Mickey Rourke not wrestling at Wrestemania

matt_hardy.jpgMickey Rourke’s handlers have moved quickly to reign in their comeback star and keep him from tanking his Oscar chances by participating in Wrestlemania. On Wednesday, Rourke’s spokeswoman Paula Woods sent an e-mail to the Associated Press that Rourke won’t wrestle Jericho. Woods wrote Rourke “will not be participating in WrestleMania. He is focusing entirely on his acting career.”

So, what happens? Hollywood steps in and tells Rourke that if he tries wrestling for real, he loses his Oscar. Maybe he gets sent back to acting winter again and this time for keeps.

Or, is it all an angle and even Mickey Rourk’s handlers are in on it?

And there we have the beginning of a great WWE wrestling vs Hollywood elites feud. Rourke returned to boxing way past his prime just to see if he could do it. You’d better believe he wants to give wrestling a try. If Rourke wrestles at Wrestlemania for a lark, the crowd is going to boo him. If Rourke defies Hollywood and risks his acting career to wrestle at Wrestlemania because it’s something he ‘has to do’, does that make him a babyface? Are you fed up with Hollywood snobs looking down on wrestling? Well, that makes Rourke our babyface. If you don’t buy Rourke wrestling, then go cheer Jericho. Point is, this the right catalyst for a great Rourke- Jericho feud and…a great performance.

Some of the greatest hollywood stories revolve around the brilliant but flawed hero who can’t help but act on his convictions, even if it costs him his dreams. Some of our personal favorite examples would include, Robert De Niro as Rupert Pupkin in ‘The King of Comedy’ and Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy in ‘Tin Cup.’ Rourke is definately a hero with ‘a fatal flaw.’

Byron Robinson for the Piledriver speculated recently that since the Oscars take place on Feb. 22, still about a month and a half before WrestleMania, a possible in-ring deal with Rourke could return to the table after the Oscars. We respect Mickey Rourke’s handlers for trying to give Rourke a bit of immortality by helping him win an oscar. We think if Rourke wants a legacy, he should act on his impulse, give Hollywood the finger and give the greatest performance of his life not in a movie, but in the squared circle.

WWE.com is now reporting a more subdued story, that Rourke will be attending Wrestlemania as a special guest of WWE, there to support the wrestlers. Rourke will not be there to wrestle, of course.

Vince furious about Hogan’s Celebrity Wrestling Show.

vince.jpegVince McMahon is apparently furious at Hogan’s Celebrity Wrestling Show. On a recent plaine flight, Vince has gone so far to say that anyone who is associated with the show will never work for WWE again!

The Wreslting Observer is reporting that Jimmy Mouth has become an unfortunate casualty of the backlash, in spite of the fact that he asked WWE management if it would be okay before agreeing to appear on HCW. Hart has been pulled from the Road to Wrestlemania events and now WWE claims they will never use him again.

Vince is apparently furious that insider secrets have been revealed to the public. We get it. You can say, ‘sleight of hand’ when describing a magic trick, but that doesn’t mean a magician has to reveal all his tricks to the audience. It’s the difference between teasing and acting trashy, according to Vince.

Or, maybe it’s the third-generation carny coming out.

Or, there have been some comments that Vince is only mad because he never did it first.

Or, Vince isn’t happy at the thought of going to war with Eric Bischoff again, if Eric is truly serious about starting a new wrestling company.

TNA iMPACT! Video and Review

tnaimpact.jpegThere’s something sincere about TNA. Everytime something TNA tries doesn’t work out, they get back up and try to make up to the fans, by focussing and trying harder to make everything work. You gotta love that perseverance. And when something they do clicks, the results can be breathtaking.

So, I’m once again excited about TNA.

Watch this sequence, with great promos from Sting, Mick Foley and Kurt Angle. The new TNA iMPACT! zone looks incredible and it’s being delivered in high definition. TNA has always had an energy and an expectation of momentum around their iMPACT! product and in this format, with this storyline, all been driven by this amazing wrestling talent, maybe they’re finally ready to take market share from a fading RAW product.

