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The first lady of pro wrasslin’ will always have our hearts in a `schoolgirl roll-up’

We try to keep our pro wrestling news to a minimum around here, but sometimes we come across a story that we just can’t ignore. Like when one of the legends of the squared circle passes on to the great traveling sideshow in the sky.

Lillian Ellison, aka the Fabulous Moolah, died on Friday at the age of 84 at Dunbar Funeral Home in Columbia, S.C.

Born Mary Lillian Ellison in 1923, she was dubbed the Fabulous Moolah after saying she wrestled “for the money … for the moolah.”

She was a longtime champion and the first woman inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame.

We’re sure the WWE is absolutely distraught over this news. After all, now they only have one little old lady to humiliate for cheap kicks.

Anyways, any time we get a chance to play a clip of the Iron Sheik reliving the good ol’ days, then we’re gonna take it. A little warning, the Sheik likes to cuss like a drunken sailor.

R.I.P. Moolah and next time, just say you like the “medicine.”


[]: Pro Wrestling’s Fabulous Moolah Dies At 84

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The Great Khali steals Johnny Nitro’s thunder

We know you don’t speak English, but you’re
holding the belt upside down.

We’ve known for a little while now that Johnny Nitro had a supposed mega announcement to make on ECW and we must admit that we were taken back at the show’s opening when some jerk-off in a suit told us that Nitro would never wrestle on ECW again. But after waiting an hour for the champ to have his official press conference, we were more than a little disappointed to find out that the reason Nitro wouldn’t be returning to ECW was because he had changed his name to John Morrison. The new moniker brought with it new entrance music and a new wannabe rock star image, but, unfortunately, Nitro Morrison still had the same crappy mic skills.

While we found the name change to be gripping television (note the sarcasm), Tuesday night gave us some news that was much bigger. No, not the return of Big Daddy V and his gargantuan man boobs; even bigger than that. At a taping of SmackDown, the 7-foot-3, 420-pound monster known as The Great Khali won the World Heavyweight Championship by surviving an unexpected 20-Man Battle Royal for the gold. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long ordered Edge to relinquish his title after getting injured during last week’s episode and then put the belt up for grabs in the Battle Royal. Needless to say, more will be known on Friday when the show actually airs, but what we do know is that The Great Khali needs an opponent for The Great American Bash. So, Batista (Khali’s original opponent) and Kane (Edge’s original opponent) will compete in a match to determine the number one contender.

Edge had his pectoral muscle torn in a scuffle with Kane last week and will have to undergo surgery which will keep him out of action for at least four months. It’s unfortunate for Edge that his title reign was cut short due to injury, but all this really means is that the Rated R Superstar can add one more championship belt to his already incredible career because there is no doubt that when he returns he will become champion once again. It’s really just a matter of time.

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The Nitro era is finally getting underway

It took a little while, but it seems that Johnny Nitro is finally starting to gain a little bit of respect as the ECW Champion. Nitro put on a great match with Tommy Dreamer that was contested under extreme rules and ended with the champ having his hand raised in victory. Now, we know that a legacy can’t be defined by one match, but Nitro did a lot to add some credibility to his reign by putting his body on the line and dishing it out as well as he took it. We never thought that we would say it, but Nitro might be a pretty decent champ. At least, his next match with C.M. Punk should have a little more anticipation now that both guys are rolling.

Last night also marked the unexpected debut of Big Daddy V, also known as Viscera without a shirt on. Frankly, we prefer the pajama look because Big Daddy V had some serious man tits that would make Abdullah The Butcher look like a B-cup. V made a big impact (as if there would be any other kind) in his debut as he beat the crap out of the Boogie Man on the orders of Matt Striker. Let the battle of the freaks begin.

But the most exciting part about the show was the same thing that is exciting about all the brands shows of late, the announcements that Triple H’s return is coming soon. There is no better heel in the WWE than The Game. We’re not talking about the smiling, joking Degeneration X Triple H; we’re talking about the cold blooded Triple H that’s is determined to get a championship around his waist. And, hopefully, that’s The Game that the WWE decides to bring back.

