WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Monday December 14, 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
12/13 TLC PPV results from San Antonio, TX: R-Truth over CM Punk was the dark match; Christian over Shelton Benjamin in a Ladder match to retain the ECW title; Drew McIntyre over John Morrison to capture the IC title; Michelle McCool over Mickie James to retain the Women's title; Sheamus over John Cena in a Tables match to capture the WWE title; The Undertaker over Batista in a Chairs match to retain the World title; Randy Orton over Kofi Kingston; and DX over JeriShow in a TLC match to capture the tag titles.
The Smackdown/ECW tapings are Tuesday in Laredo.
Ricky Steamboat Jr., the son of The Dragon, was offered a developmental deal. He hasn't officially signed yet as all new talents are subject to a battery of Wellness tests. He is planning to relocate to Tampa and start with FCW in January. Several independent promoters have noted he is a great kid with a good head on his shoulders. Dusty Rhodes, through a mutual friend of ours, described him as "a puppy with big claws" meaning he's going to be big, but doesn't know how big. Steamboat, 22, was trained by George South and later with Harley Race at his school in Eldon, MO and recently completed tours in Puerto Rico and in Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH.
ROH wrestler Rhett Titus was among those at the WWE tryout camp in Tampa last week. No word yet on whether he was offered a deal... WWE talent chief John Laurinaitis is scouting at OVW in Louisville, KY on January 6.
UFC has moved it's March 13 PPV in Newark, NJ to Saturday March 26, the night before Wrestlemania 26. That will likely affect both companies competing for dollars that weekend. UFC reportedly made that call because March 13 would have tentatively put the UFC show head-to-head against the planned Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match, which is expected to draw one of the biggest buy rates in the history of PPV.
I received an advance copy of the WWE DVD, The History of the World Heavyweight Championship, which is released across the country on Tuesday, and in Europe in February. Considering the scope of this project, and much of the material included, the WWE production crew did a decent job on putting this set together. The documentary portion details the linage of the World Heavyweight Championship dating back to Georg Hackenscmidt of Estonia coming over to the U.S. and defeating Tom Jenkins in 1905 to become the recognized World Champion in North America. The early years are narrated by Cowboy Bill Watts and Mike Chapman of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute in Waterloo, IA. They discuss many of the early greats such as Frank Gotch, defined by Chapman as the greatest World Champion of all-time, along with Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers, Ed Strangler Lewis, and Whipper Billy Watson also regarded among the all-time greats. They cover how wrestling grew from its popularity on television to regional territories to the formation of the National Wrestling Alliance in 1948. They also detail how Thesz defeated Baron Michele Leone in 1952 to unify the last of the remaining regional titles, to become the first undisputed World Champion since the days of Gotch and Hackenschmidt. You can tell a lot of work went into researching the early years but unfortunately they skip through a lot of the modern era, title changes from Dory Funk Jr. to Jack Brisco to Terry Funk, Harley Race, and Ric Flair. They covered Ted Turner purchasing Jim Crockett Promotions to create WCW, and later switch to the WWE purchasing WCW from AOL/Time Warner. Flair jumping ship to the WWF in the early-90s with the title is covered, and there is a nice mention that during that time Ron Simmons was crowned the first African-American World Champion. They put over the likes of Sting and Vader as credible champions in WCW but mocked later reigns including that of Vince Russo and David Arquette. The story then switches gears from the title being regarded a joke until it's credibility was restored, of course, in WWE by Triple H. They used a lot of archive interview footage. Talking heads included Bob Geigal, Larry Hennig, Chief Jay Strongbow, Bobby Heenan, Harley Race, Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Mae Young, the late Fabulous Moolah, and even Jim Cornette, who hasn't had anything to do with the company since 2005. Matches include: Pat O’Connor vs. Buddy Rogers from June, 1960 at in front of 38,622 fans at Chicago's Comiskey Park, a North American wrestling attendance record that lasted over 20 years; Gene Kiniski vs. Dory Funk Jr. from Tampa, FL in 1969 where Funk won the NWA title with a spinning toehold, which Kinski claims in the DVD that he only submitted to because he thought the match was best of three falls; and Ric Flair vs. Magnum T.A. for the NWA title from Superclash 85; the first co-promotional effort by the NWA and Verne Gagne's AWA to attempt to compete with the WWF's increasing national popularity. This 3-disc set contains over 8 hours of footage, and would suit anyone who enjoys old wrestling. 7/10.
