WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Sunday January 10, 2010
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
1/8 Smackdown TV results from Louisville, KY: Dolph Ziggler over Kane; Chris Jericho & The Hart Dynasty over R-Truth & Cryme Tyme; Luke Gallows over Matt Hardy; Beth Phoenix over Layla; and Batista vs. Rey Mysterio was a no contest.
1/8 Raw house show results from Boston, MA: MVP over Jack Swagger; Evan Bourne over Johnny Curtis; Cody Rhodes over Primo; Gail Kim & The Bella Twins over Maryse, Alicia Fox & Jillian Hall with Santino as special referee; Chris Masters over Carlito; The Miz over Kofi Kingston; Sheamus over Mark Henry; and DX over Big Show & Randy Orton.
The 1/9 Raw show in Lincoln, NE, was the same results as Boston with Eve Torres and Lalya doing the ticket upgrade gimmick.
1/9 SD/ECW house show results from Fargo, ND: R-Truth over Dolph Ziggler; Vladimir Kozlov, Goldust & Yoshi Tatsu over William Regal, Tyler Reks & Zack Ryder; Mickie James over Beth Phoenix; Eric Escobar over Mike Knox; The Hart Dynasty over Jimmy Wang Yang & Slam Master J; Chris Jericho over Matt Hardy; Christian over Ezekiel Jackson; Drew McIntyre over John Morrison; and Rey Mysterio over Batista. A few fans were ejected during the main event. I don't have all the details but one kid was apparently tossed simply for flipping the bird at Batista. How times have changed.
They Raw crew run today in Rochester, MN, while Smackdown runs in Duluth. We're looking for reports from both shows to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raw TV is Monday from Minneapolis with Mike Tyson likely knocking out Chris Jericho and the continuation of Vince McMahon-Bret Hart although Bret won't be there. There is also a Smackdown house show in La Crosse on Monday night while the TV tapings are Tuesday from Green Bay including a battle royal for a shot at Christian's ECW title at the Royal Rumble.
Former WWE wrestler Tony Halme aka Ludwig Borga passed away last night in Finland. He had just turned 47. Police and medics were called to his apartment but efforts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Finnish police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the case had been passed to the coroner. Halme headlined for WWE during the mid-90s following a run with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He worked a heel foreigner gimmick as a fighter who hated the U.S. due to pollution. He had a notable main event feud with Lex Luger and also ended the two-year undefeated streak of Tatanka. At Survivor Series in 1993, he teamed with Yokozuna, Jacques Rougeau and Crush [representing Hawaii and replacing an injured Pierre Karl Ouelette] as the "Foreign Fanatics" against the "All-Americans" of Lex Luger, The Undertaker and the Steiner Brothers. However, an ankle injury forced the company to cancel their plans for him and he left soon after. He went on to become a professional boxer, amassing a 13-6 record from 1995-2002, including ten knockouts. He lost to Randy Couture via choke at UFC 13 in his only MMA fight in 1997. He was actually Couture's first-ever UFC opponent who gave up over 50 pounds in their 57-second fight. He also appeared on the Finnish TV version of American Gladiators under the moniker "Viking" and later, in 2003, entered the political arena with an extreme right-wing group called the True Finns Party. He served on Finnish Parliament from 2003-2007. In 2004, he was given a four-month suspended sentence for firearms and drugs offences after he fired a pistol during a domestic dispute with his wife. At the time he blamed the incident on being under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol, and a search of his home and office revealed steroids and amphetamines. In March 2006, Halme was committed to a mental institution, reportedly due to delirium caused by substance abuse. A few months earlier he had been diagnosed with alcohol-related cirrhosis and acute pancreatitis. After being on sick leave for most of 2006, he went on disability pension at end of his Parliamentary term. Just last month he said in a newspaper interview that he was destitute and suffering from issues with his short-term memory. He said he had trouble remembering anything, but was trying to pencil his memoirs.
Mickie James suffered a minor arm injury necessitating nine stitches. She isn't expected to miss any time.
The Calgary Herald has a story on Bret Hart returning to WWE at http://tinyurl.com/ya42azp. He described his return as "bizarre" and "surreal," adding, "I kept asking myself if I was really there." He made a point to note his return had nothing to do with Hulk Hogan going to TNA: "[They are] playing it up like that. Like WWE was scared of whatever Hulk Hogan was going to do, so they went and got Bret Hart to compete." He said he came back to give himself closure with his wrestling career and since he was planning to live in Calgary for the next two years (his girlfriend has two years left on her degree program) he wanted something to do. "What else am I going to do," he said. "Garden?"
