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July 28, 2009

A live perspective on Raw is Shaq

Shaquille O’Neal proved on Raw Monday night at Verizon Center in Washington that if there ever was a professional athlete who is a natural for pro wrestling, he is it. To me, it’s a question of when, not if, Shaq dons the tights at a WrestleMania.

As I expected, he was by far the most entertaining of the celebrities who have hosted Raw the past three weeks. Shaq has a presence, charisma and a playful charm that makes it hard not to like him.

He’s also a wrestling fan – and it showed. Shaq, who has done angles in the past with WWE and WCW, interacted well with the wrestlers both in comedic and serious situations. The opening segment that featured a verbal confrontation pitting Shaq against Chris Jericho and The Big Show was tremendous. The spot at the end of the show in which Shaq got physical with Big Show was good, too.

What really made it all work is that Shaq, at 7 feet 1 and 325 pounds, is believable as a guy who can handle himself against even the biggest of wrestlers. This isn’t like Hulk Hogan selling for Jay Leno or William Shatner decking Jerry Lawler.

More importantly for WWE is that the company got its SportsCenter moment when Shaq and Big Show squared off. That type of mainstream exposure is what the celebrity guest host concept is all about.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

I don’t know how it came across on TV, but I thought it was a hot crowd, especially compared to the audience in Philadelphia Sunday at the Night of Champions pay-per-view. Not surprisingly, John Cena, Triple H and Randy Orton got the biggest reactions. Cena was mostly cheered. During his match against The Miz, a “Cena sucks” chant was quickly drowned out by a “Cena” chant. At least I think it was. It was hard for me to tell due to the shrill screams from the teenage girl sitting behind me. Apart from the three superstars, the wrestler who got the loudest ovation was Kofi Kingston. He is one good story line away from being a breakout star. ...

I like the Beat the Clock Challenge as a way of determining the No. 1 contender for the WWE title at SummerSlam on Aug. 23, but I wish this one would have gone down differently. When the five participants were announced – Triple H, Mark Henry, MVP, Jack Swagger and Cena – I knew immediately that MVP and Swagger didn’t have a chance. I was really hoping that WWE would think outside the box and give Henry an opportunity, especially since he already has a pinfall victory over WWE champion Orton. Anyone but Triple H or Cena. Of those two, however, I’m glad it was Cena who won. Orton versus Cena isn’t anything we haven’t already seen, but at least it’s fresher than Orton versus Triple H. …

Just how bad did I want to see Henry win Beat the Clock? So bad that I actually cheered for The Miz against Cena. Honestly, Miz immediately won me over when he busted on the Washington Redskins. In all seriousness, Miz really is starting to grow on me. After he cut his promo and we were in a commercial break, Miz’s music kept playing … and playing. Miz grabbed the mic and said, “Are you tired of listening to my entrance music?” When the crowd said yes, Miz paused and said, Too bad! Play it again!” …

The fact that not all five of the Beat the Clock participants won their matches makes it more believable and unpredictable, but I also think it speaks volumes that it was MVP and Swagger who did not go over. It’s painfully obvious at this point that MVP is what he is in WWE, and unfortunately, it isn’t a main-eventer. After going to a double count-out with the returning Chris Masters, I suppose we’re going to get a MVP-Masters feud. I can hardly wait.

As for Swagger, he may have lost some of the shine off his golden boy status. I have heard rumblings that some in WWE believe he is not as respectful of the veterans backstage as he should be. That’s a big no-no. I’d like to believe that Swagger’s loss to Evan Bourne was done to kick off a program between the two and was not the beginning of a burial of Swagger. …

Masters sported a ripped physique but was not freakishly large. A smattering of fans chanted “Welcome back” when he was introduced, which I found a little surprising. I think Masters is OK, but to me there’s just something missing. …

