Triple X (10 WWE Releases, Victory Road)

Hello and welcome to another edition of Triple X! Since I have two huge topics to talk about, this will be more of a Double X. Those two topics are Victory Road and the 10 WWE releases.

X- The WWE had a huge roster change this week, as ten wrestlers were cut. I will take a look at each wrestler, see why he or she was cut, if he or she was fairly cut, and if TNA should get him or her.

Billy Gunn- This one took a lot longer than I thought. He had been trying to get out of the WWE for a long time, and he was finally let go. I don’t think that he had the right to be complaining, being as the WWE was giving him a fair chance even though he didn’t have much anymore. Obviously TNA already signed him, but I hope that he re-unites with B.G. James, because Gunn isn’t good anymore on his own.

A-Train- This one didn’t surprise me too much. He was sent to Raw a couple of weeks after Wrestlemania, and he was on once, where he lost to Benoit. He was fairly cut because the WWE didn’t have anything for him to do. He had been pushed in his career, even as intercontinental champion, but never got a crowd response. He’s the type of guy that TNA doesn’t need, because he would just be a pointless mid-carder.

Test- This one was pretty disappointing in my view. He earned his stripes in the WWE, and he gets released. The worst part of it is, is that he is injured right now. What happened to the WWE’s policy of not releasing wrestlers until they’re fully healed? Also, Johnny Ace told Test that he could sign with them when he’s healthy, and he obviously said no. That is totally unprofessional of the WWE in my opinion. I think TNA should pick him up, and I hope they do because he’s pretty good, and could add something in my opinion.

Gail Kim- Her being released was a pretty big surprise. She was actually a good women’s wrestler. I thought that the WWE would try to improve the women’s division, but this is taking one step back. Maybe this means that Alexis Laree will be promoted to Raw soon. I don’t think TNA will grab her, and it definitely wouldn’t be at Victory Road because I’m guessing that they already had someone in mind before she got released. I think that she should go to TNA in the near future if they make an effort to have a strong women’s division.

Nidia- After Wrestlemania, this wouldn’t have seemed like a possibility. She was going to Raw, and she was unhappy. She then got implants as the WWE requested, and she was in line for a big push to become the women’s champion. Wow, that really happened. Like I said before, Tough Enough isn’t a good way to judge people. Just because you can do more push-ups than everyone else doesn’t mean that you should get a WWE contract. TNA won’t pick her up, and I’m glad.

Chuck Palumbo- He had something good going in 2002 when he was with Billy Gunn. Nobody cared for him when he was in the FBI, probably because nobody watches Velocity. There’s no point in picking him up, and TNA probably won’t. read more

The Crane Column: Looking at the Future

Hello again everybody and welcome to another Crane Column. The year of 2004 is coming to an end and a brand new year will soon begin, that year is 2005. So today I thought I would look into the future of the WWE, today I’m going to look at the year of 2005. But before I look ahead to 2005 lets wrap up the year with some Crane predictions.

First I’m going to make a prediction for Raw. If you saw Raw you’d know that next Monday is Randy Orton’s night to run the show. As Orton told us at the end of this week’s Raw Triple H will be defending his world championship in a battle royal. I’m guessing that Triple H will retain his title in the battle royal and then we’ll move onto Jericho’s week. I have this feeling that when Chris Jericho runs Raw he is going to make a match with himself vs. Triple H for the world heavyweight championship, and guess what? I think he’s going to win it. That’s right; Raw is going in to the New Year with Chris Jericho as Champion.

Now I’ve got a Smackdown prediction. At Armageddon in the fatal four way match for the WWE Championship featuring Eddie Guerrero vs. Booker T vs. The Undertaker vs. JBL, I’m predicting that Booker T walks out of Armageddon and into the New Year as Champion.

If those 2 things I’ve predicted for the end of 2004 happen, I will be so happy with the WWE, because in my opinion those 2 are the two men who deserve to hold the title right now.

Know the way I’m going to do my 2005 predictions is by choosing superstars2 from Raw (SmackDown next week) and predicting what they will do this year, so let’s take a look into the crystal ball and see what is in store for 2005.