There were several departures from developmental this past week. John Elliot who was working as Dylan Klein and before that Johnny Riggs is gone after giving his notice before the holidays due to a personal situation. Steve "DJ Gabriel" Lewington, a native of the UK, was released. He posted a statement on his Myspace page saying that he loved every minute of his five years with the company but knew his time was up. He wrote: "I had a blast working in the WWE, there are so many matches and memories that will always put a smile on my face. Kenny Bolin [OVW worker], Jim Cornette, and the McMahon family were big inspirations on my career. I have nothing but good things to say about all of them. They helped me incredibly the entire time I was with the WWE and I am honored to have come to know them." Other releases include Rashad Goff, Bryan Wilcott, Aaron Reed, and Leroy Morgan, who is the son of former WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk.
Joshua Fatu, the youngest son of Rikishi, was signed and made his FCW debut this past week. Asher Knight from OVW was also offered a developmental deal after impressing at the television tapings in Louisville.
Johnny Curtis from developmental made his house show debut this weekend in his hometown of Boston. He was billed from New York City as a rib. Curtis, 6-4, 230, is a former male model who got his start under Killer Kowalski and worked various New England area independent promotions from 1999-2006.
Tiffany (Taryn Terrell), 25, and Drew McIntyre (Galloway), 24, recently got engaged. They have been a couple for some time and were happily showing off the engagement ring this past weekend in San Jose. Terrell was previously in a relationship with Alfonso Ribeiro, better known as Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air.
Stacy Keibler noted that WWE has been in touch with her about hosting Raw. They gave her some dates but wasn't able to work them around her schedule. She said if the timing was right she would love to return for one night. Keibler has a role on Monday's 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother which airs before Raw at 8pm on CBS.
WWE people were watching Impact live backstage at last Monday's Raw.
There is talk of doing away with the guest host concept and appointing a big-name storyline GM. Stephanie McMahon had said in interview last year that the company had planned to continue with guest hosts until Wrestlemania.
Edge is advertised for May live events in Texas.
Booker T downplayed the notion of returning to WWE in an interview with the Monday Night Mayhem radio show. He said he doesn't want to work a full-time schedule anymore but liked the idea of announcing. He said: "Going back to the WWE, I know I would have to pretty much [work] 180 days a year. I don't think that's something I want to do at this point. A lot of people speculate, but if I was to go back to the WWE, it would probably be from a wrestling announcer standpoint, that's something I have always wanted to do. TNA is better for me as far as scheduling goes, but I don't think I'll working that hectic schedule anymore." He said during his TNA tenure he was frustrated creatively and wanted to have a bigger role with the company: "I wanted to wrestle the Kurt Angle's, the Scott Steiner's, the Sting's. I'm a professional wrestler. I go out and entertain, and I entertain best in the middle of the ring one-on-one. I just had a lot of matches that I wasn't happy with, and I think I got frustrated with the writing more than anything. I think that was maybe my own demise wanting to go out there and do one-on-one matches when there was a lot of [tag team matches]. I just didn't feel happy with the way my career was going in that direction." Full audio at www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
Dr. David Chao, who is the orthopedic surgeon of Rey Mysterio and several other WWE wrestlers, is under scrutiny from the California state medical board for unprofessional conduct and alcohol abuse. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/yale26g. Chao is also the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers.
Rob Van Dam and Batista are the main players of an upcoming independent movie called Blood Out. The film is about a small-town sheriff who goes undercover to avenge his brother’s death. Production begins in February out of Baton Rouge, LA.
Superstars on Thursday did a 0.8 rating.
A new Bret Hart t-shirt is currently the No. 1 selling item on the Shopzone website.
Tickets for the 2010 Hall of Fame ceremony go on sale on January 16 with Stu Hart the only confirmed name at press time. The event will emanate from the 5,000-seat Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, AZ.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
1/8 TNA house show results from Long Island, NY: Amazing Red over Homicide; Taylor Wilde & Sarita over The Beautiful People; Desmond Wolfe over Daniels; D'Angelo Dinero over Rhino; Beer Money over Eric Young & Kevin Nash; and AJ Styles over Kurt Angle with Jeff Jarrett as the special referee. The show had a good turn out drawing around 2,500. Don West was working the merchandise stand driving a lot of sales with "Don's insane $20 brown bag specials." Mick Foley and Taz were also at the show signing autographs. During the Knockouts match they did a spot with ref Earl Hebner who kissed Madison Rayne followed by his best Jackie Fargo strut. Nash hardly worked and several people remarked how he looked to be in severe pain. Wolfe-Daniels was said to be match of the night just behind Styles-Angle.
The 1/9 show in Poughkeepsie drew just over 1,000 with the same matches except Angle over Wolfe and Styles over Daniels.
The weekend tour wraps today in Danbury on the campus of Western Connecticut State University. We're looking for reader reports to email@example.com.
Bobby Lashley debuts for Strikeforce against Yohan Banks on January 30 in Sunrise, FL. Lashley is still heavily promoted the same night for a TNA house show in London, England.
