WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
3/18 Superstars TV results: Kane over Shelton Benjamin; The Bella Twins over Katie Lea & Jilian Hall; and Christian, Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu over Jack Swagger, William Regal & Zack Ryder.
3/19 Smackdown TV results from Los Angeles, CA: Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger over Matt Hardy & MVP; Tiffany & Beth Phoenix over Michelle McCool & Layla; R-Truth & John Morrison over The Hart Dynasty; Luke Gallows over Rey Mysterio; and The Undertaker over Drew McIntyre.
3/19 Raw house shows results from El Paso, TX: Kofi Kingston over Ted Dibiase; Chavo Guerrero (as a babyface since they are in his hometown) & Kofi Kingston over Legacy; Carlito over Primo; Chris Masters over William Regal; Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres & Gail Kim over Maryse, Jillian Hall & Alicia Fox with Vickie Guerrero as referee; The Miz over Christian, Evan Bourne & MVP in a four way; and John Cena & Mark Henry over Big Show & Sheamus. The show was sold out which would be around 8,000.
The Raw crew runs tonight at the Convention Center in Tucson, AZ and also Sunday afternoon at the Events Center in Reno, NV. The Smackdown crew runs Sunday afternoon at ARCO Arena in Sacramento with the main event of Undertaker, Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho, CM Punk & Luke Gallows.
Television next week is a dual-brand taping Monday from the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The Cauliflower Alley Club has a great article on the career of Jim Ross at http://tinyurl.com/ychbgrn. The club is a non-profit fraternal organization who's membership includes retired and active pro wrestlers and boxers in North America. They host an annual reunion dinner which has traditionally been attended by celebrities and other professional athletes. This year, Ross will recevie an award for his lifetime contributions to the wrestling business. Regarding his WWE future, he was quoted as saying, "I think I could be part of a plan to positively effect the broadcasting aspect of wrestling; and to have some part in creating the next wave of main eventers; developing new stars. That’s what I’d be interested in doing."
Ross noted on his Twitter that he was attending Wrestlemania as a fan and wasn't aware as yet that he would be calling any action.
Shawn Michaels at http://tinyurl.com/ycdxbnf says he is prepared for life after wrestling.
The Fight Network in Canada has been working on a two-hour documentary on Bret Hart. The documentary, Bret Hart - Survival of the Hitman, focuses on his life and career and his return to the WWE featuring interviews with Producer Paul Jay (Wrestling With Shadows), Bret's former manager and former WWE exec Carl DeMarco, Bret's lawyer Gord Kirkand, and several members of the Hart family. The documentary premieres on Monday at 7pm ET with a replay at 11pm and several more replays this coming week.
The Hollywood Reporter at http://tinyurl.com/ybp572o has a story on the financial benefits of Wrestlemania to host cities. The writer said that Wrestlemania revenue was comparable to the Oscars. WWE CFO George Barrios is quoted. "WrestleMania XXV was the largest-grossing event in company history, and we expect this year's installment to break that record yet again as indicated by recent strength in PPV buys and some recovery in consumer spending." The story didn't mentioned that "recent strength" was mostly due to a $5 price hike. Barrios also did a Q&A where he talks movies, stock dividends, a new toy deal with Mattel, and more at http://tinyurl.com/y9ar83h.
The WWE website has an update on Nora Greenwald, the former Molly Holly at http://tinyurl.com/ygm8v5o.
CBS Evening News is working on a feature story on MVP that will air at some point next week.
One of the new attractions this year at Wrestlemania Axxess will be a Hart Family Dungeon including memorabilia from Bret's personal collection. They are also planning a special area dedicated to Shawn Michaels with various ring attire he has worn over the years.
Some new faces and name changes this week in FCW. Lamar Porter is now Cable Jones; Sarona Snuka is Tamina; Joe Doering is Drake Brewer; Incognito is Hunico; Ray Leppan is Leo Kruger; Asher Knight is Rudy Parker; and Orlando Colon (cousin of Primo and Carlio) is now called Tito Nieves.
