AS I SEE IT 5/28: Great Khali, WWE's main event picture, and your letters

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Jill Jarrett, the wife of TNA's Jeff Jarrett, lost her fight to cancer on May 23.

Jill Jarrett's funeral took place May 24 at the Hendersonville Church of Christ in Hendersonville, TN.

Jarrett had been absent from TNA for several months, then returned to the promotion but was set up to work early matches on PPVs, or had matches taped out of sequence on IMPACT! tapings, so he could go home to be at his wife's side.

Condolences go out from and its staff to Jeff Jarrett and to the Jarrett family.

We now have proof, that while John Cena isn't exactly Steamboat, Flair, Kobashi, or Misawa in their prime; that he CAN carry someone who seems impossible to carry...The Great Khali.

Last week's Judgment Day PPV saw one of the worst main event PPV talents in recent memory in Khali. Khali makes a great old style WWF/E style big heel monster to get over the babyface champion, I suppose. Every time he shows he can smack Cena in the head, chop in the head, or something else dastardly; he helps get over Cena as the babyface...which on some level, is his primary purpose, I suppose. But do I want to watch him put over Cena, and pay for the privilege? Not really.

WWE has enough problems right now with Ken "Mister" Kennedy, Booker, Rey Misterio, and HHH out until at least July along with Undertaker and Shawn Michaels being out for far longer. At the same time, WWE has to find a way to produce two PPVs, a three-hour RAW (now listed by USA Network as a Draft Special...oh joy!?!), and a Saturday Night Main Event, to be taped later today at the same show as Monday Night RAW.

If WWE goes ahead and does the Draft Special, then they have excuses for changing up storylines to make sure both brands have enough talent for the next 6 weeks...even if they'll shoot themselves in in foot for the long-term by doing so in abandoning long-term storylines. They already did that, reacting too quickly when Ken Kennedy's arm injury turned out not to be as serious as initially feared. WWE pulled the trigger on Edge stealing the Money in The Bank from the injured Kennedy, and had Edge (necessarily) beating Undertaker for the Smackdown "World" Title.

Then, on the RAW side, Shawn Michaels worsened his chronic knee injuries to the point that he absolutely couldn't go anymore...and we got the concussion angle with Randy Orton. By the way, in case anyone forgot about Randy Orton, he was last seen screwed up on something stronger than Midol, and causing as much as $50,000 worth of damage to a hotel room. He then had "action against [him] for unprofessional conduct", according to (long after dozens of websites reported it first). Now suddenly, Randy's back in the mix because others got hurt due to overwork (Michaels, Helms, Misterio, Undertaker) or injuries of enlarged muscles, quads, and tendons (Kennedy, HHH).

The WWE discipline code seems to be get busted for pot, get suspended (but if you THROW a pot ina lobby, get fired...just ask Rhino). But if you trash a hotel room and no one sees get fined, then rewarded with a notable storyline.

As long as he isn't thrown in jail, he's apparently safe. WWE is probably praying he doesn't get caught driving with pot like RVD did last year while he was ECW and WWE Champion.

Your letters...

From Lonnie Walker:

"I saw the ppv last night and honestly thought, I'd rather they would have cancelled the HBK vs. Orton match instead of what I got. I'd have much rather watched a substitute match.

I was glad they left Edge as the champion to build up feuds with Batista, Matt Hardy, and Finley though. I think those matches could be entertaining. Especially an old feud that Edge thought he was done with since Matt was sent to Smackdown. Now he has to re-address it. I'd classify this move by the WWE as must see tv.

I would have thought that Vince McMahon would have dropped the belt back to Lashley last night instead of what happened. He's hurting the WWECW championship while he's holding it. You know he won't drop the title until a pay per view and he's not going to seriously compete in between PPVs to legitimize his championship run. I expect more of the goofy assed games with the title in between pay per view.

I enjoyed your column again as it seems people are starting to get what you've been saying and that's good. What you've been saying has made sense to me for a while now."

If McMahon's idea is to be the heel champion and get people to want to see Lashley chase him, it's not going to work. There's heel heat, and there's "get off my TV" heat. The former draws money. The latter means that Vince McMahon has AGAIN pissed off what few old school ECW fans are left, to the point where they won't watch WWECW.