Ric Flair talked to Mike Mooneyham about his TNA debut at http://tinyurl.com/y8ehmzm. He said he came here because he felt wanted: "I think I certainly can add something to the show. And the nice thing is ... they want me... I’m really excited about this company. I’m very happy with the way they’re doing things. They’re doing it the right way. I can see them getting better and better."
Vince Russo has started answering questions from fans on his Facebook page. When asked about doing away with the six-sided ring, he said: "It looks that way." He put over working with Jeff Hardy but wasn't sure what his status was following his indictment. He said there probably wouldn't be any bra and panty matches in TNA because he respects the Knockouts too much. That's funny, because didn't we just have strip poker and a recent mud wrestling match? He put over Randy Orton and Kurt Angle and said the most underrated TNA wrestler was Eric Young. When one fan compared Impact to Nitro, he said: "I don't think it seems like WCW at all. Wrestling, is wrestling. There is only really one way to do it. AJ, Joe, Daniels, Morgan, Hernandez, Brit Invasion, Pope, Machine Guns, were any of those guys from WCW?" Well, Styles and Daniels were actually both in WCW.
The Impact replay on Thursday night did a 0.9 rating which is a very good number. Although they haven't promoted it the entire 3-hour Impact was quietly uploaded to the TNA YouTube channel.
Jeremy Borash was interviewed on Rochester Sports Talk radio. When asked about Monday's live Impact he felt they didn't hit a home run but left people wanting more by bringing in Hogan, and the surprises of Jeff Hardy, and Ric Flair. He teased another big name surprise for next Sunday's Genesis PPV but said he didn't know who this was going to be. He also put over Eric Bischoff saying having him on-board was like signing Michael Jordan.
Booboo Stewart, the teenage actor of the next Twilight movie, will be writing an interview-based column for the TNA website. He is a huge wrestling fan and attended Bound For Glory with his parents last year.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
1970s Memphis wrestler Jim White passed away on Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 67. I believe he was Jerry Lawler's first tag partner drawing huge crowds against Jerry Jarrett and Jackie Fargo. After retirement he mentored a number of young people in the business and entertained many with stories of Elvis Presley attending local shows. A funeral service was scheduled for 11am Monday at the Briton Funeral Home in Manchester, KY. Greg Oliver has a nice obit at http://tinyurl.com/ye6jeqm. Jerry Lawler on his new website at www.kingjerrylawler.com wrote: "Jim White never really got the recognition he deserved. I know for a fact if it had not been for Jim there would never have been a 'King' Jerry Lawler. He had no problem working in the background while I was out front getting most of the attention. It takes a special person to do that and Jim White was that kind of person. I will miss Jim, and I send my sincere condolences to his family who Jim loved dearly."
Bruno Sammartino, 74, will be honored at the 74th annual Dapper Dan banquet in Pittsburgh in March for a lifetime of achievement in sports. "I never expected anything like this. Wrestling isn't looked upon like the other sports of football, baseball, basketball and hockey. I'm deeply honored." Today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette has the story at http://tinyurl.com/ydhl26a.
Randy Couture told Inside MMA that he recently spoke with Brock Lesnar and Brock told him his health issues are now under control, he was back training, and he plans to return to a UFC Octagon in the Spring.
Ken Shamrock, 45, has signed to fight Seth Petruzelli, 30, in Cancun, Mexico on March 6. The fight is for a group called International Unlimited Fighting and would be his return to MMA since he failed a drug test last March in California. He was originally scheduled to fight Bobby Lashley but had tested positive for steroids and received a one year suspension.
Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black was announced for the Ring of Honor 8th Anniversary Show in New York City on February 13. If there is no winner after 60-minutes then a three judge panel of Jim Cornette, Kenny King and Roderick Strong will decide the winner. More info at www.rohwrestling.com.
The Hulkamania show taped in Sydney, Australia, back in November, that was originally scheduled to air on One HD in the country, but didn't without explanation, will likely never air on television. Michael Condon and his company Condon Sports, the promoter behind the Hulkmania tour, recently went bankrupt. I guess that tells you how well the tour did although they did draw decent crowds. The tour footage will eventually be sold off to pay creditors.
Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro attended a Survivor Reunion show taped for CBS on Saturday in Los Angeles. Footage airs on February 4.
Brooke Hogan is a guest on the forthcoming season of the Tyra Banks Show.
All the stories about Steve Austin suppoesedly breaking the neck of Sylvester Stallone are attibuted to an interview Stallone gave to FHM magazine. Sly also claims while filming The Expendables that he told Dolph Lundgren to stiff him. "I was told that Dolph had punched my rib cage into my chest, compressing my heart. If it had swollen any more, I would have died."
Former TNA booker Dutch Mantell with his take on who actually won the Monday Night Wars at www.dutchmantell.com.
Lance Storm also adds his two cents at www.stormwrestling.com.
Today's Diva of the Day is Katie Lea at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.