Sunday, April 30, 2006

Backlash Preview

Tomorrow night is the WWE RAW Pay Per View Event 'Backlash' and there are 7 matches on the card. Clearly this is not a Wrestlemania Lineup, but theres still some pretty good matchups. Id like to take a look at all seven of them.

Ric Flair vs Umaga was the last match added to the card, and man alive is it ever a sad match. One of the greatest of all time against one of the more annoying and pathetic gimmicks on RAW. Its especially sad that it would seem that Ric Flair will be losing to this guy.

Carlito vs Chris Masters is another sort of 'who cares' type of match, the thing is some people actually like Carlito, but people just dont care about Masters. so I expect Carlito to somehow get the win in this match.

Kane vs Big Show is basicly all about Kane's upcoming movie, which comes out....when again? Oh yeah, right, May 19th, ive only heard that like a MILLION TIMES :). I expect Kane to win and continue his reign of terror in the weeks to come, as we prepare for the debut of his movie, which comes out, yes you guessed it, May 19th :).

HBK and God vs the McMahons. This storyline has had a great deal of evil in it lately, one hopes that the McMahons are defeated once again and that this bizarre feud comes to an end at Backlash.

Now we're getting to the important matches. First, RVD vs Shelton Benjamin for Shelton's Intercontinental Title AND Rob Van Dam's Money in the Bank Contract. This match is HUGE yo, both participants are putting up something very important. I expect RVD to win the match, and go on to Challenge for the RAW or Smackdown title at the ECW PPV in June.

Mickie James vs Trish Stratus for the Womens Championship. This is the only match on the card that is a true Wrestlemania Rematch. Mickie and Trish put on the greatest Women's Championship match of all time at Wrestlemania, it was in fact the best Wrestling match of the entire evening. I think their match at Backlash has the potential to be even better, particularly if Mickie scores the win using her awesome Tornado DDT that the fans love.

John Cena vs HHH vs Edge for the RAW Championship. I must say, this match is simply impossible to predict. Its entirely possible that we could see a return of DX at Backlash, obviously if that happens HHH will win. If that doesnt happen, its probably more likely that John Cena will win. Theres also a chance that Edge could sneak a victory somehow, so really its just unpredictable, and thus exciting!

So my official predicted winners are: Umaga, Carlito, Kane, HBK and God, RVD, Mickie James, and John Cena. I hope the evening at least comes close to being as fun and awesome as Wrestlemania, I think it definitely has the potential to be very entertaining.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wrestlemania Review

Wrestlemania 22 had the potential to be one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time, with some very good buildup, and some very good matches. But did it deliver? That's what I will reveal in this Review.

Wrestlemania opened with the Tag Team match, which was a very good, close contest, it really seemed like Carlito and Masters might win, but in the end Kane and Big Show retiained the titles, to the surprise of many. A good match.

The second match of the night was the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, which had some exciting moments, and at one point Ric Flair seemed to be legitimately injured, but he turned out to be OK. Lots of really cool high spots in this one, as of course there would be with bigtime high fliers in a ladder match. RVD ultimately scored the victory, and is now, in addition to being Mr Monday Night and Mr Pay Per View, is now Mr Money in the Bank.

The third match was JBL vs Benoit, and I will admit I didnt really care much about this match, I was glad it was as short as it was, and in the end JBL did win the match by using the ropes while pinning Benoit, and after the match paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero. JBL was a good friend of Eddie, and he won by cheating (reminiscent of Eddie's 'lie cheat and steal' gimmick) so it was a good ending to the segment.

The fourth match was Edge vs Mic Foley in what was a really awesome Hardcore match. The things they did in that ring were incredible, Edge tossed into the bed of thumb tacks, Both men bleeding a great deal, even Lita herself got a little bloody when Mic wrapped Mr Socko in Barbed Wire and used it on her (after using it on Edge). All sorts of major action in this one, the topper of course being the FLAMING TABLE, that Edge speared Mic Foley through for the victory. Incredible match, incredible performance by both men, definitely one of the best matches of the night.

