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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Sept. 2, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
7-22-2002 7-29-2002 8-5-2002 8-12-2002
8-26-2002
  • WWE's Summerslam is in the books and will go down as one of the most well-received shows in company history (99.7% thumbs up vote from Observer readers). The show was capped off with Brock Lesnar being anointed as the company's new superstar, beating The Rock for the WWE title. The decision to put the belt on Lesnar was made months ago but the push seemed to be sputtering at first. Only in the last month or so has Lesnar really caught fire and gotten over with fans as a legitimate star. The build to Rock/Lesnar was tremendous and Rock put Lesnar over clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring. Dave expects this show to do huge numbers and blow away everything other than Wrestlemania. Lesnar is now the youngest champion in WWE history, breaking the record previously held by Yokozuna (Dave does note that others such as Lou Thesz, Tommy Rich, The Giant, and Kerry Von Erich all won world titles outside of WWE when they were younger than Brock). Dave also runs down the small list of names who have won both pro and NCAA wrestling titles (Danny Hodge, Verne Gagne, Jack Brisco, Leroy McGuirk, Dick Hutton, Bob Backlund, and of course, Kurt Angle) and now Brock is on that list as well.
  • In something of a surprise, there was a mixed reaction, with Lesnar getting a lot of cheers and Rock being booed mercilessly at times and constant chants of "Rocky sucks!" Rock downplayed it in a WWE interview afterwards, saying the fans were just having fun and he didn't mind, but others in the company were saying Rock was more bothered by it than he's letting on publicly. Dave suspects it's a response to fans feeling like Rock is "selling out" because everyone knows he's got one foot out the door in Hollywood already. Rock was originally supposed to appear on Raw the night after Summerslam at Madison Square Garden, and he and Vince went back and forth on it all day. Ultimately, they decided to nix the angle and Rock didn't appear. Word of Rock getting booed out of MSG might not go over well with Hollywood execs who see him as a potential star and are depending on his wrestling popularity to help him carry these movies they're putting him in (yeah, it's easy to forget now because he's such a megastar, but Rock was still very much unproven at this point in Hollywood). So Summerslam was Rock's final appearance until after filming of "Helldorado", so don't expect him back until early 2003, and Dave wouldn't be surprised if he comes back as a heel.
  • The other big story of Summerslam was the show-stealing performance of Shawn Michaels, working his first WWE match in over 4 years (though he did wrestle a match in his own promotion in 2000). The whole thing was billed as "one last match" but Shawn was so good that Dave is certain he'll be back for more. They even did an angle after the match to keep the feud going. It was a street fight match and Shawn wore street clothes. Triple H worked on Shawn's back the whole time and that was the story of the match. Shawn looked in great shape, didn't get tired, and he looked great, especially for a guy with a bad back. He took a superplex bump on his side rather than flatbacked, but that's the only thing he really did differently. Dave gives the match 4.25 and calls it a hell of an emotional ride.
  • Other notes from Summerslam: they alternated matches with each brand's announcer's calling their match. It gave each announce team breaks and also fostered competitiveness between them, and Jim Ross in particular shined. Tazz also got a great line, when Michael Cole said Paul Heyman would be a millionaire if Lesnar won and Tazz responded with, "Yeah, a millionaire who owes a lot of people money." Angle beat Mysterio in a great opener. A woman in the crowd kept teasing like she was going to flash her breasts during the RVD/Benoit match, which took the crowd's attention away and hurt the match. Undertaker got a decisive win over Test because they're keeping Taker strong to challenge Lesnar. And of course, Shawn/Triple H and Rock/Brock to close the show.
  • Five new names have been inducted into the Observer Hall of Fame. Kenta Kobashi led the pack, garnering a record-breaking 98% yes vote (breaking the previous record held by Jushin Liger, who got 95% when he went in). Dave doesn't know if anyone will be able to break that record. The Rock is eligible in 2007 and he might be the best chance to equal or break it. There's pretty much no arguing that Kobashi is a no-brainer. Manami Toyota, Wahoo McDaniel, Jack Curley, and Farmer Burns were the other 4 inductees. In case you're wondering about those last 2, they are names from many decades ago and are kinda like legacy inductees. McDaniel didn't get enough votes last year, but his death and all the coverage of how much he accomplished in his career seemingly changed some minds and this year, he made the cut. Manami Toyota, at 31 years old, is the youngest inductee in history and is another record that probably won't be broken anytime soon because it would require someone to start their career at age 16, which is near impossible in today's business. Dave then writes long biography pieces on each inductee. Great reading, but not for recapping.
  • In other results from the HOF voting: Ultimo Dragon was only 4 votes shy. The Freebirds were 7 votes shy. Names like Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, Bob Backlund, Blue Panther, Hiroshi Hase, and more were all in the 40-50% range, but didn't quite garner enough votes to meet the 60% requirement. Dave breaks down how each one did and why they came up short (for instance, Benoit got a lot of votes from reporters and wrestlers, but not from historians. Or Shawn, who got a lot of votes from active wrestlers, but historians and retired wrestlers, not so much. Dave points out that Shawn clearly has the qualifications, but his reputation for being an unprofessional asshole his entire career works against him). Next year's balloting will be interesting because there don't appear to be any sure things when looking at the eligible names. Ultimo Dragon may have the best chance, especially if his Toryumon promotion continues to be successful. A good year might be enough to push Benoit over the edge. Shawn Michaels should already be in, so we'll see if he can change voters' minds if he continues wrestling. The Freebirds may have a chance, but historically, older acts tend to get less votes as years go on, not more. But for the most part, 2003 doesn't look like a sure thing for anybody.