There’s always that nagging problem with TNA’s creative team- which I have a hard time figuring out, but now believe to be Russo’s amazing ability to create a sensational moment in a program, but without regard for the slow burn that makes for great feuds. Russo like a little kid with a secret. TNA finally has someone who understands intimately how much time and patience it takes to build a great feud in a position to shape Russo’s strengths. I believe that man is Mick Foley- and if Jarret can just step back go along with the ride and if they can just get the mutual strengths and weaknesses of their creative team to work together- man, that’s it.

They’ll click.


Watch great mic skills at work in TNA’s new iMPACT! zone, which looks great.

TNA 2008 NO SURRENDER PPV: Predictions

nicesunday1.jpgMAIN EVENT FOR THE TNA WRESTLING WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
FOUR WAYS TO GLORY MATCH:
Champion Samoa Joe vs. Booker T vs. Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage

This should be a fast-paced match with tons of interference. The most likely scenario will have Joe retain and feud with Sting going into BFG. For Joe to move forward unto the next feud, he should pin Booker T.

Prediction: Samoa Joe pins Booker T

TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Beer Money, Inc. vs. The Latin American Xchange

This feud is looking much better now that the crazy gimmicks have been dropped in favor of a straight tag team championship match. Beer Money’s got the momentum and LAX is looking good chasing, so expect some chicanery leading to Beer money retaining, setting up a steel cage rematch at BFG.

Prediction: Beer Money retains

X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Champion “Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams vs. Consequences Creed vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir
Petey loses the title in hometown Toronto? That’s pretty unlikely, as TNA, with their limited time on air, should keep action front and center and leave complex storylines to WWE or risk confusing the fans. That will leave TNA four weeks to have Petey lose the title to Abdul, Abdul feud with Creed leading to Abdul vs. Creed at Bound For Glory.

Results: Homeboy Petey retains and the home crowd is happy.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MATCH
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. Frank Trigg

I guess Frank Trigg has finally learned enough a few moves well enough to give wrestling a go. The MMA format will help cover Trigg’s inexperience, while Trigg’s background of submission fighting will give this match a sharp ‘edge’. Trigg will fight dirty to win and the threat of an after match beat down by Trigg is going to give the crowd the willies. AJ Styles will lose a little momentum, but in doing so, he’ll get the new guy way over. Actually couldn’t imagine a better first bout for Trigg than to have it with Styles.

This is where I predict we’ll see Suicide for the first time. Hey, he has to come out at some point, right? Suicide makes the save and gets Styles away from Trigg.

Prediction: Frank Trigg wins

TAG TEAM MATCH
Abyss & Matt Morgan vs. Team 3D

With TNA teasing Mick Foley at No Surrender and a Monster Ball being advertised for Bound for glory, expect interference from Mick Foley sometime during this match. Which way will the pendulum swing? Mick takes out Abyss and team 3D capitalizes.

Prediction: Team 3D wins.

KNOCKOUT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Champion Taylor Wilde vs. Angelina Love of The Beautiful People

Wonder if Taylor Wilde will wear red and white for this match? Kong’s contract is coming up and we’ll know if TNA is feeling secure with her. If Angelina Love wins, TNA is banking on ODB versus Love at Bound for Glory and there’s a good chance Kong will move on. If Taylor retains, then it’s Kong versus Taylor at BFG.

Personally, I’d like to see Taylor lose the belt, chase it and win it back through adversity and prove she’s the champ, as she’s the right girl for the title. There’s just not enough time before BFG to make this happen. Taylor will drop the title at BFG, not at No Surrender.

Prediction: Taylor Wilde wins, retains

LADDER OF LOVE MATCH
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt

“I know it sounds ridiculous…” SoCal Val explaining her decision on Karen’s Angle to let the winner of the match have her.

SoCal Val is a heel, so it makes more sense for SoCal Val do what she does best. SoCal can do so much harm by interfering to help Sonjay Dutt win.

