Welcome to the latest edition of “From the Desk of Mr. V”. I am Anthony “Mr. V” Valvo, your Wrestleview resident teacher with the same material as last time, but different names, matches, and articles.
So sit back and grab some coffee, a cold beverage (I know I am, Pittsburgh is in a major heat wave this week), and buy some peanuts and/or cracker jacks. I hope you enjoy the 131st installment of “From the Desk of Mr. V”.
Enjoy some music as well. I am playing “Piano Man” for Smackdown Recapper Mike Tedesco. It is classy and appropriate since he will be the co-host on this weekend’s “Teacher’s Lounge”
Quote of the Week
“Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation. ” – George Washington
The Teacher’s Lecture
Who is the “Best in the World”?
It’s the million dollar question in pro wrestling. We all say that “this person” or “that person” is the best in the world because of “a particular reason”. It’s the topic of debate for any fan who watches the top wrestling promotions in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Well, recently we have a few claims for people being “The Best”.
The names from different companies in the United States are staking that claim. In an upcoming Pro Wrestling Illustrated, they ranked The Miz as #1 in their PWI 500. CM Punk and John Cena call themselves “The Best” because they hold a championship. TNA’s Kurt Angle has been saying “The Best” in recent promos on Impact Wrestling. And finally, I read comments from ROH commentator Kevin Kelly making a claim that Davey Richards is “The Best in the World”. These are the names that I will use just for the sake of not making this a huge piece. So I will use these five names and hopefully answer who is truly “The Best in the World”.
Let’s start off with Kurt Angle from TNA. After ten or so World Championship in pro wrestling, he is still actively on the top card in TNA and claims that he is “still” the best wrestler. In the 2000s I felt strong that there were few, if any, as good both in the ring and on the mic than Angle. When he said he refuses to lose it is true, and scary in the same sense. I am talking about the 2011 Kurt Angle right now. He has been in the hunt for the TNA World Championship, but has been involved in a solid feud with Jeff Jarrett. As a character, I don’t think he is the best in the world now. As a wrestler, I can think of a handful of guys on the TNA roster that can do a better job. It pains me to type it, but I think Angle’s time has passed as “The Best in the World”.
Now let me write about John Cena, who is still the true face of the WWE. So far, he has faced off with two different sets of The Nexus (defeated Barrett’s Nexus, push on the Punk Nexus, as that one beat up themselves), faced off with The Miz and Rey Mysterio to win the WWE Championship, and is on/off again feuding with The Rock. As a promo guy, he is the Best in the World, but this year his wrestling and technique is nowhere close to years past. Is he the best? He might be, but I would not consider Cena “The Best in the World”.
The Miz is a great story. He was the guy that everyone legitimately hated from the moment he was on the WWE roster. We heard his tribulations when he was pushed to the main event level and he earned everything that he worked on during his time in the WWE. I say when it comes to cutting a promo; he may be The Best in the World because with his words he got the WWE Universe to feel bad for Daniel Bryan and Alex Riley. In case you were wondering, Bryan is a former United States Champion and Riley is getting a strong push. He was a champion for about half of 2011 so far and he was very much “over” as the top guy in the WWE. His wrestling is not the best, but it continues to improve and because he is young and talented the WWE has a lot of patience with The Miz.
Davey Richards is the Ring of Honor World Champion after what I thought was a classic encounter with Eddie Edwards. This is the guy that ROH commentator Kevin Kelly deemed “The Best in the World”. I totally agree that in a wrestling standpoint with these five that I have featured in this segment he is “the best”. He is very fluent in all disciplines of a pro wrestler. However, where I disagree is that he rarely is great cutting a promo. I give him points for being aggressive and a tremendous guy for the ROH roster but put him in a TNA and WWE roster and I don’t think he would nearly be as successful.
Finally, there is CM Punk. Punk right now might as well be King Midas right now. Whenever he is on television or making an appearance, it’s gold. His wrestling is unquestioned. He is a superb, yet at times underrated athlete who is a rare WWE wrestler that can go pretty much with anyone. His work on the mic has improved I think every year since he was employed by the WWE. I don’t think there is much to really say, but 2011 was truly CM Punk’s best year in his career.
