By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
After the Mania
NEW JERSEY—It’s the return of “In The Black”, after a brief hiatus, and just in time for a post-WrestleMania XX report. This year’s edition was not as full of surprises as in years past, but it was still one for the books.
From an African-American perspective, it will be the last WrestleMania for long time superstar Ron Simmons, as he was let go by the WWE for reportedly refusing to attend a rehab facility to address an alcohol issue. Of course, how much is fact, and how much is fiction is only known to Ron Simmons himself. Simmons has done it all over his career, including a WCW Championship as his centerpiece. Tag team success is also a part of the Simmons’ highlight package, as he was a part of the tag team called Doom, with his former partner, Hacksaw Butch Reed. However, regardless of what may have happened with the WWE to cause his untimely departure, I wish Ron Simmons nothing but the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Speaking of tag team gurus, that brings me to the one and only Booker T., with his tag team victory at WrestleMania(with his partner Rob Van Dam), I can honestly say that this tag team specialist is the most underrated tag team wrestler in the history of the business. Along with his double-digit tag title reigns in WCW, he has won the WWE Tag Team Championship with several different partners, which include Goldust, Test and the aforementioned Van Dam. There must be a place in history for Booker T., and I hope the wrestling gods have carved it already.
Shelton Benjamin is already a very accomplished talent in the WWE. Now that he has jumped sides from Smackdown to Raw, I’m not sure that he will have much more of a platform to work on, especially as a singles competitor, but a change of scenery couldn’t hurt things at all.
Well, Dwayne Johnson, who goes by The Rock, will be starring in “Walking Tall”, which comes out next month. All of the signs for Rock to gravitate towards a movie career were always there. Now, the signs for a permanent exit from the WWE may not be too far behind. I’m sure that the entertainment reporters will keep us all posted.
As we’re approaching April of 2004, Orlando Jordan will be looking to reach the next level in his career at some point this year. He has established himself as a solid talent, and now it’s just a matter of taking that next step. Good luck to Mr. Jordan – a star on the rise.
In other news, Vince McMahon’s latest creation in the form of a draft lottery will turn things completely over in the WWE. New chapters will begin, so hopefully, it won’t be the same old story with the ratings. Vince has never been complacent when it comes to that kind of thing, anyway. He always seems to find ways to keep things fresh, before they become way too stale. I’m not exactly sure how he does it, but I guess that’s why he has a creative staff around him. Of course, the media as always, will monitor his progress – or lack of.