From Penny of Syracuse, NY:

I think that you are so right about what you say regarding TNA. They need to wake up or they will end up just like WCW... D.E.A.D.

I recently attended a WWE house show and it was the best one that I attended but at the same time you get tired of seeing the same story lines. When TNA came on the scene I was like... yes, now here is a brand that knows what wrestling fans wants; and that they aren't afraid to give it to us now all of a sudden it's like haven't I just seen this match. All I have to say to Vince Russo or whom ever is in charge of the creative writing for TNA get some new story lines and stop using recycle story lines from WWE.... it is starting to get boring.

It's the same thing, where a promotion insists that the only way to compete with WWE is to imitate WWE, rather than provide an alternative. Promotions refuse to learn that they aren't going to out-do Vince McMahon at his own style product. Each one insists "I'm going to be the one that does it right". They lose as a result.

From Corey Goettsche:

"Just wanted to tell you good job on this week's column. You got to the point about what's bugging you about TNA, supported an indy fed and still had time to get your $.02 worth about Judgment Day. Well done. If TNA implodes, there's nothing to be done except hope the next upstart fed realizes the futility of the "WCW" model. I have no idea what the future holds for wrestling. Until then, I'll make the best of what's around."

Simple. Do what Ring of Honor does...use it to build your base revenue stream...DVD sales. If you use it to compete with Vince without having Vince money instead, he'll buy up your talent and destroy you.

From Burt Hollobaugh:

"I do think TNA should create an environment that would ALLOW for their wrestlers to be able to exclusively wrestle for them. But, for what I can see, they just don't wrestle often enough to allow this. One hour of TV per week, and limited house show events is not enough for most of these guys to make a living off of. They have no choice but to work indies just to feed their families.

They (TNA) are literally taking food off of 'baby's Joe's' plate by not allowing these guys to work indy dates after initially they were working under the premise that they could. (I don't know if Joe has a kid or not, just making a point) I think TNA needs to think long and hard about this, and not 'bite the hands that feed them'.

TNA either has to...

1. Create more shows, TV and house, so that their workers can make a living off of being exclusive to TNA.
2. Or, simply allow them to work any and all indies that they want.

The way its set up now, most of those guys would have to be nuts to stay with TNA. They could make more money in WWE (if there is interest) or indies/Japan. Hey, WWE may misuse them almost as bad as TNA does, but at least they would be making a decent living for their families."

They aren't doing it, and they apparently won't. Watch them be surprised when their names don't re-sign. Watch what happens when they make an exception for RVD, or don't sign him like everyone assumes they will.

From the UK's Col Rothwell:

"In closing I have to say that there's nothing I want more than to see TNA succeed. This is the company that got me back into wrestling in the first place, with it's exciting matches and ideas and group of highly talented performers who were handed their chance to shine without any visible 'glass ceilings' or overly gimmicked storylines.

But as of now, I just can't help but be bewildered by the product that they're putting out, be pissed off at the fact people like Joe, Daniels, Styles, Aries, Shelley and others are going to waste while TNA push Kurt "I'm the dogs bollocks" Angle and Sting (who to be fair I do appreciate, but nostalgia should not be going over emerging talent who've busted their ass to make this company go places) and people like Bob Backlund and Kevin Nash who have no business taking up barely any, never mind so much television time...especially when we're talking of a show that has 40 minutes per week only right now....

Overall, I really hope they see the problems before the company implodes and Vince McMahon has another chance to pick off any talent he deems worthy of a WWE contract. Right now they need to start making changes and fast. Especially now that ROH are going to have monthly pay-per-views of their own. The signs right now aren't so positive, with TNA coming out with their seemingly obvious false stories to cover up the booking situation, and the fans backlash causing no notable changes to the product at all. But we can only hope that someone wakes up before things go past the point of no return."

The only thing that will apparently cause a change is the Carters pulling their money or at least threatening to, if changes aren't made. It's abundantly clear they don't give a damn what fans think.

Until next time...

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