  • Time to add some sex appeal to these Rewinds. That's right, it's WWE quarterly economic report time! Grab some lotion and close the blinds. Linda McMahon handled much of the conference call and there were some interesting notes. She acknowledged that the buyrate for King of the Ring was "extremely disappointing" (prompting Dave to ask, "what did they expect from a HHH vs. Undertaker main event?") and rightfully blamed it on them doing a poor job building up a show people wanted to see. It was also revealed that, after taxes, WWE pocketed $2.2 million from the PTC lawsuit. If not for that money, WWE would have just barely been profitable this past quarter. Regarding the cost cutting, she noted that they had closed their office space in Chicago (which is the first time I'm ever learning WWE had office space in Chicago). For everybody making WWE/WCW comparisons about the current downfall, Dave says the major difference is that WWE is taking steps to stop the bleeding that WCW never did. They've laid off people, they're slashing budgets and cutting costs everywhere at the first sign of trouble. Overall revenues in almost every category of the business are still higher now for WWE than they ever were for WCW even at its peak. Point being, despite how awful the product has been for the last year, and as much as it looks like they're copying all of WCW's mistakes, they're still plenty stable. WWE hasn't had a money-losing quarter in five years. WCW lost $80 million in one year. It's not even close to the same situation from a business perspective.
  • Former WWE star Tiger Ali Singh and his father Tiger Jeet Singh filed lawsuits against WWE this week, seeking a total of $8 million. The younger Singh was released by WWE earlier this year after signing a rumored 10-year contract back in 1996. The older Singh was signed at the same time and was supposed to become WWE's international booking agent to help them book shows in the Middle East and India, with his son poised to be pushed as a huge star in that region (despite having little in-ring experience, he was really only there because of his father). He was given big wins over Mankind and Bret Hart and won the Kuwaiti Cup when he first debuted but his inexperience and big push got him a lot of resentment in the locker room. He also did himself no favors by speaking out against WWE publicly after the Montreal Scewjob and was deemed to have a bad attitude and didn't work hard enough to improve. As a result, he pretty much floundered and disappeared off TV. After 9/11, there was also question of how to push him, with the feeling that he couldn't be a babyface (because America really let its racism flag fly proudly in the wake of that), and they can't push him as a heel because it would be seen as exploitive. WWE shipped him down to Puerto Rico to work in IWA, where he suffered a serious concussion and was told by doctors to retire, which ultimately led to his release from WWE.
  • Anyway, about the lawsuit: Singh is suing for wrongful termination, claiming he suffered his injury working for a company that WWE sent him to work for and that he suffered the injury because he was forced to wrestle the outdoors show in the rain. He's also claiming harassment in the locker room, saying that on one occasion, his turban was stolen from the locker room, filled with garbage, and returned. And that in another instance, the turban was torn up by someone backstage. He also claimed that several of the wrestlers called him "taxi driver" constantly (there's no names listed here as to who called him that, but does anyone else immediately hear that in JBL's voice or just me?). Singh claims the harassment was an attempt to bully him out of the company and says he voiced complaints about being forced to play a negative stereotypical gimmick. He's seeking $7 million, while his father's lawsuit is seeking $1 million, claiming WWE breached their agreement with him. WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt responded in the New York Post, saying the younger Singh was released because he could no longer wrestle due to injury and WWE shouldn't be responsible since it didn't happen in a WWE match. Regarding the part about being forced to portray a negative stereotype, Dave's not buying that because he did the same gimmick in the indies before WWE signed him. As for WWE not being responsible for Singh's injury, that's a different story. Singh was wrestling in IWA because WWE sent him there to do so. And had he refused, it would have been a breach of contract they likely would have fired him. He was there on assignment from WWE and was being paid by WWE. It's no different than saying they aren't responsible for injuries that happen in OVW to wrestlers they have under contract.
  • Speaking of IWA, as expected, Ray Gonzalez debuted for them this weekend. Gonzalez has been tied up in court trying to get free of his WWC contract (he claims they breached, they say they didn't) and apparently IWA finally was confident enough that he was free so they finally debuted him.....under a mask. Just in case I guess. He debuted as Fenix and came in as a heel, aligned with Savio Vega. The whole thing is very wink-wink-nudge-nudge because everyone knows it's Gonzalez under the mask (think Hogan/Mr. America but with actual legal consequences) and crowds have since tripled in size for their last few shows.
  • Missy Hyatt, Brutus Beefcake, Tony Atlas, Greg Valentine and others all went to Puerto Rico to work a tour for an indie company there. But the show was poorly promoted and only 35 people showed up. But they still did the show, and afterward, nobody got paid. Then the next day, they were all kicked out of their hotel rooms because the promoter canceled their rooms that he had booked. When they tried to find the promoter, they learned he had been arrested. The wrestlers didn't even get their plane tickets home and Valentine ended up paying for everybody's flights on his credit card. That promoter should probably be glad the cops got him first.
  • Remember Nathan Jones? He has been wrestling for ZERO-1 in Japan. Anyway, that promotion is now accusing NJPW of trying to steal Jones away from them and it's led to a big falling out and major heat between the two companies (didn't seem to work, Nathan Jones never wrestled in NJPW).
  • Goldberg went to Japan a week early to promote his upcoming AJPW matches as well as his appearance at the big PRIDE show. Goldberg said he would like to team with or go against Muto in the future and also admitted his arm (injured a few months back when he punched another car) is only 75% healed. His deal with AJPW is not exclusive, so he can still wrestle in the U.S. if he wants. But said the AJPW deal is good enough that he has no need to wrestle anywhere else. The deal is for 6 matches over 1 year. Dave says obviously they'll probably put him against Muto, Tenryu, and Kawada at some point because those are the biggest possible matches. The hope is to treat him like a special star and turn him into another foreign mega-star like Vader or Stan Hansen. Dave is skeptical about that working out.