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Pro wrestlers speak out on Larry King Live

The Chris Benoit story continues to send shockwaves through the world of professional wrestling and last night on Larry King Live, along with other former stars, WWE Champion John Cena joined Chris Jericho in studio and Bret Hart via satellite for an on-air discussion about the man and the murders.

As expected, they were as shocked by what unfolded a couple weeks back as the rest of us. Nobody had a clue as to what would make the man they considered to be a consummate professional commit such savage acts. In fact, Jericho said that Benoit was a great father.

If I had to leave my kids with somebody, I would leave them with Chris Benoit if I was in a pinch and not have any — any inkling of anything but that they would get the best possible care and attention. And that’s another reason why it’s just so completely — it’s so hard to deal with, Larry, because this guy loved his kids, L-O-V-E capital letters.

While steroids continue to play a role in the ongoing dialogue surrounding the double-murder/suicide, the entire panel seemed to think that its lazy journalism for the media to simply claim that steroids are the cause of this tragedy and said they wouldn’t believe it until the proof was offered. Benoit passed a drug test back in April.

As horrible as this has been for the families and the profession, the truth is that we will never know exactly what caused Benoit to snap. Even if drugs are found in his system, this still can’t be explained by a simple pill or injection. We’d like to be able to say that this guy was a pill popping, needle stabbing, brutal human being, because that would explain a whole lot, but the people that knew him best say he wasn’t that man at all. Of course, he could have been fooling them all along but if friends of five, ten, 15, 20 years have no clue, then it’s highly unlikely that some news organization will uncover anything any different.

The questions will never be answered and it is completely wrong to judge the entire wrestling industry as steroid pumping madmen based on Benoit’s actions. The NFL isn’t full of O.J. Simpsons, the NBA isn’t all Ron Artests and the WWE isn’t a huge collection of Benoits. This individual had some serious, serious mental issues and that’s basically all we will ever know.


[]: Wrestler Kills Wife, Son & Himself

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Bobby Lashley beats the clock on RAW

No more Mr. Nice Guys with the belt on
the line.

The night began with a ring of full of competitors for John Cena’s WWE Championship belt, but by the time RAW and a “Beat the Clock Challenge” had ended, it was Bobby Lashley who was declared the No. 1 contender. So, at The Great American Bash it will be Cena and Lashley hooking it up in the battle of the golden boys.

But just when it looked like Cena and Lashley we’re going to play nice, Lashley delivered a wicked spear to the champ and started gloating with the belt. Way to walk on the wild side, Bobby. This rivalry is all well and good, but we’re just not really feeling it. We’d much rather see one of the big time RAW heels get a shot at running the show, like Randy Orton, King Booker or Mr. Kennedy. Wait, scratch Kennedy off that list; there’s no way we can root for him after Super Crazy beat him last night in about 30 seconds. Unfortunately, everyone knows that the spinner belt is firmly tightened around Cena’s waist and it would take an epic effort from Lashley to steal it away. Either way, we’re pretty sure the encounter is going to end with a handshake and a rematch.

In other news from RAW, Umaga finally beat down that Italian guy and promptly celebrated his newly won Intercontinental title by attempting to eat the belt. Where’s Armando Estrada when you need him? It was not too long ago that the Italian guy got called out of the crowd to get slaughtered by the Samoan Bulldozer, but, instead, won the belt with a little help from Lashley. So, it’s only fitting that Umaga was the one to put this chump back into his rightful place: watching the show in the crowd. Santino Marella was seriously one of the most pathetic champions in the history of WWE, and if that guy is capable of holding gold then we’re only an eyelash away from seeing Eugene walk to the ring sporting the Intercontinental title. The only thing that could be less believable than that would be if Johnny Nitro was a brand’s champion…oh,wait, nevermind.

