Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition Craig talks about ‘The Resurrection of Jake the Snake’ documentary and starting DDP Yoga and a subtle change to improve NXT Takeovers while Brian takes a look at the return of Paul Ellering and shares some of the more interesting pictures he’s stumbled upon this week and more.
The Resurrection of Jake the Snake & DDP Yoga
It’s tragic seeing how far Jake fell from his 80s peak to a shell of a man in the 00s. His damaging relationship with alcohol and drugs is more than well enough documented and thankfully this documentary focuses entirely on his comeback.
We see Roberts enter DDP’s retreat barely able to walk and a bloated, almost unrecognisable version of himself. Then, after months within the intense programme, and the combination of DDP’s drive and positivity, we see Jake’s return to the WWE during old school Raw and his rightful entry into the promotion’s Hall of Fame ceremony the night before WrestleMania 30.
This is, however, certainly not happy go lucky tale. This is dark, tear-jerking but also complete with a conclusion that inspires and shows just what sort of a role Diamond Dallas Page has had on countless lives – not just Roberts but also Scott Hall – also featured in this documentary – and many, many more.
So inspired, in fact, by the documentary that starting this week past, I’m now doing DDP Yoga. For someone, how shall we say, who has fallen out of shape, it’s not always been easy but it’s so far been very enjoyable.
There’s little doubt that DDP has turned the lives of many around and saved the lives of others. Here’s hoping that in a few months this programme will have made a significant difference. And you never know, I might even make the 2017 Royal Rumble!
But until then, if you haven’t seen the Jake Roberts documentary – I certainly recommend that you check it out.
Smarken Up Wrestling Fans
This past Wednesday on NXT Takeover: The End broadcast on the WWE network, legendary wrestler/manager ‘Precious’ Paul Ellering made his NXT debut. The thing is, by the sound of the fans reactions at Full Sail University, he wasn’t well known at all. Chants of “Who are You?” rang through the arena. This coming from a so called die hard wrestling fan base. Or so I thought.
I realize that Ellering didn’t appear with his trademark rolled up Wall Street Journal, but that would be like saying I didn’t recognize Jimmy Hart because he didn’t have his megaphone or Jim Cornette because he had no tennis racquet. These are supposedly fans who were smarter than the average fans we see every Monday and Thursay on Raw and Smackdown.
Now I am really starting to question are these actual fans of the NXT product or do they just show up every week to put themselves over? I get that Paul Ellering has been out of wrestling for a number of years. I know he wasn’t the real focal point of the Road Warriors tag team, but he was extremely instrumental in the team’s success.
You would think a “diehard” fan would be caught up on their wrestling history. I guess not. That saddens me. While fans reactions whether boos or cheers make a sure so much better to watch at home or at the arena, it really does seem fans are more into themselves than the actual product. From the “What” chants that drown out a good in ring promo to fans singing along to a wrestler’s theme music. Do they really care what a wrestler does or says or are they just there to hear themselves? I am not so sure anymore…
This week WWE NXT hosted the latest in the long line of NXT Takeovers: The End. It was certainly a name that captured the imagination as the internet wondered if it meant the end of NXT, something fuelled by the upcoming roster split, or merely the end of certain feuds ahead of new ones starting.
Mercifully for NXT fans, and I certainly count myself in that group, it wasn’t the end of NXT as we know it. It was a solid show, nothing like Brooklyn or Dallas, but unspectacular show.
Now I don’t even think it had anything to do with the in-ring action. After all, other than the Asuka vs. Nia Jax match, everything else on the card got me pretty excited. I think, what hindered this Takever was in fact the venue.
There’s no doubt that Full Sail University has been a very good location for NXT and it, as a venue, as well as the set-up of NXT has helped it make look different to the rest of the WWE product. The problem, however, was that this week’s NXT looked exactly like an episode of NXT. Albeit, a particularly strong episode packed full of more main event standard matches and less filler/squash matches.
But there’s no denying that, in-ring work aside, it looked and felt like any other episode of NXT. Perhaps, then, for future Takeovers the company should do what it has previously and held them outwith the venue. It’s my only real criticism of this week’s show.
I never knew that these actually existed?! WCW issued out CD singles of the song “Rap is Crap,” back in the late 1990s. Apparently, they are a real rarity to find nowadays.
Speaking of rarities, who knew that the ‘Exotic’ Adrian Street came out with a musical album back in the day?
A very cool promotional poster of when Hulk Hogan and ‘The Magnificent’ Don Muraco appeared on the NBC soap opera ‘Search for Tomorrow’ in the 1980s.
Anybody up for the comedic stylings of one New Jack?
Here is a list of rules for Gaijin (foreign) wrestlers to follow once they start competing in All Japan wrestling for Giant Baba…
Look at the BIG BUCKS that Tammy Lynn Sytch was raking in from her days working for the now defunct Smoky Mountain Wrestling!
Ring of Honor star Taeler Hendrix has an interesting way to break out of a German Suplex…
Perhaps the oldest piece of pro wrestling footage there is….circa 1913.
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we looked at the return of Seth Rollins; we had part 74 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘on Monday; Tuesday’s ‘A Moment in Time‘ looked at the Curtain Call; Apollo Crews got the ‘Book or Cook‘ treatment on Wednesday; our Top Five on Thursday looked at underrated wrestlers and we rounded off the week with ‘The Way We Was‘ looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.