  • NJPW is introducing a new faction called Heat. The 3 characters will be Tiger Heat, Dragon Heat, and Phoenix Heat. They are based on video game characters ("Toukon Heat" for Gameboy Advance). This is similar to what NJPW has done in the past with Jushin Liger and Tiger Mask, where they licensed anime characters and gave the gimmick to wrestlers (Minoru Tanaka gets the gimmick, under the name HEAT but I think it was just him, not a faction).
  • Inoki's latest bullshit publicity stunt claim is that he says he's going to run a major show in Atlantic City, NJ in December with Naoya Ogawa headlining and also claimed he's going to sign away several WWE stars for the show. Dave hopes no one is taking this loon seriously.
  • NJPW did a fan vote to see who they want to see Masahiro Chono face at the October Tokyo Dome show. With Inoki pushing it hard in the press, the #1 vote getter was.....Chyna. Dave can't imagine how horrid that would be and apparently Chono agrees because he's made his feelings known that he hates the idea of wrestling Chyna (tough luck Chono, it's happening).
  • Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon promotion has its biggest show ever next week, at a 12,000-seat arena. Dave says the fact that Ultimo Dragon isn't wrestling on this show is pretty much all the evidence you need that he's not making a comeback anytime soon. If he was capable of wrestling right now, this would be the show. Dave says it's possible they may film an angle on the show to lead to Dragon making an in-ring return, but that wouldn't make a lot of sense (he ends up booking himself on this show at the last minute).
  • Former FMW wrestler Mr. Pogo did a match for the 30th anniversary of his career. The match ended up going outside the arena into the streets. The police didn't know it was a wrestling match and showed up to the scene thinking it was a real brawl. Mr. Pogo, seeing his chance for publicity, threw a fireball at a police car. The photo of that incident made the front page of Tokyo Sports, Japan's biggest sports newspaper. When the police realized it was Mr. Pogo and was just a wrestling match, they were cool about it and everything was fine.
  • Bobby Heenan did a radio interview plugging his new book and was shit talking the Valiant Brothers. In particular, Dave says Heenan has always hated Jimmy Valiant, particularly because Heenan claims Valiant forced his son to get a tattoo on his forehead when he was a child and Heenan felt that was child abuse (this is an urban legend that I don't know has ever been confirmed? Anyone know?) Heenan also said he hated Haystacks Calhoun and called him a snitch who was always trying to get others in trouble to make himself look good. And he also said Bruno Sammartino was "the most unhappy millionaire" he's ever met.
  • Jacques Rougeau's big indie show at DuMaurier Stadium in Montreal took place this week and sure enough, Bret Hart made his scheduled appearance. Hart walked down the aisle and got into the ring under his own power and got a huge ovation. The crowd also chanted "Vince screwed Bret!" loudly. Hart said this was his first time back in Montreal since the screwjob and talked about his recovery from the stroke and got emotional and began crying. Sensing Hart couldn't continue speaking, Rougeau came down to the ring and hugged him. People in the stadium were sobbing and it was said to be an incredibly emotional moment. Hart said he was working hard in rehab and to have faith that he would get back to 100%. He did have trouble getting his leg over the middle rope to exit the ring and had to be helped to the back. The show drew about 4,500 fans, which was less than the 10,000 Rougeau was hoping for (can't find any video of this, but I did find another review of it from someone who was there and the details are a bit different. As for Bret getting emotional, that's a very common issue with people who have suffered strokes).
READ: Wrestling Classics message board post from 2002 recapping this appearance
  • Bret also wrote about this appearance briefly in his book: "I’d made an appearance for wrestler Jacques Rougeau in Montreal only six weeks after my stroke, which turned out to be a nightmare. But he had invested everything he had in the show and it would have been a disaster for him and his family if I didn’t show up. So I kept my promise that I’d be there no matter what. It was humbling to limp slowly out to the ring in front of five thousand fans, though they gave me one of the most heartfelt receptions I ever received. Even if I dragged my leg and slurred my speech, they were just happy I was alive. I wasn’t ready yet and was far too overwhelmed to speak. I felt like a clubbed seal trying to flap his flippers and left the ring regretting that I’d come, even though I was proud of myself at least for having the balls to attempt it."
  • ROH's latest show was yet another success, an excellent show in a new market (Boston) that drew a sellout crowd of 500. The company's current plan is to run shows once-per-month in both Philadelphia and Boston, and slowly expand into new markets beyond that. ROH needs to draw about 400-500 per show to break even on production costs, but their real profits are made by selling videos. The idea is that these shows all have to be great in order for people to buy the videos, hence such a strong emphasis on in-ring quality. This show featured several 4+ star matches with AJ Styles, American Dragon, Low-Ki, etc.
  • America's Most Wanted is still working on a story about what happened to Messiah. Since no one from XPW would return their calls (gee, wonder why?), producers dropped by the offices of Rob Black's porn production company. But no one would let them in and no one would talk to them.
  • Things still ain't looking good for NWA-TNA. They canceled the tapings for the 9/4 show and will instead air highlights of past X-Division matches. And no show on 9/11 because it's the one year anniversary of the attacks, so they decided not to. So that'll be 2 weeks with no shows at all. The next week's show was also pre-taped this week, so it will air, but it won't be live. The decision to cancel and change all these tapings was made at literally the last minute, which naturally has a lot of the wrestlers concerned about the future of the promotion. It costs TNA less to do taped shows than live ones, but taped shows don't do as many buys either. Having a taped show, a clip show, and then a week off pretty much kills any momentum TNA might have had, which was already very little (we find out later that this should have been the end of TNA. Jerry Jarrett later admitted that this was the moment he had thrown in the towel, but right at this exact time, the Panda Energy negotiations began and the rest is history).
  • A lot of the wrestlers have also been cut back from $500 per show to $300 and people seem to be disappearing from the show from one week to the next, with no explanation. Ricky Steamboat wasn't brought back this week, and was never mentioned on TV, despite being in the midst of a slow heel turn. Slash (formerly Wolfie D) worked twice, while AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn each worked 4 matches over the course of 2 tapings. Malice and James Mitchell weren't brought in for the latest tapings, leaving their angle hanging with no conclusion. As mentioned last week, Ed Ferrara is no longer there either and even though Ferrara technically quit, Dave implies that TNA pretty much cut his money to the point that he had no choice but to quit. Disco Inferno, the Dupps, Bill Behrens....all gone this week with no explanation on TV. Plans to bring in Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell) have been scrapped. There were plans to bring in Sean Waltman to work a feud with Jarrett after his WWE release. That hasn't exactly been scrapped yet, but nobody's talking about it anymore so it seems to be on the backburner. And naturally, TNA's highest paid star, Scott Hall, wasn't brought in for the latest show either. It's pretty obvious that TNA is grasping at survival right now.
  • Notes from TNA weekly PPV: There seems to be a total change in booking philosophy in TNA now as well, with Jerry Jarrett taking back the reins from Vince Russo. There was a much bigger focus on in-ring quality and very little backstage stuff on this show, and Russo's influence on the booking seemed to be minimal, and Dave hints that Jerry and Russo don't particularly see eye-to-eye. AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn worked 3 matches against each other on this show, each with a different stipulation. They also taped a 4th match that will air on next week's show, with Low-Ki added in a ladder match. It's rumored to be incredible, even though Styles and Lynn had already worked 3 matches prior to that and were presumably tired. The crowd started out at 600 but after the 4 hour taping, they were down to around 300 people for the final match. Ron Killings defended the NWA title against Monty Brown and it was bad. Brown looked green, which was expected, and Killings got concussed early on and wasn't his usual self. They also botched the finish. Killings was supposed to defend the title again for the next show against Brian Christopher but they scrapped the match once he got backstage and they realized he was concussed. The other big angle from the show was Jeff Jarrett beefing with 62-year-old Bob Armstrong. Say what you will about Russo's booking, but Dave doesn't think Bob Armstrong is the answer to TNA's problems either. This didn't get over at all with the live crowd and probably not anyone watching either, except for maybe a small handful of fans who remember Armstrong from Georgia Championship Wrestling 18 years ago, and that's not exactly the audience they need to be catering to.
  • Shane Douglas is still working as booker for XPW and won't be joining TNA anytime soon. Regarding Douglas' beef with Francine that has been mentioned here a few times, Douglas said that it stems from Francine refusing to testify on Douglas' behalf in a civil suit (I assume this is from the incident in ECW where Douglas and Francine got into a fight with a fan at ringside and the fan later sued him and ECW). Anyway, after that, Douglas has pretty much decided he will never work in any company that Francine is with because he feels betrayed by her, which is why he turned down TNA the first time. But he said the bigger reason is that he's happy with his role in XPW right now.
  • After he wore a Nazi S.S. shirt on TV last week, Don Harris was nowhere to be seen at this week's TNA tapings, though he was mentioned on commentary. So doesn't look like he's fired or anything (friendly reminder that this wasn't just a shirt incident. They have SS tattoos also. Fuck those guys).
  • Goldberg did a big interview in Japan that touched on a few things. He mentioned that he had a meeting planned with Vince McMahon months ago, but then he injured his arm and so they canceled the meeting since he wasn't gonna be able to wrestle anytime soon anyway. Said he just started training again last month. He said the biggest issue with going to WWE is the schedule, because Vince wants him full time and Goldberg ain't feeling that, he wants to pick and choose his spots and only work major shows. For years, Goldberg has talked about putting together his own one-off event where he and Steve Austin could face each other, but he wants them to co-promote it together without WWE's involvement. In the past, that was obviously impossible. And it probably still is. Even though Austin walked out, he's still under contract and WWE isn't going to let him go without a fight and the contract doesn't expire anytime soon.
  • Speaking of Steve Austin, he filed from divorce from Debra back in July, about a month after the domestic violence incident. This will be Austin's 3rd divorce and Debra's 2nd (the first being with Steve McMichael).
  • Notes from Raw: the streak of good WWE shows ended with a splat here. Awful show. Bischoff annonced the unification of the IC and Hardcore titles, which Dave thinks is a good thing. Less belts, the better because it makes title matches more special. But it also shows how poorly things are thought out from week-to-week. Just last week, they did a big storyline about how the hardcore title rules have changed and it's no longer a 24/7 title, it will only be defended in sanctioned matches. They made a big deal about it. And then a week later, fuck it, just scrap the title entirely. They brought Jimmy Snuka in and he got a huge reaction (did I mention this is Madison Square Garden?) but got taken out by the Island Boyz (still not named 3 Minute Warning on TV, so Dave is still calling them by their OVW name). Jericho cut a long promo that got all the wrong kind of heat and dragged on forever. Then he had a match with Jeff Hardy that also felt like it would never end but was only 10 minutes. The UnAmericans cut a promo threatening to burn the American flag (in NYC right before the one year anniversary of 9/11. How come nobody brought this up during all of Linda's campaigns? It was always the Trish barking segment). Kane ultimately made the save, returning after months off with injury. RVD beat Tommy Dreamer to unify the IC and Hardcore titles. Best match on the show and lots of ECW chants even though that company has been dead for almost 2 years. Lillian Garcia beat Howard Finkel in a Tuxedo/Evening Gown match to determine who would be the Raw ring announcer. Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler helped Lilian beat up Finkel and strip him to his underwear. Dave hated this almost as much as the live crowd, which is a lot and jokes that WWE viewers should file a class action lawsuit over the nightmares this will give them. Dave also doesn't understand this because Finkel has been the best ring announcer in the entire business for 20 years and doesn't see any reason to get rid of him. Triple H beat Undertaker in a #1 contender's match for Lesnar's title, after Lesnar cost Taker the match. This is all to lead to a Taker vs. Lesnar match at the PPV, which is fine if you're not interested in making sense. The show ended with Stephanie McMahon showing up and announcing she had signed Lesnar and Heyman as Smackdown exclusive stars, which Dave thinks is a terrible decision because it leaves Triple H as the only real top main event guy on Raw (Undertaker was moved to Smackdown the next day also).
  • Notes from Smackdown: total opposite. Yet another strong show, with every segment having a purpose and furthering a storyline in logical ways. Plus strong matches to boot. This was before Summerslam so the whole show was still about the build to Rock vs. Lesnar. Dave hopes UFC was watching because if they ever get a TV show, they can learn a lot from how to promote fights from the way WWE has built this match, with all the training montages and stuff that made it really feel like it was going to be a war between 2 supreme athletes. Otherwise, not much to say. Nothing particularly newsworthy, just a real good show.
  • There's some interesting notes about the differences between Raw and Smackdown. When it comes to house shows, Raw actually out-draws SD by about 12%. In theory, that would mean wrestlers should want to be on Raw because, allegedly, everyone is paid for shows based on percentage from the gate and that would mean working an identical spot would theoretically pay 12% more. But that doesn't seem to be the case, so Dave isn't sure how they're working out the money with stuff like that, but everyone seems to be okay with the shows they're on. In fact, from what Dave has heard, most guys want to be on Smackdown because they feel they'll have a better chance to get over there and have better wrestlers to work with.
  • X-Pac was officially released this week. He does not have a 90 day non-compete, so he should be able to start with TNA at their next taping, assuming they've got the money to pay him. This release was widely expected, after he got suspended a few weeks back. The joke going around backstage is that when Kevin Nash went down with the quad injury, he landed on X-Pac's career. That being said, X-Pac was not fired. He was suspended and then asked for his release as a result, which was granted. If you recall, X-Pac nearly missed Raw a couple weeks ago for a mysterious hospitalization that he couldn't (or wouldn't) explain to management. But he also had issues with writer Brian Gewertz over his push and Dave points out the obvious: that's not Gewerz's decision, it's Vince's (sorta like AJ Styles blaming Paul Heyman for Gallows and Anderson being fired). Dave isn't sure what X-Pac is thinking when it comes to asking for his release. That might have been a power move a few years ago, but now? Where else is he gonna go where he can even make a fraction of the money? He has connections in Japan, but getting a consistent, well-paying job there is extremely difficult. And of course, TNA can barely afford to keep the lights on. This might have been a bad idea. (Has X-Pac ever talked about this publicly? Because man, 18 years later, it still looks like a bad move. He never really worked full-time anywhere else again and spent the next two decades battling drug addictions and taking indie bookings wherever he could get them. He seems to be doing okay these days and I'm happy for him, but ouch).
  • Paul Bearer is leaving WWE. No word if it's by choice or another cost-cutting measure yet. He's been with WWE for about 11 years, but much of the last year or so, he's been at home with his wife helping her as she battles cancer. Prior to that, he had been working in the office, helping to oversee the developmental program.
  • In his latest Ross Report on WWE.com, Jim Ross said he thinks Kurt Angle is on his way to becoming the best wrestler ever. Dave says he's known people who have been saying that for a year or more now. Longevity is going to be the key and Angle started kinda late. But if he has a long career and continues to be this good and doesn't get broken down by injuries, then yeah, Angle's gonna probably be a strong contender for that title. Guys like Kobashi and Shawn Michaels could have been that guy, but both ended up being cut down by injuries (Dave obviously can't know this yet, but the second half of Shawn's career and Kobashi's mid-00s resurgence pretty much put both of them back in the conversation).
  • Random WWE notes: Both Trish Stratus and referee Charles Robinson needed to get their eyes flushed out by medical staff following the mud wrestling match on Raw. Jim Ross criticized Rosie (from Island Boyz) weight in his Ross Report, which is one of those things he keeps shitting on Big Show for too. Tony Schiavone was backstage at a recent WWE show as well as a TNA taping and Dave says Tony is trying to get back into the business.
  • Eric Bischoff did an interview with a Dallas newspaper and talked about the death of WCW. Bischoff claimed he knew the ship was going down in August of 1998 when Turner higher ups told him they wanted a product they could market to kids. Bischoff saw how WWE was marketing to adults with the whole raunchy Attitude Era product and Bischoff knew he couldn't compete if he was forced to tone down for kids. Ultimately, they changed their mind and WCW ended up trying to copy the WWE style and, well, we all know how that went.
  • Kane was originally scheduled to return from injury and be on Smackdown. He was even booked for the upcoming Smackdown house shows, scheduled to face Angle every night. But when the decision was made to move Undertaker to Smackdown, they decided to put Kane on Raw instead. So yet again, more last minute changes and no long-term planning.
  • aaaaaaand we hit the character limit again. See comments for the rest.
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle

6

Part 5 - The Alpha and the Omega

What got you into semen retention?
What is your end goal here? It might look different for everyone, but one thing is for certain - we do it for self improvement.
We abstain and we retain, so that we one day may gain, blessed be thy retention.
Most likely you realized that all the porn, masturbation, maybe even all the sex wasn't really that fulfilling. In fact, it may have been noticeably contributing to your depression. So you picked up semen retention and lo and behold, it was just what you were looking for. A boost in energy, charisma, confidence and more. But we don't stop there. We want to transmute this energy we build up. Cold showers, working out, projects, breathing exercises, meditation. Time to dig deep into your most valuable asset to the semen retention game, and also your biggest enemy - the mind.
It is my belief that our key to success in this world is the mind - it is the Alpha and the Omega, it is the beginning and the end. Every single thing in this world, be it internal, such as thoughts, feelings, memories, desires and fears; or external, like your friends, your family, your enemies, the environment - you interact with EVERYTHING through the mind. And everything in turn affects the quality of your mind, your energy levels, your emotional state.
Why, then, are we not spending as much time as possible to strengthen and cultivate our minds?
We think we have control over our minds, but we don't, not fully at least. Try to sit calmly for just ten minutes, no phone, no distractions.. It's maddening. Why? Your mind is weak, my friend.
Someone says something that you don't like and suddenly your world plummets into darkness, rage, despair.. Or the converse happens. Something good happens and suddenly you're elated and thrilled. This is a poorly developed mind, this is a mind that is at the mercy of the external world. A weak mind.
How about the internal world? When something upsets you, are you able to transform that anger into compassion, or to at least to neutralize it? Are you able to enjoy something pleasant, be it a relationship or even simply the high of an orgasm, and not be attached to it, knowing that it won't last forever? No? Your weak mind is to blame.
We think we're in control of our minds, but as anyone who has ever meditated will quickly tell you, those thoughts just keep on coming, and distraction abounds within your own mind, even when you ask it kindly focus on just the object of your meditation.
Your mind is weak, my friend. It's time you start strengthening it.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but you're afraid. Guess what? Emotions are part of the mind, and if your mind is weak, you're at the mercy of your emotions.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but it will take a lot of work, an overwhelming amount of work. Guess what? Motivation comes from within, from the mind.
You have some goal in mind, something you want to accomplish, but you don't know how, you don't know where to start. Guess what? A powerful mind is able to sit with and chew on problems until they begin to break down, and the mind eventually wins.
The mind is the Alpha and the Omega. It all starts and it all ends in the mind. It's the most powerful tool you have and yet, it can be your worst enemy, if you don't train it.
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The Body/Breath/Mind Connection

If the mind is so goddamn important, why didn't I start all these posts with it? Well, quite simply, while it is the most important facet here, it's also, for most people, the most difficult to train. That's why we start with the body and the breath. If I tell you to raise your right hand, you can do that easily. You can change your breathing patterns easily as well. If I tell you to not think of a green dragon, well, you just failed. If I tell you to sit and focus on the sensations of the breath to the exclusion of all other thoughts, you'll fail. If you're pissed off and I tell you to just be happy, good luck.
Here is a little secret - the body and the mind are not separate, the mind is just a more subtle aspect of the body. I actually prefer to think of the body as a more gross, physical extension of the mind. But the point is, they are different aspects of the same thing and they influence each other.
When an emotion such as anger affects your mind, what happens to the body? You clench up, blood pressure raises, you get hot and bothered, your face may even get red. The reverse is true as well - you can change your mental state and emotions via changing your posture.
A bit more subtle than the effects of emotions on the body is their effect on the breath. If you're afraid, your respiration increases. If you're relaxed, it is slow and deep. Wim Hof style breathing amps you up - box breathing calms you down.
The breath is the bridge between the conscious and the unconscious mind - you breathe roughly 20,000 times a day without consciously trying to, but it is always there for you to consciously take control over. Through the breath, we can access deeper layers of the mind. This is part of why pranayama is such a crucial tool for us.
This is also why in yoga they start with the physical postures, then the breathing exercises, and then finally they move on to meditation. The goal of yoga is just to master the mind. We start with the most easily controlled aspect of this triune, the body. Then the breath. Then the mind.
So yes, the physical postures and breathing exercises of yoga or of Qi Gong help to cultivate our sexual energy, our Jing, but they also help us start to control our mind. That's what we all really want, right? All of your success in life comes from having this powerful mind that helps you to accomplish your goals, and if you train your mind well, you'll have access to positive emotions all along the way. This is the natural next step of semen retention.

Facets of Mind Training

When we start mind training, we want to focus on two areas in particular -
  1. Concentrative power
  2. Taming and transforming emotions
We want a mind that is pliable, strong, and most importantly under our control. We want it to do what we say when we say it, and we want it to be strong and not easily swayed by our emotions. This is where concentration meditation come in.
How is David Goggins able to put himself through tortuous 100+ mile runs, again and again and again? How was Einstein able to sit with a particular problem and just mull it over for days, weeks, years on end, until the universe relented and gave up its secrets? They built up strong minds, minds that had great endurance, did what they wanted them to do, and weren't easily distracted.
Along with developing a strong mind, a mind that is obedient, we want to reel in our emotions, our cravings, our urges. We don't want them to overpower us, and we want less of the negative emotions, more of the positive ones.
By starting our retention journey, we've already begun to shift the dynamic towards more positive emotions and experiences, and less negative ones. Now we're going to add on to that and speed up that process.
And remember, because you've built up this energy and you're starting to increase the power and magnetism of your aura, your emotional state is constantly being projected, and loudly. Make sure it's a state of positivity.

Concentration

The goal here is to build a powerful mind that does what you want it to, when you want it to. One of the best ways to do this is through concentration meditation practices.
In concentration meditation we narrow the field of awareness down to a very limited area, usually with the goal to exclude other thoughts and sensations. It makes no difference what we pay attention to - a candle flame, a cross, a mantra repeated mentally, a visualization, a sensation of the breath or within the body - it can literally be anything.
We focus on that one thing, say the sensation of the breath at the tip of the nose. Then a thought or sensation pops up - the goal is to recognize this and bring the mind back to the sensation of the breath. Then a thought pops up again, but this one was juicier, and it takes us off into a daydream. Eventually we realize this and bring the mind back to the sensations of the breath at the tip of the nose. We bring the mind back again, and again, and again.
A lot of people think they can't meditate because they keep getting distracted, thoughts just keep popping up. Well, that's half the point. You thought you were in control of the mind, but those damn thoughts just keep coming at ya. As long as you bring your awareness back to the object of meditation, over and over again, you are succeeding in meditation!
Each time you notice that your concentration has lapsed and you bring it back to the object of meditation, that's like a rep. Each millisecond you stay with the object, boom, that's a ton more reps. This is how you make the mind strong, give it the ability to focus on what you want for as long as you want it to.
Another thing that this meditation does it creates calmness. This calmness is a respite from the constant planning, thinking, daydreaming, worrying, craving modalities of the mind. If you stick with this process, you'll not only create a very strong and obedient mind, but you'll generate contentedness within. This is why in Buddhist traditions it is called śamatha meditation - it means "calm-abiding".