When Triple H got the Nancy Kerrigan treatment from Ted DiBiase Jr., I thought for sure it meant that Triple H would just beat Cody Rhodes with one leg in his Beat the Clock match. I marked out when Rhodes survived and Triple H was eliminated. Sorry, Trips. It’s just business. Nothing personal. …

With Triple H facing DiBiase and Rhodes next week in a handicap match, I can see where this is leading: DX versus Legacy at SummerSlam. …

Henry and Carlito didn’t work well together and the crowd never really got into it. Instead of booking it to go nearly seven minutes, it probably should have been about half of that. …

When Shaq told Jericho and Big Show that they would have to face Cryme Tyme in the main event, I was surprised that they didn’t burst out laughing. Why is Cryme Tyme on Raw, anyway? Aren’t they exclusive to Smackdown? …

Shaq kissing Jericho on the head was a nice touch, and Jericho’s reaction was great. It also was funny when Big Show told Shaq that he wasn’t going to fight him, and Jericho looked up at Shaq and said, “And I’m not going to fight you either.” …

The comedy bits Shaq did with Santino Marella and Hornswoggle were pretty funny. As silly as it was, I laughed out loud when Hornswoggle wiped out trying to dunk a basketball. I wonder if Jesse is upset that Marella stole his white rapper gimmick? ...

Could someone who watched Raw on TV tell me how it was explained that Michael Cole could be calling a match and then a few seconds later be in a backstage vignette with Shaq?

Who is more humiliated these days, Chavo Guerrero or The Brian Kendrick? I called the blindfold match between Guerrero and Hornswoggle two weeks ago. How much longer can WWE keep this angle going? As for Kendrick, his if-you-blinked-you-missed-it loss to Kingston was especially disappointing because I really wanted to see those two wrestle. …

There have been rumors of a Gail Kim heel turn, and we may have seen the start of it here when she tagged herself into the six-women tag match and scored the pin. I like Kim better as a babyface, but a Kim-Mickie James feud for the Divas title could be real good. …

I was surprised that Maryse wasn’t on the show, but then I read on this morning that she likely will have to undergo knee surgery. She was in Birmingham, Ala., Monday to see renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews about ongoing issues with her kneecap.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 3:45 PM | | Comments (59)


The King called the divas match alone and said that Michael Cole was trying to find Shaq for an interview at the time.


Kev-It was explained just like you typed it. The King just said the Cole had to go back stage to interview Shaq. I wanna say it was right after a commercial break.

While Orton-Cena isn't particularly fresh, at least it's a match between two guys in their prime. At age 40, HHH should be main-eventing periodically and otherwise working with mid-carders, like HBK. I can only hope Legacy gets some sort of boost feuding with DX. Sadly, I fear numerous Raw main-events with some variant of Legacy vs DX/Cena and Rhodes/Dibiase looking like fools.

If WWE is serious about this, Legacy-DX should have a similar outcome to the New Age Outlaws and Legion of Doom feud in late 1997.

What did Kendrick & Guerrero do to deserve this??

I hope you still Tivo'd the episode so you could hear Michael Cole contribute his "BOOM SHAQ-Alacca" during his takedown of Big Show!

By far this is the best raw in a while. First other than the last 2 matches I think it was a really good Raw. I am very happy that Bourne actually got a win over someone considered a quality heel. also the Shaq bits were great why they could not do something on the lines of Z Z Top last week I don't know why. mark henry almost winning beat the clock good, MVP not getting pined great,
HHH not win ning Beat the clock Priceless. now to the bad we have to watch Cena/Orton again on PPV and the Champs v. Cryme tyme was almost unwatchable until the end but I think this episode did its purpose because the first thing I sw on ESPN when I ot up this morning was the replay of Shaq's shouder block on the Big Show so good for them. And i guess congradulations Kev because from the looks of things your boy is coming back it looks like we got DX vs. Legacy at Summer Slam. Kev as far as The Cole segment went he did not call the Diva's match made it obvious that the King should not call a match on his own it sounded terrible. As far as the beat the clock matches went I really liked it especially since it wasn't the same old everyone constantly beating the time i like the fact there was a double count out and their was someone in the chase that actully lost.

