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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep.10)

Dear Scriptures:

The show begun with a quick recap of last weeks episode that featured the recent win of Roy Nelson over Justin Wren. Well, it should have been but the ongoing will he/won’t he fight sage of Matt Mitrione continued to be a prominent sub story on the show. White visited the house to check in on Mitrione. Discussions among the fighters swirled around who might replace Matt if he can’t compete along with promoting Brendan Schaub match up against John Madsen.

The guys all came in for their training session with Rashad. Evans spoke about the bond he’s built with his team…even the meatheads. He said they feed off each other and the coaches. Evans spoke with Mitrione about how he’s feeling. Rashad was checking with him to see how he’s feeling. Matt was saying that he wanted to compete but his body language was saying something else. The coaches asked him if he had swelling of the brain. They were telling him if he did have it, then he wouldn’t be fine. Coach Wittman was quite annoyed that it seemed as though what Matt was saying didn’t match up with is actions. The coaches discussed the matter in private with Rashad, who wanted to know if he wants to fight. The belief among the coaches was that if Matt wanted to back out he wouldn’t… but if he’s forced to leave he wanted to make it look as thought he wasn’t soft or a quitter in the process. The problem was he’d look bad either way especially since the rest of the guys were suspicious of him and his behaviour regarding the matter.

McSweeney was quite vocal with how disrespectful this issue had been to the rest of the team and those that want a chance to compete were missing out. James said he doesn’t believe Mitrione received a concussion. In fact a few guys including Team Rampage’s team heard the scuttle about Mitrione possibly not fighting. We saw Kimbo working on the bike and discussing a possible injury to him when Demico landed on his knee. Rampage was pointing out that he has to prepare for a guy that may try to take out his knee. Something he isn’t prepared for in the ring.

Brendan began his training session with James in the ring. Schaub said he felt that John was a one dimensional fighter. McSweeney called over Rashad to offer some advice to Brendan to help him take down a southpaw fighter in John. As he came in the ring, Roy followed and he reminded him that he can’t coach him but Nelson offered advice and helped James work this out. Wren and Schaub were in the back where Brendan said that he preferred to fight one of the other stand fighters but will have to live with having to face a wrestler in John.

The doctor was looking over Kimbo’s knee and discussing the severity of the injury. He pointed out that there was cartilage missing on the inside of the thigh bone. He described it as though someone walking on stones without any shoes on. The doctor pointed out that he could drain the knee and that its been worn out. Kimbo doesn’t want a cortisone shot but how he’s going to handle it has to be up to him regardless.

We see the coaches challenge which consisted of beach volleyball between the two guys that don’t play. Rampage said he’d seen it played but that was when the women have played. Ha, who hasn’t Rampage? The teams have been split to Rampage and Tiki against Rashad and VanArmsden. The game was underway and Team Rampage got the early lead. The first game ended up going to Team Rampage. In the second game, went to Team Rashad. The final game Van Armsdale showed off a bit. The game went to Team Rashad. They won $10,000 and each one of the fighters on Team Rashad received $1,500. The handshakes turn into pettiness pretty quickly. We see Kimbo in the pool and then trying to sit in an ice bath for his knee as best as he can. While sitting in an ice bath Kimbo was there submerged while James was trying to help him visualize that he is somewhere warm. It’s punishing as all the guys laugh at Kimbo’s expense. Kimbo retreats to the jaccuzzi and said he just wants to be able to come back to fight.

Madsen said he needed to stay focused on this fight before moving ahead. Schaub was annoyed that Rashad was assisting John with his takedowns and didn’t spend the time to work with him. Madsen said he wanted to change it up a bit and not have Brendan expecting one thing or the other.

In the gym, Rashad sat with Matt and asked him if he’s ready. He said things like ‘I’ve got no choice’ Evans asked him are you feeling like we’re being forced to fight? Matt said he did feel that a little bit. Rashad then felt as though Matt was trying to spin it that it was the coaches peer pressuring him to fight when that isn’t the case. Mitrione just wants this entire experience to be over. Believe me Matt, most viewers probably want this experience to be over for you too if that’s any consolation. Rashad said to Matt that he was going to call Dana and tell him he isn’t ready to fight. White addressed the group and reminded them why they are there. They are never 100% and Matt felt that it was directed towards him. White said he would never force anyone to fight. He said real fighters in their mind will always want to fight no matter what. White said that at the end of the day Mitrione has to decide whether or not he really wants this fight.

At the official weight in White spoke about what Schaub would have to do to win the fight and he spoke about what Madsen would have to do to win the fight between the two. He said whoever can impose their will, will win. On fight day the guys went through the motions of what to do. McSweeney was busy firing up Schaub in their dressing room. John spoke softly but said he would make his words count when they mean to count. Brendan said that he thinks John’s road ends here. Madsen said he thinks the wrestler is going to win even though they both know what each others strengths are.

The tale of the tape showed a greater reach advantage and height advantage for Brendan Schaub over John Madsen. White mentions this is the second quarter final fight and the match was quickly under way. Both men try to jockey for position early on in the match up. Madsen has to be prepared for Schaub’s strikes. A minute the match and John takes Brendan down. While on the match Madsen tried to use knee strikes on Schaub. A number of times we can see Schaub grab the cage which the referee reminding him to let go. How often does that happen before they start taking away points from a fighter? Both men make it to their feet and John has Brendan pressed up against the cage with both men using knee strikes against the other. Brendan caught John with a punch just as Madsen was in the midst of going for his legs. Brendan was down on his back with Madsen trying to use a number of elbow and knee strikes against Schaub. The round ended with both men down trying to get the better of the other. The round could have gone either way.

Rosenthal got round two quickly underway. Schaub comes in and Madsen tries to take him down again. While on their feet Schaub gets hit with a couple of knees. The men break apart and circle each other and Schaub then connected with a combination taking down Madsen. The referee stopped it when John was down and unable to defend himself. The winner by KO was Brendan Schaub. After the fight White gave his analysis of what took place. Both Schaub and Madsen chimed in with their thoughts of the fight. Schuab said it was his game plan to have Madsen wear himself out. Was it also your game plan to grab the cage as often as you did? Madsen said he got after being too relaxed. Evans was surprised that Brendan would be able to come away with the victory the way he did. Schaub came over to check in on Madsen and both men show total class. Brendan seemed very confident and warns others what is in store for them. Madsen thanked Dana and the rest of the UFC for the opportunity.

We see highlights of the last two quarter finals and the semifinals. The question also remained who will face James McSweeney? Will it be Matt Mitrione or will it be Kimbo Slice? It’s a twist we have to see to believe. (We could just read this review and I’d tell you the truth. No word of a lie! No swerves. No excuses. No complaining)

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 11/12/09 Nov20

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 11/12/09

ORLANDO – Once again the show began with Dixie’s lecture to the entire roster. She wanted everyone to step it up to make a long story short. Mick Foley was in his office with Super Dave Osborne and Jeremy Borash. That’s not a misprint or a typo but Super Dave was in Foley’s office. This was a cross promotional use for Spike to have Super Dave on to promote his upcoming show on the network. Mick said to Dave that he has one match to book for the show. The comedic chemistry between them worked because of Foley and Osborne. Lethal walked in and asked who the legend was that was supposed to face later on in the show. Borash asked Dave if he follows his tweets. Dave said he liked to talk to people and he doesn’t have a Facebook. He sounds like most people over 50 without computers.

The pyro hit and Mick Foley was introduced. Taz asked Foley about his claim to not know about the Hogan decision to join the company. It was at that point where Foley corrected himself by saying that he should have been better informed. They aren’t sure if he’s going to be supportive or not of the decision.

Dr. Stevie w/Dafney vs. Abyss

Dafney reminds me of the Mad Hatter if she was a he and wasn’t.. dead. This was the match that had the stipulation if Stevie lost then he would be forced to leave TNA. Stevie clipped Abyss and begun to work on his legs to bring down the monster and keep him at his level. Stevie was relentless as he beat down the monster. And after a momentary advantage by the doctor, Abyss hit the black hole slam. As he covered him the lights went out as the ref was about to count to three. When the lights went back on, Abyss was laid out and Stevie pinned him for the three count and the win. Dafney went outside and slid a steel chair inside the ring but Foley cut Dr. Stevie off and began to lay fists to Richards. As Mick was about to hit Stevie with the chair we see a fireball and RAVEN appeared out of the darkness. Medics attend to Foley who is writhing in pain in the ring as Raven, Stevie and Dafney stood in the ring pleased with what they have just done to Abyss and Mick Foley.

Borash spoke with the trio that just left carnage in the ring. Stevie said he brought the pain and Raven reminded everyone about Abyss’ and his relationship. Raven’s articulate promos were always something to marvel at. His character’s creativity and ability to add different nuances usually make for an interesting program. Tenay announced that the following week Sting will discuss the addition of Hogan and his own future in TNA. We have the promo video asking what this means for TNA. We continue to weave between whether or not this will affect his decision.

Alissa Flash vs. Traci

Flash came down to the ring with a long sleeve shirt not sure why probably because she can’t compare breast size with that of Traci. No idea if that’s the real reason but for the sake of this review…lets just go with it. Plus I’m a male that appreciates the female anatomy. Fair enough? Flash continued to work on the right arm and shoulder on Traci. Flash put her in a single armbar. Its funny how Taz thinks that taking advantage of an injury crossed the line. Um, rigghhht. Maybe Taz was asleep when he said that because that’s generally a heel like thing to do. As Alissa was celebrating, Traci regained her senses and attacked Alissa from behind. Traci went nuts on her and begun to curse like a trucker and then began to ask for a trainer. So she’s been in the company for years and they just detected a problem in her arm that’s existed since birth. Ah…okay

We see a pair of boots ominously walking down a hallway. …

‘Black Machismo’ Jay Lethal vs Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart

I wish I mistyped that but I didn’t. By looking at Jim’s belly it looks like he ate Bret. The size of the Anvil was getting the better of Lethal early on. Lethal then had the upperhand and began to throw jabs at Neidhart and caught him with a clothesline. Lethal was caught by Neidhart in a powerslam and is pinned for the three count.

There was then a backstage segment where Lashley’s interview was interrupted and he was told of an emergency in the video truck. The truck had a video of Steiner saying he was at the hotel where Krystal was at the moment. The segment ends with Lashley racing off to check on her and her safety.

Borash and Super Dave were in the office and were discussing that Foley was being sent to the hospital. Dave gave Borash the freedom to create a match and he’ll be doing just that.

The Beautiful People and Awesome Kong vs. Tara, ODB, Sarrita and Taylor Wilde

Wonderful entrance by TBP as per usual and any red blooded male would be hard pressed to say it isn’t at the very least…tantalizing. Madison tried to get the better of Tara but doesn’t work out in her favor. Tara made a tag to Taylor and she continued to work on Rayne. After a commercial break we return to see Velvet working on Sarrita. Rayne was tagged in and ODB was eventually tagged in and begun to splash both Rayne and Sky. When she turned around Von Erich absolutely crushed Tara. Taylor and Kong are tagged in from their respective teams and this doesn’t look good for Wilde. Wilde was hit with the implant buster by Kong and later pinned for the win.

Backstage Dave stood with the X-division and tried to address them with a pep talk to encourage to give their absolute best and nothing but. It was an amusing segment to say the least. As Super Dave couldn’t make out what Bashir was trying to tell him. Angle gave his thoughts on Hogan joining the company. He touched upon the crazy prospect of how successful the partnership will be. He said that Hogan is their change…but we have to ask is it? Not everything that is old needs to be new again.

Lashley was shown running down the hotel hallway and when he saw Kyrstal there untouched he breathed a sigh of relief. CRACK! That was until he turned around and was beaten down by Steiner. Steiner had the quote of the segment saying ‘Look, at your baby it has my eyes’. Classic.

Kurt Angle came down to ringside and spoke about how this next match will push him to the limit. He said the competition is what he strives for. Between giving Hogan props and Styles and Morgan their props he’s sounding like a bit of a kiss up, no? He then touched upon Wolfe and how he’d earned nothing and proved nothing. He said that he will terminate Desmond’s career. Wolfe was shown on the screen and said that he’s here to end his career. He said he’s there to take his place. Angle asked what’s going on and then he caught Wolfe who tried to sneak up from behind him. On the outside of the ring, Angle beat down Wolfe as the video played in the background. Angle picked up a steel chair but was caught and hit with a DDT on the floor by Wolfe. Again Wolfe has the advantage and then clocks Angle with a chair laying him out. ‘Third times, the charm…sunshine’. Desmond Wolfe is just awesome. For those were high on Desmond ‘Nigel McGuinness’ Wolfe, thanks for pointing what he’s capable of.

Super Dave plugged his upcoming show.

Motorcity Machineguns and Amazing Red w/Don West vs. Homicide, Sheik Abdul Bashir and Kyoshi

This match should be very entertaining. Homicide approached the announce table and left something there wrapped in a flag. There was speculation that he stole something but no idea what that was. Members of the World Elite were relentlessly working together on Alex Shelley. The problem though every time Kyoshi gets involved in a match it works against him and his team. Homicide came to the announce table and unwrapped the flag to expose the barbed wire bat to bring it to the ring. Shelley fought off the attack of the entire World Elite. Red came in hitting everyone that moved. After being away from the ring for a few years for Red to be able to come back as well as he has is great. He tagged in Shelley who double teamed Bashir for the win.

Lauren interviewed Wolfe backstage and he made it clear what his intentions are for Angle. He was continuing to manipulate Kurt with each move he made and each step that he took. He didn’t quote any songs with the word wolf in it this week. This may be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to look at it. We once again see Dixie Carter’s roster address. We get it she’s in charge. MOVE ON! Her on air character is one of strength and beauty yet motivational at the same time. It’s great that they have a female character that doesn’t have come across as controlling to illustrate her character.

Team 3D and Rhino came down to the ring and the turn is complete. Last week the conflicted Ray and DeVon came to the ring. He said he wasn’t proud of his choice but now says he’s proud of his choice. Ray apologized to Rhino who came to the ring wearing a Team 3D shirt. He said they will take out the younger guys that are trying to take their spot. Ray called out Morgan and Hernandez. Both teams jaw back and forth with one another until a challenge was made for a 6 man tag at Turning Point. Morgan said they didn’t need a partner. ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero came out and rocked himself down the aisle and began to speak up and said to look no further. His ability to accentuate his dialogue to fit his persona is coming through now loud and clear.

Lauren spoke with British Invasion backstage. Magnus spoke about how they are guilty of skullduggery. No idea what that is but it can’t be good! Eric Young said that this was Beer Money’s last chance. He said that they will whisper in their ears welcome in their world. Borash spoke with AJ Styles in the locker room. He addressed his upcoming match at Turning Point and asked them about his friendship with Daniels. He apologized for accusing Daniels but won’t apologize for being champion? Who apologizes for that? Anyway, the match on Sunday should be exciting no doubt.

The British Invasion vs. Beer Money Inc

This was supposed to be Beer Money’s last chance…again. Roode goes at both Magnus and with Storms help take out BI. The hard part here is when Williams tried to get counted out and Rob trying to use a chair had Magnus remind them of what is at stake. The funny part was Big Rob was sent to the back after he picked up a chair. He got shoed away. Roode took out both Williams and Magnus with a top rope neck breaker. Roode tagged in Storm who came in and clears the ring. After trying to break up a pinning attempt by Storm, Williams in advertently dropped a knee on Magnus. They hit the DWI finisher. Didn’t know it stood for drinking while investing but that’s a great name. Both Roode and Storm are now taking part in the title match at Turning Point.

Backstage Morgan and Hernandez confront The Pope. They said what makes him think they can trust him. He said when he gives his word it’s golden. He’s going for a ride and asks them to join him for the shuttle bus..or Pope mobile or something like that. Daniels was playing the real defensive friend role well but seemed more jealous of anything than he is of anything else.

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

The pot stirrer versus the pot would be a goofy subheading for this match but it seems to work. This was a great main event scheduled just a few daya away from Turning Point. Joe was running from Styles but that was short lived as Joe got the advantage over the champion. Joe hits a powerbomb on Styles. After a pinning attempt, Joe rolled it into an STF and then a crossface. Both men exchange blows once at their feet. Joe however hits a clothesline and then tried to hit a powerbomb but Sytles kicked out. AJ eventually it’s a pele but Daniels got involved and Styles slapped him to get him off the apron. That was poorly edited because something was missing there possibly a Daniels that didn’t go to air? Joe clutched in a kokita clutch on the champion for a submission victory. Daniels gave a slight smirk as Styles laid in the ring with Joe standing over the fallen champion victorious holding the title.

Corresponding for the Oratory,

Marcus E. Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep. 9)

Dear Scriptures:

We start off with the customary review of the events on the last episode of The Ultimate Fighter to start the show. They spoke about Mitrione’s current status and discussed how the quarterfinals have been decided with Wren facing Nelson in the first of the matches. It’s a battle between two of the bigger boys with Nelson’s midsection appearing to be a winner at the buffet table.

Rashad spoke about how can he train seven guys because he’s concerned that it would come across as favoritism if one guy was being helped over another. He sat with the team and discussed what the strategy for training would be for the next round of fights. Wren spoke about how he has to train at the same time as his opponent. So he’s scouting while training. It’s understandable that it’s a strange format but one that’s come about. At one point, Nelson leans over to Wren and says to him ‘what do you want help on? I’ll help you’. It was mildly amusing seeing as that Nelson would be more inclined to show Wren nothing.

The camera showed Mitrione sitting against the wall speaking about how he felt after his fight with Junk. At the same time, he spoke about how his eyes felt sensitive to light but his teammates questioned how much of it was being ‘milked’ and how much was legit. Schoonover spoke about it being not something that should be too concerned with. Schaub said he thought he had a concussion. Brenden approached Dana with his concern and he spoke about the Mitrione situation. White said if Mitrione can not continue than the coaches will revaluate that and make a decision.

Kimbo was shown doing body squats and Jackson spoke about Mitrione’s status and how he would like to give Kimbo another chance. Quinton said he knows Slice wants a chance and has shown that through practice. Slice has to be the most articulate fighter that is full of more metaphors than I think was ever possible. He described himself as a fight contractor that is putting more ‘tools on his belt’. He didn’t pull the idea of ‘rearranging’ someone’s face with his ‘hammers’ though. That would have been just another way to continue on with the Sliceisms. As he’s being tutored Kimbo is being shown how to avoid and move during the fight. At the training session the guys are speaking to Nurse about Mitrione’s status and Evans showed his concern for him as well. He also chimed in with his opinion of giving Kimbo another chance. It’s a chance that he thinks would be exciting to see and have happen.

Jackson was more concerned with how Team Rashad was so cocky that he actually put ‘cocks’ in the rental cars of Evan’s team. He spoke about how they smelled and how he fed them to induce them to crap all over the inside of the car. The antics are amusing but it didn’t necessarily have the affect he had intended. As Jackson kept his distance Evans was informed about the chickens in his car. He said that there were 5 chickens inside his car and pointed out the decorating that these birds did to his upholstery. When they opened the car doors they ended up chasing these birds because they ran out of the cars. Rashad was laughing at it and Jackson was annoyed that it didn’t bother them and they end up getting new rental cars because of the damage. Again the joke backfired on Rampage. He said he thinks he has at least one more prank to pull. I thought it would have been great if Team Rashad turned them into a bucket of chicken and serve it back to Rampage.

Back at the house Mitrione was walking around like a zombie. Sims spoke to Matt and he said that Mitrione continued to share with Slice that ‘he rattled his brain’. In Kimbo’s mind, Matt’s actions showed that he’s already pulled out. He hasn’t which means if he doesn’t get clearance than it won’t matter what Slice thinks, it will be what the doctor says. White arrives at the house to speak to Matt and the other fighters. Dana addressed Mitrione’s status and spoke about the doctor have given him clearance to fight. At one point, Junk walked in saying ‘I’m ready’. White said he won’t take Mitrione’s status lightly. Towards the end of the scene Mitrione appeared understanding of that.

McSweeney would like to say that he thinks Justin will win despite Nelson’s experience. Slice spoke about Roy’s ability and how he thought he would come out on top. Brendan was impartial towards either man pointing out each man strong points. Just prior to commercial Rashad was speaking to both Nelson and Wren and he asked ‘did you just waste the last four weeks for nothing’ and I believe it was Nelson that said ‘I think I got brain damage’. That came across like an indirect dig at the human attention circus that is Matt Mitrione. Unfortunately Matt is coming across like the boy that cried wolf and when you’re not sure whether it was legit or not we may never know the truth.

The fighters arrived for the official weigh in and White chimed in with his opinions. He said he’s still waiting to be impressed by Nelson. He said he was very impressed by Justin’s first fight. Evans believed it could result in a stand up battle something no one would anticipate. Wren spoke about whom he was fighting and the experience behind his opponent. Nelson believed that Wren looked up to him and respects him. As fight day arrived, Nelson called Wren a lifelong friend but won’t let his dream taken away from him. During the entrance of Wren we could see he was intense and ready to go almost before the bell rang. McSweeney laid in a couple of slaps just to ensure Justin was psyched up enough. Nelson suggested that he could be in major trouble from his wife if he doesn’t win. In most cases, I don’t think one’s wife would be upset if her husband didn’t get into a fight but when it’s a source of income we could see how she would be peeved if he couldn’t afford to buy the bacon let alone bring it home.

Its fight time! The tale of the tape showed it’s pretty even with the experience going to Nelson. That could be all it takes in this one. White came in reminded everyone of the finer points of the match. Once the match is under way both guys circle each and jockey for position. As many had thought they are standing each other up rather than going to the ground. The early part of the match has Wren getting the advantage until Nelson clutched him and pressed Justin up against the cage. McSweeney could be heard shouting instructions to breathe from the corner. The ref brought both men to the center of the ring where once again they exchanged a number of punches. Wren was being reminded to keep his hands up because he kept dropping them. Wren took a kick to the thigh that shook him up a bit but began to fire up against Nelson. As the clock began to run, down both men appeared to be a little winded by the intensity that the match was providing. McSweeney was quick to tell Wren that he won it. As Schoonover attempted to offer advice to Nelson he simply asked for water.

Before the second round could get under way, Jackson commented on the ring girl saying that ‘she wishes’. And he wonders why his guys never won? FOCUS on the fight, Rampage. Anyway both guys receive advice from their respective corners. Wren comes firing in and began to use his legs a bit more too along with a hands. Nelson seemed to be pacing himself as each minute passes and is striking well. Justin swung wildly with an overhand right that missed by a mile. With just about 3 minutes remaining in the fight Wren tried to press Nelson against the cage but Nelson fought through it. Wren completely dropped his hands at this point and McSweeney is screaming to him to get his hands up. Nelson was throwing a few more jabs using Wren to keep his distance from him. Wren looked exhausted here and Nelson was able to come in and strike well. Both men jockey for position against the cage with Wren fighting him off. The fight comes to an end.

After the fight we go to the score keepers and Rashad can’t believe that its not going to a third round because of how close it was. Dana said how well Justin did in the first round. Evans pointed out how tired Justin was in the second round. He said Nelson was coasting but did pick up the pace. White announced the winner by majority decision Roy Nelson. He said at the end of the second round it didn’t look like Wren would have been able to last. Nelson spoke about what he did to win the fight. While we see Wessel appear to be consoling Wren after the tough loss. Justin said he was disappointed with his performance but said he has a lot of work to do. White does not like how Nelson feels he made that fight exciting. A preview of the next round shows all eyes are on Kimbo Slice with a coach’s challenge and John Madsen faces Brendan Schaub as the next match up.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 11/05/09 Nov14

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 11/05/09

ORLANDO – We began with the Hogan announcement and how he will be joining TNA. The hype around having him there good or bad brings more notoriety to the company no question. This week’s tag line is ‘A new beginning’. With the recent additions of Desmond Wolfe and the developing feud between Joe/Daniels and Styles leading to their match up at Turning Point there are things happening and while there are still things to be bothered by these moves do seem promising.

Dixie Carter spoke earlier to the locker room in what appeared to be like a lecture hall type of forum. The setting appeared unusual especially since no one batted an eye when she spoke. In fact I think someone dropped a pin during that segment. She said changes are still to come but while she respects that some may have different opinions on her decisions. She said she will not accept being questioned. The choice remained to accept the direction the company is taking and either work with us or you will need to find another place to work. Carter came across like a motivational speaker or coach to have them step it up. Although she weaved between take it or leave it and let’s work together or your fired seamlessly.

“I Am” rang out over the arena speakers as AJ Styles came down to the ring. Styles addressed the crowd and said even though there are changes here in TNA that he is still world heavyweight champion. AJ said who would have thought Hogan would have been a part of the company. As the franchise, he spoke about how this is where he’s wanted to be for a long time but he said there are negatives attached with what has happened recently. He said that someone’s been jumping him and wanted whoever it is to man up. When he said to come out and face him man to man, Daniels came down to the ring. Daniels said he didn’t understand why AJ chose to use the word ‘friend’ or ‘foe’ when he said whoever it is that attacked him. Chris called Styles arrogant and points out his countless opportunities. He said that he’s been pampered, coddled and even spoiled. Daniels went as far as to say he got was special treatment. Daniels said that he’s every bit the wrestler that Styles is. AJ looked bothered by everything Daniels said. Chris said that every time he was up the company was there to bring him down. It’s interesting to see if Daniels will join the conspiracy theory faction of Rhino after this promo. Styles was stunned by everything he had just heard. He then said was there anything he couldn’t say to him. That brought Joe out and came out to stir the pot and playing one guy against the other repeatedly. Joe pointed out why they are no longer friends and that’s the competition that’s what drives him. Styles said why we don’t they settle this tonight between Daniels and himself. Put their friendship aside and settle it in the ring. They shook on it and Joe watched them and smiled as all parties went their separate ways.

‘Big’ Rob and Eric Young vs. Beer Money Inc

Young came down to the ring with the newly dubbed Global championship. I like the name for the belt better than the Legend’s championship. BMI’s animosity towards the World Elite continued here where the feud with The British Invasion left off. Rob is all show. He tagged in Young who came in and got his licks in on the beaten Storm. After distracting the referee, Young tagged Rob back into the ring. For such a big guy he doesn’t move very well and by that I mean forward, backwards and sideways. He needs to work on his flexibility and general overall mobility. Once Young made his way back up onto the apron, BMI regain control of the match. Storm took Rob out of the match. Beer Money tried to set up Rob but he reversed it into a back body drop. While the referee was distracted Young came in and tried to take out Roode but missed and clocked Rob with the Global championship. The referee made the cover as Roode got the win for Beer Money. After the match, the British Invasion came down to assist Young and Rob’s beat down of Beer Money. While heading back up the ramp, the British Invasion was busy chastising Big Rob a hard time after what happened. While on the top of the ramp, the Motor City Machineguns attacked TBI.

Tenay announced an interview with AJ Styles but The Beautiful People cut in and spoke about their next movie Meanest Girls II. The Beautiful People walk into ODB’s dressing room. They exchange insults with ODB calling them slut doubles but Madison called ODB the star of a monster movie. The segment ended with The Beautiful People putting the Knockouts champion in a body bag. ‘Black Machismo’ Jay Lethal was channeling his inner Macho Man and how he and Hogan go way back. He announced this as the new home of the Mega Powers and anyone with legendary status to come to the Black Machismo Invitational.

Borash interviewed Foley backstage and spoke to him about the situation with Abyss. It lent itself to the changes happening in TNA as a whole. He reminded Borash that he didn’t understand why he was surprised by not knowing about the surveillance camera in his dressing room. Borash said he had nothing to hide and Foley ended the segment saying he had a surprise for Abyss.

Desmond Wolfe vs. Cody Deaner

Desmond’s entrance was longer than this match. Angle was on the phone during the match and sold his neck and throat injury by consistently clearing it. Deaner charged into Wolfe and was knocked out flat with the clothesline. Wolfe came in and did what he had to do. After the match, Wolfe called Angle a muppet and victim at the fangs of the wolf. He called those in attendance and watching on television all common wankers. He said it’s easy for them to come into the ring but leaving isn’t as easy. Desmond then proceeded to call Angle…Mr. Mangled. It’s creative and works but can you put it on a t-shirt? Wolfe didn’t understand why Angle wanted to get back into the ring with him again. He said that he’s hungry like a…wolf. He’s probably exhausted the wolf pun for the day but he’s certainly over in just a couple of short weeks in TNA.

Lauren interviewed Suicide backstage and was asked about Homicide and how he’d been unmasked and doesn’t want his identity known. He said there is a reason he doesn’t want his identity known and said that the dark savior will strike down upon Homicide. Why do guys in masks have to talk in riddles? Isn’t already a mystery when he doesn’t know what you look like? What the heck! Why do you have be all enigmatic and all?

After a commercial break, Lauren interviewed Team 3D about what’s happened recently with them. As soon as Ray was going to address them, Rhino walked in on whether or not what’s happened recently was just a mistake or just a coincidence. Ray pulled no punches and says that to be the team they have to beat the team and that’s exactly what Hernandez and Morgan are going to do.

Daniels vs. AJ Styles w/ Samoa Joe as referee (pt.1)

Joe walked down as he’d been announced as the guest referee. He was then followed by Daniels. Both men stood in the ring as Borash was interviewing Styles backstage until he was jumped backstage. Daniels and Joe saw this on the monitor and Joe jumped Daniels from behind, in the ring and hit him with the muscle buster. Joe then walked out of the ring and headed towards the backstage area. I guess this was the match that wasn’t.

Tara vs. Hamada

Tenay touched upon the status of the incident prior to the break. We then get highlights of what happened between Kong and Tara last week with both women trying to rip each others faces off. Tara and Hamada lock up and this should be an entertaining enough match up with the luchador style of Hamada and the savvy skill of Tara. Tara caught Hamada not once but twice with a clothesline. She followed that up with that standing moonsault. Tenay said that a major announcement regarding the suspension of the British Invasion. Hamada walked the ropes like the Undertaker and took down Tara. She hit a side roll pinning combination but Tara kicked out. Hamada then attempted a moonsault but was caught at the last second by Tara who hit her widow’s peak neck breaker. Man or women that is such a solid finishing move. After the match, Awesome Kong came down to the ring like a house of fire but the security tries to hold her back. That was until Tara lunged from the top turnbuckle to the floor taking Kong down. It’s a great build in this feud with both looking to rip the others head off and Tara is being made to look tough enough to keep up with Kong.

Backstage Lauren interviewed Tara who was prepared to go nuts on Awesome Kong when they meet at Turning Point. Foley came to the ring with what appeared to be a portrait under his arm. He begun to say he has a gift for Abyss and called him down to the ringside area. Abyss came to the ring with microphone in hand. Once he entered the ring, Foley said that he understood why Abyss doesn’t trust him. He said they’ve been through a lot in their careers. He said that the only times he felt guilty of saying something to someone the only person was Abyss. For the past few years, Foley said that he heard about Abyss and knew he was good but he had to be there in the ring with them to know how good he was for himself. He gave Abyss tons of compliments calling him better for what he was in the ring. Foley said he’s taken from a bunch of guys before him. So this was gift time and Foley presented it to Abyss who looked so happy. As Foley left the ring he begun to leave the ring he told him that it was going to be Abyss and Dr. Stevie and if he pins him, Stevie is gone from TNA.

Borash interviewed Steiner backstage and asked him about Hogan and he’s pleased by the acquisition. We continue on with the Lashley/Steiner/Krystal triangle in the mind of Big Poppa Pump.

Homicide vs. Bobby Lashley w/Krystal

The safest place for Kyrstal was supposed to be at ringside and not staying at home? Hebner sent her to the back like she’s going to be a distraction. Anyway, Homicide charges after Lashley and brought the fight to The Boss. They announced the Styles/Daniels match up will happen later on in the evening. Lashley chokeslamed Homicide. He covered him for the pinfal and the win. After the match, Lashley was attacked from behind by Homicide. Lashley saw Steiner harassing Kyrstal and he goes right after him to fight him off of her. Lashley went nuts on Steiner and the TNA wrestlers were trying to pull him off of Steiner. Even on the ground he’s trying to put the boots to Big Poppa Pump. After a commercial break, Homicide is shown in the ring telling off Hebner and then clocking him. Amazing Red came out and goes right at Homicide. In the match Red goes all over Homicide and clears the ring of the top contender for the X-division title.

Madison Rayne vs. Taylor Wilde

Rayne came to the ring first and Toronto’s own Taylor Wilde. Wilde and Rayne lock up and Taylor got the early advantage in the match. Wilde hit a German suplex with a bridge out of nowhere and picked up the win. After the match the Beautiful People jumped Wild and beat down one half of the tag champions. Sarrita then came down to the ring and tried to take down the Beautiful People but they had the advantage until ODB came out to make the odds even. At that point the Beautiful People cleared the ring. Lauren interviewed Hernandez and Morgan and they said they are there to win no matter what. They point out that Team 3D was the past and Hernandez and Morgan are the future.

AJ Styles vs. Daniels w/ Samoa Joe as special referee

Once again they tried to get this match started. A wounded AJ Styles came to the ring clutching his ribs. We can see that it’s not Daniels that wasn’t responsible for the beat down. Joe is the special referee and he pulled Styles off of Daniels. At that moment, Daniels came back at AJ and worked on his injured ribs. The match involved the competitive spirit of both men. Daniels worked on the injured ribs of AJ and Joe looks to be calling the match down the middle. It’s been pretty even throughout with Daniels working on the injured ribs of Styles. Both guys go right at each other and Joe is watching both guys in pain on the mat. Daniels put Styles in the Styles clash and pinned him for the three count and the win. After the match, AJ received the title from Joe and Styles tried to help up Daniels but when AJ’s back was turned Samoa Joe slapped on a kokita clutch choke on the champion causing him to pass out.

Lauren interviewed Dr. Stevie and Dafney with the announcement of next weeks match. Stevie said he will take him out and Abyss has no idea what he has in store for him next week.

Non-tile Match: Team 3D vs. Matt Morgan and Hernandez

Once both of the teams are in the ring we see the shear size of all these guys together and realize that its not going to be a difference in styles facing one another. I don’t like how they’ve scaled back on the intensity of Morgan’s character. Morgan caught Devon with a side walk slam and then hits him with back elbows. Team 3D regain the advantage in the match until Hernandez knock down Bubba with a shoulder tackle inside the ring. Ray caught Hernandez on the top rope and hit a suplex off the middle rope for the pin. Devon tried to hit Hernandez and re-hurt his knee as he came down on the mat. Rhino came to the ring and is trying to interrupt the match and having an argument with him at ring side. Inside the ring, Devon’s leg is being worked on and both Hernandez and Morgan are working on the injury. Both men work on him as Ray is standing on the apron watching this and uses the chair to take down Hernandez and Morgan. He looked stunned and conflicted immediately after he did it. Rhino came into the ring and embraced Team 3D after Ray used the chair. Rhino believed the three of them are aligned but the expression on Team 3D’s face said something else.

Corresponding for the Oratory,

Marcus E. Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep.8)

Dear Scriptures:

We ran through the events of the previous episode with the results of the match dictating the reaction of Rampage. As Jackson went berserk after the fight. Marcus Jones was his teams’ last hope to prevent from Team Rampage from losing every fight in the preliminary round. How will Wessel respond to being told he’s afraid to fight? On [pause for dramatic effect’>… The Ultimate Fighter.

The show begun where it left off from the previous week with Dana White announcing Matt Mitrione as the winner by unanimous decision in his fight against Scott Junk. It was said to be a controversial end but the match was really sloppy and Junk looked like he was getting hit by a truck by the end of it. Wren, Schaub and Rogers all commented on the fight. Even Matt commented and complimented Scott for his ability. Jackson thought it should have gone to a third round. We see the shredding of the door by Rampage and even White commented on how cheap the doors are on the set. He’s practicing for all those fake doors he’s going to have to break on the set of the A-Team, Dana. Evans didn’t understand why he’s so upset he hadn’t shown any emotion up to that point, seriously why care now. Jackson felt embarrassed about what he did but didn’t really care because he’s just acting like a goof and looked as silly then as he did after the fight. Its part of his personality and sense of humor, if you find it funny than you’d probably be amused by it.

At the house, Junk’s eyes were swollen and were being iced because of the beating he took in his fight with Matt. Mitrione wasn’t in any better shape because he looked to be messed up himself. Wes Sims went in and begun to shoot party confetti string at a beaten Mitrione because it was time to celebrate Matt’s big win. To celebrate his win he thought it would be nice to throw him a party or in Wes’ case annoy the hell out of someone that isn’t doing too well.

The next day at the training session Jones is getting psyched p by Jackson. Rampage was now putting his time and effort in Marcus’ match. What the hell not work on the previous seven with your guys, Rampage> He said its tough to lose and how its hard to watch his guys lose but he’s saying that now before he was more concerned with just beating Rashad and mocking Schoonover repeatedly. It’s over and done with now but he should have been there when they needed him not now when there left to one last preliminary fight.

Marcus freaks out! At the sight of a spider, Wren was trying to smashing this bug on the ground. Jones tried to justify that his scream would have deafen the bug. It was hilarious to see this giant of a guy cower over a bug. He doesn’t even hide the fact that he’s afraid of them which makes him very hard to dislike but funny to see all at the same time. The rest of the guys had a nice chuckle at Big baby’s expense.

Wessel spoke about his wife and how she has cancer and how she depends on him a lot as does he of her but its not knowing how well she’s doing that gets to him. It was at this moment when Mike had to momentarily pause because he was getting choked up. This was a real heart felt story where you want to see him succeed because of how he’s fighting for her and not just for himself. Mike spoke about Marcus and what his game plan would be against Big Baby. The idea was for him to get the hands go and stay inside on Jones. He was to avoid take downs because in order for him to get the win he has to get in on Marcus. He could prove that the big guy doesn’t always win.

At the training session, Jones was very respectful of his coaches and spoke about how much he loved the competition of football. He said that he could watch MMA every single day 24 hours a day. He compared it to being fed ice cream every single day. He’s just so hungry to learn. Which made the ice cream analogy that much more meaningful. When he learned something new he can’t wait to try it and do it again. Rampage loves Jones’ expression and his willingness to learn. He’d breaking you in half and smiling al the way through because he’s literally hurting his opponent in the process. Jones was so excited and can’t believe he’s even there to give this his best shot to win. At the end of this he hopes that everyone remembers him for what he did and as a hell of a fighter in the process.

At the house, the guys were drawing pictures of Marcus teasing him and taped the picture to the glass door. The guys thought that he would find it funny. As soon as he heard what someone wrote on it he was pointed in that direction of the picture, he was pissed. He was mad because he’s a father and a husband and didn’t appreciate that someone wrote that he ‘sucks balls’. There’s upset and then there was more like a sense of being hurt. A disappointment that appeared more disrespectful than simply casting insults. As Jones was left to his thoughts the guys said to Mike that he’s dead because he’s got Marcus after him. We later find out that it was Wessel that wrote the ‘sucks balls’. He didn’t understand why he took it so seriously. Afterward Jones asked the guys who did that and said whoever did it he will take his arm with him. Jones has to know that its Wessel that wrote it.

Jackson approached Daril and wanted to burry the hatchet. He shakes Daril’s hand and then squeezes his pecs. It’s the same old Rampage, nothing to be respected about how he acts. At the weigh in, Slice chimed in with his opinions of Marcus and how much trouble Mike could be in but it could be Wessel’s experience that puts him over. Jones went over how he wants people to remember him. They explore the journeys that both men endured to get to where they are. Neither men wanted this experience to be for nothing and are both out to prove everything.

Before the fight each fighter goes through taping and preparation for their fight against one another. Once in the cage both men gave their opinion about what the fight will mean to each of them. The tale of the tape showed Jones with a height and reach advantage while it showed Mike with the experience advantage. Mike tried to come in on Jones but Jones reach advantage got the better of Wessel early on in the fight. Once on the ground Jones had Mikes back but then Marcus managed to sneak in and arm bar and it looked nasty. Rampage and Evans both chimed in with what took place in the fight. Rashad couldn’t believe where he pulled off that armbar from. Wessels’s arm didn’t look in good shape. Wessel was emotionally distraught after the fight. He said its not a failure after you try, it’s only a loss. These fights take a lot out of those involved. Jones didn’t know what to do he was on top of the world, excited with his performance.

Dana called in Rampage and Rashad and spoke to all the fighters with who they wanted to fight and why. Rashad didn’t like that his team was essentially going to be fighting each other. McSweeney said he didn’t mind fighting either Daril, Justin or Mike. Wren came in and said the same about Matt as did Brendan. When Roy came in Dana seemed quite annoyed by his attitude. He knew that he had to win three to get where he had to go. He then goes about it and said Justin and Daril as his two preferred. Dana thinks he’s trying to break up his kids in a fight when Rampage and Rashad. When Marcus came in he said he would go with who coach wants him to fight and who he wants him to fight is Daril. What a surprise, Rampage has an axe to grind.

Dana called in everyone and sets up the quarter final matches. Roy versus Justin is the first fight. Brendon vs. John is the second fight. James takes on Matt in the third fight and Marcus takes on Daril. White said he let Rampage pick his last fight. Rashad didn’t think Rampage earned that privilege. Evans approached White about if asked Rampage’s fighters if they wanted to join his team to train. White even said he needs some training bodies. Kimbo said he can’t disrespect his coach like that. An argument ensues between the two coaches. Highlights of the next week show Mitrione going to the hospital with the chance of Kimbo coming back to fight as a chance. The next fight pits Nelson against Wren.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 10/29/09 Nov08

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT Post for 10/29/09

ORLANDO – The big announcement was that Hulk Hogan had joined TNA. It became the focus of the opening video montage. We are shown what happened the previous week and this was the debut of Nigel McGuinness aka Desmond Wolfe who jumped Kurt Angle and showed he was no push over.

We hear the cry of the wolf as Desmond Wolfe walked to the ring with microphone in hand and sunglasses hiding his eyes. He could be wearing them because his stardom is so bright he needs to wear glasses. He formally introduced himself and called the fans ‘wankers’ which is a popular term in the UK. He it will get confused with what some do in the privacy of their own homes. He boasts about where he’s come from and how he’s come to be. Wolfe addressed what he’s destined to be and that Angle didn’t win the medal but simply received because he got it out of sympathy. Wolfe pointed out how he could have broken Kurt’s neck and made his mark in one night. This cued the arrival of Kurt Angle. Angle walked to the top of the rampway. He said that Wolfe overstayed his welcome because he’s earned no respect from him. He told him that he’s messing with the wrong guy and no one comes in his backyard and pisses in it. He challenged Wolfe to a one on one street fight later on tonight.

Backstage Styles was with Lauren and didn’t know who it could have been that jumped him. Styles began to challenge whoever did that to him until Joe came in and was trying to plant seeds in his head that it was Daniels responsible for what took place. What was ironic about this was Joe was just as guilty of stabbing Styles in the back as Daniels would be suggested to be doing. At this point, if I was Styles I wouldn’t know who to trust anymore.

In the locker room, Kong was redecorating her dressing room. That is if redecorating means throwing furniture around the room to see what splinters of wood do for a room’s décor. She needs some help in that department. We then see brief moments of the press conference introducing Hulk Hogan.

Alissa Flash vs. Tara

Our first match of the evening puts two of the knockouts one on one. Flash is quickly becoming one of the knockouts that puts on solid matches but the results are not usually in his favor. Flash began to combat Tara’s offense and tried to make the cover for a three count but was thwarted. Flash was relentless in her beating of Tara in this match up. Tara began to retaliate and stopped her on the top turnbuckle and hit her with a suplex off the tope rope. The ref began to count both men down but both made it to their feet. With a whip to the rope she hit her with a snap suplex and a pin but that was to no avail. Flash regained her senses and had her in a surfboard but Tara retaliated with a fireman’s carry into a side suplex for the pinfall and the win. Immediately after the bell, Kong came out and hit Tara with the implant buster and hit another one on the already prone Alissa Flash. Kong circled the ring and walked out of the ring with both Flash and Tara out in the ring.

Backstage Team 3D were in the dressing room and were interrupted by Rhino who was trying to thank them for coming to his aid the previous week. Ray pointed out that they weren’t there to protect Rhino its about how they were there to protect Hernandez from himself because he’s the future. They’re trying to make Rhino have this ‘the company’s against him’ storyline and trying to drag Team 3D into it with him. It will be interesting to see a heel turn on the part of Team 3D because they could use a fresh outlook.

Motor City Machineguns vs. Team 3D

Tenay touched upon last weeks Ultimate X match and how Shelley and Sabin came out victorious. At the start of the match everyone shook hands as a sign of respect. Shelley tried to take the fight to Devon right away with a number of different kicks. It was stopped by Devon who hit a powerslam and eventually made a tag to Ray. Taz and Tenay called it as Team 3D tried to slow down the match where the MCMG were trying to speed up the pace of the match. Ray hit what looked like a rock bottom and it was replayed several times because of how Sabin’s head hit the mat. Sabin was lying in the corner and a trainer was trying to work on him to get him up again. The match has turned into a handicap match with Shelley facing both Ray and Devon with Sabin down in his corner. Shelley uses a single leg crab and the ref called for the bell as Devon slapped the match down with his hand but was thought to have quitted but it wasn’t. This will only add to the conspiracy theory Rhino was talking about. The match ended with MCMG victorious but in controversial fashion.

Backstage Lauren was with Scott Steiner and said that Bobby Lashley demanded that he apologize for his behavior last week towards his wife Krystal. He said that he’s going to make her his number one freak. He unzipped his jacket and looked down towards his chest saying he had a big surprise for her. After the commercial break, Amazing Red, Don West and Herbie Sadler sat together talking about how they came together. Don spoke about what Red represents to parents, children and is leadership.

TNA Legends Championship: Eric Young vs. Bobby Lashley

Taz referred to a major announcement that Young was to make. They referred to what took place between Nash and Young and how he’s owed $60,000 from Young for protecting him and how he was screwed over by Young and winning the Legends championship. We also hear about the events of the previous week with Steiner and Krystal Marshal. Once the match begun it quickly went to the floor. Once on the floor Lashley is decked from behind by Steiner out of nowhere. We just saw the surprise Steiner was referring too. It was an animated image of Krystal in a t-shirt. This reminds me of the Rick Rude/Jake Roberts feud years ago complete with the airbrushed animated image of the wife on a wrestler. Steiner decked Lashley from behind with a chair causing The Boss to win via disqualification

Back in the ring, the World Elite wore matching jumpsuits. Magnus began to address the audience who said they’ve been suspended until Turning Point. Eric Young began to address the audience about his match up against Lashley and how he defeated him. He made his major announcement Eric said he was renaming of the Legends title to the Global title. He said he’ll never defend this title against an American wrestler and never in America. It was at this time Nash came out after hearing this news. He said that he’s owed $60,000 dollars and that is this how Eric really wants to do business? Young said he learned from the master and that we should just dismiss this as water under the bridge or he said to Nash that he could come down to the ring and discuss it further. No sooner did Young say this than Beer Money Inc appeared in the ring and took out the majority of the World Elite leaving both Homicide and Young trying to put one in front of the other as they scurried out of the ring. Nash ended the segment saying to Eric he can run but he can’t hide.

Daniels approached Styles in the locker room and confronted about what Joe said and what ensued was an argument for nothing.

The Beautiful People vs. Hamada, Christy Hemme and ODB

We see the Beautiful people’s beat down last week at the dining area. After the introduction and commercial break the match starts off with Sky and Hemme. Once Hemme entered the ring she began to use her speed to her advantage over Madison Rayne. Sky made it back into the ring and begun to beat down Hamada. Von Erich was tagged into the match does one move and tags herself back out. No idea why the majority of the match is with only 2/3 of TBP and not Von Erich. ODB got Von Erich involved in the match though when she hit her and knocked her off the apron. Tenay asked whether that move is the dreaded carpet buster or the bronco muncher on the move hit by ODB on Sky. Sometimes I wonder if someone just writes stuff for him to say and he reads the cue cards without having any idea of what they mean. Von Erich was tagged in and lifted Hemme about 3 inches off the ground with a choke slam. It looked as bad as it sounded. I think a ladybug in the ring jumped higher than Hemme. Von Erich got the pinfall and the win. After the match, Awesome Kong made her way back to the ring once again. Once she makes it to the ring Tara stopped her before she got into the ring and both are trading blows while security tried to keep them away from one another.

No Disqualification Dr. Stevie vs. Abyss

After the commercial break we relive the events of the Monster’s Ball match between Mick Foley and Abyss. It looked calculatingly brutal if that means anything. Dr. Stevie was the special referee and these guys took it to one another. Abyss won the match with a black hole slam on Foley through a barbed wire table. Stevie came down to the ring and pointed out what Abyss did to Dafney and he called him out in the process. He explained that Abyss himself created a monster in the doctor himself. In the ring both guys go at each other with Abyss clearly getting the upper hand on Stevie. The match went to the outside of the ring and Abyss threw a couple of steel garbage bins in the ring and managed to hit Dr. Stevie with them. Stevie brought in a hockey stick and beats down the monster with it. Stevie attempted a tornado DDT and was caught with the shock treatment by Abyss for the pinfall and the win. After the match, Stevie made it back to his feet and began to choke out Abyss with the kendo stick in the ring. Foley came to the ring and called off Stevie and as Abyss was set up for a kendo shot to the head Foley cracked Stevie over the head instead of Abyss with the stick. A perplexed Abyss and an even more stunned Stevie look on to what just took place as Foley made his way back to the ring but looking at both men. JB stopped Foley backstage and asked him about what just took place in the ring. Foley responded with a no comment. He then said that what happened out there was between him and Abyss.

Rhino vs. Matt Morgan

Rhino has been trying to build up a conspiracy theory around TNA between the new guys and the old guys. This type of feud has happened a hundred times before but this time it seems different in the conspiracy theory angle has been tied into it. Morgan got the advantage on Rhino right away, However Rhino was quick to get back into the fight and beat down Morgan. Morgan eventually regained his bearings and went right back at Rhino. Rhino sets up Morgan for a gore but is caught with the carbon footprint, the cover and the pinfall. It wasn’t an easy match in the least and once Rhino regained himself he went right after Morgan and caught him with a gore. At the end of this match, the winner appeared to be the loser and this cued the entrance of Hernandez to the ring. Rhino said only the strong survive and no one will take him out or his spot in TNA.

Daniels confronted Joe in the locker room area. Joe was manipulating the entire Daniels/Styles relationship. He’s clearly getting into both Daniels and Styles heads. Homicide stopped West backstage during his promo segment and said he wanted his title shot against Red and rolled him in the process. He took his license and cash from his wallet. Angle was then interviewed by JB and asked about Desmond Wolfe who jumped him the week before. JB asked him do you think someone could be putting him up to this. At ringside Tenay and Tazz hear about something happening to Styles in the backstage area. Who laid him out? When they returned to the show, Lauren reported that Styles was taken away for further examination.

Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe

Angle made it to the ring first and then we hear the cry of the wolf as Desmond Wolfe made his in ring debut. As soon as Wolfe made his way into the ring, Angle was ready to go right at him at the sound of the bell. Angle got the early advantage in the match. Wolfe countered the German suplex by Angle. Taz built up the lariat clothesline by Wolfe saying it’s something to be concerned about. The match eventually goes to the outside and Angle got caught by a back elbow at the hands of Wolfe. Wolfe began to slap Angle and Angle slapped back. As Angle attempted a front facelock Angle, Wolfe spun out of it and yanked down on Kurt’s arm in the process. As Kurt made his way to his feet, Wolfe propelled himself against the middle rope and attempted to hit a clothesline but was hit with multiple german suplexes. Without warning Wolfe hit Kurt with a clothesline and dropped Kurt onto the back of his head. Angle laid there with his eyes wide open and glazed over in shock as Wolfe stood over top of him saying he would end his career in an instant. That was sold so well by everyone involved. From the referees, to the wrestlers to the commentators at ringside, Angle was carried from the ring on a stretcher.

The show ended with the announcement of Hulk Hogan being a part of TNA. As a side note Eric Bischoff is also now a part of TNA as well. Dixe expressed her pleasure with having Hogan a part of the company. Everyone’s happy splendid. And if everyone’s happy..does that mean you should be happy?

Upside of this week’s edition: Wolfe/Angle storyline, the manipulation of Samoa Joe, the growing animosity between Tara and Kong, Hogan’s involvement in the company as being minimal would be fine and Red/Homicide developing feud.

Downside of this weeks edition: The conspiracy theory storyline is getting old fast and the use of Hernandez and Morgan in tag action rather than as strong singles to compete for the title. The lack of exposure for Amazing Red as the X-divison champion is disappointing to see. This week’s episode receives a 7/10. A special thank you to former Oratory admin drqshadow for creating this incredible banner.

Corresponding for the Oratory,

Marcus E. Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep.7)

Dear Scriptures:

We recap Mitrione’s behaviour over the past couple of weeks along with the result of the Schoonover/Jensen fight. The question leading into this week remained will Scott Junk and Marcus Jones be victorious for Team Rampage or will they face an incredible 0 and 8 record against Team Rashad? As it stands right now its 6 and 0 for Team Rashad, how will Rampage’s team respond to this situation?

In the training session, Rashad was imitating Rampage after one of his loses and Rampage bit back with his imitation of Rashad’s expression after he lost to Lyoto Machida. While amusing a bit, Rampage is getting annoyed by losing and I can’t say I’d blame him. But if Quinton spent more time focused on winning and less time picking on guys on Rashad’s team and you may be less frustrated. After six losses, one has to wonder if we see a different side to Rampage one of focus and concentration. While that may be hard to believe he has to understand that some of this has to be reflective of him and not simply the students beneath him. He may not want to understand that but he may have to understand that sometimes with guidance anything is possible.

At the fight announcement, Rampage and Rashad tossed insults at each other. Rashad selected Scott Junk against Matt Mitrione which meant Marcus Jones would be facing Mike Wessel the following week. Both Rampage and Rashad can’t stop arguing with one another and the teams are trying to constantly trying to break these guys apart from one another. Rampage said something that made him sound bad and that’s ‘I didn’t quit, my team quit’. While picking sides is pointless if I was being trained under him, I’d feel betrayed by the guy whose supposed to be my mentor. He may say he didn’t quit on his team but rather his team quit on themselves. Either way someone is giving up here.

Back at the house Mitrione was shown in the kitchen and approached Scott Junk saying that he’s facing him because Mike was afraid to face him. That left a really bad taste in the mouth of his teammates. Wessel was essentially thrown under the bus by Mitrione. McSweeney approached Rashad about the note that Matt gave to Junk. This is school yard stuff that really makes Matt look immature. At the house Brendan is listening to Matt talking about voices in his head. He sounds just flat out loopy.

At the team Rampage training session, Junk was given instructions as to what to do during his fight. Scott spoke about what he first thought of Matt and how he now thinks he’s a scumbag. There is a lot of guys on both teams are pulling for Junk. At the house, John simply didn’t understand why Matt didn’t ask him before he took something when others in the house were considerate enough. After Matt left the room, James said that John threatened to ‘slap him’. The viewing audience didn’t hear it but I’m starting to think that McSweeney likes to get in the middle of this high school drama himself. Between approaching Wes about Matt and approaching Matt about John it seemed like he’s one guy that isn’t getting noticed but is a part of any house hold whining and high school culture.

During the Team Rashad training session Mitrione and Madsen were parried up and he was going 100 % during the session instead of going 60% which was instructed to do. Mitrione began to shout at John and called him a pussy bitch because John stopped. When approached about it with Rashad, Evans confronted him and told him to save it for the fight. Mitrione ‘flexed’ on him which I guess meant was getting up in his face or threatening him with his eyes or something and even then Rashad told the cameras he’d knock him out unless he smartened up. Matt said he wanted to win but appears too focused on what a guy called him. He said he wanted to fight and then was concerned about the chances of fighting Marcus earlier on in the season. His focus is everywhere but where it needs to be and that’s on Scott Junk.

Back at the house Mitrione was shooting hoops and guys were taking bets on when the rat will snap. Wes Sims came out and said that this called for the ‘gee’ and Wes came out dressed like a ninja scaling the wall. He approached Mitrione while all the guys are watching by the pool. From the bushes out came Wes onto Matt. Matt was playing pool and Wes was approaching him. Matt told Wes to back off and it’s not a smart thing to b crossing him. At breakfast on fight day, Marcus and Scott discussed some strategy. At the gym, Matt spoke with Rashad and he said he spoke with his wife and then pointed to his head. Rashad then said oh, but thought he’s a little screwy himself that the guy said he had a conversation with his wife in his head and not on the phone. Junk doesn’t like Matt and Matt said he’s beaten the guy already in you guessed it…his head.

We get the tale of the tape and Junk has the experience with Mitrione having the reach advantage. The fight consisted of two 5 minute rounds. Both men came out trying to feel each other out. Matt came at Junk and hit him hard taking him down to the ground not once but twice. Once both men were standing, Matt caught Scott with a punch a third time and continued to strike. He didn’t pounce on him and tried to take him down. Scott just looked like a fish out of water and Mitrione wouldn’t capitalize when he had Junk down. Junk was clutching Matt’s ankle a times while he was walking away. It resembled a child being dragged around a toy store because they didn’t want to leave. Mitrione appeared to be connecting more than Junk is during this first round. These guys appeared winded and the match isn’t done yet. We can see Junk’s teammates were cheering him on as he was hitting Mitrione with lefts and rights repeatedly towards the end of the round.

At the start of the second round both men approached one another hesitantly. Junk was on the receiving end of what looked like half heated punches with nothing behind them. It almost looked like Mitroine was running from Junk who eventually got him down to the ground. This took away that reach advantage by Mitrione. Even in his guard, Matt was able to defend himself. Both men eventually got to their feet and even Matt’s softer looking strikes are connecting. There just isn’t this killer instinct on either guy in this fight. With less than 30 seconds it looked as though Matt was just trying not to lose. He was walking around Junk or in some instances skipped away from him moving from one place to another.

After the fight, White said they exchanged bombs but that was in the first round if anything not the second. Rampage was furious. He walked away from the ring and destroyed a door. Wow, he’s ready to be the next BA Baracus with strength like that. He made woodchips of that door. That is clearly their first team win of the season. We see the highlights of the upcoming episode with a determined Marcus Jones being set off by something. Check in to the next edition to see what exactly set him off.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep.6)

Dear Scriptures:

The show begun with highlights of last weeks events and speculation of who would face each other in the next round of the Ultimate fighter. They mention that Daril had been harassed for weeks by Rampage but I hadn’t had that impression until I heard that the ‘titty’ comment was directed toward him.

At the house.Darrell was shown getting liquored up at the house. The rest of his teammates questioned him about his special diet. And didn’t think it was a good idea to be doing that going into a training session. Schoonover said he’s going to practice, he’d just like to know who he’s getting in the ring with first. Don’t try this at home kids. At the training session Rashad introduced Phil Nurse, who is George St. Pierre’s training coach. Rashad discussed how good it feels to have won 5 fights in a row against Rampage’s team. Rashad was watching Daril train and had concerns with his performance. After being made aware of his drinking Rashad pulled Darril aside and said to keep his drinking to a minimum, Rashad has a lot of faith in Schoonover and pointed out that Rampage doesn’t respect from or his team. Rampage acted offended when Darril said he would cut weight and knock him out. Jackson was the one starting a problem and really if he’s the example he knows better than to think that if you push someone enough they won’t push back.

Rashad announced the next fight and put Zak Jensen up against Daril Schoonover. As soon as the fight was announced Rampage began calling Darril ‘titties’. He can’t possibly think that doing something relentlessly won’t trigger a reaction but this is the second guy that Jackson has gotten under the skin of the first being McSweeney earlier in the season. Rampage continued to threaten Schoonever who was being pushed to go back over again. Like one would expect a coach to do, Rashad stood up for Schoonover and said he didn’t think it was right his fighter was being disrespected. Dana chimed in and said that maybe Darril should just take the insult on the chin because he maybe doesn’t want to take it on the chin from Rampage. Way to support your aspiring young fighters, Dana. It shouldn’t be okay for a person of authority to take advantage of that for someone that’s aspiring to become a fighter. If anything Rampage was picking a fight and provoking a reaction from Darril. He came across like a bully and when he should be focused on his team winning. Some would probably find what Rampage was saying funny, until it just becomes irritating and the humor is lost like a bad joke your dad tells for the hundredth time.

Team Rampage was on the road and Kimbo Slice called Jenssen ‘Linderman’ as to represent the dog that kept getting kicked and coming back for more. Simms said he’s starting a pool to see when Zak’s breaking point will be. Zak is fully aware of this pool and winner of the pool received a care package from Wes Simms.

Back at the house Daril was asked about his tattoo and Rashad spoke about Schoonover’s weirdness. He compared his awkwardness to that of a serial killer. Evans pointed out the look on Schoonover’s face was one of intensity. Rashad was running through technique with Daril against the cage. He was pointing out where to work and how to work on Jensen. During the Team Rampage training session, he had a cartoon drawing of Team Rashad calling them ‘team cocky’. Jones was concerned that that picture was going to create a problem. The problem with Zak is he’s been cast away from the rest of the team right away and when you’re trying to develop your fighters in a team setting some sort of comradely may have been beneficial. At one point during the sparing session Zak was caught with a knee to the eye and cut to the side of the right eye. As soon as Kimbo saw this he thought it was going to be his chance to fill in right away.

In the gym, Slice was being spoken too about how much he wants it. However when Zak was approached about it, he cuts in during the training session and responded ‘its just blood’. At this point he was getting into a sparing session with his coaches and he came out looking like a lion. Team Rampage stood behind Jensen especially with his persistence and willingness to improve. Nurse pointed out to Rashad about the picture right above the wall. Rashad was concerned how Daril would have reacted had he seen that picture and didn’t want him to lose focus on the fight and took it down.

At the official weigh in, the teams arrive. At the end of the weight in the gentle giant Marcus Jones wishes everyone a good day. By the pool the guys discuss who will lose their mind first Zak or Daril and both teams showed solidarity towards their respective team mates. At the dressing room, Rampage drew on his locker room door showing himself to be just an absolute immature jerk not to mention a prick, The problem was Rampage was more preoccupied with his dislike for Daril than he was with preparing Zak with what ability he has or what he is capable of doing.

Both men arrive but the feel was built more around the dislike between Daril and Rampage and Zak’s lack of support from his coach then it was where each men’s strengths lay. The tale of the tape shows a reach advantage for Zak but an incredible 10 and 0 record for Daril. Schoonover has the experience advantage of the two men. Once the match begun, both men locked up and exchanged a couple of blows with one another. Once up against the cage the two begun to jockey for position on one another. Daril begun to use his knees to get an advantage on Zak and followed the knees up with a flurry of strikes to the head of Jensen. Zak looked to be in big trouble and headed for an early knockout. However Jensen dropped down and took Schoonover to the mat. Once Daril was on his back and the belief here was that Zak would have used a ground and pound mentality to get the upperhand on Daril.

The sound of Zak’s fist pounding against the face and side of Daril’s head was a little unnerving. While receiving these hammer like punches by Jensen, Schoonover was beginning to slide in a triangle choke on Zak. It got deeper and deeper and eventually put Jensen to sleep. After the fight, Schoonover thought he should get some respect now but still thinks that Rampage is a jerk. The victory had to feel even that much sweeter for Daril in hopes that it would silence Rampage’s comments even if they were temporarily. Rampage presented Team Rashad with the portrait but they didn’t get offended by it and even they thought the picture of Daril was the best of the bunch.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (ep.5)

Dear Scriptures:

An episode removed from the ‘mole’ episode and this week provided us the opportunity to see whether or not Team Rampage can overcome the four nothing deficit. We ask the question again will one man prevail or will Team Rampage be shut out? They asked that question because Rogers lost the previous week and losing on Team Rampage is a recurring theme. The show kicked off with Team Rashad’s training sessions, Evans was quite proud of his teams efforts. Matt Mitrione spoke about how his shoulder was jarred during practice. He said he would get a cortisone shot to push out the inflammation and Evans said its just a stupid idea. It was at this point where Matt earned himself the nickname made popular by Rob Reiner in All in the Family …meathead. He called him because he just didn’t think and he’s to dangerous for his own good.

After being approached by Jones, Rashad said to Marcus ‘how do you know your not fighting?’ Marcus took that to understand that he’s fighting next. Rampage came out saying the losing is bad for his sex life which he also says that is non-existent. More information than anyone asked to know there, Quinton. Sometimes it’s okay if you’re not completely open with the viewing audience. Team Rampage was going through the stages of a fight. Questions began to arise over Zak’s overall ability and skill. In fact one of his team mates, Scott Junk questions his ability because of his inability to do more than just wrestle. If you can’t defend against someone its hard to win.

Back at the house, Sims was merciless in his torment of Jensen. He suggested to Zak that he left behind a special gift in the shower. James came in and said to take it and move on that all the guys get ribbed about something. Schwab went as far as to say that Jensen’s a little socially awkward. At the gym, Team Rashad wrapped Matt’s shoulder real tight and the belief around him is his need for attention rather than his honesty. Maybe they were wrapping it so tight because they didn’t want the Meathead to get freezer burn. Eh, it was worth a shot. Rashad felt that there is some tendencies in Matt that make him out to be the weak link. He’s bothered by Matt’s claim to not be able to practice but at the same time be able to fight at the first opportunity. The rest of the coaches were debating about how to handle Matt’s inconsistencies.

We are shown the Team Rampage training session. Rampage spoke in private about what took place back at the house regarding poor Zak. We see Jensen pass out and not tape out during practice causing him to be lose consciousness. After a commercial break and back at the house McSweeney saw Mitrione shooting hoops in the pool and its annoying the rest of his team. They are calling his bluff on his shoulder being even remotely hurt and its pretty amusing to the rest of the guys.

During Team Rashad’s training session we see Matt scurry on the ground and make his way. As soon as Rashad saw this he said to one of the coaches that he couldn’t believe that that shoulder is hurt. When Evans called drills Matt asked if he could ice the shoulder but was instructed to do it after practice. Evans was annoyed by the whole thing and Matt tried to justify why he wanted to do it but even than Rashad didn’t understand the need. On the drive back to the house, Jensen was getting razzed by the rest of the team.

At the fight of announcement, Rashad chose Justin Wren to face off against Wes Sims. Evans explained why he made the decision he did. After the announcement Jones looked like he was going to snap because he was overlooked. Evans approached him and Jones was convinced that he gave him his word. The problem was Evans never gave his word and Jones heard part of what Rashad was saying but didn’t pay attention to what he meant.

Justin spoke about fighting Sims and his experience. He pointed out Sims skills but said that he hasn’t evolved since his big fights against Frank Mir. He explained his game plan and its frightening to see how right to the point Wren will be. At the house Sims and Kimbo spoke about what he’s motivated by doing. However Kimbo also wanted to know if and when he’ll get a second chance. This is an underlying storyline that has surfaced for Kimbo. During the Team Rampage training sessions Sims game plan was to stand up against Wren. He’s certainly a personality especially because of his nature and general mannerisms.

Its time for the official weigh in and both men do just that. What was pointed out by Jackson was the almost giddy reaction by the rest of the guys during the weigh in. In Jackson’s eyes he felt that the rest of the guys were enamored by both Wren and Sims in their speedos. Although Sims did encourage his reaction from the guys the same could not be said for Wren. After the weigh in we see back at the house and Justin spoke about how important this match up was for him. Wes thanked Dana and said that there is more fight in him still to come. The day of the fight arrived and both guys are confident but Rashad was busy psyching up Justin where Wes was anything but humble.

Both men are in the ring and the tale of the tape shows a reach and experience advantage for Sims but Wren was younger. Once may wonder if the experience is a telling factor in this match up.The they lock up in the middle of the cage. Sims hits a couple of knees to get Wren off of him. Wren took down Sims and he caught Wes down on the mat. He then clinches in a choke and locked it in tight as Sims was completely out cold. That match was quick and Wren used leverage and got Wes in an arm triangle.

White spoke at how impressed with Wren he was. After the fight Sims spoke about how he underestimated him and got caught. Jackson was completely stunned by his teams performance. Evans went in the ring and checked in on how Sims was doing. Wren was happy with his performance but at the same time was quick to point out how much he still has to do.

White spoke about how he questions whether or not the coaches and fighters have connected with one another. Rashad and Rampage crossed paths in the hallway and spoke about the fight. What began as typical jabbering back and forth from both men turned sour real quick. Jackson didn’t call himself a coach and Rashad called Jackson selfish. He doesn’t explain why he didn’t come into the cage after the fight for his guys have lost. At the end of it Rampage walked away and looked bad in the process. Its one thing not to be a coach it’s another to not even be a leader. It is easy to see how that has now come into question with Jackson’s style of leadership.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison–

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10; Heavyweights (ep. 4) Oct12

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10; Heavyweights (ep. 4)

Dear Scriptures:

This episode began with a quick recap the events of last weeks show. The question was asked was this really the end for Kimbo after losing to Nelson. We get a chance to see the more sensitive side of ‘Big Baby’ Marcus Jones. There was discussion of who will compete in the next preliminary fight and who will be the next Ultimate fighter. I applaud the production of the earlier segment of the show. As of now Team Rashad was leading with three victories to none against Team Rampage. It’s clear that Team Rampage has to get on board with a win sooner rather than later. The show started off where the last episode left off post fight with the opinions of the guys commenting on what took place between Kimbo and Nelson. While they were chiming in with their thoughts they were quick to point out that Kimbo couldn’t learn everything in only two weeks of training but applauded his efforts.

