WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Friday January 8, 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
WWE crews are back on the road this weekend. Raw runs tonight at the Garden in Boston with Shawn Michaels vs. Sheamus, Triple H vs. Big Show, and Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston as the top matches. They also run Lincoln, NE, on Saturday, and Rochester, MN, on Sunday. The Smackdown crew run tomorrow night in Fargo, ND, with Batista vs. Rey Mysterio, Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison, plus Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Christian, William Regal, The Hart Dynasty, Cryme Tyme, Mickie James, and more. They also run in Duluth, MN, on Sunday, and La Crosse, WI, on Monday.
Raw TV is Monday from Minneapolis with Mike Tyson as the guest host.
We're looking for reports from all these shows to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smackdown TV tonight has Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler; Chris Jericho & The Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme & R-Truth; Luke Gallows vs. Matt Hardy; Beth Phoenix vs. Layla; and Batista vs. Rey Mysterio for a titleshot at the Royal Rumble.
Robert Zimmerman [WWE's top PR guru] talks deaths in wrestling at http://tinyurl.com/y87bpsa. Most interesting is that Zimmerman says that 4 percent of former talents have taken up WWE's offer of free rehab for substance abuse. While it's admirable that WWE does this, 4 percent is a concerning number because that would mean over 50 guys going through rehab in the past two years. Zimmerman argued that WWE can't be held accountable for wrestlers dying young. "We don't know what they took as kids. We don't know what they've done after they've left [the company]," he said. "So the only thing we can do is obviously do what we're trying to do, which is make them abide by the Talent Wellness Program when they are contracted by us and then offer any kind of rehab assistance after they've left."
The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling has an interview with Big Show. He is challenging younger guys to step up and try to take his spot. He said: "Every one of us who is on top right now has had to fight and dig and bend to the penthouse and bend to the outhouse as far as booking and positioning goes. I'm not just going to lay down because somebody new comes in — they're going to have to earn it." He put over John Cena for being the hardest working guy in the business saying that Cena has the best work ethic of anyone he has ever met: "Talent will get you so far, but work ethic is the key. That's the thing that the guys on top have. We don't complain about flights. We don't complain about not going home. We don't complain about having an hour's sleep and then doing interviews at 5am. That's why we're on top — because we step up to the plate and do whatever it takes to make the company succeed. A lot of people aren't willing to do that, they're happy and content to be where they are. I really do think that is strange, and it plagues a lot of older guys in the locker room. We can't understand why they are not taking these opportunities. But let them be content. I'll stay on top!"
Big Show's movie Knucklehead is scheduled for DVD release on April 23.
The latest in-flight magazine for Continental Airlines included a feature story on WWE's leading women behind the scenes; Donna Goldsmith, Michelle Wilson, and Stephanie McMahon. The reporter thought Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair still work here. Donna Goldsmith [WWE COO] is also described as the second most powerful women in sports. Just think about that for a second. Goldsmith said the biggest misconception about WWE was that they are professional wrestling company. "That term just doesn't give us the credibility we deserve," she said. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/ycpn8vm.
ECW on Tuesday night did a 0.9 rating and 1.2 million viewers for the return of CM Punk.
Jeff Hardy's profile was quietly removed from the WWE Alumni website.
WWE has an upcoming new promotion with some cable systems where if you order the Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, and Wrestlemania 26 you are eligible to receive a free edition Wrestlemania commemorative chair.
Another promotion with KMart until the end of the month is if you spend $35 or more on WWE merchandise you get a $10 voucher off the Royal Rumble PPV.
Maryse is suffering from flu.
Angela Fong (Savannah) is a recent victim of fraud after someone charged over $1000 on her credit card.
Ted DiBiase Jr. is in the midst of a promotional tour for his movie The Marine 2. He drew hundreds of fans last night to the HMV store in Downtown Toronto. Earlier in the day he was on a show called The Grill Room and told a story about sitting ringside at a WWF show as a kid and Bret Hart doing the sunglasses gimmick with him.
WWE has promoted Andrew Whitaker to head of WWE International, filling the gap left by Shane McMahon's departure. Whitaker has worked for the company for many years, mostly out of their office in London. He is relocating to Stamford to report directly to Vince McMahon.
Bryan Danielson asked to train in developmental for a couple of week's to work off ring rust.
Chris Masters turns 27 today.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
TNA tours the Northeast this weekend with house shows tonight in Long Island, Saturday in Poughkeepsie, and Sunday in Danbury, CT, with AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash [making up dates after Dixie Carter suspended him for for speaking up on behalf of Chris Sabin], Desmond Wolfe, Beer Money, The Beautiful People, Daniels, Eric Young, Amazing Red, D’Angelo Dinero, Eric Young, Taylor Wilde, Sarita, Rhino, and Homicide.
