Backlash was the first SmackDown Live PPV since last month’s “Superstar Shake Up.” The Allstate Arena in Chicago hosted the nine match card. The two main pieces of business were Jinder Mahal vying for the WWE Championship and the WWE in-ring debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. Despite the slower pacing of the matches, was the blue brand able to deliver?
Randy Orton knows how to cause drama of the off-screen variety. In fact, he’s something of an artist at it. Last weekend, Orton retweeted a message from his original trainer in OVW, Rip Rogers, that criticized the current style of independent wrestling.
“Every Indy match now: handshake, drawn out move exchange, this is awesome chant, strike exchange, dive, no sell Indy strongstyle, dive, more strikes, no sells, dive, flippy floppy sequence, dive, hit everyone with each other’s finisher, then Humpty Dumpty, we all fall down. Fight forever chant, rinse and repeat until every move is useless and means nothing, dive, take unsafe shot that looks like shit and hurts like hell then roll-up finish. Handshake and hug after match. Everyone’s hand raised. All these guys chant. Go home and type on social media thanking your opponent and company for the match and telling others they should book these guys…dive.”
The night before the Summer Slam 88, a Mega Powers’ promo hyping their match against the Mega Bucks got me hooked on professional wrestling. The actual matches were ancillary as it was all about the drama and interviews ending in “whatcha gonna do.” Three years later, my wrestling fandom got flipped turned upside down by an amazing match between two all-time greats.
The Intercontinental Title match at Summer Slam 1991 between Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart completely changed how I looked at wrestling. I didn’t know anything about booking or storytelling at the time, however, the match was a masterful display of the art.
As someone who has watched, practiced and promoted professional wrestling for almost 30 years, I’m accustomed to the ridiculousness that the genre has to offer. Weird and zany names come with the territory.
So, when I heard that WWE’s July pay-per-view is titled Great Balls of Fire, I thought it was a rib and no sold it. Then, my podcast partner in crime Frank D ensured me that this was no ruse. The name of the show is legitimately called Great Balls of Fire.
Jinder Mahal is the number one contender for the WWE Championship…There is no punch line here.
Mahal, who hasn’t won a match on television since September 12 of last year, will face Randy Orton for the title on Sunday, May 21 in the main event of Backlash. For the uninitiated, Mahal is pretty much the Glass Joe (Punch-Out) of WWE. Continue reading
The tumultuous relationship between WWE and Mauro Ranallo has come to an end as both parties agreed to a settlement. Both JBL and Ranallo sent statements to Newsweek in an attempt to make the bullying story go away quietly. Continue reading
Unfortunately, the biggest story in professional wrestling right now is the very real situation involving WWE commentators John (JBL) Layfield and Mauro Ranallo. It’s been reported by several news outlets that Ranallo, who suffers from mental illness, was bullied by JBL to the point where he was off TV for several weeks and is not expected to return to the company.
JBL is known for being a bully within the industry with reports going back over a decade. Several former WWE wrestlers have spoken out about JBL’s antics in light of the news. Coincidently, former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts released his new book, which chronicles his time in WWE including several instances where he was bullied by JBL.
While many have called for the Texan’s resignation, his termination won’t fix the problem. Ribbing, hazing, and bullying has always been a part of wrestling and is ingrained in WWE’s corporate culture.
The Raw Deal is back from a long hiatus to breakdown all of the hot topics in the world of professional wrestling. This week, Frank Dee and Atlee Greene discuss
• JBL/Mauro Ranallo Bullying Scandal
• WWE Superstar Shake Up:
• Who benefited the most?
• Who got the short end of the stick?
• Looking back at the Undertaker’s career and retirement
• Why WWE wants nothing to do with Ken Shamrock
• Wrestling being “Restricted” on YouTube
Raw Deal contains some Language not suitable for all audiences Listener Discretion is advised.
If you have questions for the Raw Deal Podcast send them to Gerweckreport@gmail.com
When one discovers their passion for a certain genre, they eventually find that one individual or character that they admire and sometimes even live through vicariously. For me, that passion is fake fighting and the character is a dead wizard with supernatural powers.
I’ll never forget the Undertaker’s first appearance, which occurred at the 1990 Survivor Series in Hartford, CT. It would be the final time the event was held on Thanksgiving night as the demise of a tradition brought about the genesis of an indelible legacy.
This imposing figure was the mystery partner of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. As a kid who cheered every good guy and booed every bad guy, I was impressed. A year later, Undertaker won his first WWE Title from Hulk Hogan. I didn’t bat an eye when this evildoer who represented death stole the championship from an American hero.
Two months later, Undertaker prevented Jake Roberts from blindsiding Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth with a steel chair. OMG, was the Undertaker now a good guy? No, No, No. It was a simple misunderstanding…right?
In a long overdue move, Shinsuke Nakamura is finally on the WWE main roster. Nakamura debuted on the post-WrestleMania edition SmackDown last night following a segment involving The Miz and Maryse.
As the couple was finishing up their mockery of John Cena and Nikki Bella, a violinist was in the aisle way and Nakamura came out to a huge reaction. He did his signature poses in the ring without speaking a word to the audience tunes of “NA-KA-MURA.”