After the fight Nelson made a comment to Rampage that understandably pissed him off. It showed a sign of cockiness and disrespect to his opponent that Rampage didn’t appreciate. He said something to the affect of ‘thank you for counting because I lost count after twenty with the punches hit Kimbo with’. It was cocky but his performance really wasn’t something to be proud of so to show so much confidence was unwarranted. Team Rampage was very supportive of Kimbo’s performance after the fight and was quick to point out that had he kept the match on Nelson’s feet then the result would have been much different. By watching the fight we can see that Kimbo’s stand up was very good but it’s clear that in order for him to advance in this tournament he will need to improve his overall game. Abe Wagner and Kimbo spoke back at the house about how Slice was feeling after the fight. Abe said that a loss is a lot to cope with and how Kimbo was handling it was different than he had dealt with it. He’s right Abe came across a bit like he was sulking baby himself. While I can understand that losses can be difficult there needs to be some mental strength within the athletes in order to handle losing. Kimbo was quite positive that this is just the beginning for him. This is something that Team Rashad did on a previous episode and that’s mentally prepare their team mates for wins and loses and be able to express themselves to help them deal with the issues that can arise from them. Its really hard to dislike someone that wants to succeed as much as Kimbo does and continues to work as hard as he does.

We then get a visual of an exhausted Marcus Jones who is doubled over and looked as though he was sweating bucks. Kimbo approached him asking him what the problem is and at that point not even Jones himself knew. This could be the cause for concern that was hinted in the previews for this particular episode. After a commercial, Jones was sat down with a towel over his head and shoulders to dry him off. Shivers thought that he may have a fever. Thank goodness he isn’t a doctor because if he was sweating that would be a good thing if he had a fever and not the other way around. Brendan Schwab and James McSweeney came into the room and asked what the problem was. Schwab thought that Jones may not be physically be able to meet the conditioning regimen that this competition dictates.

At the Team Rashad training session, Evans went through and discussed a number of guys on his team that have yet to fight along with their strengths and weaknesses. He was quick to feel that with each fight each of his protégés it is as though a part of him was out there competing as well. In the locker room the coaches spoke with Justin Wren and told him how they felt that he was a top three in the camp. They want him to face off against Scott Junk. They were confident that he would be the best match up for him during this preliminary round. They explained their rationale to him and he was fine with it. Team Rashad’s coaching staff spoke with Brendan and said they want him to fight with Demico Rogers. The coaches then approached Matt Mitrione and said they wanted him to fight Marcus Jones. Matt said he’ll fight whoever they put in front of him but while the coaches weren’t around he seemed skeptical that he couldn’t handle Jones strength and power. The coaches told him to keep who he is facing to himself. Let’s remember that because that statement became very important later on in the show. Rashad told Matt not to worry and that his chance to compete would come fast and furious. Justin came back to see Rashad and the coaches and told them that he couldn’t fight Scott Junk because he’s was his best friend. Rashad was very understanding of that and therefore a change will be made to accommodate this request by Justin.

Team Rampage’s session began and he’s team is desperate for a win. Rampage spoke about Junk’s tenacity, Jones’s strength and Rogers uncanny resemblance to Rashad. Do you see it? I can’t.


Demico Rogers


Rashad Evans

Back at the house Justin spoke with Scott and was asked by him if they were going to be fighting each other. A shocked Justin asked him where he heard that Scott said that Matt told him. Junk didn’t hide the fact that he thought Matt was a meathead. He said that because he shouldn’t have divulged that information. Which made sense because why would you give your competition your game plan? That was a very meathead like thing to do. During a meal Justin spoke with Brenden and the rest of his team and said that Matt divulged the fight picks what the fight picks were going to be to the other team. He said that he ‘would jump on a grenade for them’ and Brenden said ‘it looks like you threw the grenade’. That retort by Schwab was met with a chorus of ahhs. The team was light hearted at first about it but guys seemed annoyed by it after a while. John Madsen was quick to point out that Mitrione wasn’t clearly using his head taking away the element of surprise. Mitrioni said that they’ll change it up. McSweeney was agitated by it and just changing it up wasn’t easy. The coaches put thought into who would be facing who which is something Mitrioni didn’t do when he let the cat out of the bag. McSweeney thought there was more behind it was that in fact it was Matt that gave up this information because he didn’t want to fight Marcus Jones. Who thought we would get so much drama amongst a group of grown men before?

When Matt confronted Rashad with this news and the coaches couldn’t believe what he did. To say Rashad was stunned would be an understatement. Even Rashad didn’t know what to do next. Brenden spoke about the coaches’ brief discussion of him facing Junk in the first round which would have been a mismatch and didn’t want to risk injury in the first round. Its back to the drawing board for team Rashad with their fight picks.

Team Rampage spoke about match ups and tried to figure out who they thought would be pitted against one another. Rashad announced Demico versus Brendan as the next fight. Rampage was very happy with this announcement. He was graphic with what he wanted to do to Rashad. He said he was ashamed of himself but his sarcasm was pretty evident in that comment as well.

During the Team Rashad training session they spoke with Brendan about what his assets are and he was quick to say his jab. Rashad said that Schwab’s a great listener and takes direction well. Schwab spoke about Rogers and how good he is but was quick to say he could take him if they were on the ground. However Rashad thought Brendan could take him in a standup by knocking him out. It will be interesting to see where this fight goes because of where both Schwab and his coaches see his strengths being.

At the Team Rampage training session the coaches spoke with Demico about their game plan with him. He acknowledged Brendan’s experience but felt his jujitsu and boxing was stronger. Fight day was here and both fighters were getting prepared for their fights and it was a tale of two different stories. It was calm in team Rampage’s locker room and the complete opposite across the hallway. Tteam Rashad’s locker room was doing all it could to get Brendan psyched up for his upcoming fight.

Both men came to the ring and while both men had some respect for each other Brendan felt that Demico was in over his head for this fight. The build alone has made this an interesting enough fight but in saying that we need to pay the sponsors so here’s another commercial break.

The tale of the tap showed both men were pretty evenly matched with Demico having the slight reach advantage. After Dana went through the details of the fight, the match was quickly underway. Demico had Brendan in a guard and Schwab was trying to hold him off in this position. While waiting on his back Demico was lying in wait for his next chance to get the advantage on Schwab. He lunged onto him and drove in a couple of elbows to the forehead of Schwab. Once the roles were reversed and Schwab managed to get Demico on his back and eventually got him in an anaconda chokehold submission at approximately two minutes of the first round rather quickly. After the fight Team Rashad was there to support Demico something that Rashad thought that Rampage should have been there to do for his team mate. Demico was so disappointed in his performance but Rampage was more concerned about having a meeting with the coaches. While that was important to do that had to come later and offering support to Rogers should have been first. Rampage couldn’t believe he got caught in that anaconda choke. Schwab said he was disappointed with the win but he realized that a win was a win for the team and that he did it injury free. Team Rashad was supportive of one another back in the dressing room and the show of team solidarity appeared to be stronger than ever.

Highlights of the next episode showed Mitrioni favoring his shoulder. His team mates seemed skeptical that he’s actually not injured at all since he isn’t confident in fighting Marcus Jones. By the looks of Marcus himself he seems to have enough concerns himself. Team Rashad was shown hazing someone in the house and its probably Matt with how things have been with him recently. Brenden was heard saying ‘he shouldn’t be here’. We don’t know who he is but we can speculate. Rashad called out Rampage’s inability to support his own teammates. A lot more drama in this episode but there are issues on both teams to varying degrees. Let’s see if Team Rampage can put one on the board next week because Team Rashad has a stranglehold in these prelim

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10; Heavyweights (ep.3)

Dear Scriptures:

The third episode of season ten began with a recap of the previous shows matches. It was decided on who will face one another for the next match on the show. Rashad selected Roy Nelson to face off against Kimbo Slice. The much talked about match fight should prove to be a solid starting point for Kimbo but Nelson will not allow himself to lose at someone else’s expense.

Kimbo was shown at the house reflecting on his time. He sat there talking to Abe about how he would put Kimbo to rest. However as Kimbo the philosopher put it ‘would Kimbo ever be at rest?” He then spoke about that it the enemy wasn’t anyone in particular but the concern was the ‘inner me’. Clever Kimbo, what’s next? Will you reveal your real name to be Edward Nigma? He spoke about being an average guy, that he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder and is a family man that likes to fight. Roy Nelson spoke about his opportunity and how this is his time and doesn’t plan to go anywhere. Rashad Evans was concerned with Nelson’s inability to train with other people and take direction. In order to get through to him, Evans felt he had to gain Nelson’s trust. Evans was confident with Nelson’s overall ability.

Allie and friend, Keith Jardine came in assist Evans on this particular episode. Both Jardine and Evans also train with George St. Pierre for those that are not aware. Jackson was playful with Jardine but Evans used that to get under Jackson’s skin. An argument insued and Jackson began to use juvenile jokes and began to take shots at McSweeney. Evans stepped into the middle because he didn’t want James McSweeney to get kicked out for hitting a coach. Jackson shouldn’t have taken a verbal jab at McSweeney because he nodded his head at what he heard. When it is between the coaches that’s one thing but Jackson still has a bit of responsibility.

Jackson spoke with Kimbo and asked him a number of different questions. One of the most peculiar was about his beard. From the time its taken to grow it to if he’s ever found any lost chicken bones in it, Jackson’s comfortable relationship with Kimbo is clear to see. Jackson complimented Slice’s desire to win and how he has been persistent and determined to improve. Rampage explained what they are working with through Kimbo’s development and training. Jackson didn’t like how Slice was unable to defend against the mount and guard and he had been practicing. In fact at one point Jackson wanted Slice to take a break and think about what he was going to do next. Back at the house, Team Rashad spoke with Nelson about what he can do while at a separate part of the house Slice was discussing what he had to do against Nelson in order to win. While around the pool the discussion focused around what Nelson had to do to win among the rest of the Team Rashad team mates. It was clear to see the team work and solidarity amongst the teammates in Team Rashad as they were offering their advice and support for their team mate.

Rampage went through a training session with his team. His trainers didn’t hold back as they were relentless with drilling him them with instructions. Marcus Jones was clearly limping and Jackson spoke to him about his knee. Jones was pissed when he was told he won’t be selected to fight after Kimbo’s next match. He spoke about Jones being sensitive and by the end of the match he didn’t want him getting hurt. Back at the house the guys came to Marcus and spoke about his sensitive nature. Jones said he’s been called ‘big baby’ because that’s just in his nature. He spoke about his passions in life which made him part of a geek too with his comic book collection and passion for dungeons and dragons. I can’t say I saw that coming when looking at Marcus Jones. It won’t help take him seriously but then again that may be what he wants as his opponents take him lightly as he pounds their face’s into mince meat.

Jones and Slice spoke with one another about their upbringing and where they came from. Kimbo elaborated with how his popularity blew up on Youtube. Jones spoke about how he admired Kimbo’s determination and how he’s overcome obstacles in order to achieve success. A genuine friendship appeared to have developed between the two Team Rampage members. Its now time for the official weigh between Roy Nelson and Kimbo Slice.

We then see another training session with Team Rampage taking place. Each of Kimbo’s teammates chimed in with their opinions of his ability and chances for this match up. In comparison Team Rashad’s team members all chime in with their opinion on how they feel Roy Nelson will do in his match. The day of the fight we still see Kimbo still sparing and trying to work on his footwork with his team mates. His relentless pursuit was inspiring but Rampage appeared apprehensive that in doing this it may be detrimental. Nelson spoke about how he’s sure that Kimbo will bring it but knows that he’s just as capable of bringing Slice down and finishing him there.

Dana came into the ring before the match began. He spoke about the fight consisting of the usual two five minute rounds. When the match began both men are kept at a stand up but Nelson was able to move in with a couple of jabs on Kimbo but Slice took his time and tried to pick his spots. After the first minute and a half of the match, there didn’t appear to have any clear advantage either way. We could hear Rampage shouting instructions for Kimbo to breathe. Nelson came in but Slice began to lean in and exchanged a couple of punches on Nelson, Both men are pressed up against the cage but Slice worked to fight out of Nelson’s standing guard.

Both men were pressed up against the cage at this point. Nelson eventually got Slice on his back with a takedown. Slice was having trouble getting the big man off of him and appeared unable to fight his way out of this guard. When it appeared as though he had the advantage Nelson had Slice pressed to the mat and was being repeatedly punched with no way of defending himself. At the end of the round, Slice didn’t appear hurt but simply in an uncompromising position. Those punches didn’t appear to do much damage but Kimbo didn’t look like he was able to defend himself.

Before the second round began we heard both coaches give their instructions to both their protégés. The men came to the centre of the ring and began to jockey for position. Again as the match began, Nelson had Slice on his back and utilized his size to his advantage. He tried to hold down Slice’s arm and attempted to rest his knee on his arm while trying to throw several strikes to the head of Kimbo. We could hear Nelson’s team mates count the number of times he’s punching connecting on the side of Slice’s head. The match was then stopped as Slice could not defend himself. After the match we heard comments from Evans, White and Jackson with their opinions of the match up. White couldn’t believe how Nelson reacted with his performance. After the fight, White wanted to see Slice continue to grow by the end of the competition. Slice spoke about how he will learn from his mistakes and improve with his next fight.

The highlights of the next episode were of concerns for Marcus Jones’ performance that appeared determined but facing a potential set back. There was speculation that there was a trader in the midst within Team Rashad but only time would tell as to whom that would be.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10; Heavyweights (ep. 2)

Dear Scriptures:

The second episode of season ten began with highlights of the first episode. The focus of the highlights was on Kimbo Slice and the target that rested on his head. Team Rampage won the chance to decide on the first two match ups against Team Rashad. In the first fight, John Madsen made hamburger of Abe Wagner and earning a win for Team Rashad. I have no idea who Rampage will select for the second fight but theories on who it will be are running fast and furious.

Kimbo sat around the Fighter house pondering on who he was going to fight and we have the other fighters sharing their theories on which fighter they will face. A number of the fighters singled out Kimbo. Roy Nelson pointed out that if he and Kimbo lock it up that it would be a feature fight anywhere. Kimbo spoke about how his training with Rampage has helped him out. Rampage said he sees a lot of himself in Kimbo. Slice underwent specific training to help him develop as a fighter. Kimbo was quite realistic himself about his chances and completely humble here as he is just as willing to learn as Rampage is to teach him. Jackson pointed out how hard Kimbo is training.

Rashad is incredibly confident in the mental strength that his team has. This was no different than how he felt the previous week. However Evans was frustrated with how Nelson’s inability to be respectful of the coaching that he and his trainers are trying to give him was evident. They were frustrated by him not leading by example especially considering his veteran status as a fighter. The coaches were being very firm with him and dead serious that if he doesn’t change they’ll ask Rampage if he wants another guy. We certainly can see some of the tension between the Team Rashad coaches and Nelson himself.

Once both teams were together Rampage selected James McSweeney from Team Rashad to face off against Wes Shivers from Team Rampage. Rampage was more intent on ‘being mean’ by setting up this fight but that didn’t seem to phase Rashad all that much as he knows Rampage’s intentions for setting up this match were exactly as he had suspected.

James McSweeney spoke about himself and where he came from. He thought that being with Team Rashad was an advantage for him because he’s been training with Evans for some time now. He felt that he’s at a point in his career that he knows what he is capable of doing. He pointed out Shivers strengths and weakness. McSweeney said that it was his training regime and work with other fighters that will prepare him for his fight against Shivers. After the training session one of Team Rashad’s coaches were mentally preparing the team with a question to envision how they would feel if they had just lost a fight. That exercise did more than challenge their body it challenged their minds. While this was taking place, Rampage walked in and told them to hurry up not knowing what they were doing. He said that they were cutting in on his teams training time. Rashad reiterated how Rampage felt but that it was out of his control because his teams time was being affected because they had started late. He wanted to ensure that his team got their full session in. Both men had a point but seeing as that every opportunity that one can get the better of the other they will jump at the chance. Jackson said that he didn’t want to start a fight right now because he wanted to save it for later. Rashad pointed out that his and Rampage’s relationship is friendly to a point until then they want to knock each other out.

Shivers spoke about his past and how he turned to MMA and walked away from professional football. He spoke about his recovery from shoulder surgery and no matter whatever McSweeney hits him with won’t be enough to stop him. Rampage gave Wes a few tips during his training session. He said he’s looking forward to knocking out McSweeney and felt that being selected to fight now showed a sense of confidence on the part of Rampage.

As Team Rashad returned to the gym the guys were put through the paces once again. Evans wanted to create a sense of team camaraderie and team bonding. Mike at this point felt that Nelson was now coming around in allowing himself the opportunity to learn. Marcus Jones shared his opinions on how he thought that McSweeney would do against Shivers. Demico pointed out Wes’ size and how it will be a lot for McSweeney to handle. Shivers was shown and heard reflecting on his upcoming match and the opportunity presented before him. We then see and hear McSweeney who spoke about how Shivers was traveling in uncharted waters for himself. Both men received last second advice from their respective corners prior to participating in their fight against one another. McSweeney said Shivers better know what he’s getting into or he should just save him the trouble and go home.

The tale of the tape showed McSweeney with the better track record but Shivers with the height and reach advantage between them. Dana White pointed out that this was a preliminary fight consisting of 2 five minute rounds. The fight began with both men standing each other up and trying to jockey for position. Shivers had McSweeney up against the cage and then mounted him once both men are on the ground. Shivers was clearly using his size to his advantage. He’s trying to straighten out McSweeney’s arm and but doesn’t really follow up. Both men make it to their feet but McSweeney immediately dropped to his knees after a low blow. While McSweeney offered to touch gloves but Shivers didn’t reciprocate. There was a lot of jockeying by both men and you can see Shivers was winded. McSweeney tried several times to get the better of Shivers and eventually followed through with a low kick to the outside calf of the taller challenger. McSweeney tried to use his jab on Shivers and stuck and move on the big man but to no avail. Both teams’ corners were screaming advice to both men as neither man seemed too eager to get involved where they can gain an advantage over the other man. The round ended calling for both men to get to their respective corners.

After a commercial break, Shivers and McSweeney received advice in their corners. Rashad told McSweeney not to get it to complicated and stick with his jab because it’s working for him. Rampage was confident that if Shivers won the next round he’d won the fight. Once the match began a winded Shivers received a couple of leg kicks and jabs to the head courtesy of McSweeney. Both men dropped with Shivers lying on top of McSweeney. Three and a half minutes remain in the round as Shivers mounted McSweney again and began to use a variety of blows. Shivers tried to lock in a rear naked chock but couldn’t. Both men are being yelled at and didn’t throw a punch towards the end of the fight. This was more about guys the trying to suck wind than actually taking out the other opponent. The last two minutes of this fight were brutal. At one point McSweeney had Shivers in a choke but Shivers managed to get out of it fighting off James attempt at a tap out. The round ended with some belief that there will be a third round between the two. Both men are exhausted and are told that the fight is over. They have reached a decision and should be proud of their performance.

Rampage pointed out that Shivers exhaustion caused him to throw the game plan the team had out the window. Rashad felt that the first and second rounds were close but may have been different had it gone to a third round. The judges scored the decision in McSweeney’s favor. Rashad said he thought that Rampage may have to rethink who he selects from his team to face off against someone from his team for the next fight. McSweeney said that he hadn’t won anything yet. Rashad spoke to his team about how they can all learn from this experience. Shivers was disappointed but really shouldn’t be made a sold showing for himself. Rampage was disappointed but not to the point where he doesn’t think his team can’t bounce back.

At the fight announcement Rashad selected Roy Nelson against Kimbo Slice with Dana giving his thoughts on how Slice could catch Nelson but Nelson was better all-round fighter. This was being pegged as the most anticipated fight in Ultimate Fighter history and it is hard to dispute that.

As my second attempt to review the program, I look for it to continue to be a learning experience in understanding the fighters and whose skill will stand out above everyone else. If any reader was interested in making an Ultimate Fighter themed Solstice Scripture banner for me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Cordially yours,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/24/09 Sep27

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/24/09

ORLANDO – The show began with a rundown of the results from this past week’s No Surrender pay per view through a video montage. Hernandez cashed in his feast or fired case in the main event but was unsuccessful as it was AJ Styles night as he came away as the new TNA heavyweight champion. World Elite was shown coming out of a limo but the last two members of the faction, Kyoshi and Bashir were jumped by Hernandez until he was out numbered.

In the ring, Kurt Angle stood with the Main Event Mafia and addressed the events of this past weeks pay per view. He claimed that he didn’t lose his title he said he was screwed by Morgan and had no idea why ‘The Blueprint’ would kick him in the face when he tried to save him on several occasions. Despite losing the title Angle said that the MEM was still the most dominate force in TNA. This was until the World Elite came out led by Eric Young. The way Young and Angle were dressed its as though Kurt was staring into a younger version of himself in the center of the ring. Young said that Angle owed him one because he bailed him out at No Surrender. He said that tonight he and Angle would take on Hernandez in a handicap match. This was until Booker interrupted and said that the Mafia rules TNA and he didn’t like Young or any of the World Elite anyway. He called them a romper room group. Book acted like he needed to be held back because a lot of pushing and shoving happens in the middle of the ring between the two factions. Angle eventually agreed to team up with Young but Booker was not pleased with the decision.

Street Fight: Suicide vs. ‘The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero

Suicide came out first but was jumped immediately by the Pope before either man could get to the ring. The Pope was all bandaged up from the events of this past weeks pay per view. Once at ringside, Suicide immediately cracked a kendo stick over the back of Dinero as the unsuspecting Pope on the outside. When both men came in the ring Dinero hit Suicide with a cane and then a tambourine? I don’t make this stuff up, folks I just write it. As Dinero fell out of the ring he ended up straddling a wooden barricade. How he did that I still don’t have any idea. Every time Suicide would attempt to hit Dinero with a move ‘The Pope’ had a counter for him. Dinero hit Suicide with trashcans, lids and a hockey stick. Suicide then jumped on a hockey stick which was used as a pendulum and cracked Dinero right in what Taz referred to as the ‘yam bag’. He hit him right in the balls in laymen’s terms. Suicide attempted a springboard but got caught with a spear by Dinero in mid air. Both Tenay and Taz were all over that with their reaction. Suicide reversed an attempted DDT by Dinero with a Suicide solution onto a trash can. Suicide walked away the winner. An outstanding match once again as both men manage to lit it up every time they get into the ring together. The made a street fight that much cooler with their spots.

Backstage Lauren spoke to Team 3D about what happened with Rhino. Ray was trying to convince D’Von to let it go because they have tag titles to worry about. D’Von wouldn’t and is prepared to knock Rhino out later that evening.

After a commercial break, Lauren was in Nash’s locker room and said how he was $50,000 dollars richer. He asked her what her fascination with that freak Abyss was and how he too can be ‘freaky’. Nash made a proposition to Lauren but two women came out for the Big Sexy Curtain Call Manager tour and sat on his lap. Lauren’s reaction to Nash’s advances was amusing and his rejecting her for the less than equally attractive women was just as entertaining. I have to use the term ‘professionally honest’ when I hit on someone and see how that turns out. If I get a black eye or walk away with a limp then I’ll know….that these are trained professionals and to no try this at home…or at the office.

Rhino vs. D’Von

Rhino charged down to the ring but was immediately shoulder tackled by D’Von at ringside. Inside the ring, both men exchanged blows and took the fight to one another. Rhino stood over the beaten D’Von who was busted open at this point. Rhino attempted a gore but went right into the barricade. The ref called for the bell counting out both men out. D’Von went back into the ring and tried to go right after Rhino. Ray came into the ring and told all the security to get out of the ring. He was yelling at both D’Von and Rhino and was actually so loud he didn’t need a microphone. He said to D’Von to shake Rhino’s hand and end it already. Both D’Von and Rhino stood in the middle of the ring and shook hands. When Rhino’s hand was raised he, swiped Ray’s hand away and hit him with a gore out of no where. D’Von didn’t know what was happening until it was too late. An irate D’Von and Rhino stared each other down from their respective areas.

Lauren interviewed Hernandez but Morgan offered to team with Super Mex later on against Young and Angle. Morgan walked the line between being serious and hilarious so many times in this segment. Its hard not to like how he’s come along during his push in TNA.

Jeremy Borash interviewed Foley who was concerned with who broke his framed ‘Tweet and Tweak’ connection sketch photograph. He’s come across lately like just about anything will set him off. If it isn’t one thing that’s making him angry it’s another. Think of the movie Falling Down and how Michael Douglas finally showed enough was enough. I can see this slowly starting to happen with Foley.

We then get a video montage of the career of AJ Styles. He was the company’s franchise player without a doubt. It was well done and he’s referred to as TNA’s only Grand Slam winner. The ‘I quit’ in AJ was simply a prelude of things to come and this title win at No Surrender. After a commercial break, AJ came down to the ring to a chorus of cheers. Once he spoke about his win and the crowd began to chant “You deserve it”. It was a little corny but whatever we get the point the people love him. What I was confused with was his after 7 long years comment. He’s captured the title before. Was that to mean its taken 7 years for him to be at point in his career where he’s happy or content? I doubt it. He called out Sting to join in his moment with him. Sting came down to the ring with no music but simply street clothes and was a supportive friend. Sting told AJ that he didn’t need to share this moment with anyone and walked out of the ring. As Sting walked back up the ramp, AJ said he knew what Sting did. Sting looked to the ring with no idea what the phenomenal one was talking about. He said that he made a choice that night. A choice that is never done that he handed him the torch. At this time, AJ said that at Bound for Glory why not have them face each other for the TNA World Title. The shook on it and it actually gave me a slight chill when AJ broke out Flair’s line about being the best and beating the best and called Sting more than the best because he’s an icon. Let’s hope this match is everything it can be and that we get both men blow the roof off at Bound for Glory.

TNA Knockout Championship: Taylor Wilde and Sarita vs. Tara and ODB

The new champions came out in Wilde and Sarita to face off against two women that hadn’t tagged together before. ODB was the new TNA KO champion who defeated Cody Deaner and prevented him from making a mess of that division. Even having that feud didn’t help the KO division either. Tara and Sarita collar and elbow lock up to begin the match. Sarita reversed an attempted side slam by Tara into head scissors take down. Lots of team work by the team of Sarita and Wilde throughout the match. ODB was then tagged into the ring and began to go right at the champions. At this point Awesome Kong came down to ringside and she and Tara exchange punches all the way to the backstage area. ODB has no idea of what was going on and she’s left alone in the ring to face off against the champions on her own. ODB did her best to go at both Wilde and Sarita taking both down with a double clothesline. Sarita and Wilde hit their finisher of a springboard dropkick into a belly to back suplex for the pin fall win. After the match Tara came back to ring to explain to ODB what happened but ODB didn’t appear to care less as the camera faded to black and went to a commercial and both women stood in the middle of the ring arguing.

Borash and Foley question Lethal Consequences about who destroyed the ‘Tweat and Tweek’ photograph. It’s a pretty avoidable segment and Foley was trying to get finger prints from Lethal during the backstage segment. It was a little disturbing that Lethal said he wasn’t responsible for breaking the photo because he was getting his freak on with Liz especially since she’s…nevermind.

X-Division Championship: Homicide vs Daniels vs. Samoa Joe

This made for a wonderful match especially considering all those involved in it. The Oratory forums thoughts on the new wrestling gear of Samoa Joe left a little to be desired while I personally couldn’t care less as long as he’s wearing something. Daniels focused on Homicide but was caught by Joe who immediately went for the muscle buster on the Fallen Angel. Homicide went at Daniels inside the ring as Joe got back into the ring. When Daniels caught Homicide with a spin kick he turns around and is caught himself by Samoa Joe with a side slam. Both Joe and Homicide work together as they beat down on Daniels. While Homicide tried to make the pin but Joe broke that up. Whether they are teaming together to work on Daniels or not Joe was not going to let Homicide get the pin fall for the win. In an innovative way to get the advantage over Joe and Homicide, Daniels whipped Homicide into Joe who caught him with his arm around his head. Daniels then hit Joe with a combination leg sweep/clothesline and while Joe was still holding Homicide, the move turned out to be a DDT on Homicide in the process. He then followed up with a moonsault on Joe but he kicked out and rolled out to the ring. Homicide and Joe eventually go at it. As Homicide appeared pleased with his handy work an irate Joe hit a half nelson belly-to back suplex and followed that up with a rear naked choke on Homicide for the tap out win.

Eric Young and Kurt Angle vs. Hernandez and ‘The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan

Bashir and Kyoshi are at ringside doing commentary. With Young in the ring a rather displeased Kurt Angle walked to the ring. Hernandez and Morgan made their ways to the ring respectively. Angle and Hernandez came together in the ring and the Olympic gold medalist was caught off guard by the strength of Hernandez. The Morgan/Hernandez alliance could be pretty formidable. Once Young was brought into the ring Hernandez took out Young and Angle immediately. Hernandez splashed both men in the corner and then mades the tag to Morgan. Morgan came in and hit the carbon footprint on Young. However he hit him so cleanly with the kick because Angle pulled Young in front of him. Morgan makes the pinfal for the win. After the match Bashir and Kyoshi confront Angle who took out both men at ringside. The British Invasion then came down and were confronted by Angle. Angle pointed behind them as Booker and Steiner stood behind them allowing Angle to walk passed them towards the back in the process. In the ring Morgan and Hernandez celebrate their victory.

Foley and Borash questioned Shelley and Sabin about the damaged photograph. They were told they weren’t guilty of destroying the photo but were guilty of having the worst theme music in wrestling. Who writes some of this goofy dialogue? That had nothing to do with anything but Shelley told Foley to check the video camera to find out who did it. Mick said If we do that we’ll find our ‘perp’ and Shelley replied ‘yeah, you’ll find your ‘perv’. Ha.

Hamada was interviewed by Lauren and accompanied by an interpreter. Alissa Flash came out and called herself a welcome mat. It doesn’t help her that she is told by Hamada in order for her to get an interview that she needed to ‘win a match’ first. Flash beat Hamada down and throws her down stairs and choked by Flash. Scott D’Amore came out and pulled her off of Hamada.

After a commercial break, ,Dafney was with Nash in his dressing room. He asked her about her relationship with Dr. Stevie and she replied that she’s able to do whatever she wants with whoever she wants. She set up Big Sexy as Dafney knelt down in from of him and elbowed him in the groin. Without any hesitation Dr. Stevie came in from out of camera rang and tazered Nash in the nuts saying he robbed him. That’s an interesting way to seek compensation for someone collecting a bounty from you Stevie. It was more amusing when Stevie said to Nash not to rob him again. Umm, you think he’ll attempt that again with a tazer at his ball sack?

“The Boss” Bobby Lashley vs. “The Outlaw” Jethro Holiday

Lashley came down to the ring and this really shouldn’t be that long of a match. He took down Holiday and drove fists and forearms repeatedly into the side of the head of Holiday. Lashley then picked up Holiday and then hit him with a shock treatment in the center of the ring. He then hits a full nelson slam on Holiday and hooked in a dragon sleeper for the submission victory. It didn’t last long and if you blinked you probably missed this match.

Foley came out of the video truck holding a video tape saying, “the case is solved”. Thankfully this pursuit is over. Abyss was so happy that he and Mick will be teaming together for the tag team championship. He’s way too goofy to take him seriously as someone to be worried about. Check that, people are probably worried about him but not competing against him if you know what I mean.

Tag team Championship: Booker T and Scott Steiner vs. Abyss and Mick Foley

Once Booker and Scott entered the ring, Abyss’ music hit and led both the Monster and the hardcore Icon down to ringside area. Abyss’ clap something more reminiscent of what Eugene would do rather than that of Kane or The Undertaker. Abyss and Booker start of the match with one another. Abyss was able to thwart both Steiner’s and Booker’s attack. He eventually tags Foley in but is then stopped by Booker and Steiner. Abyss caught both men with a double clothesline and made the tag once again to Foley. This was when things took and unexpected turn for the worse. Foley came in and when Abyss wasn’t looking he kicked him and hit him with a double arm DDT and laid out the Monster in the process. Foley rolled out of the ring and Booker hit the axe kick on Abyss for the pin fall and the win. After the match, Foley picked up the tape at ringside with one hand and picked up a microphone in the other hand. Foley said to Abyss that it was ‘him all along’ he then proceeded to smash the video tape over the head all along. One could be safe to assume that Foley was referring to Abyss being responsible for breaking into his office and he stealing his barbed wire bat and destroyed his prized position…the sketch photograph of Borash and Foley together. Jeremy Borash came down to the ring and tried to talk sense into Foley. Foley appeared to have cooled down but only for a moment. He then took his barbed wire bat and repeatedly struck Abyss with it. As he left the ring, Mick could be heard saying, ‘now he’s learned his lesson’. A beaten Abyss was leaking blood like a faucet. Before the show went off the air Abyss couldn’t understand what he had just endured and was screaming ‘why’.

Upside of this week’s edition : The heel turn and beating Abyss took to end the show was terrific. That alone was enough to cause the audience to stop in look on in disbelief. Angle putting Young in harms way, Morgan and Hernandez working together was a formable combination, the triple threat X division championship and street fight between Dinero and Suicide all made for an exciting and entertaining evening on Impact!

Downside of this weeks edition : The same idea that is happening with Rhino and Team 3D has happened with Foley and Abyss and Morgan and Angle. The well is being exhausted a bit too much. How will the Beautiful People be used and will Velvet be the leader now? This week’s episode receives a 7.25/10

Corresponding for the Oratory,

Marcus E. Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/17/09 Sep20

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/17/09

ORLANDO — The show began with a video montage of the history of LAX including the events of the past couple of weeks. The video ended with last weeks events of Homicide turning on Hernandez and the caption reading ‘Love in a Hellovator’ appearing at the end. It would be clever if TNA was able to have Aerosmith perform at No Surrender. We then had a quick look at both Foley and Nash walking backstage in different areas of the arena. Cue the pyro…

At ringside Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin resume what has become a weekly appearance at their own announce table as Taz and Mike Tenay are stationed a the main another table.


Semi-Finals of the KO Tag Team Championship Tournament:
The Beautiful People vs. Tara and Christy Hemme

TBP are so incredibly over that its mind boggling. In order for the team of Hemme and Tara to be successful the majority of the work in the ring will have to be done by Tara. As the match began, we have Love and Tara starting off against one another. Tenay plugs Traci’s Playboy spread and how and where it’s accessible. If you haven’t seen them yet, why the heck not?? Once Hemme was in the ring it took only a short time before for the Beautiful People got the advantage in this match. When Hemme did manage to retaliate in her exchange with Love it resulted in a double hair pull by both herself and Angelina Love Hemme eventually made the tag to Tara who came in and cleaned house. Madison Rayne came down to the ringside area and used an aerosol spray on Hemme causing her clutch her eyes. Sky rolled her up from behind to get the pinfall and the win. After the match Rayne came in the ring with a brown paper bag and turned it over showing the words ‘I’m sorry’ for what she did to Angelina. While Angelina appeared more accepting for Madison’s apology, Velvet’s reaction left little to be desired as to whether she was forgiving Madison or irritated by her. Who cares, they’re smokin!

Lauren interviewed ‘The Pope” backstage and asked him about his issues with Suicide. Dinero spoke about enlightenment and came across more like a televangelist than a Pope until the end of this promo. He continued to refer to Suicide as Suicidy. He then hit on Lauren which made him sound the coolest religious figurehead in recent memory. Move over Reverend Slick there is a new preacher on the street.

The Pope D’Angelo Dinero vs. Suicide

Dinero came down to the ring and we get a flashback of last week when he calls over to Val to help cleanse his soul and enlighten his spirit…or just take his entrance attire away one or the other. Suicide then ran down to the ring and went right at Dinero. They went outside the ring and then back in the ring. Dinero and Suicide go right back to one another. Shelley and Sabin then add in their commentary which covered everything from oven mitts to the movie ‘Twilight’. It had nothing to do with the match but added flavor the match commentary Once Taz and Tenay resumed commentary, Suicide attempted a high risk move that was thwarted by Dinero. As Dinero made his way to his feet he was facing the turnbuckle which provided an opportunity for the Pope’s finisher, the DDE. Dinero hits Suicide with it and covered him for the three count. After the match Taz and Tenay comment on the card up ahead tonight.

Backstage the World Elite was interviewed by Lauren. However before the interview could even begin they kick her off the mic and KYOSHI! conducted the interview! This wasn’t in ring action for the Japanese wrestler but at least he’s doing something more than accompany. He’s turning into the Asian version of Virgil here. He then spoke Japanese which was awesome as he asked Eric Young a question. Young spoke about why Homicide did what he did last week. He said he simply stood up for himself. Homicide spoke about how Hernandez was not his brother and that he made him and will destroy him. The World Elite is his new family. It sure is a melting pot of wrestlers alright.

Rhino was then featured in a video montage to build towards his match against Bobby Lashley at No Surrender. Rhino stood in the ring and told the audience to shut up and spoke about himself. How others moved ahead of him and how TNA exploited his life and his personal demons. He commented on Jesse Neal’s story and how he felt for it and how he had to destroy Jesse for humiliating him. Rhino then commented on his upcoming match with Bobby Lashley. He seemed more annoyed by how Dixie announced Lashley’s match against Rhino. It came across as more of an afterthought. For someone that didn’t complain about how others moved ahead of him, he is sure complaining now. D’Von came down and tried to talk to Rhino. D’Von spoke about how Rhino came to ECW and how they took him under their wing. Rhino appeared un-phased by most of what he heard. When Rhino did speak he said that in order to put the company on top that it started with him kicking D’Von’s ass. Yeah, that trying to convince him thind didn’t actually work out like Brother D’Von planned. Rhino began to whale on D’Von until Ray came down to the ring and defended his beaten partner’s honor. It would be great if at the end of all of this we get a double cross on the part of Jesse Neal as he if was to rationalize this in the end that by Rhino with The War Machine meant he was one of the few and one of the proud. Or is that saying of the Marines? If you are in the military please clarify what the Navy Seals credo is.

After a commercial break, the once again show the trap that Homicide set for Hernandez last week.

Handicap Match:
Sheik Abdul Bashir and Kyoshi vs. Hernandez

Hernandez came down to the ring and was immediately jumped by Bashir and Kyoshi. That didn’t last long because Hernandez whipped out both of them. Every punch, kick and slam appeared magnified when used by Super Mex. For instance the double hip toss he gave to both Bashir and Kyoshi. Kyoshi tried to hit a moonsault but misses completely. Hernandez had Kyoshi set up for the boarder toss and got some great height on his throw. He covered him for the three count and the win. After the match Homicide came down to the ring and distracted Hernandez as Young hit him with a chair to the back. They rested the feast or fire briefcase on the throat of Hernandez and applied pressure to the briefcase as Young struck it with a steel chair. Hernandez began to foam at the mouth after he lay in the ring clutching his throat. It was a pretty neat sight actually.

Lauren interviewed ODB who had her hair all done up and spoke about how everything they worked for could be gone if Deaner won the KO title.

LumberJills Match:
‘The Future Legend’ Alissa Flash vs. Cody Deaner

We had commentary from Sabin and Shelley in this match as Awesome Kong wipes out Cody as he was on the outside of the ring. The entire KO division beat the crap out of Deaner and rolled him in the ring. Once in the ring, Flash rolled him over for the three count. After the bell, fights broke out with Love beating down Hemme and Kong and Tara battling against one another to the backstage area. As Deaner made his way back up the ramp ODB cracked him from behind with the flask.

Lauren interviewed Nash in his dressing room area and asked him about facing Foley later tonight for the Legends championship. She also asked him about his Big Sexy Tour Valet Open casting call as one woman after another came in as he gave them a once over. He told Lauren to relax and gave her a glass of wine. She’s enjoying the wine as Nash tugged on her emotions a little by drawing her in as a candidate for his open casting call. That was until a rather big boned woman walked in and Kevin invited her to sit on his knee. The segment ended with an annoyed Lauren finishing her glass of wine. This was a fun segment between interviewer and interviewee. I could have sworn Nash said to the camera ‘stay thirsty my friends’. Nash as the Most Interesting Man in the world would be a fun little twist on his character.

Borash interviewed Foley backstage and the Hardcore Legend was as serious in a segment as we had seen him at any point recently.

TNA Legends Championship:Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley

Once both men were in the ring, Kevin got the advantage on Foley early on. He drove knees in the abdomen of Foley as Mick rested in the corner. Foley regained the advantage and began to drive his fist and knees to the face of Nash. Foley then reached for the sock and placed it on his hand. Nash came out to beat down Foley outside the ring. He then brought Foley back in the ring and followed it up by driving the back of his elbow to the side of Mick’s head. This match was pretty bad. Abyss came down to the ring with the barbed wire bat and climbed in the ring. Foley was disqualified because Abyss came in the ring. He didn’t do anything but his presence apparently was threatening enough to be considered interference? Foley was pissed because Abyss cost him the match. Mick took back the barbed wire bat and once outside the ring told off Abyss from the ringside area.

Lauren stood backstage interviewing Team 3D and Beer Money Inc. Robert Roode and Brother Ray stood together as both would be teaming with one another later in the evening. Ray began to address Robert directly about working together. When asked what Robert had to say about it he said one word only in the calmest coolest way possible…testify!

After a commercial break a distraught Abyss was asked by Lauren about what took place earlier with Foley in the ring. He said he was just trying to help Mick. He’s pulling out his own hair and completely paranoid about if Foley’s mad at him or not.

Scott Steiner and Brutus Magnus vs. Robert Roode and Brother Ray

The purpose of the match was to determine who will get the man advantage in the Lethal Lockdown match up. The winner will have a two minute advantage over the opposite team on Sunday. Steiner and Roode began the match. Steiner made a tag to Magnus as a wounded Roode was down. When Roode made the tag to Ray he got the short lived advantage on Magnus. Magnus tagged into to Steiner who continued to beat down Ray. Scott tagged into Brutus who got his licks in on his opponent. The frequent tags to one another wore down Ray. When Ray eventually made the tag to Roode, he hit Brutus all over the ring. At one point everything broke down causing a distraction in the ring. Roode was hit in the chest with something allowing Brutus to float over him and make a pin for the three count and the win.

They asked Lashley earlier in the week what he was going to do at No Surrender he replied with..’I’m going to knock his ass out’.

Semi-Finals Match of the KO Tag Team Championship Tournament
Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed vs. Taylor Wilde and Sarita

This was the other semi-final match up. The winner will face the Beautiful People in the finals. With the way Kong and Saeed’s previous match ended up, it was easy to have doubts that they will come out of this match up on top. Kong had Sarita in a rear chin lock and seriously looked like she was crushing her head in the process. Saeed came into the ring and continued to beat down Sarita. Once Sarita made the hot tag to Wilde she came in and hit a number of moves on Saeed. Wilde then hits a german belly to back suplex on Saeed for the pinfall and the win. After the match Lauren interviewed Sarita and Taylor outside the ring reminding them they are one win away from winning the KO tag team championships. I doubt they’ll win it in the end but the finals should be sold.

Jeremy Borash spoke with Kurt Angle backstage about his match up this weekend against Styles, Sting and Morgan. He called himself the best and how he takes pride in what he does and always gives his best. Angle also said he will not be defeated. Once that interview came to a close we then see, Lauren backstage with Sting and AJ Styles asking them about what will happen when they face each other this Sunday. They both realize that no matter what they are outside the ring, inside the ring they’re motivated to be the best.

Samoa Joe vs. ‘The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan

Kurt Angle called Morgan a ‘real jerk’. Joe jumped Morgan before the bell even rang. He continued to beat down the Blueprint as he was down on the mat. Joe gave Morgan a moment to recover and that’s all it took. Once he was up, Morgan hit Joe with a big boot and followed it up by driving elbows to the back of the head of Joe. Morgan continued to focus on Angle on the outside of the ring. Joe recovered and followed up by beating down Morgan momentarily. Matt hit a choke slam on Morgan and set him up for a carbon footprint. Joe rolled out of the ring and dragged Morgan outside in the process. Both men go at it outside of the ring. Joe pulled Morgan towards Angle at the announce table and the match completely broke down. Angle freaked out and jumped up and pounded on the back of Morgan. It was at this time that Daniels ran in from the backstage area and went right after Samoa Joe. Angle was relentless and actually was pulled off of Morgan. After a commercial break, Joe and Morgan continued to beat down on one another. Security pulled these two off of one another but they manage to get their hands on another once again. Angle hit an Angleslam on Morgan after he kicking The Blueprint and giving him, you guessed it…blue balls. Angle stood over the beaten Morgan with a glazed look in his eye and bad intentions for Sunday in mind as the show went off the air.

Upside of this week’s edition: Dinero’s clean win on Suicide, Hernandez’s continued beat down at the hands of Homicide’s, Angle getting the better of Morgan before the pay per view, Rhino’s beat down of D’Von, Foley getting pissed off at Abyss which was allowed us to see the competitive side of Mick, Nash and Lauren’s locker room interview and once again Shelley and Sabin’s commentary doing commentary at ringside. It had a lot of fun moments and maintained the momentum leading to No Surrender.

Downside of this weeks edition: The two word reply of what Lashley will do at No Surrender, Cody Deaner..in general, the growing paranoia of Abyss, the wrestling overall didn’t have much in the way of excitement. This week’s episode receives a 6.5/10

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The Ultimate Fighter 10; Heavyweights (ep. 1)

Dear Scriptures:

After watching a number of UFC events I became intrigued with The Ultimate Fighter program available on Spike TV here in North America. While the moves and holds are still quite new to me. My interest in UFC and the programming that it has created has continued to grow. It is this interest in the program that has motivated me to explore the program and learn more about the characters in this the tenth edition of The Ultimate Fighter series. The publicity around this edition of the series has been widespread. Whether it was the notoriety of some its fighters or the genuine animosity among the coaches the season is expected to lend itself to a number of interesting encounters. The first episode began with a run down of a history of the two coaches, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans. From all indications of those that I have heard and read leading up to the show it is believed that these two legitimately don’t like one another which should make for some pretty interesting exchanges between the two.

Both Rashad and Quinton are shown in the training center jabbering with one another. The trash talk between them is pretty comical as one would try to get the better of the other. One would criticize the others credibility while the other coach would question the current win lose record or the other. Evans and Jackson marvel at the size of each competitor coming into the room. Among those entering the training facility were former NFL player Marcus Jones. The focus once again turned to Rampage and Sugar as both continued to argue with one another. Their exchanges remind me of some my co-workers. We can’t get into a room with one another without an argument ensuing. It won’t end with us trying to kill each other in an octagon shaped metal cage, but one could always hope! Dana White came in and reminded them both of the time remaining and fore them to focus at the task at hand. It was probably intended to keep these two bickering guys on schedule.

Once the majority of the guys lined up, Dana White announced that there was still one more guy that had to come. It was none other than Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson. White did not hold back his criticism of Kimbo leading up to his participation in the Ultimate Fighter program. Each of the guys chimed in with their opinions of Slice, with the majority of them expressing pretty unflattering things about him to say the least. White realized that Kimbo will be out there to prove him wrong. Dana ran down what each of these guys were in store of for the next two hours. Rampage approached Kimbo and told him he didn’t have to do anything. Which Rampage didn’t mean literally but was more in the vain of Kimbo did not have anything to worry about. At first glance, Kimbo came across as a pretty humble guy that just wants to prove himself like everyone else. The difference here was that none of the other guys have a bullseye on their back.

Rashad’s fighter evaluations consisted of watching the guys and selecting guys who he felt were able to take direction well and mentally well. James McSweeney and Brenden Schwab were the two guys Rashad pointed out that he was interested in the most. On the flipside, Rampage’s fighter evaluations consisted of having his guys to spare with one another. Marcus Jones spoke about the difference between NFL and his time training in MMA. When Kimbo came in Rampage pointed out that he had a strong stand up style but his ground game was lacking. He also pointed out his take down defense wasn’t bad either. In the locker room we see the strategy of both coaches. Rampage appeared to want to have his first pick to end up being who he believed Rashad would have picked first. Its either an interesting strategy to take or it’s a little petty. The rationale behind the pettiness of it was, do you really want to pick someone just to stick it to the other guy or pick someone your confident will win for your team? The way these two dislike each other it’s a little hard to believe that pettiness didn’t have at least something to do with it. If Rampage selected McSweeney first than he probably would pity that fool Evans alright.

Both teams exchanged picks. They alternated one after the other with Team Evans being the first to select. Evans selected James McSweeney. This was followed by Team Rampage selecting first. With his first pick Jackson chose Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson. Team Evans then selected Brendan Schwab. Rampage selected Abe Wagner. Rashad selected Justin Wren and Rampage selected Demico Rogers. Evan selected John Madsen with his next pick. Rampage selected Wes Sims with his next pick. Wes was complaining that he should be up by Kimbo after his selection. Sims then said he beat Frank Mir twice. It’s highly unlikely but even making that comment means being a little delusional can make for great television. While passing the line of chosen fighters, Wes repeatedly said ‘no offense’ to each of the fighters on his team as he made his way next to Kimbo. Hilarious. With his next selection, Evans chose Roy Nelson and Rampage selected Scott Junk. Next Evans selected Darrell Schoonover and Rampage chose Wes Shivers. Rashad selected Matt Mitrione while Jackson chose Marcus Jones. With his last selection Team Evans chose Mike Wessel. Jackson chose Zak Jensen with his last selection. This was the most awkward selection because the poor guy was being teased especially since Quinton jokingly chose the cameraman as Jensen stood their like the last kid picked to play dodge ball. Everyone had fun with him at the moment.

Both coaches were confident of their selections. The fighters then all arrived at the house. Kimbo spoke about how the bullseye was on his back now that he is part of The Ultimate Fighter competition. Roy and Matt spoke with one another about how they can’t wait to fight Kimbo.

Rashad walked into the empty UFC gym and spoke about how things have come around full circle for himself. It was now that the aspiring fighter had become the confident coach. Rashad ran his guys through training drills. Each of the guys spoke about who they were looking forward to fighting. We then get a shot at Rampage’s team going through their training session. He wanted to test their cardio but was concerned of Marcus Jones. After watching him go through the paces he thought Jones was going to pass out. Jones said it didn’t matter what it took to make it, he’d do even if it killed him. If you watched him get tested on his cardio, it almost did. Rampage chose the first fight. The match up pitted from Team Rampage, Abe Wagner and from Team Evans, John Madsen. Both men were confident in their ability. That confidence was only surpassed by Evans whose pleasure with Jackson selecting a guy that has no ground game at all would only help to benefit Team Evans chances at a win.

Madsen spoke about his strength, power and ability to capitalize over the taller Wagner. He then spoke about his wrestling background and how his reaction time and speed will be an asset. Evans spoke about Madsen’s ability to take direction well, strength and his ability to put a lot behind his punches. The strategy to beat Abe was to take him down and use the ground and pound approach on him. Rashad exudes confidence in Madsen and how he’ll get the win over Wagner.

Rampage spoke about Abe’s strengths. He complemented his jujitsu and strong stand up. He also pointed out Abe’s weaknesses and that being his wrestling. Wagner’s composure and attitude during his monologue was one that lacked confidence which wasn’t a good sign. One can see Wagner as not being as dedicated to winning as Madsen just in that one segment. It is that lack of confidence in the interview that may well prove to be a liability. This may change over the course of the competition but as of now it’s a weakness for him. Both Wagner and Madsen spoke about their intentions for the fight. Wagner pointed his own strengths and didn’t have a message for Madsen. On the flipside neither did Madsen for Wagner. These guys are way too nice to be fighting each other.

After a commercial break, both men faced off with one another. From a distance Wagner asked Madsen ‘You gonna touch or, no?’. Madsen didn’t answer which said more had he even said no. Once the fight began, Wagner was almost immediately down and Madsen was on him like a wet shirt pounding on him. Wagner was trying to get a hold of Madsen’s arm while he was on his back. Madsen had his left elbow and forearm pressed up and under Wagner’s chin. While down on the ground Madsen managed to get in a few body shots on the bigger Wagner. He followed that up with a couple of heavy punches on the prone Wagner. At this point Wagner was busted open and Madsen continued to work the body as Wagner had no where to go pressed up against the cage. Wagner’s a mess at this point and his fellow fighters comment at the gruesome and bloody sight in the ring of the beaten fighter. After that first round one would wonder whether he was fighting John Madsen or Michael Myers.

While in their respective corners each fighter received advice from their coaches on what to do next. Rashad spoke to John about having to stay low and Rampage said to Wagner that he had to just win the next round. After that first round, easier said then done, Rampage. As the bell rang, they continued where they left off. The difference here was that both men were in the center of the ring with Madsen on top and not pressed up against the cage. The referee stepped in and told both fighters to get up. In doing that it gave Madsen the advantage that he needed to lead Wagner back towards the cage. Wagner’s cut reopens and Madsen is relentless with his punches as the exhausted fighter then used his elbows and forearms to pound on Wagner. Rampage was screaming instructions from the corner telling Abe to ‘get up’ and that ‘he’s doing the same thing over’. Madsen had already taken Wagner down a couple of times earlier in the round and there was less then a minute and half left in this round. It doesn’t good look for Wagner. Once again the men are down and Wagner was pressed up against the cage receiving punch after punch to the side of the head. The ref stepped in and declared John Madsen the winner in the center of the ring. Rampage was pissed as he’s shown walking away from the cage. The result of the fight by unanimous decision was John Madsen. That gash on Abe Wagner’s forehead was crazy sick nasty and Rampage was relentless in his criticism of Wagner performance.

At the end of the program the preview of the next episode pointed out the upcoming highlights. Among the highlights, were ‘Big Country’s’ needs to take things more seriously, Rampage preparing Kimbo, chicken’s are found in Team Evans car (that wasn’t a typo) and Team Rampage cutting in on Team Evans training session.

As my first attempt to review the program, I look for it to continue to be a learning experience for both myself and you the reader. If anyone is interested in making an Ultimate Fighter themed Solstice Scripture banner for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/10/09 Sep13

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/10/09

We jump right into the show with a match already in progress. There are no fancy taglines, no clever way to merge the show from opening pyro to the opening match and no reminder to cross the line. Without any warning we get right to it.

ORLANDO – The first match of the evening was a 4 way with Beer Money Inc vs. Team 3D vs. The British Invasion vs. Booker/Steiner. The reasoning for having this match so promptly was to avoid from having it begin backstage. Basically if they’re going to kill each other do where everyone can see it! The winner of the match could not be decided until each team member came to the ring. It was described as a gauntlet match because a clock would run down the time until each member came down to the ring. The final man to come to ring was Cowboy James Storm. What an entrance he made. He came down to the ring with a crazy football helmet that had drinking straws attached to it. The fans, Mike Tenay and Taz all ate it up. Once each member came to the ring they were considered an active participant in the match. We then get a backstage look of Kurt Angle who looks more like he should be in a hip hop video cliché then a wrestling ring as he looked on to what was taking place in this match, Roode and Steiner spend a great amount of time in the ring squaring off against one another, until all hell broke loose. As Booker came in to make the save and stop D’Von from pinning Steiner, Magnus slide in and covered Steiner for the win. After the match Booker and Steiner chew out both Williams and Magnus for pinning them. It was great how the Main Event Mafia form alliances only for their own good. When someone that they believed was there to support them actually go in there and try to win they have a problem with that. At first I thought it was just going to be a Kurt Angle only but it appeared to run through the entire faction with the “I first you distance second” mentality.

Backstage everyone from The World Elite and the MEM continuing to argue with one another after what just transpired in the ring. Tenay then ran down the shows upcoming matches. Among the matches listed were the final two matches of the TNA tournament and Angle/Joe vs. Daniels/Styles.

Angle came to the ring and didn’t waste anytime by calling out Matt Morgan to have one last conversation prior to No Surrender. Morgan made his way down to the ring, No sooner did he enter the ring did the mind games between these two commence. Morgan was quick to interject by saying that there is one more thing that he had to do in order to be a part of the MEM. It was at this time when Sting and AJ came down and got involved in this discussion. Throughout the discussion Sting tried to convince Morgan to think for himself. We then get a terrific promo where we see the ‘face conscience’ and a ‘heel conscience’ played by Sting and Kurt Angle take the forefront. This reminded me of those commercials when we have an angel sitting on one shoulder and a devil on the other and both are trying to convince of what the right thing to do. AJ ended up getting Angle to admit that he’s basically using Morgan to protect the TNA title and looked over at Morgan when he managed to pull the words from Kurt’s mouth. Morgan did not mince words and it’s the one offer that Angle should be concerned to take The Blueprint on. He offered to be by his side later on in the evening for his tag match against Styles and Daniels. He wants to be ‘used’, its just how Kurt would use him that he’d have the problem with.

Lauren spoke with Earl Hebner backstage and showed footage of Eric Young’s interference the previous week that cost Hernandez a chance in the TNA championship tournament. Hebner was basically annoyed for being questioned about his decision. Jeremy Borash spoke with Mick Foley in his office about his upcoming match with Kevin Nash. Foley had a couple of kids wrestling on the sofa in the background to which he called ‘bring your kids to work’ day. It was at this point where Dr. Stevie came in and Foley told him that its time that he collect his bounty against Abyss tonight as it would be the former Stevie Richards facing the Monster.

Sarita and Taylor Wilde vs. Dafney and Alissa Flash

A few weeks ago I thought Alissa Flash looked like Dafney a bit and now they’ve put their similar facial expressions together to make up a team. Every time Sarita and Flash face each other its becoming more and more like watching the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington somethings …We basically knew the result and having the match was just a formality. Wilde and Sarita seem to work well together. Although throughout the match Dafney and Flash appeared to complement each others styles as well. Sarita hit Flash with a belly to belly suplex for the win. I’d be interested to see how a match between Sarita and Hamada would end up once this tournament is through.

Backstage Borash interviewed the World Elite and Young spoke about Magnus’ pin on Scott Steiner. Borash said that he didn’t think Magnus’ pin on Steiner was part of their plan. Young responded by saying that they don’t have a plan….but then said they will always do the right thing? It sounds like the right thing is a plan, Eric. Although it could have been his plan to confuse us! It didn’t work.

Once again we return to another backstage interview this time with Lauren and Suicide. I hadn’t heard Suicide speak but now when he spoke he sounded like a brooding and dark superhero. So basically he’s Spawn with red in his costume. He spoke about how next week there will be a cleansing of the wicked. Lauren reiterated that next week Suicide and ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero.

The Motor City Machine Guns came out to the ring and unveiled an announce table just for them. Shelley spoke about how they ddn’t like Lethal and questioned his…attire? They were a lot more specific but because this is a PG review we’ll leave certain areas of focus out of the review They also didn’t hold back with their insults towards ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero.

‘Black Machismo’ Jay Lethal vs. ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero

Both men came together in a collar and elbow tie up. This match seemed like two guys going in different directions in the TNA promotion. Lethal really doesn’t seem as though he’s going to be used as someone of great significance in the X-division where as Dinero is on his way up. The commentators really focus on the follow up clothesline Dinero gave Lethal. Once Lethal fell off the top rope that he was straddling he landed head first on the edge of the mat. The match went back and forth. Just when we it appeared that Lethal had the advantage, Dinero was able to counter. Dinero hit a neck breaker on Lethal, while Black Machismo was sitting on the second rope facing the audience. The Pope pulled Lethal inside the ring and set him up for the DDE (D’Angelo Dinero Express) the double knee to the back of his opponent. Dinero rolled over Lethal for the pin fall and the win.

Backstage the World Elite and the Main Event Mafia had another confrontation where both sides once again began arguing with one another but ended with Young and Angle shaking hands. If we’re looking at numbers alone, the World Elite does outnumber the Main Event Mafia. If things ever did break down we would know who by numbers alone should be able to take out the other.

The Beautiful People vs. Madison Rayne and Roxxi

Shelley and Sabin comment on the Beautiful People’s entrance as they made their way to the ring. We then had the entrance of Rayne followed by Roxxi was billed as her surprise partner. Roxxi’s outfit was very surprising as it looked as though she had worn a pair of granny panties with stars on them. Rayne started off the match and eventually made the tag in to Roxxi. When Rayne mades her way back in the ring it was only a matter of time before Love and Sky beat her down. Once back in the ring and mounting an offence, Roxxi hit her Voodoo drop on Angelina Love. Roxxi then tagged in Madison Rayne, Rayne got caught from behind with a role up win at the hands of the Angelina Love for the win.

Cody Deaner spent his time in Foley’s office trying to convince him to that should allow Cody to face off against one of the knockouts tonight. Cody did this phantom kick and a picture actually came down from off the wall. While that probably wasn’t planned the timing around that was great. When Deaner left the office, Foley said to Borash that he thought he was thinking of putting Cody against who JB was thinking of. At this point we have no idea who it would be. A video package began showcasing the feud between Nash and Foley and their most recent match against one another for the Legends championship. Their match next week probably won’t be even close to as bloody as their first match between one another was.

Mick Foley joined Taz and Mike Tenay at ringside for commentary on the Dr. Stevie and Abyss match up.

Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie

Dr. Stevie jumped Abyss right from behind before either man can get to the ring. After I saw the remake of Halloween II, every time I see Abyss now he resembles Michael Myers. After beating down Abyss Dr. Stevie just left him laying on the outside of the ring to recover. It wasn’t a smart move if you are trying to end his career. Eventually Abyss splashes Dr. Stevie in the corner and hit a black hole slam on Dr. Stevie for the pin and the win. After the match Nash came down and beat Abyss until Foley came in and made the save just as Big Sexy heads out of the ring. Its great to see even though its about 12 years later the now and the bWo come together.

After the commercial break, the World Elite are in the ring with Eric Young talking about how they have offered the olive branch to Hernandez to join them and to treat like an equal. He continued to talk about how he can’t believe just how brainwashed Hernandez was then asked him to come out and talk to the World Elite. The man that does come out is Hector Guerrero. It seemed to lay on the heavy Mexican slant pretty thick here. He said Hernandez wasn’t coming out tonight and he said he’s not going to let him do something Hernandez was going to regret. Guerrero then said that their not Americans but this was their country. He then began to speak partly in Spanish and partly in English but basically was saying that this had to stop getting out of hand. Young replied that the only reason Guerrero was still standing was because he respected the legend. He then told Hector to go to the back and tell Hernandez that he wanted to speak to him face to face.

Tara’s success in TNA is featured along with her growing feud with Awesome Kong.

Tara vs. Cody Deaner

Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin spoke about how Tara came to the ring covered in electrical tape. They were referring to her covering up the Tapout logo on her ring attire. Deaner then came to the ring and his gear was just ridiculous. He’s wearing headgear with duct tape around his head knees and ankles. Tara mounted him and beat him down. She was relentless in her pursuit and is splashed from behind by Awesome Kong. That was followed by the implant buster as the referee turned around and saw her laying there, Deaner was announced the winner of the match. After the match Kong scowlled at the beaten down Tara who laid in the ring. When we see the backstage area, Deaner spoke to Lauren about how he just proved how he was the King of the Knockouts and how he beat Tara all over the ring. He’s delusional but that should be expected by now.

Tenay and Taz ran down the No Surrender card and then show Rhino approach Bobby Lashley while he was training in the gym and beat him down in the process. They used the security camera angle to gather the spontaneity of the beat down. Its different and is effective if it isn’t exhausted.

Daniels and AJ Styles w/ Sting vs. Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe w/ Matt Morgan

The match should be outstanding with who was involved in this match. When Morgan came down to the ring Angle didn’t look pleased that he’s be in his corner. Matt then put a chair at ringside and took a seat next to Joe and Angle’s corner. In the ring, Daniels and Angle start off the match with one another. Once AJ came in he took down Angle. Daniels and Styles worked well together in this match. Taz mentioned the Eliminators after a move that Daniels and Styles use a move that resembles their finisher. Joe and Angle began to work on and work down Styles. Out of nowhere, Styles hit the Pele on Joe out of despiration. When both Daniels and Angle are tagged in the ring they go at it full force. Daniels and Joe go at it on the outside of the ring. Morgan offered his help but Angle had his head driven in the steel chair that the Blueprint held on the outside of the ring. This led to Angle being knocked down and pinned for a count of three. After the match, Angle slapped Morgan who was apologizing half heartedly for his actions. Morgan then kicked Angle and hits him with the Hellovator.

Backstage the World Elite carry out Homicide to the ring. Once they are all in the ring, Homicide sat in the ring with a Mexican flag wrapped around his neck. Hernandez was called out and he arrived to make the save. He took out the entire World Elite in the process. As Young tried to take him out he with a steel chair, Hernandez scarred him off. In the ring, Hernandez tried to help Homicide who distracted Super Mex in the process. While his back was facing Homicide, Hernandez was CRACKED from behind by ‘friend’. The entire World Elite came in the ring and beat down Hernandez as each member of the World Elite got their licks in on him. As Young looked over at Homicide the two shook hands and Homicide laid the Mexican flag over Hernandez essentially burying their friendship. The World Elite lift Homicide up on their shoulders as the swerve and heel turn on the part of Homicide was complete. They may have never been after Hernandez at all, but it didn’t matter because having Homicide join them was great.

Upside of this week’s edition: Homicide’s heel turn, Angle/Morgan/ Styles/ Sting in ring promo, Shelley and Sabin doing commentary at ringside, Dinero/Lethal, the growing animosity between the World Elite and the Main Event Mafia, Sarita/Wilde/Flash/Dafney match and there were as many as 7 matches on the two hour show which more than they’ve had in recent weeks.

Downside of this weeks edition: The build of Lashley’s debut, the show starting in progress, too many interviews this week which didn’t really serve a purpose (Earl Hebner) with ones that should have been included (Suicide speaking takes away the mystery around his character a bit), Kyoshi not wrestling for the World Elite and Deaner’s pursuit of the Knockouts title.

This weeks’ edition of iMPACT flowed pretty well. The promos were generally a bit dry and exhausted but the volume of competition felt like it more than made up for it. Homicide’s heel turn so quick over the past could of weeks and was really well done. The fact that they carried him out to the ring as though he was being beaten down made the turn that much more convincing when it was executed. This week’s episode receives a 7.5/10

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/03/09 Sep07

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 09/03/09

ORLANDO – This week’s edition quickly highlights the events of what is to come. It’s rare because usually the show highlights the previous weeks’ events rather then mentions in its opening package of what is to come. They mention how both Angle and Morgan are going to No Surrender but there are still two remaining spots in the match left open. Homicide and Hernandez will face off against one another in the first round of this mini-tournament to determine the final two spots for the TNA championship match at No Surrender. AJ Styles and Chris Sabin, Sucide and Doug Williams and Rhino and Sting are the other qualifying matches in this tournament.

After the pyro settles, Tenay addresses the rest of the show and how Christy and Tara will face off against Hamada and SoJo Bolt in their first round match to determine the Knockouts Tag team championship.

Rhino vs. Sting

This match wasn’t well planned. Especially since last week Dixie had announced that Rhino would face Bobby Lashley at No Surrender. However Tenay and Taz rationalized why Rhino is even in this match. He had apparently threatened legal action had he not been a part of this tournament. So even though he was slated to face off against Bobby Lashley we are led to believe that Rhino is in this match because he wanted to and not as an afterthought. Sting almost immediately in the match puts Rhino in a scorpion death lock. Rhino managed to get out of it and got the upperhand on Sting. He does a lot to try to take the wind out of Sting by utilizing his legs and applying a body scissors on the icon. Just as it seemed as though Rhino had the upperhand Sting, pulled out a scorpion death drop and covered the War machine for the pin. After the match an irate Rhino hit a gore on Sting and continued to beat down the Icon focusing on his injured ribs. When Sting was just coming too Rhino hit him again with a second gore completely sawing the former heavyweight champion in half. The heel turn by Rhino was just that quick if you think about it. Within a couple of weeks, Rhino cleared any doubts that others may have had about whether he was a face or heel. Last week it could have just been seen as Rhino showing tough love towards Jesse Neal but this week it looked like his was showing Sting genuine animosity as he lost out on advancing in this tournament.

After the break, Tenay replayed what happened to Sting and showed the Icon being tapped backstage. AJ Styles stood by Sting and showing concern for the icon and his wounds. We then get a backstage segment with the Main Event Mafia. It was strange to say the least with Steiner asking if that was sushi in Booker’s locker room and using a putter to drive a golf ball. It was also at this time where ‘odd jobs’ Kip was in their dressing room doing some maintenance work. This character finds new ways to keep the audience entertained.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Sabin

Shelley joined Taz and Mike Tenay on commentary for this match up. There was just as much fun at the commentary table as there was in the ring. It was difficult to keep up with the action in the ring because of the commentary by Alex Shelley at ringside. Styles and Sabin go right at each other with no one truly getting the better of the other for a prolonged period of time. After an irish whip to the ropes, Sabin followed Styles from behind drove a knee to the abdomen of the phenomenal one. Styles followed up with a springboard forearm on Sabin. AJ’s attempt at a pin was denied. These two managed to have both men counter each others moves. Styles hit the pele which was followed up with the Styles clash for the win. Great match without a doubt. These two went at each other with tons of spots and incredible action throughout. There were practically no instances where either man attempted to wear down their opponent with chinlocks or submissions. That isn’t to say those aren’t important in a match, simply that when these two went at it the action was full throttle from bell to bell.

Backstage Lauren interviewed Hernandez about his match tonight against Homicide. Eric Young walked into the interview and once again attempted to bring Hernandez into the World Elite. Young said that tonight he’s prepared to open his (Hernandez’s) eyes and that they are ‘familia’.

Daniels came down to the ring with a microphone in hand. He is announced as the number #1 contender for the X-division championship. At ringside, Taz reminded everyone that Daniels was a former 3-time X division champion. Daniels then called out Joe because he wanted to say something to him face to face. Joe came to the ring and Daniels began to explain how he couldn’t believe that they would face each other under these circumstances. That at one point the title revolved around AJ Styles, Joe and himself. He essentially is trying to pull at Joe’s heart strings but by looking at Joe’s expression he appears unfazed by what he was hearing. Daniels flashed back to the Unbreakable pay per view four years ago. Joe interjects and says to Daniels to make a point that he actually cares about. It is clear that none of what is being said means anything to Joe regardless of what the past meant. The attitude of the character is one that he only is concerned about the now and not then. Daniels tried to convince Joe that the MEM is afraid of him. He is trying to say that he threw away his integrity because of how he had changed as a person when he aligned himself with them. However when Daniels spoke about Joe’s family, the mood quickly changed. At nearly a moments notice, Samoa Joe went from not caring at all to completing giving Daniels his undivided attention. Daniels asked Joe how does his family feel about him being a sellout. As Daniels tried to ask Taz for his opinion and turned his back, Joe hit a half nelson belly to back suplex on the Fallen Angel. If Joe’s wife is brought in and interjects in this feud then we they’ve brought in a whole new dimension in this program. While it has been done before with other wrestlers it hasn’t with them. When looking at the working relationship between Joe and Daniels the idea of getting personal brings out a new dimension in this rivalry.

