Counting Down The Greatest Celebrity Wrestling Angles

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s arrival in WWE made me think about some of the other great celebrity appearances in wrestling. Obviously we already talked about Tyson hitting the scene in 1998 but what were some of the other memorable ones? I know we’ve been doing a lot of lists lately but here’s another: the top 10 celebrity wrestling angles (Money May is not including since it has yet to play out but let’s just say I have high hopes for it):

10. Wrestlemania III – Alice Cooper: Our younger audience might not be impressed with this one but, trust me, back in his day Cooper was one of the more famous and controversial rock ‘n’ roll artists around. Cooper cornered Jake Roberts in his match against the Honky Tonk Man and while he never actually wrestled it was pretty cool to see him drape Damien the snake over HTM’s manager Jimmy Hart in the post-match melee.

9. Wrestlemania II – William “The Refrigerator” Perry: Perry was part of a NFL vs. WWF battle royale and was definitely the biggest star representing the gridiron. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the match (Andre The Giant did) but he did make some noise when he pulled Big John Studd out of the ring after he had already been eliminated.

8. Wrestlemania XXXIII – Donald Trump: As I said on Monday, Trump’s WWE appearances never excited me. In some ways, I felt that being teamed with Bobby Lashley lessened his worth. I just didn’t believe that Lashley was the right man for the spot. Also, it always annoyed me that he never took off his winter coat when cutting his promos. He must have been a real hurry to get the hell out of there.

7. Fall/Winter 2006 Monday Night Raw – Kevin Federline: Almost everyone snickered when they heard KFed would be making an appearance on WWE television but a few months later those same people were left asking for more. His “feud” with John Cena was done just right. I was in Miami for his match against Cena on New Year’s Day 2007 and the buzz around the American Airlines Arena was pretty electric for a D-List celebrity. (By the way – there is a lesson to be learned from KFed when booking this Mayweather angle. Some guys are just natural heels. Like KFed, Pretty Boy Floyd is exactly that so don’t try and change him.)

6. Wrestlemania I – Cyndi Lauper: Again, like Cooper, you might not be impressed with Lauper but without her involvement in the Wendi Richter-Leilani Kei feud some might say that the inaugural Wrestlemania would not have been such a success. Her initial beef with Captain Lou Albano set off the Rock ‘n’ wrestling revolution and the rest, they say, is history. (Gotta love Bob Costas’ reporting in the video below. Humble beginnings indeed.)

Mornin’ Muesli: I Heart WWECW

I feel bad for WWECW. Everyone loves to diss it and complain it’s nothing like the original version. Of course it isn’t. It’s WWECW! You guys need to stop living in the past and embrace the present. So, in the interest of spear-heading the WWECW revolution I present the top 8 reasons why it’s the best show around.

8. Joey Styles: A watered-down Joey Styles is better than 99% of the wrestling-only play-by-play men out there. I know there are only a handful but if your initials aren’t JR your probably looking up at Styles on my list.

7. Kelly Kelly: She is far from being my favorite Diva (Torrie Wilson will forever hold that special spot in my heart) but I just love the fact that someone on the creative team thought it would be a good idea to call her the same name twice. Think about it, it’s brilliant.

6. Big Daddy V’s side boob: Forget Marisa Miller and Bar Refaeli, nothing will ever compare to BDV’s side boob.

5. Kofi Kingston’s eventual heel turn: My American friends just don’t like foreigners. They hated Bret Hart. They hated Santino Marella and they continue to hate on all hockey players even though some of the better ones are actually American. So, I am guessing Kingston will turn heel on us in ooohhh 3-4 weeks. Until then, don’t forget – he’s always happy!

John Morrison’s entrance: It rules.

4. Stevie Richards: Love the fact that he is getting TV time. Love the fact that they are actually giving him a personality by focusing on his throat surgeries. Will always love the Right to Censor.

3. Extreme: Isn’t it great how they keep referring to WWECW as the land of extreme even though there are hardly ever any extreme rules matches? That’s called respecting the past.

