WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Thursday January 21, 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
1/19 ECW TV results from Greenville, SC: Trent Barreta & Caylen Croft over Yoshi Tatsu & Goldust; and Christian over William Regal.
Superstars tonight on WGN [unless your in Chicago or Canada] has Kelly Kelly vs. Jillian Hall singing Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA; Vance Archer vs. Shelton Benjamin; and Chris Jericho vs. Kane.
The post-mortem of mid-90s WWE wrestler Tony Halme aka Ludwig Borga confirmed that Halme took his own life with a pistol. Finnish authorities believe that Halme had been dead for two days in his apartment before his body was discovered. The official time of death was entered as Friday January 8, while police discovered his body on Sunday, January 10.
Jim Cornette talking to The Sun at www.the-sun.co.ukj/wrestling is right on the money when discussing young deaths in wrestling. He says publicly what people in the business say privately and takes WWE to task over their past and present hiring practices: "It is never easy when a friend dies. But at first it was 'oh my gosh', then it was 'oh no', then it was 'not again' and finally you're not surprised anymore. It is never good, but it isn't shocking. That's the sad thing. It is more shocking if a professional wrestler from the 1980s is actually found in good health and living a nice life with no problems. When I was a kid watching wrestling in the 1970s, every couple of years you would hear of a few wrestlers dying in a car wreck. Now a month doesn't go by that you don't hear some about wrestler dying at an early age, because of drugs or by-products of drugs which are by-products of the unfortunate work environment that they found themselves in." He also comments on the WWE Wellness Program and says people will question his motives, "But at the same time, look at it! A lot of people won't say what I am because they still want a job. Some people do say it but it is dismissed as sour grapes. They are written off as jealous or guys who never made it. But they are the ones with their eyes open. Nobody can dispute the facts. They just try to shoot the messenger. So I don't care what [WWE thinks] of me and I'm sure they don't care what I think of them. I'm just telling the truth."
Randy Orton went on his website forum to give his version of what happened with the fan who's mother pressed charges against him last weekend following the Raw house show in Boston. He wrote: "Here’s what happened: I walked out of Kowloon’s Friday night around 12:30-1 a.m. with Santino and a police officer escort. As I was being rudely hounded for pictures and autos (I had a 6:40 a.m. flight through Minni to Lincoln, then a drive to Omaha, a match, a drive back to Omaha, then a charter to Minni, and a driver to Rochester for the next show the next day, btw), I was confronted by an older women who said: ‘Hey Randy, you spit on my handicapped son a few years ago at a show, what do you have to say about that?’ My replay...`So Sue me.’ Then I proceeded to my car, with Santino and the cop and drove back to our hotel by the Boston airport. I know I have been a bit of a hothead in the past, but I DID NOT spit gum and call names to any child. The women is claiming I called her son a `retard’ 3 times, and spit gum in his face. Come on people, even at my worst temperament, I would never call a handicapped child something awful like that. I’ll actually sign anything for any child with any disability. I heard just today from WWE attorneys that this women filed assault charges against me 4 days later? Hmmm, oh, and what about the dozens of cops at the restaurant that were there for crowd control since there were over 100 wrestling fans there? Not to mention the cop that escorted me to my freaking car. I’ll be happy when this is over. I guess if I’ve learned anything from this, it is not to ever challenge anyone to sue me." Robert Zimmerman, vice president of public relations for WWE, told local press yesterday that the company was aware of the allegations and was looking into the matter. He declined to answer questions about whether any disciplinary action was taken against Orton.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was a guest Tuesday night on David Letterman to promote The Tooth Fairy, his new movie which opens at theatres this weekend. He talked a little wrestling. Most interesting was that his dad Rocky Johnson tried to talk him out of becoming a pro wrestler after he graduated college. He said they had a huge fight because his father didn't want him to go into the business. When Letterman asked him why, Rock said that his father told him: "Son, I wrestled for 30 years... I'm living in a two bedroom apartment. That's all I have to show for all my years in the business. Are you prepared for that?" Of course, the rest is history. When asked about ever wrestling again, he said: "No, not necessarily for a match. [WWE] provided me with a great platform, performing in front of people. So if I ever went back, it would be probably in the capacity of hosting and having fun on the show and entertaining and having a great time." You can watch the interview at http://tinyurl.com/yfpyw4g.