Emotions and the Nature of the Mind

When we begin learning about how to tame our emotional mind, it helps to understand a little bit of how our minds work in the first place. We're going to focus on two aspects of the mind, that of unsatisfactoriness, as well as craving/attachment and aversion. We also need to realize a fundamental truth about all mental phenomena, be it emotions, thoughts, images, feelings, bodily sensations, any and everything - they are impermanent.
Later in the series we will discover how to straight up transform our emotions, turning things like lust for women into fuel for our own personal evolution.
Unsatisfactoriness
The mind is naturally inclined to seek out pleasant emotions and sensations, and run from negative ones. This is the basis of what drives human behavior. But why does the mind do this? Why does just sitting still cause us such torment and misery? It's the most natural thing possible, to just be... Yet it's excruciating for us. Why is this?
The untrained mind is always unsatisfied. Why do we turn to porn and masturbation every time we're bored or need a hit of dopamine? Evolutionarily speaking, this is good news - if we were content from the get-go, we never would have made it past just another species of great ape. Taking this to the extreme, if we never felt displeasure and were always perfectly content, there'd be no drive to reproduce, even to forage for food. Our discontent with the present and drive to have things be even better are what allowed us to progress so much as a species.
Problem is, now we can't turn it off. Discontent has become our default mode. The goal in all spiritual sciences is to learn how to flip the switch, so that no matter our external circumstances, on the inside, it's alllll good, baby. This doesn't mean we get so high on our own supply that we give up on life, but that we've trained the mind to be content with what it has.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man that craves more, who is poor. - Seneca
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. - Epictetus
Take a page out of Stoics' books and start developing contentedness. Sublimate that sexual energy up to the mind and develop concentrative calm-abiding.
Impermanence
All mental phenomena is, by its very nature, fleeting and intangible. Purely mental aspects, such as thought, memory, visualizations, these all arise in the mind for a brief time and then fade away.
Emotional phenomena are the same - how many cycles of emotions do you go through in a day? Frustration while stuck in traffic, joy while playing with your dog, anger, sadness, lust - these all arise from a given circumstance, abide for a bit and then fade away.
Even physical sensations are the same - you may have chronic back pain but if you really pay attention, you'll notice certain times when it isn't present, until you move at least. The high of an orgasm, we know that one is over real quick.
The point is, every single aspect as perceived by your awareness is impermanent - it arises due to certain conditions, abides for a short time, and fades away. If you get your mind very strong from concentration practices, you'll notice that even very persistent sensations flicker in and out of existence. But we don't need that strong of minds to realize that the good feelings, these are fleeting. The bad feelings as well.
Craving/Attachment and Aversion
Now because we haven't cultivated contentedness, because we start out with a mind that is never satisfied, our mind has these two modes of being - craving/attachment and aversion.
We naturally crave "good" experiences, be it good thoughts, good emotions, good bodily sensations, whatever. When these arise, we naturally become attached to them. We get a girlfriend and she makes us sooooo happy - until she dumps us. Because we were attached to her, or more specifically the good feelings she gave us, we suffer because we no longer get those feelings.
We also naturally have aversion towards "bad" experiences, be it emotions, thoughts, bodily sensations, whatever. We're on the way to work and encounter traffic - it might not even make us late but it's frustrating. Or we ask a girl out and she says no - we experience a sense of suffering because it wasn't what we wanted.
Contrast this with a mind that knows everything is temporary. Your mind will still enjoy your relationship with that girl, but if she decides to end it, it isn't so bad anymore. You knew the relationship would end one day, today is that day. You might still be bummed but it isn't a crushing loss.
And why do we go out and seek whatever is pleasurable, and run from what isn't pleasant? Because we're starting out from a mind that is untrained and, by default, discontent.

Freedom from the Cycle

How do we break free from this cycle of discontent -> craving/attachment -> aversion?
First off, we learn to still and focus the mind through concentration-type meditations. As the turbulent mind calms down, it finally experiences some peace. That peace builds and builds, and carries over into our daily life.
Next we keep in mind that all mental phenomena are impermanent. Experiencing something good right now? Great, enjoy it, but realize thoroughly that it won't last - that will help lessen your attachment to it, so that when it does end, you don't suffer so much.
When you encounter something displeasing, remember that it won't last! Think of every bad event that has ever happened to you. 90% of them likely have zero effect on you right now, in this current instant. Whatever the nightmare, it ended, and here you are, still standing.
Think back to every Christmas you've ever had as a kid - how badly you wanted that Playstation 2, lego set, whatever. You wrote letters to an imaginary fat man, hoping you'd get it. Maybe you even prayed to your creator for it, thinking how happy it would make you. And then, the big day came.. and you got it! Your prayers were answered! And now it's probably in the trash somewhere, or stored away in the attic. You slowly lost interest in every Christmas gift you've ever wanted because your mind constantly needs more, it's never satisfied. Much easier to just build contentment from within.
Every girl you've ever crushed on and wanted so desperately to date, and then when you finally did, it eventually ended.. Now you've broken up, and she no longer is a source of happiness, she's probably even a source of unhappiness. Or maybe you're still together, maybe you've even managed to keep up a happy-ish relationship - but there are still occasional fights, she still occasionally annoys you, and you'd damn well be lying if you claimed you never thought of another girl, even if briefly. No matter how great the relationship, it is never 100% pure joy.
Remember this - happiness, pleasure, pain, sadness, they don't exist "out there", they exist within the mind. You run from girl to girl, experience to experience, drug to drug, toy to toy, job to job, video game to video game, and you can never quench the thirst of the mind, it never is satisfied. Celebs who "have it all", the money, the women, the parties, the status - many are depressed, commit suicide, become addicted to drugs, because their minds are the same as ours.
The untrained mind is never satisfied. Whenever it gets what it wants, the joy it experiences peaks and then slowly, surely begins to fade. This is the nature of an untrained mind.

