This is where things change.
I can’t keep doing SD…and, basically, it’s because of a time commitment thing. Four hours on a Friday night while also doing the family thing and side job thing… its become too much. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t realize how tough. So, a change needed to be made.

So, I was thinking about switching it to Monday, but I work at 5 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, and honestly, yuck. Doing four hours of Raw til midnight then getting only five hours of sleep to work a full day the next day? No thanks…

Thursday for TNA was a similar boat. No way could I manage to watch wrestling until midnight then wake up for work… worse, it’s TNA.

So, I decided I was out on Friday night and walking away from the column. But, then, Saturday and Sunday, while I drove the Jerk’s kids from birthday parties to soccer/t-ball games, I came up with an idea.

Maybe I could do something for GuysNation and wrestling, but not devote one four hour block toward the column?
Enter the new/revamped Squared Circle Jerk.
It’s a complete overhaul of the entire column. Throughout the week, I wil take newsbites and backstage stuff from the WWE, check out some Twitterness, grab some rumors and other goodies, do some full Raw, Smackdown, and TNA recaps, then sprinkle in spoilers from the upcoming week and some analysis in my true smarkiest form and, viola, new column.

So, let’s try it out, shall we? Welcome to the new – but not improved – SCJ:

— Since the retirement of Edge, Smackdown has certainly become the sorriest show of the two. Aside from Sin Cara and his tricky lighting, and the ongoing story between Christian and Randy Orton, the show really has nothing going for it.

Christian and Orton, though, are headed for a face off at the stupidly named “Over the Limit,” and anyone who believes Christian will win is pretty much grasping at straws.

The reason? The same reason why Orton was given the belt in the first place: ratings.
Don’t get me wrong, after 17 years in the business, no one on the roster is as deserving of the belt as Christian is. Paired with Edge, he has given his heart and soul to wrestling and deserves to finally be rewarded for it.

But, have you seen the crap on Smackdown recently? One of your upper middle card guys can’t even speak English without an interpreter (Khali), while one of the top two bad guys on the roster has a work rate of about a 2 on a scale of 20 (Mark Henry).

Decimating the Smackdown roster less than a year after starting a television contract on SyFy, then add in the loss of Edge, means there is absolutely no chance WWE Creative will let Christian keep the belt he so rightfully deserves. The kids – the PG 13 kids who are actually home on a Friday night and watch Smackdown – squeal loudly for Randall and are willing to flip on the television to see young Randall come out with the championship belt. This is not only ratings, but merchandising and everything else in-between.

In comparison, though, the adults who want Christian to reap the benefits of the years he’s put into the business aren’t home actually watching Smackdown when the Blue Show airs. They’re hopefully out and about celebrating the start of the weekend.

So, right now, Christian was pegged as nothing more than a transitional champion… a person who could be slid into the ladder match against Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules, then he could hand it off to Randall without much worry. Then, Randall could take the belt and run with it for quite awhile.

I know it sucks from a smark standpoint, but from the very PG SD, its a no brainer.
Probably the best thing happening on the Blue Show, though, is the pairing of Sin Cara with Chavo. Why? When given some creative license, Chavo can simply be one of the best little men on the microphone, which is VERY important when pairing Sin Cara with anyone. After all, the guy doesn’t speak… at all… at this point. Sure, he can demonstrate some form of communication through his body movement, but let’s be honest, he wasn’t hired because of the elloquest words coming out from under his mask. He was hired to do moves that amaze the world. (Though, I’m not liking the mutual moonsault finisher he has. Maybe it’s because I’m an adult and have a semi-firm enough grasp on physics enough to know that no one could make a 200-pound man flip in the air by just placing his arm on his chest.)

So, for the life of Sin Cara, he’ll need to be paired with a guy who can communicate… and Chavo can definitely communicate. I couldn’t stop laughing Friday at Chavo explaining how he was mentoring Sin Cara, then saying that Sin Cara stole all his moves. The payoff, for me, will be if Chavo tries to do a couple of moves and, in the end, falls flat on his head.

The only other match that SD is sending to Over the Limit is Ezekiel Jackson facing Wade Barret for the IC title. Personally, I think putting the belt on Zeke – and, in turn, breaking up the Corre – makes good sense right now. The IC title has long been a measuring stick to see how up and comers are when having a belt in their possession, and giving Zeke that opportunity might make logical sense. At the same time, pushing Barrett up to face off against Orton ensures Orton has more than one legitmate bad guy to face when his little run with Christian is done.

