WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
4/12 Raw TV results from London, England: Eve Torres over Maryse to win the Diva's Championship; The Miz over DH Smith; Evan Bourne over Carlito; John Cena over David Otunga; Kofi Kingston over Sheamus via DQ; The Bella Twins over Rosa Mendez & Jillian Hall and Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly in a three-way; and Randy Orton over Batista via DQ.
4/12 Smackdown house show results from Nottingham, England: Jack Swagger over Kane; R-Truth over Shad Gaspard; Beth Phenoix over Layla; Finley over Dolph Ziggler; John Morrison over Luke Gallows; Drew McIntyre over Matt Hardy; Rey Mysterio over CM Punk; and Edge over Chris Jericho in a street fight.
The NXT/Smackdown tapings are tonight in London with the main event of Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge for the World title. There is also a Raw show tonight in Sheffield.
In a major programming move, WWE today confirmed a multi-year agreement with NBC Universal to bring Smackdown to Friday nights on Syfy from 10/1. The move is believed to be the death knell for MyNetwork TV which contributed to major financial losses for News Corporation in 2008. The network ceased airing original series last Fall, and is now a repository for syndicated shows. The biggest impact of the deal for WWE will mean NXT moving to a new channel as Syfy's existing ratings draws such as Caprica, Stargate Universe and Sanctuary will switch to Tuesday nights. Syfy will pay around $30 million per year in television rights fees for Smackdown.
Jack Swagger reportedly got married a couple of week's ago in Las Vegas. Bryan Alverez reported that Swagger attended a Criss Angel show and was introduced with a women as his bride. His wife or girlfriend would be model Catalina White who at one point was in WWE developmental under the name Saylor James. She was cut around the time an adult film company announced it was going to release a sex tape she shot with a previous boyfriend... Swagger worked double duty last night in the opening match at the Smackdown show in Nottingham then took a cross-country helicopter ride to make Raw over 100 miles away in London.
Raw last night did a 3.2 rating and 4.7 million viewers.
Swagger vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title and Triple H vs. Sheamus in a street fight are the first two matches announced for Extreme Rules on 4/25.
The Miz appeared today on the popular UK television show Blue Peter. It's quite a big deal for WWE as before the move to PG they would never have been able to open these doors. Miz did two segments--one where he trained the hosts in cutting promos and another where he made a wrestling ring out of a Pizza box.
ESPN Video Games interviewed Brock Lesnar about appearances in multiple sports games, moving into MMA, and the chance of returning to WWE. He was fairly diplomatic compared to answers he's given in the past. When asked about differences between Vince McMahon and UFC President Dana White he said, "If I had to say one thing about Vince it would be ruthless. If I had to say something about Dana it would be diligent and somewhat brilliant. Two different approaches to business. I had a great run with WWE. They gave me great visibility, I met my wife (the former Sable) there, and I got paid a lot of money, it was just my time to go. I sensed it. I was smart enough to leave. That's the bottom line." On ever returning as a guest host: "I wouldn't be opposed to it. I'm still focused on my fighting right now, but if the opportunity arose some day, I'd never say never." Full interview at http://tinyurl.com/y2mjv3y.
Melina got very emotional on Twitter last night after Eve Torres won the Divas Championship although she didn't appear to be happy with the match. She wrote, "Just to make sure everyone understands, I think Eve is an up and coming talent. She has potential like many of our Divas. Like many of our Divas, they deserve a better title moment than that. With a good chase and a good build up. Maybe you need to be a wrestler to know that feeling but, it's an incredible feeling when you have reached such an honor. Where it took time and you invested so much to reach that moment/ that level. She got cheated out of that. No one understands that. Good for her. Be good to your heels, they make you who you are... As a former heel, I know. Do your thing chica. I still stand by what I say. Back in the Trish/Lita/Jazz era, the women earned the title and fought for it. It meant so much. Women looked at them and wanted to be as great as them. It shouldn't be about taking turns on who gets to put in on this week. It should be about who earned it and who brings credibility to it. I still wish it could have been Jillian, Katie or Gail to have that opportunity. All I wanted was to start a new era. To make those women proud to see we were keeping it alive."
The annual three-hour draft show was announced for 4/26 in Richmond, VA. No guest host is scheduled at press time although we're told they are working on someone A-list. If not they may end up using a legend.
Santino's sitcom is set to debut very soon on the WWE website with Beth Phoenix and Kozlov as the main players.
Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers said in an interview this week that he's talked to Vince McMahon about getting into wrestling after football.
WWE recently hired New Jersey wrestling promoter Tommy Fierro to work in the television studio.
The Sun at http://tinyurl.com/y763gmo has a story on Ted DiBiase Sr. who says he's glad that Ultimate Warrior, the former Jim Hellwig, declined a spot in the Hall of Fame this year. He said, "I'm glad he wasn't there because he's somebody I don't particularly care for, and quite frankly he was somebody who got a big push... He's one of those guys that has never really appreciated what was done for him, and all you have to do is watch the DVD. There's a lot of guys that did well in the industry that may have been lacking in some areas."
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
4/12 Impact TV results from Orlando, FL: The Band over Team 3D; Shannon Moore vs. Kazarian was a draw; Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky was a no contest; Matt Morgan & Amazing Red over The Machine Guns to retain the tag titles; and Jeff Hardy over Robert Roode.
Unless there are more swerves the final card for Sunday's Lockdown pay-per-view is AJ Styles vs. The Pope for the TNA heavyweight title; Team Flair (Sting, Desmond Wolfe, Robert Roode, James Storm) vs. Team Hogan (Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy) in Lethal Lockdown; Shannon Moore vs. Kaz vs. Doug Williams in a three-way for the X Division title; The Beautiful People vs. Angelina Love & Tara with both the Knockouts title and tag titles on the line; Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle; Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young; and The Band vs. Team 3D.