So, after listening to their claims of being the best, here are my rankings from 5 to 1.
5) Kurt Angle
4) Davey Richards
3) John Cena
2) The Miz
1) CM Punk
After much thought, I decided who is truly “The Best in the World”. And after doing a good bit of research in my notebooks, it is close but I am going with CM Punk as “The Best in the World” right now. Get to me in a month or two and I will change my mind.
Quick Notes from “The Notebook of Mr. V”
– The WWE will be posting their second quarter earnings later this week (it is supposed to be up on 8/4, the day after I completed this column). Experts expect a rise of 29.6% from last year. Despite some negative feedback on the product by people who write about it and have no sense of the business factor of the company, the WWE is a very successful business and it won’t be stopped because of a few “fans”. Overall, I think the 2011 WWE roster has more quality than a year ago as well, and more compelling stories. I don’t know what it will lead toward the end of the year, but right now I expect record revenue for the company.
– The Undertaker is rumored in WWE Magazine to return for WWE Vengeance on October 23, 2011. While it would be great to see Undertaker return to the ring I highly doubt this is going to happen. I have been wrong before, but after what I saw him go through at WrestleMania XXVII there is no way he is in any shape to return to the ring. It might be for a segment, but if he really does come back there is no way he will be actively competing.
– Edge’s post-WWE career looks to be pretty solid. He is now set to appear on four episodes of Syfy’s “Haven”, which airs after Friday Night Smackdown. This is such a good story as we hear so many times after a pro wrestler is done competing they get themselves into trouble. Edge is bucking that trend. Some pro wrestlers are tremendous actors, and for the most part in his time in the WWE Edge was a good character. I am excited to see where this leads for Edge. Right now, it appears that life after WWE is going great for “The Rated R Superstar”.
– Stacy Keibler is rumored to be dating Hollywood A-List celebrity George Clooney. This is the biggest thing Keibler has done for her career since 2004!
– Impact Wrestling signed Jesse Godderz, known as “Mr. Pec-Tacular” and appeared on CBS’ “Big Brother”. It looks like Rob Terry’s job is in jeopardy.
There are times where Mr. V gets questions for the column and there are times where Mr. V does not get questions.
Today, I have two questions. Again, if you have a question you would like to be answered please let me know and I will try to put my thinking cap on.
The first question comes from Dale Smart.
Justin Gabriel hasn’t been on Smackdown TV in a while; do you think they are repackaging him or is it a sign of bad things to come?
Thanks Dale for the question. When Gabriel first debuted with The Nexus, I thought it was trouble because I only saw him as a face in FCW and I thought he did a good job as the FCW Champion while in developmental. His work in the ring is for babyface reactions.
I think since Gabriel split up with Heath Slater, they are repackaging him to be a mid-card face on Smackdown. I don’t see anything wrong with the turn, as I think he will get a better reaction than Slater. While I don’t expect him to make a splash on Smackdown, the WWE did show a video package of his trip to South Africa (his native area) and how he is over with the fans in that part of the world. I expect him to appear more on WWE Superstars than anything to showcase his work.
With this move, I still kind of think he is not going to be fight for any championships. However, I think his high flying style will amaze the crowds the way Evan Bourne wows audiences for the Raw brand.
The second and final question comes from James Willett.
Who would you consider the three best workers never to win a major North American world title (i.e NWA,WCW,WWF/E)?
This was pretty much a loaded question because there are dozens of workers that I thought should have won a world title. Some were derailed by substance, and other may never received the title due to politics. Here are my top three (in no particular order) pro wrestlers to never have won a world title.
Mr. Perfect – He was amazing and I am sure in today’s WWE he would be a multiple World Champion. His promo work was outstanding, no matter if he was working as a face or a heel. His wrestling should put him in numerous top 10 lists out there. His presence along screams “perfect”, and it is just a shame that he never reached the top spot in the WWE (though he did win a World Title in AWA and WWC).
