WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
2/9 ECW TV results from Baton Rouge, LA: Yoshi Tatsu & Goldust over Trent Barreta & Caylen Croft; Ezekiel Jackson over Perry Wallace; and Shelton Benjamin over Vance Archer.
The Smackdown crew are on tour in South America this weekend with large arena shows Thursday and Friday in Ecuador, Saturday in Costa Rica, and Sunday in Mexico. We're looking for reader reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WWE are looking to induct another celebrity at this year's Hall of Fame. NFL legend William "The Refrigerator" Perry was the last celebrity inductee in 2006, and there was also Baseball legend Pete Rose in 2004. Mike Tyson would be an obvious pick as he has already worked with the company this year when he hosted Raw. Another pick could be Lawrence Taylor, who went over the late Bam Bam Bigelow in the main event at Wrestlemania 11, who is recently back in the spotlight due to a run on Dancing with the Stars. One name we have heard suggested to Vince is former Bseball player and broadcaster Bob Uecker, 75, who was ringside announcer at WrestleMania III, followed by a return at WrestleMania IV as both a ringside announcer and backstage interviewer with the famous segment that saw André the Giant choking him. Uecker actually turned down the chance to appear at WrestleMania 23 a few years ago when he was contacted about doing a skit with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. One name that can be ruled out for sure is Mr T--who felt "insulted" that WWE would induct Pete Rose before him and did interviews last year saying he would never accept an invitation.
ECW founder Tod Gordon gave a bizarre interview about the end of the ECW brand to the Monday Night Mayhem radio show. Jerry Lynn and Danny Doring were on the show as well, but Gordon went off on a tangent about how he and Paul Heyman are working on the "greatest collaboration ever" that will be announced in July 2011 before they go public in August 2011. Then he kept saying how Jerry Lynn "will be there" as well, but blew off Doring, whose name he couldn't seem to remember. Regarding the end of the ECW name, Gordon stated: "ECW was never about the letters. It was about the symbol of people who worked their ass off every night. It was about a work ethic; ECW isn't about a title It's a metaphor for hard work." As for the collaboration with Heyman, no one seems to know anything about it, so either it's Gordon just talking or it's a well kept secret. Heyman has turned down every media request, from Monday Night Mayhem to The UK Sun [which offered him unlimited space for a blog] to this very newsletter, all seeking his comments on the end of ECW. He hasn't mentioned it on his website, so either he's just not talking about it, or he's planning on posting something or saying something once it's gone.
John Morrison injured his ankle last night during the Smackdown tapings in a match with R-Truth. He was in a lot of pain but it's not thought to be serious as he flew out to Ecuador this afternoon with the rest of the WWE crew. He joked on Twitter that his ankle was broken in three places, I guess in response to an online report somewhere that he may have broken his ankle.
Raw on Monday night did a 3.6 rating and 5.3 million viewers. The show did hours of 3.48 and 3.69. Hour two was the top rated show on cable for the night.
Edge vs. Batista is penciled in for Smackdown TV next week in Kansas City. This would be Edge's first singles match since returning from Achilles surgery.
Alex Marvez interviewed Bret Hart at http://tinyurl.com/ych6wg5 who appears to be high on life. Regarding Montreal and returning to WWE, he said: "I made a big fuss out of all that happened. I wrote a book about it. There was a documentary [Wrestling with Shadows]. I held out [from WWE] for a long time because of my pride. In the end, I think I made my point. Some people feel it wasn't the right thing for me to go back. But there's only one person in Bret 'The Hitman' Hart's shoes and it's me." He said there is no way he can work a match like he used to but would be able to do a street fight against Vince: "I'll never put on the performance I want to have, but I'll be able to do enough to entertain and give a good show... I don't want to go out there in a wheelchair like Hogan. I know people watching me are saying, 'He's not exactly a cheetah out there.' But at same time I do remember being in a wheelchair when I had my stroke. The thought of doing what I'm doing right now is beyond everything I imagined." Bret says he may even stay on with WWE after his current deal ends in April.
Jerry Springer and The Miz did a conference call this morning with [non-wrestling] media to promote Raw next Monday in Des Moines. Miz said if he never did The Real World reality series he never would have pursued wrestling. "I'd probably be flipping burgers," he said. "I credit reality television a lot. It gave me the opportunity to have that feeling that I can follow any dream I wanted." When asked about hosting Raw, Springer simply said he was asked, and he agreed: "I was a fan of wrestling more so when I was a kid. I would always watch wrestling. We would watch it and play it. I haven't seen that much recently, though I know about it... The only difference between this and my show is that these guys have teeth!" He said he was bringing lie detectors, cat fights, and all the things people love about The Jerry Springer Show to Raw.
