Dropping in with some news and notes:
. WWE pay per view will return to Long Island for the first time in two years with the first ever Fatal 4-Way pay per view event. It will take place on Sunday June 20 at the Nassau Coliseum. A special Internet pre-sale takes place tomorrow at 9 a.m. only through Ticketmaster. Here is the link. Use the password code FATALPPV.
This will be only the fourth time in history that Long Island hosts a WWE pay per view event. The first, of course, was the first third of WrestleMania 2 back in 1986. It was 14 years until WWE pay per view returned to the Coliseum for the 2002 edition of SummerSlam. And then in 2008, the Great American Bash was held at the Uniondale venue.
Incidentially, WWE is not the only wrestling company to have held a pay per view event at the Nassau Coliseum. Back in January of 1988, Jim Crocket Promotions held the "Bunkhouse Stampede" pay per view there - a rare instance of any wrestling promotion other than WWE running shows in that venue at that time. The event was recently featured on WWE Classics on Demand.
Long Island fans are always an unpredictable bunch, so it should be very interesting to see how they put their imprint on the inaugural Fatal 4-Way show . I’ll have a lot more news on the show as we get closer to it.
. This past Monday’s edition of TNA Impact has received some really glowing reviews. In case you haven’t heard, the show climaxed with Rob Van Dam winning the TNA world title from A.J. Styles in the night’s main event. I have to admit that I haven’t seen the show in its entirety yet, but by all accounts, the show was a big step in the right direction for TNA and was absent of a lot of the inept and inefficient booking that has become a hallmark of the promotion. All that said, I would still be very hesitant to look at this show as any kind of turning stone for the company.
It’s not the first time that TNA has produced a good show in the middle of a whole lot of very bad ones. The irony is that while TNA is so quick to criticize the so-called “Internet Wrestling Community” for bashing their product, they’re the first ones to brag about all the good reviews they get from the same community when they do something right. That was the case with November’s widely-praised Turning Point pay per view.
I’ll make this comparison. If your junky, lying, thieving friend surprised you by picking you up at the airport on time for once, you wouldn’t all of a sudden trust him to take care of your children. TNA does not at all deserve the benefit of the doubt that it has turned over a new leaf. On the contrary, considering TNA’s track record – especially in recent months – of promoting some of the most idiotic and downright offensive pro wrestling that I’ve seen in my entire life, I’d put my money on the company quickly squandering any good will it has built with fans over the last three days. By next Monday, I expect the company to go back to setting people's faces on fire and running them over with cars without any rhyme or reason. Excuse me if I don’t exactly expect Vince Russo to become Bill Watts circa 1985 overnight.
For my money Total Nonstop Action is, indeed, totaled – as in broken beyond repair. I don’t have problem with the company building around RVD, but the truth is that neither Van Dam, nor anyone, can fix TNA. The promotion could literally bring in John Cena, Steve Austin and the Rock on the same night and my guess is that ratings would spike a tiny bit for the first week or two, and then go back to their usual level. TNA has simply done too many things wrong in recent years to reverse its course now. Under the toxic leadership of Dixie Carter, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo, the company is – at best – destined to wallow in mediocrity and, at worst (and perhaps more likely) go out of business in a couple of years. And considering what TNA has brought to the table in recent months, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
. Rounding out the “Big Three” of pro wrestling, I wanted to mention a few items regarding Ring of Honor. After struggling for several months in the wake of the departures of Nigel McGuinness (a.k.a. TNA’s Desmond Wolfe) and Bryan Danielson (WWE NXT’s Daniel Bryan), ROH has been hitting its stride in recent weeks. Its recent Internet pay per view, Big Bang, was loaded with great action – and none of the technical glitches that tainted its first online pay per view in December. And in the ashes of McGuinness and Danielson, some new headliners are finally starting to emerge.
ROH has another big show this Saturday night in Chicago Ridge at the Frontier Fieldhouse. Tickets are available at www.rohwrestling.com, www.tickets.com, or by calling (215) 781-2500. The show will have a double main event. The first will see ROH champ Tyler Black defending his title against number one contender Chris Hero. The second is a “come-as-you-are streetfight” pitting Colt Cabana and El Generico against Generico’s former partner Kevin Steen and Steve Corino.
I recently interviewed Cabana, who is from Chicago, about the upcoming show as well as a number of other topics, including his ill-fated WWE run as Scotty Goldman, ROH salaries, the controversy over chairshots to the head, and several other topics. I’ll have that interview up here shortly.
I only recently got HDNet and have been able to watch ROH on Monday nights. Although all the talk might center around the “war” between TNA’s Impact and WWE’s Monday Night Raw, fans should not overlook ROH’s contribution to Monday night television. ROH on HDNet is consistently better than Impact, and some of the booking presented by ROH is better even than what WWE is doing these days. And that’s high praise, as I think WWE has been banging on all cylinders as of late.
A great example of ROH’s strong storylines has been the slow build toward a match between Black and ally-turned-enemy Roderick Strong. That title match will finally take place at the Manhattan Center in NewYork City on May 8th. If you’ve never seen ROH, this would be a great introduction to the product.