But, aside from those things, Smackdown is definitely looking weak. The only hope I see to get us away from the suck is that Jericho – coming off his demise on Dancing with the Stars – could make an appearance in the near future and strip Orton of that world championship. (Save us, Y2J.) Unfortunately, no one is exactly sure what will become of Jericho now. Will he return to wrestling, or will the man who seems to have the ability to adapt to any surrounding try and parlay his fame on DWTS to try and break into Hollywood? And, before you scoff at that notion, DWTS did well for Stacy Keibler.

— For everything that didn’t click on SD, Raw was much better – and I assume its because they have plenty of stars available to put on television. I mean, it’s pretty goofy that Punk is running a tag match with Mason Dixon against Kane and Big Show at Over the Limit.

Cena and Swagger was a decent match, despite my hatred of both Cena and Swagger. Cena, for obvious reasons, but Swagger just bothers me on multiple levels. He’s a decent worker, but the WWE have pushed him as the watered down version of Kurt Angle – just not nearly as good on the mic or in the ring.

But, simultaneously, you also knew that throughout the match, that the Miz was going to bring his goodness to the ring and somehow help propel this into something decent, and the pipe attack against Cena did just that. Sure, it took place after Swagger tapped out to Cena in the no holds barred match, but it still helped out.

But, there in the Miz’s goodness showed my overall hatred of why I hate John Cena. Wouldn’t that same pipe attack have been better if it forced Cena to “quit” and lose to Swagger? Or, if they didn’t want to mess with a Cena loss, have the pipe atack knock out Cena just to show show a aire of vulnerability on Cena. That would have given me a REASON to think their “I Quit” match at Over the Limit will become a match, as opposed to knowing that there is nothing Miz can do to keep Cena down.

Now, of course, the reverse could happen…the Miz could win the belt back at the I quit match, thus resulting in a shock for me, but it doesn’t seem like it could happen BECAUSE they continue to make Cena look like an infallable beast of a man.

There’s an old rule that I like to follow: one loss can equal a big win later. While getting pinned may result in making your champ look human, making him look human is a good way to making people care about him and purchase PPV’s with him in it.

Other than that, R-Truth and Mysterio are facing off at Over the Limit…a throw together as a result of getting the now-heeled R-Truth an opponent to replace John Morrison, out from neck surgery. Doctors are claiming Morrison should be good to go in 2 to 4 weeks, and there is an albeit slight chance that Morrison could make a reappearance at Over the Limit to help Mysterio pick up the win. But, don’t be too surprised if Morrison makes his presence known Sunday.

Hopefully at Over the Limit, we’ll start getting some sort of direction for Kharma. She’s spent the last four weeks just randomly picking on Diva’s and hasn’t set her sight on a single one yet. But, it looks like Kelly Kelly may be first in line to get a full on bell to bell squash from the woman. After Monday, she’s been in the ring twice since Kharma made her appearance, and it ended with an extremely awkward flick to the forehead. Her reasons for not giving Kelly Squared the double-underhook pile driver slam of doom remains unclear, of course, but the flick was an indication that she could flick her head off. From there, though, I’d like to see the WWE put a belt on her…better, I’d like it if it was made for a true, skinny Diva and she isn’t able to put it around her waist.

— Because this is my first report in quite a long time, I figured I’d chuck this out there: WWE is losing money by the dump truck.

The first quarter reports from the WWE shows revenue for the company had dropped from $138.7 million in the first quarter of 2010 to $119.9 million from the first quarter of 2011. Vinnie Mac is blaming the loss on a one-time charge for a film that didn’t do to well, as well as the date of Wrestlemania. Officials said they were forced to forgo a $2.8 million film impairment charge in the first quarter of 2011 because of “12 Rounds,” though its unclear what the film charge was for. In additon, they had to pay for Wrestlemania and could not recover the cost because of the day it was recorded. Those two things resulted in the $18.8 million loss.

There is some credibility in that because, last year, Wrestlemania took place April 3 of 2010, the second quarter of 2010. However, in a statement, Vinnie Mac said the business has declined about 20 percent “reflecting mixed performance from our business lines, including the impact of the ongoing transition in our talent base.”

