WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Friday February 5, 2010
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren - All the latest professional wrestling news, gossip and occasional opinion direct to you here at RRO.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
2/2 ECW TV results from Memphis, TN: Vance Archer over Shelton Benjamin; Yoshi Tatsu over Trent Barreta; and Christian over Zack Ryder via DQ.
2/4 Superstars TV results: Alicia Fox & Katie Lea over Kelly Kelly & Eve; Evan Bourne over Carlito; and Matt Hardy, John Morrison & Great Khali over The Hart Dynasty & Drew McIntyre. If you missed the show, Bourne-Carlito is worth going out of your way to see.
Smackdown TV tonight has qualifying matches for the SD Elimination Chamber; John Morrison vs. Kane & Drew McIntyre in a three-way; Mike Knox vs. R-truth; CM Punk vs. Batista; Chris Jericho vs. Matt Hardy; Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler; plus Beth Phoenix & Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool & Layla. There is also a Cutting Edge segment.
Raw and SD crews are on the road this weekend. Raw was scheduled for Philadelphia tonight but according to the Wachovia Center website the show is postponed [likely due to the expected extreme weather], Saturday night Raw runs in Alexandria, LA, Sunday afternoon in Lake Charles is a tri-branded Supershow and Raw TV is Monday from Lafayette. Smackdown runs Saturday night in Waco, TX, and the TV tapings are next Tuesday in Baton Rouge. We're looking for reports from all these shows to email@example.com.
Vince McMahon announced on Tuesday night that he was "proudly" shutting down ECW in three weeks to be replaced by WWE NXT which premieres on March 2 from Wichita, KS. The concept is that the show will be built around new faces meaning developmental call ups and maybe some cuts, and there is a twist to the show which hasn't yet been reported. The idea of killing off ECW as a brand has been talked about for months largely due to flagging ratings and pressure from executives at SyFy. NXT, meaning Next, was chosen from a shortlist of names which WWE applied to trademark on January 25. They have also registered the domain name, WWENXT.com. Ironically there is already an independent group in Scotland called NXT Wrestling. They have been around since 2006 as a promotion designed to showcase up and coming talent in the country. Peter Murphy, owner of the Scottish Wrestling Alliance, who also owns NXT Wrestling, released the following statement: "We have had no direct contact from WWE regarding this matter but we welcome any conversation or resolution they would like to put forward. Everyone at the Scottish Wrestling Alliance is honoured that WWE have decided to name their latest product after SWA's feeder program, NXT. We would like to assure our fans that the original NXT is still leading the way for trainees in Scotland."
ECW on Tuesday night did a 1.0 rating and 1.40 million viewers.
The WWE legal team have been doing a lot of chest pounding this week. Lauren Middlen, who is WWE's intellectual property attorney, sent out a number of threat-o-grams to wrestling fansites for using photos of WWE wrestlers and they also sent a cease and desist letter on Tuesday to a small UK independent group based out of Portsmouth, England for trademark infringment. Varsity Pro Wrestling are running shows next weekend with former WWE wrestlers billed as Hardcore Holly, Billy Gunn [Kip James] and Road Dogg [Brian James]. Their promotional poster they put up all over town also included the DX Logo. WWE said if VPW didn't recall all advertising baring WWE trademarks within 48 hours they would commence legal proceedings. WWE's letter to the group stated: "It is WWE’s concern that The Guildhall [the building VPW are running their shows] is using the popularity of the WWE trademarks to improperly attempting to pass off this event as an official event of WWE. Your actions in doing so constitute unfair competition and false designation of origin. WWE, as trademark holder, can institute a civil action seeking permanent injunctive relief and an award of treble damages, counsel fees and costs." A rep from VPW told us that they have responded to WWE and met their demands.
70s and 80s AWA wrestler Doug Somers was refused entry to the backstage area at last Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view in Atlanta. The show was "closed set" so no friends or family were allowed in due to paranoia somebody would leak that Edge was returning in the Rumble match. Apparently he gave security a piece of his mind.
The promotional poster for Wrestlemania 26 was just released featuring Cena, Undertaker, Batista, Triple H, and Michaels. Not that this means anything but the poster states that the show is rated TV14.
One creative idea discussed for Joey Mercury is for him to return on the Smackdown side as part of CM Punk's Straight-Edge Society. The idea would be to play off his well documented pain killer addiction that contributed to his release in 2007.