Prediction: Sonjay Dutt wins SoCal Val.

CHALLENGE MATCH
The Rock N’ Rave Infection (Lance Rock, Jimmy Rave and Christy Hemme) vs. The Prince Justice Brotherhood (Curry Man, Shark Boy & Super Eric)

In this comedy match, we’ll see Curry Man’s spice prove irresistible to Christy.

Prediciton: The Prince Justice Brotherhood wins

FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE
ODB vs. Awesome Kong w/ Raisha Saeed

Kong’s contract is coming up and the Knockouts need a new top babyface. The format is ideal for ODB. While I think that ODB’s promos go a little too far, I can see the logic in giving ODB a win right now, but only if Angelina wins the Knockouts Title. TNA is going to want the best card for Bound for Glory. It’s going to be Kong versus Taylor Wilde, or ODB versus Angelina Love. I think that TNA may be holding money back to retain Kong, which means we see Kong win this one, but barely and with a pin after Saeed interferes, not a bomb and then a quick exit. That ending alone will push ODB.

Prediction: Awesome Kong wins

Babyfaces on RAW Reeling

cmpunk.jpgIf the heels hold the belt, then what are the babyfaces doing to try to regain equilibrium in RAW? First problem, the faces are all beat to hell. Cena’s out recovering from a neck injury. Shawn Michaels is half blind and needs to rest his triceps for a few weeks. Candice Michelle is just finding her legs after a long recovery from her collarbone injuries. Mysterio is also rusty after a long absence recovering from his collarbone injury. Batista has the brawn to step up and challenge for the title, but being a loner he’s not going to do well if the heels decide to work together. It’s like a lion fighting hyenas. One on one, he’s an animal, three on one, he’s getting backed up.

There are two faces that are truly ready to stand against the heels. Kofi Kingston is one. When Kofi finally gets his rematch against Marella, it will be time to retire the Honk-A-Meter. The other face is perennial underdog, CM Punk.

Give WWE their props for knowing how to use CM Punk. The more EVERYONE, front and back, gets down on CM Punk, the more he gets over with the fans. How cool, then, was it to have Orton get in CM Punk’s face and have his lackeys roll him in the back at Unforgiven, denying CM Punk the opportunity to prove that he’s the man who deserves the belt at the scramble match? If CM Punk won the belt by taking his opportunities and beating the odds, who was better positioned to win a Scramble match? Having Jericho sub into the scramble match and steal the belt was a perfect touch. It’s no happy coincidence that Kofi stepped in to help CM Punk backstage and was assaulted for his efforts.

Randy Orton’s punt to the head of CM Punk is the symbolic gesture that ushers in and solidifies the new storylines on RAW. CM Punk outnumbered against the “multi-generational” stable, led by Randy Orten? CM Punk is going to go through a lot of pain and humiliation keeping the flame alive while everyone else gets their stuff together. The faces have to rally and chase for the belts and RAW’s program is looking really good.

cmpunk stares down Orton
What chance does straight shooting CM Punk have against Randy “The Legend Killer” Orton?

WWE 2008 Unforgiven Card: Predictions

unforgiven3.jpgVickie Guerrero promises an apology from The Undertaker:

Vickie will come to the ring with the family surrounding her and demand that Undertaker comes out. Undertaker will come out and by the time he reaches the ring, it will be just Vickie and Undertaker as the rest of the family scampers for cover. Vickie’s resolve will crack in about ten seconds and she’ll run from the ring for her life. This will not impress the McMahons.

Big Show will come out and stare down Undertaker.

Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase Junior vs. Cryme Tyme (WWE World Tag Team Titles):

Rhodes and DiBiase have already dropped the title once, to Batista and Cena. It’s a pretty obvious outcome when we consider how big management is on DiBiase. Expect Orton to be watching the match as he’s got a stable to build once he fully recovers.

Winner: Rhodes and Dibiase retain.

