WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Saturday December 12, 2009
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren - All the latest professional wrestling news, gossip and occasional opinion direct to you. WGN is read by industry power players, many top wrestlers and thousands of fans from all around the world.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
12/11 Smackdown TV results from Houston, TX: CM Punk & Luke Gallows over R-Truth & Matt Hardy; JeriShow over Eric Escobar in a handicap match booked by Vickie Guerrero; Kane over Mike Knox; Mickie James & Maria over Michelle McCool & Layla, and Batista over Rey Mysterio in a street fight.
Tonight!! is the TLC pay-per-view from San Antonio, TX. Complete line up is John Cena vs. Sheamus in a Tables match for the WWE title; The Undertaker vs. Batista in a Chairs match for the World title; Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin in a Ladder match for the ECW title; Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Shawn Michaels & Triple H in a TLC match for the tag titles; John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre for the IC title; and Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James for the Women's title.
Raw on Monday night is a live 3-hour special from Corpus Christi with Dennis Miller hosting the Slammy Awards. The Smackdown/ECW tapings are Tuesday in Laredo.
The Southeast Outlook, a Christian Church publication in Louisville, has a story on Matt Cappotelli, who was released from his WWE contract in January while battling a malignant brain tumor. He talks about becoming a born-again Christian. He said after his tumor was diagnosed he got two tattoos, one on each arms, in Hebrew letters, which translates to "Through His blood... I am healed." The story notes he currently works at a local gym and is finishing a degree in exercise physiology. He says he is still working towards being healthy enough to resume his wrestling career. "My life is in God’s hands," he said. "I want to return to the ring, but I don’t want to do it for selfish reasons. If I’m on the huge stage again, I’ll be a witness and let Him shine through me." Full story at http://tinyurl.com/ybbx8kf.
Regarding guys failing drug tests, being released, and then returning to the company, WWE has clarified it's position on this with an update to it's Wellness Program. The policy states: "Any WWE talent who leaves the WWE for any reason with a first or second violation on his/her record will maintain those strikes if he/she returns to the WWE... A WWE Talent who is terminated by the WWE for a third violation will be prohibited from returning to the WWE for at least one year."
The term "Umaga" was the No. 18 search on Google.com on December 5, which equates to over one million searches with people trying to find out information on his passing.
Jamie Noble was helping out with training at FCW this past week. They also brought in Edge and Ricky Steamboat as guest speakers to give advice to developmental prospects. Edge was said to be moving around quite well and noted to one person he is targeting a return in the first quarter of 2010. He may actually be slightly ahead of schedule in terms of rehabilitation following surgery in July to repair a torn Achilles tendon
The Michigan State college newspaper at http://tinyurl.com/y94r2rm interviewed Kyle Rasmussen who is currently under a developmental deal as Conrad Tanner in FCW. He was an academic All-American and former defensive tackle with the Spartans. He talked about breaking into wrestling under Rick Bassman in California after meeting him at Gold's Gym in Venice. He said: "The way it came about, when I was out in Los Angeles, I was working out at Gold's Gym out in Venice, and somebody approached me and asked if I'd thought about wrestling before. I'd thought about it once or twice, never really seriously. He ended up putting me in touch with this guy named Rick Bassman, he's a talent scout, I guess you would call him. He's actually the guy who got John Cena started with his career. But I talked to him and he got me set up with a wrestling school in California, then a few months down the road, he took me backstage when the WWE was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to see the people who make the decisions. They offered me a tryout and flew me to Tampa for a week-long tryout. After that, I flew back home and they eventually offered me a contract."
The latest issue of Video Magazine has a feature on Batista, Rob Van Dam, and Ja Rule pushing the movie Wrong Side Of Town. The film is released on DVD February 23 and stars RVD as a former Navy Seal out for revenge by killing a crooked night club owner who attacked his wife. Batista filmed his scenes during injury downtime and WWE weren't too thrilled with his involvement due to the movie being Rated R. He is credited under the spelling of his legal name Bautista. The director is David DeFalco, an ex-wrestler and bodybuilder turned filmmaker who made a name for himself with the Last House On The Left. A trailer is online at http://tinyurl.com/ybalh6w.
