TNA Impact Wrestling TV Draws Highest Rating Since January

Well it looks a themed pay-per-view that aired on free television could be the boost that TNA needed.

Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling scored 1.16 rating with an average of 1.494 million viewers. Last week’s show scored a 0.99 rating with an average of 1.190 million viewers.

The show was a Destination X theme with some solid matches especially the opening bout between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and the main event where Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the TNA heavyweight champion.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.

Video: Chris Sabin Defeats Bully Ray To Win TNA World Heavyweight Championship

In what has to be considered a big upset considering where both guys are at in their careers, Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the new TNA heavyweight champion.

It was a pretty good match even though Bully Ray dominated 99 percent of the matchup by working on Sabin’s injured knee.

Aces and Eights and The Main Event Mafia came out about halfway through the match. Near the end of the match, Anderson tried to give Bully Ray the hammer. Sting though came in and stopped that from happening with the two factions then brawling to the back.

Sabin then grabbed the hammer as ray tried a powerbomb, Sabin ray with the hammer and pinned Ray to become the new champion.

The Sabin era has begun.

Watch the video above as it shows the final moments of the match.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.

CM Punk Gets A Two-Year Restraining Order Against His Mother

CM Punk got the request he was looking for.

The former WWE champion was granted yesterday by an Illinois judge a two-year restraining order against his mother. We reported on Wednesday that Punk was looking for an extension on the restraining order due constant harassment by his mother.

Punk was also looking for her to not be allowed to attend WWE events, but no word has been released on if he was granted that request as well.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMAcmpunk.

Jake Roberts Discusses His Relapse With Diamond Dallas Page

It was reported yesterday that former WWE star Jake “The Snake” Roberts had relapsed in his attempt to overcome his addiction to his drugs and alcohol.

We have part one of the video of where the coaches at Dallas Page Accountability Crib and then part two has Roberts and Page discussing what happened.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.

CM Punk Files Restraining Order Against His Mother

CM Punk says he is the best in the world. According to Punk, his mother isn’t the best mother in the world.

TMZcmpunk reported earlier today that the former WWE champion filed a restraining order against his mother. Punk stated in the order that his mother always asks him for money and when Punk doesn’t give her money, she threatens to kill herself.

Punk claims in legal docs filed in Illinois that he’s tried to break off his relationship with his mother for more than a year, “due to repeated financial demands and years of abusive, harassing and threatening behavior.”

In the document, Punk says he’s made an effort to help his mom who he claims suffers from bipolar disorder and has given her more than $100,000. But Punk says her “abusive/threatening behavior” escalated when he cut her off.

That’s when Punk’s mom allegedly unleashed a torrent of nasty emails telling Punk, “You don’t give a s**t about us. You just care about your money and money hungry/fame hungry friends. You would sell us for a nickel.”

In the docs, Punk says his mother has threatened to commit suicide on at least 4 occasions in 2012.

Punk says, “I wish for the harassment to stop and am requesting the assistance of the court in this regards.”

The judge in the case granted the temporary restraining order back on June 10 — but the wrestler is due back in court today where he will likely try to extend the protection order for several years.

You can follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.

WWE Creative Changes Mean New Possible Matchups

Randy OrtonProbably the most intriguing storyline WWE has headed into Monday Night Raw (and potentially continuing into Payback and beyond) is Randy Orton’s status with the fans. His actions on Friday Night Smackdown this week left another fan favorite, Daniel Bryan, laid out in the middle of the ring as a victim of the RKO.

But wait, weren’t they also just teasing a Daniel Bryan heel turn?

What about CM Punk, who left the night after Wrestlemania as arguably the top heel in the company, and is likely to return next Sunday with the loudest ovation of the night?

More importantly, what does all of this mean for the WWE product heading forward?

Rumors are flying that the WWE could look very different by the time we reach Summerslam. The company recently fired its head of creative, and shaking up fan allegiances could go a long way in making the company feel fresh… again. With ratings sagging and PPV Buyrates down, WWE is desperate for any spark it can find.

Randy Orton turning against the fans make sense, and opens up a world of entertaining matchups with baby faces like Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, and Kane. It’s also been long enough that WWE might be able to revisit the Cena-Orton playbook. Additionally, we haven’t seen Orton take on the ‘bad guy’ persona in a while, a role which he seems to prefer. And after the recent punt-kick on Big Show at Extreme Rules, and his actions on Friday Night, it would honestly feel like a disappointment if creative didn’t follow-through.

Punk returning as a fan favorite, then, seems logical. First, He’s proven during the first part of his epic title-run that he can carry carry the company as the number 2 babyface. Secondly, seeing him turn on Heyman, whom he doesn’t really need as a mouthpiece anyway, could make for great television. Punk could feud with Curtis Axel, making Axel look like a star in the process, and eventually set his sights on Brock Lesnar. A fight between these two would look great on the Summerslam card.

Looking at Daniel Bryan, he’s a complete wild card, so anything is possible. I just hope WWE capitalizes on his popularity in a positive way. The company needs to understand that Bryan needs freedom, not over-management, to realize his full potential.