Rick Rude – Another guy who worked the mic with outstanding results. Rude in his heyday was a guy who got a reaction from everyone in the crowd whether it be a guy who wants to punch him out or a woman who wants to get close. Again, another wrestler who left us too soon and like Curt Hennig he would have been a World Champion in today’s WWE. He had the look, charisma, and skills to be a main event superstar. The only thing that was missing on his resume was the WWF/E World Championship.
Ted DiBiase – Another one of those professional wrestlers that would have been GREAT as a World Champion. I feel that before there was Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez, the newer fans should be treated to the work done by DiBiase and Virgil. He was in great feuds wherever he went and yet for some reason he never won a world title (he did win a WWF World Championship, but it is not recognized as a reign) other than his custom-made Million Dollar Championship.
I know I am missing so many wrestlers, but these three were the ones that should have won at least one World Heavyweight Championship in the WWE.
As always if any of my readers has a question please let me know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generic In-Ring Music – Well, it got to David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. Now they are no longer “The New Nexus”. Way to kill off the Nexus, I guess.
Miss Tessmacher – Whose idea was it to give her a championship in TNA?
David Otunga – Whose idea was it to give him a championship in WWE?
Bully Ray – You can have the word “okey dokey”. No one uses that anymore.
The NBA – Wow, I thought the NFL was a mess. Give the NFL credit. They wanted the fans to watch football this season. The NBA is fine with hating each other and ruining what they had because of “the issues”.
Vince Russo – Russo is losing control with the roster that he books. People wonder why he still books for a company, and I seriously don’t have an answer.
Alex Rodriguez – Well, he may be part of an illegal poker ring. This is another reason he may be one of the biggest stooges in Major League Baseball. However, he is a very rich stooge.
Bud Selig – He gets a detention for being an inept commissioner.
Last Monday’s Diva Battle Royal – I have never seen such a bad match in a long time. I feel bad because they don’t get the time they need. Still, terrible booking.
The Time Out Chair –The WWE. Usually, I am not one to complain about things. However, I have a major gripe about Michael Cole right now. After watching the 7/29 edition of Smackdown and the 8/1 edition of Raw it is now evident that Cole has destroyed some parts of the show for this viewer.
The readers of my column and everyone around my circle in Pittsburgh know that I am a fan of wrestling. Commentary, though when great is a good element to a match, should be tuned out easily while I watch the match. However, Cole went from “ok, this guy is not bad as a heel” commentator to a “goofy, annoying, and completely disastrous” commentator. Unless they are doing something for Cole to enhance the character (which I think is passé now), either put him as a manager or have him work behind the scene. I just can’t stand him anymore.
Praxis and the ETS Series
Teachers that get arrested
Michael Cole (As posted on Facebook, he will be in here until Mr. V #200)
2010 French Soccer Team
Jeff Hardy and “The Other” Hardy
“Undefined” Alicia Fox
Westboro Baptist Church
(Note: I took out Stinkbugs because ever since I planted tomatoes on my porch they seem to ignore my place and hide somewhere else. So out goes the Stinkbugs and in goes Michael Cole, who probably resembles a giant stinkbug.)
“The Brody” (goes to the WORST comment under Wrestleview articles)
Well, this week I do not have a Brody because there is a new way to look at the Wrestleview comments. And with the change it appears that all the comments from this week were mostly vanished. So next week I may do Double the Brody.
I ask my readers to be “nosy” and search under the postings for some ridiculous or borderline brainless comments from some of the trolls that lurk under the bridge.
I also take suggestions for “The Brody”. Send your picks to email@example.com. Subject: The Brody. Thanks.
Mr. V’s Weekly Honor Roll For the Week of July 25 – July 31, 2011
7/25 – WWE Monday Night Raw
7/26 – WWE NXT
7/27 – OFF DAY.
7/28 – WWE Superstars and Impact Wrestling
7/29 – WWE Friday Night Smackdown
7/30 – This was the day you enjoy “The Teacher’s Lounge”
7/31 – OFF DAY.
Distinguished Honors – John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio, Monday Night Raw, July 25.