Curt Hawkins is still in developmental. Abraham Washington is also still around and has been doing commentary of late for the FCW TV show with Byron Saxton.
Gerald Brisco is scouting new prospects this weekend at the NCAA wrestling tournament in Omaha.
The London Times at http://tinyurl.com/ykqll7b has a story on Linda McMahon and her political aspirations. Ed Patru, Linda's spokesperson, is quoted saying that half the battle is educating Connecticut voters that WWE is entertainment. "When someone jumps off the top ropes and lands on someone it’s not real, and she was the first in the industry to admit that these fights are basically soap operas," he said.
The latest edition of Vintage Collection, a syndicated WWE show hosted by Gene Okerlund, features highlights of the Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels 60-minute Iron Man match from Wrestlemania 12. They also included some of the excellent promo videos building up to the match. Michael Cole's less enthusiastic voice is dubbed over former announcer Todd Pettengill.
During the UK airings of Smackdown last night they had John Cena and Sheamus cutting promos about touring in April. Bret Hart was also pushed as part of the tour.
Superstars on Thusday night did a 0.9 rating and 974,000 viewers.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
3/18 house shows results from Hattiesburg, MS: The Machine Guns over Generation Me; Tara over Daffney; Doug Williams over Homicide & Daniels in a three-way; Jeff Jarrett over Desmond Wolfe; Kevin Nash & Eric Young over Beer Money; and AJ Styles over The Pope after Wolfe ran in and distracted Pope. The show was announced as a sell out which would be around 1,200 people. Before the show, Jeff Jarrett made a special appearance at a local restaurant as part of a fundraiser for a child battling cancer.
The 3/19 show in Pensacola, FL, had the same results drawing around 1,500 with half of the arena tarped off. One of our readers said it was a better show than WWE's house show at the same venue in 2008.
Destination X is Sunday night live on PPV from Orlando with Generation Me vs. The Machine Guns in an Ultimate X match for a tag title shot; Matt Morgan & Hernandez vs. Beer Money for the TNA tag titles; Kazarian vs. Daniels vs. Amazing Red vs. Brian Kendrick in a Ladder match for an X Divison title shot; Doug Williams vs. Shannon Moore for the X-Division title; Kevin Nash & Eric Young vs. Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac; if Hall and Pac win, they earn TNA contracts, if they lose they must leave for good; Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson; Tara vs. Daffney for the Knockout title; Rob Terry vs. Brutus Magnus for the Global Championship; and AJ Styles vs. Abyss for the TNA heavyweight title.
Impact is live Monday and Tuesday (taped for Mach 29) from Orlando.
Chris Sabin is currently battling food poisoning but plans to make it to the PPV.
Samoa Joe is expected to return imminently after his abduction by a group of masked men last month at Against All Odds. He is advertised for a match tonight against Kazuchika Okada for Jersey All Pro Wrestling in Rahway, NJ.
Awesome Kong wrote on Twitter today confirming her departure from TNA. Both sides had been working on an amicable split for the past few week's.
Eric Bischoff got into a verbal spar with Roy Ferris (The Honky Tonk Man) on his Facebook page. Nothing much to it other than trading insults. Bischoff also claimed that he just got a WWE royalty check for $50,000 for his 2006 book, Controversy Creates Cash. Hilariously, WWEShop.com has responded by reducing the price of the book from $15 to a break even price of $1.98. Tremendous.
The Corpus Christi Caller Times at http://tinyurl.com/ydvsk3b has a story on Liz Hernandez, daughter of TNA's Hernandez, a high school senior, who won gold in the 181-pound division at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association state meet on Friday. She won her class with a 360 pound deadlift and a personal best of 925 pounds combined.
Jeff Hardy makes his house show debut in Vicksburg, MS on April 30.