Forbes published a story on Vince McMahon at http://tinyurl.com/ya2u5sd putting him over as the heavyweight champion of marketing. They noted the WWE brand now has a global market cap of $1.2 billion saying they attribute 30 percent of that value to the WWE name alone. There was no explanation of how they came up with that percentage. They wrote, "[Vince McMahon] has an incredible knack for building brands. By cultivating different images and personas for each of WWE’s weekly TV shows, monthly pay-per view events and stable of wrestlers, McMahon constantly reinvents his company in order to stay relevant. The cartoonish heroes vs. villians story lines of 1980s gave way to an edgier product in the '90s. Now WWE has moved back towards more family friendly shows, often guest hosted by celebrities like William Shatner and Shaquille O'Neal."
Chris Jericho wrote on Twitter that his upcoming book won't be titled The Highlight of the Night. This is despite his publisher releasing advance promo material to the contrary. He said the book is still 250 pages away from completion even though the deadline is three week's away. The book will focus on his return to WWE, his band Fozzy, and also touch upon the premature birth of his twins, as well as the deaths of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit.
Jim Ross is giving a speech at the FCW training facility today as he's in early for the Jack Brisco funeral. He will be one of the speakers during Thursday's memorial service.
WGN in Chicago has decided not to air WWE Superstars after all. The show was originally pulled because of low ratings but then the station said they would bring it back due to complaints. Now they are encouraging viewers to tune into WGN America, which means Superstars is effectively dead in Chicago and Canada--because Canada uses the Chicago feed.
Linda McMahon's campaign sent out mailers to Connecticut voters this week pushing the idea of women making the difference in the Senate race, where she is the only female running on either ticket.
Somebody worked out that Triple H has only lost clean to 13 different guys since 2001. The list doesn't include tags or three-ways where he didn't physically lose but does include ones where he did, as well as Survivor Series, Elimination Chamber and other matches where he took a clean pin or submission: Five losses to Randy Orton and John Cena, three to Batista, two to The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and Bill Goldberg, and once to Kane, Edge, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Jeff Hardy.
Smackdown TV back on January 22 did a 2.0 rating and 3.4 million viewers. Ratings for the show are hard to come by these days as MyNetwork is no longer considered a network and Nelson--the company that measures ratings--don't monitor MyNet day-to-day any more.
A wacky commercial for Batista's energy drink in the Philippines at http://tinyurl.com/yc2penc.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
Taz was interviewed on ESPN radio in Orlando last night. Of course, he put over working for TNA stating, "I'm being very sincere when I say I can't wait to go to work Sunday [Against All Odds PPV]... In WWE, toward the end, I didn't want to pack my bags and get on a plane and go to work. Now, I pack my bags two, three days before I have to go to work." He said after he left WWE he almost landed a major gig on Sirus radio but is glad things came together with TNA. On the demise of WWE's version of ECW: "Most true pro wrestling fans or purists will not remember ECW for being on Syfy, but ECW from the gritty days. That's what ECW is going to be remembered for. That's no disrespect for the ECW wrestlers that are in WWE. It's no disrespect to WWE. ECW was re-created in WWE's vision and now that it's dead and buried, people will remember ECW as a bunch of guys that nobody really wanted and Paul Heyman was a genius for using that as a motivation. There were times when our checks wouldn't clear and we'd still go out there and give 150 percent. That's good leadership, or we were a bunch of marks -- one or the other. I like to go with it was good motivation." On Vince McMahon going nuts in the headsets: "It's his show. I get that. It's cool... But why pay me all the money you pay me when you can get anyone who can understand English and speak it--which you can argue I'm not really speaking English either. I've even said it to Vince, 'You're getting all over me about something, but you can hire anyone to sit there and repeat what you say.' It's very hard to be creative and it's hard to be a performer and entertainer and have your own instincts in WWE."
Bobby Lashley's profile was removed from the TNA website. He is still under contract so apparently they are playing up to the television storyline. He is expected back down the road.
Promotional material for the March 21 Destination X pay-per-view confirms the show will feature all X-Division matches. A blurb on InDemand's website reads, "The past, present, and future collide when the young guns of TNA take center stage in an all X-Division Pay-Per-View! TNA Wrestling presents Destination X LIVE! Sunday, March 21, 2010 on Pay-per-View." Not sure how this will play out but it's an interesting concept.
Tara celebrates a birthday today.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Roddy Piper was a guest on Adam Carolla's podcast yesterday discussing his life in wrestling at http://tinyurl.com/yzk269y. A lot of kayfabe thrown in during their conversation. He said Vince McMahon wanted him to "take a dive" at the first Wrestlemania but he refused so Paul Orndoff orchestrated the whole deal and agreed to lay down for Hogan and Mr. T.
There is a story on George "The Animal" Steele at http://tinyurl.com/ydz373c who at age 72 is still active and making personal appearances across the country. The story notes his battle with Crohn's Disease--an inflammatory disease of the intestines-- that he has been free from now for over a decade.
Sgt. Slaughter has his first ever website in the works.
TMZ cameras filmed Dwayne Johnson leaving a gym in California yesterday. He said he co-owns his Rock gimmick with WWE. Footage is online at www.tmz.com.
Today's Diva of the Day is April Hunter at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.