Too Much Too Soon; WWE Releases; The Next Big Thing

Nick Paglino

by Mark Madden

The latest “logic” being used to justify WWE burning through months of booking in a couple weeks regarding the return of C.M. Punk is: SummerSlam is a MAJOR pay-per-view. You don’t want to exclude Punk and the WWE title from a MAJOR pay-per-view. My response: WHY NOT?

WWE took it upon itself to crown a new “WWE champion” in Punk’s absence. Use THAT “WWE champion” at SummerSlam. That heightens debate and gives Punk that much more heat when he does return, which should have happened at the Royal Rumble, not before.

If you don’t have Punk-John Cena at SummerSlam because letting that storyline simmer is best for business in the long run, then short-term YOU NEED TO THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE. When the preferred option isn’t available, does creativity die? Eric Bischoff deserves criticism for certain things, but he didn’t have every ex-WWE wrestler on the planet show up on Nitro THE SAME NIGHT. Good angles need time to breathe.

Events shouldn’t dictate booking. Booking should dictate events. If you know how to book, your storylines will time out properly, anyway.

Rumor is, Punk has creative control. How much? Does he have final say in all his storylines? In all his finishes? How far does Punk’s control go?

Is WWE HAPPY to have Punk back? Or did WWE re-sign Punk out of PERCEIVED OBLIGATION to the marks? Despite his potential to bring WWE success, I bet Punk IRRITATES THE HELL out of the McMahons. The last thing those in charge want around is someone who knows more than them.

Believe me, I know.

Punk is going to feud with Triple H. That might even be a WrestleMania match. I’d rather witness that behind the scenes than in the ring. How can Punk avoid being cannon fodder for the family?


I was disappointed to see Melina among the recent WWE cuts. She’s super-hot, sure, but I always thought her talents and dedication to the business went a step beyond most of WWE’s cookie-cutter divas. If you gave Melina a choice between being a supermodel or a wrestler, she might pick the latter. Kelly Kelly does the latter only because she can’t be the former.

On the other hand, F Gail Kim.

Kim’s an OK worker, but she thinks she’s Lou Thesz, and delusional when it comes to the importance of the women’s division in any company. If Kim’s self-elimination from the Raw battle royal was, indeed, an unscripted protest, no promotion should ever hire Kim again. That’s the height of unprofessionalism.

If you eliminated women, totally, from every wrestling TV show, the ratings would not drop one one-hundredth of a point. They’re MEANINGLESS.


I was thinking about my days announcing Nitro and certainly, I could have done some things better. Some things, I was pretty good at. But wrestling announcing, like sports announcing, doesn’t affect viewership. Jim Ross back on Raw has been great. But ratings haven’t soared. Announcing is a garnish, not an entrée.

Ross is excellent at many things, but particularly so when it comes to making a bad product seem better. Announcers can be at the mercy of quality. It’s very difficult to shine excrement.

Case in point: I thought I was VERY GOOD when Goldberg wrestled, or involved in an angle. He was a serious character. He had GRAVITAS. It was easy to build on that, and important to build on that. I did.

I cracked wise about almost everybody besides Goldberg. But I tried to make Goldberg REAL.

But when Russo booked something asinine like a “Viagra on a pole” match, or a “Judy Bagwell on a pole match,” WHAT THE **** was I supposed to say? I turned into Jack Benny. It was STUPID, so I talked STUPID. Gordon Solie couldn’t have made that nonsense sound serious. So I didn’t try.

Look at General Rection. WCW actually had a character named “Hugh G. Rection.” Bill DeMott looked like a big bag of peat moss, but with less charisma. When he came off the top rope, I yelled, “FLY, FATASS, FLY!” And I was the one who got criticized, both internally and externally.

DeMott should have been a job guy, period. He had the most ridiculous name in wrestling history. Those Misfits In Action skits were BEYOND TERRIBLE.

But I was the dumbass. ME.


MY GOD, now Mr. Anderson says S***, not just A**HOLE. It is ABSOLUTELY REVOLUTIONARY BOOKING. I have seen the future of pro wrestling, and it’s FLABBY GUYS with POTTY MOUTHS!

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing

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