These are obviously just a few of the possible booking options. WWE has a lot of in-ring talent at its disposal, and a lot of tv time to fill. And since heels seem to get over a little easier than similar face wrestlers (see: Fandango), this might be a good time for the company to change the landscape a little. Babyfaces sell merchandise, but entertaining heels sell pay-per-views.

New matchups don’t necessarily equal bigger ratings, and they do little to fix the other problems plaguing the company. But they might be enough to remind people why WWE is the number one professional wrestling company in the world. That seems like a step in the right direction to me.

WWE Raw Rundown – May 20th, 2013

rawSolid night for WWE Raw on Monday. While it didn’t change the landscape of the WWE (or even slightly alter it), the well-paced show gave us a few intriguing segments and some entertaining matches. Let’s dig in.

The Good:

The Opening Segment w/Ryback (first 5 minutes): This segment was a hot way to kick off the show. The ambulance driving into the arena at the opening caught the attention of viewers, and Michael Cole sold the mystery of the whole thing (my wife joked that Del Rio must have brought back the car gimmick). Then Goldberg…er, Ryback came out of the back.

I liked Ryback here at first – he seemed intense, focused. The way he put over his conquering of Cena from Sunday night, while also laying the seeds for an Ambulance match at Payback, created a great wrestling promo. This was the best Ryback has been on the mic. And then he started talking about the audience… (see below)

Sheamus def Titus O Neil: At first, I hated seeing a tag-team split up for singles action. Then, WWE surprisingly made Titus O Neil feel like a legitimate prime-time player.  O’Neil looked big and solid, espeically with another big man like Sheamus, and got a surprising amount of offense against the main-eventer.  In fact, O’Neil dominated Sheamus for most of the match, picking him up and tossing him around like a rag doll.  Is WWE prepping us for an eventual Prime-Time Players split?

Sheamus wins only by fighting his way back into it, but O’Neil looks strong in defeat. Fun, lengthy match.

Paul Heyman’s “New Guy”: With the rumors of RVD and a Ryback switch floating on Twitter shortly before the show, I was disappointed with the eventual reveal of McGillicutty…er, Curtis Axel.  On the flip-side, this gave people at home incentive to watch Raw, to see what happened. I also appreciate the fact that they gave us a reason, and a good one at that, for his new name (too often WWE has selective memory loss).  I also like how Heyman put him over even more by using Lesnar as the example, pointing the finger back and the audience and reminding them how they never took Lesnar seriously at first, either. Also liked how the announcers put his “pedigree” over.

I think this segment finally took off when Triple H came in as an unexpected surprise, though. Love him or hate him, he understands what it takes to sell a moment. His intensity during this face-off was great, and the challenge set up an intriguing main-event later in the night. Anytime Heyman and Hunter share the ring, I’m glued to the TV.

The Shield Gloating Segment: “The Shield brought power back to these titles.”  Ambrose is such a good talker. His swagger, his intensity, it’s infectious.  He has a unique promo style.  You’ll notice that the audience doesn’t “WHAT?” him, they actually boo him.  It’s called talent, folks.  They do, however, “WHAT?” Roman Reigns.

The Shield def Team Hell No & Kingston:  Overall, great match with good tags that shifted the momentum back and forth. One thing I really liked seeing was effective tagging in-and-out, and effective usage of corners. The middle of the match was slow, but it picked back up at the end. These guys all work well together. And good decision on WWE’s part to give the match to the Shield – they needed this win to cement their victory from last night. The frenetic-pace down the stretch made for an entertaining 20 minutes. Better than the Tag Team Championship last night.

Langston def. Alberto Del Rio: Good matchup here of “technique vs strength.”  These guys matched up well, and both played to their individual strength.  Big E was spotlighted in a big way, and the fact that he walks away with the win is both surprising and refreshing (and since it was due to AJ’s interference, it takes nothing away from Del Rio).  Also, this helps make Del Rio’s number one contendership story a lot more interesting.

AJ def. Layla: Michael Cole – “I cannot wait to see the Bellas on Total Divas in July on E! It’s going to be something.”  Yes, it is going to be SOMETHING…  Good athleticism here, but the crowd is dead. The Diva’s division is dead.  This AJ Lee – Caitlyn rivalry needs to pickup to stick some life back in it.  AJ looked very impressive with her submission, and I’m glad they’re giving her some wins towards what looks like an eventual championship match (and run?)

Randy Orton def. Jack Swagger: Little bit of catch-as-catch-can wrestling to start off the match. Nice. These two have some decent in-ring chemistry. Jack Swagger wrestled out of the RKO, and turned it into a Patriot Lock. Fun stuff. But Swagger loses clean, so where does he go from here? He needs a revamp again, or something, I don’t know. However, Orton chasing Ziggler as champion could be fun (yes, I know Del Rio gets a title match first).

