Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The State of the World: Wrasslin Edition

Watching RAW last night, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why Umaga was having such a bad night. Here's your unstoppable 'Samoan Bulldozer' and he not only loses the Intercontinental Title to Jeff Hardy [though I liked the finish], he gets laid out with a sledgehammer bashing by the newly returned Triple H.

At first, I was disgusted, thinking that the spot with Hunter was just another hot gimmick getting fed to the unstoppable "King of Kings" after King Booker got beat at Summerslam. I read the dirt sheets this morning and discover it's actually a lot worse than that.

On the heels of the Chris Benoit tragedy earlier last summer and the United States Congress' desire to hold hearings on performance-enhancing drug usage in wrestling, authorities have been investigating the "pipeline" of clinics and pharmacies that run steroids and hormones to professional athletes. Last Thursday authorities from Albany NY provided WWE officials with information that lead to the suspension of 10 wrestlers.

Sports Illustrated learned the names of a dozen wrestlers who all got drugs through the network, though the WWE is not confirming which, if any of those named by SI are among the suspended, though looking at how WWE TV is shaping up this week [via spoilers], it's hard to argue with some of them.

Chavo Guerrero: Rey Rey gets his revenge on Chavo this Friday on Smackdown, taking it to his knee with a steel chair. A nice clean write off, see you in thirty. For a guy who's seen his uncle and one of his best friends die in part due to using performance enhancers, how stupid can you be?

Jon Morrison: The current ECW Champ will be dropping the belt to CM Punk for free on TV tonight, after beating him on Pay-per-View. Punk should have gotten the belt a while ago, so it sucks that it happened like this.

Mr. Kennedy: The gossip sheets say all that teasing of Kennedy as Vince's bastard son were not for nothing, as he was picked for the part and gearing up for the push of his life. With the flat out denial that it's him last night, someone else gets his push and he gets a month off.

Charlie Haas: Not a big time player, but he was left looking at the lights in last night's #1 Contenders match for the tag straps. So London and Kendrick get some shine and Shelton Benjamin's left hanging with a crappy hairstyle and no storyline.

Umaga [Edward Fatu]: See above. They'll use the injuries to keep him out for the month, and hopefully his character won't be completely killed when he comes back.

William Regal [Darren Matthews]: He takes a beating from John Cena during an interview segment, and Jonathan Coachman runs the show for hopefully just the next 30 days. What I don't get is Regal's not even wrestling that much anymore. He got the sweetest gig going as RAW's 'General Manager'. He was on TV every week and never had to bump. It doesn't get any better than that. Yet he might lose it all for a stupid mistake he made last year. Plus, he's a guy who's had problems with substance abuse before.

Randy Orton: I don't even know what they're going to do here. He just headlined Summerslam, he was set to headline Unforgiven, and the word on the street says he was set for a marquee feud with HHH after that. Given how problematic Randy's been in the past, I wonder if this will push him out the door for good.

The other names uncovered either don't work for the company anymore [like Brian 'Crush' Adams] or are already off TV with injuries [like Edge and Gregory Helms].

With these suspensions and word that as of November, such suspensions will be made public from the get-go [kind of necessary for a publicly owned company, wouldn't you think?] it seems clear that a message is being sent that the culture needs to change. Hopefully it's a change that lasts.

Welcome back, Windsor. Proper introductions later tonight.


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