The Irish Voice has a feature on Sheamus at http://tinyurl.com/yc3agbd. He says he wants to be the first Irish WWE Champion, although Vince McMahon would probably already want to hold that claim. He said: "I want to give Irish kids something to be proud of back home. I want to bring out a stronger image of Ireland, instead of 'Irish Spring' and 'Lucky Charms' and all that rubbish."
Slam Wrestling at http://tinyurl.com/yer8fej has a story on Maryse. She noted she worked from last December until July with torn ligaments in her knee after suffering a dislocation the day after winning the Divas title. She said: "To do the job that I’m doing, to be on the road 300 days a year, to be up at 4am for interviews, to travel all around the world, and to do so many different things at the same time, you have to be really versatile. You have to be a professional, or else I don’t think it’s going to work out for you. You have to be focused, or else you can easily lose it."
There is an interview with Lauren Jones at http://tinyurl.com/yctlbyn who had a brief stint with WWE late-2004 early-2005. She claims she asked for her released because, "I had realized that I at some point I would wind up either forced to do Playboy and continuing wrestling and I didn’t see that as something I wanted to do at the time. I really wanted to move into movies and film production. So, I decided to pursue some other opportunities that came along." She added: "I love the family at WWE and if Vince had asked me to something like that I would absolutely come back. But, I think a lot of that has to do with the fans. If the fans wanted me back, I’m back. The fans are what create careers. If the fans support me, I’m there. I will do whatever they want me to do."
A correction from a previous newsletter. Timberland is hosting the December 28 Raw in Hartford, CT not Charlotte, which has a Smackdown house show the same night.
SkySports.com has an interview with Kofi Kingston at http://tinyurl.com/yeccnem. He talks in-character as a lot of the talent have recently been told to kayfabe the media when possible.
In UK ratings for the week ending November 29, Raw did 42,000 viewers in the live time slot (-20,000 viewers on last week), and 33,000 viewers in the replay (-2,000). Smackdown did 56,000 viewers in its first airing (+8,000) and did 47,000 viewers in a Saturday morning replay. TNA Impact did not get a top 10 placing on Bravo, drawing in 37,000 or less viewers meaning a loss of at least 15,000 viewers from the previous week. Thanks to Ian Hamilton of www.theringsidelive.com.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING NEWS
Slam Wrestling has a story on Hulk Hogan at http://tinyurl.com/yb9lwcc. He defined his position with TNA as a "creative executive position" and claimed he led Monday Night Nitro to spank Monday Night Raw for 2 1/2 years. Well, it was actually 84 consecutive weeks so he's only 46 weeks out. He said regarding Vince Russo: "If the wrestlers need a writer to tell them what to do, they can pack their bags and go north to WWE. Writers don't have a feel and instinct for the business. They've never been in the ring. If I can't make it work, I'll pack my bags and leave. I want to make the characters come alive. Characters like Andre the Giant and Rowdy Roddy Piper were larger than life. That's what I want. TNA is doing a lot of things right. They have a lot of great talent. But there are a lot of major WWE stars burning my phone up, asking if they can work for TNA when their contracts are up." He said he has no current plans to wrestle here but if the fans cheer loud enough, "then maybe we have to do something about it."
Hogan Energy, Hulk's nutrition supplement business venture, is now selling Extreme Energy Granules, a supplement poured directly in the mouth. Speaking of which... Hogan was a guest on TSN's Off The record at www.tsn.ca/otr. He told a story about his first ever night in the WWF. He claimed the boys ribbed him that if he didn't give Pat Paterson oral sex after the show everyone was going to "gang rape" him. After his match, he went to the back and was ready to fight, but realized it was all a big rib and was greeted with cheers and a beer bath.
Some interesting names have been booked for the December 21 Impact taping.
