Raw was probably a disappointment to anyone dying for a Punk return. However, we saw quality wrestling and critical story developments. More importantly to me, we have some interesting stories coming out of Raw, paramount of which is the Hall of Fame announcement of one of WWE’s greatest managers and all-around characters.
The Late, Great Paul Bearer to Enter the Class of 2014 WWE Hall of Fame
One of the saddest stories coming out of 2013 was the passing of William Moody, best known for his managerial work as Percy Pringle and, more famously, Paul Bearer. When the news broke, a lot of people predicted he’d be inducted into the following year’s Hall of Fame. Those predictions were right.
Paul Bearer had a special place in wrestling. He had a unique character that added an extra dimension to The Undertaker and Kane, as well their respective storylines. It’s upsetting to know we’ll never get to hear his ominously shrill – and wonderfully cartoonish – voice on WWE programming again.
Though the Hall of Fame can never replace a life for his fans or family, this induction will be a great way to celebrate the life and career of William Moody. It also makes me interested to see if the ardently kayfabe Undertaker will break character in order to induct his long-time friend, or if even he and Kane would do so together. We’ll find out during the Hall of Fame.
Brock Lesnar Throws Monitor into Raw Audience, No Confirmed Injuries
This next story starts out simple: Brock Lesnar threw a monitor into the crowd while readying the announce table for Mark Henry’s bump during the opening segment. According to WrestlingInc, a reader who was in attendance told them that from his view of things, no one seemed to be hurt.
Where it gets complicated is that soon afterward, a tweet made its rounds through social media, featuring a thumbnail of a person with a black eye and a description indicating that it was someone in the Chicago crowd who’d been hit by the monitor. However, the tweet was deleted soon thereafter. I actually have a screenshot of the link and its thumbnail, but I won’t share what could very well be a fabrication.
I’ll update this article if I hear any developments. I’m going to guess that no one was actually hurt and the tweet was just a lame attempt at a hoax. Based on what’s confirmed, I’ll just say, NO! BAD LESNAR! DON’T THROW MONITORS AT THE CROWD! Heyman should have smacked him on the nose with a newspaper.
Keep your beast on a leash, Paul.
Second Teaser Trailer for Paul Heyman DVD
Back in January, WWE put out a teaser trailer for the upcoming DVD, The Paul Heyman Story, slating it for an August 2014 release. Needless to say, I was very hyped.
Last night, they released the second teaser trailer.
I think it’s great to have Paul Heyman back. He’s a treat to have on Raw, as we witnessed last night. It may have been frustrating for people dying to see Punk return, but it was a great performance by one of the best talkers in the business. Perhaps this DVD also bodes well for Heyman’s longevity with the company. If they’re willing to put out a documentary of him, maybe his relationship with the company is stronger than during previous runs. The longer they hold on to Paul, the better. Dude’s a treasure.
And considering his tumultuous relationship with the WWE, I’m eager to lap up any controversial, behind-the-scenes details of his career. So far, it’s my must-buy DVD of the year. I haven’t been this excited for a documentary since CM Punk’s. (ProWrestling)
Xbox 360’s Network App Patched, Working Fine on My End
Yesterday, WrestlingInc reported that the WWE Network app was patched on the Xbox 360. Like I mentioned last week, at the time I wasn’t able to sign in on my 360. I’d later learn that it was a universal issue that the WWE was working to fix.
On Monday, WWE put out a 34 mb patch. I downloaded the update and managed to sign in. Here are my impressions of the Xbox 360 WWE Network app:
- When you start the 24/7 livestream, it gives you the option to start the playback in real time or from the beginning. That’s a handy feature. I’m unsure if it’d work that way during a live broadcast, however. I’ll try it out during tomorrow’s live edition of Main Event.
- Playback from the beginning and real time both loaded with relatively short load times.
- I let the livestream play in the background while I wrote this article. It did stop and buffer a few times, but only for a few seconds each time and not very often.
- It also asks where you want your playback to start with an on-demand video, although it only offers “from the beginning” as an option. Kind of silly.
- On-demand videos work fine.
- I was able to fast-forward and rewind without issue. You can use the 360 gamepad’s triggers to fast-forward and rewind, unlike on the crummy latest version of the Netflix UI for 360.
- On-demand videos don’t seem to have any “chapters” to skip to. In fact, right now the skipping forward or back (which you can do with the bumpers) just restarts the video. Weird.
All in all, the app seems to be ship-shape. A few minor problems, but nothing I can’t live with.
Sheamus Bloodied After Backstage Brawl with Christian
Via Rajah, Sheamus tweeted a photo of his bloodied arm, which was caused by Christian during a backstage assault on Raw.
Not to allude to Monty Python, but it does look like just a flesh wound. Sheamus isn’t likely to miss any ring time. Just something to fold into his developing story with Christian.
Indie Wrestler Drake Younger Signs WWE Contract
In news that reminds me I need to watch more indie stuff, wrestler Drake Younger signed a contract with the WWE. According to WrestlingInc, indie promotion AIW Wrestling broke the news on Twitter by posting the following.
A cursory glance at Wikipedia reveals that Younger worked with notable promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling and, most recently, Pro Wrestling Guerilla.
At first glance, he doesn’t fit the WWE’s mold. At 5’9” and 210 pounds, he’ll be one of the smaller guys down in developmental. And looking at some of his CZW videos, he used a lot of lifting moves you won’t see him using in WWE. I’m not saying he’s bad, but based on what I’ve found so far, I’m surprised WWE has taken an interest in him.
The best thing I’ve found so far is this promo for PWG, in which Younger looks to be in much better shape than when he wrestled for CZW. The promo itself is pretty impressive too; a lot of intensity and a good emotional range from Younger.
I recommend the promo if you have the time. If anyone else knows more about the guy or can dig up some other videos, please share in the comment section.
That’s all for today. As always, your readership and forthcoming comments are appreciated. Be sure to check out my column this Friday, which will be a follow-up to the Vanishing Brass Rings re-upload I published last week. Until then, have a great week, and I look forward to talking to you all in the comments.
Nicholas LeVack is a double major in English creative writing and journalism. His interests include writing, wrestling, video games and occasional outdoorsy things. You can follow him on Twitter, email him at email@example.com and take part in his first venture into video game journalism at doublejump.co.