Michelle McCool vs. Maryse Oulett (WWE Diva Title):

I have to look at the pictures of Maryse in lingerie through filtered lenses to keep my brain from exploding. Maryse looking hot in lingerie is the only reason she’s getting pushed. A title builds credibility when a heel holds it and the babyface has to chase it- a real reason for Maryse to win, but we don’t credit WWE’s creative division for that much effort into building storylines for the Divas.

Winner: Maryse new Diva Champion

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (Unsanctioned Match):

This match is unsanctioned because Michaels doesn’t have medical clearance for his eye injury that he suffered at the hands of Y2J. This is truly a great feud and we can expect some amazing ring action. Since the other main events are slated for 20 minutes, this match could go for an hour. Who will win? With Michaels’ near-injury still requiring some rest after the main event and Y2J’s heel momentum, we’re thinking the match won’t end in Shawn Michael’s favor. Y2J won’t escape this match unscathed, either.

The feud will continue.

Winner: Chris Jericho with interference, but Michaels will get some measure of revenge.

Mark Henry vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Fit Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Mike Mizanin (ECW Heavyweight Title – Scramble Match):

Henry will look dominant throughout the match but Hardy will pick up the win.

Winner: Jeff Hardy new world champion.

C.M. Punk vs. Dave Batista vs. John B. Layfield vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio (Raw World Heavyweight Title – Scramble Match):

WWE management has figured out that the worse they treat CM Punk, the more over he gets with the audience as an ‘underdog’ champion and we don’t think the experiment is over, yet. CM Punk seizes an opportunity for a last second victory.

Winner: CM Punk retains.

Triple H vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Jeff Hardy vs. M.V.P. vs. Shelton Benjamin (WWE Championship – Scramble Match):

The way Triple H has been scripted at Smackdown makes us think that this match will be a squash for The Hunter. Expect something ridiculous that will make Triple H look good and everyone else look bad, like Triple H piling his opponents in the middle of the ring and sitting on them as the clock runs down…although, if Kane did it in his match, it would be cool.

Winner: Triple H retains.

You can check out more articles on the matches booked for Unforgiven by clicking here.

TNA 2008 Hard Justice Complete Card and Predictions!

hardjustice.jpgHard Justice PPV happens in Tenton, NJ this Sunday at 8pm/ET 5pm/PT. Here’s the complete card for the event, with predictions who will win each match.

We at wrestling confidential would like you to know we have set up a Hard Justice forum at our associate site, themmanews.com and are inviting wrestling fans to come out and comment on what you think of the matchup, who will win and why! Remember to register as a member, as our associates will be giving out wrestling and mma shirts, sweaters and other prizes in the coming months as prizes! Women wrestling fans should check out our forums that focus on the gorgeous women of wrestling!

You can view articles on match booking for Hard Justice by clicking here.

TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

SIX SIDES OF STEEL CAGE WEAPONS MATCH
“The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe vs. Booker T

Prediction: Samoa Joe wins clean.

LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle

Prediction: AJ Styles wins, expect interference.

TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Latin American Xchange vs. Beer Money

Prediction: Beer Money wins and lays the belts on The Latin American Xchange.

JERSEY STREET FIGHT
“The Instant Classic” Christian Cage & “The War Machine” Rhino vs. Team 3D

Prediction: Christian Cage and Rhino gore their way to victory! GORE! GORE! GORE!

X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
“Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams vs. Consequences Creed

Prediction: Petey Williams retains.

BLACK TIE BRAWL N’ CHAIN MATCH
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. “The Guru” Sonjay Dutt

Prediction: Jay Lethal wins with help from SoCal Val.

SIX-WOMAN KNOCKOUTS MATCH:
Taylor Wilde, Gail Kim & ODB vs. The Beautiful People & Awesome Kong

Prediction: Awesome Kong annihilates EVERYONE! Abyss interferes. We don’t even WANT to guess what happens next!