2. Colin Delaney: No Joke – for about three weeks in January, Delaney was my favorite storyline in wrestling. Unfortunately, he turned into a weaker version of Shark Boy with all those bandages but I am still holding out hope that he is just playing possum.

1. Tony Chimel: Wait, what? Tony Chimel? As in the Smackdown announcer? Yup, that Tony Chimel. In researching this great post I made my way over to the WWECW website for the first time and noticed Chimel’s face on the WWECW superstars page. Obviously, we’re on the outside of some kind of inside joke but who cares. It’s WWECW baby!

So, here’s the deal. Let’s create a movement right now. Let’s be different and keep giving great reasons why WWECW is the best…thing…going…today!

*UPDATED: A Final Look At Elite XC: Street Certified

img_7603-silva-vs-rodrigues.jpgWe’re always featuring interviews with different personalities from the fight world so it’s nice to switch things up and actually voice our opinion from time-to-time. That was the case during my appearance on yesterday’s edition of Fight Network Radio.

Have I mentioned how much I love that show and how honored I am that they keep inviting me back? Well, I do and I am.

Anyhow, yesterday we spoke a lot about this weekend’s Elite XC offering. More specifically, we talked about why some people continue to hate on the phenomenon that is Kimbo Slice, the growth of Elite XC as a promotion and why some fans continue to boo great MMA matches.

In their always entertaining “Final Countdown” segment we also talked a little Pavlik-Taylor and, of course, Money May’s arrival in World Wrestling Entertainment. Unfortunately, that audio isn’t available but as soon as it is I will throw it up here (UPDATE: It’s up and it can be found down below).
I always love chatting with those guys because it makes me feel like the not-so-cool kid getting to hang out with the cool kids for 15 minutes or so. So, you know, thanks for making me feel “cool.”


Fight Network Radio Appearance – 02/20/08


Fight Network Radio “Final Countdown” Segment – 02/20/08

I can’t stress this enough: If you are a fan of all things combat sports and are not listening to Mauro Ranallo and John Pollock on a daily basis you are really doing yourself a disservice. The show airs live on Sirius channel 186 or online at hardcoresportradio.com. You can also download all their episodes here.

What’s Next For Kimbo & Kelly?

The big winners this weekend (other than Pretty Boy Floyd of course) were Kimbo Slice and Kelly Pavlik. Both men cemented the fact that they are legitimate stars in their sports. So, the question remains, where do they go from here?

It seems as though there are three options being presented to both fighters: a logical, longshot and a stupid choice. Let’s break it down:

Logical:
* Kimbo Slice vs. Sean Gannon (1-1) ; Kelly Pavlik vs. John Duddy (23-0)

Gannon gained a lot of notoriety when he became the first man to defeat Kimbo in a bare-knuckle fight in 2004. Some might say that victory landed him a spot in the UFC (he lost his debut to Brandon Lee Hinkle in 2005). Slice has been wanting a rematch ever since and continues to ask for it. Gannon hasn’t competed (legally) since his loss to Hinkle but I am sure that a nice payday would bring him back.

Duddy first has to defeat Walide Smichet this weekend but no one is expecting him to lose. His style is a perfect match for Pavlik. Much like “The Ghost,” he also has a very loyal following. After a soon-to-be 24 straight victories he deserves a shot at the title.

Longshot:
Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson (14-8); Kelly Pavlik vs. Lucien Bute (21-0)

Let’s start with Bute. The Montreal(!)-based fighter would have to move down a weight class because Pavlik’s camp has said he has no interest in moving up to Super Middleweight. Plus, the only way I see Pavlik moving up is to fight Joe Calzaghe. Bute has a 2/29 bout against the always game William Joppy but, much like Duddy, no one expects him to lose. While I think this would make for a more intriguing bout I don’t think Bute has a big enough name to get the shot…yet.

