WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
2/15 Raw TV results from Des Moines, IA: Sheamus over Randy Orton via DQ; MVP & Mark Henry over ShowMiz; Ted DiBiase over Kofi Kingston, and Triple H over John Cena via DQ. The main story of the show was an injury angle to Bret Hart following his "farewell speech" when his leg was accidentally crushed by an unidentified woman who crashed her vehicle into Bret's Limo. Shawn Michaels didn't appear on camera as they are playing up to the idea he has walked away after missing out on a Wrestlemania match against Undertaker. Batista cut a promo via satellite saying he would be on next week's Raw to confront John Cena.
Variety has a story on the new WWE-Syfy show NXT at http://tinyurl.com/yepl7q7. The story notes NXT will feature "pros mentoring rookies" in a reality-based series split into two or three seasons. Vince McMahon was quoted as saying, "These kids crash and burn a lot. By putting them into this environment we'll find out if they can make it. There's no better way to develop skills than being in front of an audience. And that makes for good television." Syfy president Dave Howe added, "Syfy is excited to continue our partnership with WWE, Vince and his team with this innovative live event-reality show... The NXT rookies take the challenge of our new tagline 'Imagine Greater' to heart as they embark on their ultimate dream quest to be the next generation of revered heroes and champions in the fantastic arena of the WWE."
As we noted last week the show will be loosely based around the Tough Enough concept--which actually did strong ratings for it's first run season on MTV in 2001. That season averaged a 2.1 rating over 12 episodes. WWE sources tell us the first group of guys from developmental to be called up include: Justin Angel [Paul Lloyd, current FCW champ from South Africa], Heath Slater [Heath Miller], Michael Tarver [Tyrone Evans], Kaval [the former Low Ki], Skip Sheffield [Ryan Reeves, who looks like Batista and did Tough Enough in 2004], Joe Hennig [son of the late Hall of Famer Curt], Brett Dibiase [son and brother of Ted Sr and Jr.], Daniel Bryan [the former Bryan Danielson], and Darren Young [Fred Rosser, who worked Northeast indies as Fred Sampson].
The NXT Wrestling group based in Scotland said they have come to terms with WWE over the NXT trademark. A website statement reads: "WWE was proactive in working with us to come to mutually agreeable terms on the release of the NXT trademark once it learned of the potential conflict. The timing was right for us as we were planning on renaming the NXT brand to SWA:Source to be closer aligned with the SWA parent brand."
Joey Styles talks about the death of ECW at http://tinyurl.com/yde3pa3. He makes some very candid comments including that ECW should never have been brought back to life following the first One Night Stand pay-per-view. "As I feared would happen, ECW becoming WWE's third brand didn’t resonate with either Original ECW fans or WWE fans. The resulting hybrid was a huge fiscal success but struggled creatively for years. Thanks to the third (and current) ECW writing team of Ed Koskey and Jen Bloodsworth, ECW finally discovered and solidified its identity as the launching pad to Raw and SmackDown for young talent like CM Punk, Sheamus, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger and many others. Still, the star-making show being named ECW was still more a hindrance than a help because it always drew comparisons to the Fight Club-like, Original ECW." Styles also puts over Paul Heyman as a genius and thanked him for everything he has today.
The Sun has an interesting story at http://tinyurl.com/ybndy2z where it's revealed that WWE tried to exercise editorial control over an interview the former Mr. Kennedy [TNA's Ken Anderson] did with them. The interview where he denied taking steroids, but it came out a week later that he did. The story notes that WWE canceled a pre arranged interview at Wrestlemania because the newspaper refused to edit Kennedy's comments.
The Honky Tonk Man put a message on his website stating he's now talking to Mattel about a WWE action figure deal after Jeff Jarrett didn't follow up with his offer of a figure with TNA-Jakks.
Mae Young's appearance last night on Raw marked her seventh decade as a performer in the business. She turns 87 next month.
Regarding the Kelly Kelly pregnancy sketch with Jerry Springer, I haven't talked to anyone inside or outside the company who had anything positive to say about it. Just a fail on so many levels. Even people in WWE who usually defend these things weren't defending it last night. If there was ever something that would make people switch channels to TNA on a Monday night then that sketch would probably be it.
The early word is that War Games may replace Survivor Series. This is something Triple H has pushed for years but when the Elimination Chamber came into play Vince felt the concepts were too similar.
Shawn Michaels and Triple H worked Raw house shows as DX this past weekend. Triple H cut a funny promo in Lansing, MA, where he said Michaels didn't really mean his career was over last Monday saying that Michaels says that all the time, but this time he was caught on camera.
