January 12, 2008
Mike Abitabile

The Devil’s Advocate:
If It Didn’t Happen on TV, It Didn’t Happen…. Unless They Want Us to Know It Happened

This week, we try and figure out why people attempt to make mountains out of molehills.

Shannon Moore and Jimmy Wang Yang Are Not in the Rumble

Late last week, news broke that WWE was having Royal Rumble qualifying matches throughout their house show loop (which also looks to be continuing this weekend). PWInsider.com was quick to post the house show results sent in from various readers, and thus, the names of those who won Rumble qualifiers over the weekend. The list of names they posted included Snitsky, Hardcore Holly, John Morrison, The Miz, Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore. On Monday, WWE.com acknowledged these matches and added the names to a page on their Royal Rumble sub-section that included these wrestlers, in addition to the others that had won Rumble qualifying matches on TV (here). The only problem is that Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore were not included on this page.

I’ll give the internet wrestling reporters some credit – at first, they did give WWE the benefit of the doubt and suggested that the names would be added at some point. However, as the week went on and the names were not added, the patience began to wear thin. As of this writing, the names of Jimmy Yang Wang and Shannon Moore have not been added to the Rumble participants list on WWE.com. My first thought centered around trying to determine why such a big deal is being made over these developments. But if they want to make a big deal out of it, I can respond in kind.

There are a few reasonable explanations that have gone through my head on the topic. First, the match that Wang and Moore won took place in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, January 5th, 2008. They defeated (in a non-title match) the team that they have been feuding with on ECW TV, the WWE Tag Team Champions, John Morrison and The Miz. PWInsider.com explains that “several fans at the Canton show have confirmed that the match was indeed announced to the crowd as a Rumble qualifier, and that Yang & Moore did win the bout” (here). Well, okay, I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, but, on the other hand, still be weary. What I mean by this is, I would take the fan reports sent in at face value, but unless I could confirm something like that with my own eyes, I wouldn’t hang my hat on it as the basis of a week’s worth of ammunition trying to contradict the WWE. And since I (and I assume the PWInsider guys) had no way of being at the Canton, Ohio show, confirming it with our own eyes is pretty much impossible. So the first explanation is that the reports may have been wrong.

Secondly, it is worth noting that the bout was rematched the next day at a house show in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on January 6th, 2008. This time, Morrison and Miz pulled out the victory. It is also entirely possible that the rematch saw Wang and Moore’s recently won Rumble spots put back on the line with some heel General Manager assistance. Did that happen? Maybe it did or maybe it didn’t. We don’t know for sure because the fan report didn’t make it clear and WWE.com hasn’t really elaborated on specifically how each of the house show winners got into the Rumble, just that they did.

Finally, WWE could have decided they had other plans and didn’t want Yang and Moore in the Rumble, so they ignored that house show match. Would that be the greatest thing in the world? No. Has it happened before? Yes. Will the world stop spinning because of that decision, if that was the case? No.

Chris Benoit’s Rumble History Remains

Recently, I have seen it reported on many sites that the Past Royal Rumble Winners page on WWE.com (here) omits Chris Benoit. Truthfully, was anybody actually shocked to hear this? However, those who are getting frustrated with the fact that WWE is erasing Chris Benoit from history used this to fuel their fire and to back up their fight to slam the E for doing that.

However, what I haven’t seen reported, is that if you head over to the Royal Rumble History section (which is linked on the left side of the page of the main Royal Rumble site, not a hidden link or anything like that), low and behold, 2004 is readily available and clickable. Once you click the page (here) the first thing you see is a picture from the event of John Cena, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Rob Van Dam and yes, Chris Benoit, competing in that year’s Rumble match. You can also read an article with statistical breakdowns of entrants and eliminations for the match, with plenty of Benoit references. There is also a picture of Benoit holding the World Heavyweight Title belt.

I’d like to know why this was overlooked. Why was the negative news of WWE removing Chris Benoit from the Rumble Winners page posted, but the not-so-negative fact that he, and his Rumble win, remains intact on the History page? It is moments like these which back up my claims that sites dwell on the negative aspects and ignore the facts in the name of a juicy story.

Breaking News!

Finally this week, I would like to give a Gold Star to Steve Gerweck, of Gerweck.net. As far as I can tell, Gerweck broke the news that Chris Harris had left TNA to join the WWE on Thursday (here). Not only did he break news that turned out to be true (how many times has a site reported Sting had re-signed with TNA over the past two months with that news going nowhere?) but he also left all editorial comments out of his post. That was rather refreshing and was the one thing that stood out to me when I checked out his site on Thursday.

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

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