Booker T has told people here he is coming in soon, perhaps at the Royal Rumble in January.
Shawn Michaels and his wife Rebecca were sat courtside at the Spurs-Bobcats game on Friday night. Michaels did a Halftime deal superkicking the Charlotte Bobcat. Photos are online at http://tinyurl.com/y92b2qv. For those keeping score, the Spurs won the game 104-85.
The Miami Herald has a story on CM Punk at http://tinyurl.com/y8hwrhc where he hypes up Tribute to the Troops. He also talks music, and among his favorite bands right now is The Luchagors, which is his girlfriend's band. Smart guy.
Matt Striker had quite a few gaffs last night on commentary. The best came during the Ladder match when Christian was bloodied and they stopped the match to clean the blood. He blamed this on the Texas State Athletic Commission, which doesn't even exist. He also said during the IC title match that that Texas hasn't seen the IC title change hands in 20 years. Mysterio beat JBL for the IC title earlier this year in Houston at Wrestlemania 25.
Matt Hardy totaled his Dad's truck over the weekend and posted a photo on his Twitter page.
Sheamus was a trending topic on Twitter last night for an hour after winning the WWE title.
Chris Jericho and Eve Torries are guests on Fox & Friends from 6am ET on Wednesday morning promoting Tribute to the Troops... Jericho is also doing Jimmy Fallon the same night, technically Thursday morning at 12:35am.
Rey Mysterio turned 35 over the weekend.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING NEWS
Ric Flair is expected to start here soon. Flair, before the recent Hulkamania tour in Australia, called Stephanie McMahon about returning to the WWE, but those discussions are said to be dead at this point. Among the major names TNA are looking to bring in January are Flair, Rob Van Dam, and Jeff Hardy, although those close to Hardy say he is a lock to return to WWE before he works for another company.
The National Enquirer has a blurb on Hulk Hogan with his bride-to-be Jennifer McDaniel saying that Hulk should retire from the ring because she doesn't want him to end up like Randy the Ram. They didn't mention Hulk's claim that he was offered the lead part in The Wrestler before Mickey Rourke.
TNA Epics premieres on Spike on January 14 with a special on Kurt Angle. The show will air Thursday's at 11pm ET following Impact.
Kevin Nash is auditioning for an upcoming episode of Cold Case.
Eric Bischoff was in Nashville for meetings with Dixie Carter this past weekend.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Ring of Honor tonght on HDNet has the returning Steve Corino vs. Lance Lewd; Erick Stevens vs. Tyler Marcel; and Tyler Black vs. Sonjay Dutt; and Delirious vs. Kenny King in Pick 6 Series matches.
The Harris County Medical Examiner in Houston confirmed that they performed an autopsy on Eddie "Umaga" Fatu. They won't be releasing the results until toxicology testing comes back which is many weeks to months away.
The Hulkamania show, which was taped in Sydney two week's ago, and was scheduled to air Saturday night on One HD in Australia, was pulled very late with no explanation given. The show was replaced with Motocross and TNA Xplosion. While we haven't been able to confirm anything at press time the rumor is that the postponement may have something to do with Umaga. This was his last taped match and appearance before his untimely passing.
Gale Gagne appeared in a Minnesota court house Friday afternoon to answer felony sexual conduct charges. Gagne, 27, the granddaughter of Verne Gagne, is accused of having sex with a then 16-year-old student during the summer of 2008 while working as a high school substitute teacher and assistant basketball coach. District Court Judge Thomas Sipkins ordered that Gagne have no contact with the teenager and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for December 30. Her attorney, Earl Grey, said Gagne intends to plead not guilty and go to trial.
Bill Apter this past weekend caught up with the Iron Sheik at http://tinyurl.com/y8h5zlc where Sheik rants about Hulk Hogan... On a related note, Sheik and Hogan had a confrontation a few days ago at a hotel in Toronto where Hogan was doing press for his book.
Planet 51 voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Sean William Scott, and Jessica Biel, dropped to No. 11 in its third week at the Box Office. The film has grossed just over $37 million domestically and is pretty much considered a flop. The production budget was more than $70 million.
Today's Diva of the Day is Lita at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.