As for Thompson, if he would have defeated Brett Rogers this weekend I would have moved him up to “logical” status. Given his experience, the former Pride veteran would not be viewed as another tomato can but the fact that he lost to Rogers doesn’t make him worthy of a shot at Slice. If he does pick up a couple of victories in a row I would love to see this matchup.

Stupid:
Kimbo Slice v. Ken Shamrock (26-12-2); Kelly Pavlik vs. Felix Trinidad (42-3-0)

Forget the fact that I think it’s idiotic for Shamrock to be fighting Buzz Berry prior to his huge showdown against his brother Frank. If the brother vs. brother fight is really going to happen why risk putting him out there for no reason? More to that point, why would you risk his career even more by pairing him up with Kimbo? Makes no sense. After the Frank fight – totally. But not now.

Don’t even get me started on Tito-Pavlik. What has Trinidad done in the last five years to deserve a shot at the champ? Sure, he guarantees a least 500,000 PPV buys but, still, Pavlik would gain nothing by defeating him. In fact, he has more to lose than to gain. Case closed.

Your New WEC Lightweight Champ Is Here

Fresh off his thrilling WEC Lightweight title victory over “Razor” Rob McCullough, new champ Jamie Varner returned to The Park to discuss the bout. Varner appeared to be quite the confident fighter in his first appearance around these parts a few months back and, wouldn’t you know it, he actually backed up his words when most weren’t giving him much of a chance. Some of the topics we disscused included:

* What’s it like to finally be crowned champion?

* Did Razor’s trash-talking leading up to the bout piss him off?

* Was he surprised that he knocked him out?

* His game plan going into the fight

* His underestimated boxing skills

* The timeout controversy

* Who will be his first opponent as champ? (Hint: He thinks it will be in June against the winner Marcus Hicks v. Ed Ratcliffe)

* Any interest in unifying the WEC and UFC Lightweight titles?

* His prediction for Sherk vs. Penn


Jamie Varner – 02/19/08

(photo courtesy of Zuffa, LLC)

(Early) Mornin’ Muesli: Cautiously Optimistic

picture-1.pngA thought or two on the 2/18 edition of Monday Night Raw…

1. I gotta be honest, I wasn’t a huge admirer of how the Mayweather-Show angle progressed on RAW. I dunno, it kind of felt a little flat. I’m certainly not giving up on it just yet and maybe I was bit too excited for RAW but, still, I thought it could have been handled better. Thankfully, it didn’t end with the apology and Money May actually came back. I’m sure it will get better but something about how it started threw me off. I love watching Leonard Ellerbe act, though.

2. Nevertheless, a great episode of RAW. Everything made sense and really made me want to see ‘Mania (which is shaping up to be quite the memorable show).

3. The opening segment, while predictable, was solid. As was the main event. I will never like the idea of a triple threat match for the WWE title at Wrestlemania but these guys should provide great promos leading up to 3/30.

4. Little things like Orton coming out before Cena bug me. The champ should never come out first.

5. My money in the bank pick? Jeff Hardy.

6. Santino is quickly becoming my all-time favorite wrestler. Seriously, this man is brilliant. His facial expressions after Maria’s win were great.

7. Paul Burchill reminds me of the 2008 version of the old Val Venis. I think it’s the combination of his hair, his delivery and the fact that his gimmick is a blatant attempt to create controversy. That said, I kind of dig the new Burchill. Anything’s better than dressing up as a pirate…right?

8. So, it looks like we’re getting Flair v. HBK. I guess it could be worse. If I were in charge, though, I would have had HBK call out Flair to address the crowd and then superkick his ass. That would have made some jaws drop.

9. I love the guy but Jim Ross seemed a bit off tonight.

10. Not a big fan of Jeff Hardy’s or Mr. Kennedy’s new entrance music.

11. Why are guys like Snitsky and Mark Henry always built up as these feared monsters when all they do is lose?

12. Best segment of the night? The McMahon-Finlay storyline. I loved JBL’s involvement in it and Poor little Hornswoggle really sold it well. The star of the whole segment was definitely Finlay. Consider me very intrigued.