Serena Deeb, 23, from developmental was just called up to the main roster and debuts on Smackdown which airs Friday night. She started her wrestling career at the age of 18 at the OVW wrestling school in Louisville. She actually relocated there from Oakton, VA, on her own dollar when OVW was a developmental group, and for some reason, was never noticed by WWE people at that time. She was described as a natural and was soon invited to train in OVW's advance class with WWE prospects. She went on to work for Ring of Honor, Shimmer, and had a cameo in TNA, who dropped the ball on not signing her, before she eventually signed with WWE. She has recently worked as Mia Mancini in FCW and is now expected to be part of CM Punk's stable on Smackdown.
Curt Hawkins tries out as a color commentary tonight at the developmental tapings in Tampa. We would love a report from any readers in attendance.
Silvervision released the match listings for the upcoming Shawn Michaels DVD titled My Journey. It's a 3-disc set with a lot of previously never released television matches from the 80s and 90s. A blurb for the DVD reads: 'Now, for the first time ever, Shawn Michaels sits down and in an intimate interview retraces his early days in Texas through his Rocker tag-team partnership in AWA and WWE through his multiple reigns as WWE Champion. Shawn Michaels: My Journey offers surprising insights and absolute candor as he relives the highs and lows of his historic career.'
For what it's worth, Michaels when recently on San Antonio radio gave the impression that he had zero input in picking his matches for the DVD. He quipped: "They found my 25 greatest matches?" When asked if he planned to retire soon, he said: "Well, that's always the million dollar question. I'd like to go on record as saying I have been trying to retire for the last three years... [WWE] makes it very difficult, you know, Vince McMahon is nuts. I try to walk away then Wrestlemania comes up, they put me in a match, I do well, and [Vince] doesn't make it very easy." He also said that DX will probably disband following the Royal Rumble so he can focus on his match at Mania.
Raw this past Monday did a 3.6 rating and 5.30 million viewers with 5.18 million viewers in the first hour and 5.41 million viewers in the second hour. The show was down 2.8 percent compared to 5.45 million viewers last week.
ECW on Tuesday night did a 0.9 rating.
Smackdown last Friday [January 15] did a 2.6 overnight rating, which is currently the highest-ever Smackdown rating on MyNetworkTV. The final number won't be available for a couple of week's but the overnight metered rating is usually very close to the final number.
NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will host the February 8 edition of Raw from Lafayette.
Mickie James is in Nashville this week putting the finishing touches on her debut country album.
Chris Jericho is on the cover of the March edition of Men's Fitness magazine. There is a six-page interview with Jericho inside the mag which goes on sale January 25.
Linda McMahon is scheduled to be a guest this morning on ABC's The View.
WWE Studios Brothers Keeper with John Cena wrapped yesterday in Louisiana. Cena talks about the movie in an AP story at http://tinyurl.com/yckrp72. He said this movie was less physically demanding that action flicks he did in the past: "I feel like I've been able to get involved in the story, and it's an easy story to embrace. I think everybody will be able to pull something from it." He added: "People will walk away from this movie feeling good about themselves."
WWE fans who sent emails of complaint to WGN Chicago over dropping Superstars were told, "Unfortunately, it didn’t attract enough viewers."
Maryse turns 27 today.
At least one [possibly two or three more] TNA wrestlers requested their release this week due to frustration with the new regime. The company hasn't addressed these issues at press time, but they are scrambling around trying to do damage control. We will have a lot more on this tomorrow...