Putting it all into Practice

Calm-abiding meditation
In some traditions, concentration meditations are called "calm-abiding" meditation. This is because as the mind slowly calms down and distractions start dropping to the side, as it becomes one-pointed and starts generating energy, joy naturally arises.
Imagine the relief a kindergarten teacher feels when they finally get home after a long day of teaching. All those annoying brats no longer bugging them, they can just sit back and relax. That's how the mind feels when it's no longer bombarded by thoughts, cravings, fears, emotions, worrying about the future or dredging up the past.
The untrained mind is unsatisfied - but the trained mind.. Ahh, the trained mind is naturally satisfied.
The joy and calmness you build in meditation seeps over into daily life as well. So while you build a strong, powerful and obedient mind, you also make your aura that much more attractive, you've increased your Shen that much more, you're that much more magnetic.
The instructions are very simple - pick something as your meditation object, set the intention to focus on just that object, and if the mind gets distracted, gently bring it back to said object. Repeat this formula again and again and again.
Your stretches of concentration on the object will slowly increase, and the day dreams will become less and less. You'll start to wonder why just paying attention to your breath can create such pleasant feelings. You'll also notice a sense of calm and contentedness in your day to day life if you keep up with this practice, as well as a mind that is focused and obedient.
Simple instructions for meditation on the breath can be found here.
Mindfulness of thoughts
This simply involves remaining detachedly aware of thoughts as they pop up into your head. You can be seated for this, eyes open, eyes closed, walking, hiking, whatever. Just be aware how a thought will arise on its own, stay for a short while, and then fade on its own. It may have a feeling attached to it, it might not. It might have an image or usually a vocalization along with it, though possibly not.
Your goal is to identify as the passive witness to all these thoughts/images/feelings as they arise. They are like clouds, coming about on their own, evolving and changing on their own, and fading away.
Try not to get attached to any thought without retaining a sense of being a detached observer.
Mindfulness of emotions
In your day to day life, notice how any given external event elicits a feeling and/or emotional response internally. Stub your toe, anger and pain arise. See pretty girl, lust arises. Pretty girl smiles at you, giddiness arises. You realize she was actually smiling at the guy behind you, giddiness fades and disappointment arises. So step one is being mindful and noticing how any given event elicits an emotion or feeling within you.
The second step is really paying attention to how that feeling or emotion feels. What's its flavor? Does it have a color? Does it arise somewhere in the body specifically? You want to recognize this feeling and then take a big, deep dive into it and reeeallly get to know it. Label it, experience it fully, completely, let it saturate your whole mental bandwidth.
Finally, pay attention to how long it lasts. It might hit you like a ton of bricks, and then slowly fade away. It might start as just a tiny note, and then get louder and louder. It might come in waves, intense for a bit, fading away, becoming intense again. Most of the time, no matter the feeling or sensation, it sticks around for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and then starts fading away.
This is how we can take meditation off of the cushion and into the real world. We no longer confine meditation to just sitting at home in our dark room - if we maintain mindfulness, our whole day becomes a meditation.
I've found it helpful to reframe emotions as just flavors of energy that come into my field of consciousness, stick around for a quick sec, and then start fading away. They're impermanent and only hold as much weight as you give them.

Acceptations vs Expectations

One last bit - it is much easier to go through life accepting reality as it is, rather than to have expectations of reality. The world doesn't owe you anything. More importantly, people don't owe you a damn thing either.
If you set your expectations high, you're bound to be let down most days. Just accept reality plainly, as it is. Your day went well? Great. Your day was shit? Well, that's life.
You do all you can to improve your life, to improve yourself - that much is in your control. The weather, the news, current events, traffic, your boss being a dick, a girl not texting back - none of that is in your control, so don't place your expectations on any of it.
Accept more, expect less.
Obviously, hold some expectations for people. If you're in a relationship, you should expect that she is faithful. Obviously don't just let her go out on dates with other men. You should expect to be respected by your boss, but first you've got to have earned that respect, and sometimes your boss may be a bit of a prick.
Finally, when negative feelings arise, don't resist them. When a negative feeling arises, we tend to shirk from it, to try to escape it. This resistance makes it that much worse, because we can't just make it go away, not yet at least.
Negative emotions and sensations are kind of like a Chinese finger trap - the more you try to pull away and resist, the stronger they latch on.
The next time you feel bummed, don't try to run from it, dive deep into that feeling. Pull it in close and get to know it intimately. Analyze it and break it down as much as possible, noticing exactly where you feel it, how it feels, how long it lasts. You'll notice that, by and large, it is just another sensation, just like hunger is a sensation, pain a sensation, heat a sensation.
We make things a thousand times worse when we resist whatever we are experiencing.
Suffering = Pain x Resistance - Shinzen Young
Pain is inevitable. Shit will happen. Suffering is largely optional.
Don't chase after and become attached to what is "good" or pleasurable - it won't last.
Don't resist what is "bad" or uncomfortable - it won't last.
Develop inner contentment - this is your secret. People will wonder why you're so cool, calm, collected, content, and happy. That is true magnetism.
submitted by Fusion_Health to Semenretention