WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Monday February 1, 2010
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren - All the latest professional wrestling news, gossip and occasional opinion direct to you at RRO.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
1/31 Royal Rumble results from Atlanta, GA: The Undertaker over Rey Mysterio to retain the World title; Sheamus over Randy Orton via DQ to retain WWE title; Christian over Ezekiel Jackson to retain the ECW title, Mickie James over Michelle McCool to capture the Women's title; and the 30-man Rumble match was won by the returning Edge for a title shot at Wrestlemania 26. The show was a sellout drawing over 16,000. Dark match was The Bella Twins, Gail Kim, Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly over Alicia Fox, Katie Lea, Maryse, Natalya & Jillian Hall.
The SD/ECW tapings are Tuesday in Memphis with the return of Edge and the build towards the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
WWE Hall of Famer Jack Brisco passed away this morning at the age of 68. He had been in poor health for some time although his family had asked for his ailments to be kept private. He died due to complications from heart surgery that he underwent two week's ago.
Jack Brisco was one of the all-time greats who forged his legacy in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He was widely regarded as the single most gifted wrestler of his era and truly one of the nicest guys outside the ring that you could ever wish to meet. In 2005, Don Leo Jonathan described Jack as, "probably the greatest champion of the 20th century."
He grew up in Blackwell, Oklahoma and won a scholarship to attend Oklahoma State University. He was the first Native American to win an NCAA National Championship, winning at 191 pounds in 1965. Incredibly he won that title without getting taken down once during the entire season. He was also a two-time NCAA All American in 1964 and 1965.
He always knew that he wanted to be a professional wrestler. Lou Thesz and local heroes Danny Hodge and Dick Hutton were his idols growing up. He was recruited into the sport by promoter Leroy McGuirk. He wrestled in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Dallas, Amarillo, and Australia before coming to Florida, where he was a top draw under Eddie Graham, and became a two-time World heavyweight champion, and multi-time tag team champion with his younger brother Gerald.
His first NWA World title reign came when he defeated Harley Race in Houston on July 20, 1973. He was originally scheduled to take the title from Dory Funk Jr. a few months earlier following a long standing feud, but forces politically manouvered for Funk to drop the title to Race instead.
He defended the title in NWA affiliated territories until he lost to Japanese legend Giant Baba on December 2, 1974, only to regain the title seven days later. Jack would eventually drop the belt to Terry Funk on December 10, 1975. His loss continued the feud between the Briscos and the Funks.
His reign as NWA champion was particularly significant as he was only the second wrestler in history to have won the title more than once at the time, with the other and first multi-time champion being Lou Thesz.
In 1984, Jack and brother Gerald acquired a minority interest in Georgia Championship Wrestling, and convinced a majority of the shareholders to sell their shares to Vince McMahon, enabling McMahon to increase his dominance across the country. The brothers were offered lifetime jobs with McMahon as part of the deal in exchange for selling their interests in GCW.
Jack left the business in 1984 and retired to his home in Florida, while Gerald has worked with the WWF/WWE ever since. He is one of the few major wrestling stars to retire, and actually stay retired. In later life, Jack and Gerald also ran a very successful auto body shop business. He was inducted into the Lou Thesz-George Tragos Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the International Wrestling Museum and Institute in Iowa in 2001, and was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Japanese legend Antonio Inoki is the second confirmed name for the 2010 WWE Hall of Fame. He will be inducted by Stan Hanson, according to the Japanese version of WWE.com.
WWE has re-signed Adam Birch, the former Joey Mecury/Matthews, who formed the team MNM with John Morrison and Melina in OVW and on Smackdown. His last run in 2007 didn't end too well after he was abruptly released following a Wellness Program violation. He has done several interviews since then praising WWE for firing him and putting him through rehab for pain pill addiction after he suffered a severe facial injury during the 2006 Armageddon pay-per-view.
WWE hosted a media-only press conference earlier today to announce Wrestlemania 27 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, April 3, 2011. Vince McMahon made the announcement with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Sports Council President Gary Stokan, Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, and John Cena, Batista, Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry, Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a story at http://tinyurl.com/y8hyu6z where Vince talks about wrestling dating back to Abraham Lincoln.
ECW will likely be no more after Wrestlemania. The company is currently locked in ongoing discussions with execs at SyFy to completely re-brand the show under a new name with the focus on fresh faces and new characters.