Awesome Kong worked the television tapings Tuesday and Wednesday following Monday's backstage altercation with Tampa radio DJ Bubba the Love Sponge. Due to the way this played out with Hulk Hogan going on Bubba's radio show and talking about the incident the next day a lot of people thought it was a work. Well, it wasn't, but I guess it does have the makings of turning into one. There has been lot's of public support for Kong from several wrestlers via their Twitter. She responded yesterday by saying, "Apologies to all my supporters for the lack of tweets lately. Trying not to give certain talentless hacks publicity." Jim Cornette also showed his support for Kong during his latest Podcast at http://whosslammingwho.podomatic.com/. He said: "Bubba the Love Sponge, I don't know you, but I know Awesome Kong, and if you had fought back it would have only got worse son! She would have picked her teeth with you! So now, Bubba the Love Sponge has been beaten up by a women and he's been fired from the gig that he just got that he was rotten at."
Bubba went on the Howard Stern radio show this morning and pretty much buried the company. Howard thought that the altercation was a work. Bubba called in and said it wasn't. He said TNA was in shambles and he had gone to help them as a favor to Hogan and was given the job of backstage interviewer. He talked about giving away tickets to his listeners for the January 4 live Impact so that, "They wouldn't have the same 40 people showing up to their event." He claimed he had 1800 followers of his Bubba Army standing outside the Impact Zone but Universal Studios staffers told them that Bubba's passes were unauthorized. Regarding the altercation with Kong, he claimed he grabbed Kong by the neck and was ready to giver her a pounding but realized if he did then he may lose his day job. He said he's trying to get hold of security surveillance footage to see if the altercation was caught on tape.
Hogan was also on Bubba's radio show today. His latest brainwave is to cancel TNA's live event schedule because television isn't where he thinks it should be. Good luck with that one. I mean it's one thing to come in and fix things that aren't broken, but another thing to deny talent that built the company their income. Regarding Kong, he called her a "bitch" saying her actions were probably menstrual-related. He then put over Ric Flair and took credit for getting AJ Styles over.
Bobby Lashley is still without an opponent for January 30 in Sunrise, FL. Jimmy Ambriz was approved by the Florida State Athletic Commission, and Strikefoce and Lashley were happy with the matchup, but Showtime jumped in and scrapped it because they have veto power over fights on their network. Lashley is now expected to face MMA journeyman Wes Sims. No official announcement as yet although one is imminent.
The video of TNA Director of Production Steve Small telling fans they are cast members and requesting they stop chanting bulls--t when they don't like the product has resurfaced at http://tinyurl.com/y9mdgmb. TNA people have noted to us that they felt bad for Small because he's a nice guy and didn't deserve to be put in that position.
The company will be making an announcement on the status of TNA PPV in the UK either today or tomorrow.
Cody Deaner was interviewed on the Monday Night Mayhem radio show. When asked about rumors of Hogan/Bischoff nixing his character, he gave the politically correct answer: "I've got a lot of emails from fans defending me, saying how they can't believe that Hulk Hogan said my gimmick was 'low-budget' and 'low-class.' As far as that rumor goes, I don't take that rumor to be true, because that's not what I was told by TNA. There's no reason the management of TNA would lie to me; that's not the reason they gave to me for as to why I was released. It was the case that Cody Deaner had kind of run his course in the company, in the sense that with the new guys coming in and the new regime you're talking about, I was a victim in that in the sense that there was a lot of guys coming in, and there was not room for me on the TV show for the character I was playing." He said he hopes to retun in the future. Full audio at www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
Revised live event cards were announced for the upcoming UK/France tour. Bobby Lashey [for reasons we've noted], Alex Shelley [neck injury] and Abyss [shooting a movie] are the absentees from the original line up. The tour kicks off Saturday night in Glasgow, Scotland with AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the heavyweight title; Hernandez & Matt Morgan vs. Team 3-D in a tables match for the tag titles; and a match that will likely change due to booking reasons - Amazing Red vs. Chris Sabin vs. Daniels vs. Suicide for the X-title, plus a crew of Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolfe, The Pope, The British Invasion, Beer Money, Eric Young, Taylor Wilde, and Sarita. They also run next Monday in Paris, France [first-ever show in that country], Tuesday in Bournemouth, Wednesday in Cardiff, Thursday in Coventry, Friday in Manchester, and Saturday in London. We're looking for readers reports from all these shows to email@example.com. The company set their all-time attendance record in London last January drawing just over 8,000 to Wembley Arena. Hitting anything more than 50 percent capacity in any UK arena should be viewed as a success this time around. The UK economy is in bad shape right now with attendance down for most sports and entertainment events. Of course, TNA nearly always gets good reviews for live events because they are so far removed from what people are force-fed on television.