Have to agree Kevin --- while overall I read during most of the matches last night, I did break to watch anything to do with Shaq - he has definitely been the best guest host yet and I loved the interactions and scenes between Shaq/Jericho especially, but also between Shaq/Big Show and others. He was great. You're right, with his size, etc., he fit right in as compared to Seth Green --- Seth looked really small against the shorter wrestlers. Shaq calling Jericho Christina and kissing him on the forehead and Chris's facial expressions were the most entertaining RAW I've seen in awhile. They need more hosts like him (or Shaq coming back for a repeat performance).

Didn't see NOC but I felt the crowd came across as hot on tv last night. Most parts, I could have taken or left, though. I figured either Triple H or Cena would win the beat the clock - I didn't feel the rest of it (short of maybe Mark Henry) going against Orton would be a great PPV.

Swagger and Brian Kendrick can both leave WWE as far as I'm concerned. When ever I tape it, I fast forward their matches everytime.

Okay -- and since I've not been watching that long, I only started watching in 7/06 --- that's when DX was together so you just made my day hearing they're probably going to reunite, since they are my two favorite wrestlers... I can't wait for Shawn (spelled his name right this time) to return... Now any idea when the Undertaker is going to return? Summerslam also?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I don't think Taker will be back until Sept. at the earliest.

Hey Kevin, what happened with Cole was Jerry Lawer just called the match by himself, and said Cole was sent backstage to get an interview with Shaq.

Nice Blog as always K.E. however you called Swagger a "she" and Michael Cole wasn't commentating on the diva's match, King announced he had been giving a special task to interview Shaq and King called the match on his own...

Kevin, that Cole/Shaq/Hornswaggle thing was obviously taped before hand. Cole didn't look like he had to rush back out to the table when TV came out of break...

I like you thought the Henry/Carlito match went on for too long...and yes I was secretly hoping for Miz to outlast the time giving us Henry in the picture, Miz and Cena actually with an enmity to fight over and as you said DX vs Legacy

I know I won't place any importance in next year's draft myself

Jesse vs Santino in an 8 mile type battle..I calling it now!

BTW if this was a fair and just world it would be Evan Bourne vs Orton at SS...he did win the fastest....

Mickie vs Gail...sign me up now!

The king explained it by saying Cole was on special assignment trying to get an interview with Shaq.

Kev I laughed and wonder why Josh Matthews didn't just do it. Even worse Jerry sounded lost trying to carry the commentary by himself.

It was an OK follow-up show to a pretty blah PPV. Still, it's hard to believe the WWE has fallen to the depths of ripping off mildly funny ESPN commercials almost verbatim.

What is the chance of WWE acknowledging that Bobby Lashley was the first to break The Masterlock?


I also thought Shaq's interactions with Jericho and Big Show were excellent. Jericho was perfectly weasely after Big Show came out.

As far as Michael Cole's double duty, he didn't call the divas' match, it was just Lawler.

Shaq tears up the "All Hail King Kobe" sign during the opening segment? But it was okay for Jericho to mention Kobe as a better player? What's up with the new Referee? I thought they were not hiring any new ones? Redskins not in the front row? PRICELESS!

The King said he was calling the Divas match alone and said that Cole was heading backstage to get an interview with Shaq.

Great read as usual!

Triple H is billed as the 'cerebral assassin', yet in a time sensitive match he spent 90 seconds putting his opponent in a headlock.

Um, ok.

I think I was really on to something with the DX angle.

Trailer advertising the "DX Invasion Tour" on UK television has been running for months (due to happen November).

Hi Kev,

The Shaq and Jericho/Big Show opening segment was good. I would definitely like to see a Shaq vs. Big Show match.