He also expressed there is a lead time to develop new characters with broad appeal, but he remains disappointed “with our financial performance and our management team is working on addressing these challenges.” You know damn well that was tough for Vinnie to say to shareholders because the Vince is never wrong.

However, looking ahead, he said the company is optimistic in their ability because they went from World Wrestling Entertainment to the WWE, meaning they have a better chance of being a film/tv studio and less about wrestling. He also said he was pleased with the buy rate of WM – which won’t appear until the second quarter of 2011, and he also is happy with Tough Enough and the WWE’s ability to produced better branded programming.

Personally, I think the scariest thing on the list is that live and televised entertainment took a bath for Vinnie Mac and his family in 2011. Live and televised entertainment only produced $70 million in revenue in 2011, compared to $98.2 million in 2010. Of course, thats not adding in the buys for Wrestlemania, only the amount of money expensed for it. However, there had better be a $28 million bump in revenue when the second quarter numbers come out in July or so, or else Vinnie Mac may have some seriously ticked off shareholders.

The weird thing is that WWE Studios is actually showing a $5.2 million increase over quarterly numbers in 2010. The growth is being pinned directly on the straight to DVD movie The Chaperone starring Triple H…however, at the same time, WWE was slapped with a $2.8 million film impairment charge which brought the numbers down.

Anyone who really wants a more detailed breakdown can check out the financials here:
http://corporate.wwe.com/documents/PressReleaseQ12011FINAL05.05_000.pdf

— Another snippet that jumped across my desk is that Dave Batista has turned down an offer from the WWE in an effort to continue pursuing a Hollywood thing. Rumor – and only a rumor at this point – is that he was offered some serious money to make a return, but wanted to continue trying to pursue acting, or whatever else he thinks he can do that doesn’t involve throwing men around a ring.

Personally, the rumor makes sense, but then, also sounds like a bunch of horseshit.
On the “makes sense” standpoint, I like to hope someone smarter than me at the WWE looked at their roster on SD and went “Holy shit, we got nothing here after Shaemus…” and reached out to some former stars in hopes they could bring back a big name or two. Batista, along with Jericho, is definitely a name that’s out there and currently not contractually obligated to anyone. So, making a call to him and trying to get something worked out makes a lot of sense.

However, one phone call does not a contract make. So, it’s unclear if it wasn’t someone making a call and hoping for the best, or if this was real serious money.

And, I suspect, we’ll never know for sure either.

— Also, it was nice to see Zach Ryder make a quick cameo on Raw Monday. Sure, it was just to hand Cena a shirt, and I’m positive it was Cena who pushed for the cameo, but I just cant understand the need by WWE creative to keep this guy off TV. He’s obviously becoming an underground hit with his “Z! True Long Island Story” and Twitter updates. He’s drawing a following – a larger following than 9/10ts the roster on SD – with no help from the damn creative team. He’s also a decent worker in the ring. So, I don’t know what they are thinking. I say stick him on SD for awhile and see if he sinks or swims.

— Rob wanted me to do a TNA round up recap of sorts, and I gotta be honest with you (and him) at this point. I haven’t watched TNA in about a year. I decided to change the format of this column last Saturday and Sunday, and TNA ran Thursday. Now, of course, I could read what happened and give some thoughts about it… but I’d rather stick my head in a bear trap than actually READ TNA recaps. So, we’ll skip it this week but I promise to make that one of my duties in the coming week.

I do, however, have a few TNA newsbites:

— The biggest news in TNA is that there wont be any TNA anymore, it seems like, after TNA has officially re-branded itself as iMPACT WRESTLING beginning this Thursday.

The shot from the hip response from me is they are trying to show “We are a wrestling company – unlike that other TV show…” and unveiled a catchy new slogan in “Wrestling Matters.” At the same time, it could also be a decent time to change things up in the face of a handful of lawsuits against TNA that has definitely sullied their already crappy reputation.

To me, it makes sense from a marketing standpoint to capitalize on the WWE’s decision to take the term “wrestling” out of their name. However, if they intend to continue to put the same horseshit programming on television – you know, run segments of people talking instead of wrestling – I won’t care if they call it “Wrestling’s Wrestling of Impactful Wrestling.” It’s not going to change the fact that the show sucks.