The fifth match was Booker T vs the Boogeyman, but the most entertaining part happened before the match, an incredibly hilarious backstage segment with the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, Eugene, Golddust, and others. The greatest backstage segment of the night by far. The Boogeyman's entrance wasnt as impressive to me at Wrestlemania as it was at the Royal Rumble, maybe its because I had seen it before, or maybe it just wasnt as impressive. In any event, the match itself was Ashley vs (insert name of anyone here) level awful, and dragged on a bit longer than it should have, but the result was a bit of a surprise, with Booker T being the one who was pinned by the Boogeyman, not Sharmell.

The sixth match was the Women's Championship match, Trish Stratus vs Mickie James. The greatest buildup to a match ever, and as for the match itself, it was the greatest Women's Championship match of all time, hands down. Even though Mickie got some pretty loud crowd support on the final RAW before Wrestlemania, I still didnt expect her to have much in the way of crowd support at Wrestlemania. However, after the intro package played (I saw the package on the night before the event), Mickie's music hit, and the crowd once again was quite loud for her. When Trish's music hit, she got a slightly less enthusiastic reaction, but still a very good one. The crowd was clearly into both competitors, and this awesome matchup. For the first few minutes of the match however, the crowd was largely silent. But after the two exchanged punches in the center of the ring, culminating in a dropkick by Mickie onto the leg that Trish had hurt early on in the match, and then Mickie began going to work on that injured leg, suddenly the crowd got into it. 'Let's go Mickie!' chants filled the stadium, and the announcers were beside themselves as they probably never expected this reaction from the fans. If they were surprised by that, they may have been STUNNED when, after Trish eventually broke free of Mickie's grip long enough to do her 'Whrly Bird' move, the crowd erupted into BOOS for the Women's Champion. The match became Rock-Hogan all over again, with the crowd booing everything that Trish did, and cheering everything that Mickie did, the crowd was into this match like no Womens match in the history of the WWE. When Mickie climbed to the top turnbuckle, and Trish went for her StratusFear move, the crowd booed, when it became obvious Mickie was going to counter it they cheered, and when they saw the counter, which I really cant describe, expect to say it was an amazing, RVD-like super-high flying top turnbuckle move that resulted in Trish landing inside the ring, and Mickie landing outside of the ring, when that happened the crowd EXPLODED, it was a truly remarkable move. For most of the match Mickie was working over Trish's leg much like Bret Hart back in the day, and then the move I just described was very RVD like. Toward the end of the match, when Trish went for the StratusFaction move (yes, its true, Trish Stratus has almost as many Wrestling moves named after her as I have Chess Openings named after me), Mickie's counter to that move was, well, very Ric Flair like. However, what she did immediately following the counter was, lets just say, totally Mickie. Shortly thereafter Mickie nailed Trish with the Mick Kick for the 1 2 3, and the crowd goes wild in support of the NEW Women's Champion, Mickie James! The greatest match of the night, the greatest Womens match in the history of the WWE, and never before have so many fans been so into any Womens match due to the nearly 6 month buildup to it, so they picked the perfect time to have the best WWE womens match ever.

Match number severn was The Undertaker vs Mark Henry in a Casket match, and it was pretty much as boring as one would've expected. The Undertaker did do several really nice moves toward the end however, to end the match on a high note to what would've otherwise been probably the most boring Wrestlemania match the Undertaker had ever been in. The match was too long, but the Undertaker wins and extends his Wrestlemania record to 14-0.

Match number eight was Shaun Michaels vs Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match. This match was much better than I imagine most people ever expected it to be. HBK dominated Vince, he teased the Superkick, teased jumping off a ladder, before finally jumping off a HUGE ladder, driving Vince through a table, and THEN nailed him with a Superkick, for the 1 2 3 ! A surprisingly good, and fun, match.

Match number nine was the Smackdown Main Event, and it was a pleasant surprise just how short this match was. Sadly for many people who were actually enjoying the match, it actually ran about 9 minutes, roughly the same amount of time the Women's Championship match lasted, even though this match had THREE competitors in it not two, you would've probably thought 15 minutes (or maybe even more) would've been a minimum due to the 3 man nature of the match. Sadly, Kurt Angle's title reign came to an end when Rey Mysterio pinned Randy Orton. But again, the shortness of the match took away from the patheticness of the ending, at least a bit.