13. Speaking of which, and I forgot to mention this in yesterday’s Muesli, don’t you just love it how Lawler and Ross stay quiet when trying to sell an important angle. They did the same thing with the Mayweather-Show confrontation at No Way Out. Sometimes less is more my friends. Unfortunately, a Mr. West and a Mr. Tenay have yet to learn that lesson. It’s actually gotten so bad that I watch iMPACT! in mute. I swear.

14. Oh and how did they not show La Lohan on camera? I hope they offered her all the money under the stars to appear in an angle because that would have definitely sent our celeb-crazed universe in a tizzy.

By the way, I’ll be appearing on Fight Network Radio Tuesday afternon at 3:00 pm EST to discuss an unbelievable weekend in combat sports. Check it out on Sirius channel 186 or listen online at Hardcoresportsradio.com. As always, I can’t wait to talk combat with those guys.

(photo courtesy of WWE.com)

Comparing Mayweather-Show To Austin-Tyson

I’m still not over the site of Floyd Mayweather in a WWE ring. Honestly, I had a hard time sleeping last night just thinking of it. I haven’t been this excited for a celeb-wrestling angle since Pacman Jones joined TNA! Just kidding. No, I haven’t been this amped since Mike Tyson appeared on RAW in January 1998. That angle ranks as one of the best ever in my books.

So, I got to thinking: If Money May will actually be involved in WM 24, can this angle trump Tyson-Austin from ten years ago? I most certainly think so.

First off, let’s remember why Tyson-Austin was so great:

1. It came during one of the hottest eras in WWF/E history. The Attitude era.

2. It involved the biggest stars in the company (Austin and Vince McMahon) and later the hottest faction in the promotion (DX).

3. It seemed very “real.” I never got that feeling from the Trump-McMahon angle or even the KFed one.

Now here’s why Mayweather-Show (if executed correctly) will be better:

1. Mayweather is currently the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Tyson was way past his prime.

2. Mayweather is a MUCH better talker than Tyson. I always held my breathe whenever the cameras were on Iron Mike because it seemed as though he was very lost out there.

3. It looks like Mayweather will be competing. Obviously, Tyson didn’t.

4. During his hiatus from wrestling, Big Show had been training to become a pro boxer. So, if they do have a boxing match at ‘Mania he will definitely be able to make it look as real as possible (I highly doubt that match would be a shoot. I just can’t see Show dropping to 154 lbs).

Obviously, all this hinges on the fact that Mayweather has actually signed on to compete at Mania. Part of me feels this is the last we will see of him on WWE programming but I am ignoring that voice right now. I guess we’ll know for sure later tonight. I can’t wait.

(By the way, you’re probably wondering why I’m posting more than I have in the past. This is all part of the new look JarryPark.com. More later…)

An Inside Look At Another Coliseum Of Combat Sports

If you’re a frequent visitor to The Park you know that we like to do things a little differently around here. You know, ask interesting questions, invite unique guests…that kind of thing.

So, with that in my mind, I present a special, top secret discussion with an MGM Grand employee. Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena has hosted some of the biggest fights in combat sports history: Tyson-Holyfield I & II, Prince Naseem v. Barrera, DLH v. Hopkins, Mayweather v. Hatton, Liddell-Jackson II, Liddel-Ortiz II, this weekend’s Pavlik-Taylor rematch and even WCW Halloween Havoc! I figured this guy would have some interesting run-ins with fighters and/or promoters and, as it turns out, I was right.

We talked about who the best tippers are, the biggest pains in the butt, which fighter has the most groupies and so much more. Take a listen – it’s kind of like going to a hotel and talking to an employee before a big fight only completely different.


MGM Grand employee – 02/18/08

(Early) Mornin’ Muesli: Money May Headed To ‘Mania?!?!

picture-2.png***Update: The (UK) Sun has good report and a video clip of Mayweather’s appearance. Click here to check it out.

