Welcome to your Friday headlines, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, Barton Fink.
On the verge of a relatively quiet wrestling weekend, our lead story this week concerns the potential stipulations that may or may not be added to WWE's next pay-per-view, Battleground, which hits us very shortly on 10/6 in Buffalo. Two of the bigger matches have already been announced for the event, which is not surprising considering that they've only got a few weeks to flesh out the details. The matches in question would be the two title bouts (both rematches); namely, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE championship and Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for the World championship.
As to the stips, Del Rio/RVD is not known at this point, but will more than likely be the end of that feud since Van Dam is reportedly taking some time off in October as part of his newly-minted WWE contract. Similar to Brock Lesnar or Chris Jericho, the downside to these part-time deals are that it's painfully obvious none of these guys will be holding championships during their time back in the squared circle. That said, I do like that WWE has pushed RVD really well since his return and he's been very over with the fans. Expect Del Rio to move onto another feud (Dolph Ziggler would be excellent, thanks) following Battleground.
Orton/Bryan, meanwhile, may be having the iron man match. The general idea would be that this would be a crafty way for another ending full of chicanery and hijinks, thereby allowing a "final" match at Hell in the Cell. The Iron Man is one of Friday Headlines' favorite matches, and Orton has experience with them, having been defeated by John Cena at Bragging Rights in 2009. I would love for WWE to go in this direction, as we've all become accustomed to Daniel Bryan being able to wrestle for ridiculous amounts of time and hold our interest perfectly. (INC)
If you're looking for reasons why you, too, should support the appearance of an iron man match on PPV, look no further than two masters of the genre, Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle, in 2005 on Monday Night Raw:
Can't say that anything will top what those two gentlemen can do, but I'm more than willing to give Bryan a shot at it. Incidentally, that might be one of my favorite endings to a match of all time. Nothing beats heel Kurt Angle. Get well and get back soon, sir!
In other news, random stories continue to churn out regarding Jim Ross's final days with the WWE. A recent news item indicated that the fact Vince McMahon was willing to let JR go is a serious indication that he "doesn't care at all" about TNA. I think it's been obvious for years that VKM doesn't look at TNA as serious competition, and that's due to TNA not being serious competition. JR could make any organization better, but he wouldn't be an answer to the poor management and lack of fiscal restraint that has plagued TNA of late.
As an interesting side note to that story, sources seem to indicate that Jim Ross's duties assisting with the talents at NXT may fall to William Regal. Your reporter thinks that's a very good thing, as Regal has been woefully underused for years. It's inexcusable that WWE doesn't get Regal some kind of television role on Mondays or Fridays, but that's unfortunately become a role he's grown very accustomed to as a performer. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, as it were. (NoDQ)
As to what he has to offer to the rising stars of the next generation, where do we begin? Great in-ring worker, good on the stick, and very funny to boot. Proof positive:
Friday Headlines take NO responsibility on featuring JTG.
Since we're heavily featuring personal wish fulfillment, the next item on the news desk concerns a recent interview conducted with Dean Ambrose. Discussing who his desired future opponents would be, one name came to the forefront:
"I’ve had the opportunity to wrestle pretty much everybody, a huge litany of stars, and in my crystal ball, I see myself and CM Punk crossing paths and colliding."
To which we at the news desk say in our most Jean-Luc Picard like fashion: "WWE, make it so!" Ambrose went on to indicate that this match would likely not be on the immediate radar, and that makes sense given Punk's ongoing feud with Paul Heyman and his guys. That said, whenever it happens, it has all the tools to be great. All three members of The Shield will make impacts over their careers, but Ambrose's personality has really come through and he's got that dark side that Punk works so well with. Yes please. (Torch)
Speaking of newer talent in the WWE, the company is said to be very high on backstage interviewer Renee Young and how she is doing in that role overall. This is a job within the industry that your correspondent would consider rather thankless. When you're good, you're sort of invisible, and when you're bad, you're truly tragic. I think Renee has done really well since landing the gig, and her interactions with the superstars during the interview segments have already produced some very memorable moments. She's also avoided pictures of her naughty bits on social media, which is more than we can say for some of those that have boldly gone before. Striker, we barely knew ye! And yet still, a little TOO well. (Rajah)
Friday Headlines has been known to dip into the "Where Are They Now?" file, but unfortunately, in the case of Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, the answer is in court on charges of selling pain medication illegally. The bearer of one of the more regrettable gimmicks in WWE history allegedly sold oxycodone to a police informant on two consecutive days this past summer. And you thought carrying Hefty bags to the ring was going to be the most embarrassing thing Droese had to put up with. (NoDQ)
Friday Headlines takes no delight in seeing yet another former professional wrestler mired in legal troubles, but humbly suggests the services of an appropriate attorney at law:
On second thought, perhaps Clarence Mason would be a better choice. Finally, if you've been anxiously awaiting the return of oft-injured but technically sublime Rey Mysterio to a WWE ring, you're in luck! Reports indicate that Rey Rey will be appearing at this Sunday's live event in Hidalgo, Texas. Where storylines lead following his return are as always anyone's guess, but as mentioned previously in Headlines, Alberto Del Rio will likely be seeking an opponent rather shortly. Could we see RVD's current cornerman Ricardo Rodriguez make the switch to continue his feud with ADR? Could Friday headlines use any more initials? And, most importantly, what does William Shatner think of all this? (INC)
No extra charge for working another captain of the Enterprise into this week's churning rumor mill. That clears the news desk for this Friday, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read the dirt of the day. As always, chime into the conversation roiling in the depths below or fire off book recommendations and general banter to me on Twitter @coffeyfan77. Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday!