Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
By Gareth Cross
The Cross Report
Welcome In Your Head fans to the first weekly edition of the Cross Report!
Well we have all the news in the last two weeks to go over so lets get stuck in. The biggest news this week is still the new ECW, which has come under a few interesting developments of late. Firstly Vince McMahon gave Paul E. two draft picks this week. The first was no surprise as he chose Rob Van Dam from Raw, the man who will essentially be the poster boy for the new ECW brand. His pick from Smackdown was far more interesting though. He chose our Olympic Hero Kurt ?please stop wrestling or risk serious physical injuries? Angle! There are quite a few opinions of why Kurt has been put in the new ECW. One of which is to protect his health by having him do little matches and short segments, but the other and most likely is they think that there is a need to give ECW some real star power because at the end of the day Danny Doring and Tony Mamaluke don?t equal ratings. It could be ok having Angle in the new ECW as long as they don?t start throwing in big WWE names left right and centre. The whole point of having ECW is to have an alternative to the WWE talent and a place to bring through new WWE talent and repackage old talent they haven?t got a use for, and adding lots of WWE main event starts in there will just make it another WWE brand not ECW. The whole Mick Foley-Paul Heyman thing going on, on Raw these last few weeks has been ok. Foley has been trying really hard to get the fans to hate him but it just hasn?t been happening. Foley is probably one of the most over wrestlers of all time (no im not exaggerating) and I just can?t see the WWE fans turning on him because he beat up Tommy Dreamer, and as much as I like Tommy Dreamer he has never meant anything to the WWE fans the guy is most well known by them for eating hotdogs off the floor and drinking Taker?s tobacco juice, I just can?t see it. The other big news is that Taz will be stepping in the ring to defend the pride of ECW against his old friend Jerry ?The King? Lawler who has always been very outspoken of his dislike for ECW and his opinion on the product as garbage. The word going around is that Taz will wrestle part time for the new ECW, in a legend type role. Taz right now is very out of shape and has lived the last 5 years of his life as colour commentator. He will need to squash Lawler to get his credibility back with the WWE fans, but with the ECW fans he will always be over. Another problem is he is very out of shape since he retired from the ring, so he is embarking on a strict training regime, but with around a week till the PPV I can?t see it making much of a difference. Another match announced for One Night Stand is Sabu v Rey Mysterio for the WHC. I can?t really see where the WWE are going with this but having Sabu lose at an ECW PPV ahead of the launch of the new ECW brand would be disastrous. Sabu will be one of the biggest starts in this new brand and should be presented that way, WWE should have made the match non-title then had Sabu beat him clean to establish himself to the WWE crowd as a major player in the new ECW, after all Mysterio is losing to everyone else recently why not Sabu?
Let?s look at what?s been going on in the rest of the WWE then starting with Raw. Lot?s going on there. They are continuing to play up the Vince/Shane/SS v HBK/HHH rivalry obviously leading to the eventual D-X reunion. Also this week maybe to get a little more interest in the show perhaps, WWE.com revealed that the Mac daddy himself, Vince McMahon would reveal a new GM at Raw. Many rumours circulated including, JBL, Johnny Nitro, Eric Bischoff, Steve Austin, Dusty Rhodes and even Jesse ?The Body? Ventura, instead we were all rewarded with The Coach, no sorry Jonathan Coachman who will be the executive assistant or something like that. Many fans felt let down, but hey this is the WWE and Vince is going to do things his way dammit! Plenty more Spirit Squad goodness on Raw these past few weeks, I really like these guys they make a change than the same old guys each week and it was a great idea to put the tag belts on them as Raw has virtually no tag division right now (bar the freaks of course) and these guys can provide entertainment. You think WWE would learn from past mistakes wouldn?t you? Well of course you?d be wrong, this week on Raw, WWE revealed the reason Kane has been hearing voices in his head when a masked version of him (who was obviously shorter and fatter than him) came out and chokeslammed him. The old/new Kane is played by Freakin Deacon an OVW development talent who WWE have wanted to feud with Kane for some time. Apparently Vince was so unhappy with the way the angle played out he is thinking of dropping it all together. I say go on with it because internet smarks will only take great pride in ripping WWE apart for dropping the angle without at least some sort of crappy blow of segment. There was a funny segment on Raw a few weeks ago I enjoyed that involved Carlito, Snitsky, Maria and Goldust. Snitsky had apparently hired a date, which turned out to be Goldust in drag, which prompted Carlito to use his ?not cool? line. Incase you haven?t worked it out yet I really like Goldust and this whole thing he is doing with Snitsky. Edge beat Big Show this week to become the no. 1 contender to Cena?s title should be a nice little match but to be honest I can?t see Edge going over and if he doesn?t maybe they should blow off this feud as it has been going on quite a while now and is starting to get stale with several other little feuds coming out from it.