Lauren interviewed Matt Morgan backstage. Morgan addressed his relationship with the MEM and Angle. He tried to use what Angle has said against him. His entire monologue is filled with complete manipulation and him playing head games with Angle.

Suicide vs. Doug Williams

This was the third of four qualifying matches for the TNA title. This was a strange match to have simply because it isn’t likely that either of these men will get very far in the tournament. The match changed in Suicide’s favor as he hit a fireman’s carry foreword roll on Williams. That advantage however is short lived as Williams responded to Suicide’s attack. Unlike the previous qualifying match, we see Williams use moves that are intended on wearing down Suicide. When it appeared that Suicide was going to get the advantage, Williams had the answer. Taz even makes mention of Tommy Billington in this match. He was comparing the speed of a suplex that Williams hit combined with the fact that both were British. When Suicide was about to hit Williams with a move, ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero came down the ring and provides a distraction. While distracted Williams rolled Suicide up and then hit a rolling German suplex completing wiping out Suicide and covering him for the three count and the win. After reading some comments by some of our forum members here at the Oratory, the move is called the chaos theory. A signature move executed by Doug Williams.

Backstage Sting was corned by Jeremy Borash. Sting said he probably doesn’t have many more opportunities left in his career to compete for the title and basically says he isn’t about to quit now even if he is injured.

Lauren interviewed the Beautiful People and asked them if they have any idea who Madison Rayne’s ‘mystery’ partner would be next week. Sky and Love said that they couldn’t care less with who her partner will be because they going to tear them apart regardless.

SoJo Bolt and Hamada vs. Tara and Christy Hemme

This match was for a separate tournament. This one is to determine the first Knockouts Women tag team division. We are constantly reminded that this is the first time either woman has teamed with the other. Hamada and Tara start off the match. Tara hit a rollup on Hamada and floats it into a bridge for a pin attempt. Hamada kicked Tara in the head as the former Victoria bowed towards her. Yeah, it was pretty funny to see her walk right into that. The last time Hemme and Bolt faced each other it really showed how Christy has a lot of work to do in the ring. After the commercial break, Tara kicked Bolts head off. When she attempted a three count Hamada came in for the save. Tara then hits the widows peak on Bolt for the pin and the win. Bolt is laid in the ring with her eyes glazed over. Tara and Christy Hemme advance to the next round in the KO tag team championship tournament. However when Sojo began to come to Hamada hit a Hamada driver on the prone Bolt showing her frustration after losing the match.

Backstage JB walked alongside Kurt Angle. He said that he thinks that Morgan is manipulating him. On their walk, they stop with Morgan and we see a side of Angle where he doubts himself and tries to call Morgan on it. Morgan’s statements would normally put doubt in the minds of most people (like the viewing audience) but not Kurt. Although, even though Kurt’s mouth said everything is on the level his body language does leave doubt. This feud has been a lot of fun to watch. Morgan has developed so much both in the ring and on the mic.

Hernandez vs. Homicide

We get a brief history of LAX and how these two were supposed to be more than just teammates that they were family. Why is everything that involves Hernandez about family? For such a big tough guy if he keeps talking about family they might as well turn his character into a big teddy bear or something. There is too much build in this match up for there not to be some ill feelings after the match. Once both men are in the ring we get the exchange of pleasantries between the two friends. It seems a part of Hernandez seemed more concerned with maintaining their friendship at the start of this match. Even though Homicide gave him a hug, I’m having my doubts about how this Brooklyn boy’s attitude will change as the match progresses. As soon as Homicide tried to get the advantage, Hernandez uses his strength to his advantage. Homicide eventually began to work on the leg of Hernandez in this match. Taz called it right when he said that by working on Hernandez’s legs it will help keep the big man down. It was short lived as Hernandez eventually hit an over the top belly to belly suplex on Homicide. Homicide got caught by Hernandez in mid air as he hit with a dominator for the pin and the victory. After the match Homicide, shook his hand but appeared to be disinterested for the most part afterward.

Once again Lauren was backstage conducting an interview. This time she stood next to Doug Williams and the British Invasion. Williams spoke of how he’s admired Styles from a far and how he is a big fan. However, he said that he ranks himself even higher than he does the phenomenal one. He said that tonight that they will face each other one on one without anyone else at ringside. We then get Jeremy Borash in the locker room with AJ Styles who spoke about how he had hit rock bottom and had to do so in order to move forward. Kurt Angle’s music is then cued as the TNA Heavyweight champion joined Mike Tenay and Taz at the broadcast table.

Doug Williams vs. AJ Styles

I had no idea until now how much the British Invasion logo resembled the old logo by the band The Who. If its intentional what a great logo to copy. Once Williams was in the ring we then hear “I AM” echoing throughout the arena as AJ Styles made his way to the ring. They start off the match with a collar and elbow lock up followed by a headlock by Williams. We have a difference of styles between the two, no pun intended. Williams broke out everything from a chinlock to a surfboard. Angle’s analysis of AJ is funny. “If you have heart, you can beat AJ”. That was probably meant to sound a little ironic.

At one point it seemed as though Styles began to wrestle Williams’s style. However when Styles attempted a springboard but was caught in a fireman’s carry and hit with an uppercut at the hands of Doug Williams. AJ eventually made a comeback and hits Williams with a leaping forearm but apparently hit heads with one another. Both men made it to their feet but Styles caught Williams with a dropkick and then a summersault plancha over the top rope and onto Williams on the floor. Styles then held Williams in a torture rack and spun him into what Tenay called a neck breaker. It resembled more of a powerbomb or spine buster but I don’t name the moves. Williams recovered and tried to hit a back elbow on a standing Styles in the centre of the ring. As Willams went for the Chaos Theory finisher, Styles reversed it into a moonsault to a scorpion death drop finisher. A solid match between the two no question.

Lauren spoke with Team 3D and Jesse Neal and addressed why he’s with them now. Ray spoke about how Rhino left Jesse laying and when they are finished with Neal he’ll be a War Machine. He’s under their tutelage which means he’ll really never learn how to wrestle now. D’Von also spoke about he was aware of the British Invasion was in the building and was walking around with their IWGP tag team championship. Fear his warning, growl?

Hernandez vs. Sting

Sting made it to the ring but is limping and doubled over because of his condition. Hernandez was apprehensive about attacking Sting. Throughout the match, Hernandez was asking Hebner about Sting and if he can compete. Those ribs are a bull’s eye and Hernandez would be silly not to make an attempt on working on his injured ribs. As the referee is distracted a Homicide look a-like comes down to the ring and beats on Sting outside of the ring. Once the referee sees this he disqualifies Hernandez.

As security pulls this ‘Homicide’ away we see that it was in fact Eric Young disguised as a member of you guessed it Hernandez’s family. Young cost Hernandez his title shot. The wounded Sting advanced by disqualification and a frustrated Hernandez can not believe how he was just screwed over. So the four way has been set with Kurt Angle, Matt Morgan, Sting and AJ Styles all competing for the TNA championship at No Surrender.

Hernandez stayed in the ring after the match and called out Eric Young to come to the ring. He said lets settle this once and for all. The problem with this was that the entire World Elite came down to the ring and beat down Hernandez 6 on 1. As Hernandez lay in the ring AJ Styles came in the ring to try and give Hernandez a hand but the odds were still too great. That was until Beer Money Inc come down to try and lend a hand. As the World Elite attempt to walk up the ramp, Team 3D stopped them at the tope of the ramp way. They said they were out to get the British Invasion by the end of the show and they held true to their word. Another riot breaks out with the odds being even until Booker and Scott Steiner make their way to the ring to change the odds in the heels favor. Eventually James Storm was put through a table as the World Elite, Booker and Scott Steiner stand victorious in the ring.

Upside of this week’s edition: Rhino’s heel turn, Hamada beating down of Bolt after the match, Styles/Sabin, Suicide/Williams, Styles/Williams, Hernandez/Homicide, Daniels/Joe promo, how the Morgan/Angle feud wasn’t exhausted and the Hernandez/World Elite confrontation and blow up. Overall these showcased a lot of strengths in this show.

Downside of this weeks edition: Sting making into the main event by the skin of his teeth, Team 3D assisting Jesse Neal, Dinero not competing, no one from the World Elite competing other than the British Invasion.

This weeks’ edition of iMPACT! really flowed well. While normally the promos are generally exhausted each one seemed to either bring the gab in feuds that are coming to an end or ones that are just beginning. This weeks episode receives a 7.75/10

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/27/09 Sep07

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/27/09

ORLANDO – We have a quick highlight package of the previous weeks iMPACT! The topics of discussion include the Angle/Morgan…alliance?, the TNA tag team championship tournament, and the first on camera interview of Dixie Carter with Bobby Lashley. It does seem like very much but there has to be more than meets the eye here.

Lauren rushes backstage to see Sting and AJ Styles pull up in I believe a corvette. Once he is out of camera range, Kip James arrives and asked Sting if he could park his car for him. While Sting politely refused and then walked away, Kip continued to discuss with Lauren how he once had a car like the one Sting and Styles pulled up in. When asked when that was he replied ‘when I was over’. The odd jobs Kip character has provided some pretty fun segments recently. It won’t help him in the long run but its harmless fun stuff for the audience. What would be interesting is to see him end up snapping like Adam Sandler in the Waterboy because everyone may end up taking advantage of him. Book it, that could work!

As the show is underway we see Daniels joining Taz and Mike Tenay at ringside to do commentary. They run down what to expect on the show. Daniels said that the only reason he was at ringside was because he just wanted to see the X-division champion in action. We all know that he wants to probably do more than watch so by saying anything to the contrary allows the viewing audience to speculate to what extent he will get involved in the match.

Suicide vs. Samoa Joe

Joe walked down the aisle and glared over in the direction of Daniels who sat at ringside. This match should be pretty quick paced especially with who is involved. As the match was quickly underway Joe was relentless in his attack on Suicide. Eventually Suicide regains his senses and begins to lay in his attack on Joe. Suicide hit a neat one legged dropkick to take down Samoa Joe. It was at this point where ‘The Pope’ D’angelo Dinero came down to the ringside area. It was just a matter of time before everything went to hell. Suicide was down on the outside area and as he tried to make his way to his feet Dinero helped Suicide back up. Now normally that would be a kind enough gesture, however had Dinero not thrown a backhanded chop on Suicide in the process the kindness was generally negated. Suicide immediately struck back as both men trade blows on the outside. Joe not wanting to be one without a chance to get his licks in joined in on the attack. After watching this transpire while sitting at ringside Daniels was not going to let this go so he joined in on the action as well. Hebner’s instructions to the announcer were basically since everything is going to hell we’ll take a time out and rejoin this match later on in the show as a tag team match between Suicide and Daniels against Samoa Joe and ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero.

Lauren interviewed Eric Young backstage and asked him about his proposal to Hernandez. He guaranteed that tonight Hernandez join the World Elite. It’s doubtful that Hernandez will simply roll over forget that he’s a face and join Yong union but it will be interesting to see what exactly Young meant by ‘opening his eyes’ as it pertained to Hernandez,

In the ring the World Elite stood with a microphone in hand. Young said that Bashir wanted to speak to the American public. When Bashir got on the microphone chants of USA began immediately by the audience in attendance. Bashir said he wanted to talk about the war in Iraq and how if it was supposed to have ended 6 years ago but didn’t understand why are people still dying there? Good question Bashir but that question should be asked to Obama because addressing W now really won’t get you very far. Again fans chant USA, why? He’s talking about the USA, what more do you want from the guy? Oh, wait they don’t like what he has to say, I got it. The guy is talking about people dying and the audience chants USA? That sounds like your proud of what he’s saying. I’d mark out if at one point someone in the crowd started chanting IRAQ just to see that person get started at by the few thousand in the arena.

Bashir essentially went on a political tirade and attacked America calling it a ‘junkie’ and an ‘addict’. Sometimes its hard to dispute what Bashir is saying and this is just one of those times. He basically went nuts by the end of his promo, and was calmed down by EY in the process. He then responds by saying ‘thank you, for your time’. Classic. First criticize the country that show your gratitude for them listening to you blast them. That was hilarious. Young said he wants to talk about the corrupt beliefs of Hernandez to which Super-Mex made it down to the ring. Young spoke to Hernandez and asked him ‘how often did the American public respect you for your Mexican heritage’. That to the American public he would always be a foreigner and be viewed as a common criminal. Young told Hernandez that its time to come home and be a part of the World Elite. Hernandez replied by saying he was home and that the audience was his family. He then said to Young to either love the country or not to let the door hit them on the way out. Yeah, I didn’t think he was just going to walk in with open arms either.

Lauren interviewed Sharmell and Traci backstage and how its unfortunate that they drew Raisha Sheed and Awesome Kong in the first round of the tournament. The women of the Main Event Mafia basically speak confidently and that their opponents are the ones that should be concerned. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yup, me too Sharmell and Traci are dead.

After the commercial break we get the Motor City Machineguns pulling double duty as both interviewee and cameraman as Lauren interviews the two. We get the popular childish antics of the two as both focus more on Lauren’s cleavage rather than questions. They rationalize why they not very good at being cameramen and continue to stare at Lauren’s chest while doing so. Dr. Stevie then comes in asked both Shelley and Sabin if they were willing to take out Abyss for $50,000? They agree and plan on taking him on later on in the evening.

Raisha Saeed and Awesome Kong vs. Traci and Sharmell

First out to the ring come the Elephant and her trainer according to the Main Event Mafia. When the women of the MEM get involved with Kong and Saeed, both women are more bark then bite as to be expected. It was clear their best chance to come anywhere close to winning this match is by taking out Saeed. Tenay agreed with my sentiment as he said it would be smart to isolate Saeed. That doesn’t last long as once Kong is tagged into the ring he makes hamburger of Traci. Saeed tags herself in and makes the pin on Traci. In the process, Saeed and Kong advance in the tournament.

We then have a flashback of the breakdown between Morgan and Angle in recent weeks. After the events of the past couple of weeks, Morgan came into the Main Event Mafia’s and addresses how Angle screwed up. Angle apologizes by saying he thought it took 3 seconds to climb a turnbuckle and not 3 minutes. When Morgan retorts with how long he has been competing, the entire MEM scoff by essentially saying its nothing compared to himself. Moran then said that by having Morgan team with Steiner and Booker that they’ll be teaching him a lesson. When Morgan mentioned that Dixie was here tonight Angle looked a little petrified by the thought of the boss being here.

We then see the relationship with Rhino and Jesse Neal and how it has broken down in recent weeks. This was a prelude to this evenings match up between the teacher and student.

Jesse Neal vs. Rhino

Rhino played on Neals green and naïve nature and character in the ring. Rhino carved right through Neal. Neal was beaten down, held down, yelled at and beaten up throughout the match. Rhino hit a spinebuster on Neal to finish him off for the 3 count and the win. After the match Rhino hit a gore on Neal. That caused the referee to reverse the decision and gave the win to Jesse Neal. At this point Rhino began to lay boots to Neal after the decision was reversed. D’Von then ran to the ring stopped the onslaught by Rhino. As both men’s eyes met, Rhino slowly walked out of the ring and headed towards the backstage area. It looks like its official the Neal/Rhino alliance is through.

Borash, Deaner, ODB and Mick Foley are all backstage discussing the status of the TNA knockouts champion. Before that can stop Abyss came in to return Mick’s barbed wire bat and received a bag of groceries for his efforts. Why? He apparently loves groceries? Um that was odd. After the interruption, ODB pled her case by stating or rather grabbing her breasts and saying she’s grade a woman. I know, it’s a convincing argument but what you all want to know is how would Deaner counter such a compelling statement. Simple by bringing out a picture of Mike Tyson and Chuck Norris he countered why he should be the Knockout champion. He said since he knocked out Tyson and knocked out Chuck Norris that he should be given the title. He’s using the term KO as means of finish not as a way to differentiate gender. Foley decided to hold up the title until No Surrender to have both ODB and Cody Deaner face each other to decide the champion. This doesn’t comfort me to know that there is a chance that Deaner could conceivably walk away with the title.

Once the office is empty with only Borash and Foley are alone discuss how Mick has taken a low profile recently. Foley said to anticipate that only time will tell with how he will respond to the current status of TNA. As he said this he gleefully held his infamous barbed wire bat up.

Motor City Machineguns w/ Dr. Stevie vs. Abyss

This match came about earlier on in the evening after Stevie proposed that the MCMG take up the bounty on the head of Abyss. This was a handicap match and both men go right Abyss by putting their best feet forward taking down the Monster with a series of kicks. Abyss was able to fight off the early attack of the Guns with a counter of his own. When it seemed as though Abyss had the advantage on the MCMG, they manage to come up with a counter to his onslaught both inside and outside the ring. Shelley and Sabin were frustrated that no matter what they did they couldn’t slow down Abyss. Abyss hit a shock treatment and leg drop combination on both men. When the ref is distracted Dr. Stevie tried to get involved in the match but Abyss caught Sabin as he leapt from the top rope with a black hole slam for the three count and the win. After the match Dr, Stevie pushed both of the MCMG in frustration because they did not do what he had asked. Shelley and Sabin not being ones to are at a loss for words respond by laying out Dr. Stevie. When Abyss re-entered the ring, Kevin Nash’s music hits and said that he’ll be next to take up Dr. Stevie’s $50,000 bounty and promises to take Abyss’s head and serve it to Richards on a silver platter.

We end up having a backstage interview with Dafney and how she will counter Hamada’s attack on Impact! She basically showed how she’s lost a screw but she has this whole gothic morbid sex appeal thing going on for her. It works for her, not many but definitely her.

No DQ Match: Dafney vs. Hamada

We first have Hamada come to the ring. She does the sign of the cross when she entered the ring. One has to wonder if that has more to do with her heritage and the respect she has for the ring much like how baseball players do the sign when their in a batter’s box in hopes that God will watch over them. Dafney immediately jumped Hamada in the beginning of the match. We then get a counter attack by Hamada. After a commercial break, Dafney regained the upperhand on Hamada. Hamada’s counter contained a combination of kicks with a DDT. Dafney responded with a shining wizard with a slight twist. She used her knees rather than here feet to hit Hamada in the head. A table was set up on the outside of the ring and is eventually used by Hamada. Hamada hit a moonsault on Dafney through the table on the floor. The crowd was hot for that spot as everyone chanted ‘this is awesome’. Hamada brought Dafney in the ring and hit her with what they’ve termed a Hamada driver. This was followed up with a three count and a win. The table spot was pretty cool because of how rare it is to see a woman doing that to another woman. Very impressive debut by Hamada and a solid match overall by both women.

Backstage Sky and Love corner Rayne in her dressing room. They threaten her and eventually beat her down when she tried to fight back. Borash was the one to break it up which seemed so dumb especially when it took a group of four security guys to pull them a week earlier.

‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero and Samoa Joe vs. Daniels and Suicide

We could have titled this match part two but it is now a completely different match. Joe and Suicide began the match but once Dinero was tagged in Suicide regained the upper hand. Dinero was on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of Suicide and Daniels. As Daniels was whipped into the ropes Joe slowed him down by driving his knee to the back catching the Fallen Angel off guard. Once again as the action picked up we head to a commercial. After the break Joe was rocked by Daniels with a few kicks an a jujitsu like take down. Suicide and Dinero are both tagged into the match. Suicide gots the upperhand but then all four men eventually involved in this match. Daniels hit a springboard moonsault on Joe who was on the floor. Inside the ring, Dinero thought he had a weakened Suicide crawling towards the turnbuckle ready for the kill. However Suicide saw it coming, moved out of the way and rolled Dinero up for the three count and the win. A high paced tag match that used all four men twice in the show and is helping to build the feuds of all men nicely.

After a commercial break, we see Dixie Carter sitting next to Bobby Lashley backstage with Jeremy Borash interviewing them. She’s a fairly attractive women, I had no idea what she looked like. I’m still not convinced how Lashley can be 100% committed to both wrestling and MMA. Unless there is something in the works with the UFC because of the Spike relationship, that’s where I can see that angle possibly working. We then get the announcement of Lashley’s first match will be against Rhino at No Surrender. That probably spoiled that Rhino’s character was headed for a heel turn. In any case, Lashley will be now competing at No Surrender.

Angle came down to the ringside area to join Tenay and Taz at the commentary area for the 6 man tag team main event.

’The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan, Booker T and Scott Steiner vs. Hernandez, AJ Styles and Sting

Angle was quick to point out Morgan’s inexperience in the ring and how he still needs to learn. Once both of the teams are in the ring the match starts off with Booker T and Sting. This is a great way to have the face team promote their merchandise as both Sting and Hernandez are wearing their TNA t-shirts throughout the match. Either that’s the reason or it’s telling us that both men need to get to the gym. Styles and Steiner are both tagged into the ring and make a few exchanges. Eventually Morgan and Hernandez face off with one another in the ring. Hernandez hoists Morgan up with a delayed suplex. With dissention among the MEM and now Morgan on the outside Hernadez hit a suicide dive over the top rope taking out the entire team. After the break, Styles and Steiner once again are back in the ring. As we return Steiner is trying to wear down Styles. He hit a belly to belly suplex on Styles and tried to make a pin but to no avail. Morgan is tagged in and continued to work on Styles but Hernandez is making a comeback. The match completely breaks down and everyone was getting involved in this match. Morgan wanted to hit a Hellovator on Hernandez but Steiner and Morgan argue about how to finish off Hernandez. This lead to a pinning attempt on Morgan at the hands of AJ Styles followed by the three count. After the match a discussion takes place with Morgan, Booker and Steiner that saw Morgan take out Booker and Scott Steiner to end the argument. Morgan and Angle stare down at one another and issue threats towards one another with what each one will do to the other.

Downside of this week’s edition: Lashley debut opponent being let out of the bag, the prospect of Cody Deaner winning the KO title and the Rhino/Neal relationship not developing into something more. Overall these are considered minor grips and are far outweighed by the upside

Upside of this weeks edition: Dinero/Joe/Suicide/Daniels, Hamada/Dafney, the development of the Morgan/MEM storyline, Bashir’s promo with the World Elite and MCMG/Abyss handicap match.

This weeks’ edition of iMPACT! really flowed well. While normally the promos are generally exhausted each one seemed to either bring the gab in feuds that are coming to an end or ones that are just beginning. This weeks episode receives a 7.25/10

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/20/09 Aug22

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/20/09

Welcome to the latest edition of the iMPACT! Post. This week’s episode isn’t brought to you by the good people of 6 Stacker Energy Plus Juice. However if the company actually existed then it more than likely would be. Now imagine yourself reading this after drinking such an energy drink.

ORLANDO – The show began with a quick highlight package of last week’s results of the Hard Justice pay per view. Daniels was shown coming out as the victor of the Steel Asylum, Samoa Joe was shown prevailing as the new X-Division champion, Cody Deaner took possession of the Knockouts championship, Steiner and Booker T retained the TNA tag team championship, Kevin Nash regained the Legends championship and Kurt Angle retained the TNA world championship. This weeks’ subheading was “Blueprint for Disaster”. Oh, how they never seem to run out of endless means to play on words.

After the pyro hits and comes to an end, the viewing audience get a close up of Mike Tenay sitting alone at the announce table. What I found amusing was he wanted everyone’s attention for a moment. It was amusing because it reminded me of high school when the teacher would ask for the students attention and no one could care less. This was evident by the fans screaming behind and around him, continuing to make plenty of noise. He spoke about how Don West received a promotion and will no longer be announcing along side him. West had earned praise for his recent on air work and while it will be sad not to see him on air its great he’s received the promotion. It was at that time when Tenay announced that Taz would be now joining him and working along side him doing color for the show. Fans of Smackdown and ECW that enjoyed his on-air work with the WWE are more than likely looking forward to this new role for Taz

After Tenay and Taz express pleasantries, the Main Event Mafia music played over head and the entire MEM came out to the ring. Angle looked a lot better without the 5 o’clock shadow he was sporting. It was no more than two seconds before Angle began to speak, that Matt Morgan came to the ring. Morgan cut a promo and spoke about what options Angle put forward to him. He was completely unhinged and Angle tries to calm him down. Angle attempted to rationalizes to him why he did what he did at Hard Justice. He then spins it on Morgan saying that it was Morgan that went into business for himself.

Angle said he though the referee was pinning Morgan and stopped the referee from making the pin. Ha! That’s classic. Angle said that it was an accident that he hit Morgan and fell on the fallen opponent of which happened to be Morgan. He has to be wrestling rendition of Inspector Clousseau with how clumsy his actions happened to be at Hard Justice. Kurt Angle tried to pose a match in which he would team with Morgan against the Team 3D later on in the evening. Morgan then said that maybe he has a point and they actually could work together.

Backstage Lauren tried to stop AJ who had just arrived in the arena and asked him about what the major announcement later on in the night would pertain too.

Beer Money Inc vs. The British Invasion

After the commercial break, Rob Terry, Kyoshi and Bashir are all kicked out and sent to the back as the British Invasion stand in the ring holding their IWGP championship. To which Beer Money Inc snuck in from the crowd and took it to Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams. This was a street fight so both Roode and Storm don’t pull any punches as they do everything from hang their opponents and take the fight to their opposition on the outside in order to gain the advantage. The BI turned it around and managed to get the advantage on Beer Money Inc. After taking several trash can shots to the head, Roode tried to fight back but to no avail. A referee eventually came to the ringside area and cut Storm lose. He was tied to the ring post by the throat with a rope. When he came in the ring and takes the fight to the BI. It’s a fun and bloody mess in the ring. Williams is cracked over the head and busted open with a wooden board and then a beer bottle. Magnus was then hit repeatedly over the back with what remained of that wooden board. As the match is approaching the end, Roode and Storm worked together to hit Magnus with their finishing move, the DWI, directly on a trashcan. Roode pinned him for the three count and the win.

Backstage Lauren spoke with the Beautiful People. She said that even though Angelina Love lost her title at least she has a bear. Love was holding a plush teddy bear at the time but was not amused. Love replied with ‘I don’t know what you said because I don’t speak ugly. Laughing causes wrinkles!’ She plays her character so well its hard to cheer against her. Both Sky and Love are bent on exacting their revenge on Madison Rayne later on that evening after what happened at Hard Justice.

After the commercial break we hear Foley and Borash chatting backstage as Cody Deaner and ODB argued as to who the KO champion actually should be. They get all goofy with what happens when you ‘assume’. Its not original but maybe when they took the time to actually write it out on television it might be. Benny Hill was so much funnier when he used that line years ago. Foley said he would make an official ruling next week. Abyss then appeared and Foley thanked him for his help this past week and gave him a token of his appreciation. That token? A sleeveless flannel shirt was Abyss’s gift of appreciation. Abyss is so happy he’s emotional over the gift. I hadn’t seen someone that excited to receive flannel since 1992. Every time Abyss gets emotional for some reason he comes across like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz.

In the iMPACT! zone, Taz and Foley spoke about what was slated for the rest of impact that evening. Joe/Homicide, Rayne/Love, a 4 way dance, the debut of D’Angelo Dinero, AJ Styles major announcement and Morgan & Angle/Team 3D main event.

Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne

As Rayne made her way down to the ring we can see that she looks lost. There was a sense of abandonment from those that stood with her and around her. Before she can even get to the ring, Rayne was drilled from behind by Love Angelina attacked her and beat her down on the outside of the ring. She yelled at her and really tried to make an example of her. Love rolled her inside the ring and pinned Rayne for the count of three. After the bell to end the match, Velvet Sky came down to the ring and continued to beat Madison Rayne down. I completely missed the bell to start the match but to point that out at the end of the match is a bit redundant. Christy Hemme and Tara ran down to the ring to make the save. Why would Tara help save someone that was among the people that you had a problem with as much as a couple of weeks ago?

We then get an infomercial by the Motor City Machineguns. It’s cheesy but fun with the piped in crowd cheers and jeers. They offer their services to the viewing audience. Those services include items such as doing nothing and doing even less at a small fee of course. An hourly rate of $2000 dollars and hour sounds like the charge of most lawyers and mechanics out there. At least in this case these guys said they’ll do absolutely nothing. There is no catch! The fact that they offer a Shamwow at the end of the infomercial made the video that more fun.

Backstage the Beautiful People are relentless in their pursuit of Madison Rayne as they beat her down, security tried to pull them off of her. It was a bit of overkill with the beatdowns on her. Now unless Rayne ends up begging for her place with the Beautiful People in the long run, this was really unnecessary.

Samoa Joe vs. Homicide: X Division championship

This was the return match from this past weeks’ X Division championship match at Hard Justice. The match was right underway as Homicide took it right to Samoa Joe on the floor. As both men go at it inside the ring Joe began to get the advantage over Homicide. Joe hit a German Suplex and tried to go for the pin but Homicide kicked out. He then hit a powerbomb and tried to make the pin once again. Homicide began to make a come back. One of the moves in his attack was a cutter. However he is eventually stopped by Samoa Joe once again. At one pint Joe hit the muscle buster finisher on Homicide and covered him for the three-count and the win. After the match we are told to anticipate a special announcement regarding the KO division.

Out of a limousine stepped what is believed to be ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero. What is the other meaning for Pope, seriously? Really, other than its’ biblical and religious connotations? Is he high class pimp? Does that come after Revelations?

While backstage Lauren announced to Tara, Christy, Sarita and Taylor the first round of the first round of the KO tag team championship would begin next week. The idea is unique because it’s so rare. The KO division is probably stronger then most women’s divisions in other companies and this showed that company has enough confidence in their women’s division that they believe they can pull this off.

Awesome Kong w/ Raaisha Sheed vs. Traci w/ Sharmell vs. Sarita w/ Taylor Christy w/ Tara

The winner of this match up will get an opportunity to compete in the first round of the KO tag team championship. Hemme and Sarita team up and knock Kong off the ring apron to the floor. Traci had the upper hand and began to lay kicks into both Christy and Sarita in the ring. Traci brought the fight to the floor. When she turned around and was wiped out by Kong. As Kong turned around she was taken out by Sarita with a Summersault Plancha from the ring apron to the floor.

After the break, they returned to show everyone was going at it inside and outside the ring. At different points of the match the women were either working together to take out Kong and at other times would attack each other. Kong systematically took out each of the women in the match one by one. However when she tried to do too much and climbed the top rope to hit a move, Traci snuck in and pinned Christy Hemme for the win. After the match Kong goes nuts and Tenay announceed that Kong will have a chance to exact their revenge against Traci and Sharmell next week in round one of the KO tag team championship tournament.

We then get a close up of the feet of ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero. If they were trying to create some sense of mystery of what he looked like didn’t they eliminate that by having Dinero compete at Hard Justice a few days ago?

Consequences Creed .vs. ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero

This was the debut match for Dinero on TNA. It was great to see Elijah Burke back on television. As he walked to the ring he has what looked like a medical/surgical mask similar to what Michael Jackson would wear. It could very well be in tribute to him, although I would doubt it. As he came down he ordered SoCal Val to remove his robe. She’s back to being like Elizabeth again apparently. This match up should be fun. He’s being dubbed a ‘street preacher’ hence the Pope moniker. There still has to be more to how to describe the character though. It’s thoroughly intriguing. Dinero wore down Creed throughout the match. When Creed did make a comeback Dinero was able to coax him into the corner and knock him down. Dinero hit Creed with what I believe was once called the Elijah experience finisher. He brought the match to a close with the pinfall and the win. After the bell, Suicide’s music hit and he charged after Dinero. In the ring they briefly go at it until Dinero made a beeline out of the ring. Suicide stood on the second rope looking down at Dinero as he was heading back towards the dressing room area.

Backstage Morgan and Lauren discussed Angle’s announcement was just a way to dup him. Morgan called Lauren naïve when in fact he’s acting intentionally oblivious. That’s fantastic. People may want to knock Morgan all they want but he’s able to weave in and out of believing Angle and wanting to snap him into pieces in a seemingly effortless manner. He does make a little Freudian slip at the end which made his promo even that much more convincing.

AJ Styles came to the ring to make his major announcement. When he began to speak fans were chanting his name as entered the ring. Once he spoke about how things were tough recently he was quick to point out how they were worst when he was a kid. He went on to discuss how proud he is of the man he has become. However he also discussed about the recent losses he’s had and how he isn’t proud of that. He spoke about how the losses have affected his passion for his profession and affected his personal life. He tried to muster up tears when he then said ‘is it worth it?’ to which he answered his own question with a ‘no’. With that no, Styles said its time to say goodbye to professional wrestling. It was at this point Sting walked down to the ring and asked for a microphone. When Sting walked into the ring he called it like he saw it. He called AJ a quitter because of his actions. He went as far as to call him a loser because he was quitting. Sting then turned it on AJ once again and asked him if he thinks that that the Icon hasn’t had his share of disappointments professionally and personally. It was at this point that he spoke about wanting to put honor and respect back in professional wrestling and that he was always talking about AJ. He said he was the chosen one but because he was a quitter that’s gone now.

In one sentence there was something that Sting said that gave me a slight chill. When Sting was emphatic towards the end of his promo he said that AJ was to claim what was rightfully his there was something about that which represented the passing of the torch which pulled everything together. Very rare do Sting’s promos have any meaningful emotion or generate any excitement from me as a fan but that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end for even just a moment. In this instance the fact that Sting was able to break through to someone whose character’s psyche was in an apparently fragile state was well done. As AJ walked away briefly he came back and embraced Sting as the fans chanted his name. The hug was a bit hokey but the intention was to get AJ’s head right and it appeared to do so.

Backstage Lauren was interviewing Hernandez until Eric Young interrupted. He made a proposition to Hernandez. That proposition was based on each how both of them are proud of where they came from. Hernandez was listening but he didn’t do anything more at this point.

Bobby Lashley was introduced and walked to the ringside area joining Taz and Tenay for commentary on what would be the main event of the evening. That boss nickname only works for Springsteen sorry dude and it would be worst if he started calling himself the Duke. When Lashley arrived he announced that TNA President Dixie Carter will make an announcement next week as to what Lashleys’ role will be in TNA. Talk about a exercise in redundancy. He basically said next week someone is going to say what I’m going to do here. Why not just say it yourself? If she’s going to announce that he isn’t going to wrestle consistently then tell us something we didn’t know.

Table Match: Team 3D vs. Kurt Angle and ‘The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan

Team 3D came to the ring and don’t speak which was great. Morgan then made his way down to the ringside area. Mike Tenay was quick to remind the audience of how Angle basically took Morgan’s championship win away from him. As Angle made his way to the ring he stopped by the announce table and pushed Lashley. Lashley retaliates with a punch. Security was quick to get involved and led Bobby Lashley to the backstage area. That punch was talked about by both Tenay and Taz for a few minutes. Angle and Ray start off the match with one another as Morgan and D’Von stand on the apron. It started off like a pretty simple match up which is usually odd because the purpose of this match is to win it by putting your opponent them through a table. Its funny how when they are aloud to cheat they play by the rules and yet when they aren’t aloud they do. It’s like some crazy reverse rebelliousism, Yes, that now a word. Morgan eventually got the advantage but was stopped by Ray. He tried to get the table from under the ring. The match then began to break down as Team 3D clear the ring leaving both Angle and Morgan to lick their wounds outside on the floor.

After the commercial break D’Von goes to the outside and sends in a table inside the ring. When their attention is turned away from the action, Morgan came in and nailed both of them with a double clothesline. Morgan tried to put D’Von through the table but Ray moved it away. Angle came back inside the ring and continued to beat down D’Von. D’Von tried to put Angle through the table but Morgan moved it out of the way. Morgan tried to go for the Carbon Footprint but missed D’Von, kicking a hole in the table in the process. Angle then tried to hit the Angle slam on Ray but D’Von moved the table.

The match has used the tables to create near misses to win the match. One would presume this would be the equivalent of someone kicking out from a pinning attempt. At this point both teams have moved the tables twice to prevent a win for the opposite team. Ray went to towards the backstage area to pick up another table and slid it into the ring. Angle then wore down both men and called for Morgan to come in and give him a hand. This was when a brief disagreement ensued and Angle told him to go to the top rope. Morgan was hesitant as he slowly climbed the top turnbuckle. As Angle was knocked out of the way by Team 3D, both men worked together to flip Morgan onto the table snapping it in half. In doing so they picked up the win. After the match, Angle heads up the ramp way to the backstage area. Morgan looked up the aisle way from the mat began to threaten.

Downside of this week’s edition: Lashley announcing that Dixie Carter will be making an announcement about him next week, Tara and Hemme coming to Rayne’s aid, the continued backstage beat down of Rayne, Taz being impartial during his commentary. Overall these are considered minor grips and are far outweighed by the upside

Upside of this weeks edition: Taz on color, Beer Money/British Invasion Match, Creed/Dinero match, The intent of Sting/AJ promo, KO tag team championship announcement, MTMG ‘infomercial’, Team 3D/Morgan/Angle match, fallout of the Team 3D/Morgan/Angle match up.

This weeks’ edition of iMPACT! really flowed well. While normally the promos are generally exhausted each one seemed to either bring the gab in feuds that are coming to an end or ones that are just beginning. This weeks episode receives a 7/10

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/13/09 Aug18

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Solstice Scriptures: The iMPACT! Post for 08/13/09

Welcome to the now newly titled iMPACT! Post. The name is officially triple Hon tundra. The article is posted, it has a newspaper edge to it (or were planning on it) and because wrestling rings have ring posts we figure we’ve exhausted why the show has earned the name.

ORLANDO –impact began with a flashback to the events of last weeks show. The alliance between the world elite and main event mafia, the locker room brawl, and match 2 between Morgan and Styles were among the focal points of the highlight reel. The video package ends with the sub heading ‘the future is now’. It seems like a pretty broad statement. Let’s see what exactly that sub heading was referring too.

Christy Hemme vs. Sojo Bolt

Hemme returned to the ring and faced Bolt in her first match. Hemme doesn’t try to do more than she can but simply used basic punches, headlocks and chops to take the fight to Bolt. Bolt herself is able to contest in the early part of this match. She is able to administer a backbreaker wearing down Hemme. Bolt goes right for the reported injured neck of Hemme. She then hits what Tenay called a slingshot type of move. The name is pretty vauge other than a part of Christy is being slingshoted. It started off that way but Bolt landed on Hemme by dropping an elbow on the prone ex-playmate. Hemme then reversed an attempted power bomb by Bolt with a back body drop that looked a lot worse than it ended up being. Bolt then lands right on the top of her HEAD. Christy comes right back and her rust shows. There is only so much that Bolt can do with her competitor in this match. She put Hemme on the top turnbuckle and attempted to follow it up with something but Bolt is knocked off the top rope giving Hemme a chance to make a comeback. While standing on the middle rope she hit the FFG. Up until they mentioned it I had no idea what that was called and now that I know it’s called the flying FIRECROTCH guillotine I’m actually more concerned about crabs now than I ever was before. The move works for her but there was too many times where the mistakes could have been avoided by both women but weren’t.

Tenay ran down the card for the evening and then when they show Styles and Morgan backstage he says their ready. Actually, they aren’t ready they just walked into the arena, Mike. They look relaxed, for sure. Are they at ease? No doubt. But ready? No, can’t really say they look ready. Carrying in a Starbucks generally ends up being an accessory like most things in Hollywood.

After a commercial, Lauren interviewed Taz backstage. Taz clarified with Lauren that Hernandez didn’t beat Joe but rather it was Joe that beat Joe. I missed the part in that match two weeks ago, where Joe showed remorse but it apparently happened.

Doug Williams w/ The British Invasion vs. Hernandez

The build of Hernandez has been pretty much set around his ability to succeed alone which has been pretty consistent. Williams is an experienced wrestler but having him face Hernandez really doesn’t serve a purpose at this time. At least I thought it didn’t until Tenay reminds us that it was Hernandez that was put out of action courtesy of the British Invasion. He also said that it was going to be Hernandez against Rob Terry this weekend at Hard Justice. My issue in having this match is how will splitting one half of the IWGP tag team champions to compete in a singles match help put Hernandez over? I get that it’s intended to make Hernandez look strong because he’s able to win despite distractions on the outside area. If that’s the case then use Kyoshi of the British Invasion to do that. He’s a single wrestler. Let him wrestle in a singles match up and get squashed handily. The timing of him settling scores just didn’t seem necessary at the moment. After momentarily being weakened by Williams, Hernandez comes right at him. Magnus continues to be a disturbance in this match. He attempted to distract Hernandez to the point where Williams will get the upper hand. It worked at first but when he tried to do that once again Hernandez had an answer for him. He throws a punch at Brutus knocking him off the ring apron. He then catches Williams and holds him while attempting to slam him but turns it into a sit-down power bomb for the win. After the match, Magnus tries to jump Hernandez from behind but that is thwarted. While Hernandez is distracted after the match and preoccupied by taking out Magnus, Terry knocks Hernandez down with the feast or famine briefcase. It set up for their match at Hard Justice but more could have been down with this other than this one instance.

After the commercial break, Hernandez spoke about what was on his mind. He spoke in Spanish and was upset at what happened with the British Invasion. I’d be too. I wouldn’t speak Spanish to get my point across but I’d definitely say something. He then flung the microphone at Lauren.

Tenay said he sat down this past week with Bobby Lashley. He’s being advertised as ‘The Boss’. Can anyone other than Bruce Springsteen call themselves the boss? Before that I heard he was supposed to be called the God of Thunder and now this. Weird. Regardless, Tenay spoke with Lashley who gave his thoughts about TNA and his pursuit in MMA. He said he thinks he can be successful at both. A lot of people that see the amount of dedication it takes to be successful at MMA will probably argue that, although success is measured differently from person to person. Tenay said he thinks that Lashley was responsible for the tension between Kurt Angle and Lashley himself. He was asked about who would win between the greatest wrestler ever or the greatest MMA fighter. Okay, Tenay didn’t just assume that Lashley is the greatest MMA fighter did he? Kurt and he could have a great match because of both of their backgrounds. Lashley was diplomatic in his answer and didn’t give the viewer the impression that he would beat Kurt.

Backstage Dafney and Dr. Stevie are speaking with JB about the bounty on the head of Abyss. Richards spoke about what the bounty would entail. That the person that would claim it would have to do more than just beat Abyss. At that point Abyss comes in from off camera and clutches Richards around the throat. He said why don’t you do it yourself? Abyss then goes on to answer his own question and said the reason he won’t is because he’s a worthless bitch. ‘The Outlaw’ Jethro Holiday then appeared from off camera and hit Abyss repeatedly from behind with a chair knocking him down. Maybe he doesn’t believe Stevie’s a bitch. At this point we go to commercial.

After the commercial Lauren interviewed Tara and spoke about how she’s moved forward since coming to TNA. Tara spoke about how she is here to beat the best and how she will get that opportunity to do that starting tonight.

Eric Young and Sheik Abdul Bashir w/ Kyoshi .vs. Rhino and Jesse Neal

There is frustration with Rhino when it comes to Jesse Neal. West talks about how he’s not a patient man and how he’s going to let Neal know how he feels. After some early tagging between Rhino and Neal we get Neal corned in the ring between Bashir and Young. The camera panned over to Rhino to get his expression showing that frustration on his face. When Neal attempted to make a comeback, Bashir and Young have the answer. Bashir knew how to play it right by punching Rhino while he is waiting on the outside. Rhino came in the ring only adding to the distraction. When it appeared as though Neal had a chance to make a tag to Rhino he went right at Bashir. As a stunned Rhino looked on, Young rolled up Neal from behind with the cover and the win. After the match, Rhino screamed at Neal that his best just isn’t good enough and then slapped him. Rhino then hit Neal with a gore for good measure. I’m wondering if this will end up turning out badly for Rhino. At this point Neal kept coming back for more so if Neal thinks the end will be justified by the means, he has another thing coming.

Backstage after the commercial Lauren spoke with Rhino and she told him that you trained. He sounded emotional and passionate about this and challenged Neal to asked him if he is willing to fight in that ring like he fought for the U.S. Rhino saying this isn’t the Lifetime channel when Lauren brought up the sob story of Neal’s past was funny,

ODB .vs. Tara .vs. Awesome Kong vs. Angelina Love

Velvet Sky is so sexy but sadly isn’t in this match. As the bell rang all four women go at it inside the ring. The women pair off. Kong and Tara are going at it in one corner and Angelina and ODB are taking it to one another. The match went to the outside but one high flying move went wrong. Tara’s attempted cross body to the floor had her hit her head on the floor, She clutched her head in the process. We then went to a commercial while all the bodies lay on the outside of the ring. After the break they replay Tara’s fall. She looked fine because they show her and Kong going at one another once again. In the ring Angelina hit ODB with a kick that was sold really well by ODB. ODB hit a power slam of her own on Love and tried to pin her for the win. Kong stopped the count and took it to ODB herself. ODB struggled herself and it showed. Cody Deaner then popped up on the ring apron and Kong began to approach him. He then challenged Kong and when she least expected it he kissed her. She pulls him in the ring and hit an Awesome bomb on the goofy redneck. While looking at her handy work, Kong doesn’t see Tara who rolled her up for the 3 count. The match had a little bit of everything. It definitely showed how Tara and Kong are focused on one another and the pin helped to further build this feud between the two. After the match we get the customary stare down and when it involves Kong it’s usually effective.

Backstage Lauren interviewed Sting and AJ Styles. Styles for a moment looked unsure of himself with his upcoming match against Matt Morgan. Styles and the Icon however didn’t get along at one point before because Sting thought Styles didn’t ‘respect’ him. How is it that all of sudden it has nothing to do with mutual respect for one another? It’s all about how much they dislike their adversary in the ring. They don’t really come to a resolution here they just move on here in TNA.

After a commercial break Jeremy Borash plugged TNA mobile and how all the inside scoops are available there. We also see TNA’s Twitter address posted as well. This may be done on Smackdown or ECW but I have yet to see the WWE plug other facets of communication with their audience other than the show itself. It’s a great way to make the fans feel closer to the action if they are made aware of where to look and how to access that information. Team 3D come in and talk about how much they respected Harlem Heat and the Steiner Brothers growing up and how they paved the way for great teams like themselves. DeVon didn’t mean any disrespect but said that he and Ray were the greatest team today. Success to him is measured by how many times they’ve won a tag team championship. What he neglects to measure is that Booker and Scott moved on to have very successful singles careers where that couldn’t be said for DeVon and Ray. Devon then called Steiner and Booker another tag team trying to knock them down. Weren’t they more than that just a second ago in this interview? Does he have dementia now? First he doesn’t mean to disrespect them now he’s just being flat out rude! Who cares? Ray starts to talk and generally said everything that DeVon said and how adds in how often they’ve been screwed.

Scott Steiner w/Booker T and Sharmell vs. Ray w/ Devon

The match starts off with another promo. What? Like what you said in the back wasn’t enough Ray? We get it; you’re pissed off and are looking to take out on Steiner. Scott’s promo is usually so close to going off the charts it’s incredible. How he isn’t caught by the censors is a miracle. He tells Ray to hold his breath because his opinion means nothing. What I didn’t know was that rednecks live in Florida. I’m Canadian; we know rednecks live in the south but not that far south. Ray tried to go for a cheap laugh but Don West is even funnier. Ray called Steiner and Booker garbage to which Don West cleverly added that is the pot calling the kettle black. Nice one Don. The match started off and went back and forth early on with neither man getting an advantage. Ray went for a pin after a full nelson bomb but then all four men get into the ring. Booker got knocked out of the ring. They bring in the tables but then the British Invasion come out and distract Team 3D, Ray gets put through the table and Scott Steiner makes the pin for the win.

After the commercial break we get the contract signing between Kevin Nash and Mick Foley for the TNA Legends championship match. We then get a promo between Nash and Foley. Foley spoke about how he couldn’t believe that Nash was all about the money. He asked him that doesn’t a sense of pride or accomplishment mean something to him? Nash said that he lost out on money because he didn’t have the title with him. Nash then went on to say he doesn’t understand why Mick would rather generally do things to himself that most people would rather not do. Why not take the easy way out? Foley can’t understand why Nash’s issue is with Wizard World when he’s should be focused on Hard Justice. Nash just called himself a business man and athlete. There is no way anyone would make that mistake of you being a wrestler, right Kevin. They shook hand and as Nash began to walk away he is stopped by Foley. He asked him why no one is going through the table in the middle of the ring. To which Nash stopped him and said there was nothing in the contract that said he was going to get paid to put Mick through the table. When did money ever stop Kevin from not working before? How is this any different? Foley said he would go through the table for free. And then proceeded to run across the ring and land on the table inside the ring himself.

We then get a vignette of ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero aka Elijah Burke. It looked as though he may be some high class pimp. Great to see how they are going to redue the Dr. of Style. We then see the Steel Asylum. The only way out is to crawl your way out from the top of the structure. It looks pretty neat. Even though this is one of their big gimmick matches they are doing it with X division guys that can make this look as exciting as ever.

Lauren interviewed Matt Morgan backstage. She said to Morgan, he has to be feeling the pressure. Morgan said he is so confident that he’s guaranteeing a victory. Great, why go on with the match then? I say we just skip it and move to another backstage promo.

’The Blueprint’ Matt Morgan w/ Kurt Angle vs. ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles w/ Sting

The matches between them so far haven’t been bad. The match started off right away with AJ hitting a summersault plantcha over the top rope onto Matt Morgan. The match as of now had most of the action take place outside the ring with AJ taking it to Morgan. Styles had it set in his mind to work on the leg and knee of Morgan to wear him down. Morgan gets to his feet and Styles didn’t try to take him down. Bad move because even a limping Morgan still has a height advantage over the smaller Styles. Styles was relentless in his pursuit against Morgan. However, just when it seemed that Styles had the advantage Morgan, ‘The Blueprint’ is there with the answer to AJ’s attack. The hoisted side suplex release is a signature move of the Morgan looks better when it’s sold by the competitor. Morgan continued to wear down AJ and showed off his agility, size and strength. Morgan hit a fallaway slam and AJ kicks out of the pin. Morgan seemed slightly frustrated but he won’t be deterred. AJ is able to avoid a couple of moves by Morgan giving him a chance to recover with an attack of his own. AJ then walked into a side slam once again by Matt Morgan and managed to kick out of another pinning attempt. AJ stoped Morgan from coming down from the top rope. PELE! Styles hit it out of nowhere as Morgan is resting on the second rope. The Blueprint then hit him with a carbon footprint. That move is sold so well and in the end. Morgan picked up the pin for the win and will be in the main event at Hard Justice along with Sting and Kurt Angle.

After the match the entire MEM entered the ring but we head to a commercial break. When we return from the commercial Angle congratulates Morgan on his victory. He pointed out that Morgan is going to be in his first main event at Hard Justice. This however is when it gets interesting, folks. As Angle said that the Main Event Mafia was recruiting him, Morgan interjects saying he thought he was trying to sell myself to the Mafia. Angle is at a bit of a loss for words at t his point. Even though he fumbles his way through it Kurt then tried to tell him that he needs one last favor from Morgan that will guarantee him a spot in the Main Event Mafia. In fact Angle is quite emphatic to say that he is demanding that Matt comply with his ‘favor’. ‘The Blueprint’ tells Angle that nobody demands anything out of him. There is no chance that he will pass up on his opportunity. The entire Main Event Mafia was in shock by this reaction especially Angle. The post match promo and reaction of Morgan and Angle was terrific. It really showed that Morgan will not give up his convictions just to secure someone else’s ego.

Let’s look at the upside/downside perspective of scoring for this week’s edition.

Upside of the Show: Morgan/Styles, post match promo between Angle/Morgan, 4 way KO match, the purpose of the Steiner/Ray match, Foley/Nash promo

Downside of the Show: Sojo/Bolt match, WE/Neal/Rhino match, the actual Steiner/Ray match.

The show was better than average but not as good as last week. When considering the matches, promos and interviews and how they build towards the pay per view the score for this weeks show is 6/10. Be sure to check back in next week as we address some of the fallout of Hard Justice.

For the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: iMPACT! for 08/06/09 Aug09

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Solstice Scriptures: iMPACT! for 08/06/09

Welcome to the first edition of the iMPACT!… review. The name needs work no doubt about it and at the end of this review it will beg receiving that name change so stay tuned to how you the reader have a chance to help name this weekly review. Each week we will be looking at the show presented and breaking it down not only match by match but we’ll be addressing backstage segments and more.

ORLANDO — The show kicks off with a video montage of what happened the week before. They covered Hernandes’ return and win over Samoa Joe, what Bobby Lashley’s intentions are for TNA, Foley’s win over Kurt Angle and AJ Styles win over Matt Morgan in the best of 3 series to determine the third man in the world championship match at Hard Justice alongside Sting and Kurt Angle. The video segment ended with the heading ‘Powers Unite’. Intriguing yet powerful, I have no idea what they could mean. As they showed the backstage area we see Eric Young dressed in a suit and tie and Kurt Angle come out of a limousine together with their arms around each other. They weren’t embracing but it was pretty close.

The Main Event Mafia’s music is played to which Kurt Angle leads the entire group to the ring. Angle addresses Nash’s loss to Foley last week and begins to makes excuses or reasons for why he lost the Legends title. He presents an interesting case until he changes his mind basically. What he said was the match was a sham but wanted to make it stand so that Nash could have a title shot at Hard Justice. Its statements like that will make you question if Angle isn’t really thinking about booking backstage or not. He calls Sting and company desperate men so intern he himself created a deal to match that desperation. Are you following me here? His opposition is desperate so Angle enlists help. The World Elite led by Eric Young came out and gave began to shake hands with everyone in the ring as though this was a United Nations summit or something minus the discussion of nuclear warheads. Angle and Young shook hands to seal the deal. Young began with his ant-America propaganda and how this could have all been avoided. Funniest comment was by Angle who told the crowd to shut up because Young has a right to speak his mind. They don’t have a right, Eric’s got rights! Who doesn’t love blatant hypocrisy, eh? Fun stuff. Eric blaming Americas actions for what they are about to do America’s heroes. The segment was meant to bring both groups together so it was effective. Both sides rationalized why they are together and what they are doing. I still think the MEM outnumbers Foley and company by like 3 guys so I’m not sure why they need to feel ‘threatened’. Still unsure about why they need to feel so threatened they have more guys aligned with them to begin with.

Backstage Jeremy Borash and Foley talk about what they just saw and how Mick plans to go to war. Hey,. Maybe those nuclear warheads might come in handy after all. Or not. It was at that point that Sting and Bobby Lashley walk into the room and remind Foley ‘its time’. Apparently War is about to start. But before it starts we need to hear from our sponsors.

Lauren is backstage with Daniels asking him what he thinks of what Eric Young has said. Daniels basically told Lauren that Young could go screw himself. This is the part that threw me. He said he wants Young to stand up and be a man but when you think about it isn’t that what Young actually did? He took a stance against how he was being treated. He wanted to change he is essentially being a man. He isn’t doing manly things like wearing a mask and acting all hot and spicy or wearing a leathery strap that goes around his neck with a cross on it. But I guess manly qualities differ from person to person.

At this point the Motor City Machineguns come out and cut right in front of Daniels acting their normally goofy selves and not taking things seriously which is great. Daniels isn’t amused but tells them their jobs are in jeopardy because the likes of the World Elite are taking their spots.

Daniels w/ Motor City Machineguns vs. Eric Young w/World Elite

Daniels music hits and he comes down to the ring accompanied by the Motor city Machineguns. The Guns are apprehensive about coming down because of sheer disinterest in the cause that Daniels is trying to fight. Inside the ring Daniels and Eric Young face off against one another. The match goes inside and outside the ring and despite Daniels best efforts he’s jumped from behind and then brought back in the ring. Mike Tenay questions why the Guns were reading magazines when they should have been focused on the match. Don West clarifies that those were in fact video game instruction manuals and not simply magazines. That’s good to know because some of us need all the gaming tips we can get. Young began to take it to Daniels slowly taking him apart one piece at a time. He then hits him with a neck breaker and rolls it into a crossface. It looked very effective. He then tries to hit a moonsault but misses and it giving Young a chance to make a come back. Daniels hits what appeared to be a top rope powerbomb using Young’s neck to launch him. Daniels follows that up with a chokeslam. This was a precursor for his finisher the BME (best moonsault ever). As he attempted that, Young moved out of the way to which Daniels tried to lock him up for the Angels wings. As Bashir had the referee distracted on one side Kyoshi came in on the other and spat mist into Daniels eyes causing him to break the hold. It’s great when the mist is brought out into matches. Not enough mist in today’s wrestling, I saw. Oh, the match. So Young puts Daniels in an ‘ill-fated’ piledriver. The idea of using the locker room code about not hitting that move is a clever way to tie it into Young’s character. If he really doesn’t want to belong why follow the rules or as Don West put it guidelines. Young pins Daniels and picks up the win in the process. After the match Kyoshi and Bashir hit a tandem baseball slide kick on both of the Guns outside of the ring taking the unsuspecting duo down.

After the next commercial West and Tenay talk about an upcoming 8 man tag match, a sit down interview with Hernandes, match 2 of the best of 3 series between AJ Styles and Matt Morgan and the main event between Brutus Magnus and Sting.

We then cut to Lauren backstage who spoke to both Beer Money and Team 3D about how they have had to band together in light of what has happened recently with Eric Young. Roode spoke about how well he knows Eric Young and how they both had aspirations of making it in the business together. He then mutters something that when I tried to replay it I still couldn’t quite get but found interesting. He referenced Jeff Jarrett and his opportunity in TNA but then he said something I believe to the affect of that same Jeff Jarrett not being around and that not being the point. At least that’s what I think he said. If someone other there knows for sure. If that muttered statement did something it at the very least gave credence to the backstage whereabouts of Jarrett and why he hasn’t appeared on television which had gone relatively unmentioned. Roode said he won’t let Young dictate his future. Which was funny to hear because it was a little over a year ago he tried to dictate Young’s future. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Robert! Anyways Team 3D began to speak and how upset they are at Eric Young. Why is it when Team 3D speaks their generally upset at someone and its usually for the same reason. It’s the same thing with nothing new or fresh. Which doesn’t say much because its coming from Team 3D basically.

8 Man Tag Team Beer Money Inc and Team 3D vs. World Elite and the Main Event Mafia

An eight man tag is rare but when they happen there is usually chaos which usually great to see. The match starts off between Brother Ray and Scott Steiner going at it. Steiner slams Ray like he’s nothing. Ray makes a come back and tries to get a pin but Steiner avoids the pin. Steiner makes the tag to Doug Williams. Devon and then James Storm try to take out Williams who begins to a comeback. Storm hit a great combination of moves and then tags into his teammate Robert Roode. After a little tandem tag team action they collectively choreograph their team name by shouting “BEER….MONEY”. Beer Money then turns around to see Rob Terry charging at them with a double clothesline. It’s always wanted to know what Batista would look like if he was British and now we know. To call a guy “Big” when he is clearly is would be as effective as calling someone who is clearly fat…fat. Anyways the guy seems like all size with not a lot of substance. He hit Roode with a slam and a clothesline but that size will no doubt affect his mobility. Case in point Roode makes a comeback and hits Terry with a top rope neck breaker. Roode then tried to go for a pin but it is interrupted by the remaining guys on the apron. It’s funny how the biggest guy on the team is the one that needs everyone’s help. Even Rob Terry’s teammates don’t have faith in him. If they did, would they doubt he couldn’t kick someone about 50 ibs lighter than him off?

At this point all hell breaks lose. Yeah, I quoted Mike Tenay I’m tired. Both teams come in the ring and the fight goes to the outside. At this point Team 3D then hit the ‘wassup’ which was about as outdated as the term smarks. The rest of the World Elite then come out who are followed by the Motor city Machineguns and Daniels. To which a fight ensues on the outside area. The match inside the ring is pretty much over as everyone is fighting everyone outside the ring. Or is it? Inside the ring, Traci appears out of nowhere and pushes Roode off the top rope. Rob Terry then picked up the wounded Robert Roode and hit a chokeslam on him. Terry picked up the pin and the win. After the match the fight continues inside the ring and outside the ring. This brawl can’t be contained! At least it can not be contained by anything other than a commercial. Quick someone pass me a 7 hour energy stacker boost power zing sling kryptonical soda.

As we come back from commercial the fight goes into the parking lot area along with in the ring and in the locker room. The methods to hitting each other are hysterical but the fact that this is going everywhere is great. For example, hitting someone with a trashcan is typical. Hitting someone with a chair while lying under a table…is effective in making your audience laugh at stupidity. What was terrific about the brawl was that it was being covered everywhere. Even the security cameras covered the action! Although the police were called in to end the riot outside, it didn’t stop the fighting inside ring or in the locker room. I wonder if the police just arriving made everyone simultaneously stop punching each other in the ring and in the locker rooms too because the footage everywhere stopped.

After the commercial Tenay said hadn’t seen chaos like this including that of the n-W-o. Yeah, sure.

’Future Legend’ Alissa Flash and Traci Brooks vs. Taylor Wilde and Sarita

I like Dafney’s new look. Oh, wait that isn’t Dafney it’s the ‘Future Legend’ Alissa Flash. If her name is anything it’s at the very least confident. They flash back to 3 weeks ago when she faced Sarita. Her tag team partner for this match is Traci Brooks. There was a time when I found Traci really attractive and after seeing how she looks right now that time just seems so long ago, sadly. Their opponents for this match are Taylor Wilde and Sarita. A lot has been made of Sarita according to the commentators. I haven’t seen her wrestle yet but she seems like a female luchador which is great. Wilde and Brooks start off the ring and show off a lot of athleticism. A tag is then made into Flash as is one to Sarita. These two go at it and Sarita is hitting some crazy moves. She then hits a cross body to the floor on both Brooks and Flash. Wilde is then tagged into the ring and is decked from behind by Flash. Once she reemerges in the ring she goes right back at Wilde. Brooks ability to move around in the ring with any sense of creativity doesn’t seem to be what it was when she first came on the scene. Now that may be because of a couple of reasons. And yes, you’re aloud to guess what they are! And if your in need of a hint their bosom buddies. Once Flash comes in she does a neat little curb stomp on Wilde. She goes for the pin but Taylor kicks out. Wilde eventually makes the tag to Sarita who comes in taking out both Traci and Flash. The next coolest combination of moves goes to Sarita who next to Eric Young’s neck breaker into a crossface does another smooth transition of moves. She moves from hitting an arm drag into a surfboard. It’s broken up but that doesn’t stop Sarita from pinning Flash with a small package to pick up the win for her team. After the match we get a beat down at the hands of Flash and Brooks.

We cut to the backstage area where Lauren interviews the Beautiful People. Love talks about how Cody Deaner took advantage of her and how grossed out she is by it all. I like the dual chair that Madison (great name by the way) and Velvet Sky are sitting on. It’s a great way to show that the sidekicks don’t share anything with the leader. Velvet comes on and tells ODB that she’ll get a title shot so stop whining and crying already. I swear I thought ODB stood for something a little less G rated but that’s just my head playing tricks on me. Angelina Love then makes a challenge that at Hard Justice they have a mixed tag match between the Beautiful People against Cody Deaner and ODB. The only person that’ll look lost and out of place in this match will be Deaner.

The parking lot area is shown with Kip picking up trash. HA! Hey, you said you wanted work and now you’re complaining your working? Better than unemployment Ass man.

After the commercial we get another backstage segment this time it’s with Lauren and AJ Styles. He’s asked about his match up against Matt Morgan. It’s great to know that if a Meteor hit the earth that it couldn’t take away, AJ’s focus. It’s a bit over dramatic because you’d probably be dead and never see your family again but we get the idea, the match is all that’s on your mind right now. He states one and done. At this point it would make no sense to have Morgan lose to straight falls. I think he’s coming away from the second fall onto.

They run down the Hard Justice line up. The X Division match up is the most interesting match up for me between Homicide and Samoa Joe. There is a brief video montage on Hernandes history in TNA but that history didn’t show anything with LAX. That is clarified between Tenay and Hernandes as they talk about his family briefly. His father was in the green berets, how Konnan attempted to burn the American flag and how that effected his relationship with his father. These sit down interviews are fine but with so many backstage interviews about impending matches a week from now it seems like a little more filler than it could be. It seems less meaningful to have more discussion and less action. As for the interview, there is brief discussion about Homicide and Hernandes answer was awkward because he goes back to the flag burning incident which I wouldn’t have thought would have affected their working relationship but it did? Tenay asked about the current state of the relationship and he said it’s basically good but their just doing different things.

Again with the backstage interviews where Lauren asks Homicide what he thought of what Hernandes statements. He said we aren’t talking about my partner we’re talking about the X division title and calls Lauren snowflake in the process. He talks about how he’s tougher because he’s from Puerto Rico and Brooklyn and how the 187 is stronger than a 13. Fun swagger to his promo but it seems like he had to think on his feet because it seemed like he was going to say LAX but replaced that with 187.

AJ Styles vs. ‘The Blueprint” Matt Morgan

Morgan is in a must win because he’s already down one fall to AJ Styles. Styles had a phenomenal entrance. Which is probably the point for having it. If anyone has that theme song pass it along. He know there is a size difference between the two what would be great to see is how these two can work together. There is a definite push for Morgan in TNA and he needs to be able to show some sort of ring presence. He doesn’t have to but it would be nice. Morgan’s pick up for a side slam and just release seems like its just suppose to show how arrogant and confident he is. If he were to hold him up and maybe flip to a side then it would be different. Think about the fall away slam it shows his strength and size and that move would do the same thing. Styles begins to make a comeback by hitting kicks from all angles on Morgan. He hits the PELE out of no where and then attempts to go for the pin. What was silly was how AJ was pandering to the crowd. He’s pointing to the top turnbuckle and gave Morgan too much time to recover. Morgan eventually hits the hellovator on Styles and picks up the three count. It was a decent enough match with a result that was to be expected. At this point it’s hard not to think Morgan will compete at Hard Justice for the title.

We see someone new is coming to TNA ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero. I sure hope that’s Elijah Burke because we never saw that gimmick take off in the WWE. JB stops Angle and asks him why he’s leaving. He said for the police to get involved that its gotten way out of control we have families. Ahem, Kurt really now. That one doesn’t work for you.

Abyss whispers over to JB, he’s hiding in the dark looking like a lost Cactus Jack saying that the bounty on his head placed by Dr. Stevie is making him all paranoid. He then asks JB that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt him would he. JB says no but when he asked what’s behind Jeremy Borash’s back he calmly shows Abyss that he’s holding a hammer. ‘You never know when you’re going to need a hammer” Ha. Consequences Creed questions Abyss and Lethal jumps him from behind. Abyss recovers and takes them both out.

Sting vs. Brutus Magnus w/ The British Invasion

This is the main event of the evening. It just seems so odd to have Magnus co-main event. The Gladiator character didn’t work for him so he’s gone back to just being a tough Brit. Good. This isn’t 300 and Gerard Butler you are not. The rest of the British Invasion are thrown out making the sides even between Magnus and Sting. Sting brings the fight to Magnus. Magnus leaves his feet and ends up being chased by Sting outside the ring. Magnus then gets the advantage on Sting. It’s at this point we cut to commercial. After the commercial they start back where they left off with Magnus beating down Sting momentarily. At least he did until Sting caught up with him and puts him in the Scorpion Death Lock to get him to tap out. After the match Magnus tries to attack him but is stopped and then jumped by the rest of the World Elite. Where is Lashley to help? Never mind here he comes, Lashley arrives followed by Mick Foley so it’s a 6 on 3 with the World Elite still having a 3 man advantage. It’s at this point where the Main Event Mafia came out and made it a 12 ON 3. Where is the help for these guys now? Hernandes comes out with a chain. That’s it. So one guy with a chain scared off 12 guys? Wow. Where was everyone else that were there fighting earlier to stand with them? Where was Daniels? How about the MCMG? Team 3D? Beer Money? That’s 7 guys not accounted for that were there to fight before but couldn’t’ come out now?

Upside of the Show : The build of the allegiances between the World Elite and the Main Event Mafia. The Daniels/Young match up, Morgan/Styles and Brooks/Flash/Wilde/Sarita match ups were good too.

Downside of the Show : There were far too many needless backstage interviews or segments that had nothing to do with this particular week.

However it was a better than average show gets a better than average grade. 6.5

Alright this is where readers can help to come up with the name of the review. The intention of the review is to read like a newspaper article. That being said the name will be reflective of popular newspaper names. The choices are:

• The Impact! Post (could work because it has a double meaning with it being a wrestling review and wrestling rings have…ring posts) A stretch?

• The Impact Chronicles (classic, old school name)

• The Impact Gazette (real old school)

• The Impact Planet (Clark Kent inspired this one)

The review will also be going through a bit of transition with a review style rather than a straight play by play of each match covered on the show. We will also include some news bits as it relates to TNA in general with some brief opinions about those news items. Please feel free to send in any press releases, questions or interviews as it relates to TNA and we’ll try to include them in upcoming editions. If you would rather your name not be mentioned please let include that as well in your email.

From the Oratory,

Marcus Madison

The Truth Beyond The Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth No Surrender 07′ Preview Sep09

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth No Surrender 07′ Preview

No Surrender is a rarely followed action. Actually it is followed at times but it depends on who and whom remains the question. If this was an MMA pay per view card someone may very well have to surrender but not here. On the heels of last night’s UFC 75, TNA has prepared a pay per view that offers a little of this and a little of that with no sign of anyone having to surrender. The most significant nuance that this pay per view offers is that one man is defending all of his titles in three separate matches in one evening. TNA has consistently tried to bring something new to each of its pay per views and this is no different.

