Lance Cade dead at 29

This has been all over the internet today – former WWE superstar Lance Cade passed away from apparent heart failure.  I don’t know the details, but I do know that 29 is way to young for anyone to be succumbing to such a malady.  We at the 1/8th Nelson express our condolences to the friends and family.

In other news, Smackdown diva Tiffany has been suspended due to a domestic disturbance between her and her husband (Drew McIntyre) at a San Jose hotel earlier this week.  No word on whether this will effect her scheduled match at SummerSlam.

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The End Is Here – ECW 02/16/10

The run of the WWE ECW has come to an end.  Starting off with a bang with Rob Van Dam breaking through that glass ceiling winning the WWE Championship at One Night Stand until he was screwed by Paul Heyman and Big Show making Big Show the first Triple Crown Champion.  We saw the rise of CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, The Miz and John Morrison.  New superstars were initiated with former champion Jack Swagger and the high-flying Evan Bourne while beloved second tier talents rose to become the champions the fans demanded in Kane, Mark Henry,  Matt Hardy and even Chavo Guerrero. The heart and soul of ECW Tommy Dreamer fought his way to Summerslam and with the help of a 1 day contract extension became champion once again. Now we have Ruthless Roundtables, The Gold Standard, a Long Island loudmouth, Dudebusters, Oriental Gold and “peeps” as far as the eye can see. Blood, sweat and tears lie its wake as these superstars move on to their bright futures on either Raw or Smackdown as newly made free agents.

And with that on with the show…

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Wrapping Things Up In The Big Easy – ECW 2/9/10

The night started off with General Manager Tiffany addressing the ECW locker room about the end of ECW. Wh announced that in 2 weeks time they would all be free agents and to look to the future and put on a great show for the next two weeks. She also told them to have fun and with that she pulled out some beads (which she possible might have earned, I don’t know) and a what I want to say was a Hurricane and started celebrating. Abraham Washington was excited about “getting paid” while Zack Ryder was concerned about his and Rosa’s  futures. Me too Zack, me too.

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Homecoming Finale – ECW 1/12/10

Ever since 2 nights after TLC the fates have been in motion leading up to this night to determine ECW Champion Christian’s #1 Contender at the Royal Rumble. The Homecoming Finale is an 8-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Elimination Match. The superstars are as follows: Kane, Ezekiel Jackson, Vance Archer, Yoshi Tatsu, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, CM Punk and Shelton Benjamin.

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“Talent Search” shows and their results

Few people will likely come forward and announce “I think the Diva Search was a great idea!” or “Tough Enough is what this industry needs to build itself upon!”  You will likely find more detractors than supporters, both now and when they aired.  The winners are flagged as stars who quickly fizzled out or who simply never made it, while holding back developmental guys who here ‘paying their dues’.  And there is some truth to that.

But to really judge the merit of these shows gone by and the talent they produced, one must look beyond the winners and look at the noteworthy talent that also got their feet in the door.  And in doing so, we’ll take a look and see what is better in these situations – to be the winner and take the prize, or simply to be noticed.

We’ll begin with the first Tough Enough:

The Winners
Maven Huffman – Maven was very, very green when he first started, but the WWF didn’t try to force him down throats.  Instead, they let him learn as he went, but made him viable in the fans’ eyes by having him eliminate the Undertaker from the 2002 Royal Rumble.  From there, though, Maven floundered in the midcard, while slowly developing his skills.  His big break came around the 2004 Survivor Series, when he inexplicably became a member of the main event babyface team seeking control of Raw.  The next night, he gave himself a title shot against Triple H and really shined.  I believed, for that night, that Maven could be World Heavyweight champion.  Unfortunately, after that he was turned heel (despite a positive fan reaction), teamed with Simon Dean and released right as he was coming into his own as a cocky heel.  He later ended up on the Surreal Life.

Nidia Guenard – Nidia was put as the trailer-trash girlfriend of Jamie Noble, and actually shined in the role.  She did particularly well when she was “blinded” by Tajiri’s green for some time.  Eventually, she was traded to Raw, dropped any semblance of a character, and tagged with Victoria on Heat until being released.

Notable Runners Up
Josh Lomberger – While never becoming an active wrestler, Josh became a regular presence on WWE broadcasts as Josh Matthews, hosting the likes of Heat and Velocity, as well as the pre-PPV recap shows.  He is currently doing play-by-play on ECW where he is rather despised by our own Man of 1004 Gimmicks (who is a Striker/Grisham mark).

Christopher Nowinski – Nowinski had a great act as a cocky Harvard grad with a superiority complex.  Think Jack Swagger, only smarter, smaller and without a lisp.  He had excellent heel tendencies, and became the first white client of Theodore Long’s management service (matched up with the likes of Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and Jazz).  Unfortunately, his career was cut very short when he received a concussion and suffered from post-concussive syndrome.  He now supports research on concussion-releated illnesses.

Advantage
I’m giving it to the runners up.  Lomberger is still employed by the WWE and Nowinski had far more potential in a far shorter time than either Maven or Nidia demonstrated.

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The Last of The Originals – ECW 12/29/09

The night started of immediately as the ECW Champion made his way ringside for one of the two (sadly very predictable) ECW Homecoming qualifiers. The Moscow Mauler confronts the Juggernaut of Destruction and Tommy Dreamer puts his WWE career on the line.  So without further ado let’s get into it.

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An All-American American Homecoming – ECW 12/22/09

The night opened up with the All-American American Jack Swagger returning to ECW.  The former ECW Champion stated it was good to be back where he got his start and to see changing faces in Land of Extreme but that the more things change the more they stay the same referencing his distaste in ECW Champion Christian and ECW Original Tommy Dreamer. With that he said he looked forward to winning the ECW Homecoming, facing Christian at the Royal Rumble and becoming the ECW Champion once again.  Read more of this post