Randy Orton
In 2005 I’m expecting Orton to continue to be around the Raw World Championship picture. I also am expecting him to win the Royal Rumble and go on to fight Triple H, who will regain the title from Jericho at the Rumble, for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21. However what I would really want is a SmackDown wrestler to win the Royal Rumble and then have Jericho keep the title until WrestleMania and defend it against Chris Benoit (a Canadian Main event to keep us Canadians happy). I’m expecting Orton to win the title at Mania and keep it until SummerSlam where I think Jericho who will be heel will take it from him with the help of SmackDown’s John Cena who would also be heel. Then Orton will demand to be traded to SmackDown feud with John Cena for almost the rest of the year and possibly even for the WWE Championship.

Chris Jericho
Well as I said earlier I expect Chris Jericho to walk into 2005 as Champion. At the Royal Rumble I think it’s going to be Chris Jericho vs. Triple H, and (I hope I’m wrong) I think Triple H will regain the title. I’m also thinking Jericho may be going against another Canadian, Edge at WrestleMania. Then as I said in the Randy Orton part of this column I think Jericho will go on to win the World Championship at SummerSlam. But wait I said he would be a heel in that match, how did that happen? Well I’m here to answer that. See at WrestleMania he would lose to Edge and Benjamin would come down as the two would develop a friendship before Mania. Then Benjamin comes down to comfort Jericho but Jericho attacks Benjamin. This would also set up a feud between Jericho and Benjamin until SummerSlam comes. After SummerSlam I expect Jericho to have somewhat of a 4 way feud with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Edge who would have turned face (again). That feud would fill the rest of the year for Jericho as at the pay per views he could either face HBK, Edge, or Triple H or have a fatal 4 way with all 3. read more

The Pepsi Plunge- Grass

I had been sitting there for what seemed like an eternity. Lateralus playing softly in my headphones as the sun ominously threatened to set in the fading sky. I could feel the chill of the evening wind cutting through my fleece. I didn’t have much time. I glared hopelessly across the fence to the field on the other side. I took a sharp drag from my cigarette and sat contemplatively, thinking. Should I brave the elements and take a really close look, knowing that I might well find answers that would not be popular? Or should I just turn off my headphones, turn my back on what awaited me, and amble home to continue my existence, never to know? The decision was ultimately an easy one. I arose in slow motion from my stool, threw off my fleece, and walked in a dramatic fashion towards the fence. I flicked my cigarette to the ground and stood firmly on it, twisting my foot for cinematic effect. As quickly as was possible, and with a degree of panic, I began to scale the fence. Struggling to maintain balance on the damp surface, I slipped and fell face-first to the ground. Briefly, my mission objective was forgotten. Feeling my mouth fill with a warm liquid, I placed my index and middle finger upon my lips. When I retracted them, I could see the unmistakeable red stain of blood upon my skin. Instinctively I reached down to clean my fingers upon the grass. What followed would destroy my very heart, my soul and my mind.

As soon as I laid eyes upon the grass my body froze and a vicious chill ripped through my spine. I stared in disbelief at what I was seeing. It didn’t make sense. My minor accident forgotten forever, a bigger picture had emerged. All that waiting, surely this wasn’t all that there was? No, no, no! I could not, should not, will not, would not accept what my eyes were telling me, despite the fact I had my contacts in. I began to maniacally tear handfuls of grass from the earth until my hands were green and had begun to hurt. With my last fading ounce of sanity quickly evaporating, I began to pound the ground with both fists. Rocks and sticks tore at my skin until they were bloodied. But I didn’t care. Nothing mattered. I gave up and started to cry hopelessly. My body slowly crumpled up and fell with a thud to the damp ground. I stared blankly at a few strands of grass in my hands and, as a bizarre wave of acceptance and serenity came over me, I began to laugh softly. My laughter gradually became louder and louder until I was in hysterics, my body convulsing to a disturbing degree. “Fools”, I cried at the top of my voice, “you’re all fools! Misguided, ill-advised, injudicious, erroneous fools! You cursed brats. Look what you have done. I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought good writers like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?!”