How did it end? The match was intense and an impressive showing by both to determine who would leave that night the WWE Champion. The match ended when Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment while Mysterio attempted the 619. The ending resulted in Cena being the new WWE Champion (later as co-champ to the returning CM Punk).
High Honors – Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger, WWE Superstars, July 28.
How did it end? The match was for someone who just really enjoys wrestling. The story inside the ring was surprisingly good and there was a good bit of brawling and technical wrestling. In the end, Riley rolled out of the Ankle Lock, hit a couple spots, and concluded with a Leaping DDT for the pinfall victory.
Grade: B (leaned toward B-).
Honors – Brian Kendrick vs. Abyss, Impact Wrestling, July 28.
How did it end? I might be stretching this, but this was a very good Ultimate X match that won a spot in the Honor Roll for its tremendous storytelling. Abyss could not climb the cables toward the title, but Kendrick just simply could not wear Abyss down enough to win it traditionally. So when Abyss tried to finish off Kendrick with the Chokeslam, Kendrick quickly reached for the title and intelligently grabbed hold of it to retain his X Division Championship.
Mr. V’s Grade Book for the week of 7/25/11 – 7/31/11
A+, A, or A-: None to Report.
B+: None to Report.
B: John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio (RAW); Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger (Superstars).
B-: Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz (RAW); Yoshi Tatsu vs. Tyson Kidd (NXT); Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner (IMPACT); Brian Kendrick vs. Abyss (IMPACT).
C+: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston (RAW); Derrick Bateman vs. Titus O’Neil (NXT); Heath Slater vs. Trent Barreta (Superstars); Christian vs. John Morrison (Smackdown).
C: Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne (RAW); David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs. Santino Marella and Chris Masters (Superstars); Crimson vs. Bully Ray (IMPACT); Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson (IMPACT); R-Truth vs. Randy Orton (Smackdown).
C-: Winter vs. Tara (IMPACT); Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr. vs. Ezekiel Jackson (Smackdown).
D+, D, or D-: Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly vs. Melina and Maryse (RAW); Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Tamina vs. AJ, Kaitlyn, and Natalya (Smackdown); David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs. Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso (Smackdown).
F or INC: Zack Ryder vs. Michael Cole (RAW); Mark Henry vs. Bobby Howard (Smackdown).
Current Wrestleview Prediction Standings (As of WWE’s Money in the Bank)
REMINDER: TNA Hardcore Justice is THIS Sunday! So after Impact Wrestling, you are welcome to send predictions to my e-mail address under “Dismissal”.
2011-2012 Predictions from the Faculty Roster
1) Jose Marrero (Wrestling Rumblings/The Eye Gouge)……………55-30 (4-2)
2) Ryan Rivera (ROH on HDNet Recapper)…………………………..54-32 (2-4)
3) Dave Stephens (Raw Recaps/That’s a Wrap/Teachers Lounge….54-32 (3-3)
4) Wrestleview Students (The Readers of the article)………………54-32 (4-2)
5) Nicholas Gray (The Velvet Room)…………………………………..53-33 (3-3)
6) Gregory “Grash” Walek (WWE NXT Recapper)……………………52-34 (3-3)
7) Mike Tedesco (WWE Smackdown Recapper)……………………..51-35 (4-2)
8) Josh Boutwell (TNA Impact Recaps/Viva La Raza)………………50-30 (NR)
9) Greg McNeish (The Velvet Room)………………………………….50-36 (3-3)
10) Anthony Valvo (From the Desk of Mr. V/Teacher’s Lounge)…..48-38 (3-3)
11) Darragh O’Connor (WV International Desk)……………………..46-29 (NR)
12) Evan O’Brien (WV International Desk)……………………………47-39 (2-4)
13) Matt O’Brien (Notes from the Nosebleeds)……………………….46-40 (3-3)
14) Andrew Hayman (WWE Superstars Recapper)…………………..43-30 (4-2)
Tie-Breaker Points – Which are based on Championship matches correct
26: Nicholas Gray
25: Gregory Walek; Mike Tedesco
24: Jose Marrero
23: Ryan Rivera; Dave Stephens
22: Josh Boutwell; Greg McNeish; Anthony Valvo
21: Evan O’Brien
17: Darragh O’Connor; Andrew Hayman
16: Matt O’Brien
The next Students of the Week will be Sean McNally and Wade Bradford. Both went 5-1 in the predictions for Money in the Bank, only missing on the Daniel Bryan victory.