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WWE cuts ties with Chris Benoit as the sick truth surfaces

After the sick and twisted details emerged surrounding the Chris Benoit tragedy, it was clear that Vince McMahon was extremely pissed about having wasted a three hour RAW to honor the sick killer. Not to mention the perfect storm of steroid allegations. So, to open ECW, McMahon issued this statement that virtually brushed Benoit off the WWE map:

Last night on ‘Monday Night Raw,’ the WWE presented a special tribute show, recognizing the career of Chris Benoit. However, now some 26 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent. Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Mr. Benoit tonight. On the contrary, tonight’s show will be dedicated to everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident. This evening marks the first step of the healing process. Tonight, the WWE performers will do what they do better than anyone else in the world — entertain you.

And with that being said, the WWE was back to business as usual; on screen, that is.

John Cena made a rare ECW appearance as he kicked off the show with a match against the newly crowned champion of the brand, Johnny Nitro. Nitro gave it his all, but he was completely outclassed by Cena and, in his first title defense, the paparazzi’s favorite superstar tapped out to the STFU.

But the fun didn’t stop there for the humiliated young champ as he discovered that the new number one contender for his title will be CM Punk. Punk survived a “two out of three falls” match against Elijah Burke by delivering the GTS in the third and final fall to set up a rematch of Vengeance’s title bout.

And in between those two matches was a ridiculous skit involving Rowdy Roddy Piper and Matt Striker that ended with Striker getting a face full of his own birthday cake. Oh, and to top it off, the Boogie Man showed up and KO’d the birthday boy before doing performing his worm regurgitation tradition. Happy Birthday To Ewwwww!

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Chris Benoit: the ultimate professional

In an unbelievably surreal moment, Vince McMahon stood in the middle of the ring at the beginning of Monday Night RAW and announced that Chris Benoit had died. What was scheduled to be a tribute to the “presumed dead” McMahon instead turned into a numbing tribute to the fallen former champion.

Benoit, 40, was found dead along with his wife and seven-year-old son in their Fayetteville, GA, home on Monday around 2:30 p.m. No details are being released, but the Fayette County sheriff’s office reported that the deaths are being investigated as homicides. However, a detective allegedly told an Atlanta television station that the events are being investigated as a murder-suicide with Benoit murdering his son and wife sometime during the weekend before ending his own life on Monday.

On Sunday, Benoit was scheduled to take on CM Punk for the ECW Championship but was replaced by Johnny Nitro for what Jim Ross called “personal reasons.” Before arriving in the ECW via the draft a few weeks back, Benoit had already carved out his legacy in championship gold as he is one of the few wrestlers to hold titles in the original ECW, WWE, and WCW. But The Rabid Wolverine’s crowning moment came at WrestleMania XX when his crippler crossface forced Triple H to tap out, giving Benoit his first and only World Heavyweight Championship title reign in the WWE.

There was no flair in Benoit’s style; he was a strategic, methodical, no-nonsense, in your face, beat down machine. Benoit was one of the few guys who didn’t need a gimmick; he walked to the ring and his reputation did all the talking that was needed. Whether it was from the fans or the wrestlers, Benoit earned respect from each and every person who saw him perform inside the ring. His passion and intensity were palatable and the WWE and its fans will sorely miss his old school skills in a business obsessed with the next big thing.


[]: WWE wrestler Benoit & family found dead in home
[]: Wrestler Chris Benoit, wife and child found dead

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John Cena holds onto the title at Vengeance; no, you don’t say

Unfortunately, the champ is still

Okay, so we’re going to admit that we didn’t buy the latest PPV from the WWE, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel screwed by the results. Not only did the rappers delight and WWE king John Cena hold onto his belt, AGAIN, by Mick Foley and getting the one, two, three, but Johnny Nitro became the ECW World Champion. No, folks, that’s no typo; Johnny freaking Nitro is holding significant gold. This loser with a 12-pack wasn’t even scheduled to compete in the match but he grabbed the slot after Chris Benoit had to pull out. Now, we know that Nitro has some seriously talent and potential (he didn’t pull down Melina by being a loser), but we never thought that the WWE would give him this kind of push this early. After all, he’s only been in ECW for a week now. But this will definitely spice things up on ECW where Nitro can build on his rivalry with CM Punk and start new battles with guys like Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Benoit and the Boogie Man. Okay, forget the Boogie Man; the WWE would really have to be desperate for spice to give him a title.