The grass was the exact same colour.

Now I’ve gone to outrageous levels to make a point before, but this time I felt I had to make an extra special effort. The word hyperbole was invented for a reason, and a damn good reason at that. It means ‘intended exaggeration for emphasis or effect’. An example would be if you were to hear someone say “This bag weighs a ton”. Obviously, no bag that any person will be lifting is going to weigh a literal ton, the term was just used to emphasise that the bag is excessively heavier than is normal. Now, obviously my little tale above is an example of hyperbole. There was no field, no fence, no bloodied mouth and hands; I don’t even smoke cigarettes for the love of God. In fact, with the exception of listening to Lateralus, none of what I have detailed above actually happened. So why on earth did I spend so much time stringing together what was ultimately a confusing and bordering on plagiaristic intro? I assume you have all heard the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” at some point in your lives? The term itself is an ironic one as it is used to make the point that while something else may appear to be a more attractive proposition than what you currently have, it usually just appears that way from afar when, in reality, it is no better or different. As of late I have heard a lot of people in our beloved IWC declaring that they have been to the other side and found the metaphorical greener grass that awaits there. What they are talking about is a wrestling company called TNA. These writers will tell you that TNA is something new, innovative and completely different to WWE. Well, the point of my story was that I have looked at this allegedly greener grass and I have to say that I regrettably disagree. If you would like to know why, enjoy taking ‘The Pepsi Plunge’. read more

Why WCW Failed, And How WWE Can

Hello and welcome again to…And Thats What I Think! Some have e-mailed me wondering why I dont express my feelings on JBL like many other columnists are doing. Plain and simply I like his character, but I dont want to see him wearing a World Title belt. Hes just the flavor of the month for Smack Down writers and Im positive that his push will last as long as Hardcore Hollys did. So with that out of the way lets get to the main event. Today I want to express ways that World Championship Wrestling failed as a wrestling product and a company. No, Ill hold off on the Bret Hart Tribute until next week (Though I am in the process of writing it!)

Back in the day I was a major wCw mark. I fell in love with nWo characters such as Scott Hall and his toothpick or Hogan and his spray painted Championship Belt, I simply couldnt get enough of those guys. Soon things got old and the nWo slowly faded away. I soon faded away from wrestling myself. Two years later I hit a short early mid-life crisis (I might have made that title up) so I decided to turn the tube to TNT and catch Monday Nitro for the first time in two years. To my surprise the wrestling show was not on. After searching in the T.V Guide and finding nothing about the shows whereabouts I proceeded to check for some much needed info; but I was directed to “What the f#$k”? Soon I found out that Vince and WWE bought out not only wCw but ECW as well.

After about one hour of wondering why I never heard of the major wrestling news I decided to check out USA Network to watch WWF; OK, theyre on The New TNN now! The ironic part to this is that on this particular episode of RAW the nWo faction made one of its first appearances on WWF turf. Remember that the only reason I got into wrestling in the first place was because of the New World Order! It was almost like something was guiding me to come back to wrestling, and after a consecutive two years of watching WWE Im hooked like I was years ago as a little boy!

No, I didnt want to make this column to talk about this story but to tell you ways that wCw failed and how WWE might as well. Though I didnt experience wCws demise I have read a good bit of internet conversations about wCws later years and how it failed. So without further adue lets get to the first reason and that is a stable. wCw writers thought that every single wrestler had to be in some kind of gang and it’s no surprise that they took to that formula because the nWo jump-started the former NWA company. Since nWo was so successful they though “Why not create 20 nWo’s at the same time” and they did just that. New Blood, Latino World Order, Filthy Animals, , were all no exception to that formula. It’s not that the stable formula didn’t work, but wait…it didn’t. The writers were just too lazy to come up with creative ideas for each wrestler so they decided to create big stables and put random guy’s in them so they didn’t have to come up with anything special for them. No, WWE isn’t even close to becoming stable happy. Their biggest formation, Evolution, only has four members in it. Before them was the F.B.I which only consisted of three members. There is no reason to worry that the WWE will become stable crazy and thats something positive. read more