Match number ten was the other womens match, the Playboy Pillow Fight match, and while putting the Womens matches in spots #6 and #10 was very good placement, they got them BACKWARDS, as this match had no business being the penultimate match of the night. I imagine they did it to cool off the crowd and make the Main Event look better than it otherwise would look, because it would be following this horrible match. But the proper way to end the night would've been with the three Title matches the fans actually cared about. In any event, this match was far worse than I expected, multiple 'Boring' chants by the crowd, and I dont think there was even one use of any of the pillows, despite the fact that the NAME of the match is the 'playboy pillow fight' match. Torrie Wilson won with a rollup, mercifully ending this terrible match.

Match number eleven was the Main Event, and the Main Event was the RAW Championship match. As a match this would've been a fairly mediocre match, but this wasnt a match, this was an experience, due to the unbelievably hot crowd. It started with ring entrances that were both unique and unfathomably bizarre. These were not ring entrances that either competitor had ever used before, nor will they probably ever be used again. Both men actually had TWO sets of ring entrance music in fact. They both wore costumes as well. But despite their best efforts to make the crowd boo HHH and cheer Cena, Cena was booed out of the building, HHH got a lot of cheers as well, but unlike Trish-Mickie, in which the fans were cheering Mickie and booing Trish because they liked Mickie not because they disliked Trish, in this match it was more like they were cheering HHH and booing Cena because they disliked Cena, not because they liked HHH (although no doubt many did). The chants they directed at Cena throughout the match were very extreme (lets just say that John Cena's first name doesnt start with the letter f, but you might've thought it did if you listened to the crowd, if you know what I mean), this was a crowd that loves wrestling, and wrestling talent, and Cena's super long title reign despite his major lack of wrestling ability, did not go over well with this crowd. Its not an exaggeration to say that if the winners and losers of the matches in the WWE were determined solely based on the in ring ability of each wrestler, John Cena would lose to fully half of the women in the RAW Women's Division. In any event, the match was slow paced and would've been boring, but it was highly exciting thanks to the Chicago crowd who made this match very special indeed. Cheering everything HHH did, booing everything Cena did, and doing it with gusto, just like the Trish and Mickie match. The crowd made the match so much fun, and in the end when HHH tapped out to the most pathetic submission hold in the WWE, it wasnt as depressing as one would've expected it to be because the crowd had made the match far more enjoyable that it would have been on its own merits.

Overall the night was full of excitement, thrills, and tremendous entertainment. It was, in my opinion, the greatest Wrestlemania of all time. The crowd made a decent HHH vs Cena match great, and made a great Trish vs Mickie match the greatest Womens match of all time. Mic Foley finally had his Bigtime Wrestlemania Moment, going through a Flaming Table after what was already a great Hardcore Match. So many Bigtime Wrestlemania Moments thoughtout the evening, I hope everyone who hasnt yet seen Wrestlemania will order the DVD set and watch it, you'll be very glad you did, as Wrestlemania 22 truly was the greatest of all time!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Wrestlemania is just 2 days away. The Granddaddy of them all, the Super Bowl of Wrestling. Its the biggest event of the year, and this year's Wrestlemania could be one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time. The card is loaded with bigtime matches from top to bottom, and I would like to now give my analysis of the card, complete with my predictions for the results of each match. There are eleven matches on this year's card, according to the list of matches on the website, and in order to add even more fun to this commentary, I will be discussing the matches in the order in which I would put them on the card.

The first match is the US Championship match, with Chris Benoit vs JBL. I dont watch Smackdown much, I dont really know much about this rivalry, and I really dont know who to expect to win. Clearly Chris Benoit is a fan favorite, and a former RAW Champion. Now on Smackdown, he isnt enjoying quite the same level of success he had on RAW, but he is the US Champion. JBL has been humiliated at the Royal Rumble, and beaten soundly at Saturday Night's Main Event, so it could be time for this former Smackdown Champion to pick up a big win. Theres a lot of logic in favor of each man's winning the match, but in the end Im going to pick JBL to win, due to the whole 'way overdue for a big win' theory. But I wouldnt be remotely surprised to see Chris Benoit make yet another opponent tap out.

The next match is the World Tag Team Championship match, with Kane and Big Show vs Carlito and Chris Masters. Now, obviously Kane and Big Show have been rather dominant, and they are just plain huge. But Carlito and Chris Masters have worked effectively together in the past, and could do so again. However, despite the fact that Kane and Big Show have been dominant lately, and it could be time for a change, and despite the fact that until recently I expected Carlito and Masters to win this match, what ive seen most recently leads me to believe that dissention in their ranks will cause them to lose the match, and start a feud with each other. So my pick to win this match is Kane and Big Show.

