Hello everybody, and welcome to the first edition of Ringside. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is “Double R” Ryan Rider. I am the host of The Main Event wrestling radio show every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on CJLO. Each week, I will be giving you a weekly dose of some Total Non-Stop Action (pun intended) as we divulge ourselves into the latest news and happenings in the crazy world that we call professional wrestling. I’ve got some major things in store for you ladies and gentlemen, including an interview with the immortal Hulk Hogan himself and a “big-time” story on the upcoming extravaganza known as Wrestlemania (Apr. 1). So for this inaugural column that will electrify The Concordian, let’s take a look at three of the big headlines in sports-entertainment this week and my thoughts on each of them.

The Undertaker is heading to Wrestlemania 23.

Thirty men inside the squared circle, every man for himself, only one winner. This annual match-up has become a tradition for wrestling fans worldwide, and this year was no different. Going into the match, there were several potential winners in Edge, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, the Great Khali and eventual winner, the Undertaker. There were also some rumours flowing around that they were thinking about doing what was the original plan for last year with Mysterio winning the Rumble and not going to ‘Mania but obviously changed their minds as it wouldn’t be smart to do the same build twice in a row. The monstrous Great Khali eliminated six other wrestlers from this over-the-top-rope Battle Royal, but the final minutes were contested between Michaels and the Undertaker. Punches were being hit back and forth. When the Phenom sat up, HBK nipped up. Finally after a gruesome contest, the Undertaker eliminated Shawn Michaels to win the 20th Royal Rumble. If you look at the list of past winners, it is basically a who’s who in pro wrestling for the last two decades and the “Lord of Darkness” is no different. He adds his name to an elite list which includes former world champions Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and even Michaels himself (twice). Following his win, The Undertaker will now, presumably, challenge Batista for his title at Wrestlemania 23.

Christian Cage is coming to Montreal on March 24 to defend the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship.

Cage regained the NWA title for a second time at Final Resolution in a three-way match against reigning champion Abyss and Sting. At IWS Unf’nsanctioned on March 24, Christian will be defending his belt at the Medley in downtown Montreal. It’s great to see that the “Captain Charisma”, whose hometown is Toronto, makes his return to Canada to defend the prestigious 20 pounds of gold here in Montreal. “We are very proud that Christian Cage will be returning to Canada to wrestle for the International Wrestling Syndicate. Every year, our Un F’N Sanctioned show is voted show of the year by Quebec fans and we expect this year’s edition to be even bigger and better,” said PCP Crazy F’N Manny, who is the owner of the IWS. This will be the first NWA title defence in our province in many years, as Christian continues on the tradition of other Canadian NWA Champions such as Gene Kiniski and Edouard Carpentier.

Donald Trump and Vince McMahon, the “Battle of the Billionaires”.

You’re not going blind, you did read that correctly. Donald Trump is now in the WWE. Not to be unexpected, after all as we’ve seen Kevin Federline, Dennis Rodman, David Arquette, and even Buff Bagwell’s mother unsuccessfully try to expand their career into the ring in recent years. This feud is basically built on who has more money and who has a bigger ego, but aside from bringing up the rating for the seemingly 500th season of the Apprentice, I don’t see any big dollar signs coming out of it. That is, aside from the American bills that came pouring down from the sky last Monday night on Raw. This is supposed to culminate with Donald Trump managing a wrestler of his choice (Hulk Hogan) against a wrestler of McMahon’s choice (Shane or Khali). They are even planning on bringing back the minis from the short lived junior division as smaller versions of Trump and McMahon. Can Vince ever not involve midgets somehow?

I would appreciate any comments and questions e-mailed to me anytime, which could possibly be answered in a future edition of Ringside. So until next time, make sure to check out TNA Impact! tomorrow night at 10 p.m. on SpikeTV and I’ll see you at the matches.

This column has been Bob Backlund approved.


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