Weekend comments: Punk, Monday's Raw, Sammartino and more


Just a few thoughts reg Punk, Vince, etc ... 
Punk's comments about young people making this idea happen is stupid....the basic angle has been done to death in some form for 75 years (Stecher, Gotch, Lewis, Londos -- even creating two champions, gee, has that been done before like a dozen times even if it was a legit business dispute then as opposed to just an angle today by the lone company .. they did do a nice job trying to create an outlaw figure in Punk)...Vince, who is 65, gave the okay and that's why it was done...he knows full well what people say about him and WWE online - you know Vince, even if he is slowing down some -- so the logical thing, with business stagnant and few options, was just go with Punk's idea and see what happens, good lord, the worked shoot is still alive -- key part here is that Punk did a brilliant job delivering the message and he is a good personality well worth seeing if he can deliver the goods or not
oh, and as to young versus old  aren't the writers who don't have a clue about how this works and whose ideas leave everything in the mud  mostly younger or totally inexperienced?
with all due respect though, if he thinks WWE has such great talent, he's sadly mistaken, the talent level is lower -- not through the wrestlers fault but because of lack of experience, in-ring variety, too much reliance on bells and whistles and stunt bumps, plus MMA sucking away so many good prospects -- as I can remember it in 50 years -- and here is the key point in this or anything else -- just because you (booker, promoter) push someone does not mean they will become a star, or  as you said perfectly  a difference maker ... push a donkey all you want and he still won't win the Kentucky Derby...some of the WWE underneath guys mentioned will never draw a dime on their own no matter how hard they are pushed...
once again, nothing new about morale because look back in your own newsletters and I'll bet as you became more knowing of behind-the-scenes most prelim talent was always unhappy, bitching and moaning, because they never got a chance....
main difference is with territories, prelim guys moved around, maybe caught a chance on top in a worse territory or at least could bitch about it somewhere else, and now they have to stay in one place, have more access to fans thru twitter, etc so the displeasure is out in the public to the rabid fans -- casual fans don't pay attention and that's still the audience Punk's angle has to capture for it to be a big deal
okay  finally
the key for Punk is not even if ONE ppv did better...it's if four, five more  ppvs down the road business is up with him in the key drawing positions and if he delivers the goods in the ring
the good part is they did stir a lot of excitement in their base audience .. just like Palin and Bachman can do with their base followers in politics
the questions are 1) did it resonate with the casual fans and 2) is it more than a one week wonder
having said all that, I tip my hat to Punk for having pulled it off
and I'm sure as hell glad you reminded everyone about
Pillman because the similarities are all over the place

More than ever, and if people study should learn this, the more parts of pro wrestling might change or look different, the more the heart and gut of the business stays the same

Name withheld by request

What’s up man?

I have a question about CM Punk. One of the ideas I hear thrown around to keep the CM Punk deal going is Punk going to ROH to defend the title in some way shape form or fashion. But here’s the thing that I wonder about and I can’t understand what some of these people don’t get. Will ROH want to do this? Considering the fact that they’re trying to go national with Sinclair and they’re trying to become an real alternative promotion to WWE if not number 2, at the very least a strong No. 3, I find it hard to believe they want to help out WWE with their main angle. If this was 2004 or 2005 when they’re on DVD releases and nothing else, I could see it, but not know. Are they a threat to WWE? No. And chances are, they’ll never end up being one. But they’re trying to go national, and I find it hard that they would go for this. What do you think? Second, and the main reason why I don’t see ROH going for this is Jim Cornette. Cornette had a bad time in WWE, in particular the last three years he was there, 2003-2005, but you already know that. Considering all that, and the fact that he’s been very vocal about all that and the WWE Product in general the last 6 years, I find it hard to believe that Cornette in 2011 would want to have any association with WWE, much less help them out with their main angle. What do you think about all this?

Randy Rhea

DM:  Business is business.  I don't expect anything like this to happen, but if Punk were to want to appear on an ROH show in some form and Vince wants it to happen, sure, why not.  But I can't see Vince allowing it to be taped, let alone appearing on syndicated TV. 


Listened to the Bruno interview yesterday and never got the chance to email.
The thing that always strikes me about Bruno is, well, I met a guy a couple weeks ago who
was semi-famous ten to twenty years ago.  You know who this guy is but it's not like he's
anyone special.  But he carried himself like he were the most important person ever.
Wrestlers should be lining up to shake his hand, thowing him figurative if not literal
parades three times a day.  But he carries himself like he doesn't consider himself to be
anyone special - at least, not nearly as special as he is, and seems genuinely touched
when complimented.
That's the sort of attitude we need more of in wrestling, or life in general.
I wish I had the money, I'd bankroll that movie.  Can't wait to see it.
Mike DeGeorge

I cannot thank you enough for your amazing interview with Bruno Sammartino.

I first became a wrestling fan during Bruno's long reign as champion and, while I confess that I rooted for the 'heels' (hey, it's who I am), I have long since become a huge Bruno mark.