The third match is the Boogeyman vs Booker T and Sharmell match. The Boogeyman won his Royal Rumble match against JBL is very quick and decisive fashion. He pretty much always wins his matches quickly, because he isnt a very good wrestler, so Im hopeful this match also will be very short. I would expect the Boogeyman to pin Sharmell, thus allowing Booker T to avoid sufering the same humiliation that was inflicted upon JBL earlier this year. The Boogeyman's ring entrance is one of the very best, if not THE best, in all of the WWE, dont miss it. Missing the match itself is OK, as it will probably suck, but not his entrance :).

The fourth match is the Hardcore match, with Mic Foley and Edge. This match has been built up really well, with Mic using the thumb tacks and Edge using the flaming table, on Saturday Night's Main Event. On the last couple episodes of RAW, Mic has clearly taken the upper hand in the feud, which under normal circumstances would lead you to believe he was going to lose at Wrestlemania. But under these circumstances, we didnt even NEED that clue to know Mic Foley was going to lose the match, he is a mostly retired wrestler, Edge is a recent RAW Champion, on paper the match is just plain a joke, the outcome was known before the match was even officially announced. But its going to be a Hardcore match, a Mic Foley speciality, and Mic keeps saying he needs a great Wrestlemania moment, so I expect him to try one dramatic thing, such as what they teased on SNME, Mic being put through a flaming table. Now THAT would be one heck of a Wrestlemania moment. As for the result, of course Edge will win.

The fifth match is the Playboy Pillow Fight match, with Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle. This has been built up for a surprisingly long time, considering they're involved in a PILLOW FIGHT match, a match that normally needs no buildup at all. But I think the buildup was probably done mostly for the purpose of turning Torrie Wilson face, so that she can be another challenger for Mickie James' Title during any lulls in the Mickie-Trish feud. As for who is going to win the match, well, its two against one assuming Victoria is in Candice's corner, but Torrie may be due to get some payback, so again it could go either way. Since I have to pick someone, I will go with Torrie Wilson. Ultimately of course, as the RAW announcers themselves pointed out, the winners will be the fans.

The sixth match is the Casket Match, with The Undertaker and Mark Henry. The resultof this match, much like Edge-Foley, is a foregone conclusion, Undertaker never loses at Wrestlemania, and this year they didnt even give him an opponent that makes you think theres the SLIGHTEST chance that will change. Much like the Boogeyman's match, the most entertaining part of this match may be the entrance of the Undertaker.

The seventh match is the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, with Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, RVD, Fit Finlay, Matt Hardy, and Bobby Lashley. This match features a lot of bigtime talent, and could be one of the best matches of the night. The winner of this match has the opportunity to challenge the Champion of his show to a match at any time within one year of his winning the Money in the Bank match. Edge won last year's MITB match and cashed in on his title shot against John Cena, after Cena had just won an Elimination Chamber match against 5 other people. A beaten and still bloody Cena had no chance against a fresh Edge, and Edge won the Championship. That is the power of MITB, and why this match is very important. I think most of the smart money is on RVD or Ric Flair to win the match and become Champion some time down the line as a result (in fact, if Flair wins it, I think there would be a good chance that he could actually use it later on in the evening and walk out of Wrestlemania as RAW's newest Champion). My pick in this match is for RVD to win.

The eighth match is the No Holds Barred match, with Vince McMahon and HBK. This match has had one heck of a buildup, months worth. HBK has been screwed repeatedly, and now its time for some payback. While it is possible for anything to happen in this match, especially if Vince finally succeeds in getting Bret Hart to make a Wrestlemania appearance, I think the most logical prediction is to say that its payback time for HBK, he will finally get his revenge on Vince McMahon. My pick is HBK to win the match.

