Welcome to your Friday Headlines, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, Rosco P. Coltrane.
Plenty of news and notes from around the wrestling globe this weekend, and leading off are some potential spoilers for Sunday's Hell In A Cell pay-per-view. Reports have a finalized script already floating around, but as always in the wacky world of pro wrestling, the actual truth may be a far cry from what is known. The current buzz is rather ho-hum, in this reporter's opinion. Big Show may interfere in the Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton main event, either by ripping off the door to the cage or covering it with a giant hanky and pulling it away to reveal nothing. Curtis Axel seems to be in line to retain his Intercontinental Title against Big E Langston in the pre-show, thus reminding us all once again that Curtis Axel is still the IC Champion despite spending most of his time doing Three Stooge-esque reenactments as Paul Heyman & Ryback's running buddy.
Brie Bella may be in line to capture the Divas belt, particularly if the expected Bryan win takes place, furthering their happy couple storyline/reality/odd mashup. In the most intriguing bit, it appears that The Rhodes Brothers might retain against The Shield (makes sense), simply to allow Dustin Rhodes (not in Goldust guise) to turn on his brother and create the much-ballyhooed match of Rhodes vs. Rhodes for WrestleMania XXX. Since the WWE changes their creative plans as quickly as Stephanie sells company stock, I don't know that I'd head to Vegas with any of these as locks. Not too much of this early scuttlebutt qualifies HIAC for must-see status, but we shall see. (INC)
If you're unsure as to whether Rhodes vs. Rhodes will be an excellent WrestleMania bout, I'd merely point you in the direction of a previous family clash. (And, potentially, the last time Jerry "The King" Lawler was any good at all on commentary):
Speaking of the Rhodes family, it appears that WWE honcho and king of strut Vince McMahon was not a fan of Cody's commentary this past Monday on Raw. If you watched the segment, JBL was particularly abrasive towards the "Dashing" one and it will surprise absolutely no current readers of the Friday Headlines that this verbal beatdown was the result of VKM encouraging Bradshaw to let him have it. The result was the ugliest Layfield offense since he busted up The Blue Meanie.
Curious as to Cody's offense? Reportedly, he declined to take Vince up on his advice to be "aggressive" on commentary. Because, y'know, ruthless aggression and such. I won't say that Cody has always been the most skilled on the mic, but he's shown a steady progression since the early days and hurling epithets through your color commentator's earholes to make your point strikes this reporter as, well, stark raving mad. Other things that will cause Vince to shout instructions at JBL: Finding out Men's Wearhouse stock has dropped, being reminded of Icopro, and realizing that the Kool-Aid Man isn't red enough. (Rajah)
Now, something that might well make YOU want to give a stiff bump to The Blue Meanie:
Continuing our trend of painfully bad Raw segments, Friday Headlines will skip over the Elvis impersonations and head directly to the infamous contract signing between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton that was essentially a hopped-up excuse to get special guest referee Shawn Michaels into the same ring as main heel antagonist even in wrestling death Triple H. During the otherwise bland segment, Terra Ryzing made some odd remarks that incensed the internet at large when he attempted to insult Bryan's chances by comparing him to...wait for it...Chris Jericho, Edge, and Rob Van Dam.
The offending banter, straight from the horse's nose:
"Here's the thing, Daniel. I've seen guys like you come and go a million times. Guys like Jericho, Edge, Rob Van Dam. All guys that are very talented, don't get me wrong. Top guys! Very popular! But not "the one." Never were they "the one." And maybe nobody wants to say this, but it needs to be said: It's a fact. If any of those guys had been the face of the WWE back in the day, we'd all be working for Ted Turner right now. You think you're playing in the big leagues, kid? You have no idea. You step inside that Hell in a Cell and I have a feeling you're gonna prove to the world that you're a B+ player."