I definitely have to agree with you too. I wish theWWE creative team would think out of the box. The Orton vs. Cena and/or HHH feud is old news and one of the reasons I'm not watching RAW as much anymore. It's boring!!! Why not give someone else a shot like Mark Henry or MVP or have Christian appear on RAW and challenge Orton to make things more interesting. I'm not overly excited about next weeks RAW HHH vs. Legacy match up either. It has been done word comes to mind...boring.

Being from Cleveland, I loved seeing Witness Protection (Shaq) in the ring. IThe Scrabble thing was lame and just a rip off. It would have been funnier if it was Santino beating Shaq with made up words, but I liked how Shaq and Hornswoggle went to High School together.

When it was Carlito against Henry I got worried that Carlito would get squashed (no pun intended), but he looked good in his lose and held his own. I don't get why you are surprised about the lack of reaction. No matter what WWE does Henry will not get any reaction because his matches are boring. He is so boring that it is not even fun to boo him, you just sit there and hope for it to end soon. Mark Henry will never get over as a top guy, heel or face (but especially face).

I knew Kendrick would get buried, but that was ridiculous.

I liked how on HHH's walk to the ring, you would never had guessed he just got his leg smashed with an iron pipe.

I like Masters and I am glad to see him back. I would like to see him against Kofi. RIght now, I think the US title could be the most interesting division on WWE. With Kingston, Masters, MVP, The Miz, Bourne, and Carlito. This could be as good as the IC belt matches in 98-99.

Oh, and since you could not hear the commentary. Shaq and Teddy Long are best buds and worked it out for Cryme Time to come. I hate Cryme Time, and even though I am not black, I am embarrassed by them for being the most stereotypical representation in history. They are almost as bad as the illiterate black robots in Transformers.

Could someone who watched Raw on TV tell me how it was explained that Michael Cole could be calling a match and then a few seconds later be in a backstage vignette with Shaq?

There was a shot of Lawler by himself, and he told everybody that Cole had been sent on a "special assignment" to interview Shaq backstage. Lawler called the divas match alone.

KEV - You really really really need a live blog during shows. Because when Cryme Tyme came out, all I wanted to know was what YOU were thinking and saying.

You've made clear why you are not a fan of their gimmick. But what about their work? I don't think they are HORRIBLE in the ring. And haven't they proved back when they were aligned with John Cena that they can be entertaining without all the "Yo Yo Yo Word Up" antics.

It's crazy that Triple H is 40. I remember JR calling a match between him and The Rock on Sunday Night Heat and talking about how they were the future of the business and they were both 26 years old.

Why wouldn't WWE put Chris Masters on ECW? He'd be perfect there.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I'm glad you asked me the question about Cryme Tyme, because I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I hate the gimmick. I have no issue with their talent. JTG is the better worker of the two, but I think Shad, because of his size, might make it bigger as a singles wrestler if they ever split up.

Kevin: Although the celebrity guest host concept has only been with us for four weeks (if you include Trump), is it possible to discern any trends in the ratings? Is this format attracting new audiences?

On the surface it appears to have been a novel concept.

Cole didn't call the Divas match before the backstage Shaq interview -- Lawler was on-camera right before the match to explain that Cole was on his way backstage. Lawler then did an almost-mediocre job of calling the match.

"I wonder if Jesse is upset that Marella stole his white rapper gimmick?..."
I wonder if Cena is upset that Jesse stole HIS white rapper gimmick....hell I wonder if P.N. News is upset at all of em'.
I'm sure a hundred people told you that The King said Michael Hole was on his way to the back to get an interview with Shaq so I won't bother...opps, I guess I just did.
Shaq-a-licious...seriously...can we get a petition started to get Michael Hole Future Endeavored.
He adds nothing!!
I may be in the minority but I would have much rather seen HHH win the Beat the Clock challenge and have him and Orton in a Hell in the Cell at Summer Slam so we can finally put a period at the end of that sentence. Now it looks like it'll drag on another month or so. Cena's just a hicup.

