November 1, 2007
Mike Abitabile

The Devilís Advocate:
Iíll Take Potpourri for $800, Alex

With so much going on, I figured Iíd hit a few different topics this week instead of just one. If all goes well, Iíll bust out this concept from time to time. If not, Iíll just retire it.

ECW is Saved!

Earlier this week, it was announced that Sci-Fi channel had renewed ECW for one more year. This came as a major relief to the fans who enjoy the show, and probably to WWE as well. But, when is good news bad news? When you write for a wrestling site on the internet. Not even a day after the news was announced, news started to trickle out and get posted on various sites that WWE was not happy with the one year extension and was hoping for a multi-year extension (such as here). In addition, it was also reported that the amount of money Sci-Fi (and their parent company, NBC Universal) is paying WWE for the show has decreased. Finally, they say WWE has to be more receptive to the ideas that Sci-Fi pitches to them. Man, how insane. It almost seems that the internet was hoping ECW would fail so they could throw it in WWEís face, and had to come up with something else negative since that didnít happen. As I always say, there are two sides of every story, so hereís why itís not all bad. First of all, a one year extension is good because it will keep WWE on their toes. They have to get the ratings up now, not later. They canít become complacent. Additionally, everyone seems to be freaking out because WWE wonít listen to the suggestions they are being given by USA Network and Sci-Fi and are trying to act as if WWE feels they above suggestions from the outside or something. Donít forget the Kevin Thorne vampire character was created to appease Sci-Fi, and many people never liked that gimmick. As for the pay cut, if it is true, maybe thatíll make WWE work harder as well. Plus, donít you think if WWE was dead set on forcing their hand, they could have negotiated a few more weeks before accepting a deal? For now, canít we just be happy that WWE had some good news?

TNA on WWE.com

On Friday, WWE.com posted their latest ďSuperstar to SuperstarĒ interview with ďStone ColdĒ Steve Austin interviewing, of all people, David Arquette (here). Amazingly enough, the topic of TNA came up and Austin made a comment about how they lacked star power. Donít bother clicking that link looking for it, as WWE edited the comment out about an hour after it was posted. Part of me thinks WWE let this one slip through the cracks on purpose, just to watch what happens and laugh at the uproar. Personally, Iíd think the story would be that WWE mentioned TNA, as they have basically never done that. Instead, the story became how off base Austin was in his comments, at least by those who are huge TNA fans. I get it, you have to stick up for your favorite company but you have to be realistic here. I am not trying to be mean to TNA or their fans. Frankly, I wish they would be successful and revitalize the wrestling business. But the arguments donít hold water, and here is why. Yes, TNA does have some big names, like Kurt Angle and Sting (and possibly someone else who will debut at the next pay per view, Genesis). But the rest of the roster seems like WWE rejects from the standpoint of a casual viewer and if TNA fans stepped back from the fandom and looked at it from an outsiderís perspective, they would realize that.

Another argument was made that iMPACT! gets comparable ratings to ECW. First of all, as a reader of mine, Tom McCarthy, points out, iMPACT!ís highest rating was a 1.1 (or, for those of you who round up because it makes you feel better, a 1.12). ECWís highest rating was in the high 2.0ís. Did they lose a lot of those viewers? Yes, they did. Has iMPACT! ever seen that amount of viewers? No, it hasnít. My final point would be that, with the ďstar powerĒ that TNA backers will name, are they proud to say that Sting and Kurt Angle are getting the same ratings as Big Daddy V and The Miz?

Save_Us.222 Is Probably Chris Jericho. Really?

Well, the Save_Us.222 speculation didnít come to an end at Cyber Sunday, as originally assumed it would. I know we were all on the edges of our seats trying to figure out who it is behind it. Seriously though, there is a reason for my sarcasm. There was a report earlier in the week that Stephanie McMahon was unhappy with the fact that Chris Jerichoís return had leaked. Personally, I donít buy it. On top of what everyone says about her, sheís apparently an idiot too? I mean, the whole thing is built up to be Chris Jericho. Slow down the videos and read all the clues. Do they point to anyone else? WWE made the commercials, so I am sure they know how all the clues point to Jericho, too.

I know that, I believe it was, the second commercial had a few Shawn Michaels hints, but that was before he came back early due to John Cenaís injury, so they were probably trying to trick everyone at that point. Frankly, I would be more surprised if it wasnít Chris Jericho. Nonetheless, I am personally very excited for his return as I have always been a Chris Jericho fan, and look forward to what they do with him againÖ.. if it is in fact him.

Feedback is always welcome at figurefanatic@gmail.com or you can visit my blog here.

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