Random WWE No Way Out Thoughts…

1. Wow. Money. May. Wow. The best boxer in the world on WWE TV? Wow. This is bigger than Tyson because Tyson was washed up by the time he arrived. So, that said, why wasn’t his appearance advertised? They could have just mentioned he would be in attendance because I bet a lot more people would have purchased the show had they known Mayweather would be there.

2. Love the angle with Big Show but does this mean we are getting Mayweather v. Big Show at WM 24? I mean, wow (sorry I keep repeating that but I had NO IDEA this one was coming and am still in shock). Who’s behind this? Mark Cuban?

3. Please get rid of the ECW title. It’s worth less than the late Hardcore title right now

4. The bleeding mouth Gogoplata spot is so weak. We’ve all seen a real gogoplata and no one bleeds from it. I dig the fact that ‘Taker has employed this new MMA style but the blood cheapens it

5. Not even the Elimination Chamber could get Big Daddy V and Khali to have a good match

6. This Flair storyline has lost a lot of steam. It just doesn’t seem special

7. While we’re at it, I hope these HBK-Flair ‘Mania rumors are false. How does HBK benefit from defeating Flair? That spot should go to Kennedy or MVP (my pick would MVP)

8. If Mysterio’s injury was as bad as it was made out to be, why the hell did he wrestle? He wasn’t the champ, he wasn’t supposed to win…so what was the point? The Mayweather angle could have easily been done without him having to wrestle.

9. 3-Way at ‘Mania. Yawn.

10. I hated the triple threat match at WM 20 and I know I will hate this one. I’m sorry but there is no good reason why this match needs HHH. Okay, maybe one good reason (hint: he’s married to the boss’ daughter)

11. No surprise in the fact that I enjoyed the Raw Chamber match more than the Smackdown one. For a split second I actually thought Hardy might win but, alas, reality kicked in

12. If you would have told me that following Pavlik-Taylor II and Kimbo v. Tank that the event I would be most impressed by would be this PPV I would say your nuts. However, that’s exactly how I feel. It’s almost as though Vince & Co. said “um, don’t forget about us.” By the way, take Mayweather out of the equation and I might feel a little differently but, nevertheless, great job last night. I actually wrote to Large after the show and this is what he said:

“Money has…a hell of a publicist.”

Amen, Large. Amen.

Mornin’ Muesli: 15 Random Thoughts From An Amazing Saturday Night

img_8304-slice-vs-abbott-01.jpg

1. Kelly Pavlik is no flash in the pan

2. Miami sure does love them some Kimbo. What an amazing crowd

3. Even in defeat, that was Jermain Taylor’s best fight as a pro

4. Tank Abbott must be a Ric Flair fan

5. Other than the fact that there were no knock downs, I enjoyed the second Pavlk-Taylor fight better than the first

6. Ok, we’ve seen Kimbo fight two tomato cans. Now it’s time for him to fight some stiffer competition. Sean Gannon, anyone?

7. Nice to see a solid undercard on a boxing PPV

8. For Yves Edwards to be truly “back” he needs to fight a top-20 contender. Until then, I just don’t buy it

9. James Thompson needs to rethink the way he starts fights

10. Brett Rogers and Scott Smith should share KO of the night honors. Still not sure which one was better but both men looked great.

11. Very disapointed in Antonio Silva’s performance. In fact, props to Ricco Rodriguez. Hopefully this helps him get his life back in order

12. Bill Goldberg needs to take it down a notch. He is way too aggressive and I hate the fact that he is so visible in the cage after the fights. When the fighters are giving each other props he shouldn’t be jumping in there too.

13. Enough with the DJ after fights. And while we’re at it, enough with making the fighters wear EliteXC hats too. It’s so weak.

14. What’s with all the Shamrock vs. Kimbo talk? Aren’t we in agreement that if Shamrock defeats Buzz Berry next month that he should then fight his brother, Frank?

15. If Pavlik really does fight Trinidad next I will truly fall into a deep depression.