We're looking for reports from all these shows to email@example.com.
The Fayeteville Observer has a story on Jeff Hardy being indicted on drug charges at http://tinyurl.com/yg7vwtz.
The TNA production team deserve a pat on the back for the editing job they did with the Impact replay last night. They powdered out the "bullshit" chant during the Terror Dome match and reduced the length of time Homocide was stuck at the top of the cage. They also added a new commentary track during the match to make it look like Mike Tenay and Taz knew what was going on. Other noteworthy edits included the removal of the line where Hogan talks about being backstage "all day" after 55 minutes building to his debut with footage of a limo that he was supposedly in circling the Sound Stage; they removed boo's during the Hogan-Jarrett showdown; and they even pixelated Tara's butt which was hanging out at one point.
Brian Diamond of Spike TV said that he was thrilled with the Impact rating and noted they were considering moving the show to Monday night. I do think this will happen at some point this year although the expenses associated with that are substantial.
Speaking of ratings, Spike TV sent out a press release touting the 2.2 million viewers that Impact drew making it the most watched show in company history. Right out of the WWE playbook the release also included some misleading stats claiming Impact was up 338% in males 18-34 and up 241% in males 18-49. It technically was, but compared with whatever Spike aired on the first Monday of 2009 in that time slot. A completely useless stat.
Jeff Jarrett at http://tinyurl.com/y9pfoyf hypes the future and describes his role with the company as "Jack of all trades, master of none." He said he likes to stay hands on in all aspects from being an on-air talent to marketing to licensing deals behind the scenes. When asked about Hogan wanting to move to a bigger building to shoot TV, he said: "Right now, our business model is set up to stay in the Impact Zone. People were talking on Monday about David vs. Goliath. That's true in every facet. We are a business. We are in the business of making money. We have to make it cost-effective if we're going to take this show on the road. It's very, very expensive. WWE is a publicly-traded company and a huge organization. At the end of the day, we're still only seven-and-a-half years old and to take the show on the road — would we like to someday? Certainly. It's not in the works right now because the Impact Zone has some tremendous advantages from a business perspective. As well as, it's got a real intimate atmosphere. We were just talking about what was the feeling like there on Monday night? It translated on television just incredible."
Alex Shelley had a potentially serious neck injury flagged up. No further update at press time.
Frankie Kazarian and Traci Brookshaw got married yesterday with a lot of TNA crew and some WWE names at the ceremony. Daniels, who was best man, on his Twitter page described the wedding as "a beautiful affair," adding, "some tears were shed, but the joy overflowed. Absolutely fabulous!" Samoa Joe said he marked out at Kip James doing the Soulja Boy dance at the reception party. Someone else said it was the greatest thing they have ever seen.
Scott Hall was said to be very enthusiastic about returning to the company. He took his shirt off during one segment that airs on January 14 and apparently he looks in better shape than his last run here in 2005. It was interesting reading comments this week on guys like Hall and Bret Hart. I think sometimes people forget these guys are 50+ and in the case of Bret suffered a stroke eight years ago from which you never fully recover.
There was frustration with Sean Waltman for showing up late to the television taping on Tuesday.
Kip James and Scott Steiner were backstage this week at the tapings. Both had meetings with Terry Taylor to discuss their future with the company. James is hoping to land a job as a road agent.
Ric Flair was "Naitching" at the bar after the tapings on Monday and Tuesday night. No reports of nudity.
Hulk Hogan was on Bubba the Love Sponge yesterday morning. They played an audio bite from Jim Cornette's podcast where Cornette reviews Impact. Hogan said he was considering bringing Cornette back but isn't so sure now after listening to that because he doesn't want negative people in the company. Hilarious stuff if you've followed this story. He said Cornette was probably just bitter. Bubba then made fun of the Terror Dome match. Hogan agreed that it was bad. He said he had been assured the guys could climb out.
Kurt Angle was also on Bubba. He thought Jeff Hardy's entrance was great and thought Hogan was incredible. He talked a little MMA saying he would probably be in UFC but Dana White doesn't want guys doing both MMA and pro wrestling. When asked about Bobby Lashey he was complimentary and mentioned Lashley was number three on the 2003 U.S. Olympic wrestling team. If I remember correctly this is true but he pulled out after suffering a knee injury during a bank robbery. I should add he wasn't robbing the bank. Gunfire broke out while he was standing in line and he was hurt diving for cover. Angle also noted calling Brock Lesnar to wish him well on his recovery, but Brock hasn't returned his calls. Working, Angle said he doesn't like Jeff Jarrett and will probably kick his ass one of these days.