Lawler called the Divas match by himself saying that Cole was backstage in "hopes" of getting an interview with Shaq. When I heard Shaq would be the guest host, I really expected great things. Maybe my hopes were too high but it just didn't quite make it for me. It should get an Emmy compared to the ZZ Top episode though...

Keep the faith, Kevin. If Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw can become JBL the Wrestling God and World Champion, then MVP can still have his moment as a world champ.

I was pissed, though, that MVP lost and not just to anyone: Chris Masters. Why did they bring that dingbat back? What is he missing? How about a personality. I can't believe he got the pushes he got when he was on Raw the first time. I hope he fails a drug test again and gets suspended FOREVER.

I think the worst part of the night was at the end, when Michael Cole, after witnessing Shaq knocking down Big Show, yelled "Boom-Shaq-a-lack-a!" I don't know what's worse: that or Cole doing the Thunderclap and yelling "Boom Boom Boom" during the Draft back in April.

Kev, Lawler announced one match by himself while Michael Cole was backstage getting the interview with Shaq.

Shaq did a good job as he is comfortable around wrestlers, but something still seemed a little "off" last night. I'm

Glad to see Bourne get the victory...loved it! Hope they don bury Swagger though.

If the WWE would have maintianed Kendricks status, a program with Kofi would have been awesome.

When big show came in and beat down cryme tyme, it was the fastest and most intense I have seen him. When he moves like that, with his facial expressions like that, he is friggin SCARY!

So, does anybody else find it silly that HHH didn't hit the semi-interfering dibiase so as to avoid a DQ? When has anyone ever been disqualified for that? (that was the explanation given by Cole.)

RESPONSE FROM KE: Cole said that? You're right. That doesn't make any sense.

Miz's crack on the Redskins was the only attempt of generating heat with the crowd that went anywhere. The continuing cracks on the Bullets fell flat on TV as the crowd seemed to barely even react.

Now if they WWE folks had worked some jabs at the Caps in, there might have been a riot in the Phone Booth...

"Shaq has a presence, charisma and a playful charm that makes it hard not to like him."

I don't think I could disagree more...

I found him hateful. It looked like he didn't even know Mark Henry's name and had to wait until it appeared on the screen to say it. And then, the best insult he can come up with is calling Jericho "Christina", Big Show "fat boy", and the unified tag champs "girls"? How old is he anyway? 13? And despite his size, I think it still destroys the actual wrestler's credibility if these non-wrestlers continuously intimidates them.

Kelly Kelly looked amazing. Too bad she never got tagged in.

Mark Henry's match was super boring.

There were "you can't wrestle" chants during the MVP-Masters match. Any idea who there were directed at? Were some of the old ECW crowd in attendance?

And seriously, DiBiase should know better than to simply "hit" Triple H once with that club or whatever. Triple H didn't even seem hurt during the match. He wouldn't even sell a 2-count for Rhodes...

The question is, why would Triple H hitting DiBiase result in a DQ?

The SummerSlam logo is awful.

Agree with just about everything you said. A couple thoughts:

The look Mickie gave Gail after the match made me think it will be Mickie doing the heel turn. I think she'd due for it, anyway. Six months ago she was the most over woman in wrestling, but she'd really fallen back to the middle of the pack.

Kendrick must have seriously pissed off the wrong people. Pity for us, a match with Kofi sure would have been entertaining.

You couldn't be more right about the Henry-Carlito match being too long. I guess they had to set a time that would allow the other matches to run their courses, but still be beatable. But the crowd was just not into it.

As a matter of fact, I was surprised at just how dead the crowd seemed all night. Was it just me? Sign of the times, perhaps; Smackdown is just a superior show in ever respect these days. Too much much HHH/Cena, not nearly enough Bourne, Swagger, Kingston. And I can't wait until Orton splits from Legacy. He's helped get them over, I suppose, but they have really hurt his credibility.

