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Shades Of Gray #22

In this week’s column I discuss the Main Event Mafia, Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling, the 3-hour edition of “Raw,” and much more. Did you know “Raw” is the longest running episodic weekly television show in history? The “Links of the Week” will catch you up on the highlights from this past week’s pro wrestling television, including CM Punk and Kofi Kingston winning the World Tag Team Championships and Miz and Morrison’s live edition of The Dirt Sheet. And “Extras” offers some classic clips from Big Poppa Pump and WCW “Nitro.”

The Main Event Mafia

I like the name “Main Event Mafia” for the group of Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Sting, Booker T and Big Poppa Pump. And I like Steiner joining them on Thursday night – it was a logical move. He can play a supplementary role, cut his crazy promos, and most importantly, wrestle as little as possible. This could easily lead to a feud with Petey Williams, who has slipped into the background ever since Steiner’s been out of action due to injury. Petey could say, “I’ve patterned myself after you, and look where it’s gotten me.” This shit writes itself.

It appears as if Christian will be joining the Mafia as well (due to the stipulation of his match with Booker T at Turning Point), because Booker’s not going to lose the Legends belt 3 weeks after introducing it. But he should not be part of the group - it would be too much, getting close to nWo- ridiculousness as far as growth is concerned, and he just doesn’t fit in with the group anyways. Worst of all, Christian would create friction in the Mafia too soon – a constant TNA theme. The Mafia need to be strong before there’s in-fighting, and Nash and Sting picking up the victory over Styles and Joe on the live edition of “iMPACT!” was a good start. More important, however, will be how TNA can get Styles, Joe and the younger guys over at the end of this feud (which should be the ultimate goal of this re-hashed WCW angle).

I’d rather see Christian play the DDP role – that is to say, just like DDP was the only person to reject membership into the nWo, so too should Christian reject the MEM’s offer. How can they make him join a group that he doesn’t want to join anyways? Why couldn’t he, you know, just not hang out with them? The stipulation is preposterous. Preposterous, I say!

I should add that I like the Legends belt – it’s easy heat to say you’re a champ when you haven’t won anything. I was a huge mark for the Million Dollar Belt.

Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling

It’s stupid that Hulk Hogan’s new reality show isn’t playing on the Canadian version of CMT (as far as I know). But I’ve been able to catch it on YouTube, and (far the most part) I like what I see. Surprisingly, I’ve been most impressed with Dustin Diamond, better known as Screech – and it’s not just because I’m a big Saved By The Bell mark. Admittedly, if Mr. Belding was on the show, I’d mark out for him too.

I do have a beef with the show, though – the judges (Hogan, Bischoff and Jimmy Hart) seemingly don’t have any criteria as to which team is safe from elimination every week, or at least Hogan doesn’t explain why/how one team did a better job than the other. To me, Team Nasty clearly outperformed Team Beefcake in week 2, with Screech leading the way. (Never would’ve thought I’d write that sentence in my life). Yet Team Nasty was deemed the loser, and Mr. “I-don’t-mind-if-you-call-me Sly,” Frank Stallone was voted off.

My point is - I think Bischoff and Hogan are voting off who they want, not who has put on the worst performance. So ya, it’s a work.

Quick Hits

On Episode 87 of Tha O Show, Rico talked about how integral solid mid-card matches were to the success of “Raw,” and particularly “Nitro” during the Monday Night Wars - Kofi and Punk vs. Simply Priceless, as well as Evan Bourne vs. Rey Mysterio provided those solid mid-card match-ups this past week. With that being said, it was the main event feuds that carried both shows back in the day, particularly the nWo angle on WCW, and the McMahon-Austin angle on “Raw.” “Raw” (the longest running episodic weekly show in television history!) has nothing even close to those presently.

Once again, although I don’t think the problem ever really went away, there’s no distinction between “Raw,” “SmackDown!” and “ECW” Superstars. For example, in the past week, “Raw” wrestlers Jeff Hardy, Kane, and Rey Mysterio appeared on “SmackDown!”, “ECW” wrestlers Mark Henry and Matt Hardy, and Chavo Guerrero appeared on “SmackDown!” and “ECW” wrestler Evan Bourne was on “Raw.” Worst of all, John Morrison and Miz appeared on all 3 shows in promoting their match with DX on the 3 hour edition of “Raw.” WWE needs to be careful not to overexpose arguably the hottest thing going on their shows right now (besides Santino’s Honk-A-Meter). They should keep Morrison and Miz exclusive to “Raw”(the longest running episodic weekly show in television history!) – they should be on the company’s most-watched show.