As for distancing themselves from the lawsuits and bad reputation the company has, while it may end Google searches from popping up “lawsuit” when punching in the “impact wrestling,” by keeping the same ass bags in the company, they can expect iMPACT to eventually have the same problems. So while the new name change could give the company that recently-douched feeling, eventually, the same sand will work its way back into the vagina.

— Another tidbit, head to the TNA website if you want to hear the full version of a Kurt Angle hour-long interview with someone at TNA, in which he went over a plethora of topics. One of which was basically saying the TNA creative team has no focus or direction, which often results in convoluted shows. (I suppose that has nothing to do with the bottles of Jack Angle consumes in front of the TV on Thursday nights!! ~Zing!!~)

He said, the problem with the creative team is “nobody’s wrong and nobody’s right. Vince Russo writes the shows. Now, when he writes the shows, he has a vision. Now, this vision might be 4 to 8 months, even 12 months long. When he has this vision, he goes in to the meeting, Everybody breaks it down, chops it up, takes this off, puts this on, add this, takes this away….now you have a convoluted show. So you had a guy with a vision that had the show nailed down the way he wanted it, and everything becomes convoluted. What we need to do as a company, and I’ve talked to people about this, is we need three guys to come together, write the show, keep it that way, don’t change anything, make a few altercations, but don’t make the show cloudy.”

From the mouth of a drunk comes the messiah of truth.
I have often wondered how, with a roster of incredible workers and awesome microphone talents…how can TNA screw up TV this bad? You have guys with mountains and mountains and mountains of experience, are golden both on the mic and off, can be all go in the ring, yet absolutely nothing makes sense? And, of course, I always said that, with Russo at the helm, nothing will ever make sense.

However, if I’m to believe Angle, then it’s not the Russo himself, but rather the 12 or so other people screaming in his ear that have been taking some decent ideas and chopping them apart.

I don’t know… I’m firmly in the camp that Russo can’t just be handed a pen and write all the shows because – well, we saw what happened in WCW… but, then again, Russo IS a decent wrestling writer when there is a voice of reason standing over him going “Come on, Vince. You can’t do that…” He did have some classic moments in WWE and even in WCW. It’s just that, no one was willing to stand up to him and say “Vince, that’s just bad TV.”

Either way, it seems to me that Russo has a big fan in Angle, and that’s a huge help to him in the world of job retention.

In addition, Angle also said he is hoping that Chyna starts wrestling guys on iMPACT, that he is serious about training for the Olympics, and he’s on the verge of reupping his TNA contract for another 3.5 years.

–And, finally, WWE is asking you to spend money on them this weekend, as I’ve mentioned before. “Over the Limit” is only featuring five matches at this point, though Big Show/Kane vs. Punk/Dixon is also on the card but not announced on the web site.

The one match I think I didn’t touch on was Lawler vs Cole part trey…and, hopefully this is the LAST time we need to deal with it. It’s a kiss my foot match, and if Lawler loses, he has to give Cole his HoF ring as well as induct Cole into the HoF.

I don’t really need to talk about the stupidity surrounding this, do I? Nor do I need to discuss how Swagger prays to his Lord every night hoping that this damn things ends this Sunday so he can start wrestling real matches soon?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not like the rest of the world – I really do get a kick out of the evil Michael Cole. He is quite entertaining on the mic and a lot of the things he says are things that I may be thinking in my brain. Sure, he sounds like a moron when he repeats himself over and over and over, but that’s all part of the character he’s playing. He makes me laugh.

But, I’m also saying enough is enough. There are plenty of guys on either roster who deserve a match at the PPV over these two…so, how about we actually let one of them have a slot on the card and reduce this feud to something that would appear on Superstars?

Anyway, I firmly expect another match or two be announced at some point over the weekend or at the PPV itself. It looks like Kofi and his US belt have nothing going on, so I expect something to happen there, while they’ll do something to enhance Kharma’s destruction of the Diva’s.

That’ll be 8 matches…of which, I only expect one to keep my interest. That’s just not enough for me to plunk down the $54.95 that Direct TV is asking me to pay. Though, it might be enough for me to go to a neighborhood establishment to check it out.

Either way, thats it.
Hey, this was pretty fun. And, best, I spent three days writing and cobbling everything together for this, but I could do it in my spare time and never became unmanageable. So, we’ll see where this goes from here.

As always, your feedback is appreciated, and I’ll see you all next week.