They showed Cole's empty chair right before the match preceding his Shaq segment backstage and Lawler did that match solo.

Hey Kevin quick question.

If Mark Henry had set the clock at 6:41 to beat

and Evan Bourne set the new time at 3:09

How the heck did John Cena become number 1 contender if he didnt beat Bournes time???

I'm lost... I thought that the best time won. Isnt that how it has always been? How can it only count for Henry, Cena, MVP and Swagger? Hasnt it always been for all wrestlers in the match??

RESPONSE FROM KE: I think the rules have gone back and forth on this, but it was my understanding with this BTC that only the five participants could win it.

I was at Raw and I saw Santino, Cryme Tyme and Finlay come out of the crowd in our section to chase HHH. I was this close to Santino this time and last year I was in the section where Jericho walked down the steps. How sweet it is.

It was great being there last night.

kev, cole was gone for a whole match leaving king on commintary alone. king even said he left to talk to shaq.

I thought the notion that Show and Jericho should be intimidated by Cryme Tyme was laughable. With the state of tag team wrestling in WWE what it is and they have been a team their entire tenure and have never won a championship, that doesn't speak well for them.

Shaq was awesome...clearly the best of all the guest hosts so far. A bad night for Lawler and Cole behind the mic. Lawler's opening gaffe introducing Shaq as a 15 time MVP and seeming absolutely lost while attempting to call the 6 diva tag match.During the Mark Henry Match,Cole stated that he had pinned WWE champion Chris Jericho,then paused a couple of seconds and then added well on the end.Clearly he meant to say Randy Orton.Cole ended the night with this beauty,"Thanks for watching and good luck from Washington DC."

Kevin, when the show came back from commercial King said that Michael Cole went backstage to interview Shaq. I'm not sure why Josh Matthews couldn't do it or if it was a taped segment backstage or not but it was fairly quick, even on TV.

The king called the match alone. You know Cole probably was better served looking silly talking to Shaq.

Shaq's "Christina" bit sounded like a John Cena promo...

JeriShow vs. The Minstrel Show = worst main event ever. The crowd sounded absolutely dead on TV, to the point where you could hear children talking - and possibly crickets chirping.

I thought Shaq should have been booked as a heel, since he's legit cocky and a bully, but no one other than Big Show would have looked as good standing face to face with him.

Maybe MVP would get over if he wore some better wrestling attire. Though maybe he is covering a body full of prison tats from his younger days...

Best line of the night came from Santino when playing scrabble with Shaq - "How come you keep getting so many Q's?" Does anyone know if he writes his own material? He seems a cut above the rest of the attempts at 'comedy', but that might just be his delivery.

It was only a little touch but putting Show in a suit gave a bit more unity to the unified tag champs. I was deflated when Show was revealed as Jericho's partner at N.O.C but already I can see Jericho having a lot of fun being the mouthy little bully with a big strong thug to back him up.

If things don't work out in Cleveland, it's good to know Shaq can always fall back on another sport.

I now officially hate the Miz for ragging on my Redskins.

As an Irishman who knows nothing about basketball, all I want to know is, if Shaq is still playing and if he is, can he please retire and come to the WWE and wrestle instead because he was absolutely fantastic. He is a natural in a wrestling ring. Great Raw for a change.

The Miz's crack on Barack Obama was very funny.

And as someone who attended the live event at The Verizon Center, I can tell you that there is not a lack of leg tattoos or jorts in the WWE Universe.

I see that some people think that Shaq's antics were childish people have to remember that he is not ad-libbing out there he is probably given a script just like everyone else doing a promo and if you want to talk about childish why then is the WWE always trying to hit the democratic party jabs their a billion dollar corporation allegedly they need to grow up.

"Best line of the night came from Santino when playing scrabble with Shaq - "How come you keep getting so many Q's?" Does anyone know if he writes his own material?"

Actually that was a direct quote from an ESPN ad that's been airing for a few months

I wonder why The Miz didn't slag the Washington Nationals.