Pecking Order: WWE understands something that TNA historically has not – Main Eventers and World Champions should look generally stronger than the rest of the card, without completely burying the other performers. I’m glad Sheamus won, because he’s the more “seasoned” wrestler, but Titus O’Neil still looked great in defeat. Makes sense for the ‘pecking order.’ On the other hand, Del Rio’s loss doesn’t take much away from him – but it does a whole lot for the rising stock of Big E Langston.

PPV Recap: WWE did a good job of recapping the important events from ‘Extreme Rules.’

 

The Bad:

Opening Segment w/Ryback (after the first 5 minutes): WWE needs to learn that with Ryback, less is more. He’s a hulking monster, not Hamlet. His promo on Cena was FANTASTIC. The he started fumbling through something about the audience going to the hospital.  Blah Blah Blah. Booring.

Look, I get it.  WWE wants desperately for the fans to hate him, so they think that having him directly insult the audience will achieve that.  If he had just stopped with the Cena stuff, he likely would have gotten more cheers than boos. Unfortunately, he’s still not a good enough talker to warrant this much mic time. This is why I believe his current heel push came too soon.

Wade Barret’s New Music: Seriously, this man is very talented, but WWE has NO IDEA what to do with him. They try to throw a new shine on him every few weeks and see what sticks.

Jericho and Miz def Wade Barrett and Fandango:  As the first match of the night, the audience was hot.  Too bad this was a giant waste of time for everybody involved. Fandango started dancing in the middle, leaving Wade Barrett to get buried by Miz and Jericho. He got hit with every finisher, and looked bad in defeat.  Way to treat your IC champion. Then, Fandango ran out afterwards. Are we to assume the Fandango – Jericho feud is continuing? I hope not.

Cody Rhoes def. Zack Ryder: Bleh, short match where Ryder loses again. Ryback came out afterwards to put Ryder in an ambulance. The whole segment felt lifeless.

Triple H vs Axel: Nice to see Axel get a little bit of offense in here. Also, putting a young talent in the ring with a veteran is good experience, and helps sell the match. Unfortunately, the Triple H injury was a minor miss for me, and created a weird ending to an otherwise entertaining show. What’s the storyline here? Are we supposed to worry about Triple H’s in-ring future? Like Michael Cole pointed out – this is his first match on Raw in years. What’s the endgame?

Live Audience Interactions: Fandango pushed a fan over on the way out. Audience members are CONSTANTLY touching The Shield. Something needs to change here.

PPV Fallout: While they recapped the events, they didn’t discuss the fallout very much (the Instant Replay comes to mind). Also, John Cena was noticeably absent. Why have him no-sell the injury by refusing an ambulance, just to have him stay off Raw?

 

The Ugly:

Shameless Product Placement: Last week Dominoes, this week Sonic. At least the audience gets free stuff? Michael Cole sold this better than he did any other match of the night.

Jerry ‘Horn Dog” Lawler: This isn’t the attitude era anymore, fellas.  Making a statement about Summer Rae like, “I would like to read her book, and I would prefer the brail edition,” just feels inappropriate.

Kevin Jonas – SOCIAL MEDIA AMBASSADOR: There aren’t enough curse words in the English language to express my disdain over this. Way to be a Twitter whore, WWE.

 

Think I got it all wrong? Give me your opinion on Twitter – follow me @therealwiseman

Between The Ropes Pro Wrestling Podcast # 4- Court Bauer Part 1

bauerWe talk to Major League Wrestling’s Owner/Creator and former WWE Creative Writer Court Bauer. In part one of our interview, we discuss the marketing differences between WWE and the UFC. We also start to break down Wreslemania 29, comparing the World Heavyweight Championship to the Intercontinental Title and much more. Listen below and give us your thoughts.

You can follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.

Play

HHH Gets Second Degree Burns At Wrestlemania 29

hhh burnsWrestling is very dangerous inside the ring, but who knew it was just as dangerous outside the square circle.

Former WWE champion and current WWE executive champion HHH faced Brock Lesnar this past Sunday in the co-main event of Wrestlemania 29. If you were watching the event, you noticed that HHH had a white substance on his body walking out to his match against Lesnar. We now know what that substance was.

The substance was dry ice and caused second degree burns to the superstar. HHH tweeted a pic earlier today which you can see to the right of the burns on his body.

Thankfully HHH is ok.

Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.

Randy Orton Forgets His Lines on Monday Night Raw

The most important thing about being an actor is remembering your lines. It looks like someone didn’t tell that to former WWE Champion Randy Orton. The former champion appeared in a segment on Monday Night Raw this past Monday with another former WWE champion, Sheamus. Orton and Sheamus are in the ring doing a promo. You can hear in the video below of Orton forgetting his lines and asking Sheamus what his line was.

This is the one thing that has been wrong with the WWE. You can tell when a promo feels forced and the performers act like they are reading off a cue card. What do you think? Should a promo be given to the talent and be told to just hit the bullet points? Or should the talent memorize word for word of what to say?

Follow Between The Ropes on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter @S_Muehlhausen7.