That leaves us with the three major Championship matches, they are all highly anticipated and well built up, and could be reasonably put in any order at the top of the card I think, but since I can only pick one order, I will start with the match I think is the least looked forward to of the three, the Tripple Threat match for the Smackdown Championship. One of the reasons it isnt looked forward to as much as it could be, I think, is that there is a certain fear that Rey Mysterio will be handed the belt the night after Eddie Guerrero is inducted into the Hall of Fame, when either Kurt Angle or Randy Orton are both clearly more deserving of the title. Another reason, of course, is simply that its the SMACKDOWN Championship, not a Championship on RAW. But as for the match itself, it obviously contains a ton of talent. Kurt Angle is the best pure wrestler in the WWE, he is the current Smackdown Champion. Randy Orton is the #1 heel on Smackdown, and Rey Mysterio is a very high flying wrestler who has a lot of entertaining moves in his arsenal. I actually think theres a real chance that Rey Mysterio will not win the Title, but even if he doesnt, that doesnt make it easy to pick a winner. Kurt Angle and Randy Orton both could win this match (as, obviously, could Mysterio), its very hard to pick one, but since I have to, Im going to guess that the reason they didnt go with the Championship match people 'thought' was going to be Smackdown's Main Event this year, Angle vs Undertaker, is because they want Angle to keep the title. With that in mind, my pick to win the match is Kurt Angle.

The tenth match has been the best, and longest, built up of all the matches on the card, and in fact features even more total in-ring talent than the Main Event match itself. The Womens Championship features Trish Stratus and Mickie James. The Trish and Mickie storyline has lasted for over 5 months, and it has been very unique, creative, and unpredictable. Both of these women are highly talented in the ring, but it is their Microphone and acting skills that have made this storyline so incredibly popular with the fans. Both women have a wide range of very impressive signature moves, and there is a real possibility that this could be the match that steals the show. Trish Stratus is a six time Womens Champion, she has been Champion for well over a year now, which is the longest any woman has held the Womens Championship in many, many years. Defeating the most dominant Womens Champion in modern times in the most anticipated Womens Championship match of all time at the biggest event of the year would give Mickie James an unfathomably huge boost, one she has very much earned after all of her incredible performances during this storyline. Of course, the storyline should continue to play out in the months ahead, and ideally these two will meet in the ring at many more RAWs and PPVs over the course of the year, as they really are by far the two greatest women wrestlers in the WWE. My pick to win this match is Mickie James.

Finally, the eleventh match of the evening, the Main Event of Wrestlemania, is the RAW Championship match, with John Cena and HHH. This is another very hard to call match, with a lot of logic on either side. A lot of people love John Cena, a lot of people dislike him. It is not clear whether the Chicago crowd will be more pro-Cena or pro-HHH, despite the fact that Cena is the face and HHH the heel. Points in favor of Cena winning include the fact that HHH gave Cena a major beat-down on the final RAW before Wrestlemania, something that normally would be a sign that Cena was going to win at Wrestlemania. In addition, Cena is so very popular, at least with part of the audience. But points in HHH's favor include the fact that it has been thought that the plan for over a year has been for HHH to lose at the previous Wrestlemania, which he did, and then win at this one. Also in his favor is that while he is a 10 time World Champion, he hasnt won a title match in well over a year, he is very due. It isnt entirely out of the question that Cena could even turn heel during the course of the match, as Bret Hart did against Stone Cold Steve Austin many years ago. It really could go either way, but since I have to pick someone to win, I'm going to pick HHH.

Those are my Wrestlemania predictions and my analysis. There really are a lot of matches that could go either way, it should be a very exciting Wrestlemania. I hope it turns out to be one of the greatest of all time, it certainly has that potential!


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday Night Main Event

Tonight is the return of Saturday Night's Main Event, Live on NBC at 8pm EST! This show was awesome back in the day, and its been over a Decade since its been on the air. It used to be on at 11:30pm EST, in the place of Saturday Night Live, but tonight its return is in Prime Time! And the lineup card is loaded with awesomeness! I would like to give my analysis of, and predictions for, tonight's major Card.

Lets start with the Boogeyman vs Booker T. If you've never seen the Boogeyman's Ring Entrance you're in for a real treat, because man alive is it ever one of a kind. You'll probably also be in for a real treat in that the match probably wont last long, as the Boogeyman isnt particularly skilled at actually wrestling. He defeated former Smackdown Champion JBL at the Royal Rumble in I think less than 2 minutes, a highly shocking result. I expect a similar result tonight, whether or not the match will break the 2 minute mark I cant say, but I expect the Boogeyman to emerge the victor.

The Beer Drinking Contest between JBL and Stone Cold Steve Austin, well, I dont think you have to be an expert to figure out who's going to win this one :). Austin will win the contest, he will hit JBL with a Stone Cold Stunner, and celebrate by drinking even more beer!