Jeremy Borash will be ring announcer for the tour. He noted during an interview earlier this week that they will use the six-sided ring as they had already shipped one before Hogan and Bischoff lobbied for it to be scrapped. Well, he didn't say that last part but that's what happened.
TNA fans started a petition to bring back the six-sided ring at www.iwantsixsides.com and at www.petitiononline.com/6sides.
The Pope blogs about his plane ride home from television at http://tinyurl.com/ydjbgke. Good read.
Daniels managed to retain his sense of humor during a crazy television taping week. A Tweet on Tuesday night : "Good news and bad news for TNA fans... Bad: the six sided ring isn't coming back! Good: next month we'll implement two three sided rings!"
BG James and Kip James were both backstage at the Impact tapings this week. James was helping to produce matches.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Sad to report that 1950s lady wrestler Ida Mae Martinez Selenkow passed away in Maryland on Monday at the age of 78. She led an inspirational life. After being abandoned by her mother, she ran away from abusive guardians and dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen. Selenkow then married at age 17. She recalled: "I had gotten married at seventeen in Connecticut, and we decided to head to Houston, Texas at the suggestion of a friend of my ex-husband since we needed jobs. We went to the five and ten store and bought a 26-inch suitcase for $4.99, then bought one-way bus tickets to Houston. We both got jobs at the Lone Star Comforter Manufacturing Co. I didn't like it, so I got a job at a small cafe in the Alameda area of Houston. I was a hard worker and moved fast. A wrestler, his wife and little girl came in for lunch and dinner occasionally. His name was Larry King, kind of a local guy. One day when they came in, he said to me, 'Would you like to wrestle?' I said yes... and I don't know why. I didn't realize it, but I had always been wrestling with life, the guys at school or anybody who wanted to fight."
"He told me to meet him at the Auditorium in downtown Houston at 7:30pm. I watched the matches and I liked the rough and tumble I saw. There were two gals wrestling that night: Johnny Mae Young and Gloria Barattini. I just knew then that I had to be part of it. I met [women's wrestling promoter Billy Wolfe in his hotel and the room was filled with lots of hopefuls. I guess that is what you would call them. He had hired Ruth Boatcallie and then he looked at me and said, 'What can you do?' I was a skinny sort of kid, but I was athletic and an acrobat. I put on a suit and did a couple of hand springs--backwards and forwards--and then I laid on my back and kipped to my feet in a standing position. That seemed to impress Billy and I was hired instantly."
Wolfe invited her to train at his school in Columbus, Ohio. She couldn't afford the bus fare but her new friend Boatcallie loaned her money. "That was a big turning point in my life... I was on my way. I forgot to tell you that I was sitting in a booth across from my then husband one night when we were discussing all of this. We had done nothing but fight since we were married. He said, 'I want to know one thing: do you want me or not?' I immediately without hesitation said, 'No, I don't'. He walked away from the booth and I never, ever saw him again. I heard that he died from alcoholism at the age of 45."