Actress Erica Cerra did an interview talking about working with Steve Austin in The Stranger, Austin's next movie about a man with a rare form of memory loss. Cerra is best known for her role as Jo Lupo on Syfy's series Eureka. She said of working with Austin: "Steve plays a man who has a mental illness that makes him forget what's going on. It's kind of bizarre because it's kind of like amnesia but you do get it back. You sort of get bits and pieces back of your memory but you go from personality to personality. So you forget who you are and then all of the sudden you create this character in your mind and two minutes later you forget who that character is and your confused so it's a really quite sad mental disorder. I play a psychologist named Grace Bishop who is called in when the FBI finds Steve's character in a very terrible circumstance. My character is there to help him find out who he is and where he is from. After years of me trying to help this man ... the movie begins years later when we've grown to have a relationship together but he still doesn't know me all the time because his memory goes in and out. My character tries to find him and help him figure out who he is. I've obviously created some kind of bond with this person and there's a lot of fighting. I think it will be cool and Steve does an absolutely great job and it was a pleasure working with him. I think the film will be great. The movie is sort of a psychological thriller/rough and tough movie/drama so I think it has a little bit of everything. It's the tough guy movie that every boy wants to watch. It's still that but I think it was also an opportunity for Steve to put his acting chops to work and use a little bit more than just his muscles. I think he did a great job and I really enjoyed working with him."
Austin and Triple H both have covers up for Muscle and Fitness' cover of the year. WWE.com is encouraging fans to vote. Well, they are encouraging them to vote for Triple H. No mention of Austin.
Triple H will appear at the International Toy Fair in New York City next week to promote Mattel's new line of action figures.
WWE Films is holding open casting calls for it's upcoming film Big Red this weekend in Los Angeles and New York City. The movie starts production at the end of the month in New Orleans. They are looking for young males between 13 and 16 years old, at least five-feet, eight-inches tall with red or light-colored hair. The call in LA is Saturday 10am at Sunset Gower Studios, 1438 North Gower Street, Bldg. 35, Suite 270 (Street parking only; entrance on Gower St.). Sunday in New York is 11am at 330 West 38th Street, Suite 170 (between 8 and 9th Avenues).
WWE has launched a website for Big Show's upcoming film Knucklehead at www.knuckleheadthemovie.com.
Kelly Kelly and Maria talk about their "bouts" in the UK at http://tinyurl.com/y8n773o.
Gregory Helms was called in for television on Tuesday after Vince decided to play off of his arrest. Not sure it's going any where but this fits in with the new concept of NXT. Helms is having a tough time right now following the passing of his grandmother. He wrote on his Twitter page: "I was able to see my last remaining and closest grandparent yesterday before she passed this morning. She was very weak but she woke up, looked at me and rubbed my face. We got one final "I love you" in. I will never forget that moment... She was an amazing mother of ten and just a great person."
This is a weird one. Powerslam magazine in the UK wrote on their Facebook page this week that Bret Hart has an agreement with TNA. Of course there is no truth to that. I assume this was a joke based off of the photo that Jeremy Borash posted on his Twitter after Bret had dinner with TNA staffers Monday night in downtown Nashville after Raw.
Bret talks about the upcoming Hart and Soul: The Hart Family Anthology DVD set at http://tinyurl.com/yljfr9d. The set is slated for an April 6 release.
Jewel and Ty Murray will guest co-host Raw on February 22 from Indianapolis, while Criss Angel will host on March 8 from Portland.
William Shatner talks hosting Raw at http://ow.ly/16u2bp.
FOX News has a story at http://tinyurl.com/ykmeev3 noting Linda McMahon's Senatorial Republican opponent Rob Simmons is planning to use the Eugene character against her to sway voters. Simmons intends to "demand that she account for it.," sources say. Linda's campaign responded today through her spokesperson Ed Patru. "In the soap opera world of WWE, the character 'Eugene' was developmentally disabled, but rather than the beaten down, pathetic character that Rob presents, Eugene was treated via scripting like all WWE superstars with no special privileges," Patru said.
John Cena did a webchat this week on WWE.com. When asked about Hogan and whether he would want to wrestle him down the road, he said: "Yes. I just don't think that's going to happen right now. He's too busy wasting his time."