Did you know “Raw” was the longest running episodic weekly show in television history? Yes, it’s impressive how long “Raw” has been on the air. But we don’t need to hear it 3 times in one night. Plus, they’re just preaching to the choir. Most of the 2.9 who’s watching the show have been watching it for a long time. And you don’t win over fans by bragging (and you don’t win friends with salad).

Here’s a guarantee: the 3-hour edition of “Raw” will have a rating lower than 2.9. The 3-hour shows usually score a lower rating overall because the 8pm-9pm hour drags down the rest of the show.

Links of the Week

1. Evan Bourne vs. Rey Mysterio

2. CM Punk can add another title to his resume (Part 1: Part 2).

3. Santino faces Glama-Haas with Roddy Piper, Honky Tonk Man and Goldust watching from ringside

4. The Dirt Sheet with “DX.” I like MnM’s criticism of Shawn Michaels, and Triple H in particular. Mostly because no one has ever allowed to make Trips look bad. So that either means Triple H is a big fan - or more likely, Miz and Morrison are getting buried on Monday night.

5. A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe get some revenge on the Main Event Mafia for the beat-down from last week (Part 1; Part 2).

6. The newest member of the Main Event Mafia.

7. What happened to the toga, J.R.? Vince McMahon really loves ribbing J.R.

8. An entertaining 6-man tag from “SmackDown!”: Kane, MVP, and Mark Henry vs. Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio.

9. Undertaker vs. Chavo Guerrero in a casket match (Part 1; Part 2).


1. Here’s an example of a great WCW "Nitro" match: Eddie Guererro vs. Chris Jericho.

2. While looking for Guerrero vs. Jericho, I found this. The best part is Rick Steiner talking back to the doll.

3. Why not? More from Nitro here.

4. In celebration of the upcoming 800th episode of “Raw” (did you know it was the longest running episodic weekly show in TV history?), here’s a match from the show’s early days.

5. Another Steiner clip: His WWE return at Madison Square Garden. It was all downhill from here. (How did WWE fuck-up such an over character? Oh ya, they put Steiner in 25 minute matches against Triple H.)

6. You`ve gotta love the "Related Videos" gimmick on YouTube – here`s another classic Steiner moment.

11 comments: on "Shades Of Gray #22"

Christopher Casúr said...

60 Minutes has run longer, and that is a weekly episodic show in my book. Fuck WWE. Lying to shareholders doesn't make your product better, assholes.

D.J.B. said...

What's the longest running episodic show of all time? 60 minutes, "Raw" or what? I'm confused. Because maybe it's fictional, but then again there are some suspect 60 minutes episodes too. Either you're lying to me Andrew or you are Casur.

Christopher Casúr said...

There are tons of shows that have run longer than Raw. WWE tries to use tricky wording so that they're technically telling the truth, but it's nothing more than feeble dick-waving to the worried/angry stockholders, just like their "Did you know?" segment.

Andrew Gray's not lying, he's just drinking the Kool-Aid.

Andrew Gray said...

Plunkett, you’re an idiot.

I wasn’t putting over the fed’s qualifier-filled tagline, I was making fun of how many times Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler mentioned it on Raw last week.

srr said...

these are my favorite articles, you should review the weekly shows IMO.

is anyone else in the same boat as me, as to which i can never fully hate on steiner? no matter what dumb stuff he goes through i just remember watching( live and on the internet) matches of steiner when he had his mullet, and it was just great...very.

i agree on there not being any distinction between shows, when mark henry was champ he really made ecw i remember that much. and hardy... well when is hardy gonna stop doing the side affect and tope rope elbow?

Christopher Casúr said...

Relax, Andrew; I know it was a rib. I was just ribbing you since usually, when all the writers start throwing one-liners at each other, you somehow get left out.

Dan said...

It's the word "episodic" that separates it from 60 minutes.

The word itself means: "tenuously related parts or sections; loosely connected".

60 Minutes' material would be considered "one offs", because the episodes aren't technically related. Therefore, they're not episodic.

Christopher Casúr said...

Hockey Night In Canada.

That's been running since 1952, and every episode is interrelated as they all take place during the NHL season. Hell, their storylines are usually more coherent than anything that's been on "Raw" in the past few years anyway. They've got to have more episodes than "Raw".

I'm not giving up on this. I'm going to be right and WWE is going to be wrong, damnit.

Dan said...

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you. All I was trying to point out is that they're exactly lying, but they are using A LOT of technicalities to brag about they're so called "record".

Dan said...

(Sorry for the double post.)

Not trying to be a dick, but (I guess...) "technically" Hockey Night in Canada is a broadcast not a show.

Which is complete BS if you ask me, but so is a lot of what they do (and say).

romello said...

There are several daytime soap operas that have run for 30 plus years.WWE is just playing around with language,but they are not the longest running episodic show on televison. Hell,Law and Order has been on for 18 years and so has the Simpsons!