All things considered there is a huge upside to this pay per view with the matches and people involved. Thos upsides include the following matches: Angle competing three times in one evening, Kazarian/Roode, Storm/Rhino, Joe/Cage and the tag team gauntlet match. This pay per view could prove to be as highly entertaining as it has been advertised.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Robert Roode vs. Kazarian

Perceived Truth: It’s a bit disappointing to see where Robert Roode has been placed within the company. Those that argue the company’s downside may be scratching their heads at how he has been used. It appears as though his character is pretty much stuck in limbo. His position in the company also appears to be stuck with nothing new to add but rather others are simply be blamed for his losses. First it seems as though he’s flaunting some wealth and talks about ownership but does not move beyond those lower in the standing and advance past guys that are challenging him. He has been playing the part of a controlling bully at times but really does little in the way of winning because of it in the end. For instance his battles with him and Young have gone back and forth but when all was said and done Young came out on top. Roode once again has reprised his role as bully and is having to fight off someone that will not be pushed around. The difference here is that the role of controlling and berating someone has gone from a smaller man to a smaller woman. What I would like to see happen is that Roode is still able to manipulate Mr. Brooks in helping him win despite the recent suggestions of a split between the two.

Perceived Winner: Robert Roode

Literal Truth: The early indications of this feud are that Kazarian has gone from brooding mindless follower to a Cassanova and gentleman. It really is an interesting direction for his character to take but one that has come about as Roode Inc has begun to self destruct. In the midst of arguments, blame and complaining on the part of Robert Roode, Ms. Brooks has been the one that has received the brunt of this frustration. While witnessing this treatment of Ms. Brooks, Kazarian was quick to come to her defense. Kazarian has said to Roode that how he treating her is no way to treat a lady. In fact Kazarian, chivalrous nature and saving of her has culminated with him giving a gentle peck on Ms. Brooks cheek. What I do not anticipate happening is a repeat of the Karen Angle heel switch. This may be something where Ms. Brooks is so overcome with how well she is being treated that she stands up for herself and actually turns on both Kazarian and Roode stating she needs neither man and indirectly causing Kazarian a win.

Literal Winner: Kazarian

“The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe vs. “The Instant Classic” Christian Cage

Perceived Truth: After losing out to Kurt Angle at last months event, Samoa Joe has rekindled his feud with Christian Cage. He has been beaten down and beaten on not only by Cage but by all of Cage’s cronies. This is why this is still so puzzling to see. After having to overcome his challenges everyone that Cage puts in his path, why put yourself in a position to have to have to fight more than one person? It’s probably more because he is being utilized in a way where others tend to question. They are clearly aware that he has the strength to overcome the odds so why not have him essentially deal with outside interference with AJ Styles and Tomko. What I would like to see happen is have Joe take the fight to Styles in such a way that evens the odds essentially. Before the match with Cage have Joe take out both Styles and Tomko backstage thus evening the odds before the match even begins. It would be great to see him hit Cage with everything in hopes that this match will determine the next potential challenger for the TNA title.

Perceived Winner: Samoa Joe

Literal Truth: At times is peculiar why matches with such incredible talent have continued to face one another repeatedly with no specific reason for the match. There is a reason for why this is happening but does it really serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things? While these two are familiar with one another if there is no goal in the end of where this match will end up, then it is pointless. While rumors persist that neither of these men will challenge the winner of the TNA championship match at Bound For Glory, I have to wonder why not. A number of fans question where Joe’s position truly is in the championship hunt. Some question why he is not the champion and what tends to be forgotten that if anyone is really truly unhappy then they wouldn’t be there. In Joe’s case, he is at the very least but with the hopes of winning more. I would anticipate that it that if Joe comes out on top in this match and there is a greater good and here is something more meaningful for him after this match.

Literal Winner: Samoa Joe

“The War Machine” Rhino vs. “Cowboy” James Storm

Perceived Truth: The build of this match and the ongoing feud between the both of these men has been quite amusing personally. While it probably is not intended to be funny it has been in the most unintentional way. The whole idea that someone would seriously go on a pub crawl with the sole purpose to get into a fight with a recovering alcoholic is funny. A different nuance that this feud does have is attempting to make something that was real into something that is fictional. While these types of feuds generally have a tendency to happen it is forgotten that when not executed with a sense of realism they generally look ridiculous. For instance had Storm gone to Rhino’s house and left beer bottle broken and vandalized his home with graffiti that said “drunk” or something like this than its embarrassing and insulting to Rhino. However to go to drive around the city screaming out the window “Did anyone see Rhino? ” looks flat out silly. What I would like to see is have Rhino achieve some form of redemption in this match.

Perceived Winner: Rhino

Literal Truth: Over the past few pay per views the feud has see a few different changes and approaches on the part of James Storm. For instance when Storm was told what Rhino had was a disease the reaction was something along the lines of disbelief which fit his personality best. It also makes sense for him to continue to be as comical in his approach by driving around looking to beat him up. Does it make sense to take something that has actually been reasonable to causing deaths and ending lives? It seems as though TNA has no problem with that and if this is the case they could potentially go way over the top with this entire angle. For instance it could be ‘amusing’ to see at No Surrender is to have Storm wait for Rhino in the ring without him coming out because he is passed out backstage. Even more so would be have Rhino come to the ring after a delay and stumble to the top of the entrance way only to charge to the ring and end up diverting into the ring apron. Either way it is difficult to see this ending positively for Rhino.

Literal Winner: Rhino

No Disqualification
“Wildcat” Chris Harris vs. Black Reign

Perceived Truth: Since facing each other at last months event there has been little build between these two. Upon first returning to the company Dustin Rhodes was giving a passionate and driven promo discussing why he had focused his rage against Chris Harris. At that point when he made his debut Rhodes appeared as this silver and black rendition of what Goldust would have looked like had he not turned to the dark side or revealed what would happen to him. What this match on the surface appears to be is simply filler for a card that was not very stacked. A number of times guys could face each other with a grudge and simply end things. But to simply rekindle a number of emotions that were virtually left untapped is a little awkward. How angry could someone be after winning a match via disqualification only to want to get even with that person that was not clean when facing you? This should be the match that puts Harris in good standing and elevates him in the championship hunt.

Perceived Winner: Chris Harris

Literal Truth: Despite this on-going grudge between the two there are some qualities about it that can be expected and looked forward to. It could be easily presumed that Black Reign’s experience and ability to define him with a particular character are what make him quite good in that role. As Goldust, Rhodes was convincing and talented with that persona. Now that he has opened up a darker version of who he is capable of being there is nothing preventing him from doing things he was not capable of doing in the past. Harris is the clearly defined babyface that when pushed will push back without a doubt. The Wildcat is in line to really make a difference and a name for himself by defeating others that are established. In this instance by defeating Black Reign it would look good on him. It is this type of match that could act as the foundation for what could be for him. What I would anticipate happening is Harris will wrestle his game but will alter it in order to get the better of Black Reign.

Literal Winner: “Wildcat” Chris Harris

10-Team Gauntlet Match with the winners getting a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship at Bound For Glory
The Voodoo Kin Mafia, The Latin American Xchange, Team 3D, The Motor City Machineguns, Triple X, AJ Styles & Tomko, “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt & Petey Williams, Raven & Havok, Eric Young & Shark Boy. Lance Hoyt & the debut of Jimmy Rave

Perceived Truth: The whole idea of this match is great to determine who was going to be the number one contender. It is odd to see however certain teams formed to be able to compete in this match. Eric Young and Shark Boy seem like a thrown together tag team which is why very little in the way of being active in this match is anticipated. What I would like to see are the teams that are more likely to be competitive being cast out to make way for other factions. Triple X was synonymous with being a talented and competitive tag team. The same could be said about the Motor City Machineguns who are always putting themselves in the mix of the action. It was only a couple of weeks ago where they laid down a challenge to other teams which says something about what the company thinks they are capable of, in order to be as active as they have been. I would also like to see how well Jimmy Rave will fare in his debut match. Of all the teams competing I would like to see one team come out on top….

Perceived Winner: The Motor City Machineguns

Literal Truth: The match does make sense to have on a pay per view. Most of these teams were logical choices to compete for and determine who will be the number one contender for the TNA World tag team championships. Of the ten teams it could be expected that little will come of certain challengers. For instance very little if anything at all could be expected by Eric Young and Shark Boy in this match to determine the number one contender. After him there are about four or five teams that very little can be expected. They may be active and competitive in the match but it would be difficult to see them outlasting the rest of the teams. Raven and Havoc, Dutt and Williams, Triple X, The Motor City Machineguns and AJ Styles and Tomko are among the teams that will be competitive in the match. This leaves VKM, LAX and Team 3D as the three to look for to be the most competitive. It may also be said that Hoyt and the debut of Jimmy Rave may be the dark horse team in this match. It one team does stand out it may very well be…

Literal Winner: Team 3D

TNA Tag Team Championship
Kurt Angle (& Sting) v.s Team Pacman (Ron Killings and Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones)

Perceived Truth: It had initially appeared as though this would have been a handicapped match for Kurt Angle. On the August 30th episode of iMPACT! Sting competed in a match to determine who would Angle’s partner would be and co-holder of the TNA tag team championships. Sting, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Christian all faced one another with the chance to be the co-holder of the TNA tag team championship. In the end, Sting came out victorious and became one half of the tag team champions. A week later Sting and Angle were slated to team up to prepare for their championship match at No Surrender. At this point one match will do little to show how well they will perform as a team. What I would like to see happen is have Sting grow frustrated throughout their match against Killings and Jones. It would be nice to see is Angle simply reacting as though he was being completely absent minded and apologetic. It is his apologetic reaction and false sense of insincerity that makes him that much more easily to believe. Although seeing Team Pacman win without having Jones get physically involved would be unique.

Perceived Winner: Team Pacman

Literal Truth: The announcement of this match was a little out of left field. Cornette announced the match up on the night of the Angle Awards. Team Pacman didn’t earn a spot as much as simply walked into Cornette’s office and demanded one. It seems a little strange that it has been Ron Killings doing the majority of the talking and work to get this team over and all Adam Jones has needed to do is simply be in the same room. What does logic really have to do with booking decisions? Much like other things in professional wrestling logic does not always tend apply, so why would this be any different? This decision is even more peculiar because Adam Jones contract specifically states that he can not get physically involved in the match so what chance do they really have of him being effective in the ring? What I anticipate happening is that Sting will end up doing the majority of the work in this match for his team. Of all three matches this is the one match where Angle will have a chance at a reprieve. Despite practically being left to work overtime, it is hard to believe that Team Pacman could win without having one of its members get physically involved in the match.

Literal Winner: Kurt Angle and Sting

X Division Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Jay Lethal

Perceived Truth: This is about as close as we may get to having two icons of different era’s face one another. Before you say Angle did face off against Sting previously, this would be his opportunity to face a mimic of an 80’s icon. While Randy Savage has long since competed, Jay Lethal has emerged as a young ‘Macho Man’ complete with mannerisms, promos and signature moves. The announcement of this match came about on the night of the first annual Angle Awards. Lethal has been an active competitor in the X division for some time. He is a former X division champion and looks to repeat at No Surrender. What I would like to see happen is have Angle change up his style a little bit to reflect what the X division is all about. Do I expect him to attempt a BMF? Sure. To anyone that has seen Angle attempt a moonsault they have seen a poetic attempt at a move that usually results in someone moving in the process. It would be a huge upset to see Lethal walk away with his title though so lets want an upset, shall we?

Perceived Winner: Jay Lethal

Literal Truth: Over the past few weeks a great deal has been made of Kurt Angle who has rubbed everyone the wrong way. The problem however is very little if anything has been made about his upcoming match with Lethal. Lethal has been tied up in other matches that have seen little to hype this match and facing Kurt Angle. It is one thing to be in the ring with a multiple time champion it is another to have the chance to face him on a pay per view. One possible reason as to why there has been little hype for this match up is because that Lethal may no chance against Angle. At this point I am of the belief that he will be outmatched by Angle. He may mount some type of offense but not enough to think that the title is in any real danger of changing hands. Angle has too many people chasing him and too many wanting to take him out to even have a match with him to allow this one to happen. It would be easy to suspect that there will be some type of outsider interference. Anticipate an Angle win somehow.

Literal Winner: Kurt Angle

TNA Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Abyss

Perceived Truth: Where do we begin with how sensible really is this match? Abyss is on the cusp of a match with Judius something or other. Someone that James Mitchell claims is his ‘son’. If that is the case then Percy Pringle would be rolling over somewhere with the notion than Kane incognito has emerged in TNA. It is really have wants in this match from my perspective. That is not necessarily true though. Abyss has been tamed to some extent since he has been aligned with Sting. He does still bring out a bag of either tacks or chards of glass but that does not necessarily make him this sick and twisted as he was first intended on being. He has come out of matches blooded but is that because of who he once was? What I would like to see happen is coincidently what may very well happen. If Abyss is completely discombobulated and does not know of which way is up then this could be very entertaining to watch. He has so much to offer not holding the title that I would rather see him simply challenge without winning.

Perceived Winner: Kurt Angle

Literal Truth: After weeks of having to prepare for his matches, Kurt Angle will be able to put all his work together for the most important match of the night. Some may argue which is the match where he most prepared; none could depute the one he has the most to lose. While he has Sting to do the majority of the work in the ring for his tag team match and Black Machismo will test his cardio, this match is the one where he will have to fight off everything AND the kitchen sink in order to beat Abyss. Abysses return to the main event has seen him fight off consistent emotional and collaborative torment by the Christian Coalition. After overcoming this challenge and James Mitchell lying in the background distracting him, Abyss has been focused on wanting to capture the TNA championship. Although there is a height and weight difference its Abyss’s agility and mobility that remains one of the most interesting and compatible qualities that he has with the champion in this match. However it is difficult to be against the champion to lose.

Literal Winner: Kurt Angle

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will Chris Harris fair against Black Reign? Will Eric Young and Shark Boy shock the world and win the TNA number one contenders match? Will Rhino come to the ring double fisting it and share a drink with James Storm? Who will walk away from the battle with Samoa Joe and Christian Cage? Will Kazarian finally sweep Ms. Brooks off her feet and finally put Robert Roode in his place? Kurt Angle has a busy night ahead of him. What are Lethal’s realistic chances against the champion for the X division title? How well will he and Sting be able to work together defending their titles against Team Pacman? What does the future hold for Abyss in his match with Angle? Who will get involved and will that affect his chances against Angle? These questions are more will be answered along with who is renewing their vows at No Surrender.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Summerslam 07′ Preview Aug25

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Summerslam 07′ Preview

Summerslam is here. The return of the ‘biggest party of the Summer’ will also see the return of two former World Champions. After tearing his quadriceps muscle earlier this year, Triple H will make his return to the ring. Just as Triple H makes his return so does Rey Mysterio. Both men return with different agendas. Triple H is being built upon a self proclaimed title and to reestablish himself while Mysterio has different plans. It has been built that Mysterio’s motive for returning to the ring is to settle a score with his perpetrator. While there are two reasons to watch this month’s tasty offering complete with barbeque chicken and key lime pie. This coupled with a couple of solid title matches provides its fans a few different reasons to watch. What constitutes a Summerslam? A few well booked feuds? A few anticipated matches? A loosely conjoined introduction to pull it all together? Any one of them could apply but it’s mostly the loosely conjoined introduction.

On Sunday August 26th Summerslam will be taking place from Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New .Jersey. We will see a unique variety of matches that range from good to goodbye. There are some upsides to this pay per view and there are some rather forgettable ones. Morrison/Punk, Orton/Cena and Mysterio/Guerrero are the few to look for something positive in. That being said a slow moving match with Kane and Finlay. While the Diva battle royal may provide us with something nice to look at it is not expected to capture fans imagination or be deemed something to remember for all the right reasons. .

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Have it capture your imagination and every fiber of your being and have it sit under your Umbrella…ella…ella… …eh…eh…eh.. This is the Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and anything come together in hopes to be interesting and fun with some sex, violence, pyrotechnics and stiff glass of scotch.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

Perceived Truth: For the past few weeks Chavo has come out imitating and mocking Rey Mysterio. When it was announced that he was making his return at Summerslam a match was announced to settle the score between the two. While it is easy to grow tired of the feud or attempts to make this some long drawn out battle between the two, the matches themselves are always entertaining. After years of wear and tear on both Chavo and Rey they physically can not do what they could as often as they did. Regardless of this the two can certainly can put on a show. This is the most promising part of this build for this match. These two men know each other and that chemistry was something that has come about from a number of matches with one another. What I would like to see is Rey prove me wrong. That being I am skeptical that he could return and still do what he did before without there being some caution in what he is doing. He has always been a favorite of mine so to see him return from an injury successfully is great.

Perceived Winner: Rey Mysterio

Literal Truth: Ever since the feud with Rey Mysterio ended, it seems as though Chavo Guerrero has not had a program with someone that could be considered memorable. What has remained is how the two are synonymous with one another. Whether that was by design or because of how close they are to each other outside of the ring, Chavo and Rey are set to settle their differences at Summerslam. The build of the match has pretty much been Chavo mimicking Rey’s look, style and mannerisms. If it does anything it at least means there is some attempt to poke fun at the Mysterio character. What is a problem however is the timing of this match based on who else is returning on this evening. Since Triple H is scheduled to face King Booker on the same night, Rey’s return could be overshadowed. The promotion department is in full swing promoting the return of The Game where Rey’s has gone relatively undetected. It seems difficult that there could be animosity after so much time, especially with some of the changes in variables. Vickie Guerrero is no longer a part of the mix which should impact greatly on how long this feud should last.

Literal Winner: Rey Mysterio

ECW Champion
John Morrison vs. CM Punk

Perceived Truth: The ECW brand will have a chance to shine on a major pay per view event. What has transpired over the past few months has been one man playing the role of hungry challenger and the other being reintroduced by playing a less than hardcore character. John Morrison, formerly Johnny Nitro has gone from being the part of a Hollywood face plate to iconic dead ex-rock star. Both are doing a more than admirable job of playing there definitive roles. In the case of Punk, playing the part of someone who is driven is not a stretch for him since he was always been known for having this quality about him. For Morrison, he is still trying to find himself. The ‘15 minutes challenge’ is more of something Andy Warhol would have been responsible of rather than Jim Morrison. How long will this program last? At this point it will hopefully be long enough that we could see the feud get more personal and more competitive between the two of them. It would be the right move to have Morrison to hold onto the title just a little bit longer.

Perceived Winner: John Morrison

Literal Truth: Jim Morrison once said ‘no time to wallow in the mire’ and that saying could be any better suited for these two men. John Morrison and CM Punk are prepared to bring their current grudge to another level. Dare I say that they maybe breaking on through to the other side? There are probably a number of Doors related tie-ins with this match that make even the most unlikely of tie-ins are believable. While he has been groomed to look and sound like a symbol of the 60’s he has to come to grips with the fact that he is facing what may be considered a symbol of the new millennium. CM Punk has been in position to win the ECW championship a few times and each time something stands in his way preventing him from winning the title. This has been what the ECW brand was in need of. They were in need of a hotly contested feud with two hungry and determined young athletes. There was a need to have one man represent what the audience could relate to by crawling and scratching to achieve success. What I would anticipate to see happen is to still see Morrison walk away with the title even if he loses the battle.

Literal Winner: CM Punk (DQ/No contest)

Diva Battle Royal

Perceived Truth: Even though readers will probably scoff at the though of this match it actually does serve a purpose. Despite the clear physical attributes these women bring to the camera they manage to utilize all those involved with the previous Diva search as a new one is set to begin. A majority of these women were involved in the diva search at one point or another and rather than booking them in a giant pillow fight or lingerie match up to the finish, they are being put in a match akin to their male counterparts. What I am unsure of is if there is a variation on the rules. Most notably due to the height of the ropes does it mean the women have to go over the middle and not the tope rope to be eliminated? Or do they have to be eliminated by going over the top rope? What I would like to see is what Beth Phoenix can do. When previous women have come into the company with the exception of say Mickie James, they have often been questioned for their ability. Gail Kim was highly touted coming into the company and when she arrived she endured a great deal of criticism. At this point I would like to see Mickie win the opportunity.

Perceived Winner: Mickie James

Literal Truth: A battle royal has been set up to determine a title match against Candice Michelle. The battle royal is slated to involve pretty much all the women in the company. It could even be argued that this is a cross-brand match up which is debatable. The fact that it involves the different brands isn’t debatable its whether or not it will be considered a match is where the argument lies. Those involved in the match include; Beth Phoenix, who has recently returned after being injured almost a year ago upon her debut, Jillian (Hall) whose Brittney Spears/Brooke Hogan imitation could only last so long without running dry, Michelle McCool, Layla, Kelly and Brooke of Extreme Expose, Melina, Victoria and Mickie James who are all former Women’s champions. Of all involved a few of the women could be eliminated because of circumstance, believability or probability. Extreme Expose, Jillian, and Michelle are more than likely not going to contest to win. That being said there is essentially four women that will contest for the win. Although Victoria has been jobbing more recently on television she can counted on to make others look better and thus will challenge in the end. Beth is a dark horse so I would anticipate her to go far but it is either Mickie or Melina’s match to win. I’ll anticipate…

Literal Winner: Melina

Intercontinental Championship
Umaga .vs. Mr. Kennedy .vs. Carlito

Perceived Truth: This match manages to achieve a couple of things. It combines three of the upper mid card stars on the brand in one match and it does so on one of the major pay per views of the year. A couple of months back when Umaga lost the Intercontinental title to Santino Marella it seemed like a step back for the human wrecking crew but now he is finally matched up against two men that are at the same level of skill as he is in the company. What I would like to see happen in this match is a couple of different things. First off it would be nice to see a pretty competitive match throughout. Secondly, since all men involved are here for a reason it would only make sense to use them equally throughout the match. In this match each man plays a different role. Of all the three men I believe Carlito is the dark horse or underdog where as Umaga clearly has the most to lose. Of all three men in this match Kennedy appears to be the favorite. Despite getting kicked in the head by Umaga in mid self-gratifying pat on the back, I would like him to walk away with the title in this match.

Perceived Winner: Mr. Kennedy

Literal Truth: This match evolved though a guest appearance on Carlito’s Cabana. On this past week’s edition of the Cabana, Carlito had Umaga on as his guest. If there is one thing that Umaga is noted for not being and that’s talkative. So to have him on the program was amusing if it was anything at all. During this segment Carlito began make statements towards the inquisitive and over actively if not fidgety Samoan, and asked questions about the Intercontinental championship. The statements and questions ranged from being highly complementary towards the champion to being a direct challenge for the Intercontinental championship. It was at this time where Mr. Kennedy came to the ring and began support the champion. Although fans could clearly see that he was being insincere in his complements towards the champion. It would only be a matter of time before Mr. Kennedy would put himself above champion. What I would anticipate is that Kennedy appears slated for an Intercontinental championship push and will walk away the title despite eating Samoan feet in the process.

Literal Winner: Mr. Kennedy

Kane vs. Finlay

Perceived Truth: If this was an episode of Seinfeld someone could have easily been sued! Unfortunately this isn’t Seinfeld this is real life and real stunts so the real coffee that was spilled really hurt! Alright maybe it didn’t hurt but it was strangely enough reason for one man to beat the tar out of the other. It wasn’t because he insulted him, his family or slept with his dead girlfriend. It was because he spilled a cup of coffee on him. What I would like there to be is some underlining reason as to why Kane reacted the way that he did. It may have been coffee that was the straw that broke the camels back sort of speak but I would like it to be something more. If we think about it Kane’s World Championship opportunity has come and gone. Could that be the real reason that Kane is upset? Or is it that the hot coffee reminds Kane of a painful (literally and figuratively) time in his life when he was oh…burned! What I would like to see happen is have Kane beat Finlay and in the process regain a little more peace that had been lost after recent events.

Perceived Winner: Kane

Literal Truth: The rationale for why these two are facing each other is a silly. At this point really nothing seems to be too big or two small of a reason for anyone to challenge or be a reason to fight anyone anymore. For instance, Kane must have been having flashbacks of his youth as to why he would be stalking the Irishman now. It was a couple weeks back when Finlay knocked over ‘hot’ coffee onto Kane. What is even funnier is that WWE.com lists what happened to Kane also as an accident. It’s Finlay though so even if it wasn’t an accident the guy likes to fight and this should prove as much of a reason as any to want to punch someone in the face. Which is why Finlay who is probably a foot shorter than Kane will not be slowed down or will not back down despite a clear height and weight difference between the two of them. When Finlay is able to get his senses together he would not be denied retribution. This is what I would anticipate happening. Kane started the fire between him and Finlay but as I see it, Finlay will be the one putting out the fire.

Literal Winner: Finlay

King Booker vs. Triple H

Perceived Truth: Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest king of them all? The answer to that question would have been Jerry Lawler a few weeks ago but that changed recently. Even though there has been animosity growing between Lawler and Booker, there has been little to build the match between King Booker and Triple H leading into Summerslam. There is a short time between when the match was announced between Booker and Triple H and how much time could be effectively dedicated to building for them. What is odd about how they have advertised thee match. The title of King of Kings was something bestowed upon him and something rather than it being something he has called himself rather than winning something to earn that moniker. What Triple H was about prior to being injured was more comical. Before his DX reincarnation, he was being pushed as a warrior who could be where the company is probably trying to go with his return. What I would like to see is Triple H return to the ring with a win and hopefully the dropping of this silly warrior/king shtick.

Perceived Winner: Triple H

Literal Truth: Over the course of about a month, King Booker has laid claim to the title of king and throne that there can only be one King. For years Jerry Lawler has been synonymous with the title of being the King. At this point I am not sure what was more comical in this feud. It was either the feud happening between the two or Booker constantly referring to Lawler as ‘Jerome’. In a match between the two on the August 6th edition of Raw, King Booker defeated Lawler in a match that would see the loser crown the winner the following week as the king. What happened though on the following week when it appeared as though Lawler was set to crown him another ‘king’ was scheduled to face Booker at Summerslam. Triple H was scheduled to make his return at Summerslam in a match that has been advertised as King v.s ‘King of Kings’. At this point it would be interesting to see if religious groups would take offense to this simply because who was recognized as being the King of Kings. Look for Hunter to return with a victory to accompany him.

Literal Winner: Triple H

World Heavyweight Championship
The Great Khali vs. Batista

Perceived Truth: Batista and The Great Khali have had their sights on facing one another even prior to the Great American Bash. When Edge went down with his injury the title picture had changed. Since Edge had to forfeit his title and the Great Khali captured the World Heavyweight championship on the same night, Batista and Khali were on a collision course to face one another in one way or another. The feud has been a challenge for Batista who is usually the one that is bigger and stronger than his opponents. This has not been the case against Khali. It is the champion whose sheer presence is the more feared of the two athletes. In order for Batista to be successful, his character needs to stay true to who he is and what he does. What I would like to see happen is have Batista come right at Khali at every opportunity. Batista has faced men taller than him and ones that weigh more than him so this ideally should not be any different. The only conceivable difference is the push Khali is in the midst of.

Perceived Winner: Batista

Literal Truth: Ever since he captured the World Heavyweight championship, the Great Khali has not been as indestructible as some would have thought. He has fought off the challenge of Kane but Batista has been relentless in his pursuit of the title. The feud itself has been interesting to watch to some extent. The sheer size of Khali is what would intimidate most challengers but not Batista it seems. The former World champion has come right at Khali and not backed down to him in the least. What has been great to see is that they have not made Khali run and cower from Batista like the company has many of its heel champions do. What I would anticipate happening is Batista will do everything he needs to do to be victorious in this match. I would like to have him bring out all the heavy artillery by hitting him with chairs, the steel steps or even a table at ringside. The most amusing part of all of this is that the referee will have to be oblivious to what is happening around the ring. After doing all this, I don’t anticipate Batista to walk away with the title but still walk away the winner of the match.

Literal Winner: Batista

WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Randy Orton

Perceived Truth: In a blink of an eye, he can knock you out. That was the message that Randy Orton gave to John Cena when it was announced that he was going to be the number one contender for the WWE championship. When Jonathon Coachman announced this match a part of me was really pleased at the booking of this match. Over the past few months, Orton has had to play second fiddle in a number of championship matches. Whether he was in a fatal our way or a three way dance there was little to no indication that he had a chance in any of these matches. Cena and Orton’s paths to this pint really never crossed. They had not had a program together where we could see either man develop chemistry between them like The Rock/Austin or Triple H/The Rock had developed before them while working numerous programs with one another. What I would have liked to see happen was to have Orton more focused on trying to win the title by getting into Cena’s head rather than simply focusing on knocking a guy out so he is incapacitated to win the title.

Perceived Winner: John Cena

Literal Truth: This match has been a long time coming. When both Orton and Cena were being pushed, it was becoming more evident that these two would be the focal point for the title at some point. While Orton appeared to have peaked a few years back, it has been Cena that has shown longevity as the champion. This has been a feud that really has been in the works for some time but it has been odd as to how the strength of each man has been advertised. For Orton the focus has been on the names of guys he has given on-screen concussions. The intention has probably been to show to what lengths he would go through to put a man down. What it does not show the viewers is that if that is his focus, than winning the title is not. He has had Carlito and Umaga both play a part in helping him wear down Cena much to his dismay. Cena on the other hand has been in command in this feud at times. Whether he is left lying or standing at the end of his and Orton’s confrontations it would be hard to bet against the champ.

Literal Winner: John Cena

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will John Cena fair against Orton? Will Batista be able to regain the title from Khali? What is Finlay’s chances against Kane? (who cares!) Could this be the night Mr. Kennedy becomes Mr. Intercontinental champion or will Carlito be spitting his way to win another championship? That does have a nasty connotation to it doesn’t it? Or will Umaga eat both of his opponents to retain his title? Will CM Punk finally straight edge win his way to a title or will Morrison walk into the Whiskey bar with the title? Once again why are there no tag team championships on the line for this event? These questions are more will be answered along with why Summerslam only has 8 matches scheduled and is considered the biggest party of the summer.

Take care, set it and forget it
=Marcus=

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Solstice Scriptures: Anything but Abys(s)mal Aug18

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Solstice Scriptures: Anything but Abys(s)mal

A number of different characteristics help to make certain wrestlers stand out. This is not new or a concept just drawn up but one that helps to have men or women fit into a mold that best suits who they are and who they are to become. What is odd is that for a number of years there have been relative fascinations with men that have used intimidation and presence to instill fear in those around them? While a particular pair of wrestlers has been synonymous with being monsters with their ring presence and height, another man has continued to grow into the role that they once had the market cornered with this type of character.

Over the past 17 years the Undertaker has been known as The Deadman. That title clearly came about not only because of what they are capable of doing in the ring but how much the two of them resemble real life monsters. While the Undertaker once was known as The American Bad Ass he otherwise carried with him a persona that was dark, morbid and frightening. He would come to the ring in a cloud of purple smoke, druids and monastery chanting and hymns playing before the sound of a bell tower bell chimes in an over head speaker. He has fought in matches surrounded by a ring of fire, with an enclosed cage. When he was younger the Undertaker was incredibly agile and mobile especially for his size. It is hard to dispute that he dominance was because he was more than simply an intimidating figure.

For what has been almost 12 years The Undertaker’s ‘brother’ Kane appeared to follow suit where the Undertaker had begun. The two have been known collectively as the Brothers of Destruction. Kane carried with him a persona that was equally dark and frightening with the only difference was he was to appear a little more twisted than most siblings. For the longest time Kane hid his face and his skeletons behind a mask. He has since removed the mask but is still known to be capable of doing dastardly and sadistic things. He has been implicated in necrophilia, learned that it was his father who nearly left him for dead and battled a history of emotional and physiological abuse. He has lit Jim Ross on fire and even electrocuted Shane McMahon during their feud a couple of years ago. As the date was approaching to the release of Kane’s film ‘See No Evil’ he began to hear voices that only played upon his inner torment even further. These two men have created a certain profile UN to which a new monster would be born.

The difference here is that inner angst, pain and torment would not be realized until 1995. At a young age, Chris Parks was clearly destined for positive athletic future. He was always known for his athletic talent. He had an illustrious college football career and even earned a master’s degree while he was there. Parks played in the NFL for a brief time with the Pittsburg Steelers. He spent his time training, wrestling and refining his craft in the Northern Wrestling Federation. During this time however he really hadn’t carved a niche for himself. He underwent a number of different names and while they were combination using his first name they did not really scratches the surface on what monster raged within him.

After wrestling for 8 years, Parks created a persona that embodied everything that the Undertaker and Kane were while adding elements of horror movie slashers such as Michael Myers or a Jason Voorhees. It was someone that had skeletons and in order for Parks to move forward for him would need this new alter ego to disassociate with who he was. He was demented and deranged on the surface but why was he? It was at this time where Chris Parks ended and the monster Abyss was born.

An abyss is a vast and dark wasteland. It is like a black hole of nothing and to fall into it could mean impending doom. This definition best described Abyss’ character. Since 2003 he has been frightening opponents because of his sheer size but he carries with him this persona that has a past to which could be learned about as time goes on. He first appeared in TNA and was aligned with Kid Kash as a character reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster. He followed and was led by instruction and tutelage courtesy of Kash. These evocated memories of what Dr. Frankenstein would do to his monster. Much like the robotic and fictional character, Abyss did what he was told but had his breaking point.

These characteristics about Abyss were similar to that of Kane. He could look imposing and sound imposing all without even uttering a word. The squeals and shrieks that Abyss could be heard making could even be confused for a cry for help. A hideous monster whose only solace comes from easing his own personal pain by inflicting that on others embodied what Abyss was even before he stepped into the ring. While his mannerisms and characteristics defined personality lived behind the mask, it was what he would do inside the ring that makes him one of the most dominant big men in wrestling.

Throughout his tenure in TNA he has carved out a niche for himself that has run the gauntlet on matches that have ranged from extremely brutal with insane spots to ones with a great deal of high paced action. Falls Count anywhere, 20 man gauntlet and monster’s ball matches that have illustrated Abyss’ versatility and diversity inside the ring. While each demonstrate some type of risk or spot it is what this over three hundred pound man would subject himself to in, out and around the building that has made him stand out. For instance his feuds with Sabu, Jeff Hardy and Raven were not only brutal but showed how he was able to compete with these extreme wrestlers consistently. It illustrated a sense of stamina, a quality often questioned in larger wrestlers. His ability to work a match with these men shows a willingness to want to provide incredible entertainment and motivation rather than simply be used to annihilate the opposition.

While these matches defined what Abyss is capable of, it was what other wrestlers are driven to achieve in wrestling that became the focus of this monster. What is unique about the Abyss’ desire for a championship is that his actions demonstrated that motivation spoke louder than words ever could. On two occasions it was the same man that prevented him for winning the title and became successful themselves in the process. Abyss first competed for the NWA World Championship at Slammiversary 2005. He looked on as Raven outlasted A.J. Styles, Sean Waltman, and Monty Brown to win the NWA-TNA Championship. On a separate occasion Abyss would once again fall short to Raven at No Surrender 05’ for the championship. Were the writers skeptical of Abyss’ marketing power and whether or not he could be a convincing enough champion? At this point it may have appeared to be.

To come this close to a championship and not win it had to suggest something. It could have very well been the timing for Abyss that had to be just right. It would be more than 3 years until Abyss would achieve what others strive to and capture the NWA-TNA championship. In a angle that was used to break ‘Chris’ out of his monster’s hypnotic slumber, Sting would do whatever he could to try and get through to Abyss. On a number of occasions Sting would try to ‘save’ Abyss and break him free of the control he is under. There were hints of Abyss appearing conflicted and unsure as to which path to turn because Sting was leading.

A revelation through a black hole…

Before we focus on Abyss’ potential alliances one can not neglect how he has been made to follow. When Abyss first joined TNA he was associated with the smaller David Kash. It was Kash that brought a certain direction that would be used to lead the larger Abyss. It was at this time where he was not one to question much like Kane during his earlier days in the WWE. After some time that allegiance between Abyss and Kash came to an end. Abyss was clearly larger and much stronger than the smaller Kash but it was as though the character was still susceptible to much more than physical abuse. Kash would insult, berate and emotionally abuse him. The character has depth and layers to which were going to be discovered. It had almost appeared as though in some respects he had the social and emotional development of a child. On the surface he was strong but beneath that rough exterior leys the soul of boy. While Kash was physically shorter than Abyss it was his verbal torment and abuse of Abyss that made him 8 ft tall. Abyss eventually had enough of the abuse. Many had looked forward to seeing the larger Abyss fight back against Kash. It should not have been regarded as one many having a huge size advantage over the other but as anyone that is being abused fighting back against their abuser regardless of their size.

Abyss’ character had so much more to experience. It was how he related to the opposite sex that also provided him with emotions that were both new and all unfamiliar. The manner in which Parks plays the Abyss character is remarkable because he is able to show a ferocious nature about him while balancing a child like innocence about him in his nature. After his alignment with Kid Kash had ended he came into a working relationship with Goldylocks. The beauty manipulated and used him in her vendetta with Erik Watts at the time. When Alex Shelley joined Goldylocks and Abyss the relationship soured between them. It was Shelley that was shown preference over Abyss as he was being treated badly in the process.

We came to know him as this easily lured grown child with an untapped amount of anger ready to be released on others. It was a characteristic that others tried to take advantage of in various forms with mixed results. Earlier we could see that Goldylocks was successful temporary but even Abyss had some sense of emotion. A monster with a sense of feeling or emotion is odd but a quality that has proven to be successful for other similar characters in the past. Before this Kid Kash attempted to control him and was eventually met with the same results. At one point he was aligned with Don Callis and the Red-shirt security. It appears as though there are stretches where Abyss’ almost needs guidance to help further develop his feuds with others.

One can look to his allegiance with James Mitchell who not only helped in starting something over with Abyss but was vocal as to how the monster was his “meal ticket” and how he is going to “use” him. During Abyss’ feud with Sting he was conflicted a number of times between what he should and should not do. He was battling inner turmoil over what to do next. This along with the inner and outer voices that surrounded his head only looked to drive Abyss mad. Christian Cage was also an active participant in using Abyss for his strength and ferocious nature. As a part of Team Cage leading to their match at Lockdown, Cage and Abyss were constantly on different pages. While the rest of Team Cage appeared to be on the Instant-Classic’s side, Abyss was not always able to deliver what the team captain had wanted him to do. The difference here is while the others also made mistakes he was constantly ousted for his ‘failures’. It was clearly a case of a double standard being applied to Abyss. This could be attributed to the character development that Abyss was in the midst of experiencing.

After failing to follow Christian’s direction and fighting back Abyss fell victim to a numbers game as he was beaten down at the hands of Team Cage. This isn’t any surprise because it goes part and partial with how Abyss has been throughout his career. He has been a fan favorite because of his ability to demonstrate a sense of vulnerability that appeals to the audience. Even when he was labeled a heel, Abyss would to go great lengths for someone to feel the pain he is feeling. One could even go as far as to argue that Abyss’ beating down and abusing of other opponents is simply a cry for his help and that he was never really a heel at all. Although when we see sacks of thumbtacks spilled into the ring they beg to differ. It does not make him a face, but it doesn’t mean he still isn’t liked.

What does the future lay for Abyss now that he has returned? The answer is really anywhere the wind blows. As it stands right now he has defeated Christian Cage to win the chance at the TNA championship against Angle at No Surrender. His character is as easily interchangeable that he can become a heel or a face almost without a moments notice. This is because of characters unanticipated depth. A few years to see Abyss one would look at him and see nothing more than a simple knock off of Mankind with height. He has proven to be capable of being so much more.

He is agile and this characteristic is usually quite rare when considering many larger wrestlers today. While the Black Hole Slam and the Shock Treatment are synonymous with his in ring list of moves, he manages to make them look different almost every time out. It feels as though he can do the same move over and over and whether it’s how he delivers or how it is sold it does not look exactly the same each time out. There is still an ore of mystery surrounding his character. If he continues to progress the way that it has then it would be difficult to see him as being anything other than a bright light within an abyss.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I can see Abyss is anything but abysmal, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: The Clientage of a Grizzled Crow Aug03

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Solstice Scriptures: The Clientage of a Grizzled Crow

Control. It is capable of having a truly powerful meaning. In life to control something could represent anything from a child being bullied to a spouse being the victim of domestic violence. People are capable of control when there are some inadequacies in their own life. To make themselves look stronger or validate their own self worth they will control a person, a situation or an environment. For a number of years there has been one person who in professional wrestling who is guilty of bullying, abuse, guilt, manipulation and humiliation. It would seem too many wrestling fans years ago that to conceive of such characteristics and traits in him that he would be guilty of doing these things.

What could make someone develop into a character that was capable of controlling the lives of others? This person would have to be quite intelligent. They would have to be educated and be able to understand the business. He or she would have to work with people that were experienced in both the in ring and behind the scenes aspects of wrestling business. They would have to be met with a great deal of disappointment, distrust, anger and mistakes. After a number of years of trying to find who they were they would have to develop into someone that would represent all that anger, frustration and greed. In fact this person would have to be a reflection of what they were aspiring to become. This would have to be a person whose entire being would be so fawned over by some that it would puzzle others in disbelief.

For almost a decade there was one wrestler that was constantly trying to find who they were and in doing so created an alter ego that is still as much of an enigma as he was when he was first created. While the character has undergone some cosmetic changes over the years it has still been character who means as much to others around him as he does to himself. Scott Levy was no different than any other aspiring wrestler. He wanted to be successful. Levy could not however develop a character that would leave its mark on professional wrestling. Scotty The Body, Scott Anthony, and Scotty Flamingo all a part of who Levy was for seven years. While he was under these different monikers he competed but eventually left these organizations after arguing with owners, promoters and being accused of being in legal trouble. It did not seem to matter where Levy would travel to throughout north America each direction appeared to point him in a dead end regardless of his efforts.

While he was part of the WWF under the name Johnny Polo, Levy was faced with a number of challenges that plagued him throughout the independent circuit. He wore a number of different hats but none of them seem to be what he was content with being. Manager, radio announcer, colour commentator, producer and part time wrestler were among the roles that Levy had with the WWF for approximately two years. In 1994 Levy left the company because he was not wrestling and at times not even being a part of the show. What was left for Levy? He could not continue this back and forth character that shows no depth, a similar character and little in the way of creativity.

Raven would need to utilize his creativity to create a character that would make a difference. One should remember the earlier discussion about control. For it was at this time where Levy would take control of who he was and assemble a character that would be shroud in mystery but not for those that support and believe in him.

After separating himself from any mainstream publicity he resurfaced in Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW was the embodiment for a new generation of pro wrestling. It was here where Scott Levy became a significant figure and would make a difference but a difference that was unlike many would have thought. He was able to channel the emotions that had probably built up in him over the course of being part of the professional wrestling business for almost 8 years. It was the control that we referred to earlier that became the staple of how he was treated but who he would become.

Over the course of the next 12 years Scott Levy would now become Raven. A character that resembled everything Edgar Allen Poe had written a hundred and fifty years earlier. He developed into a character that was as much as a mystery as he was while developing this character. While he would show signs of depression, nihilistic, and misanthrope qualities he was usually considered an enigma. It was this characteristic that almost gave him a something similar to that of a tragic hero that could have resembled an Andrew Wood, River Phoenix or Kurt Cobain at the time. Raven was consistently flogged by followers.

Between 1995 and1996 he had a group of followers that a part of Raven’s Nest. This was where we begin to question why? To have qualities of a cult leader that only those that follow him could understand but others would question says what about those other characters. Those were a part of his Nest consist of a number of men and women whose careers range from very successful to very mediocre. Whether it was Cactus Jack or Stevie Richards, The Dudley Boys or The Blue Meanie, Raven was able to use pain as a means to control his followers. They were in some instances even resembled that of groupies with the number of women that surrounded him. Beulah, Kimona, Chasity and even The Sandman’s wife Lori Fullington were at one time associated with enigmatic character. It was evident that Raven didn’t have to be cool, he didn’t have to be tough and he didn’t have to show them respect.

All Raven had to do is simply be. To exist with Raven meant to follow his rules for survival. They were to follow his guidelines in order to be successful. It was all about what made him content and successful. Their needs were never of importance. If there was a common goal it was to follow Raven’s beliefs. The emotions that were expressed by his nest of men and women ranged from glee to that of mental instability. Raven could be credited for giving characters with skills ranging from talented to below average exposure.

The most notable members of Raven’s nest were Stevie Richards. Richards was the first man to be associated with Raven and still to this day it could be said that he brought a different level of talent to the nest. He would follow Raven around like some hyperactive child in need of attention. A number of times his need for attention resulted in him being beaten down and beaten up by Raven only to be by his side the next day. It almost resembled that of an abusive domestic relationship where one of the spouses can not seem to leave the relationship. Did being with Raven result in anything of importance for those that were part of his nest?

In a number of different instances there were men and women that could do little to escape the cloud that Raven cast over them. While it could be coincidental that men such as Stevie Richards were met with minimal to moderate success over their careers. Richards for many appeared to be the next in line of potentially great breakout athletes. Could it be that his association with Raven attributed to his moderate success? He did go on to lead the bWo but this group in fact put him at the helm of a group that parodied a successful faction at the time. For some it is comparable to watching an actor that stars in a movie that does poorly and can not be taken in any other film after this disaster. Richards has reinvented himself, his characters, was the head of different factions but for those that watched him from his ECW beginnings it is difficult to take him seriously as anything other than the person under Raven’s control.

This relationship in front of the camera did follow a similar fate when both Raven and Stevie Richards joined WCW in 1997. The two men we aligned with each other both reprising their roles from their time in ECW but this time the union would be short lived. In August of 97’ Raven defeated Stevie Richards in an “unsanctioned” match then took a seat in the front row. It was speculated that Richards had failed a physical and have had to retire. This injury’s legitimacy had come into question at the time. Richards actually comments on The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD that Raven had told him that he was only there to be his “fucking lackey”, and that he would get him fired if he pushed for more of a larger role, knowing both would suffer for demanding more than what was above their current status.

Whether Richards said this because he this was being filmed and controversy makes for greater interest remains up in the air. Is it so far fetched that he is just as guilty of creating politics for himself? It is not uncommon for many wrestlers do so such things, so why would this be any different. Raven was the ECW champion and after struggling to find him it could be said that he would do everything in his power to ensure that it would continue in WCW. He could have been threatened by Richards’s potential and did not want to allow the lackey to be a leader.

When one considers those that were his supporters in ECW and were apart of his Nest only a couple of men have had any major success. Cactus Jack and The Dudley Boys are listed as being a part of his Nest but their association with him was so short lived that it is even debatable to even consider them followers of Raven or simply tag team partners. Brian Lee and The Pit Bulls did little outside of ECW. While in the WWE Brian Lee was synonymous for either being the ‘fake’ Undertaker or part of a group of motorcycle gang that disbanded a few months after it was formed. The valets that were associated with Raven had moderate exposure in Penthouse or porn movies and almost never seen again after their relationship with Raven had ended. Chastity and Kimona Wannalaya tried to reprise their wrestling careers in WCW where Raven was working at the time but their roles in the company diminished as each week passed. We could speculate that by trying to tap into those that surrounded him at one time that WCW would be as fortunate as Raven was during his time in ECW. Whether or not this is true may never be known.

One has to wonder how much his past experiences have caused Levy to continue to surround himself with wrestlers that were not as opportunistic as he was. He is incredibly well educated. It could be this education that he used to his advantage and could be why he continues to put himself in a position of leadership. During his time in ECW he was the focal point a position that had eluded him for so long. The taste of main event status was too sweet for him to give up. Where he stood in ECW was a position of success that others would not be as fortunate to have thrust upon them. If we look at his track record we will see someone whose education and craftiness was harnessed when he studied criminal justice at the University of Delaware. It apparently has been said that he has an IQ of 143. He is also a member of Mensa International.

He clearly took all this knowledge with him as he channeled a new faction to act his creative muse in The Flock. Each of the members carried with them some abnormality. We are not talking mutant like disfigurements but more social needs that have caused them to be ostracized from society. While one may support Raven’s use for each of these men because where society would not accept them he would, all it really did was help to secure his position as a ‘reluctant’ leader of a group of misfits and outcasts. It resembles the interview by Stevie Richards. While some argue this was a storyline certainly does seems suspicious that someone that was a past member of the Nest in ECW was fighting back. Only one member of the faction stood up to Raven and lashed back at the idea of having to follow. Saturn took a stance and resisted Raven’s constant abuse to no only himself but the other members of the Flock. The Flock is best remembered for hanging around in the crowd to sit at ringside and then pouncing on any given wrestler, usually without provocation.

Raven attempted to move forward with a darker faction towards the end of his tenure in WCW with the Dead Pool. It seems a little odd that this faction did not flourish because Raven himself did not like the direction that the company was headed. Vampiro had solid mid card status and ability that made him capable of leading a group of other wrestlers on his own. This could very well be why in the WWE he was met with limited to minimal success. He was not supported with a group or faction of others. After being with the company for a few years, Raven appeared to be back where he first started, on his own with very few options. Did this mean that he would be forced to walk alone without the aid of a group of followers?

When Raven joined TNA he formed The Gathering, which included Raven, CM Punk, Julio Dinero and Alexis Laree (now known as Mickie James in the WWE). Unlike years in the past the entire faction turned on Raven and he was placed in the role of face because of the circumstances of his follower’s betrayal. In a unique twist only in the world of fantasy could an abusive leader be betrayed and come away looking like the one in the right. Once again followers have chosen to turn their back on him and one must wonder could there be more to this storyline other than repetition?

This brings us to today. One new Raven faction that has formed in TNA is all about chemical imbalance. Serotonin was the culmination of all previous factions that Raven had before him. The name itself is defined as brain chemical that regulates moodiness and depression. These are two things that Raven has been synonymous with being. They are regulated in such a way that pain inflected on them through torture would breed success. It has yet to prove successful. When we consider all of Raven’s past factions have any of them truly been considered successful. While some may argue that individual wins or occasional championships may have come across to them it was not until they were separated from him where they truly had the opportunity to succeed. As it stands right now Martyr and Havok stand alone with Raven. While Kaz, an original member has broken free like Saturn had before him in The Flock and has found his own identity. It will only be until these individuals are on they’re own, and not used to help make this grizzled old bird better than he is now. Then and only then they will truly be able to shine alone. If history repeats itself though, it appears this clientage will continue to follow like sheep and may be forced to allow one grizzled crow to continue too devise his own path for success at their expense.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, don’t feel liked a grizzled crow, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Great American Bash 07′ Preview Jul21

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Great American Bash 07′ Preview

Great American Bash has arrived. So while there is question as to what should a great American bash include or involve the actual event by the same name is this weekend. For instance no great American bash would be without apple pie. This probably should come after the beer, peanuts and cracker jacks but definitely before the pizza, calzones and pasta. It seems pretty amusing that essentially all great food that is American pretty much originated in other countries. Although I’m from Canada we live in igloos even in the summer monthes (the temperature is turned up were unfamiliar to warm climates!) Where were we? Oh right, what constitutes a great American bash. They has to be music so people could dance. This brings us to this weekends’ event where there will be a great deal of dancing.

On Sunday July 22nd the Great American Bash will be taking place. Where we will see a whole the melting pot of all different cultures and origins compete in this month’s event. One champion supposed to be from India and another one is from Samoa which is great to see. There are some upsides to this pay per view, but they are few and far between. Morrison/Punk, Lashley/Cena and Rhodes/Orton are the few to look out for with the public outlook on Michelle/Melina and Umaga/Hardy not expected to impress many it could prove to be an under rated match. The downside of this pay per view to some could be one of the main events in Khali/Batista/Kane and Sandman/Carlito being the other.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste that consumes you. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun with some liposuction, hot apple pie and ice cold glass of whisky on the rocks.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Before we go any further don’t forget to read Chris Cow’s review of Great American Bash later on in the month. He will capture your mind, soul, wallet and spirit like many before him could not why? Its probably because he likes stuffed sheep intestine. Mmm..mmm, doesn’t that sound appetizing. To read Chris’ previous WWE pay per view reviews click here.

WWE Women’s Championship
Candice Michelle (c) vs. Melina

Perceived Truth: Over the past few months the Women’s division has become much more competitive and challenging. Beth Phoenix has become a part of that growing competition. Her role in this feud with Michelle and Melina has added fuel to the fire between the champion and challenger. Phoenix has become more of an aid of sorts in assisting Melina while Micki James has helped to assist Candice Michelle in her feud with the challenger. One would like to see a number of different scenarios take place. The first being that both James and Phoenix play a part in this match but allow both champion and challenger to settle things between them. This would be great if it opens the door for Phoenix or even James to become the next challenger for the Women’s championship. One would like to see in moves introduced by both Michelle and Melina in this match. A higher level of excitement and creativity could provide the critics of what both of these women are capable of with more answers. One would like to see Candice Michelle continue her reign as champion.

Perceived Winner: Candice Michelle

Literal Truth: This has been a feud that has been developing over the past few weeks. As this feud has developed so has the ring skill of both women. The first being Candice Michelle’s much improved ring skill. Through a great deal of hard work and dedication Michelle has really earned the right to hold the Women’s title. Her opposition has also continued to improve their skills in the ring. When Melina first became Women’s champion there was some question as to whether she was really simply given the title based on her growing popularity and position in the company. She has overcome that criticism by using a great deal of athleticism and creativity in the ring to help earn the respect of her critics. It appears now however that she is much better suited as one to pursue the champion then the one to be pursued. What one would anticipate happening is Melina will not capture the Women’s championship. It may be better suited that Michelle retain the title.

Literal Winner: Candice Michelle

Sandman vs. Carlito

Perceived Truth: This match really should not have to be ‘settled’ on a pay per view. Sandman appears so out of place in this feud. Each time Carlito attempts to hit a move on Sandman it looks like he is picking up a limp dish rag. There is little to no cooperation on the part of Sandman with any move attempted. It may not be the case and Carlito may be pleased as punch to be working with him but the observation of their in ring battles suggest otherwise. The way in which Sandman falls, the way he takes a punch and the way in which he is even picked up by Carlito all look awkward. Is he supposed to look like he is does not want to comply? The booking of this feud becomes even stranger because of who else becomes involved in this grudge between Sandman and Carlito. William Regal did not like being hit with the cane by Sandman so he comes in and jumps Sandman, while Hacksaw Jim Duggan gets involved to support Sandman. One would like Carlito to simply end this feud by finishing Sandman quickly.

Perceived Winner: Carlito

Literal Truth: Over the past few weeks the growing animosity between these two has reached a fevered pitch. The unusually booked match really appears to elevate one more than the other. While the Sandman appears to be getting used by even being in this match against Carlito, it is the later that seems to be pushed aside by even being here. This seems to be more of a punishment for Carlito rather than a push. This feud really seemed like nothing more than Carlito being upset because Sandman spat beer at him. Was the booking of this feud to copy cat what TNA is doing with Rhino and James Storm? It would be sadly amusing if we learn that Carlito was once a victim to alcohol and that killed his family. This has yet to be the case and will hopefully remain this way. One would anticipate that a loss by Carlito serves no purpose but to have Sandman even on a pay per view is as well. A loss by Carlito via disqualification is the only justifiable one without being pushed to far back.

Literal Winner: Sandman

Texas Bull rope Match
Dusty Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

Perceived Truth: These two appear to be building this feud in a most unique way. A feud that has begun with the legend killer and a legend could possibly evolve into one where second generation versus third generation wrestlers. The difference most notably between these two outside of their success is that one of them has huge steps to follow. Cody Rhodes appears in some respects to have to used and manipulated in order for this feud between his father and Randy Orton to be successful. Dusty like any proud father wants to see their child succeed. What one does question is if this is the most effective way for the younger Rhodes to earn credibility? It is not to suggest that Cody should come into wrestling with no recognition of who he is it just adds more pressure to succeed against someone that is clearly a main event competitor. What one would look forward to see happen is the continued push of Orton continue. It would be nice to see Orton leave the match a winner but have the younger Rhodes play a major part in whether or not the legend killer barely being able to walk out period.

Perceived Winner: Randy Orton

Literal Truth: Over the past few weeks an encounter between a legend and the legend killer has culminated into an outright feud. When Randy Orton first crossed Dusty Rhodes he was quick to criticize him and insult everything he had achieved in front of Dusty’s son. Cody Rhodes was witness to Randy Orton’s comments towards Dusty. He was held back after his father was slapped in the face as the ultimate sign of disrespect. The following week Randy laid down the challenge to Dusty. However if the American Dream was to except the challenge it would have to be on his terms. It was decided that that they would meet in a Texas Bull rope match. One week later Cody Rhodes faced Randy in a singles match up. The result of the match saw the aspiring young Rhodes lose to Orton. After the match the ‘concussion creator’ attempted to kick Cody in the head only to be stopped by Dusty. At the expense of the American Dream, it would be difficult to wager against Orton.

Literal Winner: Randy Orton

Intercontinental Title Match
Umaga vs. Jeff Hardy

Perceived Truth: After Jeff and Matt lost the tag team championship it appears as though a concise effort was made to elevate both of them to strengthen the mid card. In fact an interesting question was posed on WWE.com about the two. If something did not work out for either brother and the other would have been successful would there be jealousy? Both downplay how each would react saying that they would support the other regardless of the result. As for having to face Umaga, Hardy will face someone who really was put in a bad position something similar to what the giant faced when Jack made him fall from the beanstalk. It seems trivial to suggest that but having Umaga lose the title in a way that was clean or not took his stalk down a bit. Santino Marella may be nothing more than a footnote at the end of past Intercontinental champions but he will always hold victories over Umaga. Hardy could lose and be over it really is insignificant how he looks coming out of the match. Both really need to win, but only one wants Jeff too.

Perceived Winner: Jeff Hardy

Literal Truth: Since the separation of the Hardy’s, Jeff and his brother have quickly been elevated into matches where both are contesting for mid-card championships. As much as there may be a discrepancy in size and strength between Hardy and Umaga one can rest assured that this will be no quick demise for Jeff. One can look back to seeing Jeff’s matches against Abyss to see what chances Hardy will take to defeat someone that outweighs him by approximately 100 ibs. The difference here between say a battle with much taller members of the Raw locker room is the width in this opponent. The way everything Umaga attempts each of this moves there is an emphasis on speed and impact. What one could anticipate in this match is that Jeff will take and sell everything he is hit with and more. One could also anticipate a typical Jeff Hardy match with a number of points where spots are attempted. It would also appear fitting on the night in which his brother is competing for the US title that Jeff captures the Intercontinental championship.

Literal Winner: Jeff Hardy

United States Championship
MVP vs. Matt Hardy

Perceived Truth: WWE.com has done a fair amount of creating a sense of uneasiness in the US champion. While there has been no comment from MVP or his people about the match, one would have to think that the highest-paid free agent in SmackDown history has to be nervous about his recent slump. After reading that comment one would be led to believe that MVP’s chances to retain his title are less likely to happen. One should keep in mind how many times MVP blew his chances to capture the United States championship on a major pay per view platform. His recent string of losses have consisted in consecutive losses to Kane and Matt Hardy over the past few weeks. The website has tried to put the ‘pressure of his contract’ as the reason for his recent string of losses but that is suppose to come with an criticism that a ‘major sports athlete’ would endure. Let’s keep this in perspective he’s MVP he isn’t Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. At this point one would like to see MVP retain his title only to show that the critics are wrong. (Damn, that sure reads like I’m drinking the kool-aid doesn’t it?)

Perceived Winner: MVP

Literal Truth: A great deal has been made lately at the improved position Matt Hardy has been put into on the Smackdown brand. It has been a long time coming for Matt. He has endured a string of pushes that have only left him in a place where others would surpass him. MVP has been pushed for sometime. Since he captured the United States championship there has been a number of matches where he has made to look better than he should have been. What one anticipates happening is every set back that Matt has endured and every obstacle that he has had to face continue in this match as well. While he was successful as a tag team wrestler with his brother, this match may not be his time win the title. What appears to be more way to book this championship rivalry effectively is have Matt put over MVP countless times. It would be more fitting to have Matt finally capture the United States championship but at Summer slam. On this evening it appears MVP’s reign could continue.

Literal Winner: MVP

ECW World Championship
John Morrison (c) vs. CM Punk

Perceived Truth: The match is one of complex and different styles from one another. The flamboyant and high risk style of Morrison versus the submission and technical style of Punk has great potential. To have Nitro in the role of champion also allows him to hide behind the title rather then to be upfront against his opponent. This could in fact be detrimental to have happen. There is already a cowardly champion in Edge, a fighting champion in Cena there needs to be someone that will manage to be a bit of both types of champion. This is where one would hope Nitro could excel. He was not a cowardly Intercontinental or Tag Team champion so one would hope with the ECW World championship, this would continue to follow suit. The opposition that Punk provides Nitro is incredible. There are very few to no options being made in the brand with the exception of Cor Von and Burke. One would like to see Morrison hold onto the title but do so clean, thus having it validate his win.

Perceived Winner: John Morrison

Literal Truth: This is a difficult match to discuss. It is difficult because of the circumstances of how John Morrison was able to capture the championship. It is the first pay per view since the infamous night of the Night of Champions that saw Morrison added to the match against Punk as a last minute replacement. That being said what has been good booking is having CM Punk in the role of hungry competitor rather than that of champion. The booking has provided Punk a new role and the opportunity to carry the brand where it may not have been in other circumstances. John Morrison has been a champion and has a solid enough move set that to have him compete actively as part of the ECW brand. One does not anticipate a quick resolution to the end of this challenge between the two. Since the two are young and are capable of putting on some very entertaining matches than one can anticipate that these two will face each other again. However Punk has shown to be convincing as hungry challenger and it does not appear to be his time to relinquish that role just yet.

Literal Winner: John Morrison

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Great Khali (c) vs. Batista vs. Kane

Perceived Truth: Teddy Long announced this match after either Batista no Kane was victorious in their number 1 contender match. While the match provides the Great Khali two challengers for the title it really does not provide him with a challenge per say. When we think about it this last minute decision to have Khali become the champion will not be a short term choice. What was strange about this match is that Khali and Batista were supposed to face each other anyway and Kane was suppose to contend for the title at the Great American Bash anyways. When Kane was prepared to do something to Edge, he is hurt and has to relinquish his title. When Kane did toss Edge around like a rag doll the affect was a torn muscle costing Edge more than Kane to win the title. Khali’s capturing of the title secures the companies faith in him (not sure for what) to hold the title. One would prefer to see Batista regain his title. After chasing Edge for such a long time it would be fitting to see that it pays to be persistent and one way or another, things could come your way.

Perceived Winner: Batista

Literal Truth: The announcement of this match came rather quickly. Due to the circumstances being that with the pay per view being within the same week a champion had to be named. The Great American Bash was the same week so something had to be done quickly to offer an exciting enough championship match to sell tickets. Did the booking of this match accomplish this? It is doubtful and since there is such a short turn around for the match to take place it is unlikely if we will learn what the buyrate would have been with tickets sold while Edge was still a part of the card and tickets sold after it was announced that he was going to be replaced by the Great Khali as champion. What other choice did the company have? Kane was scheduled to face Edge, so he was already motivated to challenge for the title. Batista is still hungry after losing out on his previous opportunities against Edge for the title. One would anticipate Khali will still retain the title after capturing the championship this past week.

Literal Winner: The Great Khali

WWE Heavyweight Championship
John Cena (c) vs. Bobby Lashley

Perceived Truth: Over the course of the past few weeks the match between Lashley and Cena was been built in the most peculiar way. The match between the two of them was announced 4 weeks ago and only had a few weeks of building between them. They hype has come from promos and commercials. Other obligations on the part of John Cena prevented him from getting back at Lashley a week after being speared. This is the difficult part of pitting to faces against one another. A week after Lashley mowed through John Cena he was teams up with Jeff Hardy to face off against King Booker and Mr. Kennedy. Some may argue whether he was cheered more when he speared Cena or when he teamed with Jeff Hardy? It is difficult not to picture the heavyweight title coming to Lashley eventually. What one does have doubts about are Lashley winning the championship on this particular night. What one does anticipate is a Lashley win but to do so by pushing Cena in a direction that fans may not be accustomed to seeing the champion being.

Perceived Winner: Bobby Lashley (by DQ)

Literal Truth: On the July 1st edition of Raw the decision as to who would be challenging John Cena for the WWE championship was determined. King Booker, Randy Orton, Mr. Kennedy and Lashley were all in contention to capture the #1 contenders spot in a beat the clock scenario to determine the winner. After all the dust settled, Lashley walked away as the number one contender for the title. John Cena may have come out to congratulate Lashley but there was something that didn’t seem right about this entire scenario between the two of them. For Lashley to spear Cena after the contract was officially signed was to represent something. What it was intended on accomplishing was for it to send Cena a message of warning. What it did do was slightly tarnish the controlled rage image that has been built for Lashley. Why the need to jump the unaware champion when that isn’t supposed to be what he was about? He earned the shot on merit, will he be able to win the title on merit or by other means.

Literal Winner: Bobby Lashley (by DQ)

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will John Cena fair against Lashley? Will Batista or Kane regain the title from Khali? What are Jeff Hardy’s realistic chances over Umaga? Could this be the night Matt Hardy finally wins a singles championship against MVP? Why are there no tag team championships on the line for this event? Will Candice retain her title against Melina? These questions are more will be answered along with why the Great American Bash isn’t held on Independence Day.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: The Next Christian Cage Jul14

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Solstice Scriptures: The Next Christian Cage

Often times there are wrestlers whose abilities are hindered because they are in a tag team. Why have to depend on someone when you are capable of standing alone? This question posed does not stem from the belief that without great teams there would be not great tag team matches, but simply if a successful team could be successful on their own. It is these times where the strengths and weaknesses of those teams are apparent. The difference in one such tag team however was not who was the weaker link among the tandem but how long until one of them could break out and be successful on their own.

This question has come about a number of times before. Whether it was The Hardy’s, The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The World’s Greatest Tag Team or Edge and Christian, who among them could and would stand alone without the need of a partner beside them? While it is simple to question who is the more talented it would be difficult not to question if that partner was a hindrance of an aid in one members overall development. Was that partner an asset to their development or a liability? In the teams mentioned above that question could be said that there would not be a Shawn Michaels had their not been a Rockers along the way and there may not have been a Bret Hart had their not been a Hart Foundation.

For all the teams mentioned above that question has been answered. The difference is while that question has been answered for those above there is another team that has recently seen their tandem split which is raising the same question. Whether or not either of these men could be successful on their own, after years of being together as a team remains to be seen. While the statement posed in the column could be referred to anyone it is most suited to someone that is following a similar path to that of Christian Cage’s career. After a number of years he has won championships and yet did not take the next step by branching out on his own and being a singles wrestler. This may have very well been a decision by the company not to have a tag team split but had it not been why did it take so long to happen and can he make it happen now?

However in order to see where someone is going we need to look at where they have been. In 2000, WCW signed future tag team champions to developmental contracts. The problem was that while ideas for possible gimmicks were suggested they were eventually all frowned upon. At one time he played the part of a ‘fake’ Sting in WCW. He was also an active participant on the lesser programs aired by WCW such as World Wide and WCW Saturday night as one half of the R & B (Run and Bump) Security tag team. The second fiddle nature of that character was reminiscent of Christian in the WWE. While Christian did not play the part of an imposter Sting he was supposed to be Edge’s brother and did not speak for a number of months while associated with Gangrel. After years in the ring and tagging with Edge, Christian carved his niche in the ring and appears to have someone following a similar path.

Chris Harris is the next Christian Cage.

While there is probably a number of readers scratching their heads one ask that they give the argument a chance before dismissing the notion. There are clear differences between them. They way they look, the way they speak, where they are from and even there positions within the company. How they got to where they are in the company and who ranks higher in the singles standings. It is actually quite remarkable how these two tend to be similar to one another in a number of ways.

For more than 5 years in TNA, one tag team remained the benchmark to which every one else was measured. America’s Most Wanted was able to do it all. They were strong men that could achieve success no mater what the stipulation. Gauntlet for the Gold, championship tag team matches, various opponents and single title opportunities were among the challenges that came the way of Chris Harris and James Storm.

In order to understand how Harris specifically showed signs of becoming something more than a tag team specialist it is important to understand the struggles he had to endure in order to even make it into the company. When he first joined TNA in mid 2002, Harris was not assured of anything. He was given a tryout match against the man that would one day be his tag team partner. James Storm and Chris Harris were then given short term contracts with the upstart company. It was Bob Ryder that was the creative force behind the forming of the tag team. One must wonder what was it about Harris and Storm that motivated Ryder into turning these two into a tag team. One could argue like any entry level job one should be pleased with what your have because if your not there is someone else that is willing to be where you are. It was during the company’s second ever pay per view event that he and Storm were put into a tag team with one another. The rest they say is history. After America’s Most Wanted was formed it could easily be said that if a company had a franchise team, AMW was certainly that tandem.

How does this parallel the career of Christian Cage? When Cage first joined the WWF/E, Cage was coming into the company with no hype or speculation about his arrival. He was coming in on the basis that he was Edge’s little brother. He never spoke a word upon his arrival. He was in no position to make any demands or requests. Christian had earned his chance to be in the WWE and he was not going to make any qualms about where he was with the company. After team with Edge for a few years, Christian had an opportunity to break out on his own. This is where Harris and he differ in their careers.

Temptation from Vince Russo and a shoulder injury to his partner James Storm provided Chris Harris an opportunity to achieve singles career. It was not quite a year later when a split was teased between Harris and Storm, when Harris rejected Russo’s offer to join Sports Entertainment eXtreme. This tells you that early on in his TNA career there was something about him that stood out in order for management to tease of a possible split between the two. Harris’ size, look and ability to compete on his own were notable qualities that Harris had and could be used to benefit Russo’s faction. Despite the provocation on the part of Russo, Harris was more content with doing the right thing and staying as one half of the heart of the TNA tag team division.