ODB publicly expressed some frustration with the current creative direction. She wrote regarding Impact on her Facebook page, "Just watched from my DVR the Knockouts match. Wow, WTF is happening to our division?" One source echoed similar sentiments to us this week. They said the Knockout's division has become quite sad in that most of the girls are fighting hard to stick together and want to help each other while some forces seem to be working against them.
Dixie Carter answered the first round of questions for her new column at www.tnawrestling.com. When asked about flagging ratings she said she's happy with four hours of prime time on Spike each week but admitted they cannot compete with WWE numbers. Another person asked about Impact going live in the UK and the possibility of doing a television taping over there. She said that was a call for their UK TV partner Bravo--I assume because she wants them to pay for it. On critics, she said, "You learn to have thick skin. I read fan input daily. There is a difference in someone who is passionate about TNA and wants to see something different versus someone who just hates the product (and won’t give it a chance) and they want to complain. Hearing what fans like is the best feedback for me because we can strive to do more of it." She also said she doesn't pay much attention to the wrestling media, instead prefering fan feedback and not feedback from people offering their perspective to the fans.
Impact last night did a 0.78 rating and 1.1 million viewers. The new show, Reaction, did a horrible number--0.2 and 279,000 viewers.
Brian Knobbs was interviewed last night on the Monday Night Mayhem radio show. He said he didn't know whether he was done here as nobody from the office has contacted him or Jerry Saggs. He noted talking to Hogan who claimed he didn't know whether the Nasty Boys were done either. He also revealed that WWE contacted him in January. "They called me and left a message to call them back, and they wanted to see what our status was in TNA. It was short and sweet, and they left a number, but I never did call it. I told Hogan they called us, and he said we should check it out, but I said right now, we're down here, and our loyalty is our loyalty." You can listen to the interview at www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
We didn't get much feedback on Hogan's new radio show last night on Sirus. Mike Lano noted to us that Hogan was in full work mode and took a lot of crank calls, including a guy who asked him if he ever had sex with Mr. T. He also told the story claiming Andre the Giant weighed 700lbs when he slammed him at Wrestlemania III.
Regarding the fire ball stunt on Impact, Jeff Hardy's girlfriend Beth wrote on Twitter that Jeff suffered burns around his eye, forehead, nose and mouth. "I hope he doesn't agree to do anything like that again," she said.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Scott Siegel, the actor who played a drug dealer in The Wrestler, was sentenced to 63 months in prison for steroid possession, distribution and law enforcement assault charges to which he plead guilty last October. The New York Daily News has a story at http://tinyurl.com/yc66hcp which noted since his incarceration Siegal has suffered from hormonal imbalances caused by years of steroid abuse.
James "Sinister Minister" Mitchell wrote a great blog discussing Chris Kanyon and his recent death at www.sinisterministerjm.blogspot.com. Mitchell was among the few wrestling personalities who attended Kanyon's private funeral last week in New York. Mick Foley and Scott "Raven" Levy also attended.
Ring of Honor announced Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli vs. TNA's Machine Guns for their return to New York City next month. More info at www.rohwrestling.com.
The Iron Sheik is booked again on Howard Stern on 6/10... Sheik recently put together a list of people he dislikes at http://thetop13.com/104/. Hulk Hogan, Brian Blair and Bubba the Love Sponge all made the cut.
Lance Cade is returning to Japan for a tour with All Japan on 5/15.
WWE's Norman Smiley is doing an upcoming seminar for indie wrestlers at the NYWC school in Deer Park, NY. Cost is $150. For more info contact Pat Buck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrity Boxing Federation promoter Damon Feldman is accused of fixing fights and staging competitions without a license, although he claims he's no different than WWE. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/y6za2zo.
There is a trailer for Dwayne Johnson's upcoming movie The Other Guys at http://tinyurl.com/ybnuqry. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Eva Mendes, and is due to hit theatres on 8/6.
Alebrije, Cujie, Histeria and Psicosis are in dispute with AAA in Mexico over the rights to their gimmicks. They met with an arbitrator a few days ago to try to resolve the situation and were confident that the arbitrator will eventually rule in their favor.
Joe Bruen is promoting a wrestling convention this weekend at the Bright Ridge Club in East Providence, RI. Among the names advertised: Jimmy Snuka, Ox Baker, Doink the Clown, Justin Credible, Bryan Clarke, Larry Zbyszko, John Cena Sr., Antonio Thomas, Rick Martel, Danny Davis, Kenny Dykstra, Melissa Coates, and more.
National Wrestling Superstars has a double shot this weekend in Carteret, NJ and Tower City, PA with Kishi (formerly Rikishi). Tickets are available by calling 732-888-1704 or visiting www.nwswrrestling.com.
Semi-retired wrestler "Lightning" Cheryl Rusa who works as a stunt women in Hollywood had a cameo last week on ABC's Flash Forward as an FBI agent.
Austin "Consequences" Creed is interviewed at http://georgiawrestlinghistory.com/gwhrn/sitd/home.html talking about his departure from TNA.
Maria Kanellis' album Sevin Sins went on sale today on itunes and is currently at No. 16 and climbing on the Rock chart.
The latest edition of Fighting Females magazine is now online. It's 70 pages dedicated to women's wrestling with a stack of interviews including the former Molly Holly, Lexie Fyfe, Rain, Nevaeh and special features on WSU, Wrestlicious, WWE Comics and Rival Angels at www.fightingfemales.co.uk.
Today's Diva of the Day is Melina at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.