So - if you want to know where I've been the last two weeks, please check my other blog at http://shortysar.blogspot.com for the details ... although I'm sure we said we were going on vacation before we left! :)
As such, I have only been following wrestling around the edges the last week or so - whatever the dirtsheets turn up for me etc. So I will do my best to update myself before In This Very Ring goes to air Thursday/Friday night. But meanwhile I wanted to touch on a few tidbits that have come my way.
- The RAW Main Event Scene: So this sounds semi-disappointing in some regards. I'm a huge Kevin Nash fan but they 'fake' a car accident for him to not be at the arena last week, only to have him show up; they involve not only a non-wrestler, in Johnny Laurinaitis, but a not-even-very-good on air authority figure, and the whole whodunnit in terms of siccing Nash on CM Punk at Summerslam ... I think Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are way too obvious and they're going to play at LEAST H as a straight shooter authority figure for awhile; Johnny Laurinaitis sounds likely, at least as a scapegoat - especially as behind H's back he went this week and signed Nash to a contract. But is he acting alone or at the behest of Vince McMahon? Or Stephanie McMahon? Or both? This is still interesting, although Nash, a longtime favourite of mine, seems to be the weak link. To their credit, WWE realizes this - especially from a wrestling standpoint - as they replaced him in the Night of Champions match with CM Punk this week, with Triple H. Not that that's so exciting either - Punk's on fire and I'd hate to see him sucked into whatever egos or games these vets might play - but H I think is a darn sight better, closer to the current product, and closer to his prime. We'll see where it goes, but I'd rather Punk-Cena continue, with Johnny Ace, Nash, H etc. as side characters in terms of 'who's zoomin' who' - but with the wrestlers themselves as the main players in this ... ahem ... game.
- Brand Split?: Triple H announced this week that henceforth Raw shows would be 'supershows' featuring members of both rosters. This week's Smackdown, in response to a new UFC season debut, as well as the revving up of football season, is going to air live Tuesday, with a replay in their usual spot of Friday night. This also means a no-punches-pulled supershow featuring both rosters. This is fine for this week as a treat - but going forward, does this speak to the end of the brand split? I wouldn't mind that entirely, as I think having the entire roster working together across the two shows creates a lot more possibilities for feuds ... although seeing all the same names twice a week also leads to a lot of potential for hotshotting. Again as well, with two 'supershows' the same week, there's a lot of potential for pay-per-view-level stories being shared on free television, which while I appreciate it as a fan, is not necessarily wise business on the WWE's part. The trick to their business model is giving fans enough on free TV week to week that they keep tuning in and feel it's worthwhile, while keeping the REAL payoff for the $$$ shows. The odd big match or title change to remind people Raw and SD are worth their time is fine; but I feel there's been months' worth of story told weekly for awhile now; they could easily provide 1-2 reveals a week in the time they've been delivering 4-5, and still have it be worthwhile and exciting television.
- Matt Hardy Woes: Matt Hardy is coming unravelled at the seams, it seems. After being found mildly injured after wrecking his car in his native NC, Matt was charged with driving while intoxicated; though it was not apparent he'd been drinking, he was clearly under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Not a week later, following a slew of strange posts on Twitter and Youtube (apparently his house is haunted, by the same ghost who caused him to crash his car?), he was hospitalized after falling in his home. Meanwhile, he has been released by TNA. While some have been making fun of this situation, and it is indeed strange, I do wish both Hardys the best, as it is sad to know what they were, and what they should be, and yet to see what they've become at the same time. I very sincerely hope they both get the help they deserve.
- Ric Flair Article: Lastly, speaking of sad, this article (CLICK HERE to read), The Wrestler in Real Life by Shane Ryan has been making the rounds and gone viral this week. Ric Flair used to be one of the greatest of all time and there are many fans who will still remember him as such; however, it's sad to see, in his 60s, what this legend has become. Flair has threatened to sue the blogger, particularly in relation to his claims Flair suffers from alcoholic cardiomypoathy, but even Flair's representation acknowledges the legal documents used as source material here are legitimate. So unfortunate.