Christian’s path to a sole career came in a slightly different but an ironically similar way in the WWE. After being teased of a split with his ‘brother’ Edge it appeared as the two were on the same page. When it appeared as the two were going to make amends with one another it was at this point where Christian turned on Edge and made a point of wanting to be on his own. This was an enormous step for Cage to take personally. For the majority of his career he was known as the lesser of the two men between himself and Edge and now he is on his own. If he does not succeed then the criticism about him to be successful on his own was justified. How is this similar to Chris Harris? It was Harris’ partner James Storm that turned on him putting him on the shelf for a prolonged period of time due to an eye injury. So while Christian was determined to establish a singles career, Harris was going to use revenge as his motivation to begin his singles career.

Christian changed a number of characteristics and ascetically physical appearances about himself. Why the change? Why not be content with simply being a tag team wrestler? It is simple his ability to work in a number of different ways makes him a heel that is both recognizable as a heel and difficult to argue with when it comes to doing promos as a heel. Although Harris had minor changes to his appearance he did change his appearance slightly. Darker colours were replaced by brighter and lighter ones. He still sports a long trench coat but the brighter colour was more symbolic of being a face and carried with it a true good guy quality about the coat. He can simply get over by looking the way he does a quality very few wrestlers could. If one could equate ring skill to a character charisma or personality Chris Harris has always had this quality. Does this necessarily make Chris Harris the next Christian Cage? It certainly shows that there are similarities between the two

Christian Cage did more than change the shirt he wore or the tights he wore to the ring. He went through a complete cosmetic overhaul. By cutting his long hair and parading to the ring with a two piece outfit as his entrance attire that represented how great he believed he was, Christian was prepared to take the next step forward with his career. This was not the only change he made to further show that he was more than a smaller wrestler trying to be more than he was physically. The above mentioned changes along with pyrotechnics as he came to the ring made “Captain Charisma”. Although he has been a face from time to time it is hard to see Christian as anything other than a top heel. His witty, clever and amusing way of addressing his opponents have provided fans a great deal of entertainment. When it comes down to it, Christian has talent. This is a quality that Chris Harris has always had as well.

Harris had a chance to achieve singles success at a time where it almost appeared to be an accident. While James Storm had suffered a shoulder injury in the early part of 2004, Chris Harris received an NWA-TNA World Title opportunity against Jeff Jarrett. He was unsuccessful in this match up but did have a chance to redeem himself against Jarrett a few months later. On June 2nd Harris faced Jeff Jarrett along with a number of other men in the King of the Mountain Ladder match. The result was no different then it was a few months earlier. This was not unlike Christian who lost to The Rock or Triple H in his singles matches. What these world championship losses suffered at the hands of Harris do was build character. As cliché as it may sound to lose to a guy that has the push behind him show something. While we should put politics aside and look at experience in the ring and what defeat teaches Chris Harris. What it shows Harris was that the company believes in him enough to know that he has the ability to be successful on his own. This is not unlike Cage who also had the support of the company behind him. Much like Harris, however the showing of support for Cage was not consistent early in his career. Although Cage had success in the company by capturing the Intercontinental title, the lack of support opportunities he received to proceed forward and compete actively in the World Championship scene. While some may call it a glass ceiling, Christian was a casualty of poor decision making on the part of the writers and bookers. This similarity that is reminiscent of the career of Chris Harris as well.

At this point in both Harris and Cage’s lives they are in a similar place. Both men are of similar age and that has shaped their careers. Although Harris has yet to experience the singles success that Cage has it appears as though that time has now come. In fact their match together at Victory Road could prove to be the chance that Harris has long been waiting for to prove that he is capable of being the single star he had set out to be more than 5 years ago. Harris has achieved all he could as a tag team wrestler. It is time for him to move forward much like Cage did before him. For it is his success on his own which will help to measure how he could be. He has won an astounding 10 tag team championships between TNA, MWA, WWC and NWF. It is now fitting that he is in a company that has helped to secure Christian Cage’s status as a main eventer and world champion it is Harris may follow in his footsteps.

Before we go allow the words of Chris Harris to tell you where he feels he is on becoming a singles competitor. I think everything happens for a reason. Maybe I could have been successful. I am going to have that chance now. I have had five years as a tag team guy and I have the confidence to break out. I don’t regret it one second.To read the article in its entirety please click here.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, realize why Chris Harris is the next Christian Cage and not you, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Victory Road 07′ Preview Jul14

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Victory Road 07′ Preview

Victory Road is a rarely traveled street. Technically a road and a street aren’t the same thing but hey why argue semantics in a wrestling preview column? Which begs an interesting question: could there be much of an affect as a result of this pay per view? Will there be a different direction with new stars arising in TNA? Some probably don’t like the name but it probably works considering the whole motor racing motif that the name suggests? Although if people like a legend such as Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon or Danika Patrick get involved then really why freakin name something that suggests that? All things considered there is a huge upside to this pay per view with the matches and people involved. There are some upsides to this pay per view. The match of champions could have interesting implications, the Ultimate X rarely if ever disappoints Harris/Cage, Storm/Rhino, Young & Kim/Roode & Brooks, and Shelley & Sabin/Lynn & Backlund are among the anticipated matches for this pay per view. This pay per view could prove to be as highly entertaining as it has been advertised.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste that consumes you. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together like a piping hot slice of happiness served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Ultimate X Match
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, Homicide, “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt, Kaz, Shark Boy, “Prime Time” Elix Skipper, Puma, and (2 more TNA X stars to be announced)

Perceived Truth: As the match and Victory Road approaches the return of the Ultimate X match up manages to showcase the spectacle that TNA can bring to a pay per view. What have always remained interesting about this match was the chances that the competitors have to take to move along the X cable. Homicide, Elix Skipper, Puma, Shark Boy and Kaz don’t appear to have much of a chance in this match with the way recent storylines are developing. This leaves Lethal, Daniels and Dutt as the three men to look at to win the match. One hopes that the two unannounced TNA stars are two men that have been asked about the Ultimate X match up. Both Senshi and Petey Williams would be great choices for opposition in this match up. One hope is that the winner of the Ultimate X match would be someone that has had a lot of good coming to him for such a long time because he has compromised what could have been good for him for what was best for storylines.

Perceived Winner: Petey Williams

Literal Truth: As the weeks past speculation as to who was going to be involved in this match was not announced until this past week on iMPACT! The reason for this is not clear. What one can understand is that the delay in announcing Puma’s involvement in the match due to his availability for the pay per view. This addition does show that TNA will continue to bring in Japanese talent for major events. One has a difficult time being convinced by how effective Shark Boy or Kaz will be in this match. Due to the current relationship Kaz has with rest of the Serotonin members it is doubtful of how well he could do knowing that they have their sights set out for him. One anticipates the two men to be announced as being a part of the Ultimate X match. These two men are the same two men that one would also like to see take part. Both Senshi and Petey Williams are no strangers to the Ultimate X match. Senshi is a former X division champion and Williams has been an exciting and active participant in these matches in the past. All that being said one sees a return to form with a win in this match.

Literal Winner: “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

“Cowboy” James Storm vs. Rhino

Perceived Truth : On the surface this match and subsequent feud has all the makings of a showdown at the O.K Coral between the two tough guys. There is something about James Storm and Rhino as the two tough guys drawing a line in the sand with question as to who will be the first to cross the dusty line in that sand. The difference here is there has been provocation on the part of James Storm. The spitting of beer in the face of Rhino drove him over the edge. Whether that was caused by a lack of drinks and women on a Saturday night or the way it was given to him by Storm tends to come into question. What one does tend to realize is that this match up probably not be as full of tension and animosity had Storm not pushed first. This is great actually because maybe this is the fire that Rhino needs to get him in a position where he can be successful in the company. What I would like to see happen is have Rhino channel all that anger but have it backfire on him. That emotion ends up getting the better of him and Storm comes out on top.

Perceived Winner: “Cowboy” James Storm

Literal Truth : The damage spit can cause from a bottle of beer is incredible. This has been the cause of the motivation in the feud between. It has been for some time which has seemed strange. Although when we think about it that may not be all that far fetched when we think of who is involved. If we think of Rhino as this alpha male who has a sense of pride and is strong sense of self what has happened to him. What has happened to him by James Storm spitting beer in his face is quite embarrassing. The ‘beer spit’ or spat depending on how you want to look at it probably intending to hold greater sense of insult then the traditional ‘yo mamma wears army boots’ from years gone by. It is probably intended of holding more worth than words ever could. What that insult has done however is created a great opportunity for Storm to move up within the championship standings and move Rhino down. Although after coming out of Slammaversary with a loss to a non-wrestler it appears as though Storm has fallen a bit in the standings. One can anticipate this trend to continue

Literal Winner: Rhino

New School vs. Old School
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. Jerry Lynn and Bob Backlund

Perceived Truth : For a number of weeks there was this constant baiting of Bob Backlund that was taking place. It almost resembled that of a poking an old dog with a stick to see how he would react. When he does react the result is an unleashed and wild animal ready to rip someone’s head off. There were instances where Backlund was had approached Cornette irate that his book was taken. While the significance of the book meant little to Shelley and Sabin it was of great importance to Backlund. Lynn has had an on again, off again feud with Sabin and whether there has ever been true resolution of who is greater age or youth. This all came to a head when the four had a debate as part of the Paparazzi Productions ‘new school vs. old school’. After comments were exchanged by each team a fight broke out between them. The video ended with both Lynn and Backlund slapping on dual chicken wing arm bars. What one would like to see happen is Backlund manage to lay a beating on both Sabin and Shelley only to see Lynn or Backlund side with youth in the end.

Perceived Winner: Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin

Literal Truth : There have been hints of a match erupted between these four men for some time. The problem was how was it going to be done and in what fashion. Some may have argued that at least 3 of these men could have competed in the Ultimate X match with it being interesting to see if Bob Backlund could also compete in that match. After it was finally announced that the four men would form two teams in a battle between the old school and new school the match was clear. On the July 12th edition of iMPACT! the match came about after a video aired from Paparazzi Productions of a debate between the four men. This debate was moderated by Kevin Nash and quickly broke out some amusing one liners’ and comments by both Nash and Shelley as well. Although they were deemed disrespectful it was quite amusing to hear Shelley refer to Jerry Lynn as the ‘lead singer of Nickelback”. Nash simply told everyone to ‘have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight’. One would anticipate a win by the new school because of the momentum the team appears to be on.

Literal Winner: Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin

Eric Young & Gail Kim vs. Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks

Perceived Truth : What has always been remarkable about this feud is the turns and situations it tends to take. Some may argue that there are no life lesions in wrestling but in this feud, one may beg to differ. For instance the constant struggle between Roode and Young and being more concerned with how others could applaud them or appreciate them is no different than any domestic issue that tends to take place. A parent who embarrasses a child, a sibling that humiliates their younger brothers or sisters or the school yard bully that is more concerned with looking meaner and making others afraid of him rather than trying to be better them self. If something good comes to someone it is more important to rain on their moment of happiness ruin it to make yourself look better. When it appears as though Young finally had earned his freedom away from Roode Inc, he once again is put into a position where he must face the bully. While it may appear as though he has confidence, one is hoping that gets the better of him.

Perceived Winner: Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks

Literal Truth : Over the past few months this feud has taken a number of different turns. What has remained in this feud despite things being settled between the two is relentless and tenacious attitude that Eric Young and Robert Roode carry with them. Since Gail Kim has been added to the mix of things it has provided Young with the support he has needed outside the ring. The difference here is that neither woman will be watching at ringside but will be active participants in this mixed inter-gender match up. At Slammaversary it had appeared as though Robert Roode had won the match and Eric Young was going to be fired only to find out that this was not the case. Young was given a fair chance and he capitalized on this with a win. What has also come about is the affection Young has received from Gail Kim. Even though Ms. Brooks continues to flirt and persuade Young, he has not fallen to her advances. Young has momentum and support on his side and it is difficult to see he and Gail lose this match.

Literal Winner: Eric Young and Gail Kim

Christian Cage vs. “Wildcat” Chris Harris

Perceived Truth: What appears to be among the most notable elements of this match up is how these two are in a position to face one another after never crossing each others paths. While one was a face the other was a heel. When both turned either face or heel so did the other. Harris could even be accused of being in the right place at the right time. By pushing Cage off the ladder, he only prevented the Instant classic from winning the title but not helping his own cause. What I would like to have Harris be is more than someone who continues to be teased in being in a main event slot only to lose that opportunity completely. In facing Christian Cage, Chris Harris is given exactly what he had the opportunity to capture a few years ago. It isn’t a title that he has the chance to win like he did against Jeff Jarrett but an opportunity to be used in a greater capacity in the company. What I would like to see happen is Cage remember what he went through to get to where he is at this time in his career and put Harris over.

Perceived Winner: “Wildcat” Chris Harris

Literal Truth : Since King of the Mountain ended it appeared as though these two were going to have to face each other. It was Cage that was a favorite in this match and yet the unexpected and last minute addition of Harris that caused so much damage to the outcome of the match. That previous statement is debatable depending on who we ask. If you’re Kurt Angle, then one is probably inclined to agree with how KOTM went down. After Harris and Storm’s feud ended with a decisive victory at the hands of Chris Harris it appeared as though new opportunities were still ahead for him. Cage was clearly upset after being pushed off the ladder as the TNA championship appeared to be right in his grasp. In the weeks that followed Slammaversary, Cage was more driven to get even with Harris than to want another shot at the title. What I would anticipate to see happen is have Cage help to put Harris over. Whether it is done so that there is some question as to the legitimacy of the win for another pay per view match up or not would be an idea to explore.

Literal Winner: “Wildcat” Chris Harris

Abyss & Sting .vs. Tomko & AJ Styles

Perceived Truth : In order to seek revenge and establish a true turn of character Abyss had to team with Sting. For a few weeks prior to Abyss’ hiatus from the ring in the staged injury, Abyss consistently appeared torn as to whether he would side with Sting or conform to what he was told to do by others. It now appears that there is no wavering in sight for Abyss. He clearly seems determined to carve his own niche as a face and do so with the support rather than the guidance of Sting. Tomko is in good standing to be facing Abyss. He was consistently in a position where he had to support Christian Cage’s cause rather than defend his own. Tomko has the opportunity to challenge Abyss and put him in his place for the first time since the monster returned from his injury. What is disappointing to see is the sideshow character that AJ Styles has been saddled with. Despite its amusing nature it tends to be a deterrent on what he can do in the ring. One would anticipate that Sting and Abyss will capitalize on this and put Styles and Tomko in their place.

Perceived Winner: Sting & Abyss

Literal Truth: This match combines two separate grudges into one with the booking of this match up. For the past few weeks Abyss and Tomko have come head to head with one another on a number of occasions. Whether it was simply getting caught up in a brawl outside the ring or after having sought revenge for built up animosity, both Tomko and Abyss seemed destined to face one another at Victory Road. The other rivalry seems to have piggy backed on the Tomko/Abyss feud. What appears to be a little odd is the bookers appeared to want to achieve a number of different things with Abyss and settled on a previous storyline. Sting’s mentoring of Abyss seemed like a distant memory until recently. It appeared to be distant memory because fans were led to believe that James Mitchell was going to bring in his ‘son’ to create settle the score on his behalf. That translates into something happening between Abyss and Mitchell’s protégé. However that has not been the case because Sting’s quest to metaphorically save Abyss and have him stand on his own became the focal point once again.

Literal Winner: Abyss & Sting

Match of Champions
TNA World Champion (c) Kurt Angle vs. TNA X Division Champion (c) Samoa Joe vs. TNA World Tag Team Champions (c) Team 3D

Perceived Truth : What has always been fun about writing this section of the preview is how dreaming and even wishing can be so much fun. This is also one of those instances and despite my best efforts to be realistic about how booking is done; this is one of those times where that has to be thrown out the window. The concept of the match is unique because of who is involved but what I would like to see is the unlikely winners to be the winners in this match. Imagine if Team 3D were to capture the TNA World title and X division championship? There is part of me that would to see Ray or D-Von shouting to each other ‘Do a Plancha!’ or a ‘FrankenDudley’. Between the two of them who would hold the TNA World title? Does it go to the heavier of the title since it’s a heavyweight championship? Or does it go to the one that looks like he is more mobile and able to do more in the ring? Could it be that Ray could be the X division champion and be a giant in a land of ants or be challenged by Samoa Joe for the title? It may be unrealistic but its still fun to imagine the improbable let alone the impossible.

Perceived Winner: Team 3D

Literal Truth: While the build up of this match has taken place over the past few weeks it is interesting how all those involved became a part of the match. It is not because of how the match was to involve all the champions in TNA to face one another but interesting in such a manner that some were not even champions when this match was first announced. For instance Samoa Joe was not the X Division champion when this match was first announced and yet he inexplicably became the champion upon the night the match was announced and was the first to qualify for the match of champions. Does it not seem somewhat odd that someone who appears more destined for the World championship had to have the X division championship to qualify for this match? While one can understand that Jay Lethal will not be the draw that Joe would be for this match up it seems really strange that he captured the title just be involved in the match. Kurt Angle and Team 3D have both retained their titles to qualify for this match up. However this match smells of an Angle/Joe win to capture the titles much like Cena and Michaels did in the WWE.

Literal Winner: Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will Chris Harris fair against Christian Cage? Will Eric Young and Gail Kim finally settle the score against Robert Roode and Ms. Brooks? Will Rhino finally bend, embrace his past, put aside his demons and share a drink with James Storm? Who will walk away from the Ultimate X match and who will simply be able to walk away? What surprise does VKM have for Christy Hemme? Who will walk away from the match of champions as a new champion and who will lose their title? These questions are more will be answered along with who is renewing their vows at Victory Road.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: The 4th Casualty Jun30

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Solstice Scriptures: The 4th Casualty

Dear Scriptures:

Over the past few days have been ones of shock, disbelief, nausea, disappointment, anger and sorrow. To have these many emotions are as difficult as it is to type each of the words to describe them. As a wrestling fan I’ve tried to pride my self on being objective and giving everything the benefit of the doubt. The problem is here is that while I am hoping there is positive from all of this its becoming more and more likely that this is the case. It is more than a day removed from the events of Mon June 25th, 2007 and the more I hear about what happened in Fayette, Georgia the more nausea I become.

Chris Benoit and family found dead in home.

While that heading is as difficult to type as it is to comprehend it would become even more complicated as more information about the ‘tragedy’ was coming in. At 9:23 pm I received a phone message on my cell after my class Monday evening from a friend of saying, “Marc, when you get this message, you can call me before 10”. When I returned the phone call she said “Yeah, that Canadian wrestler died…hey Tony (her husband in the background said…”Benoit”.) WHAT? That reaction has to be the initial one said by so many people around the in the wrestling industry. The moments that followed during my drive were sadness, much like anyone else that heard the story the first time. It was shocking one of my favorite wrestlers ever had died. When I came home a few hours later I had to check and watch the repeat edition of Raw early Tuesday morning.

The images and messages from those appeared on Raw were all full of grief. Edge, John Cena, CM Punk and Dean Malenko among them were ones filled with respect and admiration. They all talked about the stories of his life in the ring. It was incredible how that little kid that went up to Tommy Billington told him he was going to be just like him was gone. He was admired for helping to develop the younger talent. He put guys like MVP over recently for the US Championship.

Each of the interview teams talked about the type of guy Benoit was in the ring and out. When I heard JBL and Michael Cole about him we came to appreciate what he meant to the Smackdown brand. We also had an understanding of what Benoit did in Japan and how it would be nice to turn back the clock to the days of the Pegasus kid. The emotion appeared so sincere and real that to believe that Benoit and his family’s death was anything more than a tragedy. When Jerry Lawler spoke he spoke not only about Chris but about Nancy Benoit’s contributions to wrestling as “Woman”. As the ECW crew began to talk about Benoit they spoke of how he first gained his fame in the US when he joined the company. Tazz was distraught because someone that meant so much to the industry was gone. All three brands announce teams were quite respectful and mournful of a man and a family that was a part of their own in and outside the ring. A friend too many and a loving father was gone.

At 1:45 am Tuesday morning I went to bed shaking my head still in disbelief that he was gone. What was different here (on first impressions) was how this was unlike Eddie Guerrero’s. While the death of Guerrero carried other speculation as to how he died, medication of any kind could not have killed an entire family, could it? Before I left for work Tuesday morning, I quickly channel surfed the television news stations in hopes for find any information about his death. I heard nothing. Later that morning, I called a friend of mine mentioning it to her and that he and his family were dead. She replied “Yeah, they said he killed them and then himself”. WHAT?

In what was a span of maybe 11 hours I used the same word to describe the same reaction I felt earlier. She told me this and I had to race home quickly to read up more about this tragedy that had taken a new twist. A direction that as a sane and relatively normal human being that what I continued to read would do little to give me any more piece of mind.

Authorities believe wrestler Benoit killed wife, son then himself

Authorities believe a professional wrestler, his wife and son found dead in their central Fayette County home Monday afternoon died in a murder-suicide. District Attorney Scott Ballard said Monday night that he felt confident that Chris Benoit killed his wife Nancy, their 7-year-old son and then himself. TheCitizen.com

This was a joke right? It had to be. There was no other way to describe this as being anything other than a sick and tasteless joke that someone with a really twisted sense of humor would find amusing. At some point this horrible publicity stunt will be called and the WWE will be criticized for having no moral barometer. These were the thoughts that swirled around my head after reading these statements. At this point I refused to believe it and thought he’s been framed! Someone planted something on him to make it look like he did this sick and disgusting act. This reaction was clearly out of a failure to believe that he was capable of being this way.

Benoit Murder Details Revealed

Several Atlanta-based law enforcement sources have told TMZ Benoit may have strangled his wife on Saturday, then smothered his son in his bed a day later. Investigators refuse to officially comment, pending final confirmation by the coroner on the cause and time of the deaths.

One source told TMZ that Benoit was texting friends during Sunday’s WWE “Vengeance” Pay-Per-View program — possibly watching the show with his son, who may have been alive at the time. According to sources, Benoit then hanged himself Monday in a weight room inside the family home. A police investigation is ongoing.

TMZ.com

After reading this a numb feeling has taken over my sense of right and wrong. Why would someone that had everything give away everything? It may be a little dramatic to say that but for everything I thought about and admired it’s difficult to accept. I admired and respected him and feel a little dead myself inside. Prior to reading this statement I had heard this around 10:30 am Tuesday morning. Jeff Marek discussed the events and without question did not judge him and his rationale for doing so. In this instance Marek spoke of his friend and was a professional in the process. What does he believe when the cameras are not rolling? Do you judge your friends even if they are guilty of committing such a horrible act? Only those that is able to live that answer can truly answer that question.

When it comes to murder is there some justifiable cause? A number of times cases are tried and one’s mental state comes into question. To some it may be reassuring that Benoit was not in his right state of mind when murdering his wife and child. For those that feel that way ask yourself if he was in his right state of mind would committing the acts be anymore acceptable? This comes into question even more when we consider that a number of even more bizarre findings came from the scene. Bibles were found by each of the bodies. Were these acts to represent a sense of saving on the part of Benoit? Could he have prayed for them and wished peace for them? There has also been speculation from further reports from psychologists that Benoit believed his family would be better and safer in heaven. It is as though there is alternate truth one that is not scrutinized and one that is publicly unacceptable. This disturbing belief through psychologists reports on Benoit and investigators are frightening to see especially since he was universally respected for what he appeared to stand for and represent.

Before this became public the timeline of text message’s came out. The peculiar and haunting nature of the messages were they virtually the same message repeatedly sent to co-workers over and over again. Did he want to be found? Was it a cry for help? We will never know but simply speculate the reasons as to why Benoit did what he did. There has been speculation to his mental state and well-being. As the week continues new information continues to come out. The most recent reports that have surfaced reveal that what Benoit did was not the result of rage but deliberation. These actions were planned and sought out? He was unable to cope with Daniel’s Fragile X syndrome and chose to rather end life to actually end ‘pain’? Much like a heel that only cares to win, Chris Benoit only cared to win this personal battle outside the ring.

To accuse someone of lying is a pretty serious accusation. However to realize that what that person did was more than just a lie but, were deceptive and what they represented to millions of people meant nothing in the end is crushing. After reading the testimonials of different wrestlers through interviews, blogs and other public mediums are just as baffling. While a number of people have sent condolences to the remaining members of the Benoit family they just as quick to say they loved Chris. They don’t judge him regardless of what happened. At this time I can’t wrap my head around that. The difference here is it is probably easier to disassociate anything professionally about him when you never had a relationship with him. If that is the case then why are so many people universally outraged? The reason is simple. Wrestling fans are people first and fans second. They feel emotion and love their families without question because when the leave the arena and put away their wrestling signs they tuck their children in their beds and spend quality times with their spouses.

After the events of the weekend of June 22-24th, 2007 brings out disappointment and heartbreak. Those heartbroken had to endure a personal loss themselves that day. While we remember the Benoit family and the innocence of life taken away, we need to remember the infinite casualties of these events. Those died a little from a broken heart this weekend. Those that suffered that heartbreak are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. A part of these people partially died that day. It’s those wrestling fans I’d like to apologize to because they believed and cared about someone whose twisted outlook on achieving the greater good killed more than their family.

Through all the headlines and information this past week that has developed over this situation people are reminded that there is no grey area between good and bad. One can not look at deliberation and believe that it’s justifiable by reason of insanity. Drugs were speculated and refuted by officials as being the reason Benoit did what he did. If drugs were, would it sit better with wrestling fans? To believe that it would be is insulting. Wrestling fans would more than likely a lifetime of happiness for a five star match. Much like Chris Gow, Matt Seagull, Cash Melville, John C and myself all refuse to have wrestling taken from us but will also put wrestling in perspective with life. We try not to judge but are overcome with a number of different feelings are painful as fans of what Benoit stood for.

Personally, wrestling for me won’t change. I won’t let it affect how I still enjoy what these athletes attempt to do every week. My all time favorites will still be Tommy Billington and Ricky Steamboat and I’ll still cheer on the underdog in a match. What does become is to understand is the gravitational pull that exists for wrestlers. What goes up must come down. The difference here being that not all will come down with such a sickening thud that we wish they were never up to begin with. This past week a three people died but after these events took place a number of others died a little bit more metaphorically. If at all possible some died a bit because of disappointment, shock and disbelief. To those that died a bit please come back, you worth it to yourself to not let this ever change what you believed in. I’ll leave you with the last thoughts I’d never believed I would say about Chris Benoit. There never was a Chris Benoit, and if we are all lucky there never will be.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, I feel better for what is important in life and put it in perspective, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Slammaversary 07′ Preview Jun16

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Solstice Scriptures: Perceived/Literal Truth Slammaversary 07′ Preview

Slammaversary has arrived. Which begs an odd question: is this considered a major pay per view much like Wrestlemania is for the WWE? Some probably don’t like the name but it certainly fits since an anniversary is an annual event and well a Slammaversary would only follow suit don’t you think? Although people do get slammed more than once a year and really will there be a seven year itch after this pay per view is seven years in the making? Probably not but it’s always nice to wonder if there is going to be some type of divorce happening. There are some upsides to this pay per view. The King of the Mountain, Sabin/Lethal, Young/Roode Sting/Daniels and Harris/Rhino/LAX are among the anticipated matches for this pay per view. This pay per view could prove to be as highly violent as it has been advertised. The downside of this pay per view could be the using of the Steiner’s reforming past their prime to contest for the tag team championships and Frank Wycheck competing alongside Jerry Lynn to take on James Storm and Ron Killings.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste that consumes you. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together like a piping hot slice of happiness served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels vs. Sting

Perceived Truth: The most intriguing element of this feud is the mystery surrounding what Daniels is referring too. In Christopher Daniels’ absence and reemergence from TNA he continued to refer to what Sting was professing to him. What is it that Sting actually said that Daniels misunderstood and now appears not to be following himself. What does the face paint on Daniels to represent? Is that face paint a reflection of what Sting is/was prophesying? What I would like to see happen is more revealed about these comments that Sting was giving to Daniels. Whether it be symbols apparent on the screens or images in the crowd that represent what Daniels believed Sting meant when the two of them talked. It could very well be that Daniels could use these symbols to confuse and baffle Sting. That in some way these elements refer to nothing in particular but to simply get into the head of Sting and have it prevent him for being focused on Daniels.

Perceived Winner: “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

Literal Truth: This match has been a long time coming. The strangest part about the booking of this match is the last minute announcement of it for Slammaversary. These two have been linked to one another at one point or another for a while. Whether it has been at the suggestion that Christopher Daniels made his return to the ring in a “sting” mask or Daniels constant involvement in Sting’s affairs, the two have linked to one another for a couple of months. It was Daniels that was the major reason as to why Sting did not advance to the King of the Mountain match. While facing Samoa Joe in a qualifying match, Sting was hit from behind by Daniels with a baseball bat. The result left a scorned Sting bent on revenge. When the two came face to face with one another again, Sting put Daniels in his place again and again. He also put him in different places. The guard rail, stands and the backstage area are among the places where Sting put Daniels. Sting is motivated to settle the score with Daniels.

Literal Winner: Sting

X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Chris Sabin vs. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal

Perceived Truth: As it stands the X division generally lives and breathes because of Sabin. For all that have contested or challenged him for the title over the past few months no one seemed to really be the one to win the championship and lead the division like he has done. What is interesting about this match up is to see how Jay Lethal has progressed to the point where he is competing for the title. At one time it would have been difficult to take him seriously as a title threat. What is ironic now about Lethal is, he is difficult to take seriously as a title threat for different reasons. While under the persona of “Black Machismo”, he has given personality to an already talented athlete and received a favorable reaction by fans. What I would like to see happen is begin to believe he is bigger than Nash or others around him thus turning heel in the process. It is so unlikely to happen given his current reaction that it would be nice to see a different approach to his booking. At this point it is still hard to bet against Sabin.

Perceived Winner: Chris Sabin

Literal Truth: It was only a matter of time before Jay Lethal was put in the forefront to challenge for the X division championship. Sabin and Lethal have gone back and forth challenging one another in one match or another. Whether it was in a tag match that involved Sonjay Dutt and Alex Shelley, Sabin and Lethal have had their run-ins with one another. What one could anticipate is the involvement on the part of Sonjay Dutt preventing Lethal the opportunity to win the championship. In fact Dutt may prevent Lethal from winning the match in the most ‘unintentional’ way. It could be something as innocent as Dutt arguing with the referee for something that appears suspicious on the part of Chris Sabin. One could also anticipate a high paced match that will show a great deal of creativity between the two. For all that one could anticipate a championship win for Lethal is unlikely.

Literal Winner: Chris Sabin

FREEDOM MATCH
Eric Young vs. Robert Roode

Perceived Truth: Since being put in the unenviable position of having to be Robert Roode’s personal lackey, Eric Young has been even more introverted than ever before. The naïve and often loveable loser to wrestling fans finally has the chance to make things right and fight his own battle. It would be nice to see him actually be able to show unaltered and relentless fury on someone like Roode. This is his chance to shine. The story is one where fans want to see the weaker person come out of their character and do what none thought they were capable of doing before. While many would probably like to see Young unleash that same aggression against Ms. Brooks it would be nice to see him give her a taste of her own medicine. What would be a pleasant surprise to see is Ms. Brooks attempt to use her feminine charms towards Young. It would be equally pleasant to see him play up to it just to shun her in the process.

Perceived Winner: Eric Young

Literal Truth: Over the past few months Eric Young has been manipulated and exploited all for Robert Roode’s personal gain. It has been months of abuse for Eric Young who is being exploited by his former Team Canada teammate. A great deal of this abuse can be attributed to the relationship that Young felt was developing between him and Ms. Brooks. This feud even saw the return of Jeff Jarrett who came to make things right and stood up for someone who would rather be beaten then to break his word. Even though Jarrett did not win a piece of Eric Young was given some hope for the future. Jim Cornette had seen enough and proposed this match to both men. Since Roode agreed this match it meant that there is no turning back for Young. He has no other choice but to win this match. What one could anticipate is win at the hands of Young but unfortunately in manner other than a pin fall or submission.

Literal Winner: Eric Young

TNA Tag Team Championship
Team 3D .vs. The Steiner Brothers

Perceived Truth: While Scott Steiner had continued to remind people of how his brother would support him it seems to have come about where the tag team division is flourishing in TNA. The Steiner’s are coming together where their prosperous singles careers are not only behind them but provide little in the way of creating success. As a team this could be the time where one man is able to help the other. Teams usually are there to help to hide other member’s weaknesses and build on their success. In the case of the Steiner brothers a criticism that Scott has had has been his stamina in a match. At this point in a match he appears to burn out rather quickly and has been dependent on his opposition to help create quick finishes for the match. It has been sometime since Rick has been on television so it would be interesting to see how his conditioning is at his age. He never had to carry the extra body mass that Scott has so that probably makes it easier for him to move around, despite being the elder of the two brothers. At this point I would rather see a solid revival of the Steiner brothers in defeat to simply be awarded the title.

Perceived Winner: Team 3D

Literal Truth: This match up appeared to come about out of sheer reminders of who would have Scott Steiner back. Through constant reminders of during his tag title opportunity with Tomko against Team 3D and LAX at Sacrifice, Steiner would say something to the affect of ‘my brother would always have my back’. After Steiner and Tomko lost at Sacrifice, Rick Steiner came out to help his brother beat down Tomko hinting of a reunion between the Steiner brothers. On the May 24th edition of iMPACT!, it became official that a reunion was going to take place. It was announced that the Steiner brothers were back. In what could be described as a match up of two teams that were among the elite in the early to mid nineties have finally come to face each other. Essentially it is a match of two teams that are facing each other past their prime. It would seem a little strange to have the Steiner’s earn a title shot so quickly and would be even stranger to have Team 3D lose the title this quickly. So it would be difficult to envision Team 3D losing this match for the titles.

Literal Winner: Team 3D

CHALLENGE MATCH
Mr. Backlund vs. Alex Shelley

Perceived Truth: Over the course of the past few months Mr. Backlund has had feuds with various members of the X division. While these feuds have helped to elevate the younger athletes it has also helped to create new options for the writers to work with. This recent feud is actually more about something as simple as a stolen book. In the mind of Backlund it is more about what the book represents. For Shelley it is more about what the book contains that he could use for his own benefit. There is clearly something of value in that book and really in some respects Backlund has already lost. Even if he does receive the book back who is not to say that Shelley won’t divulge the secrets within the journal. What could Backlund do if he gets the notes back? Shelley only needs to publish the notes and anything sacred or favorable to Backlund. At this point I don’t want Backlund to win because it won’t change Shelley from stealing again and really what’s the point?

Perceived Winner: Alex Shelley

Literal Truth: This is a feud that has been brewing for some time. While it first appeared as though the animosity between Backlund and Starr has been cut short due to Starr’s suspension, another one emerged. What is awkward about this feud is a great deal of it has surrounded around the stealing of a book at the hands of Shelley. On a recent edition of iMPACT! Shelley was videotaping Mr. Backlund. The head of Paparazzi Productions even used Chris Sabin to get involved in the process. In what appeared to be the most peculiar of set ups, Sabin lunged down from a tree with the intention of taking out Backlund. When that appeared to fail, Backlund and Sabin fought on the ground in front of Shelley who was putting this on Memorex for prosperity. While the two were battling each other Shelley took Backlund’s book as he was preoccupied with Sabin. One can anticipate a win for Shelley simply because Backlund may be to preoccupied with his book rather than the match.

Literal Winner: Alex Shelley

Frank Wycheck and Jerry Lynn vs. “Cowboy” James Storm and Ron “The Truth” Killings

Perceived Truth: If fans were not following the happenings on TNAwrestling.com then they would miss the challenge of former Tennessee Titan Frank Wycheck and Jerry Lynn to James Storm and Ron Killings. The intent of this cross-sport match up has been done but in this instance it would be interesting to see how well TNA can pull this off. In past months baseball players have played a role in TNA competing against one another and were aligned with pros to help make the transition as painless to watch as possible. David Eckstein and A.J Piersynski were not only standing up for themselves but standing up for their respective teams in the process. Wycheck is retired and while the publicity is great for the event does it really do any service to the Tennessee Titans. Although since the NFL is in its off season to have members of the team in attendance it would be great to see how well they would fair sitting at ringside. At this point I would like to see all hell to break loose and have all the members get involved in the match causing Wycheck and Lynn to lose.

Perceived Winner: Neither (Double Disqualification)

Literal Truth: The booking of this match up seems a bit odd if we think about it. The match up was announced prior to James Storm and Chris Harris’ qualifying match for the King of the Mountain. Would Storm have ideally competed in to matches on the evening, had he won the qualifying match up? It is doubtful but an interesting thought. By announcing that match up prior to this qualifying match up leads fans to believe he would not have won that qualifying match up. Since he did not win he is to face off against someone that has ties to the state of Tennessee. If wrestling fans are not familiar with Frank Wycheck then they will miss that he was once a part of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. This match up appears to be the Lawrence Taylor/Bam Bam Bigelow match up of 2007. The problem with this match up is there has been no build between Storm and Wycheck. This is a problem because Storm has been preoccupied with Chris Harris to focus on Wycheck other than simply accepting the match. For television purposes it may be good publicity for the Cowboy to take the bullet on this one.

Literal Winner: Frank Wycheck and Jerry Lynn

VKM .vs. The Damaja & Basham w/Christy Hemme

Perceived Truth: It is such a long road that a person can take in order to achieve others respect. While some may question them others tend to embrace them and what they stand for. This happens to be the journey that Christy Hemme has had to take over the past few months. She first comes out talking about what the women in TNA are capable of and what they are good for. She later is to face off against a big fat oily guy in a tuxedo match only to have Kip James rip that off of her because that’s what the people want. Despite her best efforts Christy could not earn the respect of the Voodoo Kin Mafia regardless of what she did. Although some may say it is ironic that Hemme enlisted the help of two men to help her earn that respect she is fighting for, others may understand that she is simply fighting to beat VKM at their own game. One may want to see VKM actually put Hemme in an uncompromising position but that just wouldn’t be right. I would like to see Hemme’s team come out on top.

Perceived Winner: The Damaja and Basham

Literal Truth: The animosity that has built up between Christy Hemme and VKM has reached a boiling point. In fact it has come to point that TNAwrestling.com has an article that lists who interests are best served in this match up. To read the article please read it here. It also questions whether or not the reason to have Damaja and Basham there is simply show up Kip and BG James. While BG James was injured prior to his tag match with Kip against Basham and Damaja, Lance Hoyt took his place. The result of the match saw VKM fall victim to the hungry new team in TNA. All four men are veterans which means that none of them are really unfamiliar to what it takes to be successful. What one would anticipate happening is that in order for the tag team rankings to have more versatility and more options for contenders in the company. What one anticipates happening is that Basham and Damaja will continue to win the war over VKM helping in achieving retribution for Christy Hemme.

Literal Winner: The Damaja and Basham

Rhino & “Wildcat” Chris Harris w/Hector Guerrero vs. LAX

Perceived Truth: Over the course of the past few weeks a feud has been brewing between Chris Harris with Hector Guerrero and LAX. The difference here is while Rhino has not always been around for publicity to promote the match or been actively involved in challenging LAX for Guerrero’s honor. It is legitimate when we think about it though. Rhino has had to play somewhat of a fluffer role to others while promoting the King of the Mountain match up for other challengers. One only has to look back at this past week on iMPACT! to see the finalized last minute booking of this match up with his involvement. On the June 14th edition of iMPACT! Rhino teamed up with Sting and Christopher Daniels in a match for a second chance to compete in the King of the Mountain. Rhino did not win his second chance opportunity to the booking of his involvement in the match with Harris was announced by the Wildcat. If you’re going into War your going to need a War Machine. That still does not mean I want them to be successful though.

Perceived Winner: LAX

Literal Truth: The animosity between LAX and Hector Guerrero has been growing since Lockdown. It was at Lockdown where Guerrero was tired of the antics of LAX winning matches without actually earning their wins. They did what someone would need to do on the street. It was due to his interference in their match that cost them the TNA tag team championships. When we think of it the history between Konnan and the Guerrero family one can trace it back to their matches in Mexico. What has developed is the pairing of two men that essentially had history with LAX from previous beat downs coming to Hector’s aid. Although there was history with Harris and Rhino on separate occasions the forming of them as a team to face off with LAX appears to be so random to some extent. Why these particular men? Anyone that has suffered a beat down from LAX from the past could have come to Hector’s aid, why these two in particular? What one would anticipate that retribution will not be achieved by the makeshift tag team

Literal Winner: LAX

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN MATCH
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

“The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage vs. ???

Perceived Truth: The promotion for the match up has been touted as being six years in the making. It is a promotional tactic that will change from year to year but does a nice job of putting TNA’s elite together in one match with one another to see who could stand alone. While some would probably be a little disappointed with Sting losing out from competing in this match, they are more than likely excited about those that are competing in the match. Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles alone represent the modern era of professional wrestling. It would be difficult to argue against what all of them can do and have done in the ring. When we add to that the addition of former TNA champion Christian Cage fans are more than certain a match with no weak links in the contest. What I would like to see happen is have Kurt Angle finally come away with the TNA championship. This win represents more than simply a victory for the former Olympic gold medalist it means after years of frustration, he can hold a championship and be happy in the process.

Perceived Winner: Kurt Angle

Literal Truth: Since Sacrifice, preparations were in affect to announce contestants for the King of the Mountain tournament. Each of the qualifying matches carried with it some animosity or repercussion. For example Samoa Joe faced Sting to determine who would go on to compete in the KOTM. The two have been teammates and generally get along but this match up forced a friendship to be put a side because individual goals were the focus. While the interference of Christopher Daniels did not help Sting’s cause either, it would not have prevented Joe from doing what he had to do to qualify. Kurt Angle defeated Rhino in order to qualify for the KOTM. Once again TNA pitted two friends against one another but put their differences aside in order to advance. In the case of AJ Styles his defeat of Jeff Jarrett via Tomko also had do with the playing in of an illness in the Jarrett family as part of the storyline. It was Christian Cage who indirectly caused Tomko to lose his match against AJ Styles. While some would argue that it was accidental others would beg to differ.

Literal Winner: Christian Cage

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will Chris Harris and Rhino fair against LAX? Will Eric Young achieve his freedom and some form of retribution for Eric Young’s against Robert Roode and get a piece of Ms. Brooks ass in the process? Will Christy Hemme be able to go from being groped during her entrance with Basham and The Damaja? Can Kurt Angle finally capture the TNA championship against Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christian Cage and the mystery opponent? These questions are more will be answered along with who is renewing their vows at Slammaversary.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: Reper(con)cussions Jun03

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Solstice Scriptures: Reper(con)cussions

Stress is a necessity that we usually wish we could do without. Between stress and tension each day that passes tends to slow down the body and mind. We at some time or another have had a hard enough day that it completely exhausts us. What if we were to multiply that stress and tension at the end of a hard day every day? How about if that stress and tension was isolated in one particular area? For some muscles tend to ache or body parts feel stiff with pain. When your head hurts usually a type of pain relief medication is used to reduce the pain and relieve the anguish. The problem however is when that pain is played into a wrestling storyline the result has little to do with creation stress but certainly causes tension for those who have actually suffered from this pain.

What happens when someone suffers a legitimate head injury or brain trauma and is played up for the world to see? The result is a pretty tasteless storyline in and a company that shows little affinity to those affected and little regard to those that look on. Why continue to capitalize on something so real that your own athletes and others that dedicate themselves to aspiring to become for the sake of a 15 minute storyline? In the WWE the company has played taken such an actual injury that has caused the livelihoods of different men in women in all walks of life to come to an end. The more questions tend to mount up for the company fewer answers are given. Before we go any further with what the company has played up upon lets explore what the actual injury entails.

A concussion is essentially a mildly traumatic brain injury that is defined by two different types of seriousness. It is most commonly a traumatic brain injury which is when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. The severity of it may suggest that it least serious but the definition suggests otherwise. The other is a diffuse axonal injury which involves a loss of mental function. The realities of these are frightening as is the severity of them.

A week prior to Judgment Day Shawn Michaels had reportedly suffered a concussion at the hands of the Great Khali. This kayfabe injury on the part of Michaels was used by the company to have him experience a sense of daze or loss of balance and equilibrium. These suggested signs of a post concussion on the part of Michaels were false. In a match that would be Edge’s last on Raw, Michaels came away the winner. What took place after the match was a scripted attack on the part of Randy Orton to the head of Shawn Michaels. While we know this is simply entertainment and advertised as such, what if he was to make contact. If he had a legitimate injury then there is no way that Michaels could have competed in that match. The result of this beating is weakened Heartbreak kid selling his ‘concussion’ for the world to see.

These actions prompted a match up at Judgment Day between Orton and Michaels. The match between the two did not last long and involved Michaels wife to help sell the legitimacy of the injury. The lines between real and kayfabe appear to be so blurred at times that see the company do this is insult to other athletes whose careers have ended by injuries such as these. In the National Football League it was Steve Young of San Francisco 49ers and Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys. In the National Hockey League Brett Lindros the younger brother of Eric of the New York Islanders would never falsify the legitimacy of their concussions. Both men’s careers have since come to an end because of the effects and repeated trauma to their heads. While both these major sports athletes and Michaels are athletes should be compared to one other some would dispute the credibility of Michaels since what his primary job it to convince others of his legitimate pain.

This aggravation is compounded by the commentators recalling the events of the previous evening. Jim Ross not only goes on to mention the severity of the injury but goes on to mention those professional athletes that have suffered such injuries. While it follows the storyline and certainly plays on the injury that Michaels was ‘suffering’ from it does little to respect the severity of such incidents that these men had sustained. Their careers came to an end while this kayfabe injury is supposed to deceive the public into believing that this could be the end of his career. We can respect the fact that Michaels needs the time off because he had suffered a legitimate leg injury it can not respect the fact that it needed to falsify and fabricate an injury to cover up a legitimate one.

WWE.com has begged the question ‘Is this the end for HBK?’ as the title of article listed on the website. Is that a fair question to ask considering that his injury to ask considering his actual injury has nothing to do with affecting any potential brain trauma? By doing this fans begin to believe that this could be actually happening and that his career could be in jeopardy. When we say believe we are not talking about those that can see through this and realize that this is just a storyline but we are considering the typical day to day fan that does not read the internet or follow insider information to formulate their opinion. By doing this there is no gauge for them between what is legitimate and what is fictional about the concussion that Michaels was suffering from.

After looking at this picture the day to day wrestling fan that watches this sees a man laying prone in the ring with his career in jeopardy. That image of someone simply laying there with there career in doubt should make others question. Why take a major injury that men and women in this profession have suffered and played it into a storyline? The reason is because they can. What is even more disturbing by this storyline is that one of the men that was ‘responsible’ for causing this injury and is currently in contention for a major championship and on the same brand may be responsible for causing a legitimate concussion in another wrestler.

On May 28th, 2001 a man named Brian Ong had attended an All Pro Wrestling beginner’s camp in Harvard, California. Wrestling fans were not introduced to Brian Ong. They never had the opportunity to see him compete or contend for a title. On this particular night we would never have the opportunity to see what he could ever do again. He volunteered to receive a flapjack from someone that went by the name Dalip Singh. That name may not sound familiar or ring any bells but what may is the name he currently goes by in the ring. The Great Khali. He was also specially trained by the All Pro Beginners camp at the same time as Brian. Ong had previously suffered a concussion going into this match. While competing against Singh he suffered a second concussion, however this time it proved to be fatal. It was completely inadvertent, as one would hope. This resulted in a lawsuit brought on by the Ong family to All Pro Wrestling and being forced to pay damages of over 1.3 million dollars to his family.

Even though there are individuals whose morals, values and beliefs are questioned one would think that Khali would do more than simply tout the company line here. If you were in a position where you may have been responsible for the death of someone in the ring, would not be apprehensive to move forward with this angle? He may have very well been hesitant about moving forward with this storyline. The point being regardless of whatever his concerns may have been the point is he went through with this storyline. He may have been convinced that Michaels would be fine and protected with the move and may have worked on the execution of it with him. What if something went wrong? Doesn’t that past incident of potentially causing a concussion dominate the need to want to satisfy what others want? In this case it clearly does not.

What appears to be even odder was something similar happened to Shawn during a match with Owen Hart. For those remember after Michaels was hit with an inseguri kick to the head he didn’t react initially. However as the match went on Michaels passed out in the ring. Although the details and the situation is not identical to that of his confrontation with Khali it is scarcely similar. At that time Michaels also took some time off. One tends to not only question why write up a foe injury to protect a legitimate one. His reaction may not be any different to that of any man or woman that takes time off for something that is not really a problem. The difference here is he does have a legitimate reason only not one where his career may be as in jeopardy as fans are being deceived to believe to be.

This scenario of the make believe concussion is all too familiar to the one that is reportedly responsible for putting Michaels out of action. At one time and as a face Randy Orton once took part in a storyline that suggested he had suffered a concussion. He too would continue to compete but have a glazed over look in his eye as well. If the worlds between empathy in the WWE and empathy in the real world were not so far removed then Orton would show some sense of compassion for Michaels. If someone truly suffered such a severe injury would they want someone us to feel that same pain? Unless they were cold, resentful and have a had a chip on their shoulder they could not shake off than otherwise probably not.

What the company has done in the past is even moved on with the match even though someone clearly has suffered some form of head trauma. During Wrestlemania XIX between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle achieved history and head trauma all in the span of a few moments. If some may recall toward the end of the match Lesnar attempted a shooting star press from a fairly dangerously distance from across the ring. The result of the move was the near 300 ibs Lesnar failing the attempted move by overestimating the distance from the turnbuckle to the prone Angle lying in the ring. He under rotated himself from the move and landed face first into the mat and Angles ribs. The result of this caused Angle to improvise his own loss at the hands at the severely hurt Lesnar. Lesnar won the championship but to look at him at the end of the match you would have thought he just eluded death. His head was severely swollen and he appeared to have lost his sense of balance, equilibrium and loss of mental function.

Many will recall the retirement of Brett Hart. He legitimately suffered a concussion at the hands of someone that did not protect his opponent in the ring. During a match Bill Goldberg kicked Hart so hard in the ring that he suffered dizzy spells for a number of years after this match. The constant headaches are more than simply brought on by stress and tension. Hart also believes that he could have possibly suffered as many as three additional concussions with over the next few days. Hart underestimated the severity of his injury has left him with post concussion syndrome which had forced him to retire. The culmination of constant ringing of the ears, nausea, impaired balance; fatigue or sleepiness and blurred and double vision were among the symptoms and signs of what Hart had felt.

Over the years there have been a number of legitimate instances of concussions in wrestling that little has been made of the long term affects of these injuries. One example of this was when Elix Skipper of Triple X at the time suffered a concussion against America’s Most Wanted at Victory Road. During a match against Mike Awesome, Vampiro was super Awesome bombed off the top rope, causing a concussion only to receive another one the next night against Awesome again. This would end up being Vampiro’s last match in WCW. Mick Foley has suffered a number of concussions over the span of twelve years of competing in a very extreme means of competition. A second example of this was Chavo Guerrero reportedly suffered an accidental concussion. He suffered at the hands of Billy Kidman’s botched shooting star press and had to be taken to the hospital. All of these injuries were generally swept under the rug and given no attention on camera. It is only until it is not something the athlete is actually feeling is it used in a storyline.

In the case of one wrestler his promising career was cut too short but he will always be tough enough. For everything Shawn Michaels or Randy Orton have done it could never be said that they did not have the opportunity to achieve. This can not be said for a Chris Nowinski. In 2003 Chris ‘Harvard ’Nowinski took a kick to the head in the Royal Rumble that year that knocked him out of wrestling and on a quest to change how contact sports are played. The frightening part of his story was that he had many concussions undiagnosed. It is need for awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of this injury that could prevent several people from dying every year and others to acquire permanent brain damage; some immediate, and some that may not disclose itself for years. The next time the writers conjure up a storyline maybe they will think about it next time rather than the repercussions.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, don’t feel major head trauma, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

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Solstice Scriptures: #120: Perceived/Literal Truth Sacrifice 07′ Preview May19

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Solstice Scriptures: #120: Perceived/Literal Truth Sacrifice 07′ Preview

Sacrifice has arrived. Which begs the question: who is going to be sacrificed? Why will they be sacrificed? Is there some reason we should see the blood of a chicken spilled on this night or will we see a virgin crucified while there is a pit of fire around her? Probably not but its always nice to dream. There are some upsides to this pay per view, the name of which is not one of them. Joe/Styles, the X division championship match, the four corners match up, the world title match and a greater anticipated Storm/Harris match up fill the upside of this card. This pay per view could prove to be as highly violent as it has been advertised. The downside of this pay per view to some could be the triple threat bookings of each championship matches which gives none of them its own identity.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste that consumes you. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun with a piece of cantaloupe at the end.

So when you think of Sacrifice what is the first thing that comes to mind? Blood shed? Naked women whose skin is reminiscent of an albino lives will be forever surrendered to the darkness? Or a wrestling pay per view to which it has been named? If your answer was the last one you are in luck. That happens to not only be the answer but fits in perfectly with this pay per view preview.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Before we go any further don’t forget to read Chris Cow’s review of Sacrifice later on in the week. He will capture your mind and imagination again like with all of his pay per view reviews. He does it with love, responsibility and a reaffirming kick to the teeth. To read Chris’ previous TNA pay per view reviews click here.

Four-corners X Division match
Tiger Mask vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Alex Shelley vs. Senshi

Perceived Truth: The whole manner in which this match came about is about as interesting as those involved in the match. While a great deal of speculation and hype is being built around the arrival of Tiger Mask, one can not help but wonder about who is not in this match. Even though Austin Starr has been suspended it would not be out of the ordinary to see that under the mask that it was in fact Austin Starr. As surprising as the announcement of Tiger Masks’ involvement in TNA would be it could also be just as interesting Austin Starr get involved in this match. All involved in this match with the exception of Alex Shelley, who really isn’t torn in one way or another about who is in this match could be thrown off. Jerry Lynn’s involvement in this match really is strange since he appears to be the Shark Boy of this months pay per view. It would be nice to see Shelley used as something more than a side show comedy act because he really does have talent. While I doubt a win for him, it’s always nice to have hope.

Perceived Winner: Alex Shelley

Literal Truth: On Wednesday May 9th, TNA announced that Tiger Mask IV had signed to compete at Sacrifice. It was considered an honor to have him compete in TNA. As TNA continues to try and be innovative they used the news of this happening through their Mobile service. While it appears as though this is a one time appearance in TNA develop into something more. Although we are simply speculating here a feud could develop between Senshi and Mask. These two men of similar styles combine and incorporate martial arts with an acrobatic style in the ring. Since Austin Starr has been suspended it could have very well been his spot that Mask is occupying. Although there were other options within the promotion there apparently was a need for the company to go outside for competition. Tiger Mask IV’s presence in this match will over shadow the three other standout competitors in the match up. It could be this focus that proves to be all the others need to succeed.

Literal Winner: Senshi or Alex Shelley on a coin toss.

Texas Death Match
Wildcat Chris Harris vs. Cowboy James Storm

Perceived Truth: I am not really sure what a Texas death match entails but I do have a guess of what it probably is not. No one is dying! While some fans may want to metaphorically shoot themselves in the head at how this feud is being built no one is going to be pronounced dead. We could guess at what it could mean though. It is probably a new way in which anything goes and pins count anywhere. So really if that’s the case its a hardcore match up. Although when we think about it Texas Death match does tend to scream climatic! If that is the case however I really hope this is not a sign of things to come. For anyone to receive some form of retribution would generally please most people. We aren’t necessarily saying that Harris has to win the match. He could very well go down in defeat but take away some of Storms strength. If he was to work on any particular area I would actually like to see him wear down James Storm back or legs. If you take away his base of where he has to generate his strength then this could be an option for Chris Harris.

Perceived Winner: Wildcat Chris Harris

Literal Truth: Depending on which report we are led to believe Chris Harris is not pleased with his current status with TNA. If we go with the dirt sheets some would be of the idea that the blindfold match up at Lockdown between Storm and Harris was more out simply making Harris content then actually helping to push him. After that match the Literal truth was not only an improper prognostication on my part but leave this months prediction with a glimmer of hope. The win clearly showed how much of a heel James Storm can be and how Chris Harris was clearly capable of beating him. At this point there is very in the way of pushing either man or this feud on the part of the writers. If we are left to resign this to speculation so take this at what it is worth due to discontent on the part of Chris Harris that this match will not get the proper build that it probably could have. While this match may have little in the ways of being properly and effectively built, the feud could be more drawn out than what is apparent.

Literal Winner: Cowboy James Storm

X Division Championship Match
Chris Sabin vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay ‘Black Machismo’ Lethal

Perceived Truth: Over the past few weeks the duos of Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal have shown signs of change. In the midst of trying to find who they are they simply had to imitate something that was previously successful in order achieve some form of attention. Jay Lethal has channeled the spirit of Randy Savage and become Black Machismo. This did nothing for Sonjay Dutt who thought the reincarnation of the character did nothing for Lethal and even less of Dutt. While Nash tried to turn Dutt into Big Daddy Dutt and Vinnie Dutt with oversized clothing that simply make him look even smaller than Sonjay. What I would like to see Dutt do is some out and parody who Jay Lethal was. This strategy may in fact cause Dutt to irritate Lethal and throw him out of character. By doing this it could well antagonize Lethal to the point where he loses focus on the X division championship. However I don’t want it to cause Dutt to get the upper hand either but simply provide Sabin with a clear sight of the finish line and the win.

Perceived Winner: Chris Sabin

Literal Truth: The manner is which this match up came about is amusing actually. While trying to do something positive Jay Lethal essentially upset his partner in the process. On the April 26th episode of iMPACT! Chris Sabin set up a Sabin Suicide Stampede where four teams would be made up consisting of X Division stars. Jerry Lynn and Petey Williams, Alex Shelley and Kaz, Senshi and Shark Boy and Sonjay Dutt and…Black Machismo were the four teams contending in this match. The person that picks up the pinfall qualifies both himself and his partner to face Chris Sabin in a 3 way match up at Sacrifice. The problem resulted in the fact that while Dutt had an opportunity to pick up the pinfall, Lethal picked up the win. The reaction on the part of Sonjay Dutt was clearly that of someone that was pissed off. It is this animosity on the part of Sonjay that may very well boil over and prevent both himself and Black Machismo from going over in this match up.

Literal Winner: Chris Sabin

Robert Roode vs. Jeff Jarrett

Perceived Truth: There are a number of scenarios I would like to see played out. The first of which is having Ms. Brooks pop out of her top but hey, that type of wishful thinking really doesn’t help anyone. Well, maybe at someone. This really match up really is a difficult one to watch not because of anything other than because of continuity among the pushes. For Robert Roode he has clearly been pushed since this new direction with the money bags persona has taken off. To have him lose really does little to assist him in that area. Jeff Jarrett on the other hand really came back to a hero’s type welcome back at Lockdown and has remained that way ever since. For him to lose this match really does serve him any greater cause either. What would have to happen is that neither man can look bad in defeat. It has to be a match where there are a number of near falls and fighting outside of the ring. What is fun about this match up is classic heel vs. villain fighting for their own respective causes. Each of these causes being fought for are reflective of the person that is fighting for them. Jarrett is doing this for Eric Young and TNA and Robert Roode is doing this for himself.

Perceived Winner: Neither (No Contest or Double DQ)

Literal Truth: This match up was pretty inevitable. When we consider for weeks that Eric Young had a friend that has continued to be more of a moral aid from behind the scenes. When it was revealed after another beating at the hands of Roode on the April 26th airing of iMPACT! that Young’s friend was Jeff Jarrett things got out of hand. It appears that TNA wants to remove all doubt as to Jarrett’s legitimacy as a face. It is as though Jarrett is more like a modern day Robin Hood. He helps out the weak and much maligned and gives back to the…old? (Sting) After hitting Ms. Brooks with the guitar Jarrett was told not to appear at the May 3rd airing of iMPACT! by Jim Cornett. Once again Eric Young was not only beaten but was supposed to get fired. This did not happen because Cornett informed Roode that Young’s contract with him was void because Roode was in breech of contract for tampering with TNA talent. It was something to that affect. At the time Cornett played out two different scenarios and it appears as though the two may have just been spliced together for your reading pleasure.

Literal Winner: Robert Roode (by DQ)

NWA Tag Team Championship
Team 3D (c) vs. LAX .vs. Scott Steiner and Tomko

Perceived Truth: There is something about the unexpected that could provide for interesting competition. Scott Steiner and Tomko are a team that could easily go under the handle of Team Cage for their bodyguard/marksmen for hire-involvement with Christian Cage. They have really not earned a championship match up so to seem them come virtually out of nowhere to even be in the match is strange. The storyline makes sense and that they are in some way involved with Brother Ray, Brother D-Von, Hernandez and Homicide so to have them in this match up works. However simply because you have a run in with one another does not mean it justifies that you compete for a championship at the next pay per view. Of all the teams that are involved in this match LAX just makes their team work. I believe I have said it before but if TNA has an it team they have to be the duo that most deserve to have a long and illustrious title run in the company.

Perceived Winner: LAX

Literal Truth: This two way feud escalated into a three way dance when an unlikely duo crept in on the number 1 contenders match up. When LAX became uncomfortable that another team appeared to be in line for the titles they held they snapped. They did so in a manner only they could. They attacked all involved in the match between Tomko/Steiner and Team 3D. No one in the match up was safe from their involvement. What is unique is the tandem of Scott Steiner and Tomko even competing for the tag team championship. This is unique to say the least because both men during backstage interviews appear to be at odds with one another. It may be this moderate tension between the two men that could prove to be detrimental during the match. What I could envision taking place is Steiner and Tomko not being a predominate factor in this match. After working so hard to become the champions it would seem a little strange but not out of the question to have Team 3D lose the titles less than a month later. At this point I don’t see this happening.

Literal Winner: Team 3D

VKM .vs. Damaja and Basham

Perceived Truth: After being rumored to be Christy Hemme’s team, Basham and Damaja finally will appear in TNA. What appears to be the most intriguing part of this match up is that all four men not only have ties to the WWE but they were former tag team champions. It is this past success on the part of both teams that could prove to be just as key to their success as being trained and competing in the same company. The former brothers Bashams key to success is to do whatever it takes to beat VKM. To this point Hemme really is not a distraction and comes across as being more of a joke that Lance Hoyt can hoist over his shoulder and carry away with ease. It is this constant lack of consideration that will never help Hemme’s cause. Her constant pursuit for a place in TNA will continue to be met with smirks and chuckles from the audience. She needs to pull out something no one would expect. She needs to go heel all the way and not tip toe the line. This could prove to be her team’s key to success.

Perceived Winner: Basham and Damaja

Literal Truth: Over the past four months Christy Hemme has been at odds with VKM. A number of times it is her simply trying to represent an idea of what should be with very little support. The support she has received over the past few months has been a revolving door of support from a number of different teams. At first she had The Heartthrobs or The Heartbreakers whatever they were called that week come to her aid and defend her honor. This was met with a clear and definitive thrashing on the part of the Voodoo Kin Mafia. At last months TNA offering Lockdown she was represented by Serotonin. This was met with another failed attempt to get the better of VKM. It could have also proven to be disastrous for Hemme since Raven almost drilled her after Serotonin was beaten. What I would like to see take place is have BG James become more of a vocal member of the team during this feud. At times it appears as though he is there simply because Kip is his partner. There is little to leave me at this point to believe that Hemme’s team will get the better of VKM.

Literal Winner: Voodoo Kin Mafia

“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels vs. Rhino

Perceived Truth: On Thursday’s (May 3rd)”iMPACT!”, Daniels attacked Rhino with a baseball bat, leading to The War Machine hitting the GORE on Daniels through a wooden table. This was the match preview on TNAwrestling.coms website regarding this match up. However prior to this was a confrontation between the two during a match between Rhino/Samoa Joe and Team 3D. All this tension and animosity had to be sequestered in a match between the two. It would be interesting to see how the strength of Rhino who has a lower center of gravity would do against the technical ability of Daniels. Daniels has a bit more of an edge to him with this character so one would expect him to pull out all the stops against Rhino. One could ask why Daniels and Rhino are facing off against each other. After we put their differences aside could this lead Daniels to Sting? The broadcast both continue to allude to this mimicking of Sting to some extent. Does Rhino one degree removed lead Daniels to the icon? A win would certainly help Daniels moving in that direction.

Perceived Winner: Christopher Daniels

Literal Truth: This match is built simply on the fact that one man interfered in a championship match up and was slotted to compete against one of the men in that match at the next pay per view. If that previous sentence sounded like a mouthful to read than it had to be a handful to have to script for the bookers. During a tag team championship match between Rhino/Samoa Joe and Team 3D, Daniels interfered in the match up costing Rhino and Joe their championship match up. At the end of the match up all four men got the better of Daniels. Each man hit Daniels with one move or another leaving him a beaten mess. Where does this leave all involved? It leaves the writers to begin to pick certain names in a hat it seems and pull them out one by one to determine who would face Daniels. Team 3D was already involved in a match for the tag team championships so that ruled them out. This left Rhino and Samoa Joe’s names left on the booking coin left to be flipped. Since Joe and Daniels have exhausted one another Rhino was the other option. Let’s give the match up to Daniels because he appears in line for a push.

Literal Winner: Christopher Daniels

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

Perceived Truth: This is a match where having wants is just as appealing as having a big bag of caramel corn. It isn’t good for your teeth, but then neither is having to face either one of these guys. Samoa Joe and AJ Styles along with Christopher Daniels tore up the TNA scene a couple years ago with the true winners of the feud being the wrestling fans. As each match past and every move was executed it appeared as though they could do no wrong. They were familiar with one another during their time with ROH, so when they face each other on camera it is a treat for anyone to see. What I would like to see are both men wrestle like it was their last. It would be neat to have TNA come in prior to the match and inform both men that the winner would face the NWA champion at Slammaversary in June. This type of incentive would motivate any man and in fact could have Cage implicated in this match up. It could affect his mindset going into his title defense and cause both men to get disqualified.

Perceived Winner: Neither

Literal Truth: The booking of the match is much more baffling in comparison to that of the Christopher Daniels/Rhino match up. Although they have history with one another it appears that once again the two men are being booked to face one another in this months TNA pay per view. If we look at where both men are now in comparison to where they were back in 2005 the have both battled in similar circles. Styles and Joe have in one way shape of form battled or been associated with Christian Cage. Both men are clearly in line for a world title match up. To this point Joe has had the opportunity to face off against Cage for the title where Styles has yet to have that opportunity. It was only a month ago where both men were on opposite ends of the ring from one another as part of either Team Angle or Team Cage. This is simply speculation here but maybe this match is showcasing two of the NWA world championship contenders to solidify their place and contention in the standings. A part of men envisions Styles craftiness being what gets him the win in this match.

Literal Winner: AJ Styles

NWA World Heavyweight Title
Christian Cage (c) vs. Sting .vs. Kurt Angle

Perceived Truth: As this feud begins to unfold I would like to see manipulation take place on the part of both men. While some may expect Christian to try and use Stings age to be more of a detriment rather than an asset we could see Sting play on the fact that Christian Cage has escaped defeat at the hands of a number of different competitors of the past few months. That had it not been for the likes of Tomko he may have never would have held that title for as long as he has. I would like to see Tomko become a factor in this ring as well as being more than a distraction. It is also the frustration shown on the face of Kurt Angle at the end of Lockdown that leads me to want to see Kurt become a factor in this match up. To have something simply given to Sting should not sit well with Angle. It is that characteristic that goes against everything the All-American Angle stands for and believes in. What I would like to see is Angle turn on Sting because someone like Sting should have to earn every opportunity and not be given a thing.

Perceived Winner: Christian Cage

Literal Truth: This appears to be the feud that really did not happen a few months ago. After Christian Cage turned on Sting, I don’t recall there being a long enough program between them to completely settle their differences. The way in which Sting won the title shot was a little odd. Jeff Jarrett allowed Sting to simply lye on a prone man to end Lethal Lockdown. This was to prove how Jarrett was on the level but should have this been Stings opportunity to have? A nice program between Sting and Cage will provide probably some closure between the two. Christian could easily play on the fact that Sting didn’t have to work to earn this title shot but that it was simply handed to him. Would raising doubt in the mind of the icon work in Christian Cage’s favor? What we could probably anticipate between Sting and Cage is a match with reasonable bumps between them. What I anticipate happening is much like what I wanted to happen. Jealousy will get the better of Kurt Angle will prevent Sting from winning the championship even if it is within his grasp.

Literal Winner: Christian Cage

Each match on this matches pay per view carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will Chris Harris fair against Chris Harris? Will Jeff Jarrett achieve some form of retribution for Eric Young’s against Robert Roode? Could Christy Hemme finally go over VKM rather then being on top of them? Can Kurt Angle capture the TNA championship against Sting and Christian Cage? These questions are more will be answered along with why Sacrifice is the name of this freaking pay per view.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: #119: Comprehending his Angle May12

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Solstice Scriptures: #119: Comprehending his Angle

Frustration is capable of breeding s a number of different things. Content, frustration, anger and bitterness are among them. In the case of one particular wrestler it appears as though more than simply frustration led to such displeasure. What leads to that frustration, displeasure and anger? What causes that contempt? On August 25, 2006, Angle was granted an early release from his WWE contract due to “personal issues”. Although we will elaborate on what those issues later, this release could open a number of different doors for Angle.

While for some the end of employment could easily signify retirement or competition for smaller independent promotions, for Angle it could be just the beginning of a whole new wrestling life. After a number of years of competition Kurt Angle had endured a great deal of stress to his body and mind but knew that opportunity would be lying right around the corner for the former multiple time champion. The problem however is that at what cost would he have to endure equaled success wherever he would goes and in whatever he does? The answer to this question would have to be met with the needs of the person seeking as much balance professionally as he would personally.