Impact finished it's promotional run on UK freeview chanel Virgin One. The show continues to air in the usual Saturday night timeslot on Bravo.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Time Warner on December 9 officially parted ways with AOL as a separate independent company. Those steering WCW back in 2000 (Nash, Russo, Hogan, and Kevin Sullivan) blamed the AOL/Time Warner merger as the death of the wrestling company. RD Reynolds and Bryan Alverez' excellent 2005 book The Death of WCW (which Dixie Carter should read) asserts that Jamie Kellner of TBS was the one who really killed the company. Despite a downturn in ratings (WCW's ratings were still higher than most programming on TNT and TBS at the time) and a financial crisis, former WCW president Eric Bischoff (through Fusient Media Ventures) was interested in buying WCW and turning it around. In March 2001, Kellner announced that TBS would no longer air wrestling shows, and a few weeks later the WWE purchased WCW and its assets, leaving Vince McMahon with a virtual monopoly on professional wrestling. Kellner was ultimately the one who pulled the trigger, but it was guys like Nash, Russo, Hogan, Sullivan, etc. who took a company that grossed over $200 million and booked it into oblivion. Had they been grossing $200 million in 2001, Kellner wouldn't have canceled the show no matter how much he hated pro wrestling. But he did hate it and it was in the hole for $60-$80 million; thanks largely to the terrible booking year after year and the fact they drove away fans and killed buyrates, and so it was an easy decision for him to make. Plus, there were so many lawsuits pending for various things that it was more trouble than it was worth. And it was worth less than nothing.
Gale Gagne, the granddaughter of Hall of Famer Verne Gagne, surrendered to Minnesota authorities Thursday to face felony sexual conduct charges. She posted bail and was released from Hennepin County Jail. Gagne, 27, is accused of having sex with a student while working as a high school substitute teacher and assistant basketball coach. The alleged sexual contact occurred during the summer of 2008 when the boy was 16 and Gagne was 25 and is alleged to have taken place in Gagne’s home in Bloomington and at a hotel where the two allegedly spent the night together. Her attorney, Earl Gray (again, what an awesome name), said she intends to plead not guilty on both charges.
Women Superstars Uncensored runs tonight in Flemington, NJ at the Legion Hall with Mercedes Martinez vs. Awesome Kong; Jazz vs. Angel Orsini, Angelina Love, So Cal Val, and more. Visit www.WSUWrestling.com or call 732-888-1704 for more info.
Promoter Norm Connors, who ran shows in Pittsburgh for many years, is quietly retiring this weekend with his last shows in Elizabeth, PA. Among those booked are AJ Styles, Shane Douglas, The Sandman, Colt Cabana, Larry Sweeney, and the bWo gimmick with The Blue Meanie and Mike "Nova" Bucci.
Alex Marvez has a story on Baron Von Raschke, 69, at http://tinyurl.com/y89wlxr who is being honored tonight by induction into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Shannon Moore talks maybe going to TNA and what Jeff Hardy has left in the tank at www.MondayNightMayhem.com.
The trailer for Ultimate Death Match 2 is online at http://tinyurl.com/y9kcdrg which stars several wrestlers including Kevin Nash, Al Snow, Shane Douglas, Jimmy Valiant, April Hunter, and Melissa Coates. The movie was shot several weeks ago at the Davis Arena, the home of Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY.
Jim Cornette noted in a great interview with www.f4wonline.com that he would be meeting with OVW owner Danny Davis next week and maybe doing something again with the group. A high percentage of the current WWE roster is made up of talent who at one time or another trained with OVW during a near decade-long developmental affiliation.
Marvin Ward out of Virginia is apparently promoting an upcoming tour of China under the banner of American Wrestling Entertainment. He has been working on getting the tour off the ground for a while. Ward works with or did work with former WWE official Dave Hebner, and together they operate Ward-Hebner Promotions. Former WWE wrestler Ryan O'Reily has already confirmed his involvement in the tour.
The Delaware News Journal at http://tinyurl.com/yahlxhw has a story on Rebook's EasyTone footware which reportedly involves technology that can "make women walk better, but will sculpt and tone their calves, thighs and buttocks." Stacy Keibler endorses the product and is quoted as saying: "They strengthen your butt and your hamstring muscles by 28 percent, so even though I'm going to the gym in them, I'm getting a double workout."
Former WWE Diva Amy Weber made a Fox News slideshow on Bikinis at http://tinyurl.com/ya5q75c.
Trish Stratus has a fundraiser December 18 at her Yoga studio in the Toronto-area to raise money for Carmelina's Home; a women's long-term residential program. More info at www.trishstratus.com.
Candice Michelle, who is pregnant, came down with flu and pulled out of her scheduled appearances this weekend.
Today's Diva of the Day is Roxi at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.