More thoughts on GM Mike Adamle

Evil General ManagerIs it coincidence that on Freddie Prinze Jr’s first night with WWE the whole episode of RAW played out like an episode of ‘Scooby Doo’? RAW even has a ‘Scooby Doo’ ending, as the horrible phantom creature what lurks behind the stage is unmasked and turns out to be- MIKE ADAMLE?

At least in ‘Scooby Doo’ someone explains how the clues fit together. Think back to all the clues we were given. First, why would WWE Champion Punk be matched against a free agent? Why would the new manager change up ‘Hacksaw’ Duggin with Michael Cole as Jerry Lawyer’s tag team partner against Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes? Why would Mike Adamle and JR be asked to be at RAW? Who else would set up William’s return match with none other than the reigning World Champion?

Mike Adamle as General Manager gets to dispense awards and punishment as he pleases. Think back- who was the last person to go out of his way to give Mike Adamle a prop? Why, it was William Regal, who had JR kicked off the announcer’s table so that Mike Adamle could work with Jerry lawyer. Mike’s fellow announcers have been giving Adamle a hard time, so here’s a little payback- Mike spent the whole show messing with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawyer and JR. Jerry doesn’t get to sort out the kids. Michael Cole gets knocked senseless. JR doesn’t get to return to RAW. Mike may be so green he smells like pine sap, may look like vanilla pudding, but he’s a sneaky bastard! He spent half the show in the trenches with his marks! We’ll go along with Adamle as GM as long as he can be this calculating, backhanded and vengeful every week as GM.

The whole moment- from weeks of suspense, wasn’t ruined by a miscue by Mike Adamle. Honestly, do you think the audience would have responded differently if Mike hadn’t made his way into the ring early? What we needed was Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Geller and the rest of the gang to interrupt Shane, catch Mike Adamle and explain to us all what was going on.

In Defense of GM Mike Adamle

mikeadf.jpgOne would think that WWE’s efforts to repackage its product would be appreciated by fans who have been moaning for years about how ‘stale’ the product has become. WWE isn’t wasting time following up their commitments as to how they would reform and grow their product. No one can really say what works and doesn’t work in wrestling until it’s been tried. WWE is trying to grow their fan base by becoming a more family friendly product. So, is Mike Adamle as RAW’s General Manager really a disaster?

Mike Adamle is the most family palatable face we at wrestling confidential have seen since Bob Saget hosted America’s Home Videos. Mike’s not remotely embarrassed to be new to wrestling. He loves to learn on the go and he’s unabashedly unafraid to make mistakes in front of millions of people. Many people feel that Mike hasn’t paid his dues to have any status with WWE. Those people have missed the point: WWE is repackaging the product hoping to attract millions of new fans just like Mike to wrestling.

So, the ‘Freshman’ just got to be quarterback and the players and fans are in an uproar. There is a petition being passed around WWE Fan Nation asking for Mike Adamle to be fired. It’s hard to believe that long time fans of wrestling actually believe that fan heat can get a WWE agent fired. What the petition shows is how insular the wrestling community is. The petition also reveals the greatest barrier to market growth for WWE is the core fan base itself.

Wrestling is ridiculous spectacle. Wrestling also has a reality that fans can only enter by suspending disbelief. Anyone new to wrestling is going to be wowed by the spectacle. Someone who watches wrestling for a long time will find things inside wrestling reality that reaffirms their grip on the real world. Many fans feel that people who don’t watch wrestling think that fans of wrestling are simple. Wrestling fans think that people who don’t watch wrestling are snobs. For many fans, then, wrestling is a private reality that needs to be protected from intruders. How can new fans of wrestling share their enthusiasm? Who can they share their enthusiasm with?

How can WWE grow the fan base when the fans don’t want new marks to crash the party?

‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tred.’ Mike Adamle may be that kind of fool, but that’s not a bad thing. His performance as manager his first week out was calculating, underhanded, deceptive and vindictive. Let’s give the guy a chance.