Edge returned last night to win the Royal Rumble match after six months on the sidelines following surgery to repair an Achilles tendon rupture. He had recently told people that he was unlikely to rehab in time for the Rumble and Wrestlemania would be a better estimate. Philips Arena last night was "closed set" meaning no friends or family backstage and Edge was hidden away and not returning any messages all weekend. His ankle was heavily strapped before he entered at No 29 to eliminate John Cena to win the title shot at Wrestlemania. No other real surprises other than Beth Phoenix. She entered as No 6 and eliminated the Great Khali with a lip lock but was quickly tossed herself by CM Punk. They had Phoenix cut a promo backstage afterwards for WWE.com where she blasts Chyna--the only other women in history to ever compete in the Rumble. This company really can't let things go sometimes, can they?
Santino was pulled was from the Rumble due to injury. No update on his status at press time although it's not thought to be anything serious.
Matt Hardy was obviously buried for the sins of his friends last night. A lot of people got a kick out of his entrance. One person backstage noted to us that they had never seen him move as fast. I guess except for last Wednesday morning in Northern Kentucky.
Several WWE wrestlers showed up for the Rumble yesterday morning, told they weren't booked, and drove on to Nashville/Memphis for the television tapings.
WWE are reportedly trying to book Conan O'Brien to guest host a future edition of Raw. The major sticking point is Conan's settlement with NBC over the Tonight Show debacle which doesn't allow him to host any television shows until September. Of course NBC owns USA Network so you would think it wouldn't be that hard to come to an arrangement.
Brian Fritz has a story on Sheamus at http://tinyurl.com/yaos5ve talking about living his dream.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
The story on the ladder match in Manchester that never happened was that they couldn't find a suitable ladder. All the ladders in the building were single sided and made of aluminum so they would have been destroyed after one spot. By the time somebody raised it as an issue it was too late to send someone out to find a new ladder.
Matt Morgan got the news he was hoping for. His father, who is battling brain cancer, underwent a successful tumor removal procedure a few days ago. Morgan described the procedure as a miracle and his father will apparently be okay for now.
MOBO nominated rapper Lethal Bizzle attended the TNA show at Wembley Arena on Saturday night. He loved it. The Sun has the story at http://tinyurl.com/ya2qcwu.
Epics returns to Spike on February 11 at 11pm ET with a special on Sting. This includes his matches from Bound For Glory in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Dixie Carter is interviewed at http://tinyurl.com/y9kema5. Nothing that she hasn't said before.
Vince Russo's book release has been pushed back to March 1. I guess Bischoff hasn't had time to look through it and fix everything yet.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Ring of Honor tonight on HD Net has Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong; Delirious vs. Rhett Titus; and Colt Cabana vs. Sonjay Dutt. More info at www.hd.net/ringofhonor.
ROH has filed a lawsuit against Ric Flair stemming from autograph signings that Flair was paid for but then pulled out of last summer. They are seeking a judgment of $40,000. Flair currently has a long list of creditors and is paying alimony on two previous marriages.
The Miami Herald at http://tinyurl.com/yb5y8k3 has a story on WrestleReunion which took place over the weekend in Los Angeles. I've not heard a negative word about this convention. All the talent behaved and were great with the fans--no really crazy stories like most conventions. The Iron Sheik was there and had a camera crew following him to shoot footage for his new reality show.
Sheik was also at the Grammy's last night cutting promos on Hogan and Tiger Woods.
We have a really crazy story about another wrestling convention over the weekend in the next newsletter.
Former TNA performer and Survivor winner Jenna Morasca and her boyfriend Ethan, who is battling cancer, are featured on a show called The Doctors that airs today on CBS affiliates. There is a preview clip at http://tinyurl.com/ykclq9o.
Former WWE/WCW wrestler Bill DeMott and his wife Lacey recently opened a wrestling school in McDonough, GA.
Tooth Fairy with Dwayne Johnson finished at No. 4 again this past weekend at the U.S. box office. The movie grossed $10 million behind When In Rome [12.3M], Edge of Darkness [17.2M], and Avatar [£31M]. The current worldwide gross is estimated at $55 million doing very strong business in Australia, Mexico, and Spain.
There is a good interview with Rob Van Dam at http://tinyurl.com/y8qmfy8. He touches on a number of WWE and TNA-related topics.
Today's Diva of the Day is Michelle McCool at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.