Vince Russo admitted to watching Raw on Monday night from the TNA production truck while Impact was in progress. He wrote a blog on his Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/yb6dxqy with his take on the Monday Night War. No surprise here. He thought Impact hit home runs but struck out once or twice while Raw was terrible ripping on WWE for doing wacky skits with DX and Hornswoggle. Yes, the man who booked WCW to it's death criticising wrestling angles. He wrote that WWE creative doesn't have any real creativity and took credit for The Rock and Steve Austin. You know, because without his writing in WWE they never would have been stars. Anyway, it's an interesting read and he does make a couple of valid points. More interesting though are the comments by his Facebook friends, some of whom had their comments deleted or were blocked from his page for writing negative stuff. One of his friends named Shabbir Patel wrote: "Vince, I love you man. This is the Vince Russo I want to see. One that takes his work by the scruff off the neck and beats it down until it begs for mercy. You are the best writer in the history of the business, not just because you are the most creative or successful, but because you have the most heart and sincerity that goes behind everything you."
Rob Van Dam at www.robvandam.com blogged about watching both shows. He said after watching he didn't feel more inspired to return than he did before Monday but was glad a lot of people watched wrestling on Monday night: "I probably feel the same way that you do about Monday night. It intrigued me to watch, which I normally don’t, and I believe I’ll watch again next week... if it’s on."
We had another email about the Shop TNA website. One of our readers placed an order on December 23 and have yet to receive their item. They emailed customer service over a week ago and no response. They then tried to call their office phone number and a message said their voicemail mailbox was full.
There is talk of a post-Impact online show hosted by Jeremy Borash, Don West, and SoCal Val. This would be something similar to WCW Live that Borash did with Bob Ryder [who now works in the TNA offices in Nashville] and Mark Madden back in 1999 with WCW. Borash actually got his start in wrestling after Ryder pitched the concept of "WCW Live" to Eric Bischoff. He did local radio in Minneapolis hosting a weekly Saturday morning wrestling show which Ryder would frequently be a guest on. They used to rip of wrestling websites such as www.wrestlecrap.com for taking a light hearted look the business. They even sent Wrestle Crap hate mail which had the reverse effect and generated free publicity for the site.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Steve Williams' funeral takes place this afternoon at Mile High Church in Lakewood, CO. Told it will be a sellout with Jim Ross giving a eulogy. Ross noted in his last blog that John Laurinaitis from WWE, Leon "Vader" White, and Barry Switzer [his football coach at the University of Oklahoma] will be among those in attendance. Ted DiBiase Sr. said he was also going to attend.
Jushin Liger, against Austin Aries, is working his first Ring of Honor show around six years on January 29 in Los Angeles during Wrestle Reunion IV. Also on the card is Scott 2 Hotty vs. Larry Zbyszko with Johnny Fairplay as special referee. Zbyszko cuts a promo and welcomes everyone to "Larry Land" at www.wrestlereunion.com.
Colt Cabana suffered a hamstring injury last week but is planning to work the ROH taping this weekend in Philadelphia. More info at www.rohwrestling.com. The Saturday night show has been moved to 4pm so folks can catch the Eagles-Cowboys playoff game... Film crews from NBC and Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref will be on hand this weekend shooting footage for their upcoming network debut in March.
UFC President Dana White is staying quiet on the health issues of Brock Lesnar, because Brock has asked him to: "Brock asked me not to talk about it," White told Fanhouse.com. "I have to respect that."
Dwayne Johnson is all over the place later this month promoting his movie Tooth Fairy. He is doing Jay Leno on 1/13, David Letterman on 1/19, Jimmy Kimmel on 1/21, Regis & Kelly on 1/20, and is also on the cover of an upcoming issue of Muscle & Fitness.
Our best wishes to Billy Graham who recently underwent some treatments for skin cancer.
Missy Hyatt is going to be part of a World War II Battle of the Buldge recreation in Fort Indian Gap, PA, on January 30. She is playing the role of a German nurse taking care of the soldiers. She said if any fans want to come out she is taking free pictures.
Danny Hodge was a guest on Ringside Rap with Rich Tate, Les Thatcher and Mike Sempervive at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/psp/. Hodge said he is working on a re-releasing a cook book he wrote in the 1970s.
Booker T is now accepting bookings through Bill Behrens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Ken Anderson vs. Bronco was added to WWC's Euphoria event on January 16.
Brian Kendrick vs. Jimmy Jacobs was announced for Dragon Gate USA' January 23 show in Chicago. More info at www.dgusa.tv.
Julie Hart, the former wife of Bret, is available for person appearances at email@example.com.
Today's Diva of the Day is April Hunter at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.