Friday Headlines won't take the bait and point out those three gents won a combined 70 WWE Titles. (Well, maybe we will.) Trips is being a heel and saying heelish things to get us all riled up (including Y2J, for the record). We will merely point out that it's a really, really tremendously stupid way to insult somebody. And this is in the middle of a storyline that has featured insults about looking like a troll, having strange facial hair, and being a vegan. Well, okay, can't blame you on that last one. Whether he meant it or not, it doesn't seem very good for business, now does it? (INC)
As always, dear readers, you can make up your own minds about whether the fellows mentioned are worthy of praise and exaltation. That is, except for Edge, because there's this:
'Nuff said. Edge = awesome.
Because Friday Headlines is contractually obligated to report TNA news, it appears that Executive Producer Eric Bischoff was not present at this week's Impact tapings. Multiple sources have been quoted as saying he is expected to be absent for quite a bit longer, with no reason given for his absence. Friday Headlines believes it might have something to do with karate lessons. Whether this is connected to Hulk Hogan's contract limbo (Hogan & Bischoff are closer than Ron Burgundy and scotch) is unknown at this point, but it's going to be difficult for TNA to keep chugging along without the valuable input of a guy who instituted a ranking system more complex than string theory and got his son on TV because he's, well, his son, for gosh sake. (Rajah)
If you thought The Rock's 57 movie projects were enough to keep him away from pro wrestling for a while, you can add another reason to the burgeoning list. It was announced that the Brahma Bull will be appearing in another reality show for the TNT network, this one entitled "Wake Up Call." The new series will be coming at your screen sometime in 2014 and will have eight one-hour episodes in its initial run.
TNT previously teamed up with The Rock for "The Hero," which was not renewed. That stellar success has apparently caused TNT to branch the idea off into this new direction. I can't say I watched "The Hero," because the first time I tuned in I was expecting a really big deli sandwich. That initial disappointment just never rebounded for me. (NoDQ)
As for the new series, details are sketchy at this point but let's just hope said wake up call occurs at this front desk:
If you're one of the many fans that have been incessantly clamoring for the return of War Games, Friday Headlines has you covered. Now that the 2014 PPV dates for the WWE have been released, it appears that either Battleground or Hell in a Cell will be going the way of the dodo. The Bash at the Beach is expected to be added back into the schedule in June, but rumors have been swirling that the WWE powers-that-be might finally be caving and proposing a War Games-style match to take place this time next year.
WWE's mantra has long been "If it sells, let's do it," so it would not surprise your reporter one iota if this was indeed the case. It might actually be one of the few things that the WWE hasn't done yet. Admitting that another company actually had a good idea has always been mildly frustrating to the Titan Tower set, but let's face it: Whether it's HIAC or War Games, the matches are better suited to one-offs on a card than as stand-alone concepts. It muddies the water, gilds the lily, and does other offensive things to nature. (INC)
Of course, if it's an October PPV they're interested in, another one leaps to mind:
There's a neighborhood to avoid next week. Finally, buried deep in the retread file, this week's wrestling feud features Scott Hall vs. Goldberg. Hall was recently asked on Twitter what Goldberg chants reminded him of. Mr. Hall responded with the hashtag #GoldMark. This jab is referencing Goldberg's reported tendency to take his wrestling persona a bit too seriously.
Not to be outdone, Goldberg replied to a fan who informed him of the remark on Twitter by labeling Mr. Machismo a "waste of space." There is clearly real-life animosity between the two, stemming from an incident Goldberg recounted in 2001. Hall and Goldberg had some sort of altercation at a 1999 event, and rather than making it physical, Goldberg smashed the windows of a limo with his bare hands and almost had to have his arm amputated. Friday Headlines feels there is no winner in this. Hall's public travails are well known, and he should concentrate on getting and staying well. As for Goldberg, it seems like he's still taking things way too seriously. (Rajah)
There are many, many things this reporter would rather watch than either Scott Hall or Goldberg in a wrestling ring ever again. Here's one:
That clears the news desk for this Friday, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to thank you for taking time to read the dirt of the day. As always, chime into the conversation roiling in the depths below or fire off macramé instructions and limericks to @DharmanRockwell or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend and I'll see you Tuesday!