This change brought about a new opportunity for their opposition in TNA. It would soon become the benchmark for TNA. The company has endured so many significant changes over the past couple of years but this would be the one that signified someone of impact joining their company. Which is not to say that Christian Cage, Sting or Samoa Joe are not important athletes to the promotion but the addition of Kurt Angle meant that someone that was synonymous with being a true athlete had joined a promotion with was synonymous with competition. It appeared to be a perfect fit for all involved.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling would give Kurt Angle the chance he needed and the opportunity he wanted in order to continue on with his career. In fact before Angle’s tenure with the WWF had come to an end he was approached by a company that would not only test his wrestling in a legitimate environment.

I’m interested in MMA, yes. There was an offer there (to fight Brock Leaner). And we’re talking retirement money ($10 million for eight years) … more than they’ve probably ever paid anyone else.
Kurt Angle to Tim Baines Ottawa Sun

The Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White about the opportunity of competing for the mixed martial arts organization. Had Angle joined the company it not only turn the heads of those that questioned his ability but it would allow him to prove to his former employer and himself what he is truly capable of doing. When we couple Angle’s legitimate amateur background along with his mainstream notoriety one could see that the financial benefits of this union would be tremendous. At 100kg, could one imagine the potential returns of matches with a Tito Ortiz or Chuck Liddell? While the possibility of such collaboration between Kurt Angle and the UFC could be a successful one it did not appear to be an immediate association between the two. However there ultimately was no commitment from either Angle or the UFC’s part so a contract was signed with the WWE’s next major competitor Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

The date was Sunday September 24th, 2006. The major audience were in attendance to watch No Surrender 2006. TNA President Dixie Carter announced that TNA had signed Angle to a contract with the company. One could wonder if McMahon was doing one of two things. He could have doubted Angle’s worth to his own company. At the same time that worth could have been equally balanced out with the doubt he would have had to Angle’s potential contribution to this new employer. Either way it was clear that Kurt Angle was not committed to end his career at the hands of someone else.

The problem still remained why was he no longer a part of the WWE? It seems as though the reports on why he left vary about as much as which one we choose to believe. Some have argued he was fired, while others state that he asked for his release. If he was fired under what circumstances could he have been fired for? In any place of business whichever side we read that it could be easy to see if one is pressured to perform under duress and they are given no alternative then one of two things will happen. They would either be suspended which would lead to their dismissal or have to resign their position leaving to their resignation.

Kurt really needs this time off to get his life together. Kurt is taking time to be honest with himself and to look himself in the mirror and say: These are the issues that I have. I think Kurt has been crying out for help for a while now and, finally, I think people heard it.
Paul Heyman with the Calgary Sun

If essentially had Kurt not resigned he may very well have been fired. When one thinks of it when your needs are not met and there is no compromise is met with one’s employer, what other choice do they have? Either way the end for Angle’s tenure in the company was coming to an end. Angle has stated publicly that the rigorous and demanding workload placed on him by the WWE eventually became too much to handle. This combined with countless injuries and what appeared to be a physical breakdown led to Angle’s departure from the company. It would not be those injuries that would prevent Angle from continuing to wrestle. Somewhere Vince McMahon was either doing one of few things. Shaking his head in disbelief, believe that what Angle said was not speaking the complete truth about needing rest or Angle would not be able to survive on his own. If an employee needs time off in order to come back then why not respect that? The reason for his outright release may have been because the company doubted how much he was capable of achieving because of recurring injuries.

I’m the one who asked to meet with Vince and I’m the one who asked for my release. Rumors of me being pushed out or fired are false. I did not want to stay. I wasn’t having fun. They had no reason to push me out. I was their best wrestler. In a nutshell, I asked for a meeting and I got my release, but (Vince) asked if we could make it a mutual release.
Kurt Angle to Tim Baines Ottawa Sun

A few days after the report was being published, Kurt Angles agent issued an unsolicited statement claiming his client was in good health and was doing just fine. Fans were skeptical but supportive of Angles release with hopes that he would return. There had to be more to this release with an alleged dependence on painkillers, a 30-day suspension, alleged to be for a violation of WWE’s wellness policy and the divorce of his wife there were a number of reasons for why something mutual would benefit all involved. Angle appeared to be on the road to a complete mental, physical and emotional breakdown.

After some time away Angle returned to the ring more focused and determined to make wrestling as important him today as it ever was before. He was motivated to prove those that doubted him wrong. Angle needed to do more than just prove others wrong he needed direction and new challenges inside and outside the ring. Those challenges were not only who he faced in the ring but to create an alternative to the WWE. That alternative is the only company with a national television contract outside of the Vince McMahon monopoly.

Kurt Angle made his debut for TNA on October 19, 2006 confronting Samoa Joe after Joe refused to relinquish the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt that he had taken from then champion Jeff Jarrett. Following the confrontation, Angle returned to the ring was first achieved in the role of special enforcer for the Title vs. Career match between Jeff Jarrett and Sting. Kurt Angle’s first match in TNA was on the November 16, 2006 airing of iMPACT! He defeated Abyss with the angle lock but was attacked right after the match by current rival Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe was Kurt’s newest challenge and one that may not have come had he simply had the opportunity to take a break prior to returning to the ring. The feud between the two was being billed as the match up of the decade and their battles were worth their billing. Their matches resembled those between Angle and Benoit in the WWE. He was going to come into the company and work with one man that could be his equal in the ring and on the microphone.

Angle was just as determined to leave his imprints in the foundation he would help to lay down with TNA By being seen as a franchise player, Angle’s decision was could be made because of who was also there to help add credibility to the company. Christian Cage who preceded Angle in the company along with Sting could be seen as the cornerstone of the company of established marquee wrestlers that would make TNA of some importance. Kurt Angle has noted quite publicly that he has come to the company for the company. In doing so his angle (for lack of a better word) is to also help to relinquish the stranglehold that the WWE has on professional wrestling.

Angle is not one to put all of his proverbial eggs in one basket he began to spread himself around the world when it came to competition. On February 18, 2007 Angle made his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling. During his time there he teamed with former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata against Tomko of TNA and former WWE wrestler A-Train who went under the alias Giant Bernard in NJPW. It was becoming clearer and clearer that in order for Angle to prove what he can achieve he could not allow himself to be pigeonholed in one particular market. It was essential for him to face wrestlers of all different origins, levels of experience and types of athletes. How else can someone truly be diverse if they do not face competition that provides those various differences? It is the nuances and little idiosyncrasies in each wrestler that Kurt Angle could learn from.

For all the positives that appear to be for Angle criticism was quick to follow. One can be given advice or what they believe will help someone but its when that advice is not adhered too that other questions arise. Something simply did not add up with Angle. It was as though the more he would claim he was mistreated and fired the more he would make statements discrediting the quality of some individuals in the company and validating the ability of those who others would normally question. For example Angle did a radio interview and fully endorsed Hulk Hogan’s ability. The endorsement had little to do with Angle’s sanity as much as it did business. Angle wants to heighten the awareness and credibility of TNA and how else to do that but to give associate arguably the most recognizable name in the wrestling with TNA. Even though it may be questionable because of the outrageous nature of the statements for Angle to make, it is these comments and publicity has gained attention for TNA.

The criticism towards Angle has also stemmed from what believe is a lack of focus. A focus that would be best suited had he chose wrestling in Japan or competing in North America. One could easily argue that. They could argue that if they are the ones that aren’t in Angle’s shoes. For a second allow yourself to be in Kurt’s place and understand that for so long what you said and did was limited and that now you are finally able to attempt to find alternative outlets of in ring action to explore. Whether or not fans agree with his decision is irrelevant. Fans are generally concerned with his health and well being and don’t want his life to go the way of others before him. In a wheelchair unable to live let alone make a living for himself and family.

I hate to admit it, but my wife (Karen) was always right. She told me not to trust the guys (at WWE). Not to buy into the bogus B.S. between the boss and his big guys. My wife and I were separated at one point. I almost lost my marriage and my family life and I don’t think my boss really cared. In my life, God is first, my family’s second and my job is third. I was never given enough time to heal. I worked 260-300 days a year with my former employer. I felt like I was being buried into the ground. When I asked for time off, they gave it to me, but when I was off, they’d say they needed me.
Kurt Angle to Tim Baines of Ottawa Sun

His reasoning was justified. His rationale is logical. Why then still continue to challenge Angle’s perspective? Fans are legitimately concerned for his well-being which is genuine for someone they respect such a great deal. However in all fairness it should end right there. Unless fans are Kurt Angle themselves they can’t truly comprehend what is going through his mind. While it has become easier to question and challenge Angle’s decisions and thoughts it is often forgotten that has been so long since he’s even been listened to by anyone. It could very well be that for all the Angle has endured and has chosen to pursue in the future supporting him would be easier to achieve than comprehending his angle.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this, I can comprehend why Kurt has chosen the path that he has, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinoxx

Thanks Doc

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Solstice Scriptures: #118: Perceived/Literal Truth Lockdown 07′ Preview May12

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Solstice Scriptures: #118: Perceived/Literal Truth Lockdown 07′ Preview

Lockdown is set to take place. In fact I am so looking forward to it that its become my profile status on Face book. It is so trivial but it makes everyone know what’s on your mind. As for Lethal Lockdown it marks the first time P/L/T has ever been used to preview a TNA pay per view. The often used PLT train will attempt to be as enthusiastic about a TNA pay per view as it has been for WWE pay per views. It wont be difficult seeing as the WWE product has continued to make a steady decline over the past few years. This pay per view could prove to be as highly violent as it has been advertised. When all matches on the card are to be contested in a steel cage, one has to wonder what could out of the pay per view. Many may feel there is less of a variety of matches because all have a common theme but even with that commonality each one carries with it a different grudge and score that’s to be settled.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste of caramel. Yes, that statement was like a Caramel chocolate bar. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun.

So when you think of Lethal Lockdown what is the first thing that comes to mind? Wrestling on the grandest stage of them all? Or could it be billionaires pretending to have animosity with one another in order to get some attention? Nope, but it sure does sound familiar doesn’t it.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

XSCAPE MATCH FOR THE X DIVISION TITLE
Chris Sabin (c) vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Jay Lethal vs. Alex Shelley vs. Shark Boy

Perceived Truth: One quick question I have for this match is why is Shark Boy in contention for this match? They could have easily had this as a 4 way match for the titles couldn’t they? Each of the men in this match with the exception of Shark Boy has been actively involved in TNA’s iMPACT programming over the course of the past few weeks. Sabin’s feud with Lynn is youth can overcome age. He is now onto another challenge and this involves members of Paparazzi Productions. I want this match to have all involved to really being actively a part of the match. Even though Shark Boy appears to be a throw in combatant in this match he may be the dark horse in the match. In fact I would predict that he’s place in this match is do just that. While everyone is looking at each other, Shark Boy will go under the radar. However when all is said and done and one person is left standing it would be hard for me not to want the guy that is the face of the division right now.

Perceived Winner: Chris Sabin

Literal Truth: There is such a talented group of wrestlers here but only one really stands out in all facets of wrestling. Even though Chris Sabin is the champion and has met these men before it would be hard to argue with how among the five men in the ring its the guy behind a camera that stands out. Alex Shelley has been involved in different angles in TNA at one point or another. Shelley’s ability to weave himself in and out of angles seemingly without leaving any traces of himself or fingerprints is remarkable. Shark Boy as stated earlier isn’t expected to do very much in this match. Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt are pretty much mirror images of one another in the ring. In fact where one is more than certain the other will be as well. This means when Dutt is not to be considered a factor in this match then so should Lethal. Lethal may have his Macho Man imitation down pact but that is really unlikely to be the deciding factor in this match. Which leaves Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin and if either one wins it then we all win in the end.

Literal Winner: Alex Shelley OR Chris Sabin

Christy Hemme’s Team vs. VKM

Perceived Truth: Prior to last months pay per view Destination X speculation as to who Christy Hemme’s team is has run rampant! Alright, so maybe it hasn’t run rampant but there has been speculation as to who it could be. The most common rumor that has surfaced was that it is former World tag team champions Danny and Doug Basham. If this is the team than lets explore the possibilities of what potentially could happen. As a team VKM are a formidable tandem. This means that Hemme’s team would have to be as equally formidable. The choice of Doug and Danny Basham could prove to be just as formidable. They are capable of wrestling a match with a solid execution of tandem moves. They are also capable of helping to make Hemme’s new role that of a heel evolve. This is something that could be easily explored. Even though Lance Hoyt has aligned himself with VKM, I doubt that will affect Christy Hemme’s team’s chances for victory. I am pulling for her to go heel and pull out all the stops for a victory.

Perceived Winner: Christy Hemme’s Team

Literal Truth: This feud all came about because Vince McMahon would not answer The James Gang?s challenges. What took place during this feud was a name change and a new feud. The Voodoo Kin Mafia was confronted by Christy Hemme in the ring and what was probably suppose to end up being one thing turned out to be something else all together. While Christy was in the midst of trying to stand up for the women of TNA and professionally wrestling it was less received by the audience and even more so by Kip and BG James. Hemme’s taking a stand came across more as being that of a whiner rather than a strong woman who would be heard. In the tuxedo match from Against All Odds, Kip James ripped off Christy’s tuxedo jacket to expose her in her bra. Last month she had her surprise team, The Heartthrobs be shown up by VKM. For the past few months it appears as though Hemme’s stand has been an exercise in futility. At this point she is due for retribution at Lethal Lockdown.

Literal Winner: Christy Hemme’s Team.

BLINDFOLD MATCH
?Wildcat? Chris Harris vs. ?Cowboy? James Storm

Perceived Truth: Multiple time tag team champions and partners over the past few years came to an end, when Americas Most Wanted split from one another. Over the past month these two have had a number of run-ins with one another. After defeating Petey Williams at Destination X, James Storm proceeded to beat down Williams and Gail Kim. Much to the surprise and disbelief of Storm his former partner returned to chase him from the ring. Harris, who was now sporting an eye-patch, was relentless in his pursuit of James Storm. Through a number of backstage segments TNA management said they could not be held liable (which you could) had something happened to Chris Harris if he fought James Storm. Harris is clearly the more driven and motivated of the two. It could however be detrimental to his cause to want revenge this badly. What I would like is for Harris to want revenge so badly that he makes costly mistakes in this match thus putting Storm on top in the end.

Perceived Winner: “Cowboy” James Storm

Literal Truth: Thee only time I can remember there being a blindfold match when Jake Roberts faced Rick Martel. That match was embarrassing to watch happen and this one could easily resemble that match. What would have ideally worked is if the match had been advertised or even made into and eye patch match rather than a blindfold. If Harris’ vision is apparently impaired because he has to wear an eye patches why have a match that takes away his vision completely? This does nothing to make the match even remotely inviting to watch. It may level the playing field in the script but in the ring there may be nothing more than wandering around take place. Occasional punches and reaching out to try and find your opponent takes away from having to have a match where there is constant action. Of the two men involved Chris Harris is the more motivated where Storm is more in fear of his former partner than relishing having to fight him. That fear could very well get the better of Storm.

Literal Winner: “Wildcat” Chris Harris

WRATH OF X
Jerry Lynn vs. The Fallen Angel

Perceived Truth: When I read about Christopher Daniels reinventing his character to appear like a shell of his former self it sounded interesting. The execution of him coming out in a mask to appear like Sting was not so interesting. At this point its hard to have wants for a feud that has little to no animosity. Other than Daniels beating down Lynn after his match with Chris Sabin at Destination X and an attack during a backstage interview there really has been nothing in the way motivation for his attacks. On the other hand, where in wrestling does it say there has to be motivation or incentive for Daniels to be beat down Lynn? There isn’t but this is not to say that something in particular is driving Daniels to develop who he has become against Jerry Lynn. There are so many un- answered questions about Daniels that remain to be answered. This could be where those answers about Daniels are evident. Why Lynn? What about him caused Daniels to come at Lynn? I would like to see Daniels begin to answer the questions with a win over Lynn.

Perceived Winner: The Fallen Angel

Literal Truth: A shroud of mystery currently surrounds Christopher Daniels. It almost appears as though the manner in which his character is being developed is being protected. What is meant by protected is that he is not come out and become a part of the locker room. This became evident the week leading up to Lockdown when he did come attend the mandatory meeting called by Jim Cornett. This staged bit which was to demonstrate the defying of authority almost resembles something similar to that of what Raven is synonymous with doing in the past. In comparison it also resembles something that the WWE would do with the Undertaker. For a character to fully be reinvented it has usually proven to be successful if that wrestler was still being shown in smaller doses thus raising more questions about them rather than answering them. What I would anticipate happening with this match up is Christopher Daniels would have some delayed entrance and possibly create a mind game throughout the match with Lynn.

Literal Winner: The Fallen Angel

Petey Williams vs. Robert Roode

Perceived Truth: This match has so much potential to being a really exciting and quick paced match. All those involved in this match are recognized for their ability to work, take bumps and sell spots. My time watching of the TNA product is limited so I really have not seen what Eric Young is capable of in the ring. Even though he is not competing in the match he is more than likely going to be involved in this match. What I would like to see is Young play on his naive nature and uses that against Roode. This is possible through a little creative writing by having Young manipulate Ms Brooks during the match up and cause her to turn her focus to him and not Roode in the ring. It could happen obviously at the most in opportune time. There have been too many pay per views where Petey Williams has been used to put over someone else he has to have something awaiting him. He fought the good fight against James Storm only to lose a countless number of times. I can want and Petey going over Roode would be that.

Perceived Winner: Petey Williams

Literal Truth: The most significant factor in this match is not even competing in the match. Showtime Eric Young is like a prisoner of his own fate. His relationship with former Team Canada member and current owner Robert Roode is stormy to say the least. This match features all former members of Team Canada and possibly suggests who Eric Young’s friend could possibly be. Even though it suggests who it could be, it does not answer who it could not who it would be. Williams has come to the aid of Young because he has seen how Eric has been treated by Roode Inc. What appears to be a feud that is built on the strong dominating the weak is something Petey Williams is not willing to stand by and let happen for his friend. It is remarkable how having someone fight for you and fans continue to cheer for him has done little to change Young’s status. I would anticipate Young being forced to interfere and cause Williams to lose and reap the consequences if he does not.

Literal Winner: Robert Roode

Gail Kim vs. Jackie Moore

Perceived Truth: The most refreshing element of this feud is that its clearly a grudge match. It is so rare to see matches built with the use of backstage interviews week in and week out that have grudge match in this day and age promoted for women. It is not to say this has not happened but for TNA to make such a conscious effort to do that for the little time they have on iMPACT! it is great to see. Between these two women what I would like to see is a solid match. This would be a match where both compete actively and have fairly effective exchanges between them. I realize that Gail Kim has had a lot of flack against her for blowing spots. Maybe if there is little made of her match then really she will be successful. There was a sense of expectation for her when she first joined the WWE but not with TNA. It was as though there was not the same mainstream exposure and expectation for her that would affect her performance. She is doing for a pay per view win. Very few people would anticipate anything from her.

Perceived Winner: Gail Kim

Literal Truth: This feud between these two women began a few months back and hasn’t let up in the least. What is refreshing about these women feuding as apposed to two ‘divas? competing is these two are capable of actually some form of competition. Since joining TNA, Jackie Moore’s primary role has been that of valet and primary cause of distraction on behalf of Cowboy James Storm. She has not only achieved this but managed to create a feud in the meantime with Gail Kim. After Americas Most Wanted split Gail was given an ultimatum by James Storm. That ultimatum was that if she was not with him she was against him. Her decision was clear and she was against James Storm. When it appeared as though she would have gotten some retribution out runs Jackie Moore and attacks Gail Kim from behind. There has been no one person that appears to be more dominant than the other. However after each confrontation the odds are usually against Kim. At this time I doubt that the odd will be against her one more time.

Literal Winner: Gail Kim

SPECIAL REF: MR BACKLUND
Austin Starr vs. Senshi

Perceived Truth: This feud has been entertaining to watch. Between both Senshi and Starr there is such a difference in styles that has made it incredibly satisfying to see them participate in such highly competitive matches over the course of a few months. What I would like to see happen is something rather unexpected. Backland clearly appears to be unhinged and it would be a real hoot to see him actually surprise all involved and lose all sense of what’s right and wrong and support Starr. This would throw anyone watching it for a loop. It is plausible for this to be a match that is evenly refereed and suddenly have one moment change the complexity of the match. It could be conceived that over the course of the match Senshi gets under Backlands skin because of constant frustration with not winning the match. It could be the slightest thing that could set Backland off which is why it is so probable that it could happen. I would like to see Austin Starr go over for the win.

Perceived Winner: Austin Starr

Literal Truth: For the past few pay per views the feud between these two has continued to grow. Since the end of the Kevin Nash Invitational, Senshi and Austin Starr have been at odds with one another. They were never on the same page but after the two came to blows after this tournament other things began to unfold. Over the past few months Bob Backland has been trying to instill some form of respect in the X division. Austin Star has challenged this morality check by attacking Backland. In last months Destination X pay per view both men faced one another in a chicken wing submission match. The purpose of the match was that a winner would be decided when one man won the match at the hands of the chicken wing submission hold. Since this match both Starr and Senshi have faced one another but Backland intervened in this match. His involvement in the match caused Senshi to lose a way reminiscent of how Backland lost the WWF title. He threw in the towel on him. I see Starr coming out on top in this one despite Backlands best efforts.

Literal Winner: Austin Starr

ELECTRIC STEEL CAGE FOR THE WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE
The LAX (c) vs. Team 3D

Perceived Truth: What would a win for Team 3D mean? It would be huge for them in this feud between them and LAX. However what it means to them and whether or not I want them to win is another story. What I would like too ideally see happen is have Team 3D bring out all the stops. I mean take chances and bumps that we haven’t seem from them in about 10 years. It could be costly but then the spots would give fans a reason to be interested in this team again. On the LAX side of fence everything they seem to do that is so hood works. Whether its their lingo, the manner in which they wrestle or their entire look the can do no wrong. It would be great to see them continue to push the envelope take everything Team 3D has and keep going. This is a sign of a team that is both feared and not in any position to lose any time soon. What I would like to see is Konnan get out of the wheelchair if he’s mobile enough to and actually gets physically involved in the ring.

Perceived Winner: Latin American Exchange

Literal Truth: The heightened level of perceived violence in this match is most certainly creative. A problem arises here is that it will involve these men to sell more than just bumps and blood but forced to act as though they are being charged. This could be either really convincing or really unintentionally funny. To see someone quivering as though thousands of bolts of electricity charging through their body is not a pleasant sight. One person that could probably do this in the most convincing of fashions is Ray. When he had those moments back when they were putting women through tables and he would just blank out afterwards as though it was a blur showed he was capable of looking completely transparent. At this point I am of the belief that brother drunk. Runt will get involved in this match and once again cost them a shot unintentionally of winning the titles if he does get involved. However for them to lose these many matches over the past few pay per views only to lose again really buries them as a tag team in a division where there are very few challengers.

Literal Winner: Team 3D.

LETHAL LOCKDOWN MATCH
TEAM ANGLE (Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Rhino, Sting, Jeff Jarrett VS.TEAM CAGE (Christian Cage, AJ Styles, Scott Steiner, Abyss & Tomko)

Perceived Truth: This has been a feud that has managed to do what WWE Survivor Series and NWA War Games of the past managed to do. It combines main event and mid card talent to form combinations that are not normally seen. In the case of Team Angle it has now put to of the biggest names in wrestling over the past 25 years together. They are not only in the same ring together but on the same team. Sting and Kurt Angle are the two most recognizable names in wrestling so for them to be together it is a real coo. What I would like to see happen is the mystery opponent be someone to contest with someone Team Cage’s. A someone that represents a part of Team Cage’s past be a member of Team Angle. At this point the only name from Christians past that has taken a long term break from the ring has been Jeff Jarrett. When he walked away from the ring a face turn was clearly hinted by calling Sting the better man. This would be his opportunity to be the better man and be victorious as a part of Team Angle. It has the potential for creating new feuds and different allies with the return of Jarrett.

Perceived Winner: Team Angle

Literal Truth: What is interesting about this feud is that while there is supposed to be cooler heads in the Team Cage camp their motivations for being there are anything but honorable. There is not one person that is on this team because they enjoy Christian’s company. Even though each were promised championship matches, Cage was informed that he can not decide opponents only Jim Cornett could. In doing this it only continues to add to the tension within the Cage camp. As unglued as they appear to be in backstage interviews they are united when push comes to shove. It has managed to combine all these egos together with the biggest ego pulling the strings in Christian Cage. AJ Styles has shown a different nuance in his character by adding a swagger in his interviews that was not apparent prior to working with Cage. Steiner needs little help acting as though he’s the second coming of a God. It works well and they are who I would ideally believe could pull this match out in the end.

Literal Winner: Team Cage

While Lethal Lockdown has 9 scheduled matches I believe that people will be pleasantly surprised with such a pay per view. Each match carries with it a special grudge which has made each match necessary. How will Chris Harris far in his return? Will some loophole be revealed in Eric Young’s contract to Robert Roode? Could Christy Hemme lose more than he top? These questions are more will be answered along with the return of Jeff Jarrett. Can he be trusted? Or will Abyss free himself of the ties that bind with James Mitchell and be his own man once again? I am prepared for a Lethal Lockdown are you??

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: #117: Perceived/Literal Truth Wrestlemania 23 Preview Apr18

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Solstice Scriptures: #117: Perceived/Literal Truth Wrestlemania 23 Preview

Wrestlemania has arrived. Its virtually arrived since it wont be until Sunday evening and its only Friday. After a two year hiatus PLT has returned. While previews come and go I hope this brings a tear to your eye and hunger pains to your stomach. Believe it or not we hope to snack on danger here at the PLT and dine on death. Oh the catchphrases simply appear out of thin air here its incredible. The theme of the evening is All Grown Up. This will be the theme of the Wrestlemania bash at my place here in Toronto. We will be eating foods kids would enjoy. If you are interested give me a shout. It is full of the shimmer, sparkle and shine but without the bright lights and Texas tea that we normally associate with most pay per view events.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste of caramel. Yes, that statement was like a Caramel chocolate bar. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun. Ah, see fun is coming into play much like the intent of this pay per view.

So when you think of Wrestlemania what is the first thing that comes to mind? Wrestling on the grandest stage of them all? Or could it be billionaires pretending to have animosity with one another in order to get some attention?

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Kane vs. The Great Khali

Perceived Truth : I want Kane. These were the words of Khali as reiterated by JR and The King on an edition of Raw. Fans could barely make out what he was saying and didn’t know who he was calling out in the first place. When you need captions on your television when someone is challenging an opponent that can’t be an initial good sign of promoting an upcoming feud. Once this was past us we actually move on the feud between the two men. In the case of Kane, he was coming off a feud with King Booker that saw him get the short end of the stick in that feud as well. It almost appears as though Kane is being used recently as an almost 7 foot jobber which would be unfortunate. Khali needs to come out looking strong in this match up. By doing so it helps to erase any question as to how he can carry on in a match up.

If Khali has any mobility it will be necessary in this match up against Kane. The most awkward notation of this match up is that between the two men it is actually Kane that appears to be the cruiserweight among the two. Even though he has strength it is his agility that will become an asset in this match up. What I would like to see is a double disqualification with nothing being settled between the both of them.

Perceived Winner: Neither

Literal Truth: This is a feud that pits the indestructible force and the immovable object. Kane and The Great Khali facing off against one another is this years Raw versus Smackdown cross brand promotional match up. Even though Ashley and Melina, the Money in the Bank and the Battle of the Billionaires all do the same thing but this match is intended on being the real cross brand promotional match up. Alright none of that could have taken seriously when we consider what stakes have been made to protect those involved. Khali’s ability in the ring has been seen as questionable at best.

When Khali had apparently busted open was not even shown because it was so clearly staged. This quest by Khali is clearly to show how dominant and destructive he can be against anyone including Kane. In doing this it achieves very little for Kane. The Big Red machine is not only being beaten up but made to look foolish in the process. At this time I am of the belief that Kane will contend in this match up. There could not be this much of build to make Khali look this strong without having some form of a challenge on the part of Kane. However when all is said and done, I would be hard pressed not to believe that Khali would not be put over in this match up against Kane.

Literal Winner: The Great Khali

ECW Originals (Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, The Sandman) vs. New Breed (Marcus Cor Von, Matt Stryker, Kevin Thorne, Elijah Burke)

Perceived Truth: This is probably the most difficult match to have wants or needs for when my exposure to them is very limited. How limited was my expose? I had no idea Monty Brown was even part of the brand. Oh, wait its Marcus Cor Von which just doesn’t seem to fit. Its either that or it takes a while getting used to the name. However it is still possible to have wants when these men are all have a major outlet to be exposed. For wrestlers such as Sabu, Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman to my recollection this is their first opportunity competing in a Wrestlemania. These were men that bleed and broke themselves in half for less people and less money and now after years are finally able to compete. I want them to go for broke and do what they were so accustomed to doing for so many people but now have the opportunity to do on a grander scale. If this is Rob Van Dams last Wrestlemania then let it be the one no one ever forgets.

In the New Breed, I would equally like to see the athleticism of Elijah Burke evident. I would equally like to see the strength of Marcus Cor Von and Kevin Thorne apparent as well. However when the proverbial dust settles that the ECW originals are the ones victorious with the new breed respecting what came before them. Its more than unlikely to happen but then again its sometimes alright to perceive certain things as being possible.

Perceived Winner: ECW Originals

Literal Truth: This appears to be a feud simply based primarily on the changing of the guard. The difference between this feud and a previous one in WCW is that here it is simply based on age. WCW once pitted The Millionaires Club against the New Blood which only could go as far as the young stars could take the feud. In ECW this feud appears to actually have a balance of personality and skill to maintain a pretty balanced and long standing feud among the eight men. Although the originals add experience the inclusion of one particular originals member seems like such an odd fitting. Sabu is no question extreme and demonstrates this on a nightly basis. The concern here is his ability to used as part of a team regularly enough without diminishing his reputation of being someone that could stand alone. His inclusion could be partly because of his chemistry with Rob Van Dam but on his own it does raise questions. Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman are as synonymous with each as peanut butter is with jelly without the anaphylactic shock brought on by peanuts.

On the New Breeds side they include different personalities and characters that the collection of the four men works well. Matt Stryker and Elijah Burke add that cocky and confident quality that they need while Cor Von and Thorne add the strength their team so desire. It appears time for a changing of the guard.

Literal Winner: The New Breed

Battle of the Billionaires
[Donald Trump (Bobby Lashley) vs. Vince McMahon (Umaga)’>

Perceived Truth: What I honestly would like to see is the truth and no pun is intended here. The truth I am referring to is how the match is being advertised. According to Forbes of the listed 900 plus listed billionaires Vince McMahon is not even listed. If this is the case then by advertising alone Vince McMahon is losing this battle thus having Donald Trump victorious. When it comes to the actual combatants in the ring it is a fairly even match up. They don’t similar in size, physique or stature but it is a pretty balanced match between the two.

Donald Trumps representative the ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley has a number of impressive qualities about him. Look past the chiseled physique and dedication in the gym for a moment and admire his presence alone. He appears to easily be able to intimidate anyone he competes against. The young mans accomplishments have added even more credibility previously capturing the United States championship. Lashley’s opposition, Umaga is a man that is pushed and hyped up as this indestructible force. Thee Samoan Bulldozer; shows no weakness and usually used to squash opponents. The problem here lies in the fact that for as strong as he looks where he tends to have a sense of leverage in this instance does not exist. If we were to see Donald bald it would be different.

Perceived Winner: Vince McMahon (Umaga)

Literal Truth: The idea of this match up came weeks prior to these two even coming face to face with each other. When Rosie O Donnell once again stirred the pot and passed judgment on Donald Trump, forget for a moment it was the pot calling the kettle black. What it did was provide Vince McMahon and Donald Trump an opportunity to do some creative cross promotion. In the case of Donald the first mention of his name came while The Apprentice: Los Angeles. McMahon was able to use that and the blowout feud between Trump and O Donnell and have it resemble the farce that it was outside of the ring to being one in the ring. Between the huge exaggerations in character and appearance it was only a matter of time before the actual Trump would appear.

In the ever turning world of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours Trump returned the favor and used Wrestlemania as the outlet in which to do so. This could easily be done without either man having to get into the ring. The next logical thing would be to use two men that could equal both McMahon’s and Trumps board room savvy. If this was the case then the choices of Umaga and Lashley is to embody physically what McMahon and Trump represent on a business level. All things considered this is a nice outlet to utilize these two young guys. When it is all said and done I just cant see Trump losing. I am of the belief that the match will be a draw or double disqualification but McMahon will get his head shaved.

Literal Winner: Donald Trump

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Randy Orton, Kennedy, Finley, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Edge, King Booker

Perceived Truth: A number of factors come into play when you consider who is involved in this match up. Of the 8 men competing, they were former heavyweight champions, intercontinental champions, united states champions and tag team champions. There are men that are being pushed into main even status and one man that represents an entire brand. The best way to utilize the perceived section of this match up is by process of elimination.

Fit Finley, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy appear to be the least likely candidates to win this match up. Mr. Kennedy and Booker T would probably be the next two that will have strong showings in the match but will be virtually not among the men to look for to win this match up. This leaves Randy Orton, Edge and CM Punk as the last three men in the match that are most likely to win this match up. The animosity between Orton and Edge will pretty much boil over. Edges ego and bravado will probably get the better of him and Orton wont allow Edge to go over. This leaves CM Punk as the dark horse winner. Is he believable to challenge for the WWE or World Championship? Probably not but it is not to say he wont compete for the ECW championship. Its probably because he may have the least amount of exposure of any of these men in the match and really at Wrestlemania anything is possible.

Perceived Winner: CM Punk

Literal Truth: Much like the perceived section was broken down in who I thought would not win the match up the literal section will more than likely mirror similar results. Of those competing very few are there for more than to help provide high spots and incredible competition in this match. Edge, Matt and Jeff Hardy are no strangers to ladder matches. CM Punk will provide a fresh face with a martial arts and technical itinerary of moves. Finley will fight and fight alone. He will club, beat down and be there to simply grind out the other seven men. However he is completely out of his element which makes Finley an easy cast off in this match up. Matt and Jeff Hardy are not really in the midst of pushes either. This is not to say they are talented on the mic or in the ring but signs don’t show these two as being ones to look for in the ring. King Booker has captured the heavyweight title and will compete in this match but does not appear to be one to consider in this match up.

If the speculation on CM Punk is correct then he wont go over because to win a title shot when little see you because of the brand your on seems like an exercise in futility. This leaves Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton and Edge left as the winners of the match. However the problems between Edge and Orton will be an issue (much like they were in the perceived section of this match preview). Mr. Kennedy appears to be the one that is most likely to win the match up because of a couple of noted things. The first how he is being pushed over the course of the past few months shows the company has faith in him and secondly Smackdown has yet to have someone win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match to this point in its existence.

Literal Winner: Mr. Kennedy

Women’s Championship
Melina vs. Ashley

Perceived Truth: Two incredibly attractive women are scheduled to wrestle each other. Now many a red blooded heterosexual male would love the sight of this. The difference is just because you like two different things does not mean you want them together. Although Peanut butter and chocolate are an exception The difference here is this isn’t a complementary combination between beauty and wrestling. Between the two of them there is little in the way of credible in ring experience. Simply because you are in a ring wearing boots, knee pads and ring attire does not make you a wrestler.

Trish Stratus is retired, Lita is retired and Victoria’s role is to make the other women look better than they actually are. Even though two of those three added something to the women’s division it would been so much more effective had this been a Mickie James versus Ashley feud simply because the wrestler could make the model better in the ring. In this match up no one will be able to protect the other in there which could actually prove to be more detrimental more than anything. Even though she is in the match Ashley shouldn’t just be given the title based on her being in Playboy, she needs to earn the win.

Perceived Winner: Melina

Literal Truth: This feud appears to have come about seemingly out of jealousy. That depends on who you ask. Some reports lead viewers to believe one thing while others lead us to believe it is something different all together. According to some reports Mickie James who was the champion prior to Melina had to hotshot the title in order to create a fairly high profile Ladies championship match for Wrestlemania. Essentially what this was manifested jealousy that Melina has (but continues to deny) towards Ashley. Where does Ashley come into a feud between Melina and Mickie James? Nowhere. James has nothing to do with the program between Melina and Ashley.

Ashley is the current Playboy cover girl. This enough is what warrants someone to be contending for the women’s championship. Well, not exactly but it does work when those involved are attempting to publicize Playboy (not that it actually needs it) along with giving Ashley more exposure (pardon the pun) than she normally receives. Melina is clearly the top heel female character in the company so putting the two together to face off against each other appears to be easy decision to make. At this point putting the title on Ashley is believable and will more than likely happen this Sunday at Wrestlemania.

Literal Winner: Ashley

United States Championship
Chris Benoit vs. MVP

Perceived Truth: This is clearly a match where two very distinct personalities and styles of wrestling clash. In fact the differences between them more than anything outnumber their similarities. Age and experience are also among the differences between Chris Benoit and MVP. The mark in me would like to see Benoit put the cocky character in his place. While some would like to see MVP prove himself in this match, some would not like it to be at Benoit’s expense.

One can easily be torn when evaluating this match preview between the two. How does some earn credibility if they do not defeat someone credible? Even if MVP was on some undefeated streak he would have to face someone that would validate his ability at some point in time. He has faced and defeated a number of notable names in the company the difference here they were not Benoit. Once we look past the injuries and respect that Chris can still compete at a 100 mile an hour mentality, one can expect he wont dog it throughout the match. On the flipside MVP has to do more than simply appear in the match up for him to be more than a guy whose whole name makes up really creative initials. At this point I can’t help but want to see Benoit come out on top in the biggest pay per view of the year.

Perceived Winner: Chris Benoit

Literal Truth: Foundation is vital in any building. In the case of the WWE it is as important to reevaluate a company’s foundation in order to know if they can build upon it. This being said it is equally important to create new stars upon the already established company. Chris Benoit is clearly an established star in the company. After twenty years of competition, Benoit has walked the line between putting someone over and being put over. This instance is no different and to have it come on biggest night of the year is equally significant.

MVP came into the company with a huge of hype around his character. If he was to hypothetically go over Benoit (and the truly effective way to do this is with a clean pin to capture the title) he needs to put on the match of his young career. He will have to take bumps a number of times to convince the audience in attendance first of all. It is equally difficult to get a true sense of the feud between them. The hard part in selling this match to the audience is convincing them that there is animosity between the two. If there is little to no build on those involved how they can truly get a feel for the match in the first place. At this point it is more than likely that Benoit will be the bigger man and bite the bullet.

Literal Winner: Montel Vontavious Porter

World Heavyweight Championship
Batista vs. Undertaker

Perceived Truth: At a glance it is clearly not the championship that is the focal point of this match up. For close to 15 years its all about this undefeated streak of the Undertaker. As each Wrestlemania passes so does the question of whether or not the streak will remain in tack. Since this is thee what I want to have happen section of the preview I can easily say I would like to see The Undertaker lose. That was easy enough to say and why I would like to see him lose is because he would be doing it for someone that is among the men that is supposed to bring the company into the next generation of athletes in the company. Although Dave Batista’s age would suggest otherwise, his strength and ability to handle himself in a position of leadership suggests he is as good a candidate as any to help lead the Smackdown brand.

What I would like to see happen is Batista win a hard fought match. It would have to be a clean win in order for it to truly mean anything of value. A win via disqualification would be a real disappointment when we consider The Undertaker has been built up each year only to be met with a very skimpy fate. It would be nice to see a number of Batista bombs be the reason for the defeat.

Perceived Winner: Batista

Literal Truth: The undefeated streak brings with it a number of challenges and expectations. If Batista wins will this only help to secure his position at the top of the company? If the Undertaker continues his undefeated streak does that mean he will retire as the only man never to lose at Wrestlemania? Does the Undertaker really need to be the World heavyweight champion at this point in his career? One doubts that because he is one of the few men in the company that holds come type of value without having the push of a championship in order to over with the fans.

At this point however I have a hard time believing that the Undertaker will lose this match up. The reason for this belief is that the company is able to market a streak and a milestone. In any professional sport, streaks or milestones gain interest and turn out at the gate. This is not Cal Ripken’s iron man streak or Barry Bonds pursuit of Hank Aaron but it is one that no other professional wrestler can claim to make ever. I believe the Undertaker will win but not capture the title in the process.

Literal Winner: The Undertaker

WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

Perceived Truth: At one time Shawn Michaels was clearly the man. This is not to say he still is not still capable of high caliber matches but his place as I can see it is not as champion. In putting over Cena, Michaels is doing more than making the current champion look good. Which is important for John Cena to be put over by Shawn Michaels because it helps to achieve a couple of things? Michaels has been there and has made man half as capable as he was look like they were technical wrestlers from another generation. It also adds credibility to Cena who in defeating Michaels gives who he is and what he is capable of doing much more than he was beating someone like Umaga. The side angle between the two that this match up was going to see who could get into the other ones head. This appears to be nothing more than a delayed storyline for an eventual confrontation.

It is creative and does pit two men that are teammates against one another. However it does little to make it believable because Michaels did not want to team with Cena in the first place. How could there be tension now, when there was never a point when they were ever teammates that there was tension before? Now that they are aligned with each other the writing is so that they are at odds with each other when they were never associated with one another in the first place. At this time I am of the belief that Cena will go over Michaels and do so in what will be a hard fought match up where both men refuse to surrender.

Perceived Winner: John Cena

Literal Truth: Great partners but better opponents. These generally seem to be the sentiments shared when considering the championship match up between John Cena and Shawn Michaels. Over the past few months Cena and Michaels have toyed with the idea that they cant trust each other. That isn’t completely true. Cena doesn’t know what to make of Michaels and HBK appears to be the one that would turn his back on Cena faster than a freestyle rap. The problem in this is they are still tag team champions and while they have a commitment to defend their titles it appears to be under duress. This leads me to believe that Michaels will more than likely turn on Cena.

He didn’t want to be his partner in the first place which makes thee don’t trust me angle between them that more believable. There is the intention of getting into each others head which appears to be happening repeatedly. Once we get past all the animosity between these two what we will be fortunate to see is John Cena more than likely going over Shawn Michaels. The reason being Michaels has nothing really to prove. Cena going over helps to validate his worth as a main event wrestler and champion if he defeats Michaels.

Literal Winner: John Cena

While Wrestlemania only to date has 8 scheduled matches one can only hope for more entertainment than leads viewers to believe. This isn’t Wrestlemania III with time hopefully the level of entertainment evolves with time. Some matches are nothing more than filler while others look to be scripted very well and could be incredibly entertaining. It should be interesting to see at best what the results of this year’s event will provide. If things don’t go well at least I have chili and cheese dogs, nachos and root beer floats to tie me over and my buddies over for the evening.

Take care,
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: #116: Wrestling with the Financials Apr14

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Solstice Scriptures: #116: Wrestling with the Financials

Since its inception as a viable way to earn income the wrestling business has been many things to many people. When it comes to the behind the scenes facets of the wrestling environment some will argue that it is believed to be about one single thing. Money. To some it is a necessary evil and to others it simply evil. It could be used to motivate and to humiliate. This is not to say that competition and an athlete’s use in a particular company is not of great significance or importance but that when one has to earn a living financial security is ultimately where decisions are made.

However when putting food on the table for your family is of great importance than what you make and how much of it you earn is of great concern than that becomes the focus. What happens though when that focus backstage becomes an angle onscreen? What happens when the business and corporate dealings of wrestling is generated into a storyline? The results of this are a number of scenarios throughout the past two decades of wrestling where money was the focal point of a number of wrestler’s careers literally and figuratively.

Among the first indications that such a faction could exist could be found in the National Wrestling Alliance. Jim Crockett Promotions formed a stable in the late eighties known as the Yamasaki Corporation. They clearly had their finger on the pulse of foreign investment in America with the Japanese inclusion in the company. They were created when at the time The Four Horsemen had disbanded because the manager of the Horsemen, James J. Dillon had left the company. The storyline however was played out that Ric Flair had fired Dillon because he let Ricky Steamboat slip into the promotion. This in itself appeared to be far fetched but did not stop the company from use this as their rationale at the time.

Dillon’s role was replaced with Hiro Matsuda, a rich Japanese representative. The faction still had Horsemen roots with Flair and Barry Windham being a part of the faction. They group consisted of Barry’s brother Kendall and Butch Reed. After initial success the financial support from Matsuda meant nothing as injuries, members leaving the promotion and replacements did little to secure the staying power of the group. They appeared to be a shell of the group that had first formed and in May of the same year the group had disbanded as the Millionaire Matsuda had left the NWA. Money could only help in achieving so much success.

Another instance where money played a pivotal role in a characters career also included the business world. Before there was a self made billionaire there was Wallstreet. The concrete jungles of the corporate world first earned their way into a wrestling angle when Mike Rotunda became Michael Wallstreet. The idea for this character was believed to have come about with Rotunda coming into a fair bit of money outside of the ring. This sounds somewhat similar to JBL, doesn’t it? This was an example of life imitating fiction with Wallstreet becoming a part of and creating The York Foundation. The York Foundation was named after Terri Runnels; a former makeup artist was given the opportunity to break new ground in World Championship Wrestling.

Female managers were not new or even seen as a novelty in wrestling however in this instance it provided a woman with a strong character that was as calculating outside the ring as those she managed. While under the name of Alexandra York in late 1990 she formed an alliance with Michael Wallstreet. Their characters were all about image and money. How much of it could they make after each match became a regular occurrence. In fact the calculations were of such significance that York would carry a laptop computer to the ring. The computer was also suppose to enhance each of the wrestlers she managed chances for success. The idea was a bit farfetched but there were nuances to this faction that were not explored previously with the Yamasaki Corporation.

It was one thing to say money is important to you and it is another to look like it is important to you. These wrestlers could be seen dressed in business suits, while they were groomed to appear to have of cavalier and professional look to them. Each of the men that joined the foundation underwent a character makeover it seems. When it is said that money can change a person it was certainly true in the cases of three men. The need for financial security was far from over in the eyes of Alexandra York. Terry Taylor replaced Michael Wallstreet and he became The Computerized Man of the 90s, Terrence Taylor. Taylor was the senior member of the York Foundation throughout the duration of the foundations existence.

Alexandra York attained the services of one half of the longstanding tag team the Rock N Roll Express when Ricky Morton turned on Robert Gibson. This heel turn was met with change name as well as Ricky was gone and replaced with ?Richard?. What a dick! Tommy ?Wildfire? Rich shed the wildfire persona and the Tommy from his name in July of 1991 to simply become Thomas Rich. What major corporation is not without security? This became the plight of this financial institute. In order to meet these needs Miss York also added a bodyguard in Mr. Hughes. It was incredible what money had represented to these men and one woman over the course of a couple of years. Even though these titles no longer exist, Rich, Taylor and Morton at the time captured the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship. Success was had by those that were surrounded by the push that money gave them. One could even go as far as to say it provided them with security.

Money changed the nature and character of some, but would it continue to be the root of all evil? This was probably a touch dramatic to be sure but it was clear that this idea of money, image and power could thrive given the right vehicle to do so. In the NWA and early WCW there was little that could be done to gain major attention for them on an international scale. Attention that could have enough strength that more money could be earned and more members added. This was not a knock on Taylor for his work in the faction. The problem with the execution of the idea for this powerful and financially calculating faction but the supporting cast of men in the group. What it did was providing Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton, a new outlook as a tandem but did nothing to push them in the singles division.

The idea of someone who wheeled such financial security was currently thriving well in the WWF at the time with ?The Million Dollar Man? Ted DiBiase prophesying to anyone and everyone that everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man. Much like York in WCW, DiBiase too had a bodyguard in Virgil that represented protection for person or thing secured their reason for employment. For a number of years DiBiase held his role in such great standing with those around him one would think he was of some royal decent. It was as though his place was that much more important that anyone else. At one time or another we have come into contact with someone whose confidence in them self actually is quite smug, cocky and arrogant. DiBiase’s character of great wealth was held in such high regard that more could be made of it if he was surrounded by other athletes. He would act in such a way that it could be easily confused with that of a sinister genie that would grant wishes at a cost.

After some time had past DiBiase formed an alliance with a familiar face. Michael Wallstreet had changed his name and slightly altered his character to resemble that of a fiscally responsible miser. He ran with the idea of being as equally calculating as he was in his previous company as he would be in his new one. Wallstreet’s second go around with the WWF would see the birth of Irwin R. Schuster effectively referred to as I.R.S. He would prey on those that cheated on their taxes and would know this from reports he has attained on them. What a combination these two made? One is willing to buy you for a price while the other will take away what you have earned if you do not pay up. Together this formidable combination would collectively be known as Money Incorporated. They would be synonymous with greed and how money can change the lives of those around them.

After some time DiBiase took on a different role in that of a manager. When mentioned today how athletes are said to have sold out and compromised their values for that of the almighty dollar is common. However at the time it was simply despicable for someone to do such a thing to another person. How dastardly could it be to believe someone would put money over a person’s morals, beliefs, values and standards? It is interesting to see how society could have been as insulted by someone trying to buy them for a simple act. In today’s society with men and women working more in order to make ends meet to have Donald Trump drop money from the ceiling is a welcomed change.

DiBiase used his money assemble an alliance. This was a time where stables were not at a premium with the creation of the Million Dollar Corporation. This stable in the WWF brought together a number of different wrestlers from different cultural backgrounds and experience in the company. One of the first members of this co-operation joined at the time as it appeared under duress. As one half of the former world tag team champions Nikolai Volkoff was a great success. When he returned to the company it had appeared as though he had fallen on hard times. The once confident and assured Russian was a shell of his former self. It was at this time where DiBiase came in and approached Volkoff with offer. In an act of desperation Volkoff joined DiBiase not as his alley but his property. Volkoff would walk around sporting cent sign on his back.

This storyline played on the question what lengths would someone go to earn a living? It was incredible to see what money can do to the weak and strong. Money was also able to deceive. DiBiase claimed to be bringing The Undertaker back to the WWF after a long absence. It was DiBiase who initially brought The Undertaker to the WWE. One week after DiBiase’s claim, a man who appeared to look and sound like The Undertaker was produced by Ted DiBiase to a live audience. At the time announcers accepted DiBiase’s proclamation but eventually his man was revealed to be a double. At SummerSlam, the Million Dollar replica was not seen from again. Money not only could buy someone but be used to replace someone as well. While the feud with The Undertaker, continued IRS traveled to a graveyard in his investigation of dead tax cheats

This idea of not only using money to put a character in their place but that to even use their status as a minority in a subservient role was intended to be both insulting and degrading. When we really look at Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation they were on the surface a collection of subservient unconventionally apparent followers. These men consisted of; a former tag team champion in the role of disgruntled follower, an almost four hundred pound head tattooed, an over four hundred pound wrestler whose biggest match was nine years earlier at Wrestlemania 2, an ultimate fighter still in search of an identity, a psychotic wrestler that is bad of a bodyguard as he is an actual wrestler and a native American pushed in the role of tag team partner rather than solo star.

After a few years had past the major business organization faction resurfaced in the WWE. Vince McMahon created his own personal Corporation for a couple years and was even cleverly booked to feud with a faction known as The Union. This had been the one time where the people were not going to take being humiliated and embarrassed. It was unlike previous faction feuds that represented a hierarchy of wealth and power. A company is only as good as its employees and this feud was just as comparative to being a strike as it would be an employee quitting their job.

This all leads us to today with the inception of Robert Bobby Roode in TNA. After the break up of Team Canada, Roode began referring to himself as TNA’s hottest free agent. It appeared as though the incorporated idea was resurfacing with Traci Brooks playing the Alexandra York. She was now referred to as Ms. Brooks and he changed his name to Robert Roode. Ms. Brooks signed Young with a contract thus making him a member of Robert Roode Inc. The manner in which it was done was as deceptive as a CEO of a company would.

While JBL’s cabinet resembled something more of a presidential collection of personalities and wrestlers such as EZ Money and Julio Dinero have their names tied to money they were less played up like previous incarnations of the money based factions. What has been apparent through these incarnations of money mongering moguls? The need to dominate the weak appears to be the one and will continue. A sense of superiority or acclaim is expected by opposition because of who they are or have. There is little need to have a sense of ability even though there are a number of instances where these men are talented. The also appears a need to differentiate between an upper and lower class. This faction is no different then present day society. Money changes people and it is that potential change that is often played on. Does everyone have a price? Can money buy success? For as long as money will exist and there is a class system we will always be wrestling with the financials.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, remember why my wife handles the accounting, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #115: Establishing his (urban) Legend Mar31

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Solstice Scriptures: #115: Establishing his (urban) Legend

Often time’s personas are created to define who the person behind the wrestler is to symbolize. In fact one could go as far to say as that a wresting persona transcends the sport so that those that watch them compete see more than just a wrestler. They see the embodiment of an idea. However it is not until something happens outside of this arena of belief that a wrestler is not a reflection of the person but simply a character that gives that wrestler a front of which to base their behavior upon. This behavior would lead this character in a completely distinct direction.

Does all this sound cryptic and vague? It shouldn’t when that person refers to themselves as more than simply the great one or the phenomenal one but as one that makes a living ending the legacies of other men that have represented more than success. It is their sole purpose to defeat any and everyone whether it be man, woman or possibly child that has meant anything of significance in the sport.

The irony in this is the person that claims to be this is less of a man and more often guilty of acting childish in some instances himself. How credible is it that the very person who professes to do something has earned criticism for being the very opposite of who he claimed to be. It could be said that there are those that are great and those that have greatness bestowed upon them. This could very well be the case of this cryptic symbol. This has little to do with the in ring ability of the wrestler but how the persona appears to taken a life of itself and created an ego that sought to be bigger than it ever should have been.

The persona was born a few years back while Randy Orton was a part of Evolution. It was clear the young third generation wrestler was determined to make a name for himself and in order to do that he need to have a niche. There had to be something about him that made him stand out from anyone else in the company. That something was to invest his time, energy, and effort in being more than just third generation wrestler. He created a persona that would be successful by becoming triumphant over the careers of others. It is uncanny to some extent when we think about how life and art tend to reflect each other. When one looks at Orton they see a wrestler whose character holds little regard for what those before him accomplished. In a number of reports of Orton’s personal exploits he has a tendency to believe his character to an extent that it has a detrimental effect on how others perceive him.

Since Randy Orton began to achieve such great success in the company it is almost as he was suffering from Peter Parker syndrome. It’s with great power comes great responsibility? Syndrome. Could it possibly be that he did not know how to handle the success he was having? Clearly. When one combines age, maturity and experience with each another it became undoubtedly clear that the 24 year old could have been personally over his head. In the months that followed Orton’s behavior and attitude behind the scenes were that of someone other than a legend killer but that of urban legend in comparison. They would be reflected of someone that was not able to separate his professional standing in the company along with how that is not necessarily reflected in how he should be looked upon outside of the ring. Randy Orton had the professional wrestling world on a string for a time and was going to be accused of a number of different things that would lead to in an unfavorable direction.

On April 4th, 2006, the WWE stated that Randy Orton had been suspended for sixty days for “unprofessional conduct”. As quickly as things were coming together for the third generation wrestler, they were just as easily falling apart. Three days after the statement in an interview with WWE.com, Orton stated: WWE has certain standards of conduct they expect out of all the Superstars on both RAW and SmackDown. Unfortunately, I violated those standards and was not representing WWE the way I should have been. Basically, my conduct was unbecoming of a champion, which is what I will be again when I return.

What was it that was so wrong that he was suspended? What could have been so detrimental, unbecoming and unprofessional that he was suspended from the company? Randy Orton apparently smoked marijuana. What one does on their own time is their business. The difference here is what you do on company time is the companies business.

People have stress and professional wrestlers are no different than any fan watching them compete. That is a normal part of life. We all encounter and in moderation it actually could be good to have. The difference here is he forgot his responsibility to the company and learned quickly that one can squander the greatness bestowed upon them by simply not thinking. Even though he is an adult and should be able to make sensible decisions, Randy Orton did not.

What began to happen while Orton was trying to establish himself inside the rind to be taken seriously as Randy Orton the wrestler, it was the off-screen antics of Orton that was quickly earning himself a new character. It was as though a stigma was being created about him for being one that was worse than his brash, cocky in-ring character would suggest. Early on in Orton’s career he lacked something some people in general lack. Character. It was as if Bruce Pritchard (who reportedly found the illegal substance) had not found the item in Orton’s locker room he would not have admitted to using it. This really is the behavior of a child who does not admit to hiding snack before supper until their parents find it on them.

The search for this persona of Orton could have begun even before he stepped into the ring. At one time Randy Orton had enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. He was taking steps in his life to make a new life for himself. It became Orton’s new journey to establish a future for himself by helping to defend his country after he enlisted. It didn’t however work out as he had hoped as Orton was dishonorably discharged about a year after enlisting in the Marine Corps. It was after this that Orton went AWOL on two separate reported occasions. It appears as though Orton had little respect for authority even before he challenged the fraternal wrestling code when he disobeyed an order from a commanding officer. At this time it was under the Uniform Code of Military Justice Private First Class Randy Orton was tried and convicted under a special court-martial. He was imprisoned for his actions for a total of thirty eight days. As this was before a change of law in 2002, Randy did not become a felon as a result of the verdict.

Orton was clearly behind the eight ball before he made it into the ring. This could not simply be the result of bad luck for someone. Now unless the military had some reason to single out Orton because of who his family was which was doubtful, than the punishment fit the crime. To suggest that the Marines were vindictive towards Orton seems a bit unfair. It could be however that Orton may have very well carried his families name with some sort of arrogance that was not justified. Whatever the reason for what lead for him to disobey the commanding officers orders, the point is in order for him to be his own man and find his own voice he needed to do this way.

Randy Orton seems to be synonymous with the word potential. It is potential however that can only get someone so far after that there has to come a point where who they could be are not who they have become. It is at this time that Randy Orton would be creating a cloud of myths around their legacy. Even though it must be incredibly challenging to try and earn credibility as wrestler on its own, however when we add to that his father and grandfather had established long-standing careers, the challenge was incredibly difficult. While it can be quite easy to empathize with the challenges of the business it is equally as easy to see that he may have to be in a position where his opportunity is completely gone where he has to grow up.

As mentioned earlier Orton was suspended for what appeared to be smoking marijuana. The problem the urban myths around Orton’s behavior outside the ring continued to gain him greater popularity and notoriety then when he defeated Chris Benoit for the World Championship. On April 12, 2006, the WWE stated that Legend Killer had suffered a broken ankle at the hands of Kurt Angle during the previous nights SmackDown taping. While Orton was on hiatus from the company to get his behavior and attitude in check, Orton reportedly spent four weeks in anger management clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. He needed to find himself and come to grips with his anger and why it was important for him to get his life in order.

After his suspension had ended and Orton publicly stated to coming getting himself together took another step back. Randy Orton was achieving more success by becoming infamous. Orton had failed a drug test, but, due to recent changes in the Wellness Program, would continue to appear on television and pay-per-view, albeit without pay. In addition, Orton was reported to be being kept off house shows for 30 days as part of the suspension. How many times does a person have to fall before they can get themselves together?

Is he guilty of having to much too soon? While comparisons early on were made between himself and John Cena and which would carry the company in the future, Orton has always had some form of expectation to live up too. Even though its understandable at this point in his career it really is inexcusable. It is quite easy to waiver between being frustrated with someone who has the future bestowed to him in the palm in his hand all the while not being empathic for him when we see how other second and third generation wrestlers were able to meet the challenge of who their fathers were and used that as motivation. In the case of Orton it could very well be that he is more content with living for what he achieves now rather than looking towards the future. He may very well say that he is the future but if his conduct suggests otherwise than it is quite easy to see how Orton’s actions speak louder than words.

However the situation that garnered the most attention was the reported incidents with former female WWE employees. Orton was accused of harassing Amy Weber and Rochelle Loewen, leading to the departure of Weber from the company, while Loewen was transferred to SmackDown who was later released as well. Loewen had claimed that he vandalized her possessions and directed racist remarks towards her. The comments were believed to be a ‘c’ word when insulting not only her but other females in the company. Loewen went out publicly calling him Orton everything from “an animal” to “pathetic” to “retarded”. Even though the accusations were refuted by Orton’s friend at the time Mark Jindrak, Randy’s legend was taking shape but in a way that no young wrestler wanted it to.

Once we look past the speculation and who has reported how Randy Orton’s legend wants to be made. Does he want to go down as a great champion? Does he want to truly be remembered for being one of the greatest third generation wrestlers in the world? If this is so Randy needs to show it. In some ways it is as though he wants to do everything in his power not to be a professional. He has been suspended by the company, fined, accused of harassment, reported to have little respect for others around him. He has received some form of counseling through anger management but is this enough?

A few years ago we had the opportunity to interview Randy before he came into the company a few years ago and he said he wanted to be remembered he responded: This question I feel can not be completely answered, but I can definitely tell you that I want to make my father and grandfather proud. I have been fortunate enough to be raised in a wrestling family, and lucky enough to have my father eager to see me accomplish my goals. So, I would say when it is all said and done, one of the things I would like to be remembered as is, a good son that made his dad proud as a wrestler in this wonderful business.

For Orton’s sake, one can only hope he can achieve this or his career will be remembered for being nothing more than urban legend that would not be killed.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, don’t like the column was written from inside the house, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Credit: Wikipedia.Org

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Solstice Scriptures: #114: Breaking the Mirror Mar10

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Solstice Scriptures: #114: Breaking the Mirror

Do you believe in superstitions? They do have a tendency of being silly or even outrageous. To some they are real, very real. In fact to those that believe so strongly in superstitions there are ones that have an eerie way of coming true. There are so many out there but do any have any merit at all when it comes how believable they? For example if you break a mirror is it possible to have seven years of bad luck? For some reason one is torn with this belief that this will come true. On one hand it has yet to happen to some, while on the other its something one will generally try to avoid. If this belief that if that were to happen and that were the case could such fate befall two wrestlers who appeared destined to do so. If this is the case and this was at all possible then the team of Shawn Michaels and Triple H has something to be worried about.

The Heartbreak Kid and the Game. The Main Event and The King of Kings. The cerebral assassin and the icon. Both of these men have cemented their past, present and future in the industry with who they are and what they stood for in the ring. However neither of them could be prepared with the repercussions of defeating two other opponents that these two are faced with having to defeat. These two men seem destined to run the risk of defeating Edge and Randy Orton. One may question why defeating another team could be seen as a risk. It would not be a risk to the two young stars place within the company. It would not be some huge or monumentus financial burden that the company will be faced with either.

Neither one of these reasons are why either Michaels or Helmsley should be fearful. Think for a minute of what Degeneration X stands for. Consider for a minute what they are, believe or even represent. They are in the simplest of definitions and clearest of explanations degenerates. They go against they grain of authority. They did this at one time. They did this with school yard antics. They are even guilty of doing so now. In fact the irony of this is that they are facing a team with one of its members being synonymous for real life high jinks and playground behavior with the other guilty of committing adultery. Who are the real degenerates in this feud?

When one looks at whom both Michaels and Helmsley and who they have defeated recently and one could question the argument being considered here. Shane and Vince McMahan represent the authority figures of the company plain and simple. Their characters made the rules and they also created the loopholes within those rules to be broken as well. One of the differences now as opposed to when they previously guilty of defying authority was that the reaction they received now was much more played up as being comical rather than who was being disrespected at the time. The problem between Degeneration X back in 1997 and 2006 was that in between which Michaels and Helmsley became is not what they are now. What they are in fact is the exact opposite of what they were synonymous with being. Heroic faces that stood for all that were good and meaningful.

Edge and Orton are young, brash, confident and egocentric. Michaels and Helmsley were young, brash, and egocentric. Both teams are confident but the difference here is Edge and Orton are not looking up the ladder but are staring at two men who represented what they hope to one day. As strange as this seems what Helmsley and Michaels could inevitably be doing is beating more then just two men who have grudges against them. Two men that they feel are responsible for circumstances of their how they are being treated today. They could inevitably be breaking a mirror.

The first stone was cast on October 9th by Orton and Edge against Degeneration X. Depending on how one looks at the situation. The ?feud? technically began on this edition of Raw however it could be said that the battle between the present and future of the coming was slowly simmering for some time. While the feud pits essentially teachers and its pupils what it also an illustration of is two men facing their more youthful reflections of themselves. On an edition of The Cutting Edge, Edge approaches Randy Orton and pulls no punches with the third generation wrestler. The reason his career is in the current state that is in is could be traced back to when Evolution was a unit and Orton had captured the World Championship for the first time. Edge attributed Triple H’s jealousy at the time as being the cause to why Orton’s career is in the present state that is in. This issue of jealousy and failed opportunities was not only caused by Triple H but to Shawn Michaels as well. Edge still had unresolved issues with Shawn Michaels and wanted to settle them as well once and for all.

Over the next several weeks Edge, Randy Orton, Triple H and Shawn Michaels exchanged more then just disgruntled looks at each other and a war of words. Both Edge and Randy Orton made challenges towards Michaels and The Game. When those challenges were met with half-hearted responses, then Edge and Orton had to do something to get noticed. What took place was something that was supposed to get ?personal?. There were not personal insults towards each other mans families but strangely towards a man that Michaels, Triple H, Orton and Edge have had either feuds or differences with.

Ric Flair has been an alley and an enemy and an ally of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and I believe Edge. In fact the most recent exchange between Triple H and Ric Flair saw the Nature boy left an unconscious and bloody mess in the ring. Are these two so removed from wanted to absolutely destroy each other that the beating left both men with some sort of long term memory loss? Its doubtful. Are storylines so disjointed that even the characters ignore what’s taken place between themselves that the lines between friend and foe are blurred? It is apparently so since Ric Flair, Triple H and Shawn Michaels have patched up their differences and moved on.

Michaels and Triple H have moved on to essentially being what both fought so hard not to become, fragile. This is not a fragile quality that is synonymous with injury or someone whose body can not take a rigorous schedule. This quality is a generally emotional and sensitive one that is nothing like what they represented. How effective or believable is Triple H when he pulls out a sledgehammer if he is getting emotional when he hugs Ric Flair? In the case of Shawn Michaels he was the confident and brash character that Edge claims to be now. Randy Orton is as sure of himself now as Triple H always said he was. What essentially is taking place is that Michaels and Triple H are facing themselves in this feud. They are essentially facing a reflection of what they were in a situation where they can not win. This is wrestling’s rendition of a catch 22. If they defeat Orton and Edge then they would be defeating two men that stand for everything their characters stood for. If they lose to them then, what they stand for now will appear to be vulnerable, weak and subjected to dominated in this feud.

As the story between these two teams continues to unfold, both teams face each other on a number of occasions with Degeneration X and Rated RKO exchanges victories. However it appears on more than one instance Edge and Orton is responsible laying down the foundation for the feud repeatedly. So just like a mirror lacks depth, so does this feud. There is little in the way of team A beats down team B and the goal of the opposite team is to achieve some level of revenge. This level of revenge really isn’t apparent. It is not apparent because the following week the promise, intent and execution remains the same.

Now in an incredibly unexpected and unanticipated twist of events one of the variables in this feud is legitimately injured. During New Year’s Revolution between Rated RKO and Degeneration X Triple H was injured. After Triple H tore his quadriceps muscle the feud should have had to be put on hold. He was not hurt by Orton and Edge. They did nothing to ?intentionally? injure him. They did nothing to put stress on the muscle so that it tore. Whether it’s a sense of accomplishment to have Michaels morally victorious by chasing away Orton and Edge does little to stem the belief that Michaels is essentially breaking a metaphorical mirror. He refuses to lie down. When we say this we do not mean lie down through typical wrestling terminology. We are not simply saying for Michaels to do a job or for that matter had Triple H been healthy for him do so as well. By lying down and allowing Edge and Orton successful in this feud he is essentially validating the ?old? Michaels guard and giving it worth. He does this by providing the Orton and Edge the means of beating him clean and have the feud come full circle. The feud became less about Randy and Edge giving their careers the boost they had needed and more about Michaels determined to get some form of revenge. The prey had become the predator and the focus for this feud had begun to change.

In the two weeks after Triple H injured had himself Michaels faced off against Rated RKO in handicap and street fight matches. The feud was more about Michaels focused on defeating two men that were the embodiment of who he and Triple H were.

As stated earlier the feud began between the two teams when Orton and Edge were in need of changing the fortune of their careers. If they were to defeat Michaels and end this feud there would be no image shattered. Glass would not be broken and characters would remain in tact. However in the weeks that followed New Years Revolution, Michaels was hell bent on breaking this mirror. Whether he was aware of it or not his character did virtual character quantum leap as it moved from 2007 to 1997. It had seemed as though he became invincible regardless of what the odds were. The affect of this had Orton and Edge questioning whether or not they would be there for each other and have doubts that would have been there had they finished Michaels and end the feud once and for all.

This is what could have happened. What did happen was nothing more simply Michaels fulfilling what he had intended on doing and ended the feud in the way that it should not have ended. Michaels broke the mirror. On January 29th, 2007 after weeks of being beaten down by Orton and Edge, Michaels formed an alliance with John Cena to face Randy Orton and Edge for the World Tag Team Championship. In fact a precursor to the match had Ric Flair the on again, off again friend/foe, confidant warn Cena that Shawn could very well challenge Cena for his title at some point. The end result of the match saw Michaels capture one half of the tag team championship titles and defeat the two men that were just like him. Was it really necessary? Did Michaels need to defeat two mirror images of who he was and represented?

On one hand we could say that all Shawn and even Triple H for that matter were doing was moving forward with who they are rather than focus on who they were. That by defeating Randy Orton and Edge was to defeat their past. These men grew up, began to One tends to be skeptical that Michaels feud has little to do with moving on. The reason for this is while this match and feud began to draw to a close Michaels was once again in contention for the WWE championship.

As it appears now the feud is all but over. Which leads us to wonder did Michaels and Triple H break their mirrors? They did. Whether they did this because it was to symbolize that they have moved forward with their characters or moved on remains in question. Should they have broken this mirror? Probably not. It would have had little to no influence in preventing them from maintaining what they did with what they could still achieve. By breaking a mirror what Triple H and Shawn Michaels did was move forward and created a new reflection for themselves. A reflection that could be how both men are remembered, this is until the next question of whether another mirror cracks.