For the next decade Selenkow traveled around the world wrestling in various territories. She said her career highlight was becoming Champion of Mexico in 1951, a title she held for almost a year. "I was always very critical about myself and was never completely satisfied with my physical condition. I always wanted to get better and better. I worked out 2-3 hours a day when possible in a gymnasium. In every [country] where I wrestled -- Canada, Mexico and the U.S.-- fans demanded another appearance. So I ended up on many radio and TV shows all over the country."
Selenkow retired in 1960 after remarrying a successful businessman in Baltimore. The couple had two daughters, Ryan and Traci. "I had two beautiful daughters, born in 1961 and 1962," she said. "Both are married and are leaders in their own careers. My oldest, Ryan, is a Professional Nurse Executive and mother. My younger girl, Traci, is a Telecommunications Senior Systems Analyst and also a mother. I stayed at home with my daughters, assisting them with good values and giving them lots of love."
In 1971, she earned a GED certificate and continued to pursue her education gaining an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1975, a Bachelor’s Degree in 1980, and a Master’s Degree with Honors in 1990 all at the University of Maryland. Her work focused on home treatment of AIDS patients and she wrote a paper called Coping Behaviors of AIDS Patients, Families and Communities, which became part of medical literature.
Selenkow also had a love music and was a member of the Western Music Association. She appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show as a yodeler in1999, and later released a yodeling CD, The Yodeling Lady Ms. Ida. Throughout her later life she remained close to the wrestling business and was a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club, and was a regular attendee of the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunions in Mobile, Alabama. She featured in the highly acclaimed 2004 documentary, Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling. Her appearance in the film, along with Mae Young and the late Fabulous Moolah, demonstrated how popular women’s wrestling was in the 50s and 60s. It also showed the difficulties encountered by the lady grapplers of that era.
In 2006, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame awarded her the Senator Hugh Farley Award for her contributions in and outside of the ring.
When asked what she liked most and least about in the wrestling business, she once said: "I loved the challenges and I loved to travel. I liked the bright lights and roar of the crowd. I travelled approximately 100,000 miles a year. Quite a bit of it I travelled alone. I loved meeting some wonderful people along the way... The wrestling business itself was great. But I didn't appreciate the false gossip from some of the male wrestlers. Some were real gentlemen though. The betrayal of so-called "friends" and being used by some of the gals you thought might be your friend after wrestling was despicable. The injuries were tolerable. I had fractured ribs, sprained wrists, ankles and fingers, and dislocations. The physical bruises disappear. It was the emotional/mental abuse which remains. I may sound angry, but I'm not really. In spite of it all, it was a growing, learning experience."
UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and UFC president Dana White appeared on ESPN SportsCenter yesterday morning to announce that Brock has made a full recovery from the stomach ailments that have sidelined him for several months. Brock described his recovery as a complete miracle. He said he would not need surgery and his diverticulitis has cleared up after he changed his diet. He did note that had lost 40 pounds during his illness but was planning to return to the gym today. White told ESPN that the current plan is for Brock to face the winner of the Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin match on March 27 in Newark. If either of them can't fight in the summer then Brock will fight the winner of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez match.
Former wrestling promoter Don Lewis claims in Georgia that he is starting up a 12-team white's only All-American Basketball League. You can't even make this stuff up. Lewis said he wants to emphasize "fundamental basketball" instead of "street ball" played by "people of color." Story is at http://tinyurl.com/ya33ltr.
Wrestlicious announced a one-year television deal with MavTV in the United States and Bite TV in Canada to air a show called Takedown which premieres March 1. They also announced syndication on 15 other stations throughout North America as well as international clearances in Bermuda, The Bahamas, The Caymans, Trinidad and Jamaica. Key personnel for Wrestlicious include founder Jay Vargas, the youngest Powerball winner in history, former G.L.O.W. [Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling] executives Steve Blance and Johnny Cafarella, and legendary wrestling manager Jimmy Hart. A press release claims TakeDown will feature seventeen of Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Female 50. They plan to tape more television during January and February in Florida. More info at www.wrestlicious.com.