David Skolnic, Editor of Wrestling Perspective -- a defunct print-wrestling newsletter that ran from 1990 to 2006 -- posted his 1996 interview with Jack Brisco at http://tinyurl.com/ygmu9l6. A really good read, especially when talking about the night he discovered Hulk Hogan. Brisco was quoted as saying at the time: "... back in my single days I was hanging around in nightclubs and running around with wild women. I ran into these two women one night at some nightclub who wanted me to go see a band that they really liked. I went to this nightclub called the Other Place. It was about midnight. I walked into this place and standing there was Hogan playing guitar in a band. God damn, if I had that boy, I could become rich (laughs). So they went on break. During the break, I came over to him at the table for a beer. He was just so impressive. He was only like 21 years old at the time. I couldn't believe my eyes I asked him, 'Did you ever think about being a wrestler?'... He said, 'It's what I've always wanted to do. I'm a big fan of yours and I've been watching you for years. It's what I've always wanted to do.' I said, 'Well, be at the Sportatorium at nine o'clock in the morning and we'll get you going.' I got there at a quarter to nine and he was out front waiting. I introduced him to Eddie Graham and Hiro Matsuda. Hiro, Eddie and those guys fell in love with him just like I did. Hiro started working him out. Hiro had a gym, a place to train. He started preparing him there. Johnny Valentine was the booker in Florida at the time. For some reason, Johnny didn't like him. He went ahead and gave him some matches here. I'll never forget his first night. It was in Vero Beach. He was in the opening match with Don Cerano. Don was a hell of a hand in the ring. Jerry and I went out to watch Hogan in his first match. Hogan came out of the dressing room and the people saw him. They all just rose to their feet. His first match before he ever got to the ring, he had the whole place give him a standing ovation. Chills were running up and down my spine thinking about the all the money we could make with him. Like I said, Johnny was booking here and never gave him a break. He gave him an occasional booking. The guy got a standing ovation every place he went before he got to the ring."
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
2/4 Impact TV results from Orlando, FL: Mr. Anderson over Brutus Magnus; Matt Morgan & Hernadez over Team 3-D to retain the tag team titles; Samoa Joe over Jesse Neal; The Pope over A.J. Styles; Kurt Angle over Tomko; Tara over Angelina Love to retain the Knockouts title; and Kevin Nash over Mick Foley.
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the TNA heavyweight title is now the official main event for Against All Odds on Valentine's Day.
TNA are on the road this weekend with a show tonight in Wichita, KS at Hartman Arena and also Saturday in Joplin, MO at The Memorial Hall. Advertised matches are Jeff Jarrett vs. Mr. Anderson; Matt Morgan & Hernandez vs. Team 3D; and Tara vs. ODB with Shark Boy as guest referee. Plus a crew of Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, Samoa Joe, The Pope, Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin, and more. We're looking for reports from both shows to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brent Hatley, Executive Producer of the Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge radio show, sent a cease and desist letter to Roy Wayne Ferris [The Honky Tonk Man] on Wednesday. Hatley claimed that Ferris and his webmaster Steve Wilton had committed a federal crime by posting intellectual property from the Bubba show on his website, HonkyTonkMan.net. Hatley, who isn't an attorney, wrote that Bubba, "will take all legal remedies available, criminal and civil, to put an end to your illegal conduct." Wilton has now removed the offending materials -- a photo of Hulk Hogan wearing a Bubba T-Shirt and a 60-second audio bite where Bubba, Hogan and Eric Bischoff make derogatory remarks about Ferris -- which he isn't too happy about. "These [recordings] will be passed on to our attorney for him to decide if we should pursue this issue," Ferris said in a statement on his website. "Mr. Clem is not a party to this action at this time. Mr. Bischoff who represents TNA as an official and executive of TNA will have to answer for his derogatory remarks much like Mr. [Vince] Russo had to answer for his words concerning his comments about Hulk Hogan on a WCW broadcast. Mr. Hogan could become a party to this action since he has said he is in charge of the day to day operations of TNA and was on the same segment of Mr. Clem's radio show when the defaming statements were made."
Ferris also went on record saying he was in talks with TNA concerning a deal with Jakks Pacific for an action figure.
Hulk Hogan called Rob Van Dam on Wednesday to persuade him to come to TNA. Van Dam was doing his weekly radio show at the time so he put him on the air. Hogan gave the hard sell and talked about Impact moving to Monday night. He said he talked to Jeff Hardy on Tuesday and they were discussing "whacked out" storyline ideas. Van Dam said he was interested in hearing more and said he would talk to Hogan off air. You can listen to RVD's show at http://blogtalkradio.com/rvdradio.