Who?s been bad? According to rumours, Chris Benoit, Joey Mercury and Chris Masters who are all reported to have failed drug tests. I feel sad about Benoit as he just lost a friend Eddy to a condition that stemmed from drug use (before anyone points it out I know Eddy was on hard drugs too.) Benoit is on indefinite leave, but if he needs steroids to perform I think it is time for him to hang up his tights as it really doesn?t look he will be getting a big push anytime soon. One innocent victim of this is Dean Malenko whose match with Benoit at ONS has been called off because of this. This has robbed Malenko of the swan song he so richly deserves never mind the fact he has been training for it for the last few months. Mercury and Masters are still young and if they tackle their problem head on they could both have a very bright career ahead of them, but that?s only if they deal with their problem now before it gets completely out of control.
What a fortnight it?s been on Smackdown. Most of their upper tier talent is gone, all gone. First the best tag team the WWE have had in ages MNM was split up and now Nitro has gone to Raw leaving a huge gap in the tag team division. JBL lost a match to Rey Mysterio on Smackdown (after he had previously lost a his U.S title to Bobby Lashley) and was forced to leave by Teddy Long. JBL was one of the few reasons I have even bothered to watch Smackdown later as IMO him and Finely are the two of the best things on WWE right now, well them and the spirit squad. Then later that night Chris Benoit was destroyed by Mr.. Shit Sandwich himself Mark Henry. Chris Benoit although not doing much right now still has a huge fan base and the fact that he is leaving indefinitely is a huge blow to the brand. Then came the final blow when Paul Heyman drafted Kurt Angle, perhaps the brands biggest star to ECW. On this weeks Smackdown he beat Rey by count out which I suppose means neither loses face and was a good send off for Angle. Angle has issued an open challenge for ONS to anyone from a ?4 sided, 6 sided or 8 sided ring.? The first person that comes to mind is Rhino whose TNA deal is up soon and he would probably jump at the chance to go back to ECW. Other names mentioned include Jeff Hardy and even Ken Shamrock (8 sided ring in UFC) but honestly I don?t know and it should be good to see who his opponent will be. The fact that Smackdown has lost so many major stars in two weeks is amazing and with the news that ECW will be taped after it some people are saying that Smackdown has become the C show. The fact is Smackdown's star power is largely reduced and I personally think that Vince is starting to move towards removing the brand altogether, taking it apart bit by bit. It isn?t all bad news for Smackdown though as Batista and Randy Orton (2 definite main eventers) are returning soon and will add some much needed star power to the Smackdown Roster, and that?s not to mention the return of my new favourite wrestler Ken Kennedy who is line for a monster push. So who is left on the Smackdown Roster? Let?s look at the big players left.
Rey Mysterio: The most buried world champ of all time, this guy is nothing more than a glorified mid carder and only received a push because his friend died.
Fit Finley: Although he is getting on in years he is definitely a breakout star of Smackdown in recent weeks and there are few people who have negative things to say about the guy. Maybe a push towards the U.S title is in order as the guy just continues to get more and more popular.
Booker T: This King stuff with he and Sharmell has been very entertaining and he seems to have added William Regal and Fit Finley to his group. I think this could potentially be a great group if Booker beats Rey in the title match he earned by becoming King of the Ring and Finley and Regal would be great reforming their old WCW Tag Team (Union Jack) and going after the WWE Tag Titles.
Ken Kennedy: What can I say? I absolutely love the guy and his good ring work and great mike skills mean he is only headed one place and that my friends is the top!
Mark Henry: This guy can be ok on occasion, not the best in the ring but he plays his part as the big intimidating monster well
The Undertaker: At this tough time for the brand this guy really needs to start earning his paycheck by elevating some new guys who don?t suck (see Khali, Giant)
Giant Khali: There is a lot of talk of making this guy World Champ even though he is absolute garbage. His win over taker would have been better used to elevate someone else like Ken Kennedy, a complete waste of time.
Well I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hit me up at I_cant_get_a_name_04@hotmail.com to tell me what you think about The Cross Report or we can just talk about wrestling in general. Thanks for your time this is Gareth Cross over and out!
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