Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekly DVD Selection - WWE: OMG! - The Top 50 Incidents In WWE History

This weeks DVD selection is one of WWE's newest releases. It is available on Netflix streaming and as a regular DVD and on Blu Ray. The program is about some of the most shocking and jaw dropping events that have taken place in WWE history.

There are 50 events that the WWE staff have picked and features commentary from current superstars on the roster. It features incidents that have happened inside the ring and outside the ring. The DVD covers action from the past 30 years but has a lot Attitude Era footage. The DVD set is a 3 pack and features a lot of the matches and segments in their original form...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Old School Profile - Jerry "The King" Lawler

While in Memphis this weekend I was able to visit the home of the King of Rock n Roll, one Elvis Presley. While touring Graceland I was inspired to write about the King of Memphis Jerry Lawler. A lot of you know him as the long time ring announcer for WWE Raw. What you may not know is that Jerry is a long time legendary wrestler in the Memphis area. The King has won 164 championships through out his wrestling career.

Jerry was a local DJ working in the Memphis area and would frequent the local wrestling shows. He was also a local very gifted artist who would draw for the wrestlers. His talent for art got the attention of a local promoter Aubrey Griffin. Griffin made a deal with Lawler that in exchange for free publicity in exchange for wrestling training. Starting his career in 1970 and in 1974 had a feud with Jackie Fargo who also mentored him. The rivalry led to match where Lawler would defeat Fargo for the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title and the title as the King of Wrestling. From where Jerry "The King" Lawler was born.

His career went well onto the 1980's where he held several titles in regional organizations. Working with such legendary wrestlers as Billy Graham, Austin Idol and Randy Savage. One of his notable feuds with Tommy Rich, Austin Idol and Paul E. Dangerously over the AWA International Heavyweight Title. During the feud, When Lawler was beaten in a steel cage match and cut his hair, which caused a riot in the Mid-South Coliseum.

At the end of the decade Lawler became the AWA World Heavyweight Champion by defeating WWE Hall of Famer Curt Henning. He then had a rivalry with WCCW Champion Kerry Von Erich which led to their unification bout at Superclash III in 1988. Lawler won the bout and unified both title belts.

Mainstream Fame
Jerry Lawler became known to mainstream audiences when he had his famous feud with actor/comedian Andy Kaufman. In 1982 the star of the TV show taxi frequently wrestled women and defended the Intergender Heavyweight Champion. The feud began with Kaufman started making skits that poked fun at Memphis and insulting people from the south. This led to a match between the 2 where The King piledrived Andy 2 times which sent him to the hospital. On July 29th, Jerry slapped Kaufman in the face on the David Letterman show.
Lawler actually appeared in the movie "Man on The Moon" a bio movie about the life of Kaufman as himself. In the movie it revealed that the feud with Andy was kayfabe and that the two were actually good friends behind the scenes.

The Return of Lawler to Memphis

Career from the 1990's to Now
Since 1992 Jerry worked with the WWE as part time wrestler and announcer. During the 90's he had a very notable feud with Bret Hart and the Hart family. This started in 1994 after Bret won the King of The Ring tournament. Lawler stated that he was one true king of wrestling.

In 1997 he was a big part of an angle involving ECW. As WWF and ECW had a working relationship and staged an ECW invasion of the organization. He would refer to ECW as "Extremely Crappy Wrestling". This lead to a him having a match with Tommy Dreamer at ECW's Hardcore Heaven PPV.

After 1998 he focused more on his commentary and was seen less and less in the ring. But he still had issues from time to time with the likes of Booker T, Tazz and Chris Jericho. In 2007 Lawler received the ultimate honor being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. It was a well deserved honor for some one who still continues to give so much to the wrestling business.
The SummerSlam Review Show

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I Like About TNA

In writing for this blog and talking about wrestling on our BTR show I have been accused of being a little biased against TNA. The fact of the matter is that I really like Impact Wrestling and just want to it to be a viable entity in professional wrestling. The wrestling business is much better when there is competition and there are multiple places where performers can hone their craft.

So in this post I decided to talk positively about TNA. As a company they are doing some really good work and I am excited about their future as a promotion. Impact Wrestling for the month or two has produced some really solid wrestling shows each week.

The Build for Bound For Glory
The Bound for Glory Series was one of the most innovative ideas that I have ever seen in wrestling. The layout and planning for this series had to take a lot work. The ability to work around injuries and craft interesting stories was an example of how you can create interest in a product. Also the extended promotion of a pay per view that was not going to for a few months I think will really help increase their buy rates.

The Rise of Robert Roode
The growth of Robert Roode into a main event level superstar is something that TNA can be happy about. Roode is one half of one of if the best tag team in wrestling Beer Money. He is also a member of the faction Fortune. Whether working as babyface or heel Robert Roode delivers great promos and awesome in ring work. His growth from a tag team star to legit singles competitor is a path that has been kind of lost in wrestling and TNA helping foster Roode's growth and noticing his hard work is paying off for everyone. The biggest asset I think he brings to the company is that he is a home grown star. He is not a WWE cast off or someone who built a following somewhere else. He is known to the public mainly based on his TNA resume.