In the mouth of madness…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, dont feel broken, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #113: The Unrelenting Sense of Cool Feb18

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Solstice Scriptures: #113: The Unrelenting Sense of Cool

Cool. Many people want to be, some strive to find it, while others simply are it. It is that special quality that prevents some from not being beaten up on the playground and others from being stuffed in their lockers and has their lunch money taken from them. In fact it is what has made one WWE employee grow more and more endearing to fans of the program he is a part of. He came into the company with a great deal of publicity and promotion. He was confident, cocky and even arrogant. The character put himself above other people not because they overweight or looked different because they simply weren’t what he boasted to be.

When Carlito Caribbean Cool vignettes showed that he was going to be joining the Smackdown roster comparisons of who he resembled came fast and furious. The criticism was not cool but it was honest. The problem with being honest so quickly is that we fail to allow something to develop in order to see what the character actually is about. In the case of Carlito his arrogance, treatment of those in the vignettes and Latin accent caused fans to see him as nothing more than an updated rendition of a previously successful character in the WWE in the early 90s. His comparison to Razor Ramon did not help the early opinion of him by fans. One threw took picks and now the other spat apples in the faces of those who were not cool. The difference between both Ramon and Carlito early on was we knew what Carlitos motivation for spitting the apple was.

There is a difference between Scott Hall’s character and Carlitos. While Hall was naturally cool, the young second generation wrestler needed to find his was in order to become cool. From the very moment he stepped into the WWE, Carlito has been successful in one way or another. Whether it was winning the United States title from John Cena in his first match or being humiliated by Teddy Long he has continued to work at being successful and cool in the process. As we now take this journey together let us see what it is exactly about Carlito that makes him cool and what made it hard for him to be cool.

You people have Oprah? Unlike Oprah I don’t plan on giving you people new cars. But I do have apples! And if you disrespect me I’ll spit in your face. It didn’t take long for Carlito to notice that Chicago is not cool. (Fans boo) Whoa, whoa whoa, relax, relax, relax. Im not picking on you guys. Lets take a look for instance your Cubs haven’t won a world series in about a hundred years. They call them the loveable losers. (Smackdown ? 4/14/05)

Originality, that’s cool

Many doubt that the character is original because of the familiarity of the characters accent and Latin origin. In fact Carlitos signature apple spitting first came about by chance. It was one thing about the character that managed to have the following. Some interviews where Carlito is being interviewed in character actually jokes that he choose apples because its his favorite fruit and it sticks better to peoples faces, so he thought he use it.

His motivation is completely subjective. It is Carlito that decides what is what is not cool. Even if the audience thinks what he is doing is unfair or uncool, he couldn’t care less because it is he that decides the validity of cool. If he is ever asked what someone ever needs to do to be considered cool, he would argue that by deciding someone’s cool nature. It could be someone’s name, the way they dress or even the way they act that he would deem cool or not cool.

In its simplest form Carlito is a walking contradiction basically. The afro-hair the quirky manner and the fact that a grown man has to spites an apple in another persons face because its cool is so not cool, that it in fact makes him cool. If by Carlitos own standards of what is and what is not cool were applied to the character then those that dislike him would come to understand he is actually cool. To fully understand what makes Carlito cool, we need to look back to where he came from first.

Origins, now that’s Cool

He first defeated Ray Gonzales on January 29th, 2000 in Carolina, Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council Universal title no more than one year after his professional ring debut. After he lost the title, he regained it on July 16th, 2000 from Ray Gonzalez in Cagus, Puerto Rico. It was at this point that the WWC title became vacate and once again he recaptured the belt.

At one point Carlito who wrestled under his real name of Carlos and Eddie, his brother captured the WWE world tag team championships. He then captured WWC Universal title when he defeated Vampiro Fajardo in Puerto Rico on April 13th, 2002. It was becoming clear to see that early in his career he had already began to make a name for himself and was going to become a big star whether it was in Puerto Rico or somewhere else in the world.

Carlito teamed up with Konnan to win the tag team titles. Soon after he began a rivalry with Konnan and defeated him to become once again the WWC Universal title holder. For his seventh WWC universal title reign, he defeated Sabu. It was in June 2003, where he signed a developmental contract with WWE. It was at this point that the pieces for a very cool future were in place for him. Of note after college, Carlito was trained with Isaac Rosario and Ricky Santana, where he learnt wrestling, psychology and technique at this point.

Influences, that’s cool

As mentioned earlier Carlito is a second generation wrestler but he was influenced by more than just his father growing up. Ric Flair, a former 16 time World champion and another current WWE wrestler is among one of the few men he mentions when he talks about who his heroes in wrestling were. Flair, The Iron Sheik, another former WWF champion and Harley Race a former NWA heavyweight champion were all men he mentions that came through his father Carlos promotion. It was at a young age that he was able to experience watching all of these different wrestlers and enjoyed them the way that he did.

Overnight champion, that’s not cool

When you first come into a company the expectation is that the character will be successful for the most part. The problem is when you first come into a company and have the added expectation of taking over the reigns of a major championship they better be up to the task. This was the expectation of Carlito. It was not to say that he was not up to the task but the in ordinate amount of pressure to put on someone that is only 24 years of age is hard. There he was though and his first televised night on the job and he went over the current champion at the time John Cena.

Cena won the title in a finish that also had the critics chomping at the bit to bite his head off. Carlito used Cena’s own chain against him. At this point there was no originality with his moves. When we add to this his finishing move was not seen as cool but simply a typical heel tactic this hurt him. Early on the strikes against Cool hurt his stock more then they did help it. The character was getting heat but not the kind that generally comes with being a heel. Maybe, just maybe though it was in fact that very reason that there was nothing cool about his in ring arsenal that made him cool that in avertedly what was that made him cool.

As the weeks progressed it was clear that having Carlito as the United States champion was not a cool decision to make. One can understand why there was an attempt to put the title on him so quickly. He was convincing in his early vignettes and his ability to work his way through a promo was something the writers were more leaning on. Only six weeks after capturing the title from John Cena, Carlito lost the title to the champion in what appeared to be nothing more then a temporary break for Cena who was filming a movie at the time. The problem with Carlito having to prove his critics wrong early on meant having to work twice as hard in the ring. This resulted in something that was a win-lose situation. If your name is Carlito Caribbean Cool you would have liked the prior but unfortunately end up with the latter.

New York City. (Fans cheer) Madison Square Gardens. (Fans cheer) That’s not cool. (Fans boo) Don’t boo at Carlito. I have no problem taking a bite out of the big apple and spitting it in all your faces. New Yorkers you are famous for losing your cool. When somebody steps on your shoes or bumps into you on the subway station you go crazy. You need to learn how to play it cool. (Smackdown ? 4/21/05)

Injuries, that’s not cool

There is never a good time to have an injury. It tends to prevent many people from working and continuing on with the daily life without any pain or discomfort. In the case of Carlito an injury early on in time with the WWE was just another set back in a line of many set backs for the young Latino. He walked to the ring with his arm in a sling. The problem with this was the heel was now faced with now not only having to overcome criticism and comparisons he had to overcome a shoulder as well. Carlito was trying to prove himself by simply putting his best foot forward and in the midst of doing that is injured because of it. As the months passed he was forced to take steps back in order to inevitably take steps forward.

So rather then spending his time developing his character, Cool now dedicated more time to rehabilitating his shoulder and improve his overall conditioning in preparation for a return. He was trying to establish himself as a legitimate contender in the company. When we combine pressure, with in experience along with the need to establish themselves tends to be a disaster more times then not. All off these things had to be overwhelming at first for Cool, who is the son of Carlos Colon a former WWF wrestler. It takes time for someone to truly achieve the type of success that Cool is expected to achieve but since time is invested in him, he has that on his side.

At such a crucial point in his young career it was important for him to overcome this injury. After taking months off due to his injury he took on another role to help re-establish his character. In fact while an injury would have probably taken most people off screen it gave Carlito another opportunity to develop his character on screen. Between both the writers and Carlito the uncool injury became a very cool chance.

If Carlito had his way he would invite the Queen of England to the Cabana. They would sip some tea, and eat some biscuits…then Carlito would grab an apple and spit it right in her face. The queen reigns over a country that is not cool. Do you know what cool is? England has yet to discover cool. God Save the Queen? God save Carlito to get on the first plane out of here. (After showing a picture of Camilla and Prince Charles) .(Smackdown ? 4/28/2005)

Opportunity is cool

He was unhappy with his plight and his treatment from Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long that Carlito was going to do something about it. He could sit down and complain, be off camera and recuperate or he could take that opportunity and make it work for him in the ring by doing something that was just as prominent an angle as if he was competing in the ring. Carlito began to petition against having Long as the current Smackdown General Manager so he went out and sought the signatures of the entire Smackdown locker room for support. Some supported him while others did not.

This progressed over the course of several weeks to see how far and how long Carlito would continue on with this pursuit to eliminate Long from his role as General manager. If someone complains it is usually anything but Cool. It could be even argued that Cools pursuit was so uncool, that inexplicably made it cool. In a world where right is wrong, good is bad and black is white. Carlitos complaining was cool. The complaining was actually channeled. When we have an issue with our government in an attempt to stop something from taking place, Cool was attempting to do something that was no different.

This petition did not necessarily end up as he had hoped. Carlitos petition did not fall on deaf ears because Long did meet with WWE representatives to determine his fate. The result of this meeting determined that Long was not only not going to be fired from his position as General manager but it was more secure than ever. While Carlito was recovering from his shoulder injury Long had other plans for him. He ensured that Carlito remembered who the boss was.

Carlito is looking for BIG backup to keep things cool around SD!…they dont do bananas, only apples. (in response to the Big Shows question if Carlito wanted to play second bananas to him) If Big show had Carlito in his corner he could be cool in every situation, but Big Show didn’t and he was left with his beep hanging out and lost the match (at Wrestlemania)…and that’s not cool. Big Show isn’t smart enough to know how good of an offer he was given. It takes one bad apple to spoil a bunch, and it looks like Big Show had that apple..and That’s cool. (Smackdown – 5/12/05)

A sense of humor, now that’s cool

After learning that Longs fate as General manager was secured and no longer in jeopardy Carlito was assigned a number of tasks by Teddy Long. It was now Carlitos time to show a comedic side to his character. He was assigned a number of tasks that could have hindered the character but did more for him in regards to getting a reaction from fans more than ever.

First we initially had the injured Carlito have to shovel snow outside of the arena with one arm. This culminated with a car driving by and viewers were given the notion that Carlito was splashed by the car that drove by him. It was not a side splitting riot that caused many to laugh but gave the character enough a different side to him that he can be subjected to. It was even more amusing to see a character that is much more accustomed to the warm and tropical climate of the Caribbean, taken out of his element to do something he normally would not do.

The next instance of him being put through the task ringer menial was having Carlito working in a concession stand. If anyone has ever seen the film Reality Bites the manner in which he could have cared less about the customers at the time reminded me of the character. He takes out anyone that questions the change he gave them for instance. Imagine going to the local Circle K and after you give $20 to buy a slushy the cashier spits an apple in your face.

After this we have Teddy Long have Carlito impersonate Elvis. If it isn’t hard enough to try to get your character across he then has to attempt to be the King of Rock n? Roll all because of his feud with Teddy long. The second generation wrestler had to be able to laugh at himself to subject himself to being embarrassed week in and week out by the general manager.

Support is cool being an individual is cooler

He has been able to work alongside the biggest men and all the while make them look convincing in their role in the process. He cowers behind these men and when he does it he adds personality something that many are not able to do. When he first came into the company he had Jesus play the part of a bodyguard whose objective was to be Carlitos hired muscle. Recently Matt Morgan has been given the opportunity to be that same type of character.

It does not matter whether he was with someone or on his own he has been able to carry himself in a way that many could be envious of. If there are any questions about him it is in regards to his in ring ability. He can sell an injury quite well, and manages to take anything anyone bigger or smaller than him can give him. What he needs is time and an opportunity to develop. He is only 26 years old and even at this point he has a good grasp of his characters strengths that it is only a matter of time before he improves on his weaknesses. Even though he has been wrestling professionally for 6 years he will need come close attention to work develop his in ring characters moveset.

The future for Carlito is much like his characters work on improvement. He has continued to take the good with the bad and through it all created a persona that is unlike Latin characters of the past. It is his own fresh outlook on individuality that should be supported rather than discouraged. For now, this wrestling fan truly supports Carlitos on going and unrelenting sense of cool.

Special thanks to Caribbean-cool.com for its use of facts and history.

In the mouth of…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I, I dont feel much cooler, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #112: Perceived/Literal Truth Judgment Day 05′ Preview

Judgment Day is here. Its technically tomorrow but we are not about specifics here at the PLT. It is all about huge generalizations and over estimations about matches and the booking of them. It is full of the shimmer, sparkle and shine but without the bright lights and Texas tea that we normally associate with most pay per view events. Judgment Day has been home to some classics and hopes to replicate that again this weekend. It was back in 2001 when Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit faced off against each other in a two-out of three classic. In fact it was last year that Eddie Guerrero defended his WWE title against JBL only to lose by disqualification. This year Eddie is preoccupied with beating Rey Mysterio and JBL is once again trying to capture the WWE title.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that spent time writing that. There does not have to be some rush to answer that question. Let it sink in. Absorb it like sponge and enjoy the delightful taste of caramel. Yes, that statement was like a Caramel chocolate bar. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun. Ah, see fun is coming into play much like the intent of this pay per view.

So when you think of Judgment Day what is the first thing that comes to mind? Wrestling meets martial arts with arms flailing awkwardly? Or Arguments taking place with no decisive winner resulting from the event?

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
MNM vs. Bob Holly and Charlie Haas

Perceived Truth: This match has had no build. The tag team champions are the focal point of the division but while making them the champions it makes sense to build some form of competition in the division. They create make-shift tag teams by trying to fill the tag team need in the division. I can understand the reason by doing this to Bob Holly. The direction of doing this to Charlie Haas seemed unnecessary though. Since he and Shelton Benjamin had been split up they had tried to use him as a strong singles competitor. This could that the writers felt that Haas was not succeeding in the singles division.

The last time we had a last minute tag team form we had Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio and that has led to a spit and subsequently a problematic relationship. Could this mean that history will repeat itself? That Haas and Holly will defeat MNM and the most tantalizing ring entrance in the WWE. Then from there we have an exciting and emotional feud with Haas turning heel and ripping off Holly’s face. One can only hope! I want to see MNM hold onto their tag team titles and have Melina continue to be a pleasant distraction.

Perceived Winner: MNM

Literal Truth: This was one of the many last minute matches made prior to Judgment day. Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury have been really the only active tag team in division with the exception of the Bashams and it is often forgotten that they are even contenders for the tag team titles. So rather than defeat the current tag team champions in a non title match up, the decision was made that if Hardcore Holly could defeat Joey Mercury then he and his partner Charlie Haas would have a WWE tag team title match up at Judgment Day. The result was a win by Holly and a tag team title match for the team of him and Haas.

At this point I still can not rap my head around the notion as to why a singles match win was the reason for a tag team title match. If by some reason there was some sort of stipulation that if Holly and Haas faced off against both members of MNM in a non title tag team match up then a title match would make sense. So what would lead us to believe that a make shift tag team with no momentum as a tag team would be actively contesting for the tag team championship? The way this appears is that the team of Mercury and Nitro need to face someone, anyone really for the tag team titles and this would be their first opportunity to defend their titles on a pay per view.

Literal Winner: MNM

Big Show vs. Carlito Caribbean Cool w/ Matt Morgan

Perceived Truth: The more I see Carlito the more I have grown to appreciate what the character is all about. His freshness, and out of left field responses make him more entertaining that one would first think of him being. He now has support by the name of Matt Morgan. Stuttering Matt adds muscles to the already quirky and fun Carlito. This tandem will provide interest in one way or another and this pay per view will provide them with that first opportunity to show that relationship. The Big Show on the other hand is a character that always focuses on the big picture and in this instance that camera is on Carlito.

In a straight up one on one contest between the two it would be hard to bet against someone the size of the Big Show. The difference here is Show has role to play here and that involves putting over Carlito as the cowardly heel. I believe he will have to square off against Morgan a number of times throughout the match up. At some point I could even see him chasing the second generation wrestler who stands behind Morgan in the process. Carlito has been able to do this on his own, but with the help of the Big Show, Carlito could garner even more jeers. Now that is cool.

Perceived Winner: Carlito

Literal Truth: This feud had to have been planned a few weeks back but was only just announced this past week on Smackdown. After defeating Hardcore Holly, Carlito informed the crowd in attendance that his guest for the next edition of Carlitos Cabana would be the Big Show. He said the Big Show would be made an offer he would/could not refuse. One week later as the Big Show came onto Carlitos Cabana he in fact did refuse Carlitos offer. This offer was to be Carlitos bodyguard. In what appeared to be something out of Snow White and the seven dwarfs minus the wicked witch and Prince Charming, the Big Show took the apple from Carlito and bit into it.

The result was an over 7 foot giant appearing to eat something that was rotten or poisoned. If anything it is a new way to try and bring down the Big Show. He’s been thrown off buildings, knocked out with ammonia, shot with a tranquilizer dart and now poisoned with an apple. Either the writers are looking for new ways to show what it takes to bring down the big man or he’s been confused with being a gorilla. This match is a start in right direction for Carlito. This leads me to believe that it is more than likely that he will go over the Big Show most likely with the help of Matt Morgan at ringside.

Literal Winner: Carlito

United States Championship Match
Orlando Jordan vs. Heidenreich

Perceived Truth: First Orlando Jordan looks like Samuel L Jackson and now he grew hair and looks like Billy Dee Williams. Through all the changes and the hair growth he has retained the United States title. It is hard to have wants for this match since it has had no build and no reason to terribly dislike on worker over the other. The only thought about this match is that something should develop from all of this. Will it develop or could it develop? That remains to be seen.

The odd part about this match up is that much like the MNM/Holly and Haas match up this match came about because of the stipulation of winning the match prior to it on the pay per view. These events lead me to believe not only is there little originality in the WWE when it comes to how matches are decided but they even take from already existing matches to do so. Of the two and if it mattered, I would prefer that Jordan retain the title because a cowardly champion should still reign at some point in the company and why not have it still remain in the cabinet.

Perceived Winner: Orlando Jordan

Literal Truth: There seems to be a real effort to take what was effective to recreate this in today’s WWE wrestlers. This appears to be most evident with characters that are needed to be fan friendly. It is no more apparent with the Heidenreichs character. One would think that transition from psychotic straight jack covered maniac to the man that now wants to be a person who wants to be our child’s friend would be seamless. The problem is when children are chosen out of the audience when even they don’t want to be a part of the gimmick there is a real problem.

The part about it being seamless was meant sarcastically because this is the same guy that attempted to get to know Michael Cole in the most, ahem intimate of ways. So with little time to prepare for his opponent this being Orlando Jordan we have a new direction for a character an now a contender for the United States title. If the character does not go in the direction that it appears to be early on then we can give Heidenreich the United States title because we are going to correspond to our families needs.

Literal Winner: Heidenreich

Booker T vs. Kurt Angle

Perceived Truth: We have a feud that could take all the really strong qualities that both these men posses and create a feud that is both exciting and interesting to watch. Or what we could do is take a character that is trying to establish her in professional wrestling again and go from being confident self assured black women to a concerned and fearful of her life wife being stalked by a predator. This gets even more bizarre because if there is anything Angle is not it’s a stalker of women. The names he has called her has gotten a reaction and it rightfully should. They in all fairness aren’t necessarily the nicest things you’d call a women.

She if you really want to get in good with her calling her a gutterslut might have that oh; I don’t know have the words BAD MOVE attached to them. Its hard to support a feud like this in an era it is never acceptable for a women to be treated like this, why wrestling would be any different. These are two solid workers that are very capable of taking a feud that was simply based on animosity caused by losing out on the number one contender ship to a man having to play the role of chivalrous night to defend his wife’s honor. I would like to see Kurt go over but use this all for a psychological advantage over Booker but I am skeptical about how it is going to be executed.

Perceived Winner: Kurt Angle

Literal Truth: He can be called anything in the book (no pun intended) but when Booker T’s wife is called a ?gutters***? than that’s where he draws the line. We here at the Oratory would not even consider saying the word ?gutters***? because someone may be offended by it. In fact even the thought that someone could be called a ?gutters*** is completely out of order. We here at the Oratory are also capable of censorship and will not defile the good name of Sharmell by having her addressed as such. This won’t however prevent Kurt Angle from doing so.

The thought of him wanting crazy Nine Inch Nails I want to fuck you like an animal type sex is odd. Hey, whatever works to get someone a gold medal is someone I couldn’t argue with. Oops, that censorship thing sort of went right out the window there didn’t it. Um, yeah. The motivations of both these men are different when really they should be the same. Both men cost the other of an opportunity at the world championship. If Angle wanted to make comments from a distance to Sharmell occasionally it may have been just as effective as it was to have the writers suggest that he had his way with her. At this point I see Booker’s motivation more as noble and something that the writers may want to capitalize on.

Literal Winner: Booker T

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Perceived Truth: This has been an incredible feud in so many ways. To see a feud take place between two of your favorites is one thing but when we add to that the passion and emotion that takes place in the feud that these two have participated in then we get the opportunity to see something very special. Over the past three months Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio have participated in a feud that has teased of a split for so long that when it eventually happened no would have anticipated the true direction that not many could direct. The furious and defiant nature of Eddie Guerrero’s character has been pretty well heralded by fans.

On of the questions (if anyone really had any concerns at all) had to be how exactly would this turn would come about. At one point one could argue that it would have been Mysterio who came out and would have been the one that turned heel. The idea of having that happen probably was not the most convincing of decisions since Guerrero’s been able to pull this off so convincingly for so long that to expect Mysterio to try and convince fans that the little guy is the bad guy would have most fans either scratching their heads or still pop for him. It would have been seen as Mysterio fighting back. I’d like to see Rey overcome the odds because it makes the most sense. This match I would like to be a fight.

Perceived Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Literal Truth: Since he was beaten down on the May 5th edition of Smackdown Rey Mysterio has been taken off camera to help further this feud. The writers truly have scripted something that is so sinister that manages to satisfy audiences in the sweetest of ways. Fans have been familiar with Guerrero’s ability to demonstrate the qualities that it takes to make someone a heel. The difference here is we have a whole new outlook that makes the heel Guerrero characters of the past pale in comparison. There is no lie, cheating and stealing with this Guerrero. What we have witnesses is a suicidal, homicidal, genocidal force that would make Sabu envious. Maybe that is a bit of an overstatement but the direction has been something that many are banking on to be as convincing as a heel as ever.

The character has such a warped sense of reality that the he comes across as rather frightening at times. As mentioned previously in the perceived section of this match preview Mysterio although would have been difficult to pull off the part of heel would have been something his character has never attempted before. These men have history that dates back before their time in WCW. To see a match feud escalate to such a degree has been rather surprising. Mysterio has never backed down from a fight regardless of who the contestant has been. In this instance, Guerrero does not need to win to solidify his place as a heel in the company. I think the writers are shooting for the happy ending with this match up.

Literal Winner: Rey Mysterio

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Leyfield

Perceived Truth: It seems a little unfortunate that a main event can have the winner so clearly determined that it is all but a forgone conclusion. In the case of John Cena and JBL the champion could not be any more in control then right here. Cena’s character is so over and above the current challenger that it could seen that the challenger is simply there just to fill space. Between the recently released music video by Cena, a new album and how he has left JBL in the ring with his mouth wide open is it any reason not to believe that this is the end of the road for the Cena/JBL feud? This is the big blow off match between the two and whether it intends on being more symbolic more than anything because it is called an ?I Quit? remains to be seen.

What I would ideally like to see happen is the match be relatively competitive. As the main event match up we should want to have a vested interest in this match up because this is a step forward for Cena and a step in a different direction for JBL. If this is the culmination of the crumbling of the JBL Empire then it could be fun to see. In fact a humbling of the former WWE champion would be most fitting since he is quite assured of himself and his role despite the character being embarrassed sporadically since losing the title. At this point if there is anything close to a sure thing in a match it is this one and the thoroughbreds name John Cena.

Perceived Winner: John Cena

Literal Truth: The feud between these two has continued to build but what had originally been seen as the hungry challenger pursing the cowardly champion has now evolved into the hungry champion pursing the cowardly challenger. John Cena’s character has lost no steam since he captured the title at Wrestlemania. Since then he has been booked to be so strong and so dominant that JBL has never looked more cowardly and more fearful than he does at this point. The writers up until the last episode prior to this match up came up with the idea of booking a handi-cap match against and making Cena the underdog was not going to convince anyone that he was going to lose anything especially face when he faced off against the Basham brothers.

The result of the match was no indication that Cena is going to lose the title even if 6 guys attempted to work him over prior to a main event match up on a pay per view. What I believe will happen during this blow off match up between Cena and JBL is a better match up then we saw at Wrestlemania between the two. This match up will have a much more competitive feel since the challenger has more to prove so the character could be trying to pull out all the stops in order to capture the title. It probably wont help, but that doesn’t mean it wont hurt to attempt it

Literal Winner: John Cena

There is a lot to look forward to in this pay per view. Between championship matches and ones involving solid workers and talented talkers on the mic. There has been a nice solid build in most instances while at other times the build has left a little to be desired. What we can say that even the guilty pleasures manage to tug on our heart strings are so bad that we cant take it seriously and laugh at it. That laugh could be even a cackle. It is some horrid and fiendish giggle that no matter how bad it is you just want to see how it turns out. Fortunately for most, the good outweigh the bad and we can anticipate an interesting pay per view with a nice solid build to some matches while others have none.

______________________

A special thank you to the Internets Greatest one

The Worlds Greatest Pay Per View Preview is and will always be an Oratory original tandem pay per view preview column. Please make sure to read the final installment of this pay per view preview here. This has been the signature pay per view preview column here on at the Oratory. To John, Dave and drq that have made this the most effective pay per view preview not only on the Oratory but on the internet will always be the standard to which pay per view preview columns are judged by. Thank you for everything you have done we can only hope to equal all your hard work and dedication to the Oratory readers.

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Solstice Scriptures: #109: Drowning Leviathan

Drowning Leviathan?

For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that rational and most excellent work of Nature, man. For by art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a commonwealth or state which is but an artificial man, though of greater stature and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which the sovereignty is an artificial soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; the magistrates and other officers of judicature and execution, artificial joints; reward and punishment (by which fastened to the seat of the sovereignty, every joint and member is moved to perform his duty) are the nerves, that do the same in the body natural; the wealth and riches of all the particular members are the strength; salus populi) its business; counsellors, by whom all things needful for it to know are suggested unto it, are the memory; equity and laws, an artificial reason and will; concord, health; sedition, sickness; and civil war, death


The LEVIATHAN by Thomas Hobbes

_________________________

When we look into the eyes of the man pictured above a number of thoughts come to mind. On one hand we think intense, fierce and ferocious man who has a character that would intimidate almost everyone. On the other hand we could look at that picture as someone that is still searching to find himself and leans on the character to help get his foot into the door professionally. Much like the monster in the picture there was a need for there to be someone was more then picture of someone that looked the part but didnt fit the part. When he first began his start in the professional wrestling industry he needed to be molded by finding someone that would help to sculpt him from mere mass to a masterpiece. It was oddly enough someone that was his character. This person was someone that did not have to act out of character in order to be successful. Former WWE wrestler and manager Afa the Wild Samoan helped to give this creature the foundation to which he could build his career upon. He learned the basics of this business from someone who had been through it himself.

The road to success was only going to be as successful as that man wanted it to be. Through hard work, determination and dedication, David Batista earned himself a spot in Afas WXW promotion, debuting in July 1999. The half-Filipino, half-Greek wrestlers? career took a different approach in that he became someone else. It is often said when you are most successful its attributed to when you are yourself. When Dave began he went under the guise of Kahn. During this seven month period he managed to impress all that paid him attention. In such a short period of time he was rewarded for his effort by being sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling.

In Ohio Valley Wrestling for as successful as he was Dave still was missing something. While with the company he underwent another transformation. At 6-foot-5, 317 ibs he apparently needed to strike more fear then any creature mythical or otherwise would be in fear of. It was here that the “Demon from the Deep” was born and Leviathan was raised from a wrestling ocean. Dave demonstrated his dominance with the company in the two plus years that he was there. He made his television debut in Ohio Valley Wrestling on July 15, 2000, coming to the aid of someone that would later become his manager in OVW by the name of Synn. This was later met with victories over current and former WWE athletes such as the Big Show and Kane, Steve Austin and the Undertaker. While with OVW Batista has either worked alongside or against the likes of OVW graduates Brock Lesnar, Sean O Haire, John Cena and Randy Orton who were either are now or were all regulars in WWE television.

After capturing the OVW Heavyweight Championship from Doug Basham (currently one half of the tag team of the Basham Brothers) on November 11, 2001 he defended the title through to February 20, 2002. It was at this time when he lost in a contentious match to John Cena. After this time Leviathan had fallen into disfavor with then-manager Synn after he demanded a title re-match and developing a sense of independence. Who would have thought that it was that same sense of independence that he demonstrated in OVW that would lead to him achieving success today.

Since the character of the demon of the deep had been put to rest a new creature was prepared to surface. On May 9, 2002, Dave Batista made his national television debut came when he appeared on SmackDown in the corner of D Von Dudley as Deacon Batista. He carried a lockbox for donations to be made to D Vons ‘ministry? and helped the Reverend to an impressive streak of victories, including one over Triple H. The character left something to be desired. A man that appeared more prepared to steal from the lockbox of donations was the one that guarded it. It was as though the demon of the deep had resurfaced in the guise as a Deacon. However, Batista was not to be overshadowed in this unity for long and he parted ways with D Von, in dramatic fashion, in September of 2002, leaving SmackDown behind tired of the treatment and attitude he received from the Reverend D Von. As mentioned earlier it would ironically be the same Triple H that Batista assisted D Von in defeating that was among the men that eventually be aligned with Batista in the future.

He was now free to spread his wings and move forward but regardless of where Batista had been someone has constantly stood by him assisting him throughout his characters career. What lied ahead for the man who has constantly been searching for an identity of his own? The independent and determined David Batista made his RAW debut on November 4, 2002. His familiar dominance continued, as he continued to rack up victory after victory, subjecting all who dared enter his path to the now feared sit-down power bomb as known as the Batista bomb. Among the people who took notice of his strength was the legendary Ric Flair. It wasnt long before Flair and Batista formed a partnership, and as time passed it would slowly became something more with the addition of Randy Orton and Triple H. It was at this time that many believed the evolution of wrestling had now arrived.

All appeared well for Batista and Evolution. The faction was making a name for themselves and many made comparisons to the dominance of the Four Horsemen of the years past. The funny thing about comparisons though is one can either can live up to that attention or fall flat with such huge expectations made of them. In the case of Batista for him to represent the enforcer of the group much like Arn Anderson was for the Horsemen was somewhat unfair. So not only had Batista continued to have to find an identity while with the company in the process he needs to hear comparisons to the likes of Arn Anderson among others as well. If was not being compared to Anderson he was being compared to Bill Goldberg because of his physique. The whole time though he took it in stride and while it could have been frustrating the man who was searching for an identity was beginning to crave out his own character with grace.

Goldberg is a great wrestler. I dont really compare myself to him and havent modeled myself after him. I can understand the comparison as his size is similar to mine. I would certainly not be offended.
Batista responding to whether or not he would be honored or offended about being called “The New Goldberg”

As Evolution began to become more and more prominent as a faction it seemed less attention was paid to Batista. Triple H and Ric Flair were the two most established members of the faction with both Orton and Batista taking more of a backseat to both the World and former World champion. But between both Randy Orton and Batista only one would rise quicker then the other. Randy Orton assent to prominence as the legend killer left Batista even more in the background then he was before. It was as though Batista was of less importance of offered something equal to everyone else in the faction.

It is one thing to look the part of being big, mean and intense but it is another where the athlete is able to demonstrate that in the ring. One of his first feuds as part of Evolution was with Kane. When he first competed there was a general awkwardness with his in ring ability. There was no fluent motion from him in his matches. When he would deliver a Batista bomb on someone nearly his size or bigger it appeared as though he wouldnt be able to sell the move convincingly enough. Another example of when he would deliver a spinbuster would he be able to deliver it in such a way that he is able to protect his opponent. Something was missing from Batista, something that when a wrestler is searching to find themselves is often overlooked. Time was not on the side of Dave Batista at the moment.

His time would eventually come, but before he was able to take one step forward he ended up having to take two back in the process. In the first quarter of 2003 while on his own time with his wife, Batista tore his triceps muscle. While he worked to rehabilitate it he reinjured it May 2003. After all was said and done he was expected to miss an additional four months of in ring time because of the injuries. By October of 2003 he made his return when he eliminated the same man who he was compared to upon his arrival into the company. The elimination of Goldberg gave Batista the opportunity to move forward and collect a $100,000 bounty that was placed on the head of his adversary. A few weeks later Batista would face his greatest challenge to date as he faced the Heavyweight champion at the time, Goldberg. Although he put his best foot forward he was unsuccessful in his match up against Goldberg, due to a disqualification. Triple H was the man that caused this loss, but who knew that eventually it would be Batista that would not allow himself to be held back nearly a year and a half later.

Batistas journey to the main event has had its share of ups and downs. In that time, should we have expected anything else? We would have less appreciation for an athlete had they not had to work to achieve any form of success. Even though Batista became a professional wrestler in 2000 and has had in comparison to others a relatively quick rise in the company it was not an easy transition. He has not had to face the amount the same obstacles and setbacks of a Chris Benoit but he has had to endure a lot that does tend to get overlooked. For instance if it was the inability to have a character that best defined who he was, it was injuries that hindered his development. If it was not for being playing second fiddle to Randy Orton he embodied the intimidating symbol of enforcement for Evolution.

A day in the life of a wrestler consists of more than shows and media days. The higher the status you have in the company, the busier you are. My favorite aspect of the profession is the feeling I get from performing in front of thousands of fans. Its a high I cant describe.

This was never something he dreamt of or something he planned on doing as a child. Where as many second and third generation athletes grow up in families where wrestling is in their genes this was never the case for Dave Batista. He was professional bodybuilder and actually stumbled upon wrestling to earn extra money. The wrestling business is much like any other form of entertainment business to break into. His chances of success and moving up in the business were as risky any another aspiring actor or musician. At a glance the label of ?built for show? became an easy one to make. The real question that needed to be answered was Batista built to go. Would he have the stamina and endurance to compete? When he first began to train it was clear that Dave had some learning to do. Physically he was as defined and chiseled as many who have competed before him however it remained to be seen whether or not his bulk was more detrimental to him achieving success or not.

A good time not a long time

A different setback that Batista faced was something that he had no control over. At the age of 31, Dave Batista was going to be changing careers. It has been said that we will experience 6 career changes throughout our lifetime, but in a field that is as difficult to succeed in and compete in as the wrestling business at his age would be challenge. Or would it be? Many times age is looked at as being detrimental in an athletes career, many times a person whose conditioning is better then someone 10 years their junior could have a career that would very well exceed that of someone else. He has come from a field where he has needed to dedicate his mind, body and soul while bodybuilding.

Success in the wrestling industry consists of dedication, perspiration and some fortune. The problem with fortune though is it can either work for or against a person. In Batistas case, fortune managed to do both. A number of times the scout for a professional sports team will notice someone and in Batistas case this was when fortune worked in his favor. The injuries when he was destined for great things were fortune didnt work in his favor. The key however with potential is it will only get someone so far. There needs to come a time in a persons life when what they do with that potential. It is what they are able to do with that potential takes precedence.

If he isnt there to carry the company over the next ten years is that really the problem? The company is full of young up and coming athletes that are just chomping at the bit to succeed. In the case of Dave Batista he started in the industry late enough that his careers longevity was something he had to consider as well. If we remember he never entered this industry with the intent of doing more then making a little more money for his family. This says more about the person then we could ever know.

Drowning Leviathan

Leviathan was a beast that was never a reflection of the character that we see today. For all those that loved that character, that?s great. The character had little life outside of what took place on OVW. The character was never a reflection of the soft spoken smooth character that we see today. Much like characters of main eventers that were a reflection of their character Batista has shown to be more of benefit than being something that was a reflection of a mythical creature. He overcame character and in the process found his own character. His appeal has been attributed to his dress, his manner and his personality. It is something that reaches the fans and brings a smile to their face. Today Batista does more than look intimidating it is the unknown about him that continues to intrigue. In comparison to how he was as Leviathan, he would was prepared be unhinged at a moments notice. What we see now is someone whose patience appears to where thin and when his blows it as though he has taken all he can take and will not take anymore.

The future for Batista may very be now. Over the course of three months Batistas build will either be hit or miss. He has had the support of the writers and is making the most of his opportunity. As Wrestlemania 21 draws near the myth that led many to doubt his feud has been drowned. Leviathan has been drowned and in its place remains the creature that has more untapped potential than the demon of the deep. A myth that is as lifeless in a future that is not.

In the mouth of…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> The real reason you wrote this was because of a fear of the fish isnt it, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

Special thanks to Demon-Wrestling.com and Batistaweb.com for the use of its material.

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Solstice Scriptures: #108: Perceived/Literal Truth Wrestlemania 21 Preview

Wrestlemania is Hollywood. It is full of the bright lights, glamour and um, wrestling that we normally associate with Hollywood. Hollywood has been home to classics such as Suburban Commando and Santa with Muscles and stars Dustin Diamond Clint Howard. This was the past and now is the future and the future of the cinematic world has been turned on its ear because Wrestlemania has come in with more sophistication than Katherine Hepburn and smoother than Cary Grant. We are here this month like we are every other month for one reason and one reason only. To try and take over the world! Actually, we aren’t but we could with trying to take over Hollywood.

Once again readers scratch their head at this intro and begin to wonder who is crazier; themselves for reading this or the writer that took dressed up like Russell Crowe in Gladiator because he wanted to know how comfortable it would be to wear metal. Let?s just say it chafes in places where one didn’t know there were places. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun. Ah, see fun is coming into play much like the intent of this pay per view.

Wrestlemania is here and what we can expect is to see a number of matches that are not all that bad on paper. It will bring the good, the bad, the mediocre, and the sunshine and joy that wrestling in the WWE has to offer with a dose of sugar to make the medicine go down. So do you want the truth? Well, you can’t handle the truth! That?s original the last time I used it some Cruise guy stole it and put in some movie he was in. If he shows up remind me there is going to be some damage between he and I, Collateral Damage.

So when you think of Wrestlemania what is the first thing that comes to mind? Wrestling gods beating each other in togas? Or is it classic wrestling matches that usually involve Pete Rose? No, then good because we were starting to get worried here with what could have been pleasing you this weekend.

Perceived Truthis what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winneris who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truthis what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winneris who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Perceived Truth: This is thee feud that had no losers. If a feud was ever given a title that was reflective of the participants which were a part of it, this would be it. Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero have proven time and time again that they are capable of putting on wrestling matches that resemble that of a clinic. These two veteran wrestlers know each other as well as if not greater then themselves. When hints were being dropped over the past few weeks that such a match could be on the horizon one had to wonder ?who would act as the heel among these two?. It had been all but a foregone conclusion that Eddie would have taken on that role, but ultimately for what purpose?

He has been over as a face for some time those to attempt to make him even appear as a heel would be more difficult to achieve then to even build this feud. As Wrestlemania approaches there is no jealousy or animosity among the two. When Wrestlemania ends I doubt there will be any vindictive behavior on the part of the loser. Although because the consequences of a feud have the opportunity of being a new beginning I would like to see Mysterio win. Have it so that Eddie leaves the ring displeased with the idea that Rey is ?better? than him. This would result in Eddie completely losing control and Chavo watching from a distance proud of the seed that he planted in his uncle?s head.

Perceived Winner: Rey Mysterio

Literal Truth: The idea of this match has been toyed with for some time. Over the past few weeks leading up to Wrestlemania both Rey and Eddie have had someone trying to plant seeds of dissention among the two. Chavo Guerrero has repeatedly approached either Rey, Eddie and sometimes both men at the same time and has said hit them from all different directions about how one guy is only teaming with the other because he can’t beat them, or how one guy is holding the other back. On the March 17th episode of Smackdown it appeared as though this was the last straw that led to a match between Eddie and Rey being decided. The most notable event coming out of this entire match is that there does not appear to be a heel turn by either man leading up to Wrestlemania.

The frustration that has been felt has been more because of meddling on the part of Eddie?s nephew Chavo. This is not like any of the recent feuds that have seen one wrestler completely lose their faith or trust in their partner. The wrestlers have mutual respect for each other going into the match. What I anticipate to happen is there will be time in this match where the gloves will metaphorically come off. A time where both men will truly battle to determine who is the better athlete. In the weeks prior to Eddie and Rey teaming together, they faced each other a number of times and the result of these matches saw Rey victorious in them. This time however may very well be Eddie?s time to shine and he will have that time on the grandest stage of them all.

Literal Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Sumo Match
Akebono vs. The Big Show

Perceived Truth: It is difficult for a feud to have a solid enough build when one of the competitors has had little chance to build a case for himself. For all of Akebono?s achievements in Japan it has done little to impress the North American audience who has yet to understand what he means to the Japanese audience. The majority of his build has been attributed to the Big Show. Show shows his opponent nothing but respect which is fine but what is his motivation in this match? If he loses he is losing in a sumo match something that he is not accustomed to anyways.

If anything Akebono has more to lose in this match in comparison because if he leaves with anything but a win it could be seen as a disappointment because he is a legend in the sport of sumo. This would be the equivalent of a boxer competing in a wrestling match. They both involve technique but their unfamiliarity to the sport makes room for more error then it does for anything positive to come from this. Since he has remained focused and been the more active of the two in this feud and because his height and leverage will prove to be an advantage over his opponent I am pulling for the Big Show.

Perceived Winner: The Big Show

Literal Truth: If this match appears to be an after thought it should, the booking of it reflects that. For those that are not away how this match first came about need to look back a few weeks to when Smackdown took place in Japan. At the time the Big Show welcomed Akebono who was sitting at ringside to come into the ring. As the Big Show welcomed the former sumo grand champion into the ring the two took part in a stare down. At the time who would have thought a stare down would lead to a match up almost two months later. It did and here we are only a few days before Wrestlemania to see two men that combined are close to one ton in weight face each other in a contest that encompasses what the Hollywood and sports entertainment element of professional wrestling is about.

One theory is over the past few months in preparation for their match Akebono has been training and adjusting himself to western ring culture. Even though the match is still slated to be a sumo wrestling match this is not to say a professional wrestling match would not take place. One only has to look at Wrestlemania II when Roddy Piper and Mr. T?s ?Boxing match? ended when the Scotsman bodyslammed Mr. T in frustration. On the March 31st edition of Smackdown, Akebono and the Big Show once again faced each other in a stare down. I anticipate a victory for the Big Show with a strong showing by Akebono.

Literal Winner: The Big Show

Women?s Championship
Christy Hemme vs. Trish Stratus

Perceived Truth: Ever win the lottery? We aren’t talking about winning a ticket or even $10 dollars. We are talking winning hundreds of thousands of dollars. The chances of that happening are slim aren’t they? Now take that chance spread it over hundreds of women across the United States and then narrow it down to ten. We then take one woman from that ten and award one of them a $250,000 contract and then subsequently within in a few short months defeat no one and beat no one and compete for the Women?s championship at the biggest pay per view event of the year. What we have is Christy Hemme. She has personality but its that personality is so magnetic you want to photograph her? Possibly catch a t-shirt thrown to the crowd from her?

She has energy and enthusiasm but she is not a wrestler. She would probably be the first to tell you ‘like you know, I’m not a wrestler?. It almost appears as though there is a running joke about her that she is willing part takes in without knowing she is even a part of them. Her theme music is ?walk idiot walk? and she has a recurring add on Canadian television for stupid.ca. It is a valid cause but it is a little coincidental that she is talking what is and what isn’t stupid, don’t you think? She is probably a nice person and has a lot of really happy things to talk about but, I’m pulling for Trish because she has earned her title and has the bruises to prove it.

Perceived Winner: Trish Stratus

Literal Truth: This appears to be something that would be on the cover of Teenbeat magazine the on a Wrestlemania card. Each and every time these two are in the ring together the feud resembles a catfight between Christie ?Lindsey Lohan? Hemme and Trish ?Hilary Duff? Stratus. As of yet there have been no announced breakups between the women and any male suitors but this does not mean that someone may very well be vying for the attention of someone down the road. Trish has continued to bring up the fact that any of the divas that come out and bring attention to themselves does a disservice to her.

They are stealing her spotlight. In this case the spotlight was taken by someone that posed for Playboy and is pitted against ironically enough someone that many would like to see in Playboy. The feud has developed with the help of outside reinforcement. One on one Christy would never be able to keep up with Trish. This is where Lita becomes a part of this feud. It may very well be that Lita was very well supposed to be involved in this feud but her role as coach will more then likely be a good enough reason for her to capture the title away from Trish. To award someone who hasn’t earned it may not be the way to go with this feud.

Literal Winner: Trish Stratus

?Money in the Bank Six Way Ladder Match
Chris Benoit vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Kane

Perceived Truth: In the course of a few short weeks the lines have clearly been drawn. There has only been talk amongst Benjamin, Jericho and Benoit of what they will do in order to win their match on Sunday April 3rd. We have yet to truly get the sense that they are out for themselves. Through all their talk they have been there to support each other if Edge or Christian provokes a fight with them. On the other hand Edge and Christian are as quick to push each other and get in the other one?s face in the event of a miscue during a match up. It has even odder to see that Tyson Tomko has been more of an active participant in this match up then one of the booked competitors.

Although one can understand that Kane has been basically double booked both through this feud and through the Triple H and Batista feud it still appears as though they are spreading themselves thin. As for who I’d like to win it has to be Edge. His push has been consistent and as each week passes he is consistently challenging in each and every match. He is creates just as much of a scene when he wins as he does when he loses. In fact when he loses it is much more enjoyable. I hope his push doesn’t end anytime soon because he has certainly made the most of his opportunity.

Perceived Winner: Edge

Literal Truth: The announcement of this match on the March 7th episode of Raw became a block buster of an announcement. Of all the men mentioned there is not one many among them that has not held a title in the company at any point. All involved have either feuded with or competed against the World heavyweight champion with Christian being the only exception. As the announcement came down from Chris Jericho?s vision, as good as many of the men are it is hard for me to see anyone other then Edge coming out of this match victorious. His journey to be the world champion has been months in the making and it appears that this match would truly signify that.

Some believe that Edge winning this match fits his character, where as I am of the belief it fits into the context of his push to have him win this match. Whether he wins the match clean or not, fans are pretty assured that he will give it his all during this match. One of the rumors about this match had circulated was that Kane?s spot in the six man ladder match was originally slated for Matt Hardy. Due to some circumstances out of the bookers? control, revisions had to be made to this match up for Mania. I am of the belief that this match will have all the drama and excitement that any ladder match tends to have only six times more the energy.

Literal Winner: Edge

Legend vs Legend Killer
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton

Perceived Truth: In order to be someone you need to beat someone. This is what Randy Orton?s thought process has been over the past few weeks. He says won’t allow himself to be afraid and he needs to do this in order to make an impact. What he doesn’t realize is that he is leaving himself out there like a lamb to slaughter. Many jeered at even the announcement of this feud because a number of things about it bothered them. Fans were clamoring for him to turn heel and to return to the status that he had become so accustomed to when he beat the who?s who since earning the moniker of ?Legend killer?. The collective number of Undertaker neigh says believe that Orton seemed as though he would have better suited to battle someone that would have given him a legitimate chance.

Randy Orton walks into Wrestlemania as the underdog. He has little to no chance at winning but this appears to be exactly what the character wants to have happen. For every time he appears frightened he could be simply ?playing the part?. When push comes to shove I believe he will do anything but allow himself to be walked on and walked over. Orton has an uphill battle but I anticipate Randy winning with a little help from a familiar face from the Undertaker?s past.

Perceived Winner: Randy Orton

Literal Truth: This match almost since its initial announcement has had the fans help to dictate the direction they would like to see this feud would turn. When Randy Orton first made his challenge to the Undertaker in a match at Wrestlemania the chorus of boos that were heard in the arena drowned out the cheers for the match up. Fans did not want to have to see Orton, the face continue to bow and curtsey at every opponent and every former WWE superstar. It grew tiresome for many who were enamored with the cocker and confident third generation wrestler. When the official contract signing took place and Taker was slapped in the face prior to this Orton wanted to make it clear that he ?had nothing but respect for the Undertaker and his legacy?.

It was important that in order to make an impact, the character needs to convince you and have you trust him and inexplicably break that trust with both you and his opponent in a heart beat. The following Monday on Raw, Orton brought Stacey Keibler to the ring and wanted to send the Undertaker a message. The message is if things don’t go well on your Valentine?s day date hold a grudge, pretend to enjoy their company and then RKO her because she ordered a salad on your date. Either that or use it to send him a message. One way or the other someone felt the message. Unfortunately, on the greatest stage of them all the Undertaker will more then likely not relinquish his undefeated streak to Orton.

Literal Winner: The Undertaker

Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

Perceived Truth: This match has all the makes of supporting a person with a sweet tooth with a special induced sugar rush of wrestling pleasure. Both Michaels and Angle manage to go back and forth week in and week out promising the other man what they are prepared to do at Wrestlemania. There is one thing that Michaels does say something to the effect of quite often is regardless of the outcome the match will be an absolute show. Throughout the years I could never say I was a fan of either man, but there has never been a time when no one could not appreciate and respect the effort they put forth every time they stepped into the ring. In the case of Angle we have a man that has achieved everything Michaels has done and more.

In Michaels case he has done everything Angle has done with the exception of winning gold medals only longer. It is funny how the comparison of each man?s ability represents something to different fans. There was recently a poll in our forums that spoke about ?Who?s your God: Kurt or Shawn?? The results are pretty close (as of March 28th, Shawn led 58 ? 51) If this was a basketball game that would be the half time score and seeing as both of these men can compete in a wrestling match in upwards of an hour one wonders how closely they will be in a match against one another. At this point I want Shawn to win but even if he doesn’t win no one truly goes home a loser on this night.

Perceived Winner: Shawn Michaels

Literal Truth: Since the beginning of 2005 speculation had run rampant of a match between Angle and Michaels. As soon as their two paths crossed at the Royal Rumble the speculation quickly became a reality. The visual of Michaels bleeding and crying in pain as Angle had the anklelock locked in as he lay over the steel steps it was only a matter of time before a challenge between the two would be made. Angle was quick to brag about his accomplishment which only further fueled speculation that the two would eventually meet. After Angle lost to John Cena at No Way Out, Michaels approached Teddy Long with a challenge to Kurt Angle to face him at Wrestlemania. That challenge was met with a not so friendly response on the part of Kurt Angle.

When he was asked about the challenge initially was met with anger and frustrated Angle dropping the microphone in the ring and storming out. The following week on Raw however Angle answered Michaels challenge with an emphatic beat down. As the bloodied and beaten Michaels lay in the ring Angle answered by accepting the challenge. Of the matches these men have had with other men, none of which have had the ‘dream match? mentality as they did here. It has been a year since Michaels faced Benoit and Triple H at Wrestlemania but this match has nothing to do with titles. This match will be all about bragging rights. What I would like to see happen in this match is for it to literally go on forever if possible. In order for fans of these two men to go home happy with the result, it is only fair to give this match the time that the build has had. If this is Angle?s last match it would only be fitting to see him go out on top.

Literal Winner: Kurt Angle

WWE Championship
John Bradshaw Leyfield vs. John Cena

Perceived Truth: Ever since No Way Out the WWE championship match at Wrestlemania has been determined. It has been over a month where we have seen the challenger continue to face more of an uphill climb then the champion. Although he initially one upped the champion by crashing his evening of excellence he has been put in his place more times then not. When it appeared as though Cena was going to retain his United States championship against Orlando Jordan because JBL and the remaining members of the cabinet were leaving the building it was all for not. Cena lost the title because of outside interference.

It was a whole different side of Cena that fans saw the week after losing the title. He was ready to take out the entire cabinet and it didn’t matter who stood in his way. So if the General Manager was going to be part of the problem then he was going to be among the men who Cena was going to take out of the equation. The most recent appearances of Cena have shown glimpses of the heel character that so quickly rose to prominence. I would like to see him continue in the win at all costs scenario by the time Wrestlemania rolls around. At this moment, to have Cena come as close to hitting him a few times after the bell rings and when he does connect hit him relentlessly.

Perceived Winner: John Cena

Literal Truth: The week following No Way Out saw JBL address having to face John Cena at Wrestlemania. In doing so the battle lines were quickly being drawn between champion and challenger. After crashing in on JBL?s evening of excellence, Cena made it known that he will capture the title at Wrestlemania. The problem however is that Cena faced up hill odds almost right from the start. He was not only having to deal with the champion but fellow cabinet members the Basham Brothers and Orlando Jordan. On he March 3rd, 2005 episode, Cena took on Orlando Jordan for the United States title. The match could have easily been a cake walk for Cena. One on one there is nothing that leads the fans to believe that Cena couldn’t go over Jordan.

The problem was although Jordan is a good enough athlete he is being trust in a position where he isn’t as convincing enough as a heel to warrant going over Cena. Regardless, the result of the match saw Cena put over Jordan and OJ walk away with the United States title. The week later we see a sign of Cena that we never do. He comes out with fire and anger in his eyes looking to get a piece of JBL and his cabinet. It did not matter at what expense he was going to do whatever it took to get his hands on them. What I believe will happen is Cena will walk away with the World title to further the push he is expected to receive this year.

Literal Winner: John Cena

World Championship
Triple H vs. Batista

Perceived Truth: They say it all about the game and how you play it. In the case of Dave Batista he had no problem playing the game. The most notable fact of this entire feud is through it all he always was left standing. Batista was double teamed and came out on top. He defeated Ric Flair even when Triple H attempted to prevent him from winning. He overcame having to face Kane in a pick your poison lumberjack match and even overcame Triple H in a?conversation? So it wasn’t the best culmination the week before a feud.

What it did do was give Batista the opportunity to put his smooth and clear mic skills a chance to be heard. There were a number of times throughout this feud where Batista had the crowd eating out of his hands. He could do no wrong even up until when he said ?Are you talking to me?? towards the end of his in ring confrontation with Triple H the crowd was snap, cracking and popping louder then a box of Rice Krispies. If I continue to follow the treasure map that the booking has designed from this point to Wrestlemania it looks as though, with glee that he is coming out on top.

Perceived Winner: Batista

Literal Truth: Since New Year?s Revolution the time had been set for the bomb between these two to go off. It was initially being promoted by Triple H as ?father? versus ?son? but that was further from the truth. These two have been on a collision course to face each other for some time now and the writer?s led the fans along teasing as to whether or not Batista would stay with Raw for some time now. It was not until Triple H fully admitted to being the one responsible for having JBL and Big Show videos from Smackdown along with having a white stretch limousine nearly run over Batista. Batista was more then capable of handling his own business without the help of Flair or Triple H.

When Batista decided to stay with Raw he did so in the unceremonious thumbs down fashion that resembles Evolutions outing of Randy Orton only months earlier. The sign of the initial thumbs up to thumbs down drew a look of shock on the face of Triple H. He was shocked, stunned and concerned all at once. He could brag all he wanted about how he has clearly beaten them all and act confident when discussing the prospect of facing Batista but fans are given a completely different side of the champion when the two stand face to face with each other. At this time I do not see Triple H relinquishing the title simply because he did so on the previous years Wrestlemania and the probability of him doing so on the most prominent pay per view of the year is somewhat unlikely.

Literal Winner: Triple H

Wrestlemania is tomorrow night and it looks to have a little bit of everything to satisfy all the appetites and tastes of all the different WWE fans. While we are certain to have a disaster on our hand in a sumo match, there is still the possibility of a solid ladder match between Benjamin, Christian, Benoit, Edge, Kane and Jericho, a changing of the championship guard with JBL and Cena and Batista and Triple H. The pay per view seems as though there will be the closing of some feuds, the heightening of others and finally the emergence of new ones. If the event has done a more than admirable job of taking both shows and making something that would make any filmmaker happy. Well, anyone not named Allan Smittee.

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Solstice Scriptures: #107: Awakening Sleeping Dogs

In the January edition of the Raw magazine a story was written about the life and times of a former champion. In an article titled ?His way? it talks about the career of Pat Patterson. The article gave wrestling fans a glimpse into the career of a man that was a major part of the development of the WWF/E. What the story did not do was go into detail about the back story that surrounded him and his departure from the company.

Faith, loyalty and trust. They are three words that can be endlessly tied to one another when describing a true friend. They are also three words that can be used to describe an employee. In a company as large as the WWE is with as many employees it has one would believe that a long standing relationship with an employee would garner something that will last beyond their time with the company. It becomes even harder when that relationship has lasted close to a quarter of century. As of Tuesday October 19th, 2004 Pat Patterson, former Intercontinental champion, on-air lackey of Vince McMahon and road agent of many years resigned his position with the company. One would think that Pat was looking to retire as his reasoning for leaving the company. The problem was his resignation came not simply because of retirement, but because he was ultimately doing his job.

Before we step forward let us, step back for a moment. When we ask about what is the high road, we could get a variety of answers. It could be just walking away or turning the other cheek. In this instance however, for this employee the high road was not walking away but realizing that the reason he was leaving was because the issue he was arguing was one that would have jeopardized his position with the company in the first place. According to recent reports Patterson spoke to Vince about how it appears that Triple H, McMahon?s son-in-law had a secured position at the top of the company. In all fairness, Vince has said publicly in interviews that Hunter along with his children Shane and Stephanie will control the company.

So where in lies the problem when you have publicly stated that these three will control the company? The issue was not about the future, the concern was about the present. This issue is not about Triple H?s role presently but not taking the word of someone that has a long standing relationship has with you seems a little odd. If the owner trusts your judgment he knows you well enough and long enough to know that what you are saying is based on your observations. At the sake of sounding obvious, if someone is your is assistant they’re responsibility is to assist you. If they are there to make your job easier or give you a different perspective and you trust their judgment, what would make them after this conversation allow them to decide they did not want to work for you anymore?

Close friend, closer confidant

If you trust someone?s opinion because of what they have meant to you and your business, why should that change? We ask should it change, not would it change because personal relations and business relations have a tendency of being both sticky and complicated. On one hand we have a man that can essentially do what he wants with his company at any given said time, and may feel that his company is better suited to have Triple H be its representative. On the other hand we have someone that given to the company and his boss and his bosses father before him. In this day and age it is rare to see someone dedicate more then just their time to something Patterson dedicated roughly a part of his life to his work either as an on-air character, agent or wrestler. There was a time when this meant something.

Let?s take some of what Patterson has suggested it and apply it to theory. If you’re an owner of a business, your product?s numbers are not what they were (and this could be attributed to a number of things) and the advice your giving is to incorporate more characters into the storylines, what is really the harm in doing that? The absolute worst case scenario, Patterson made a huge generalization about Triple H and is in the wrong. Would he lose his job? A number of fans are led to believe that he thought he would, when in fact unless something is said to give him that impression, Patterson would have no reason to believe that. However, what if Patterson was on to something with his advice to McMahon about Triple H’s on-air position with the company. For all intents and purposes, let?s say Triple H at the helm of the company could be clearly identified as the main reason the product has lost money. That in fact him being in the position that he has for as long as he has, has been more detrimental to the company then it was good.

As we investigate the case a little further, more information about his resignation has stemmed from more then not trusting Patterson?s advice. The direction of the entire main event scene and not singled out as being Triple H alone became the reason.

Conflicting reports, add to more speculation

The internet is vast ocean of wrestling opinion. Depending on whose opinion or commentary we read news is capable of being skewed to illustrate the reporter opinion rather then the actual event. While exploring a few different news sites, I came across a few conflicting bits of information that are left out from some news sources. One of the stories was posted on October 12th and discuses some of the reasons behind Patterson?s decision to leave the company.

The reason for Patterson’s decision to depart the company is said to be a huge difference of opinion with Vince McMahon over the creative direction of the company, in particular the push of McMahon’s son-in-law, Triple H. Patterson explained his opinions on the matter to McMahon after attending several Raw house shows on the road which ended up leading to Patterson giving notice that he was leaving the company.

A few days earlier on October 7th in regards to Patterson’s status with the company. As we reported a few weeks ago, Pat Patterson went on the road at the house shows to get a bead on what is going on with the product so that he could make changes and report back to Vince McMahon. Patterson is one of McMahon?s most trusted advisors. There has been a lot of talk that Patterson has pointed out to McMahon that part of the problem with the Raw brand is that Triple H is on top right now and dominates too much of the shows, at the expense of the other characters. As the story goes, the feeling is that if more characters and storylines were developed and able to get over, the product would be stronger. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this since HHH is a pretty powerful person in WWE.”

On 10/8, Scherer followed up with this report: ?Pat Patterson being very vocal about feeling that WWE needs to pull back on HHH’s push, there are a number of people within WWE who feel that this issue could escalate, possibly to the point where Patterson would leave WWE. In essence, Patterson reportedly feels that HHH is over-pushed and as top guy has not “made” any new talent, other than Chris Benoit, into top guys. And even with Benoit, looking at how he has been pushed since losing the title, you can even make a case that he was important while he was champion, but much less so now.

Then there is the one-month title reign of Randy Orton to consider, which many WWE people have told me they felt was ?HHH cutting out Orton?s legs from under him?. HHH is now “office” and part of the McMahon family, he should push himself just under the top slot and be something of a safety net if a guy they are pushing at the top gets hurt or holds WWE up for money. It’s possible Patterson feels the same way, and frankly that makes perfect sense to me. H does not need to be pushed as the top guy and certainly doesn’t need to dominate Raw the way he does. As the major financial indicators have shown, Raw business is definitely slumping right now and even when he wasn’t the champion earlier this year, HHH was still the most focal point of the show (not to mention very influential in the booking process), so he definitely shares some of the blame for Raw?s current state and according to sources close to the situation, Patterson is the only one in the company willing to stand up and say that.

After further investigation Patterson does not directly refer to Triple H?s position with the company he shows that he, himself is a class act and takes the high road. He alludes to him, but rather then having to specifically single Triple H out what Patterson does is not name names. When it came to task on hand he named Triple H when he was speaking to his employer. As the end of his tenure approaches, Patterson did not. They are two similar answers but the time in which they were said was not. He gave to the company, without question or reason but because he loved what he did, who he did it for and for to feel as though he needed to leave the company because of it, seems unfair.

The sad part about his departure was that it was never about what was fair. It was not about what was fair, just or even ‘the right thing? to do. The departure did nothing more then give cynics more reason to chronically complain and use politics as their ammunition against Triple H and McMahon and make Patterson the victim. In any instance an employee should not feel as though their career is in jeopardy because they give their employer advice and the answer they received was something they don’t like or want to hear. They are trusted to do a job, to the best of their ability and handled with the responsibility that they are entrusted with.

The reports on this give the reader a different impression of what is happening in the Patterson resignation story. One report speculated that when Pat told Vince what he thought he said that Triple H had too much power. The result appears as though Vince seems to have sided with his son-in-law on the issue and now Patterson is resigning probably because of this disagreement with Vince. Many a time a mother or father has employed their child and is if anything, harder on them then the unrelated employee. However, if that child demonstrates a strong understanding of the business, and devotes more time to that business that their parents have worked for so long, where in lies the bias to promote them or give them more responsibility? Even though Triple H isn’t McMahon?s son, Triple H will be accused of politics. This is so because those that neglect to acknowledge his continued effort to improve and develop a strong fundamental understanding about the business. He is being rewarded with what he has worked for not with his personal affiliation with McMahon.

A second report about the same story gives a slightly different impression on what took place between Patterson and McMahon. He was very close to McMahon, but his booking approach was seen as juvenile and outdated by many within the company. Patterson had been talking about retiring soon over a month before, before the Hunter situation surfaced, although the Hunter situation definitely played a major part in the timing of his resignation. In this response given by Wade Keller we are not given the same impression that Patterson?s resignation was as much an issue of politics as it something that is coincidental. Although the belief that his booking approach was juvenile manages to be criticized by the unnamed, it is odd how that happens. If he was close to McMahon, wouldn’t the only person whose issues with Patterson?s booking that mattered be McMahon?s? We could speculate that Triple H was up in arms over this, but if he was would that even make sense? He would be upset about something that he realizes is true because he remains the most prominant character on the Raw program.

There will undoubtedly be criticism towards Hunter for being guilty of playing politics and used who he is to influence his father in law?s decision. In return there will be speculation that Patterson would in turn have had enough and would leave. That in some way this was the final straw and Patterson was fed up! Oh, but he never said that did he? The problem now is that speculation as to how Patterson felt and how he was wronged by his employer when it may not even be that way at all. It is not until we hear or read the words of Patterson himself will we know how he feels. If we believe that both men could be as petty as some would make them out to be then we aren’t giving either man enough credit for being professionals.

As hard as is for some to believe both men have made their careers the wrestling business. Triple H is aware of the history of the company and what Patterson has done for the company. What seems to be made more of an issue then it may actually even be is that someone that has a strong understanding of the business as Triple H does. He would need to have to come between his father and Patterson so that his position in the company would not be in jeopardy. McMahon has publicly said that the present and future is invested with Triple H in the company. It is because of this that along with the respect that not only McMahon has for Patterson but others as well that even with his resignation does not necessarily mean there will be a strained relationship between the two.

This story also offers a different perspective on two men that have history together. What this story is not however is new. There are times where employer and employee that have such a long standing relationship eventually end their working relationship together. As mentioned previously Patterson mentioned thoughts about retirement. He put in his time with the company, gave a lot to the company and could have felt that in his time that like the 65 year old construction worker who puts down his hardhat for the last time that its time to enter another phase in his life. His impending retirement, although not confirmed could simply be why he was leaving the company in the first place. The problem is that more tends to be made about other circumstances that led to Patterson?s resignation. As it appears initially this separation has been amicable.

How do you separate personal bias from listening to someone who is your employee is giving you their opinion? If the general consensus is that McMahon just dismissed what Patterson was saying without exploring the option then a case could be made and may very well still be made. As of now publicly Patterson has not left in a furious rage.

It could be easier to put words in the mouth of someone that we don’t know and presume to know how they feel at times. We aren’t Pat Patterson, but we could empathize with what could take place. There is a concern with some that will go to work just to get through the day, and there are those that are so passionate about what they do that they will go to the line with what they believe in and risk their livelihood to do that. The recent online reports indicate that Patterson’s decision to resign was the result of his being willing to point out to Vince McMahon what those that dislike Triple H have often said that the push of McMahon son-in-law Triple H is a detriment to RAW brand. He has apparently said to McMahon, in short that Triple H?s push overshadows other RAW characters. If a greater variety of characters and storylines were fully developed, it would benefit business. This is an interesting point because while this has taken place the likes of Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, Edge, and Chris Jericho have all been used as opposition in either the main event or upper mid card for several months now.

Vince McMahon has put Pat Patterson out on the road with the crews because Pat’s been Vince’s top assistant for years and he trusts what he has to say wholeheartedly. As the story developed Patterson gave his opinions after traveling to several Raw house shows, with McMahon not being willing to hear Patterson’s side of the story, which resulted in Patterson’s resignation giving notice that he was leaving the company. After as many years together and as long standing a relationship these two have had together I’m having a difficult time seeing how one conversation could be the reason for his resignation. Have you never had a disagreement with your friends?

One could say that if Vince McMahon is willing to ignore one of his most trusted advisors, and to allow him to become so disaffected that he leaves the company that many feel he played a major part in building; only to take the side of his daughter’s husband as the star of his flagship cable program then HHH is just personal now, and no longer strictly business. One could also argue that we don’t know that he ignored him, do we? He could have listened to what Pat had to say and still felt it was in the best interest in the company to have him as the most predominant figure on the brand. When it comes right down to it, it is ultimately Vince?s decision to make. Employers and employees have disagreements all the time but this story has received as much attention as it has is because it is easier to claim politics as the sole reason for Patterson?s departure then it is to separate one?s self then a common anti-Hunter sentiment exists and

A common belief is that if any other wrestler were on top, Vince McMahon would have done the right thing for business, and made a change regarding who was featured in the major angles, and who was presented on top, holding his title. But not with HHH…and now Vince McMahon has been willing to allow one of his most trusted advisors to walk away, rather than make a change which is what the public is meant to believe. The problem with that speculation is only that unless Pat or Vince came out publicly and said otherwise.

But with times, it brings about change and one time a sleeping dog should have been awakened.

In the mouth of…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> Word to the wise, never awaken a sleeping dog that hasn’t eaten. To say they are cranky would be putting it mildly.

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #106: Perceived/Literal Truth No Way Out ’05 Preview

It was a runny cruel joke around our Oratory forums last year that at No Way Out there would be No Way Out. But when we look at this card this year only a couple of matches could be confused for being funny while others appear to be fun to watch. Either way humor is going to for some reason play a part in this months pay per view offering. As The drill is like is usually is we look and point fingers at the guy on the monitor and believe he sees dead people like Heidenreich with the hopes he also writes better poetry then he does in the process. This is Perceived/Literal Truth where everything and nothing come together in hopes to be interesting and fun. Ah, see fun is coming into play much like the intent of this pay per view. It is a carnival here where the lions tamer and the fire-eating bearded midget attempts to walk the tight rope. Does it happen? How should I know I can’t predict the future?

No Way Out is here and what we can expect is to see a number of matches where the combatants will out eat each other in a pie eating contest. No, not really. What they will do is see if there is no way out. If this was a mystery then we could say will there be no way out? It isn’t a mystery, we know that by the end of the night the wrestlers will go home or to their hotels and realize there was a way out! What this preview is all about is a healthy dose of CSI science meeting up Fear Factor reality minus the eating of raw animal parts or examining dead bodies. We plan to do pretty much everything else though and if you are unsatisfied you’ll get your money back from this free preview.