After all, they have the worst record in MLB at 32-68 and are 27 games out of first place in the NL East. The Nationals aren't the 1962 Mets but they are pretty close.

The Miz missed a big target.

RESPONSE FROM KE: That would be like stepping on ants.

Just thought id mention that on they are advertising a match on Superstars as an "Interbrand battle" between Smackdown's John Morrison and "one of ECW's finest" Tyson Kidd. Can you explain this?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Yes, I can. Someone at forgot that Kidd was traded to Smackdown.

Did anybody notice HHHs poorly chosen and worded dog analogy during his backstage promo?

I bet he has received some heat from the outside about that.

I'd like to see RVD return as a guest host. Kevin, do you think that is possible?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I think it's possible. RVD is on good terms with WWE as far as I know.

The Scrabble bit was ripped off of a SportsCenter commercial. I heard that ESPN ripped them pretty good about "lazy writing" on air Monday night. I wondered if they were talking about the Heavyweight Title picture or the sharing of talent between brands (for the record, Shaq said he paid to have CT wrestle on his show in the opening).

P.S. Re: comment on silly DQ commentary from Cole during Trips' match:

Later in the show, Lawler said it was the referee's discretion and HHH could possibly have been disqualified for hitting Teddy.

A decent cover with Lawler on the ball as always. Or maybe he was talking for Vince, but I think it was all Jerry.

And then, the best insult he can come up with is calling Jericho "Christina"

That's the kind of guy Shaq is. The year the Heat faced the Mavericks in the playoffs and Shaq was being defended by Dallas center Erick Dampier, he called the guy "Erica".

His career is full of incidents where he's been something less than a class act. Google the phrase "Does Anybody in NBA History Better Personify “Petulance” than Shaquille O’Neal?" to find a whole article on it.

The Miz's crack on Barack Obama was very funny.

I hope he was just doing it because D.C. went for Obama and not because he actually is a Republican, as he said back in January. I was kind of hoping that there might be a more or less even split in terms of wrestlers' politics these days and that most wrestlers weren't real conservative. I know Mick Foley has no love for the GOP, nor does CM Punk, and maybe Cryme Tyme (if you go by what they said on the mic), but that's about it.

Not that I'm happy with everything Obama's done--or hasn't done--mind. But usually that's because he's been more of a centrist than I'd prefer.

Maybe MVP would get over if he wore some better wrestling attire. Though maybe he is covering a body full of prison tats from his younger days...

Well, we HAVE seen MVP in short sleeves, most recently on the VIP Lounge with Jack Swagger. So that isn't it.

Here's what MVP had to say about his ring attire in a 2007 interview for this blog:

"I don’t see where [my ring attire is] holding me back. If you look at world-class runners, you see what they wear. Champion power lifters, ice skaters, Lance Armstrong when he’s on that bike – what is he wearing? NFL players, underneath their pads, what are they wearing? They’re wearing some sort of Under Armour dry-fit technology. That’s what I wear. For people to criticize what I’m wearing – if you look at most of my opponents, these guys are wearing bikini briefs and tights, which is just another way of saying pantyhose."


Here's something that might factor into it, though. Reading about the guy on Wiki, it said that some countries bar him from entering when WWE does a show there because of his criminal record. Right now, it just means one less superstar out of many, but what if he were holding one of the world titles? That would mean that they'd have to do a show without the world champion.

I would have liked to see Big Show say he couldn't wrestle O'Neal because of potential lawsuits from David Stern but he would be willing to play him in a game of basketball. Big Show played for Wichita St at the same time O'Neal was at LSU. It might be interesting. He couldn't just back down and push Big Show out of the way.

O'Neal: 37 years old.
Hornswoggle: 23 years old.

Are we to believe Hornswoggle went from the womb to high school with O'Neal?

JUSTBILL - Ah, cheers man. I live in the UK so thought it was an original line from Santino. Still made me laugh.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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