Shelton Benjamin had the weekend off and was spotted at the Iowa-Minnesota wrestling meet which aired on the Big 10 network.
Bret Hart wrote on his Facebook page that the missing piece of the puzzle from his current program is Jim Ross calling the action. He wrote: "As far as the WWE goes, all I can say is where the heck is Jim Ross? With everything that has transpired in my three appearances on Raw, it's too bad he hasn't been there to call it. There's nobody that calls it the way Jim Ross calls it and that's the bottom line because I say so."
Jim Ross was a recent guest on Houston-radio 1560 The Game. Lot's of OU football talk. WWE discussion on Bret Hart and Jack Brisco kicks in around the 18-minute mark at http://tinyurl.com/y9glghl.
The new John Morrison DVD goes on sale today.
Mickie James is promoting a track from her upcoming album this morning on local radio in Kansas City.
Ted DiBiase Jr. is booked for a meet and greet on Friday for FCW in Plant City, FL. More info at www.fcwwrestling.info.
Serena vs. AJ Lee from the latest FCW TV show is arguably the best WWE women's match in 2010 at http://tinyurl.com/yamjfs6. The announcing isn't too shabby either.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
The television tapings continue today in Orlando. Awesome Kong taped an Xpolsion match last night with Hamada vs The Beautiful People for the Knockout tag titles. There are inaccurate reports circulating that Kong was suspended over the Bubba altercation. Other non-spoiler news from the tapings: Suicide is done for now as a character. Frankie Kazarian was working under his former ring name, Kaz. There is talk they want to pair him up with someone. Thursday's Impact will include what was described as a great promo exchange between The Pope and Ric Flair/AJ Styles; Tara vs. Daffney in a non-title match; Samoa Joe vs. Orlando Jordan; Generation Me, Amazing Red & Kaz vs. The Machine Guns, Doug Williams & Brian Kendirck; Beer Money vs. The British Invasion; Kurt Angle vs Daniels; and Abyss vs. Jeff Jarrett.
Kurt Angle has expressed an interest in a lesser schedule. His problem is that as the face of TNA they want him at every show which is natural from a business stand point. The problem is that he doesn't know how to go at half-speed and gives 110 percent whether he performs in front of 20,000 people or 200 people. The feeling from his side is that if management uses him on less live event dates then that would be great for everyone. This way they can utilize him to his best ability while keeping him healthy and prolonging his career.
Among the backstage visitors yesterday at the tapings were April Hunter and Haku -- who's son Tevita works in WWE developmental as Donny Marlow
TNA has suspended ticket sales for the March 13 show near Pittsburgh due to roof collapse at the Rostraver Ice Arena. They are looking for a new venue in the area.
Former performer Jenna Morasca has a direct-to-DVD horror movie out soon called Drive in Horrorshow. It's a replay of her match with Shamell last year at Victory Road. Not really. The DVD box artwork says the movie will, "quench your thirst for horror". Since leaving TNA, Morasca has been attending New York's Columbia University for a masters in Psychology. She also has a reality show in the works with her boyfriend Ethan Zohn who is battling Hodgkin's lymphoma.
There is a story on Shark Boy at http://tinyurl.com/yef456o promoting the house show Saturday night in Massena, OH at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena. He joked about having a communication degree from the University of Cincinnati but has not talked for the majority of his wrestling career.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Ring of Honor plans to begin airing their TV title tournament on March 8. More at www.rohwrestling.com.
EVOLVE's second event will be headlined by Chris Hero vs. Ikuto Hidaka on March 13 in Rahway, NJ.
Dragon Gate USA announced Jack Evans will be the Young Bucks' tag partner in their match against CIMA, Gamma, and Dragon Kid on March 26 in Phoenix, AZ.
Universal Championship Wrestling runs Friday night in Denton, TX at the Civic Center with Shane Douglas vs. Buff Bagwell in the main event; plus Shawn Stasiak, Rodney Mack, Chavo Guerrero Sr., Chase Stevens, and many more. Tickets are $12. More info at www.UCWTV.com.
Promolast Events at www.promolastevents.com has released a special video message from Ron Simmons for the fans to promote his appearance at the upcoming Promolast Atlanta Reunion Pro Wrestling Fanfest on June 4-5 in Atlanta.
Tooth Fairy with Dwayne Johnson did $6 million at the U.S. box office over the weekend. The film is currently at No. 6 in the charts after it's fourth week out and has taken in over $75 million worldwide. The biggest foreign markets are Mexico [$5.5 million], Brazil [$2.7 million], Spain [$2.3 million], and Venezuela [$1 million]. The production budget was estimated at $48 million.
Today's Diva of the Day is Serena at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.