Jimmy Hart broke the news on Wrestlicious last night on Canadian Talk Show The Surf at http://tinyurl.com/yfxd5ry. Jimmy also teases a return to TNA and reuniting with The Nasty Boys during the interview.
AAA of Mexico held a training camp this past week in Van Nuys, CA, where they were looking for future talent to bring into the company. The camp attracted 60-70 wrestlers, including a handful of women -- Erica D'erico, New York Nikki, Christina Von Eerie, Jezebel, and Lizzy Valentine. The company wants to expand further into the U.S. this year targeting major cities with heavy hispanic populations like California, Texas and Florida.
Ring of Honor are holding a special camp on March 7 at ROH's headquarters and training center in suburban Philadelphia. The seminar is being spearheaded by ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette. "We want to know where the best independent talent is, what their backgrounds are, where they're at in the development of their careers, and what contribution they might make to ROH in the future," Cornette said. "This is not just an audition where you pay money and get nothing in return. Everyone, both ROH and the attendees, will learn something." The seminar is open to any current pro wrestler with at least one year's experience. Each attendee is responsible for his own transportation to and from the ROH school, and any necessary lodging. The $195 registration fee includes the day's activities, plus lunch, video of the campers' tryout match, and critique by the ROH staff. Enrollment is limited to 30 applicants, to insure each camper receives individual attention. To enrol, you must complete an application form, and submit it and your registration fee to ROH on or before February 24. Application papers are online at www.rohwrestling.com and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (215) 781-0727, or mailed to Ring of Honor, PO Box 1127, Bristol, PA 19007.
ROH also announced this week the introduction of a Television title.
Japanese wrestler Go Shiozaki suffered a broken arm and torn elbow ligaments during a January 16 match.
Congrats to Shannon Rose who was recently named an Everyday Hero by Tampa-area Bay News 9 television. Rose, a long-time wrestling promoter and ring announcer, suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome [EDS], which is a connective tissue disorder.
The Heyman Hustle at http://tinyurl.com/ycu3ud5 has new photos of Stacy Keibler. She was hanging out with Kim Kardashian the other night at the Hollywood launch of former Spice Girl Melanie Brown’s Sugar Factory Lollipop Series.
Tommy Dreamer on his future via Twitter: "Ok to summarize the majority of questions: I never said I was retired, I am enjoying my time at home, I left ECW, Yes orignal ECW was better." Dreamer has already a number of independent bookings and personal appearances.
The popular wrestling video and apparel website HighSpots.com are looking at launching a Video-On-Demand service later this year. They own a lot of rare Memphis footage most fans will have never seen before and have produced many shoot interview tapes.
Dutch Mantell has posted a new blog on his website, The World According to Dutch at www.dutchmantell.com. He recalls an overseas tour with the WWF where all the wrestlers were threatened with being arrested due to their behavior on a flight from New York to London.
Cowboy Bob Orton will be appearing at the Tennessee Mountain Wrestling event in Knoxville, TN, on Saturday.
Rikishi has an exhibition show with students at his wrestling school on Saturday at 6pm, 1112 Chestnut St, Burbank, CA, 91506.
The former Boogeyman, Marty Wright, is now taking independent bookings under the name, Night Crawler. I guess WWE owns the rights to Boogeyman. He can be reached through Bill Behrens at email@example.com.
The Stellar Wrestling Showcase runs the Royal Canadian Legion in Prescott, Ontario, Canada on Saturday night with Damien Vachon & Hellraizer Payne vs. Myzery The Barbarian & Jaguar; Josianne The Pussycat vs. Portia Perez; and The Graveyard Disciples vs. The High Rollers. Damien Vachon is the brother of Luna, the former WWF valet.
Jim Powers appears for the IWF tonight at 8pm and Saturday night at 7:30pm at the IWF Center in West Paterson, NJ. More info at www.iwfwrestling.com.
Today's Diva of the Day is Trish Stratus at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.