HBK vs Shane McMahon in a Street Fight should be a really cool match. This has been built up by Shane McMahon attacking HBK with a steel chair, using the Van Terminator move on him Monday, and even having his sister Stephanie drug his water so he couldnt beat him in a match last week. Clearly it is payback time tonight. I expect HBK to ultimately win the match, although interference by Vince costing him the match would be a good way to set up the HBK vs Vince Wrestlemania match. Still, since I can only pick one, I have to pick HBK getting his revenge on Shane tonight by winning the match.

I expect the highest drama of the evening to come from the Womens Tag Team match, which features Trish and Mickie vs Victoria and Candice. I believe this is the match where Mickie is finally going to turn on Trish, something that has been anticipated for months, but has never happened. We're about 2 weeks from Wrestlemania, and Mickie attacking Trish and paying her back for all the times Trish mistreated her and didnt appreciate everything she did for her will set up the biggest Womens Championship match of all time at Wrestlemania. The only part of this match that is hard to predict is, how will it happen. Will Mickie turn on Trish during the match, causing Trish to be pinned by Victoria or Candice, or will Mickie wait until after she and Trish win the match, and then let her have it? Im hoping it will be the latter, but typicly in these types of situations it is more like the former. I cant decide which result to predict, so I'm just going to let Mickie turning on Trish one way or another be my prediction for this match, and if it happens it will indeed be the most dramatic thing to happen at SNME tonight.

Finally, the Main Event match, John Cena and HHH vs Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton in a Wrestlemania Main Event vs Main Event match. This is going to be huge, all the Main Eventers from Wrestlemania (which is just 15 days away, by the way) will be competing in this match that has the potential to contain a ton of awesomeness. HHH vs Angle, Cena vs Orton, HHH vs Mysterio, the potential matchups during this match are very exciting, plus the possibility of team members turning on each other during the match, since they are rivals after all! I expect some dissention in the Smackdown ranks to cost them the match, with Cena or HHH picking up the win, specificly I expect whoever is NOT going to win at Wrestlemania, Cena or HHH, to be the one who scores the victory.

Its a shame that RVD isnt on the Card, nor is the Undertaker, although I do believe we will see Taker during the show, as Mark Henry said last night on Smackdown that he would be calling the Undertaker out tonight. Clearly RVD is one of the most exciting wrestlers of all time, the crowd would've loved to see him in the ring with somebody he could really open up his playbook of awesome moves against, like Carlito or Benjamin.

So clearly tonight's return of Saturday Night's Main Event to NBC, in Prime Time, has the potential to deliver an incredibly entertaining two hours of awesomeness, I hope everybody will watch and enjoy the show!! And I hope my predictions arent off too badly :).

Friday, February 24, 2006


2006 is here, and there is a lot to catch up on. Let's start with the world of Video games, where the XBox 360 has come out, and it is indeed awesome. Hopefully as the year progresses, some truly awesome games will come out for it, there is obviously a lot of potential in some of the games such as the sequel to Morrowind, which is due out next month, as well as the sequel to the greatest all-female wrestling game of all time, Rumble Roses, also due out next month. Im also looking forward to Top Spin 2 and College Hoops 2k6 which are due out in April and March, respectively.

Id like to discuss now the world of Wrestling, as you may or may not know the Gladiator is a big fan of wrestling, he watched it a lot when he was litle, he went a while without watching it, but then he got back into it back around the high point of WCW, I watched them because they had the wrestlers I knew from when I was little, I watched them until they went out of business and then I went back to the WWF, now called the WWE. Over the last few years or so my favorites have included such Superstars as HHH and Stephanie, Kurt Angle, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Chris Jericho (Chris was a favorite of mine back in WCW also). Currently I have two top favorite wrestlers, Rob Van Dam (I enjoyed watching him in ECW, and Ive been a big fan of his for years now) and Mickie James (who Ive been a big fan of ever since she debuted in the WWE late last year). I am currently hopeful that both of my favorites will be getting bigtime Title matches at Wrestlemania, with Rob Van Dam (RVD) facing the Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin, and Mickie James facing the Womens Champion Trish Stratus. Both matches do seem rather likely at this time, although right now the only confirmed Wrestlemania match is John Cena vs HHH for the World Championship.

