Welcome to the News Update Formerly Known as Headlines (so, NUFKAH!) as we freshen things up here at TJR Wrestling and share our picks for the tastiest tidbits of the day. My name is Heather Hickey and here’s what happened over the weekend...
Beefcake Stages Intervention for Crackhead Mayor Ford
You don’t have to be into politics, or Toronto, to have heard about the scandal involving that city’s mayor Rob Ford. Since his recent, Distinctly Crackhead-Style admission to doing crack cocaine, every news outlet and talk show host has scrambled to lampoon him. It didn’t take long for some warshed-up wrestlers to recognize a prime opportunity for cross-promotion.
First, it was the Iron Sheik, knocking on the doors of City Hall to ask for an arm-wrestling match against Mayor Ford. Next, Brutus Beefcake decided that he could be Rob Ford’s “angel of mercy”, because he’s seen too many fellow wrestlers die from abusing drugs and alcohol. Ah, if only the story ended there.
Beefcake attracted the spotlight in the lobby of Toronto City Hall when he started preaching about the ills of substance abuse . His cartoony promo voice was bad enough, but HE IS ALSO HOLDING THE SIGNATURE GARDEN SHEARS OF “THE BARBER”. Because Angels of Mercy always carry their gimmicks around, even if their gimmick could be used as a weapon and their Mercy work brings them to a public office where security is probably extra-tight right now. But wait. They take away his garden shears, all the better for him to hoist up a submarine sandwich, the kind of healthy eating he thinks Rob Ford needs to get back on track. He starts schilling for this sub shop, and it’s called (oh my dear lord I can’t believe this) Belly Buster Subs. I wonder if ol’ Bruteye here stopped to think if he should be pushing Belly Buster subs on the clearly not-healthy-lifestyle-livin’ Rob Ford. The man is morbidly obese, and cited being in a drunken stupor as the reason for smoking crack. He has probably enjoyed more than a few Belly Buster subs already, but that is totally beside the point.
Brutus came off looking like an even bigger tool than the one they confiscated, and did he make a special trip to Toronto for this? I need to know, brother. (Toronto Sun)
Ohno is Hero Again
You may have already heard that WWE has released the wrestler who went by Kassius Ohno on NXT. Faster than you can say “So will he go back to being Chris Hero?”, Chris Hero announced some indy dates for the near future. There is speculation that Vince disapproved of Ohno’s reluctance to conform to the muscular ideal, but I think they have enough other guys on the roster whose success has nothing to do with countable abs. However, if he disregarded their requests that he hit the gym, then it may have rubbed Vince the wrong way enough to be shown the door. There’s also speculation that this is all scripted so that Ohno can surprise us with an alliance with Punk and Bryan against The Wyatt Family. The abrupt nature of his departure could be seen as support for this theory, especially since he’s been quite active as of late on NXT. It could also support another theory that Hero asked to be released.
I love a good surprise as much as the next fan, but I would be shocked if WWE said “Go ahead and work the indies until we write you back in”. Support indy wrestling, folks! You never know when a top-shelf guy is going to end up in your local gymnasium. (WrestlingInc)
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!
I was both surprised and impressed when WWE used a tagline from Mardi Gras as part of their WrestleMania XXX promotions. It’s Cajun French for “Let the good times roll” and I hope to see other nods to New Orleans’ rich cultural heritage at the 30th Showcase of the Immortals (my only wish list item is to see someone use a beignet as a foreign object – beignets being the best powdered donuts ever). I also hope that for the sake of fans in attendance that they do not need to erect a structure around the ring that will very likely block people’s views. Perhaps because the Superdome is a closed-dome stadium, they have built-in shelter for the ring and can manage the lighting in other ways.
While we’re talking about creativity, I see on WWE.com that they’re now calling WrestleMania a “pop-culture phenomenon”. What do you think about that? My initial instinct is to turn my nose up at it as misplaced horn-tooting, but then again, WrestleMania as a concept is quite well known. Even my friends who couldn’t pick CM Punk out of a group of two know the term WrestleMania, usually remembering it from childhood. For those of us who not only know CM Punk but can also snarkily differentiate the Bella twins, WrestleMania XXX ticket sales start this week!
The pre-sale for will begin on Thursday, November 14th at 11am EST and will run through Friday, November 15th at midnight before tickets go on sale to the general public that Saturday. The Ticketmaster pre-sale passwords are WWEVIP and SAINTS (WrestlingInc)
He’s Like Elvis, He’s Everywhere
Here’s an interesting piece of trivia for you: last week Luke Harper became the first wrestler (of 2013, at least) to wrestle on Raw, Main Event, NXT, and Smackdown all in one week. This is a timely stat in light of my recent column on the Wyatt Family, and further proof of this next piece of news. (WrestlingInc)
Blessed Are The, Uh, Genetically Gifted
PWInsider Elite reports that there has been a backstage shift towards pushing the more physically-dominating wrestlers such as The Big Show and Ryback (via WrestlingInc). Apparently WWE is looking back to their carnival roots, and promoting their “head-turning attractions”. So when I got all excited about the Wyatts working with Punk and Bryan, I am playing right into the clutches of Vinnie Mac, who is relying on Punk and Bryan to elevate Harper and Rowan. This means we can look forward to some beard-on-beard action, as Bray anoints Bryan with a kiss before finishing him off with a Sister Abigail. Just don’t add R-Truth to the mix. Or the Great Khali! I know that makes no sense, but it makes no sense, sooooo… that means Great Khali.
“Holy Sh-t, It’s Big E!”
Now this isn’t news, but I could not resist clicking on this leaked footage from a segment on the WWE App. Remember when the WWE Universe was invited to download the WWE App (and if you don’t know how to do that by now, then you are clearly my Mom) and vote on who should face Randy Orton last week on RAW? Well here is a few minutes’ worth of footage showing Josh Matthews prepping for the voting segment with the three candidates. The Miz is surprisingly solemn, Dolph Ziggler is a wind-up clown, and Big E can’t get a word in edgewise. Meanwhile, Josh Matthews clearly just wants to get the job done, and every wasted second eats away at his soul. Man, that forced laugh at the end gives me a vision of Josh eating alone in catering.
(Note: Trust us there was a video. As of 9:30amET WWE had it removed.)
And I know that this is a fun wrestling website, but I’d like to acknowledge Remembrance Day. I was very lucky that my Grandpa lived to be 72, after he served in World War 2. He didn’t talk about the war. He taught me how nice it is to just sit quietly outside. He had a gentle spirit, and my daughter proudly carries his name as her middle name. No one should have to carry around the memories he must have had, nor lose their loved ones to war.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
- “In Flanders Fields”, John McCrae