Hogan is interviewed at http://tinyurl.com/ygot98z talking TNA and bringing back the art form of wrestling. "I’m plugged in full-time, brother. I’m there all the way across the board. Before I used to wrestle, I mean before I used to lace the yellow boots up, steal the main-event payday and run home, now, I’m in the dressing room with the guys, talking to them about finishes and storylines and stuff like that, but then I’m also partners with Dixie." He also talks about Jesse Ventura and cannot understand why Ventura would be mad at him. I can think of a few reasons. Anyway, he says, "I’m dying to find out what made [Jesse] snap, you know, because I was around when we were doing the wrestling. Jesse came to Japan one day, you know, and he worked one or two main events the whole time I was around. And I would love to find out what really makes him tick just for curiosity reasons."
Scott D'Amore has left the company again. The office had asked him to relocate to Nashville several times, but that wasn't something he wanted to do. He said he was proud of his time with TNA both infront and behind the camera and is rooting for them to succeed. He was most recently an agent for the Knockouts division but missed the last set of television tapings due to shoulder surgery. He announced that his Border City Wrestling group, based out of Windsor, Ontario, will be merging with Toronto's BSE Pro Wrestling, run by Jason Brown, to become Maximum Pro Wrestling. The new company is planning to run live event tours, pay-per-view, and DVD releases as well as develop a new television series. More infomation will be posted soon at www.bordercitywrestling.com.
Scott Steiner also appears to be gone. He was removed from the TNA website roster page and hasn't been used for a while.
Some pretty embarrassing nude photos of Frankie Kazarian [Suicide] have been leaked on to the Internet during the past few days.
Lockdown on April 18 takes place in St. Charles, MO at the Family Arena. The set-up will likely be 6,000 although since they are bringing Hogan and Flair capacity if need be could be extended to 10,000. Lockdown ran at the Family Arena in 2007 drawing 5,000 with a main event of Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Rhino, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett vs. Christian Cage, AJ Styles, Scott Steiner, Abyss, and Tomko. Tickets go on sale on February 26 and they are also doing a fan interaction day on April 17, the night before the pay-per-view.
The office originally booked Lockdown at a venue in St. Louis but they were canceled on when WWE came in booked a date and insisted the venue sign a no-compete.
TNA PPV will be streamed live over the Internet for overseas viewers-only [limited countries] starting with Against No Odds. Price is $14.95 USD. Still no update on PPV in the UK although Dixie had meetings with TV execs over there last week while on tour.
TNA's latest webmatch is Traci Brooks & ODB vs. Sarita & Taylor Wilde at http://tinyurl.com/yc226d5.
Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne did a photo shoot for the UK version of FHM magazine. It's a huge coup for the company as FHM is the second biggest selling men's mag over there.
Madison Rayne turned 24 on Thursday.
Mick Foley has a comedy show with Colt Cabana and Bruce Prichard at the Las Vegas Hilton on Saturday. It's afternoon show [4pm] to benefit Best Buddies. For more information you can call 800-222-5361.
Bobby Lashley reportedly earned $50,000 for his Strikeforce debut win over Wes Sims.
Taz wrote on Twitter that he didn't like that Vince McMahon didn't thank any original ECW wrestlers or Paul Heyman in his announcement about the end of ECW.
TNA are running live events in Ozark, AL and Columbus, GA, during Wrestlemania weekend. More info at www.tnawrestling.com.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling has launched it's annual Golden Robe Wrestling Awards where people can vote for their favorite wrestlers, matches and moments of 2009.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is booked on today's Oprah Winfrey Show.
Ring of Honor are still planning to go ahead with their television tapings this weekend in Philadelphia, despite the expected snowstorm.
Greg Oliver has a good story on the no longer missing Hollywood Blond Jerry Brown at http://tinyurl.com/yg9n5kv.
Trish Stratus has landed the lead role in an independent Canadian film called Bail Enforcers -- about a down on their luck team of bounty hunters who run into trouble when they are confronted with a moral dilemma.
Jesse Ventura's next book American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us will be released on March 8.
Multichannel News has a detailed report looking at ratings for wrestling, boxing and MMA shows. The report at http://tinyurl.com/ybvy9ee notes how scandals like the Chris Benoit murders and Waxman steroid investigation has not hurt pro wrestling's popularity on television.
Dave Prasak's Shimmer group has just a few front tickets remaining for his DVD tapings on April 10 and 11at the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL. More info at www.shimmerwrestling.com.
Today's Diva of the Day is Gail Kim at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.