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(Extra note: I’ve been trying to get this column up for several hours.  Thanks to Comcast for an internet connection that’s more unreliable than Joe Biden’s brain.)

It’s been over two weeks since I last wrote here.  My apologies for not keeping up to date with my rantings and ravings.  But now that I find myself with a little extra time tonight, I figure I might as well cover a few topics I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.  I doubt I’ll get through all ten topics, so I’ll just go through half today and do the other half another day, probably before I do Survivor Series picks.

The first bit I’d like to discuss is this whole story about Jamie Noble’s “retirement.”  I would first like to go on record and say that taking that ugly powerbomb from Sheamus on the floor probably would have retired quite a few people.  I don’t think Sheamus tried to put Noble down easy.  It looked like there was a lot of force behind that move.  I actually thought Noble might have broken his back the way he looked afterward.  I thought that it was incredibly irresponsible for WWE to let a guy like Sheamus do such a thing to a guy like Jamie Noble.  Then this whole retirement bullshit comes out and I just shake my head.  Noble is 32 years old.  Why on earth would he retire now?  There are guys 10 years his senior still having great matches.  Look, we all know that this is an angle, and he’s either going to stay “retired” and work backstage, or have a comeback sometime in the future and exact his revenge on the big lug who put him on the shelf.  Noble shouldn’t be treated like this.  He’s a former ROH World Champion.  Yes, he had the shortest title reign of any ROH World Champion, but still!  When you’re one of eleven men to ever hold a promotion’s world championship, and the promotion has been around for nearly eight years, you should definitely take pride in that.

And speaking of the big lug who put Jamie Noble on the shelf, I’d like to discuss the current state of young wrestlers on the main WWE roster.  I’m afraid that the current crop of FCW trainers (Billy Kidman, Norman Smiley, Tom Prichard, and Steve Keirn) are doing a poor job at best of preparing new talents for the main roster, and are, in general, a poor judge of talent in the first place.  At this time, I’d like to refer to a list of all the men who have held the FCW Championship.  Five out of the eight wrestlers who have held the FCW Championship are currently on the main WWE roster somewhere.  Jake Hager (or, to those who don’t know wrestlers’ real names, Hack Swagger), Sheamus, Eric Escobar, Drew McIntyre, and Tyler Reks.  Two on Raw, two on Smackdown, one on ECW, all incredibly poor wrestlers in every sense.  None of them has any knowledge of wrestling psychology, none of them have any real charisma, and none of them have a lick of mic skills.  I don’t know if the trainers are to blame for not training these guys properly, or if the trainers just don’t see that they don’t have the talent, or if it’s Vince, who we all know prefers his wrestlers big and bulky and could care less about actual in-ring and mic talent.  Every one of the five listed wrestlers I know will, one day, become a world champion in WWE specifically because VKM wants those big, burly, muscleheads to be the winners, and the guys who can actually put two moves together and tell a story in the ring will always be the losers.  Which is why so few of the indy wrestlers have succeeded in working their way past the mid-card in WWE.  CM Punk should consider himself incredibly lucky that he’s made it this far.

Anyway, my original point is that the current crop of rookies and young wrestlers is pitifully bad right now.  The only real exceptions to this are Evan Bourne, Tyson Kidd, and Yoshi Tatsu.  But then again, they’re the only “smaller” guys in this group.  I know that a lot of you are going to say, “But these guys are all young!  They haven’t had as much experience on the big stage as everyone else, even the guys who came up to the main roster a year before them!  Give them some time!”  Look, I’m all for giving people time to improve their skills.  But even the previous crop of talent (Kofi, Miz, Rhodes, Kozlov, Ziggler) were worlds ahead of these guys when they made their respective debuts.  I would chalk it up to these guys (mostly) being smaller than the current crop, but that would sound size-ist.  Which is funny considering I’m a big fat guy myself.  But I’d much rather watch a fun, competitive match between guys like John Morrison and Evan Bourne than watch two lumbering giants like Escobar and Swagger muck up the ring every week.

On the plus side, Evan Bourne did break Swagger’s winning streak, proving once again that nothing anybody ever says in WWE should be taken seriously.  Swagger, of course, went ahead and tore Bourne a new hole on Raw yesterday, which made me wonder why (1) Swagger even bothered to proclaim that he’d go undefeated for the rest of the calendar year, (2) why they even bothered to let Bourne win a match for once, and (3) why even have the match on Raw when it was just a two-minute squash.  In fact, it makes me wonder why have any of these 1-2 minute squashes in the first place.  I think the era of needing to build up a new guy isn’t necessary.  Just stick them right into the mix.  Have them work their way up from the bottom.  Put them in actual matches against the lower card guys like Primo and Jimmy Yang, guys who can sell like crazy and can make anybody look great.  But have the matches be competitive, and go AT LEAST 5 minutes.  I never feel like any squash match featuring a jobber from (insert hometown here) actually makes a new guy look strong.  It just shows you his limited moveset.  On the flip-side, I have been enjoying the Beth Phoenix squash matches, if only because the women put in her way actually have more talent then the lower card women on the Smackdown roster.  Girls like Maria and Layla can’t sell worth shit, but at least these female jobbers can.  Still, Beth doesn’t need any building up via squash matches.  Everybody already knows who she is.  And even if you never watched Raw while she was there, she wouldn’t need to prove herself in squash matches.  You just have to take one look at her and you know she’s gonna kick a lot of ass.

Okay, one more topic for today.  As you probably know, WWE did a tour of Europe the past couple of weeks, and the broadcast their shows from England.  All four shows were taped, I believe, in the same building in Sheffield, England.  I just want to mention one thing about all four television shows this past week.  What on earth was wrong with the mic setup in the ring?  Everything was so much quieter inside the ropes.  Every bump taken, every pinfall count, every taunt, scream, and angry rant, sounded muted.  As well, in-ring and backstage promos and entrance themes all sounded as though the sound was being recorded and broadcast from inside the arena instead of through a direct feed into the production truck.  I don’t know why that was the case all last week, but it made the entire production sound half-rate.  I’m a big critic of sound-based problems, and when something sounds off, it sounds REALLY off to me.  So that bothered me through all last week.

Well, I think I’ve given you your daily dose of ranting.  I’ll be back in a couple of days with the remainder of topics I’ve been meaning to rant about for the past two weeks, then later on this week with Survivor Series picks.  And be sure to check in near the end of the year when I give out my First Annual Rantie Awards, wherein I chastize many wrestlers and praise a few who actually deserve it.  And, and, AND!  I was privy to a tournament being held by the staff at Wrestleview about a “dream tournament” they’re trying to set up featuring the staff’s 32 favorite wrestlers, and I thought it would be neat if I did one of those myself.  Mostly because I had a chance to be on the Wrestleview staff as a columnist, but didn’t get the gig (probably because I wrote a scathing article last year on the fall of Chris Jericho, which I should have realized was a big no-no in the IWC).  So once I get my list all figured out, I’ll post the names and the brackets, and, if anybody still reads this, I can set up polls to ask people who they think should win the matches.  But that probably won’t be for a while.  Until next time!

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