So when you think of No Way Out what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the Beastie Boys? How about something being locked in a cardboard box and having everyone laugh at you because they realize it?s a box and you can’t open it up? Sorry, bad childhood memory just came to mind. Skip it.

Perceived Truth is what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winner is who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truth is what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winner is who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

WWE Cruiswerweight Championship Elimination Match
Funaki vs. Paul London vs. Shannon Moore vs. Spike Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Akio

Perceived Truth: This match was announced prior to when these 6 men faced each other in a match on Smackdown. The team of Funaki, London and Moore were victorious against Guerrero, Akio and Dudley. Once again it is difficult to have any specific wants or desires for this match up. There has been no build, no conscious effort made by the bookers to make this match meaningful. There are a couple of possibilities that I would like to see take place in this match up. On one hand there is the possibility for someone that has yet to capture the title to win it. There is also the chance of the continued rivalry between Paul London and Akio being an active part of this match up. These are the two perceived wants from this match up. Other than that, there is nothing more then this being something that will provide enough depth, and time to be enjoyed.

Perceived Winner: Paul London

Literal Truth: There is a definite sense of the ?if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it? mentality happening here or is it. We could exhaust the token use of the cruiserweights, or the lack of opportunities that are provided them in favor consensus belief that Vince loves big men. But I’m just going to say, this is a really shitty way to through these guys all in one match like some wrestling consomm?They have more talent and deserve more respect then that and there is no opportunity for them to do that.

This match will more then likely be as entertaining as it would be expected to be but will happen so quickly that even savoring it would get lost. It should be like a fine wine, with a fine scent that can be smelled and appreciated. Now that we have exhausted the food and beverage clich?while associating them with this match maybe we could have something that last long enough to be enjoyed. The bookers appear to still be happy with Funaki as the champion and unless there is a need to change that and focus on someone else it isn’t likely to change at the moment.

Literal Winner: Funaki

World Tag Team Championship
Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero vs. The Basham Brothers

Perceived Truth: What can be said about the last minute decision to add this match? How about ‘thanks?? We will be treated to three of the better workers in the company competing either with one another or against one another in one match. When we couple this with Eddie Guerrero having the opportunity to regain a title in the company then one can not help but be pleased with these events. Unlike the JBL/Big Show blow off happening on the card later on, this easily pulls from me different wants and needs. If Rey?s signature spots and Eddie?s personality become a focal point in this match then let?s enjoy it. This match breaks up the monotony of the other one?s happening on the card.

A quick, up-tempo match up that will show how well Mysterio and Guerrero can work with one another. There was some doubt as to how effective the team can be granted they are not regular tag team partners but that is doubtful it will be cause for worry in their performance. Mysterio and Guerrero?s familiarity with one another and fluent motion could easily resemble that of Mysterio?s and Rob Van Dam?s. That being said I would like to see Doug Basham be given the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to wrestle more then usual in the WWE.

Perceived Winner: Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero

Literal Truth: There is a definite push being made to have Rey Mysterio as an active contender for the tag team titles. However it also appears as though disappointment tends to follow suit as well. The recent knee injury of RVD led to Mysterio having to battle both Basham?s unsuccessfully. Although having Guerrero alongside him does make for exciting and fun wrestling it doesn’t necessarily translate into a successful title win. The Basham?s more then Guerrero or Mysterio need to retain these titles. As part of the cabinet, to be in control also means to have possession of the titles represents that.

At this point I don’t see a breakdown of the cabinet and having them lose their titles isn’t likely at this point either. If there was some suggestion of dissention or lack of team work in this match then it may hint of problems that may come eventually. However at this point any loss motivation now that they would have going for them could very well prove to be more detrimental at this point more then anything else. What I do anticipate happening is that Guerrero and Mysterio will have a strong showing in this match but ultimately not come away with the titles.

Literal Winner: Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero

The Undertaker vs. Luther Reigns

Perceived Truth: This feud much like any other one on this card, excluding the main event hasn’t had very much time to develop. What has been different from some of Taker?s other feuds is this opponent actually is sane. Unlike having to face a poem-reciting life like version of Barney the dinosaur minus the overwhelming need to hug, he faces someone that is just angry. It?s a simple character. He evolved from bodyguard to ally that remained as bitter and angry as he did then as he does now. Reigns claims not to be afraid of the dead man because of his own past.

If someone has faced as much adversity as the Reigns character says to have faced then meeting up with someone who has his wife?s named tattooed on his throat should be a breeze. What I would like to see is a match where Taker is taken to the limit by someone that is not expected to beat him. By having Reigns take it to Taker in every sense of the word there would be no need to cower and run. A face to face match up that results in a no contest or a double disqualification could help Reigns and not hurt Taker in the process. The result would be a much more solid position in the mid-card rankings.

Perceived Winner: Luther Reigns

Literal Truth: The names may change but often times the result is the same. A short term feud with the Undertaker tends to be unsuccessful with many of his opponents. One would hope that this entire match up the Undertaker has to face an uphill battle. That the adversity he faces does enough to convince the viewing audience of a potential loss at the hands of Luther Reigns. The problem that tends to happen with only a few weeks to build a solid feud with an established veteran such as the Undertaker is to show the strengths of his opponent rather then his weakness.

Reigns may have listed what he has faced in the past he has yet to be pushed to a point where he would be successful over an established veteran. We could speculate politics and his position in the company with the Undertaker the issue if after this match up there is nothing more to come from facing Luther Reigns then everyone?s time was wasted on this. I anticipate the Undertaker coming out victorious in this match but being beaten down after the match. By adding motivation on the part of the Undertaker after the match up, we could see what drives him to facing Reigns in the future. As of now, I see the dead man winning the battle, with the war yet to be determined.

Literal Winner: Undertaker

Number One Contender?s Match
Kurt Angle vs. John Cena

Perceived Truth: As the build to Wrestlemania begins so will John Cena?s run to the main event of the single most important pay per view of the year. I have always been a fan of the John Cena character and how it Cena has worked the character so that it has remained effective while trying to bring different aspects to him. After being a contender in the mid-card rankings for quite a long time, the transition and opportunity to be in the main event has been a long time coming. Angle can lose this match and not lose any steam in the process. This match has this wrestling fan torn between what he would like to see happen. What I would ideally like to see happen is have Cena beat Angle at his own came while keeping any brawling to a minimum.

It is not realistic because of the clash in wrestling styles between them but how fitting would it be to defeat such a technically sound wrestler in a wrestling contest. On the other hand I would like to see Shawn Michaels appear at the event in some capacity. This subtle hint was dropped by Michaels in a pre-recorded interview with Michaels. This awareness that Michaels has of Angle could be used against Angle so that Angle becomes ?aware? of Shawn. This could very well be the time for Cena to achieve a main event title contention.

Perceived Winner: John Cena

Literal Truth: As soon as this entire tournament was announced there had to be a collective belief that Kurt Angle would reach the finals of this tournament. However as assured as many would believe that Angle would achieve this many would be skeptical that he may not win it. Since January 31st when Shawn Michaels spoke about his frustration in being eliminated the previous night from the Royal Rumble by Kurt Angle the match between these two had been lit. Although there was speculation prior to this that these two would face each other when both Raw and Smackdown stars meet each other in the cross brand matches at Wrestlemania. A week prior to No Way Out viewers witnessed Michaels being approached by Jonathon Coachmen with Angle?s comments about their altercation at the Royal Rumble. Michael?s response was that he ?was aware?.

This is one of the few times where saying very little can often mean so much. By saying this I believe Michaels was foreshadowing of what was to come not necessarily at Wrestlemania but at No Way Out. Whether it be in person, taped feed or recorded message Shawn Michaels will more then likely play a role in this match up. Lost in the shuffle of this match up is John Cena. The United Status champion does not have to deal with the distractions that Angle has and this may very well be all he needs to be successful.

Literal Winner: John Cena

WWE Championship Match
John Bradshaw Leyfield vs. The Big Show

Perceived Truth: It is hard to have needs for match when there have been little to no build for it. Since the week after the Royal Rumble there have been too many distractions from this match up that have nothing to do with the actual match itself. When there has been some semblance of feud development it often tends to have the same formula of the cabinet being involved. This along with the consistent rumors of a Batista joining Smackdown has done nothing to help this championship match.

The two main combatants have history with one another and rather then focusing on this there was a need to bring into Batista to help the feud. One may argue there is only so much that can be said about a barbed wire steel cage match, but I am not so convinced about that. The images of the barbed wire during video packages have helped somewhat but other packages could have been done as well. For instance if there a pre-recorded video of The Big Show in the cage and actually show what he is willing to do to himself in order to beat JBL. We tend to forget how capable and interesting the Big Show is when he is motivated.

Perceived Winner: The Big Show

Literal Truth: After the events of the last match involving these two men, a gimmick match has been used to help heighten the allure of watching it. Although their last match up was not a complete disappointment on this occasion the focal point is the type of structure they are in more then the actual competitors. Since the Royal Rumble JBL has had to deal with a number of outside distractions that do not involve the match between himself and the Big Show. In fact there has been more made about Batista around the build of this feud then there has been the actual match itself. If the intent of this was to have Leyfield appear so frazzled by the threats to his title then the mission has been accomplished.

The Big Show who going into this match up has the distinction of not being beaten out for the title in last months pay per view resembles that of Triple H?s predicament of a couple of months back heading into New Year?s Revolution. What I anticipate happening is that Batista does appear on the event and in fact will be involved in some capacity. It would not be a stretch to believe that in some way he would also assist JBL in retaining his title. By doing this it will lead to more speculation leading into Monday night Raw?s show the next night and whether or not Batista will remain with the Raw brand or not.

Literal Winner: John Bradshaw Leyfield

No Way Out is tomorrow night and it looks to have a little bit of everything to satisfy all the appetites and tastes of all the different WWE fans. While we are certain to have a train wreck in a barbed wire steel cage match, there is still the possibility of a solid tag match between the Bashams, Guerrero and Mysterio, a cruiserweight title match and a changing of the guard with Angle and Cena. The pay per view seems as though there will be the closing of some feuds, the heightening of others and finally the emergence of new ones. If the event can end some storylines along with building towards Wrestlemania 21 then we are all in for an interesting evening.

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Solstice Scriptures: #105: Perceived/Literal Truth Royal Rumble ’05 Preview

There is going to be a Royal Rumble tonight! Actually, there is going to be one but its tomorrow night. When the matches are over I won’t be the last one standing, probably because of how many stiff drinks I will be downing on this night. It has nothing to do with it being a horrible pay per view or that the site of this pay per view needs alcohol to numb the pain it is just that, I like to drink’thats all. So rather then have an over the top rope match up among guys dressed like they were rejects from West Side Story, I’d have friends over and it will be an over the banister onto the ceramic floor to decide who will win it. Book it and the people will come. It will be great and everyone could bring pork rinds. If your vegetarian and do not like pork rinds, thats fine we’ll serve lamb. Who would have thought a reference from my Big Fat Greek Wedding would come in handy during a wrestling preview? No idea but if you’re a wise guy standing in the back lifting his hand to answer that then put your hand down, we aren’t buying it.

The second pay per view of the year is coincidently the first major pay per view event of the year and Operation: Perceived/Literal Truth has commandeered your monitor to ask you who will be the last man standing?? (Psst, if you answered that question to your monitor there is a good chance I didn’t hear it. Eventually though we’ll have a voice cam?err why does that not seem right.

Royal Rumble is here and what we can expect is to see a number of matches where the combatants will beat the crap out each other royally. Whoever thought bad puns were only saved for special occasions, it?s January and we have enough for the whole freaking year. Alright, I can’t tell you what to think about the Royal Rumble when reading this month?s installment. What I can do is invite you to my house for a party, don’t forget the dip. The queen of England won’t be fighting the royal Moroccan family but I hear she does a mean STF when she?s a bad nights sleep. In this preview there will be no insults to you the reader but their will be a nectarine at the end if we’re all on the same page.

What this preview is all about is a healthy dose of CSI reality meeting up with Nip/Tuck fantasy where all we end up questioning is how could a life coach end up having the most screwed up life of her own.

Perceived Truth – is what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winner – is who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truth – is what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winner – is who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

Edge vs. HBK

Perceived Truth: Edge may not like us, but that doesn’t mean the feeling needs to be mutual. Since he has changed character he has brought a whole new intensity that some may have questioned he was able to convey. When we watch and hear Edge now, he is more vocal about not being given an opportunity but rather then it be seen as complaining I see him as being the one that is going to fight for that opportunity whether he is verbally expressing his displeasure or taking out his frustration in the ring. He is taking strides to get that chance at the World title one way or another. That coupled with this feud with Shawn Michaels has shown that he is able to not only stay focused on his goal of capturing the title but focused on taking out whoever gets in his way. Edge going over in this feud will only help him and Michaels could put Edge over and look great doing it too. Michaels doesn’t need to win to be over and have his opportunity where although a lose won’t set him back, it would prove to be pointless with all the work that has been put in having him lose after all that has been done to see him succeed. I don’t want to see him become the greatest champion that never was because whenever he is beaten he has more reason to feel jilted. There needs to come a time where he has been given a shot to succeed and I hope it begins on this night.

Perceived Winner: Edge

Literal Truth: Had there not been an injury preventing a feud between Edge and Shawn Michaels this could have had more then a few weeks to build to it. What it does appear at times is that Michaels is able to lead Edge in that with each confrontation Edge?s fury at being so jaded because of what has happened him in the past causes him to erupt. The result has brought on a tussle of two men both wanting to get the better of each other with an ultimate goal in mind. Edge clearly wants to be the world champion. I want to a million dollars, but I don’t punch the heck out of convenience store owner because the numbers didn’t match. While we would never know if Edge would kick the spear the owner of the local 7-11, we do know that he is focused on taking out Shawn Michaels and derailing him from achieving main eventing Wrestlemainia 21.

This has been something that both men recently have shown that they are focused on doing. In the most recent match up where both Edge and HBK faced each other, Edge and Michaels didn’t tear each other apart outside of the ring. While a win by count out or disqualification is a win none the less, these men were determined on keeping the action between the both of them between the ropes. He would also have the distinction of claiming he defeated Shawn Michaels. This is a feud that should have Edge going over and it looks good for him and makes sense in the context of his push.

Literal Winner: Edge

Casket match
Heidenreich vs. The Undertaker

Perceived Truth: There is something about wanting; even if it can be unrealistic it is nice to ask for once in a while. When we are children we want Santa to be good to us and bring something special. And then when reality kicks in and Santa is really the milk man and he?s making out with your mom, you get a little hurt. So with that all behind us, as adults and wrestling fans we want to see something capture our imagination and that will encourage us to slide closer and closer to the edge of our seats. This match is not one of those occasions. A true gimmick match in every sense of the word, this Casket match between Heidenreich and the Undertaker has the potential of achieving several things. However the result of what has the potential of happening and what does eventually take place has never proven to be more likely then here.

As this feud has developed it has the potential of having Heidenreich overcome his fear of caskets or that he never had a fear in the first place. The character could just be playing the part of someone that has a ?staged fear? and when the match does take place no such fear ever existed. Also with Heidenreich winning this match, a signature match of the Undertaker then he would be put over. Once again we need to remember there is a difference between potentially happening and more then likely happening…

Perceived Winner: Heidenreich

Literal Truth: The Casket match is as much a signature of the Undertaker as being, known as the dead man. If we explore how the decision of this match came then we need to go as far back as a last ride match where Heidenreich and The Undertaker became first acquainted with each other. There were no pleasant glances exchanged between a crowded room between each other and a sneak attack from behind costing Taker his opportunity to capture the world title.

Since that time Heidenreich did not rest on his laurels with what he did to the Undertaker. He did the unthinkable, the unimaginable, he channeled that anger and rage and pent up frustration like no other unstoppable and deranged psychotic monster could. He?he?he?wrote a poem? It may have very well been a sonnet, but the point is rather then to solidify his position and bury (no pun intended) the Undertaker he sat back and be came the modern day version of a Cyrano de Bergerac without the love interest, cutting off of an ear or art but he was practically the same thing.

The feud was had a rather nostalgic feel on the part of Taker. Along with druids in toll, purple smoke and psychology on the part of the Taker the mind games are reminiscent of memorable feuds of the past. It appears as though the signature match of the Undertaker will have a familiar face being victorious on this night.

Literal Winner: The Undertaker

Triple Threat Title Match
JBL .vs. Kurt Angle vs. Big Show

Perceived Truth: If there is something that I have wanted from this feud it has to continue with the double crossing of each of the competitors in this match. Whether it is JBL plotting against Kurt Angle or The Big Show going through the entire cabinet in order to get his hands on JBL, the sub rivalries within the anticipation of this match has been as interesting as it has been when all three competitors challenge each other both in the ring and in the backstage area. Of anytime during the building of this match the most dastardly of situations took place.

On the January 20th edition of Smackdown what appeared to be JBL and The Big Show plotting against Kurt Angle for what he did to Joy Giovanni. The result of it was actually JBL and Kurt Angle that shook hands and had all the members of their respective stables attack The Big Show like a pack of vultures. It wasn’t as if the swerve was so unbelievable or even remotely predictable but it was surprising because Angle did paint the picture of JBL being the one that kidnapped Joy the week before. Once this match takes place all allegiances among these men are through. I want this to be the comeback championship win that Angle has worked to regain.

Perceived Winner: Kurt Angle

Literal Truth: There has been more utilizing of Joy Giovanni in this feud to incite the ire of the Big Show then there has been anything else. The weeks leading up to the match up between Angle, Show and JBL has seen both JBL and Angle take advantage of Show?s feelings for his on screen girlfriend Joy. Why not exploit the Big Show?s emotions and hurt him where the scars are deeper, then hit him over the head with a chair? Show?s heart is a reflection of the new direction of his character. He can be easily distracted because his emotions have had a tendency to get the better of him. JBL was aware of this vulnerability on the part of the Big Show and on the January 6th edition of Smackdown he embarrassed Joy by having Angle walk in on her thinking it was Amy Weber. If it sounds like an episode of 80?s sitcom Three?s Company then it is likely it was.

Joy Giovanni, who screamed and ran out of the room and into the hands of Big Show. JBL orchestrated the whole event. However Angle?s plan a week later came together as Joy once again was used as a pawn to infuriate the Big Show. The result of this was Show taking out his frustration on the entire cabinet of JBL and Angle watching and laughing from the backstage area. This leads me to believe that the Big show will be the one that gets his retribution after being the victim of both Angle and JBL?s psychological ploys.

Literal Winner: The Big Show

World Heavyweight Title
Triple H vs. Randy Orton

Perceived Truth: It is hard to want when you remain indifferent to both of the men in the match up. On one hand we have the hungry Randy Orton that it would be nice to see him succeed. He has had to face adversity over the past few months since he lost the title, so a part of me is pulling for him to win because I am usually a sucker for the hungry contender that can not seem to catch a break. On the other hand we have Triple H that had to compete in the grueling elimination chamber to recapture the title that he was never defeated for in the first place.

The sign of the true champion being not how often he or she is knocked down but how often they pick themselves up. So with all the criticism in the world that Triple H could receive on how did not validate himself as a champion with his win at New Year?s Revolution, it would be fitting to see him silence his critics. Now which of the two would I like to see win? Neither. What I would like to see happen is a stalemate where something happens and the ending is so controversial that it causes Bischoff to have to get involved in deciding a winner. If there is no decisive winner in the match then Triple H could never claim to be beaten and Orton could never say he lost either. I would like the result of this match (like many Rumble matches before it) to be a deciding factor in determining who else goes to Wrestlemania 21 even if that is everyone who is already involved in this match.

Perceived Winner: Neither

Literal Truth: After being denied for months the opportunity to regain the world championship, Randy Orton time has come. While rumors circulated that Orton was initially stripped of the title because management felt that he was not ready for his initial title reign, they have shown enough confidence in him to contend for the title on a major pay per view. What we have now are two men that are facing each other with the distraction of Batista being played in the middle of all of this. If these were normal circumstances and if this was even 6 months ago, there would be no doubt that Batista would clearly be in the corner of Triple H. However with recent teasers that a split within Evolution is taking place Batista may very well looking out for himself. This is something that Orton is very well aware of.

It appears as though Orton would be able to capitalize on this by playing Batista against Triple H. If the Evolution camp appears to be weak and there is dissention among the ranks then Hunter would be vulnerable. On the January 10th episode of Raw Batista said something to the effect of, ?Sooner or later everyone gets what they deserve?. This had a definite double meaning as to suggest that Triple H regardless of what he has accomplished in the past that his time will come. It appears as though having Triple H lose the title because of Batista only to have him regain it at Wrestlemania could very well be the long term plan.

Literal Winner: Randy Orton

Royal Rumble Match

Perceived Truth: This part of the preview does not have to have the most conventional of thinking behind it. It doesn’t need to have continuity or follow the direction of that the feuds tend to have. What this part of the preview does is manage to be as unpredictable as the outcome of the Royal Rumble match up itself. A shorter card makes for a long and well drawn out Rumble match up. The participants of the match up as it stands right now on the 23rd of January are Edge, Shelton Benjamin, HBK, Y2J, Christian, Kane, Daniel Puder, Booker T, Charlie Haas, Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, Orlando Jordan, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, and Scotty 2 Hotty. While the more notable competitors of this match up will prove to be successful throughout the match up, there will be some that surprise with how well they well fair in this match up. Examples of this would be Charlie Haas and Orlando Jordan. I want the feuds to be the ones that will tend to cancel out who does not advance and eventually win this match up.

Maven/Benjamin and Edge/HBK are the two feuds that I want to see neither man advance because it will take away from their already on going feud. In the case of Edge he would have more reason to believe HBK was the cause of him not moving on to wrestle for the WWE title if he does not advance. Although he has not been mentioned I’d like to see Batista win this match but have it happen in a way that was notable of something that took place years ago. My ideal ending would see both Batista and John Cena come out of the match with both of their feet hitting the floor at the same time and both men compete against the champion of their respective brands at Wrestlemania at the time.

Perceived Winner: Batista and John Cena

Literal Truth: When you check out the WWE?s Royal Rumble sub site for the list of who will be competing, only 29 names are listed. There will be a surprise 30 entrant which literally is not much of a surprise since that has become one of the more predictable elements of this match up. However based on the events of the most recent episode of Raw something could take place involving Tajiri and William Regal. On January 24th, both Tajiri and Regal were jilted in their chance to compete for a coveted spot in the Rumble. In the place of Regal and Tajiri are Jonathan Coachman and Viscera. At this time I believe one of a couple things are likely to happen. One possibility could see Tajiri and Regal will face off against one another prior to the Rumble to decide the final spot. A second possibility is that whoever captures that last spot could be that something happens to the man or men that were put ahead of them to compete for that spot and both Tajiri and Regal are called upon to replace them.

As for who will win, as much as Batista is favored to win, would his name and marketability be enough to put him over into the main event of the single biggest event of the year? I am skeptical to think that the company has this much confidence in someone that has not been given the opportunity to main event before on a pay per view let alone the biggest of the year. Cena on the other hand seems like the right fit for the event, with the event taking place in Hollywood the already established entertainment value his character brings to the event.

Literal Winner: John Cena

Royal Rumble is tomorrow night and it looks to have a little bit of everything to satisfy all the appetites and tastes of all the different WWE fans. While we are certain to have to face the wrath of a casket match, there is still the possibility of an outstanding match between Edge and HBK along with an above average world title match between Orton and Triple H. The main event should not be above average but there is something in there for Orton to prove and on a major pay per view this could be a test as to whether or not he can prove it. The pay per view seems as though there will be the closing of some feuds, the heightening of others and finally the emergence of new ones. If the event can end some storylines along with building towards Wrestlemania 21 then we are all in for an interesting evening.

Until next month, drop it like it’s hot
Marcus

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Solstice Scriptures: #104: Sang for the Moment?

To be a character you need to have character.

The above quote was always something I remember hearing and thought: ?That?s interesting, but what does really mean?? It is that special characteristic that stands out about someone that makes them recognizable to everyone else. As a wrestler, John Cena was never a great wrestler. He?s young and with time his in ring skills will hopefully develop. When he first came into the WWE, he had the determined wrestler to make a name for himself persona in ‘ruthless aggression? but that did not fully illustrate how much character John Cena could show the WWE fans. From what initially was an idea tossed around as a joke backstage has truly evolved into one of the most popular characters on the Smackdown brand. The character has always been that of a thug and as a thug he didn’t have to have to wrestle a technically sound match. The key to what made him so fun was listening to him cut fun ‘raps? on other wrestlers. It didn’t matter who it was whether it was Kurt Angle or Brock Lesnar, Cena managed to get peoples attention for not only what he said but how he said it. He still does get pops from the crowd but it just doesn’t seem the same anymore.

Before we go any further lets take a few steps back first. Cena is still articulate on the microphone. He hasn’t lost the ability to speak clearly and effectively. Cena can still string together a coherent sentence and rhyme which hasn’t changed. For almost two years John Cena has been used in such a way that both garnered his character attention and gave him notoriety. His creativity on the microphone, with what was a freestyle based rap was constantly innovative. The rhymes managed to cut into his opponent?s looks, ability, and style and always received for that matter a reaction.

Cena the anti-hero could do no wrong with anything he said. The more risqu?nd controversial his raps the better they appeared they better they were received. At times it didn’t even depend on if he was the one dictating how a confrontation between himself and his opponent turned out to get a reaction. For example when Kurt Angle came out and had a ‘rap off? with Cena, Cena?s looked as frustrated as his character would when Kurt did his part in the interview to make it a success. Whether he was making comments in reply to his opponent or making general comments initially to his opponent, Cena?s character stayed true to what he always professed. We CAN?T SEE HIM!

?.but now we can, and was it inevitable?

A successful character has longevity. It can last over years, and continue to reinvent itself by making moderate changes to it without losing the core of the character. On October 30th, 2002 the doctor of thugonomics was born. While coming out for the Halloween edition of Smackdown, Cena dressed as much maligned white rap singer Vanilla Ice. Cena layed out his first rhyme much to the delight of the WWE fans. He was funny, creative and was able to rhyme and not sound awkward doing so. The early part of his raps always managed to top the last one. It seems as though the more he did the better it was received. Each rap was a metaphorical ?screw you? to the opponents because it conveyed the message and was a riot in the process. The concern could have been okay, this is fun and all but how long will this last? Rap is a musical genre and continues to change as time goes on so it fits into regular popular culture. The fear was John Cena?s character going to run out of words. The character however tends to be another story all together. The unavoidable criticisms of comparisons to other entertainers that were white rappers and successful ones were also made.

Will the real John Cena please stand up, please stand up

It isn’t as though he?s an imposter on the screen. He is still the same looking guy he was when he first came with the same mannerisms and facial expressions that he?s always done. The difference now, as opposed to then was his raps cut into the audience every time out. As he became a face, he reached a whole new fan base, and as his fans caught on, they began to love him for his rhymes now. We are left with a problem though: for one fan that the character has reached, it seems as there are those are tend to now dislike the gimmick they once did. Why is that? If we had a checklist we could run down everything from the heel to the face and see what?s different. Lock and chain? Check. Entrance music? Check. Creative raps? Check. Edgy and controversial raps? Check. They are there all of what made him as successful as he was. What is different with then with the character that isn’t there now?

Expectation has now replaced anticipation.

For example when we first watched Cena we looked forward as to what he was going to say and when he was going to say it. As a heel he would cut into the faces and draw ohhs and awes from the audience. It did not matter who it was, he would say anything and everything and even leave some things open for the audience to end off. When we look at the Undertaker, we won’t see the best of wrestlers but what we do see is a character that although deviates from where it first was recognized as ‘the dead man?. Wrestling fans can relate death, but now what is intended to do is simply strike fear. At the core of this character now is the ability to frighten. We all have fears or inhibitions about one thing or another and the Undertaker could very well embody that to the WWE fan. Why is that? A conscious effort is made by everyone involved work together to make that character a successful one. The entrance, the dark menacing look and showing the whites of his eyes are all examples of how the character has made moderate changes to make it last as long as it had.

Entertainment is changin’, intertwinin’ with gangstas, in the land of the killers, a sinner’s mind is a sanctum/ unholy, only have one homie, only this gun, lonely cuz don’t anyone know me

Cena is very much marketable and has been for sometime now, but as that has taken place other changes have happened as well. The foam hands, t-shirts, hats, DVD?s and soon to be released album give fans of John Cena more things to get their hands on. He can now be seen advertising the new Nintendo Gamecube game, Day of Reckoning, as further example of how he is being utilized. There is a difference to what we see now with Cena as to what we have seen before. We were accustomed to the edgy raps that were able to strike a nerve with the opposition and have new hooks. As a heel his raps left a little up the imagination of the fan.

He was undoubtedly the anti-hero that could just about say anything and everything about everyone and in the process, fans loved him for it. The key was undoubtedly at the time the not caring attitude what anyone thought. In fact he would have his way with the crowd and the reaction was one of not knowing whether or not they should cheer or jeer him. The unpredictability of the character through his raps and interviews were what some looked forward to the most. It was the expecting of the unexpected that was what had fans on the edge of their seats when John Cena picked up a microphone.

The most argued criticism about Cena has become that he is ?stale?. By stale his critics probably feel that there is nothing new or interesting about his character; he is doing the same thing over and over again without any innovation. The belief of his critics may very well be that his rhymes are in fact not new or creative. I don’t know if that is necessarily true, though. For instance if John Cena was to confront Booker T and create a rap based on what he is going to do to him and then the following week rap about what he is going to do Kurt Angle, isn’t even in the slightest possible way different? If it is different, then even if ever so slightly not the same rap then it seizes to be stale. If it is, then it makes it new.

The Underground Phenomenon

From standin’ on corners and porches just rappin’; to havin’ a fortune, no more kissin’ ass. But then these critics crucify you, journalists try to burn you, fans turn on you, attorneys all want a turn at you

Now if his critics are looking for something that is new or innovative in his character then maybe it is undoubtedly the commercial look and sound of his character that they would like to see changed. Some believe the rapping wrestling character can only go so far. Once the interest for Cena caught on with fans and the writers realized this he was satirized on the screen everywhere promoting everything. For some fans when their favorite wrestler captivates them and a small audience it is as though it has some type of underground cult following, that they are unwilling to let go to. They are torn between seeing their favorite character be successful and having that character be loved and heralded by so many. John Cena?s had an underground following that actually managed to be both above ground and could be found online. Whatever he said was pretty well received.

So tonight John Cena?s gotta fight a rhinoceros,

I’ll rip his crotch out and make him see a gynecologist.

Your half a man and half a beast. Is that suppose to impress me?

Man, my fist will make your face swell up, you’ll be the white Dizzy Gillespy.

I bet you fans think that Rhyno is going to give me the gore,

I’ll beat his ass so sore it will be like he did a prison tour.

Yo. This is thugonomics, I excel beyond sports,

He rocks horns on his head, I rock a horn in my shorts.

And to that kid Spanky who imitated my flows

I’m glad I broke his nose and stole his clothes

He had the whole crowd chanting ?Cena Sucks?

You think I do? Well F U! Cause I really don’t give a F***!

Word Life! ? Smackdown 5/8/2004

After reading the above rap, there probably wasn’t anything so out of the ordinary that it screams ?cutting edge?. However what it does do is combine creativity with cockiness. He puts down his opponent and assures his own place in the process. The difference between now and then however is that now the character isn’t as much cocky and arrogant as he was before because his place is so assured that it has been replaced with confidence. The thug roots his character was built on was that he could verbally lace into anyone and still manage to remain as self assured psychologically was used to his advantage over his opponents. Now it appears at times as though, the raps to those that are displeased with him are one of someone that is simply going through the paces.

One could argue that the underground nature of his raps and character have entered more of a mainstream following. For those that are disappointed with how his character is now that were initially fans of his character has been overexposed to the point were what they once held in high regard is so saturated he has lost that edge. In some ways his character could very well be similar to that of the comparison of mainstream rap music and underground/independent rap. For those that enjoy underground rap music for its fresh distinct nature as opposed to something that is sent out for the masses and intended to appeal to the majority of audiences.

Not Cool enough?

If this was even suggested during his heel run, it would easily been scoffed at. It seems ironic that the character that has replaced Cena, who was always recognized for his cool nature boasts the most about being Cool. Carlito Caribbean Cool is now in the position where his character needs to remain up to date and fresh something his predecessor was said to be guilty of. I am doubtful that the athlete themselves are guilty of not updating and reinventing it if they do not necessarily have full creative control of it. Since Cena has left the company for the time being to film a movie, when he returns there are options that the character could go to appeal to both the fans the character lost along with maintaining the fans he now has. If the character crosses over between making references that only a select group of Cena or rap fan would acknowledge and not play up to the crowd he could easily achieve this. The character is some regards could have an aura about him that resembles that of the late Curt Henning or Razor Ramon. Despite becoming faces the characters never lost the core of the character.

Has the character changed or has perception about him changed? It seems as though it is a bit of both. He doesn’t say that things did, but if he did, would they still be as effective? It is possible, but does that affect his marketability? Doubtful. If Steve Austin can boast about drinking beer and be a fan of millions of wrestling fans, then a rapping thug who talks about the size of his manhood could as well. The difference however is as a heel, the person Cena targets could be just as detrimental as a change in character as a whole. Before he left, during some raps he made references to homosexuals. He probably meant it in good fun, but the problem is interpretation takes precedence not intention or motive. Before Cena?s character is completely written off hopefully he will have the opportunity to have the last word and does not just sing for the Moment.

That’s why we seize the moment try to freeze it and own it, squeeze it and hold it, cuz we consider these minutes golden/and maybe they’ll admit it when we’re gone. Just let our spirits live on, through our lyrics that you hear in our songs and we can…
Sing for the Moment by Eminem

In the mouth of…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> After reading this I had that calvin’s in a ball on the front seat of a school night feel Marcus

Marcus Madison

The Truth beyond the Equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #103: Perceived/Literal Truth No Mercy 04′ Preview


Dr. Lindermans > Dr of Desire Jimmy Delray

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back welcome back. To what you might be asking? To Perceived/Literal Truth that?s what. So my name isn’t Vinnie Barbarino and I don’t laugh like Horshack or come back after a 5 year hiatus with a song that uses a sample from the theme of the television show of the same name to welcome myself back. Of course not, how incredibly lame that would be. That?s like saying good morning to yourself in the mirror and giving yourself a big hug. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

No Mercy is here and what we can expect is to see a number of matches where the combatants will show each other, fittingly enough no mercy. One of these days someone is going to think up a pay per view title and everyone will question it. What? Don’t sit there and say nothing like its taboo or something! Alright, I can’t tell you what to think or even to show me mercy when reading this monthes installment. What I can do is invite you to my house for a party. It was my birthday this past week and I want to give back to those that give themselves. In this preview there will be no insults to you the reader but their will be compliments and piece of cantaloupe at the end if we’re all on the same page.

What this preview is all about is a healthy dose of CSI reality meeting up with Nip/Tuck fantasy where all we end up questioning is how could a life coach end up having the most screwed up life of her own.

So when you think of No Mercy what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it Elvis Presley? How about something Uncle Jesse and the Rippers would sing about? Maybe you would say that it is when someone is playing a game of mercy with you and you wince in pain writhing from the pain. If it is then someone needs to show themselves some Mercy and stop giving this as much thought as they are.

Perceived Truth is what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winner is who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truth is what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winner is who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Spike Dudley vs. Nunzio

Perceived Truth: As a wrestling fan, I have my favorites. Just like everyone else there are certain guys that I want to see succeed. One of them is none other then James ?Nunzio? Maritano. He is the consistent worker that can give you as good a 5 minute match as some could a 15. What fans have known about Nunzio is that he has been ‘the boss? of the FBI a lot longer then Spike was ever considered the leader of the Dudley?s. Nunzio has been a champion before and is certainly capable of being that again. Whether it is years of dedication to what he loves to do or it is rewarding his patience with an opportunity to be a champion, it seems like now is as good a time to book him to win.

Since I am allowed to have wants in this portion of the preview this is that time. What I would like to see happen is have Nunzio out-boss the boss, if that makes any sense. I’d like to see Nunzio not only out-wrestle Spike but have Johnny the Bull get involved in this match a well. Whether the finish is clean or not isn’t the issue. What it will show is the Nunzio character if needed will not abandon the roots of his character and be just as cunning as his opponent.

Perceived Winner: Nunzio

Literal Truth: For weeks we have seen the FBI being used in brief backstage moments, with no direction as to where this was going. This was all settled this past week as the FBI (more so Nunzio) was recognized by Teddy Long for his work in the ring with an upset win over Spike Dudley to provide an opportunity to get into the ring and compete against the current champion for the title. This part bothers me as a wrestling fan, unfortunately. The way and direction that Spike has been used recently as the quasi -runty pushy-bossy manager that you want to choke the life out has so effectively been established that to take away his title wouldn’t work.

Nunzio for all of his attributes and skill as a wrestler his character hasn’t been used nearly as well in the period of time that he has been used in comparison to how Spike has been. Spike is confident and self-assured. He isn’t pushed around like he once was when he was on the receiving end of some insane spots land that self assuring quality makes all the difference in a championship match.

Literal Winner: Spike Dudley

WWE Tag Team Championship
Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki vs. Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio

Perceived Truth: There is something about the united forces of Suzuki and Dupree that has this wrestling fan interested in seeing what they can do when they facing actual competition. The manner in which they won the title was someone diluted by the fact they won by defeating one man. By defeating Paul London after Billy Kidman walks out on his partner, was immediate negative for the newly formed team. Although their win was a clean win, the issue was that they had an advantage over their competition and teamwork was not it.

This is the time when this team needs to show what they are capable of. They are on a major platform and at this time they need to mix up what they do in the ring to keep their opponents off balance. Fans are anticipating solid and exciting team work from the tandem of Mysterio and Van Dam but may not look for much of anything from Dupree and Suzuki. What I want is to be pleasantly surprised that the team of Dupree and Suzuki even though they are the champions will upset the team that is more over with the fans and the one that is probably favored because of their past accolades.

Perceived Winner: Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki

Literal Truth: It has been a quick but effective build in having this match come about. What all started as something as small as an interruption has led to a championship opportunity for one team and a title defense for the other. For those that do not know what I am referring to, allow me to flashback a couple of weeks. During an interview segment between Spike Dudley and Rey Mysterio, Kenzo Suzuki came and interrupted Mysterio telling him to speak in English because he is in America. Mysterio not appreciating Suzuki?s advice or interested in translating turned around and hit Kenzo with a microphone. But how cool would it have been had he hit him with the Spanish Announce Table?

Later that evening Dupree and Suzuki cost Mysterio a match, Van Dam came to Mysterio?s aid and a feud was born. There is a unique dynamic among all of the men involved in this match. On one hand we have opposites attracting duo of Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki defending their titles against two men that have a similar style to each others something that is a contrast from their opponents. At the moment, I am leaning in the direction of believing that the team of Mysterio and Van Dam will come out on top.

Literal Winner: Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio

Luther Reigns vs. Eddie Guerrero

Perceived Truth: Throw away feuds are rarely a good idea. The intention of having an in-between feud as a means to just have one of your top guys on the brand compete on a pay per view should have some rationale behind it. For Luther Reigns this is an opportune time to show that he is capable of being more then just a big and mean bruiting bodyguard and someone that is capable of being more. I don’t want this to be an example of one guy carrying another to a solid match but one guy proving that he doesn’t need to have to hide behind a character when he could show there?s more to him.

As a wrestler, Reigns doesn’t strike me as someone that doesn’t have an offense. He does the typical big man moves but he?s creative with his finishers as well. He has a pretty interesting looking finisher. In fact the move resembles something that another former bodyguard in Test used to use called the Testdrive. We will have to see Reigns sell as much as Guerrero in order to convince the viewing audience. As much as I probably should not be I am having a hard time not pulling for Reigns in this match. I want to see Reigns win this match but in true Guerrero fashion. Cheat 2 Win!

Perceived Winner: Luther Reigns

Literal Truth: This feud could be titled anything from ‘making a name for himself? or ?Since Kurt Angle is already involved in a feud, book Luther?. Neither of the suggested names are really all that good but what they do is define what the significance of this feud is. Much like what has happened between Tyson Tomko and Chris Jericho, it appears as though a similar feud has developed here. Where as Tomko was the bodyguard for Christian who was feuding with Jericho, in this instance we have Reigns who is the bodyguard for Kurt Angle who was feuding with Eddie Guerrero as the similarity between the two separate feuds. There appears to be a concentrated effort to get Reigns over and how else better to accomplish this then have him face off against one of the men on the Smackdown brand that could accomplish this.

Guerrero must not only have to contend with reacquiring the WWE championship he must almost help to make Reigns look most convincing. At this time I have a hard time seeing Guerrero come out of this match with anything less then a win. The reason for being he has just come off the heels of a loss to Kurt Angle and to lose to the subservient Reigns discredits Guerrero long- term aspirations. Reigns needs to look good in this match even in defeat. This isn’t to say that Guerrero couldn’t recover but from the direction that his character was headed currently to have a throw away loss appears pointless.

Literal Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Paul London vs. Billy Kidman

Perceived Truth: There once was a time where I really enjoyed watching Kidman compete. As part of Raven?s flock in WCW, whether it was his look and his ?Seven Year Itch?, the character seemed cool and was someone I looked forward to watching compete. As time went on however, he began some things about Billy Kidman became less appealing for me as a fan. When he spoke and showed a cleaner cut look it seemed as though there was less mystique about him. Something has happened though with him recently. Whether it is his reactions to the audience and his timing in response to their jeers, this character is something that intrigues me as much as his old lackey character once did. He has lost his competitive edge, he won’t attempt his finishing move and now has given little to no explanation for his actions.

The character in some ways appears to have spawned from the very criticisms that he has received. This has become a character that if it is a representation of actual events will do wonders for Kidman. What ideally I would like to have happen is have Kidman win but undoubtedly ‘losing control of himself? and I do not mean this in a Heidenreich ‘don’t drop the soap around him? sort of way but in a he blanks out and knocks out London and immediately snaps out of it and can not believe what he has done. This character has a lot of potential it is where they are willing to take it that remains the mystery.

Perceived Winner: Billy Kidman

Literal Truth: Of anything that has taken place on Smackdown recently this feud among cruiserweights is the most intriguing. This wasn’t about just someone who turned his back on his partner, but it is about the inner conflict the character is having with himself. This was never about Kidman had against London but what Kidman was concerned about doing to others. When he says ?he doesn’t want to hurt anyone? he doesn’t come across in a cocky or egotistical way but one of legitimate concern. If we think of how an overprotective parent 15-20 years ago wouldn’t allow their child to go out after dark or have them so disciplined that if they ever considered walking the line they’d be punished. Kidman?s character mentality is the same. He is disgusted by how others could want to see someone victimized and hurt.

One of the other layers to this character resembles that of an early Kurt Angle that would preach ?integrity, intelligence and intensity. Only we replace intensity with concern, intelligence with competence and integrity with cowardice, Kidman has developed the 3 C?s. Although, I’m not as convinced the cowardice one is something he is likely to admit. I don’t see Kidman walking out or not showing up but I do see him give a half hearted effort and not being fired.

Literal Winner: Paul London

U.S Championship
Booker T vs. John Cena

Best of 5 series tied 2 ? 2

Perceived Truth: My name is Marcus and I?ve got a real funky concept. Listen up; because I’m gonna keep you in step. I got an idea that I wanna share. You don’t like it? So what, I don’t care. Of thugonomics I’m not a doctor, put them in rapture, a slick brother that can easy outfox ya. If a song rap song could be used to describe the feud between John Cena and Booker T, it would have to be it takes two. As the song talks about one man?s confidence, the title of the song realizes that in order for a feud to be successful it takes two. So Cena wants to rock right now, he?s not Rob Base but he came to get down, he is internationally known and he?s known to rock the microphone. Because he gets stupid, and I mean outrageous, stay away from him if you’re contagious, ‘Cause he?s the winner, no, not the loser.

That sounds to some like John Cena and Booker T not only have the final match up between them at No Mercy but they will also show how , It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight. It will undoubtedly take what old school rappers DJ E-Z Rock and MC Rob Base words and put them to work. Even if all roads lead to Cena winning the title, I prefer to see him chase for the title rather then have the belt.

Perceived Winner: Booker T

Literal Truth: The best of five series is now all pending on one match and who will win it is up in the air! Actually, I doubt that it is anywhere near to being up in the air. If marketing and promoting along with popularity and push towards the title signify anything then John Cena will recapture the title. The most recent match up saw Cena defeat Booker T to even out the series at two matches a piece. In doing this not only built towards a final showdown between the two at No Mercy but provided Cena with a major platform in which to recapture the title. On the same night that the Big Show is set to make his return Cena will have an opportunity to recapture the title. And who was the last person Cena defeated to capture the title initially? It was the Big Show.

This is probably nothing more then coincidence that it is taking place but when we look at the fact Cena?s last US title push culminated with a win on a pay per view and this one also culminating with a match on a pay per view, its seems as though some planning did take place in order for this to happen. I anticipate a better match then their last one. Both men have the ability to raise the level of competition and look forward to seeing something in the area of about 15 minutes in length with Cena being victorious courtesy of the FU.

Literal Winner: John Cena

Big Show vs. Kurt Angle

Perceived Truth: The sleeping giant has been awoken. If this meeting had a newspaper heading describing the recent events between the Big Show and Kurt Angle it would be this. On one hand we have Kurt Angle whose character was incapacitated because he was thrown off the top of a building. This came off the heels of the Big Show losing a match and being forced to leave Smackdown. After a few months we have Angle getting his revenge by returning the favor and incapacitating the Big Show with of all things a tranquilizer gun. The idea of the giant with a channeled anger, that doesn’t need to speak in order to get their message came across has always struck me as a character that speaks louder then words.

What I would like to see now from this point out is for the Big Show to continue to brood until Sunday. He could damage any of Angle?s belongings and make a statement by taking out any of the men that took part in humiliating him. He needs to continue to let his actions speak louder then words. Before the match between the Big Show and Kurt Angle, I’d like to see the Big Show make a statement about what he is going to do to Kurt Angle. Despite the fact that both men put each others in ring careers on the shelf it is the Big Show that is in need of a big win his first pay per view back since his return.

Perceived Winner: Big Show

Literal Truth: To this point (Sept 25th) since his return to Smackdown the Big Show has yet to utter a word. The newest incarnation of the Big Show shows someone that isn’t just determined to make a statement about being back with the company but someone that has a channeled anger. When he first came made a return a few weeks back fans witnessed someone that was just about ready to take on anyone and everyone in his path. The early indications were that he could have been taken the role of a tweener role but isn’t that way now. The Big Show has a channeled anger where his sights are set and focused on Kurt Angle. After Kurt Angle fired a tranquilizer dart at him and had him beaten up on 3 on one the intent was to make the Big Show look like as though no man alone could take him down but that it would take something that would take down a wild animal to control.

If this is why oddly we haven’t heard the Big Show speak because of the intention to have him compared to an animal it?s an odd one to make. This feud also appears to be utilizing Mark Jindrak as well. More then one man appears to be benefiting from his feud. The use of Jindrak in the Angle/Big Show feud adds a different dimension to the feud along with creating another feud to build on for the Big Show. As I see it now, the Big Show returns with a roar and he’ll make sure he Angle?s head up on his mantle.

Literal Winner: Big Show

WWE Championship
JBL vs. The Undertaker

Last Ride Match

Perceived Truth: One could easily look at these two and question what good could possibly come from the two of them facing each other. If there is anything positive about them facing each other it is that feud has allowed the dominant heel look human. Although this type of ?heel champion fears their equally as imposing opposition? storyline in this feud I get the impression that it is more about JBL being the one that is humbled rather then doing the humbling. When he faced off against Eddie Guerrero there was a confident side to JBL that made others upset and want to pursue him. When facing the Undertaker as to what is normally customary when anyone faces the Undertaker but it changed the complexity of the JBL character if it did anything. The return of the Undertaker has brought with it a more nostalgic feel to him with the quieter brooding face that has earned him a more enthusiastic response by audiences abroad.

What I would ideally like to see happen in this match is have the cowardly heel that is intimidated by the face bring the fight to JBL. This would get a better reaction not only by fans but allows the character to come across as that in all of his previous encounters everything fans were led to believe that he was (frightened, cowardly, etc..) was simply a tactic to throw off his opposition. Therefore, I’d like to see JBL win, but have him look strong in the process.

Perceived Winner: JBL

Literal Truth: This feud has made the once tough Bradshaw look like nothing more then the typically cowardly heel when push comes to shove but proud of his accomplishments and confident when he has the upper hand. Last week we saw the return of Viscera and Gangrel to members of the Undertakers old ministry brought in to strengthen the momentum pendulum in favor of JBL. One week after this we saw Gangrel and Viscera face the Undertaker with the dead man overcoming the odds in preparation to face JBL. It is simply to clear and too obvious that JBL will lose this match along with the title.

A surprise almost appears to be in the booking here because of the clear ?Oh, the Undertaker will overcome the odds and win the title? feud progression. Do to the obvious nature of this, I anticipate a different JBL in this match. He will still cower and hide from time to time but there will come a time where he will stand up to the Undertaker. It is undoubtedly when we are least expecting it that JBL will capitalize and win this match up. There will undoubtedly be outside interference in this match up, but I of the belief that despite that outside interference that JBL will win this match without their help.

Literal Winner: JBL

No Mercy is tomorrow night and it looks to have a little bit of everything to satisfy all the appetites and tastes of all the different WWE fans. We have the utilizing of cruiserweights on not only one but two different occasions. The challenges over the U.S title and it also appear to be the end of the Undertaker/JBL feud as well. The pay per view seems as though there will be the closing of some feuds, the heightening of others and finally the emergence of new ones. If the event can end some storylines along with building now for the next pay per view, we are in store for an interesting show.

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Solstice Scriptures: #102: A Complicated Plan

As wrestling entertainment has changed over the past twenty years so have the fans that watch it. It moves as quickly and runs as rampant as the crashing waves in an ocean. Wrestling has gone through periods where money came in constantly and to its own distinction there where dry spells where it isn’t able to garner that same interest it once did. It happens to go through these dry spells where everything wrestling touches turns to gold. The product just seems to sparkle with greatness. Not only does it not sparkle it doesn’t ignite interest as readily as it once did.

If it isn’t the booking that is bang on, it?s the workers that are doing their job. The storyline?s are interesting and entertaining and even intriguing. Everything is just great and when they are up everyone is up. But it seems that there are times the hardest most complicated thing to do for fans is please them. Yeah, it sounds so simple just don’t have bad storylines and put people over. Easier said then done.

What fans enjoyed a few years ago they may not today. A gimmick they once loved is something that had its time and place and shouldn’t be reinvented. What is pleasing now isn’t going to be in a few years from now or will it? To say that this wrestling is good and that wrestling is bad is debatable. What is terrible to one person may be completely reasonable and watch-able to the next. As a group are wrestling fans just more cynical then before and harder to please?

That itself is a double-edged sword. On the one hand we have wrestling where fans were just meant to be content with how things were and never bat an eye to it. For its time, that was the norm and things were never questioned but something has changed and has affected the outlook of wrestling for fans. We have been able to associate wrestling personalities like everything else in life. Is it just a matter of preference or are the same fans that were easily convinced not oblivious to certain things, I know I was.

How wrestling fans aren’t being entertained?for the most part.?

It isn’t possible to say wrestling fans aren’t being entertained, is it? That sounds presumptuous to say. To talk in such an absolute as to say that they aren’t being entertained anymore. They are being entertained but it isn’t all the time and it isn’t everyone either. There has to be a reason for this. If all we saw were 4 star matches then, and solid promos by athletes, how could we gauge what was and what wasn’t enjoyable if everything we saw was effective.

It seems that the programming has to be ineffective at times in order to be considered effective. The more displeased fans are that continue to watch the more they watch with the hopes that things will improve. It?s as though the company knows that fans will watch something whether they like the show or not. If they stop watching completely then there is this need to seek out and find out what will bring fans back.

For those that watch regardless, and are displeased with the content they continue to watch despite being so unhappy with what they are watching. This probably sounds a little complicated then there is a reason for this. They are and they aren’t satisfied. At times these fans can be moody about what is happening in the here and now and other times they do not. This does have some merit to it. At one time or another someone won’t like something for a number of reasons or even just because they don’t like it

And this is happening?why?

This would depend on whom it is that you ask, actually. While some are pleased with wrestling as much now as they ever have give the wrestler the benefit of the doubt. Wrestling is enjoyed in its simplest form. To some there doesn’t need to be anything that is fancy. To some there isn’t a need for something to be dressed up or masqueraded to look like entertainment when it really isn’t that. There is nothing complicated about it or tricky its just wrestling, men or women dressed in tights fighting each other repeatedly.

The need for speed becomes so much a part of our culture today that when it comes to wrestling unless something is quick or an up-tempo pace then it isn’t acceptable. If we went back 50 years ago and compared the slow moving yet methodical moves of wrestlers, it was acceptable because their was a sense of realism to it that isn’t found in a lot of WWE programming today.

As times changed and the need for bigger and stronger athletes became an expectation as well. This isn’t the case in all promotions or even most promotions but it was the case in one promotion. Some wrestling fans talk about size of the athletes in the WWF/E for such a long time that it?s almost become completely redundant argument. It?s funny though, how things develop when it comes to the larger athletes and how well they entertain wrestling fans. For example years ago when King Kong Bundy and Hulk Hogan used to compete, this became what drew them to the show. However it was another standout match that took place on that program that fans left talking about.

If today a match such as The Undertaker and The Big Show meant then what it did now then fans may have never come to appreciate the work rate of the smaller athletes. There are a lot of fans that do like the larger athletes in the company because of the believability of their impact on a program and their effectiveness in a feud. It is how realistic these larger characters are that influence how closely a fan follows suit.

The circle of wanting more and giving more is all too familiar. The expectation level is higher now then it was before. The demands on the athletes are greater. The cost to watch these events either on a pay per view event or live are more as well. In fact unless someone gives their best there will be a sense of disappointment on the part of the viewing audience. This is said by fans being fully aware that their favourite wrestler isn’t ill or being plagued with an injury but because there total effort that they came to admire in the first place isn’t there now.

This is what is important it is the here and now. It is the ?what have you done for me? lately stance that some wrestling fans have. What has happened, is change. Change to create a whole new dynamic to the rosters was what the company did. The intent was probably to create some form of balance between athletes on both brands but it didn’t turn out this way. Here we see little in the way of creativity or ingenuity. Now all we see is little in the way of developing angles that do not either offend or false represent the characters the athletes are representing. The need to escape and enjoy is so hard to accomplish because those that are to be entertained have less tolerance to accept something that doesn’t affect them on a consistent basis.

The past few months of Smackdown have left a rather bitter taste in the mouths of those that once enjoyed it. Brock Lesnar is no longer a part of the company, Kurt Angle was not actively competing, and Chris Benoit is no longer part of the Smackdown brand. Its amazing how much three men could mean to the success of the company but these three were an integral part of the brands success. Something that was so strong now isn’t. The potential for a longstanding feud between Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle was so close to happening. Their match at Wrestlemania had no follow up to it. The recurring neck injury of Kurt Angle was what contributed to that from going any further. Time, injuries and change in general have made it harder to maintain the plan of entertaining fans on a regular basis.

In comparison to the Raw brand, the show that was once suffering is now being unanimously enjoyed by fans. The pendulum of athleticism and storylines are now shifting to Monday nights. The problem now is no closer to being solved then it was before. It is just that now that rather than having poorer programming on Monday night it is now on Thursday night. It is hard to predict an injury or a retirement from happening but a company that has as much invested needs to think ahead before it makes the changes it does.

What now then?

What needs to be done and what will be done are completely different things. Sometimes, just sometimes if you scream loud enough, and you shout long enough you’ll be heard but in the case of pleasing fans it becomes confusing. If you hear the voices of everyone someone has something different to say. Sometimes saying so much can end up meaning that they are saying nothing at all. What is good wrestling? Who deems it good? What made this one match better than that match? Is that the writers that are responsible for that or the workers? Was that a planned booking decision or last second changes do to someone else?s injury? Are they being cynical or comical? Are they legitimately disappointed or they follow the rest of the majority opinion?

It isn’t all gloom and doom and everything is a tragedy either when it comes to WWE programming either. The sun has shown before and it seems like there are these temporary periods of time where things are just working really well while other times they aren’t. There are some fans that even thought they are wiser then they were years ago they don’t forget how it feels to be a fan. The writers are dealing with a society that is exposed to a lot more now then they ever were before. This task of entertaining them and doing it consistently isn’t an easy one. So they could either rest on their laurels or attempt to do something new and fresh.

Will they ever truly achieve this ?plan??

It isn’t likely, but maybe that is what they should be aspiring to do in the first place. We can please some of the people some of the time, unless you do something that is so drastic and so unbelievable it might actually work. Listen. That?s all the writers of the WWE need to do. They don’t need to hear what their fans are saying they need to listen. This won’t guarantee change but it will mean fans that are more cynical will be less likely to be and more accepting if they knew what they were saying was worth something. Take a lot of things under consideration and when you do that, at least you?ve heard your audience. If you ignore your paying public then you are closing your eyes and ears to what they want. This has happened and the effects have caused fans to stop following all together.

In an ideal wrestling world it would be great that everyone is happy that all their favourite wrestlers are being pushed properly, the storylines remained entertaining and the wrestling in these matches were filled with solid wrestling that maintained fans interest. The problem with that is not everyone likes the same thing and that?s good because there are those that will like what they see their interests won’t change. On the other hand we have fans that much more accepting but sceptical of what they are watching. These two types of wrestling fans and the millions of variations and types in between that like or dislike something about what watch make the ?plan? to be pleasure more complicated then it was ever initially suppose to be. Are fans more cynical thus making the plan more difficult to attain? In some ways they are while in other ways they aren’t. Today someone?s workrate is what looks at and thinks this is what they want to see all the time while the next time another characters charisma is what draws them closer and closer to a particular wrestler. Different interests, different outlooks and different plans entirely.

Preferences and standards of what and what is and isn’t an acceptable influence a person?s perception of what is and isn’t good. Today someone likes Hardcore Holly because of his music tomorrow he doesn’t because he realises that as a wrestler he?s a hazard to anyone he?s in the ring with. One day someone praises the drunken bar fighting security guard the next they shake their head at how that same wrestler can alienate an entire ethnic culture.

There is an old saying that says you can please some of the people some of the time but you can not please all of the people all of the time. We want what we can not have but we change or mind at times about what we initially we want and ask for something else. This isn’t a case about pleasing some of the people nor is this is about pleasing all of the people. It?s about pleasing fans period. What is good to one wrestling fan may be completely horrible to the next. A happy medium is what we would like to have. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated it needs to have enough variation so that good or bad we are left with enough choices to see that being pleased is quite simple.

In the mouth of…

This is the part of the column that has nothing to do with the previous

statements. Please feel free to send your thoughts along, with what you loved, loathed or even lusted over by simply clicking the link on our right –> Whether or not something is attainable is not only to the fan that wants it to happen, but to those that can make it happen, Marcus.

Marcus Madison

The truth beyond the equinox

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Solstice Scriptures: #101: Perceived/Literal Truth for Unforgiven ’04


After making this banner we sentenced Mike “William S. Preston Esquire” Maloney to the iron maiden. I’ve never seen someone so happy to be executed. Weird.

What I’ve felt, what I’ve known, never shined through in what I’ve shown, never be never see, won’t see what might have been. What I’ve felt, what I’ve known, never shined through in what I’ve shown, never free, never me, so I dub thee Unforgiven. Pretty catchy, don’t you think? It might work as a song some day. Alright, so I don’t dub this pay per view Unforgiven, it isn’t my place. What is my place is share with you what I think about Raw?s offering for this months pay per view. In this preview there will be no shenanigans, no hijinx and no extreme tests of strength or endurance. Why? Because Team Canada will show us what endurance is all about to everyone this coming Tuesday when they face off against Finland.

What this preview is all about is a healthy dose of fantasy meets reality mixed in with a crime scene investigation. Its when what one fan wants to have happen takes on what they think will happen.

So when you think of Unforgiven what is the first thing that comes to mind? A cool western starring Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman or maybe it?s a song by Metallica. Is it repeatedly saying the wrong thing to your spouse or significant other and they won’t accept your apology or is it a boulevard of broken dreams and promises. If it is then someone gives way to much thought to making links between the name of the pay per view and anything that has the name Unforgiven as the title of it.

Perceived Truth is what I covet, crave, die over, have ambition, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish, and yearn for during a particular match.

Perceived Winner is who I covet, crave, die over, have ambition for, hunger, incline toward, itch for, leech for, long, lust, need, pine, prefer, require, spoil for, thirst, wish and yearn for winning in any particular match.

Literal Truth is what I anticipate, assume, await, bargain for, bargain on, believe, calculate, contemplate, count on, divine, envisage, feel, figure, forecast, foresee, gather, hope, hope for, imagine, look for, predict, presume, presuppose, reckon, see coming, sense, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, think, trust, understand, wait for, watch for. This section is based on the facts that lead into a different opinion.

Literal Winner is who I believe will win, anticipate to win, assume will win, await to win, bargain for winning, bargain on winning, believe will win, count on winning, envisage winning, foresee winning, look for to win, predict will win, presume will win, sense will win, suppose will win, suspect, take, think, trust will win, understand will win, wait for, watch for winning.

World Championship Match
Randy Orton vs. Triple H
.

Perceived Truth: As soon as Orton won the title, I think fans thought it would only be a matter of time until Triple H?s jealousy of it would boil over. The night after Summerslam the celebrating and hoopla that surrounded Randy was dealt a healthy dose of a character that was not willing to relinquish his place as champion. Although Triple H was not the champion at the time this feud does seem ironic a little does it not? Many in the IWC have looked at Triple H as someone that ?held down? his competition and used his backstage politics to accomplish this. Now this is being played out right in front of the fans and it is interesting to see. It is almost as though all the rumors and allegations that Triple H was guilty of were going to be part of this angle.

Whether it is just coincidence or not on the part of the writers, a jealousy storyline between the men that are considered the present and the future was inevitable. While watching this feud and this build, there have been a few things I’d like to see happen. For instance I’d like Orton to not only be put over strong in this match against Triple H. but reciprocate that as well. Orton is coming off the heels of an incredible pay per view match with someone that has made everyone he has faced look strong up against so I am hoping he will take from that match and apply that new information here.

Perceived Winner: Randy Orton

Literal Truth: The feud of the present and the future has been hinted of for quite some time and when it did eventually take place the execution to this point has been really well handled. After winning the title from Chris Benoit at Summerslam the feud between Triple H and Randy Orton seemed emanate. The night after capturing the title the ?it?s your time, when I say it?s your time feud? began between the two. The double crossing of Evolution on Orton combined with the jealousy on the part of Triple H has been very convincing. Throughout this feud we have had the typical antics of the cowardly heel appear in Orton?s character and this has in no way been a bad thing.

If anything there are some moments when his back is against the wall and he is facing all the members of Evolution that he’ll do whatever he can to just escape. Could anyone blame him? If someone had to face 4 guys constantly coming to bully him over and over again, they would stand up for themselves and take them on and when enough is enough get the hell out of dodge and take off. Ideally what I would like to see happen is Orton come away from this match looking strong and be every bit as confident as his character has been. It is more then likely that Evolution will get involved in this match but despite that I still see Orton coming out on top but when it happens it won’t be pretty.

Literal Winner: Randy Orton

Chris Benoit and William Regal vs. Batista and Ric Flair

Perceived Truth: There won’t be anything creative to say about this match other then it contains 4 very different characters which will make for a fascinating match up. Regal and Benoit have had some history when they have faced each other but now they are looking to make history as a team. Both Regal and Benoit have had memorable matches against one another as part of the Pillman Memorial show and this match will be memorable for sure. Whether it is in memory of what Triple H did to Regal and Benoit?s friend Eugene of whether or not is about settling the score with Evolution, something about this match will be remembered.

After hearing of the announcement of this match what I would like to see happen is Regal and Benoit come out on top. The story is about getting even on behalf of Eugene and the fans to this point love it pretty much, regardless of how there is little in the way of storyline development. Eugene does something and Regal comes to his aid. The only difference is this time Regal is defending Eugene?s honor and Benoit has to be stuck in a picture that looks like he has no neck.

Is that fair to Benoit? Nope, it looks like someone used a hammer to drill connect his head to his shoulders. If anyone knows the name of that photographer, let me know. I know someone who knows someone that can make sure that won’t happen again. Ahem. So hopefully a win tonight will make up for having him in such a misleading picture.

Perceived Winner: Chris Benoit and William Regal

Literal Truth: As we change modes from what we want to have happen to what we anticipate happening not much changes in the way of opinion. This seems like the blow off match among all these men. Although their isn’t some particular gimmick match and no one has promised to end each others careers but it appears as though at this time the goal and motivation is about retribution. These four men for months have been involved with each other in one way or another and it is the core reason that they have fought primarily that will end tonight.

As I see it now, Eugene will be involved in this match. It may be during a time when either the referee is knocked down and get involved. Since he is known for imitating wrestler?s moves and catch phrases, I think this time he’ll involve someone that?s closer to the action. If a ref bump happens, then I anticipate Eugene coming into the ring with his stripes on ready to take over as referee. The idea isn’t far fetched or plausible. It could happen. If I was a betting man, I’d put money on Benoit and Regal. Oh by the way, when I said I’d put money, I didn’t mean mine.

Literal Winner: Chris Benoit and William Regal

Shawn Michaels vs. Kane

Perceived Truth: The graphic reminder of what Kane did to Shawn Michaels has me really looking forward to seeing what will happen this Sunday. We have yet to hear what Michaels has to say about what he plans on doing this weekend. Since Michaels has never been at a loss of saying what he plans on doing, the fact that we haven’t heard anything yet interests me even more. It is the unknown without any build on the part of Michaels that is the most intriguing. What will he do? Is it more important for him to get even or win the match?

Even though a win on the part of Michaels would be a rewarding one, I don’t know if that?s what I’d like to see. Since they have been together Lita has been getting involved in Kane?s business and in doing so, has effectively prevented Kane from doing anything he wants. Good for Lita, first he tries to decapitate someone next week he tries to get away with not throwing out the garbage. It?s good to see who wears the pants in that pretend family. During this match I’d like to see Lita try and prevent her hubby from winning the match but ultimately have Kane win. Kane will have to deal with a bittersweet victory because his wife not only tried to cost him the match but also gets really pissed when he walks across the freshly waxed floor. Oh boy Kane, looks like poker night with the boys is out this Monday night.

Perceived Winner: Kane

Literal Truth: Although this match was just announced a week ago it was defiantly months in the making. The moment that Lita announced that she had signed the open contract for anyone to face Kane with someone?s name there was a buzz in the audience with anticipation as to who it was. This Sunday, Shawn Michaels makes his return to ring in his first action since he was taken out with internal injuries suffered at the hands of Kane. The sight of the incident itself was sick with Michaels appearing to cough up blood and having to be strapped in a gurney. What it did though was manage to show how the Kane character has no specific agenda to eliminate any one particular member of Raw but to leave a path of destruction that everyone would tremble in fear of.

The target was the one man that has managed to face everyone and anyone and in doing so, was someone that wouldn’t tremble in fear. This past week on Raw in one backstage promo between Lita and Kane we saw the tape of what took place the night after a few months back the night after Bad Blood between them. During the segment Kane suggested something to the effect that Michaels will face more of the same this Sunday. This match has an underlying theme of retribution on the part of Michaels to it. There is a score to settle and with Lita?s interference, I’m leaning in the direction of believing he will achieve this.

Literal Winner: Shawn Michaels

World Tag Team Championship
La Resistance vs. Tajiri and Rhyno

Perceived Truth: Ever cheer for the neglected guys on the roster? I do and even though it isn’t often, there comes a time when I’ll just look at the guys that don’t get used enough in the company and cheer them on. So when opportunity came the way of Rhyno and Tajiri two of my favorites have the opportunity to not only be used but to capture the title, you’re darn right, I’m going to have preferences. What I would like to see from this match is not necessarily a strong showing from Tajiri or Rhyno or even Rob Conway. The person I’d like to have a strong showing is Sylvain Grenier. As part of La Resistance, it is often his weaknesses that are masked pretty well in accordance to the team as a whole. What better time to prove his critics wrong then on a major stage? A pay per view may not change everyone?s opinion of his ability but it will at least make some difference in the minds of his cynics as to what he is capable of.

As for how I’d like Tajiri and Rhyno to win, it?s simple really. Have them beat La Resistance at their own game. If the opportunity comes up when they could took advantage of utilizing the ropes or using a steel chair then take advantage of it. Some would say that since the win wouldn’t be clean it would tatter them having the titles. It would, but not if a rematch is set up the next night and they win that too. The unclean win prolongs the feud, the clean finish the night after the pay per view confirms that Tajiri and Rhyno deserve them.

Perceived Winner: Tajiri and Rhyno

Literal Truth: While making a conscious effort to stabilize the Raw tag team division, a wonderful thing happened on the way to Unforgiven’the unutilized became utilized. The unlikely duo of ECW alumni Rhyno and Tajiri combine not only elements of size and strength but add speed, martial arts, technique and finesse in each of their matches. The impression left on many in the IWC is that Tajiri and Rhyno will come away from Unforgiven as the tag team champions.

At this point it seems a little to obvious that they will win, so it is for that reason itself that I see that they won’t win the titles. The writers have a funny way of having all signs point east for a single or tag team to capture a title and then when the time comes the signs end up pointing west. I do not believe however that this will be the end of the Tajiri/Rhyno coalition. It does appear that a title win is imamate by them, but at the moment things appear too obvious for that to happen. The writers do have a tendency to throw fans a curve from time to time with their booking decisions and this may v