I have never heard a false note from that man. Sincere, truthful, humble and inspirational, but feisty and opinionated as well. Just a wonderful human being.

The two interviews you've conducted with him this year, the first one focusing on his return to Italy and his family's plight during WW II, which brought tears to my eyes, and this one, which provides a detailed look inside the world of pro wrestling promotions, are invaluable. Both of you did a tremendous job of preparing topics for discussion, asking the questions and, equally importantly, staying out of the way and giving the man free reign.

They are not merely interviews, but living history.

To say that these interviews alone are worth the subscription price does not even begin to do justice to them. This is time capsule stuff.

Thanks to both of you!

Steve Tanzer
Arden, DE

Proud Subscriber Since...Last Year


Just some reflection on the state of UFC. I am suffering burnout as it seems there is a PPV ever other week. It used to be easy to get a crowd to go to a bar and watch the shows for free but my casual fans are complaining there are too many shows and the shows have not featured huge names.
I even missed a show a few weeks ago as I did not know it was on - and I read the Observer and your website every day.
I missed the show on Versus - did not even know it was on ...
I think there are a few too many shows right now and they have not had great cards and the buyrates reflect that.
Of course my friends will return for the dos Santon - Vasquez fight - but beyond GSP, Rampage, Lesnar and BJ my friends that are casual fans dont even care about Anderson Silva  ...
Maybe there are too many shows!
Paul Nucci


Did I really just witness HHH cry to Vince and say "I Love You Pop"? Then fire him and take over the business? WTF! HHH needs to buy a suit that fits.
Matt Obbema

Y'know it would be so easy to throw up my hands at tonight's Raw, screaming how it's the WCW InVasion all over again, turning a real goldmine into a McMahon family soap opera. But then again...i almost screamed when they looked to be doing Montreal all over again last night, but then they stopped & went in the other direction. Could've screamed at the "business-as-usual" championship tournament (and BTW, when the announcers kept calling this a first-time-ever event, was i the only one who felt like digging up a video of Wrestlemania IV and hurling it at the tv?)...but then they stopped it, and still have the opportunity to go the other direction (and of course the :business-as-usual" fed into the storyline, right?)  And for all the histrionics, they stopped & went another direction from "yerrrrr firrrrrrrred" and/or trying to force Vince/Cena into the Vince/Austin mode. So maybe...just maybe...they're going to go in another direction with the family soap opera, too. And maybe i have to give them the benefit of the doubt THIS WEEK. Maybe the trite typical things they almost finished this week were all set-up, since none of them ever really got executed. And they realy do have a new idea coming out of this.
After Sunday night, they've earned a little trust,even from the most spurned and burned of us.

Drew Bernstein

Hi Dave:

I am so fucking pissed right now, so I apologize for the tone of the e-mail.  I just finished watching Raw live and feel like I got stabbed in the ear with an ice pick.  They build the hottest angle in years, it peaks perfectly, and the anticipation for tonight's show had to be as high as any in the past 10 years or so.  I understand the whole "ignore Punk because he's no longer in the company" stuff.  I get that.  And you want to sell that to some degree.  But to turn the climax of that angle to HHH taking over for Vince?  You've got to be fucking kidding me.  I mean, why not just have them whip out their dicks and piss on the audience.  They'd have accomplished the same thing and it would have clued in the idiots in the crowd that were chanting "Thank You Vince" as the show was ending.  So the end result was turning a mega-hot angle into yet another shitty vehicle for a McMahon family feud.  Not only has it been done before (really shitty too), does anyone really truly care who's running the show?  It smacks of a HHH ego stroke that Vince got talked into in a weak moment.  In the end, Vince really screwed Punk AND Cena.  Why would anyone in their right mind ever put a decent effort into an angle any more?  There's no incentive, because if it does manage to get hot, the McMahons will steal it away and use it to promote themselves and how great they are.

As far as I'm concerned, fuck Vince McMahon, fuck HHH and fuck the WWE.  They suck and can kiss my ass as far as I'm concerned.

Dan Graulich


The piped in audience heat is so embarrassing. I mean, it's like they're not even trying to be subtle about it. It literally sounds like a video game wrestling audience. This in itself is a big reason for me to never watch the show again. 
It reminds of when I went to Georgia to see my father and he took me to see WCW Monday Nitro many, many years ago. I don't remember the match, but I do remember it was a cage match and I think Vince Russo was in it (could have been Bischoff, sorry I can't quite remember) but they tried piped in punch sounds for each worked punch that was thrown. It was the single most ridiculous thing I've ever heard at a wrestling event. People around me were literally laughing out loud.
This has to be a Russo idea.
Long time subscriber,
Bill Zdon

DM:  Piped in crowd noise shouldn't be blamed on Russo, but it comes across very amateurish the way TNA does it, in that it detracts rather than enhances the broadcast.

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