In the other big title match of the evening, Edge defeated Batista by count out and, therefore, the Animal will not receive another title shot as long as the World Heavyweight Championship belt is around the Rated R Superstar’s waist. With Batista out of the way, it looks like JBL could be right and Edge just might end up going down as the greatest of all time. We really can’t find anyone on the SmackDown roster who can handle the Ultimate Opportunist right now. Oh, wait, we didn’t realize that King Leonidas was kicking ass in the squared circle.

Here are the rest of the results from Vengeance: Night of Champions:

World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeated The Hardys

Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero defeated Jimmy Wang Yang

Johnny Nitro defeated CM Punk to win the vacant ECW World Title

Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella defeated Umaga (DQ)

United States Champion MVP defeated Ric Flair

WWE Tag Team Champions Deuce & Domino defeated Sgt. Slaughter & “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka

World Heavyweight Champion Edge defeated Batista (Count out; Last Chance Match)

Candice Michelle defeated Women’s Champion Melina

WWE Champion John Cena defeated King Booker, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley & Mick Foley (Challenge Match)

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A new king of extreme will be crowned at Vengeance

Say hello to your soon-to-be ECW

As expected, ECW continued to push the spontaneous explosion of Vincent Kennedy McMahon but we don’t really want to waste your time with that crap. After all, the WWE is doing an exceptional job of boring us for at least 15 minutes of every show with footage of the big boom.

The highlight of this week’s ECW came when the contenders for the ECW championship match at Vengeance were announced. First off, there was a match between Chris Benoit and Elijah Burke which resulted in the New Breed leader tapping out to a sharpshooter by Benoit. That put Benoit in the title bout against the winner of Marcus Cor Von and CM Punk.

In the main event of the evening, The Alpha Male and Punk put together a very physical match that ended when Punk hit the GTS out of nowhere. Of course, Benoit had to come out and interrupt the celebration by Mr. Straight Edge as the two had a pre-championship stare down/handshake to close the show. It was all very cheesy, indeed. While Benoit is the seasoned vet in this match and he is looking to grab his first ECW title, we gotta figure that it’s time for the brand’s biggest and brightest star to take his spot as the hardcore king on Sunday.

Some of the side dishes of the show included an appearance by the worm slurping Boogie Man, Kevin Thorne’s spanking of Tommy Dreamer and the victorious debut of supplemental draftee from RAW, Johnny Nitro. Oh, and for some strange reason it seems like a couple of the ladies from Extreme Expose are in lust with that douche The Miz. Geez, can’t wait to see that love triangle pan out.

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Blowing yourself up isn’t as easy as it use to be

The WWE figured that faking Vince McMahon’s death (yes, you morons, he’s not dead) last week was going to be a great way to create additional interest in the show. Unfortunately, lots of people are actually completely turned off the by the ridiculous storyline and continuous on-air blabber about how McMahon is “presumed dead” and the “federal investigation” that is surrounding the limo explosion. What the wrestling empire wasn’t expecting was a possible law suit.

According to the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the WWE is in violation because the fake death could have unfairly influenced investors.

Rule 10b-5, pursuant to Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, prohibits misleading statements or omissions of material fact in connection with the purchase or sale of any security, and that includes press releases that intentionally and also, in most courts, recklessly mislead investors.

Now, we have no idea if this will actually end up heading to court, but hopefully it will make the writers at WWE think twice before they subject their audience to another horrible, horrible storyline. Maybe the next time Vince needs a vacation, they will just write him off the show instead of killing him in an explosion. And you know he’s gonna show up in a month or two; talk about another lame plot. But, still, we can’t wait to see how pathetically they try to pull that off.


[Sports Law Blog]: Did Vince McMahon’s Fake Death Violate Security Laws?