Friday’s Smackdown, The Ultimate Opportunist is in The Game

smackdown15.jpgWe were half way through a rerun of Melrose Place when we realized we were watching Friday’s Smackdown! We kid, we kid…what we’re getting at is this was a strange episode. Smackdown began with a romantic video showing highlights of Vickie and Edge’s history, the events of last week and announcing their wedding. The video then cuts to Edge and Vickie getting married in front of a minister with ‘Recorded Earlier’ at the bottom of the screen.

Smackdown became the wedding reception, with Edge and Vicky’s wedding party set up right at the stage entry. We knew before the night was done, someone was going to wear the wedding cake and someone was going to crash the party. The show was one long build up. Edge acted as Special Guest Referee for a matchup between Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder defeated Finlay and Hornswoggle, ending with Edge spearing Finlay and one of the twins covering for the win. Edge and Vickie has their first dance, interrupted by big show, who wound up in a three on one against Khali, MVP, and Shelton Benjamin. Vickie threw the bouquet from the ring and when Cherry caught it, Vickie congratulated her, as she would be the Diva to face her in a special match. First, she had to defeat Natalya, who squashed her in thirty seconds. Then Vickie began her match with Cherry, laying down on a prone Cherry for the pin and a win in three seconds! Later that night, the Hardys were ordered to face off against each other for Edge and Vickie’s amusement. The Hardys –surprise- threw the cake in Chevo’s face, covering the whole Fam Damily in the process. The Hardys had their bout, ending when the Fam Damily jumps in the ring and beats down the Hardys, with Edge spearing both brothers. You get how the night was all about Edge and Vickie.

We should mention the heat these two draw from the crowd. Vickie had the crowd on their feet, shouting and shaking their fists at her. She can draw the heat and she can take the heat. Vickie just gives an arrogant shrug and talks over and down on the crowd. We would also like to mention nominating Edge and Vickie for ‘Best Kiss’ at the MTV awards.

You can’t build like that and not have a crowd pleasing finely. The last twenty-yes, twenty- minutes of the show is devoted to setting up what we think will be the best WWE feud in years. Edge and Vickie are back in the ring. Edge starts talking about how your wedding day really is the happiest day in your life, that he loves Vickie so much and that he had the Smackdown team put together a video for her. What runs is the cheesiest clip yet, a montage of clips showing Edge and Vickie kissing, walking in parks and playing on a teeder todder.

“Time to play the game!” rings out and the crowd popped! Triple H walked out with the title belt and a long white box with a red bow on it. Triple H started by saying he can tell by their faces they were not happy to see him. He said despite his history, he was not her to announce that he was secretly married to Vickie. He said he was there to celebrate their love. Triple H said he has a video that showed Edge’s true love for Vickie.

The video Triple H plays is from a hidden camera with Edge meeting with the wedding planner. In the video, Edge makes a move on the wedding planner and then fakes a back spasm and the planner starts massaging him. Back at ringside and HHH interrupts the video again. Edge sent the Fam Damily to get Triple H who shows his second gift, a sledge hammer in the box. Fam Damily stops and Hunter plays more video.

Edge is now massaging the wedding planner and coming on to her some more. Edge’s come on line blew us away. “Is that scent you? It’s like a melody of angels on a dewy morning.” Then Edge starts talking about lingerie, leading into a story about the size of Vickie’s underwear. Triple H cuts in again and said he was upset his third gift was ruined, and then he pulls out a huge pair of panties, throws it down and says he could always park his car under them.

Back to the video and Edge makes his move and kisses the wedding planner. She pulled away quickly, pauses and then falls into Edge’s embrace as the two starts making out. In the ring, Vickie went crazy. Vickie attacked Edge, relentlessly screaming until Edge slipped out of the ring and started walking up the ramp as the show ended.

So, we think this is the beginning of a great feud. The Ultimate Opportunist is now facing The Game. We can understand the need to devote time to creating storylines, since it’s only been three weeks since the draft. It’s obvious that Triple H is messing with Edge because, well, Edge is exactly the kind of prey that Triple H would hunt. We look forward to watching this feud play out.

That being said, we’re hoping that now that the background has been established, we can look forward to more wrestling and less drama!

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