Saturday, March 14, 2009

Andrew "Test" Martin passes away

Andrew Martin, who wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment as Test, was found dead in his condo in Tampa, Florida earlier today. The cause of death is currently unknown. Martin was 33 years old. He was perhaps best known for an on-screen romantic storyline with Stephanie McMahon in the former WWF. Martin also competed for TNA, the new ECW, and Japan during his wrestling career. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Candice leaving WWE? Hogan/Goldberg II?

It was announced in the Tokyo Fishwrap that Japan international bankers have decided to open yet another Japanese wrestling promotion: Falcon #1 Professional Wrestling.

Falcon #1 Wrestling will have its first pay-per-view on July 19, 2009. The main event will pit Hulk Hogan against Bill Goldberg in what the event promoters have dubbed "The Rematch Of The Century." Banker Felix Yoshihima has also promised to bring in other big-name stars from the "old WWF and WCW" for the show. Current names being tossed around the rumor mill include UFC's Brock Lesnar, Bob Sapp, Kimbo Slice, Kurt Angle, and/or Kevin Nash.

More details to come as they become available.

Candice Michelle's WWE contract expires this October. Normally the company likes to re-sign talent a year before their current deal is set to expire. Michelle has admitted that she may go into acting or modeling full-time once her deal is through.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boogeyman released

World Wrestling Entertainment has released Marty 'The Boogeyman" Wright. The Boogeyman is already available for indy bookings and has already been booked to appear at Signamania IV in full gimmick.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr. T refuses WWE invitation

Mr. T has refused entrance into the WWE Hall Of Fame class of 2009. T told the UK's Mirror that the 2004 induction of fellow celebrity Pete Rose is what soured him on the WWE's Hall.

"WWE asked me to be in the Hall of Fame and I turned it down. You know why? They put Pete Rose in the wrestling Hall of Fame. This guy can't even get into his own Hall of Fame. You don't put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame before me! I ain’t going to be a part of that. They put him in and he only did one WrestleMania, and he didn't even wrestle."

Mr. T isn't the first person to be angered by Pete Rose's Legend status. Two-time WWF champion Bob Backlund also cited Rose as the reason for his refusal to join the WWE's Hall in 2004.

Pete Rose appeared at three consecutive WrestleMania pay-per-views, taking a beating from Kane each year in non-match scenarios. Mr. T was in the main event of the first WrestleMania with Hulk Hogan, and boxed "Rowdy" Roddy Piper the second year.

To read the entire Mirror article, check out:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

kayfabe exits

Does it bother anyone when a wrestler leaves a company without any kind of kayfabe explanation behind it?

We all have our favorite wrestlers. We cheer for them. We buy their merchandise. Some of us even write fan fiction about them. The point is, we care about the characters. In fact, an argument could even be made that we care more about wrestling characters than any other characters on any other television shows. After all, no other TV show convinces us to pay money to see the continuing saga of these characters on pay-per-view. We emotionally invest in a character and tune in loyally week in and week out to see them perform.

Then, one week, they're gone.

Wrestling, especially the companies at the national television level, say their product is entertainment. It's a soap opera for men. It's a sitcom. It's a drama. It's everything exciting rolled into one. Well on any other television show when a character leaves, a reason for their future absence is usually given during an episode (Judy Winslow and Chuck Cunningham being the most notable exceptions to the rule). Poochie returned to his home planet. Cody Lambert got a job in Alaska. Rosalind Shays fell down an elevator shaft and died. Etc.

I know in wrestling it can be hard to write someone out of a show. It's wrestling after all. You never know if someone may come back to work for your company one day. In fact, odds are that they probably will. Wrestling history shows us that past problems can be resolved if there's a good chance to make money together. With that in mind, a wrestling promoter wouldn't want to do something as final as, say, a "death" angle to explain a character's exit (on top of a death angle being horribly offensive to begin with of course). However, it's not impossible to do. Wrestling has often utilized the "loser leaves town" match to get rid of a character. Simply stating that a wrestler was fired has also been used in recent years thanks to the growing role of the heel authority figure.

Usually though, a wrestler is simply never mentioned again on the air when he or she leaves, and the viewers never even get a storyline reason for the character's sudden departure. The announcers tell the viewers at home that a talent is gone and quickly move to the next segment, if we're lucky.

Don't the fans who care about these characters deserve something better than their favorite performer simply vanishing into thin air?

Come to think of it, that WOULD be a way to explain the Undertaker's retirement.