The TNA Live Experience
One thing that TNA does as good as any wrestling organization is put on a live show. I hope that they get to get away from the Impact Zone more and take their show on the road more often. After seeing a few shows over the past few years I can say that they make a great effort to connect with the fans. With great in ring work and a lot of fan interaction. After the shows all the guys are usually available to sign autographs and talk with the fans.

As the company grows I hope that they continue to show the world that there is another legit alternative to WWE product.

The Ring Time Pro Wrestling Review of No Surrender

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly DVD Suggestion - Rise and Fall of WCW

This weeks DVD selection is the Rise and Fall of WCW. This 3 disc set tells the story of the only wrestling organization to ever successfully compete with the WWE for any period of time.

The story begins with the early days of Jim Crockett Promotions and how they tranisitioned from a regional territory to a national wrestling organization.
One of the most interesting things I found from the video was the role of Dusty Rhodes in building World Championship Wrestling. A lot of people are familiar with him as a performer but not the innovator that he was behind the scenes.

From the 80's all way through the Monday Night Wars and the eventual purchase of WCW by Vince McMahon and WWE, this is a must have for all wrestling fans.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talking Wrestling 09/07 by Ringtimeprowrestling | Blog Talk Radio

Talking Wrestling 09/07 by Ringtimeprowrestling | Blog Talk Radio
We will be live in podcast studio 1 to talk everything new and hot in pro wrestling. We talk a good amount of TNA as we preview No Surrender taking place 09/11. We will also review this weeks Raw and the new supershow format(classic Raw).
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Does Cena Really Need a Heel Turn

One of the hottest topics of discussion over the internet has been when is John Cena going to turn heel? I don't know when of if this will happen anytime soon. Also I don't think that it needs to happen. He may change organically over time but this does not need to be forced. Any issues that the WWE may or may not currently have are not related to the presentation of John Cena.

Reasons Why He Shouldn't Change

1. He is not here for you
Most of the people who I hear complain about PG good guy persona of Cena are men between the ages of 25-40. Guess what, he is not for you. His appeal is mostly to kids and it appears the female fans are very fond of him also. Just like Hulk Hogan, Sting and The Ultimate Warrior were kid friendly fan favorites this generation has John Cena and Rey Mysterio. I know you adult male fans feel like that you spend money on the product but since you are watching every week and still complaining it doesn't matter. Kids may not spend money but their parents do and they want a lot more stuff then you do. Children buy action figures, video games, posters, lunch boxes ect...

2. Who is Ready to Take the Spot
Who does the WWE have that can be that face of the company. That perennial good guy that can be the ambassador of the company and the wrestling business. Say what you want but Cena as done a kick ass job at representing the WWE Universe. Take a look at his contributions to the Make a Wish Foundation. He has granted over 200 wishes to children who are suffering from life threatening illnesses. Only NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former WWE Superstar Hulk Hogan have also granted 200 wishes. Cena also serves on the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Wish Ambassador Council and assists in expanding wish-granting outreach across the United States. Now if until the WWE produces another talent that can put in that kind of work we need to wait on ruining that. (Heels are not known for making people happy)

3. Numbers Don't Lie
The WWE is the most dominant has it has ever been in the wresting business. The is no competitor on their level. That is something that was very hard to say in years past. Now I am no way crediting Cena for that but he has done an awesome job in helping maintain that dominance. The company is doing good business with him in the drivers seat. They are going to launch the WWE network in 2012 and who do you think will be instrumental in that. Who has been a Wrestlemania headliner for the last 6 big events. I will take it in another direction. When he is not on RAW for any reason the ratings go down. Conversely when its announced that he will appear on Smackdown their ratings go up. The stadiums are filled with whatever the current color of Cenation shirt he is wearing at the time.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can Kurt Angle Qualify for The Olympics in 2012

Recently Kurt Angle has announced his quest to participate in the 2012 Olympics in Freestyle Wrestling. The 1996 Gold Medalist has decided to make his return to mat at age 43. It would be a great story for one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time if can complete this feat. Here is the problem, Kurt has not been an active wrestler since his Olympic time almost 15 years ago. He has been busy with his non stop professional wrestling career. His passion to be the best in pro wrestling has taken a tremendous toll on his body. Unlike others I am not saying that Kurt will not make it because if anybody can do this he can. In his own words he won the gold medal with "a broken freakin neck".

Hurdles in His Way
1. Age - Father time has gotten all athletes at some point. To be fair though there have been a few Olympic athletes to have decent showings in their 40's.

2. The training - Kurt's career has a professional wrestler leaves little time to train for Freestyle wrestling. He will be competing against full time wrestlers who are living and breathing the sport on a daily basis. His holds and counters will not be as sharp. In these matches your opponent is not working with you but against and will not give you breathing time.

3. Drug Policy - Kurt has had a very public issue with substance abuse. By his own admission he had an issue with pain killers when he left the WWE. Angle also had a DUI arrest in 2007 and was arrested in 2009 where allegedly HGH was found in his car. That will not go over well with the Olympics very strict testing and drug guidelines.

Regardless of how it works out I wish Kurt the best of luck and hopefully his quest will bring some positive attention to USA Wrestling.

Ric Flair and The 4 Horsemen

Ric Flair and The 4 Horsemen