Who’s in line for the Predictions Prize?
See the latest Predictions article for details on how to compete.
First Place will win a wrestling DVD.
Second Place will win a T-Shirt.
Third Place will win a Coffee Mug.
Last Place will win TNA’s Victory Road 2009 (or now even 2011 whichever costs less), as it was as bad a PPV as what potentially someone’s picks will be.
I will just type out the Top Five readers at this time. The first set of parentheses is the W/L record for WWE’s Money in the Bank. The second parentheses are the Tie-Breaker points.
1) Nick Latham…………………………………………………….59-27 (4-2) (27) – #1
2) Paul Meade……………………………………………………..58-28 (4-2) (26) – #2
3) Jordan Benterman…………………………………………..58-28 (3-3) (25) – Tie #3
4) Jason Namako…………………………………………………58-28 (2-4) (25) – Tie #3
5) Goose Oberstar………………………………………………56-30 (2-4) (25) – Tie #5
6) Michael Fox……………………………………………………56-30 (2-4) (25) – Tie #5
The person with the most picks incorrect is currently 50-36.
The next PPV that we will be keeping score on will be TNA’s Hardcore Justice on August 7th. Enjoy the small break, students. We all needed it.
Mr. V’s Gold Star Segment
Gold Stars brought to you by: ColtMerch.com! Take a look at Colt Cabana’s merchandise and you won’t be disappointed. How are you, Colt?
Also, while you are at it check out www.jrsbarbq.com. Jim Ross has some specials on all the Beef Jerky you can consume. Look at his blog and maybe buy a product or two.
Finally, some Gold Stars! These are the people, teams, and many other things that I think did a great job in wrestling, sports, news, and even charity. So, here is who I am giving a Gold Star to.
Dale Smart and James Willett – Thank you for asking the questions.
Pete Forrest – I made a huge error when I completed the 2011 Mid-Year Wrestleview Readers Choice Award. I completely forgot to acknowledge and use Mr. Forrest’s votes on the feature. I am very sorry.
Miniature Golf – Well, this past weekend I took part with a few friends to a mini-golf tournament. We went to FIVE different courses in one day (that is 90 holes) and I won the glass pebble trophy. This is my second victory in the five years we have done this, and it was really fun. I think the readers should sometimes enjoy themselves.
Rey Mysterio – The WWE Superstar just keeps putting on good match after good match with anyone. He may be small, but he is a real big ticket. What a move to put him on Raw.
HHH, CM Punk, and John Cena – I am really enjoying this program leading to SummerSlam. It should be a great match, but I won’t expect it to be like a Money in the Bank feel.
El Generico – Why do ROH fans hate his promos? It is basic and entertaining. OLE!
Yoshi Tatsu – He got mini-Yoshi’s leg back. He now recovered his “honor”.
R-Truth – I do it for all the non “Little Jimmys” out there.
CM Punk – For being the Wrestleview Readers Choice selection for Best Wrestler of the Half-Year. Check the rest of the topics under here.
Archibald Peck – When a well-respected reader of mine mentioned him in the awards, I had to check this guy out. Well, I must type that I have to see more of him. He is pretty hilarious and surprisingly not bad in the ring.
Mike Tenay – Last month, I deemed you as “The Worst” commentator so far in 2011. I will be the first to tell you (if you actually read this) that I am very sorry. If I can regret anything that I typed in my columns or features this year, naming you as the worst commentator is up there as a stupid mistake on my part.
Zack Ryder – It’s nice to see him back on television. He was pretty much everywhere on Smackdown and had a match on Raw two weeks in a row. Not bad for the “Internet Champion”.
Evan Bourne – I will give him a Gold Star because he is seriously giving his maximum effort to entertain the fans. He might be my new “Most Underrated” wrestler in the business today.
