon as you get to the America's X Cup and the Road To The Cage (I'll say no more), it'll be worth it. Kudos to the commentary team too. Mike Tenay is one of the best in the business, bar none. And Don West is.. well... enthusiastic.


- World Of Sport: This seems to be the crown jewel of the channel at the moment. Personally, I don't enjoy watching it. It bores me slightly, and some of the moves make no sense to me. But by the looks of it, it seems to be the highest rated show so far, and is bringing back the old sensation of being able to tune in on a Saturday afternoon to Mick McManus, Steve Logan, Big Daddy, and Kendo Nagasaki. Definitely smart play from the chiefs of TWC, and great for old and new school fans alike.


- Supercard Sunday: A huge benefit for TWC is the amount of tapes it has. Many companies around the world have sent in tapes and every Sunday for 4 hours, we can see one of these shows in its entirety. That, to me, is a fantastic deal. The supercards for specific wrestlers is great too, especially when they allow people on their forums to choose the matches. It adds an air of interactive-ness to the channel and definitely makes it worth it.


- The Times: No, not the newspaper, but rather the timeslots. Ok, so a few hours in the morning followed by an interval is a little annoying, but it's understandable, since most people are out to work or school at that point and get to watch some wrestling before they leave. And then from 12 til 12, it's nonstop. I love that. Ok, I'd probably like it to go further into the night too, but considering how many hours they have allocated, I'm not complaining.


And most importantly of all...


- Choice: Never have we had so much choice before, as to what wrestling we want to watch. Fancy some puro? We got it. In the mood for lucha libre? It's right there. Wondering what ever happened to Jeff Jarrett? Oh look, there he is. It's great to be able to switch on to wrestling whenever we want (within the hours, of course). And whilst it may be a tape traders nightmare, I love being able to have freedom, especially outside of the WWE box. From TNA, 3PW and CZW to Classic Japan, Classic Memphis and World Of Sport, to Noah, New Japan, and CMLL, and even FWA (for those who really enjoy them), it's all there. I get to see all these new guys who I have heard about but never seen before. Antonio Inoki, Birchill, Jack Brisco, Matt Striker, and even Jimmy Jacobs have all crossed my eyes as of late, and I love it. No more do I have to only concern myself with the same old RAW and the pitiful SmackDown. This is what dreams are made of.


So there you go. My take on The Wrestling Channel. I hope for it's (and more importantly, our) sake that it becomes successful and remains on our screens for a long time to come.


Thanks for reading.





TWO Newsletter Main Event -

"Smackdown just ain't what it used to be!" by Stephen Ashfield



It's beginning to get worrying isn't it? Smackdown just seems to be going nowhere at the moment. Let's have a look at how that draft lottery has affected the roster over the past few weeks.


RVD must really be wondering what he has to do to become a main eventer, or someone who is getting near to the top of the tree. It was an almost impossible task on Raw but on a Smackdown roster that has lost Angle, Big Show and Lesnar, surely he must have had high hopes when becoming 'Mr Thursday Night' - not that they tape it on a Thursday, poor RVD doesn't even know what day it is now!


What does he get? Well, from being Tag champ on Raw, he ends up being Mr Nice-Guy and having to have a quick feud with his former partner Booker T. Now that's not giving us fresh matches is it? A match between the two was probably inevitable on Raw, but they both get drafted so it's on Smackdown. They didn't even get a PPV match. That's all over, Booker gets the push and RVD finds himself back in ECW except without the support or the hardcore element, as he battles the 'been there done that, do we have to do it again, suppose we better' Dudley Boyz. Then he's saddled with Rey Mysterio who through those fake lenses must have had trouble accepting the fact that Jacqueline was cruiserweight champion! So where does RVD go from here? Is he a tag team with Mysterio now? Could he be waiting for Rene Dupree to get the US Title belt so he can feud with him? Or is he waiting for the rumoured return of ECW? Who knows, but a main event match is as far away on a 'Thursday' as it was live on a Monday night.


Booker T must be wondering what's going on as well. He's had so many feuds since he arrived on Smackdown. He must feel like that new kid at school who can't make friends with anyone. It looked promising as he began to feud with Eddie over the WWE Title but then had to play second (third? fourth?) fiddle to John Bradshaw Layfield, the man who nearly shuts his eyes everytime he smiles. Then it was a feud with RVD before being declared lamb to the slaughter, or as it's known these days a match with The Underbikertaker!


What was all that stuff with the voodoo? Why are there so many cameras in graveyards? Are they unemployed cameramen still crying because Buffy has been cancelled? What was the point of having that stupid pouch when it had no effect on Undi at all. He's the Phenom now, he won't sell. Rumours are he could become another Papa Shango, he can't even do his silly Spinneroonie now (and I was so looking forward to Bradshaw doing it), poor Booker, better hurry up that retirement.


Rene Dupree has done pretty well and I see him as US Champ sooner or later. A Frenchman as US Champ? Had to laugh at Café Rene though, half expected the French Resistance to turn up any minute. 'Now listen here Mr Cena, I shall say this only once.' Rumours are that with current booking Fifi could be cruiserweight Champ soon!


Then there's Spike Dudley, oh poor old Spike. He was never going to liven the Cruiserweight division up was he? He's in a three-way with Chavo and Chavo Classic and they give the belt to his the old guy with bad underwear. Back to Velocity Spike.


Theodore Long continues to bore us all to death as he gets dragged into a Lex Luger style plotline with Mark Jindrak. Apparently it's cheaper and safer than getting the real Total package back and keeps all the Diva's happy I suppose. Would you want to work with Lex after the Miss Elizabeth tragedy? Will it work? Course not, find a tag partner soon Mark.


Rico has done best of all I suppose, after all he is a tag champ now. Mind you when you're a champ you're always watching your back. Suppose that can be said for the rest of the roster as well when this man-hungry wrestler is about. When Rikishi's ass is attractive to you, the insanity test must surely be positive. Oh and Miss Jackie looks pretty, that's all she can do isn't it?


The Draft Lottery hasn't helped Smackdown a great deal. The tag division is a joke, the cruiserweight division is just atrocious and we still have Bradshaw as Number one challenger. But there is Mordecai or is the 'Albinotaker'? Doesn't scare me a bit and he'll just be cannon fodder for Undi by Summerslam. Smackdown has lost too much talent, add Benoit to that lengthy list I mentioned previously and the show is in deep trouble. Will it pull itself out of the mire? Only time will tell but I'm not that confident, are you?







EWR WWE Corner - By Chris2K

TWC: So Far!! - By draVen

TWO Newsletter Main Event - By Stephen



The replacement for HSM will debut next week. Goldy is on hiatus yet again next week, so I will find a temporary person to fill her shoes when she is unable to do the column. If you're interested, e-mail me, cheers. Thanks to the trio of Chris, draVen and Stephen - great work this week guys! Keep visiting TWO/W101 and we'll see you here next Sunday.


Take it easy folks!


Any feedback would be gladly appreciated. Send it, along with any questions or queries, to Pabster@talkwrestlingonline.com or to any of our contributors. We want your input to help make the newsletter the best we can.


The TWO Newsletter - "Big Brother is coming..."




Some of the news stories included in the TWO newsletter are taken from various

sources around the internet and is not necessarily exclusive TWO news.

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