Regarding Monday's Impact rating, a few readers pointed out that this wasn't technically the lowest rating since 2006 as the 2009 New Year's Knockout special did a 0.6.
The Impact replay on Thursday night did a 0.8 rating and 1.16 million viewers, matching Monday's rating although viewship was slightly higher. The replay also beat WWE Superstars which did a higher rating but less viewers.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Anthony Aurelio, a journeymen wrestler under the name Prince Nero and The Black Demon in the 50s, 60s and 70s, passed away on March 6 from complications from Alzheimer’s. He was 85. Nobody would have known but his obituary ran in the Boston Herald. He had been living in a nursing home in Plymouth County, MA since the late 90s. Before wrestling he served in the US Navy during World War II.
A funny story from today's print edition of the Antelope Valley Press out of Palmdale, CA. Cops were called out to a suspected armed robbery on Friday afternoon after a security guard from a jewelry store called in four suspicious guys in masks. The guys were actually local wrestlers in Lucha masks promoting some upcoming matches. Dispatchers from the LA County Sheriff's Department sent seven squad cars to take care of business. The cops had their guns drawn and it was quite the scene until they realized that they weren't dealing with robbers.
The Legends Mania fanfest last weekend in Atlanta was not a financial success. The event, which drew around 50-75 people, was booked in tribute to legendary tag teams including The Rock-n-roll Express, The Midnight Express, The Koloff's, and The Armstrong's, along with Lex Luger, Tommy Rich, Road Warrior Animal, Johnny Valiant, Percy Pringle, Curtis Hughes, and others. A major concern was the price of tickets which cost as much as $400 for a VIP package. All the talent booked showed up. Marty Jannetty was the only issue as he was reportedly screwed by his own agent over his hotel room. One person felt that the promoters (Tom Harriman and Tag Team Promotions) over booked and under planned in some respects, but said everyone left in good spirits, and the plan was to try and run again in September or October.
Randy Poffo went nuts at his now former webmaster Steve Wilton over a tribute video created for his late father Angelo. Apparently this was because Randy was referred to as Randy Savage in the video instead of by his real name. Poffo cared for his father before his death earlier this month and has not made any wrestling-related appearances since 2005. Wilton, who designs websites for many past and present, said he was left bemused following the tongue lashing.
Diva-Dirt.com interviewed Lilian Garcia. She said she hopes to release music album before the end of the year.
Paul London did an interview with Monday Night Mayhem. He said he doesn't see himself going to TNA. "I do keep up with the product some, because I have some friends there; obviously Brian (Kendrick) is working there now. It's a interesting show. A lot of it is very similar, but with of it, it has digressed in some parts. It takes two to tango, and I don't really feel that TNA has any interest in having me there or they would have made a stronger effort than they did. Instead, they made a pretty lousy and insulting effort almost a year ago to be honest with you. I don't have much interest at this point, so I could go to another place and be unappreciated... No thanks!" Full interview at www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
Kenny Bolin has a very good Podcast up with James Mitchell doing a séance at http://whosslammingwho.podomatic.com.
Teddy Hart is expected to make his Dragon Gate USA debut on March 26 in Phoenix, AZ.
The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling has a story on Shawn Stasiak who is looking to join TNA. "I've got my eyes set on TNA. If I had my choice between the two companies right now, I'm gearing more toward TNA because I like their schedule. I've always also liked Hulk - not just as Hulk Hogan the guy I grew up watching and idolised as a young man, but as a person too. Just to make it clear, I have my eyes on TNA. I'm not saying I'm going there, but I have my eyes on them for sure."
The Los Angeles Times at http://tinyurl.com/y9sf83b has an article on Dwayne Johnson and his move back to action roles with his next film Faster.
Matt Lane of the Kingsport Times at http://tinyurl.com/yj98fla has a story on David "Kid" Cash and his recent legal troubles.
Today's Diva of the Day is Luna at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.