RVD has recently gotten back from a major injury that kept him out of action for a super long time, his first match back he seemed to be suffering from some ring rust against Gene Snitzky, but after he won that match he went on to compete in the Road to Wrestlemania Tournament, in which the winner would get an automatic match against the Champ in RAW's Main Event at Wrestlemania. He defeated Carlito in the first match, showing no signs of rust whatsoever he put on what was possibly the match of the night, it was really awesome yo. The next week he defeated Chris Masters, before losing in the finals, a tripple threat match against HHH and Big Show (HHH won the match and thus is facing John Cena for the title).

RVD was probably the most popular wrestler in the history of ECW, he was 'Mr Pay Per View', his high flying moves are truly second to none. He uses a unique set of high impact moves that includes the 'Van Daminator' which involves his opponent holding a steel chair, and RVD kicking the chair into the face of the opponent via a really nifty style kick, the 'Rolling Thunder' which involves RVD bouncing off the ropes, getting a running start, and jumping into the air and 'rolling' over, landing on his back on top of his opponent, as well as his Finishing move, the 5 Star Frog Splash. Since coming to the WWE, he has remained a fan favorite at all times, even when he was on the side of the 'bad guys' in the whole ECW and WCW vs WWE storyline years ago, wrestling some of the most popular good guys in the WWE, including Matt and Jeff Hardy and Chris Jericho, he was always cheered by the fans. He is without question one of the greatest athletes in the WWE to have never held the WWE Championship, and hopefully this year he will beat Shelton Benjamin at Wrestlemania for the Intercontinental Title, then go on to win the World Championship later this year.

Mickie James has, along with Trish Stratus, been involved in the longest running storyline in the WWE, and maybe the longest storyline in the history of the WWE Womens Division. It is widely assumed that this has been done to set up an awesome match between the two at Wrestlemania, which would actually be the second time the two have squared off, the first time being at the RAW PPV 'New Years Revolution' in early Janurary. While as a Mickie fan I was very disappointed in the ending of that match, as a wrestling fan it was the best match in the entire PPV by far, and if they face off again at Wrestlemania not only will it most likely be even better, but it could be the first time in the history of Wrestlemania that a Womens match is the best match of the night.

In the ring Mickie James is the most talented womens wrestler in the WWE, probably in the history of the WWE. Before coming to the WWE she competed in TNA, which is the only other Nationally televised Wrestling program in America (although it wasnt National at the time) and she competed not just against women, but against some of the very top men in the organization, including Jeff Jarrett himself. She even competed against the men in Hardcore matches, she proved she is every bit as talented as the best male athletes in TNA (and TNA athletes are widely regarded as even better than WWE athletes in terms of in-ring ability, TNA focuses more on in-ring action and less on the back stage entertainment segments), and she proved she deserved to be in Main Events normally reserved only for men. Like RVD, Mickie's unique set of moves includes a wide range of high flying moves, such as the 'Micarana', which is a particularly impressive form of a Hurricanrana, and some unique style kicks, such as the 'Mick Kick Combo' which involves delivering first a spin-kick to the midsection, followed by a kick to the chest, concluding with the most impressive kick of all, a roundhouse kick to the face. Her finishing move is the Tornado DDT. Since coming to the WWE, she has also displayed an amazing acting and 'Mic Skills' ability. In my opinion she is the only woman in WWE history to ever be better than Trish Stratus on the Mic, as Trish is an excellent speaker, at one point Co-Hosting one of WWE's Saturday Night TV shows.

Speaking of WWE Saturday Night TV shows; next month, March 18th, features the return after over a dozen years, of Saturday Night's Main Event! You may remember back when SNME was on the air, they had some really awesome matches, the show was so much fun to watch. Unlike in the past, when SNME was on from 11:30pm til 1am, in Saturday Night Live's time slot, next month it is scheduled to be on from 8pm to 10pm, 2 big hours in Prime Time! No matches have yet been confirmed for this event, but it should be very big, especially because it comes just 15 days before Wrestlemania!

Before I conclude today's update, I would like to announce that just like I won the Charlotte Chess Club 'Player of the Year' award in 2004, I did so again in 2005. I want to thank The Lord for the success I have had, and I want to thank the President of the CCC, National Master Leland Fuerstman, for once again granting me this honor. I greatly appreciate this award.