Sara Del Rey – She gets one for defeating Claudio Castagnoli at a show for Chikara’s “Chikarasaurus Rex” last weekend.
Claudio Castagnoli – He gets one for staying “Very European”.
And that is all for now. If you want me to give out a Gold Star let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Homework Assignment (Due August 12th)
Look, we know that CM Punk is the best man in professional wrestling right now and he is pretty much the “center of the universe (and not just the WWE). There are also some “rumors” that he is not alone. Does CM Punk have back-up?
1) Let’s say CM Punk has backup. Obviously, we don’t know who his reinforcements are but let’s have fun. Please “class”, if you can pick four guys to form a faction with CM Punk who would they be? I will share your answers with the Mr. V classroom if completed.
2) Fill in the blank: If Vince McMahon made Michael Cole _____________________, Cole would easily say “yes, sir”.
Well, that does it for me this week. I thank you all for reading this column and I hope you enjoyed this column as much as I typed it out. If you like it, tell a friend! My classroom has many desks inside. If you want to get a hold of me during the week, please e-mail me at email@example.com or at lounge@Wrestleview.com, or by leaving me a message on Facebook. I do get a lot of e-mails and may not reply in a timely fashion, but I will do my best to give you a quicker reply.
Now, students you are allowed to leave the classroom. Please push in your chairs, line up straight, and exit to the closest door around you. Until next week, you are all……DISMISSED!
Facebook: Add me if you want. I am Anthony J. Valvo in the Pittsburgh, PA network
Twitter: @TheMisterV (I changed it because the readers wanted it)
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or lounge@Wrestleview.com
To Send Predictions for “Predictions of the Faculty”: email@example.com or Private Message via Facebook.
THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE IS NOW AIRING ON SATURDAYS!
Along with Wrestleview’s Raw Recapper and Columnist Dave Stephens, The Teacher’s Lounge gives the Wrestleview Radio Network Audience a complete rundown of the past week’s events in professional wrestling all in a one to two-hour program. We even have a few games, a detention segment, as well as interviews.
Most Recent Guest (Will appear on the 8/6 edition of The Teacher’s Lounge)
Wrestleview Smackdown Recapper Mike Tedesco!
With Dave Stephens still out due to computer problems that will be fixed in due time, the August 6th edition of “The Teacher’s Lounge” will feature a guest host! I will welcome Wrestleview Smackdown Recapper Mike Tedesco in The Teacher’s Lounge and we will talk about various topics in WWE, TNA, ROH, and other important information. Games were played as well. It will be a fantastic episode that you don’t want to miss.
Already on the archives we interviewed Wrestleview.com staff members, including:
• Jose Marrero (Wrestling Rumblings and FYB Radio host)
• Matt O’Brien (Notes from the Nosebleeds)
• Josh Boutwell (TNA Recapper and Viva La Raza columnist)
• Mike Tedesco (WWE Smackdown recapper and one-time guest host)
• CJ Bowman (The Velvet Room and one-time guest host)
• Nicholas Gray (The Velvet Room)
• Adam Martin even guest hosted an episode (find out which one) (Editor-In-Chief)
• Paul Nemer (Site Owner)
• Evan O’Brien (Wrestleview International Desk co-host)
• Darragh O’Connor (Wrestleview International Desk co-host)
But wait, here is plenty more!
The Teacher’s Lounge also interviewed professional wrestlers and amazing writers, including:
• Ring of Honor Wrestler and Former NWA World Champion Colt Cabana.
• TNA Superstar Hernandez
• Isis The Amazon (formerly Aloisia of WWE)
• Lori Carrington (Author of “The Cruiserweight)
• Crystal Mai (from Diva-Dirt.com)
• ROH, SHIMMER, and Chikara Professional Wrestler Sara Del Rey
As always, Dave Stephens and I thank all our listeners as well as our readers. For $4.99 a month, you get all of this along with many other hours of content from the other shows on the Wrestleview Radio Network. It does cost a bit of money, but we will do our best to make it worth it. If you want to be a part of the Lounge for our “E-mails” section, you may drop us a line at lounge@Wrestleview.com. To sign up, click here.