WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
Superstars tonight on WGN has Gail Kim vs. Jillian Hall; Primo vs. Zack Ryder; and the Hart Dynasty vs. The Dudebusters.
Jim Ross' WWE contract extension expires tomorrow. He wrote today on his blog: "I've had a couple of conversations with WWE officials this week about a potential new assignment within the company. Nothing has been finalized as of yet and my existing talent agreement will end Friday without fanfare. I will continue to handle some administrative matters until an agreement is or isn't reached."
The Baltimore Sun posted an interview with Jerry Lawler at http://tinyurl.com/2u6dzsv. He joked about never wrestling at Wrestlemania saying the next time he renews his contract he will try to have that written in. He recalled talking to Vince McMahon about his Hall of Fame induction in 2007 noting that he wasn't keen on the idea as he felt the Hall was for retired wrestlers where as he still works indie shows every weekend across the country. He said WWE often offers him house show bookings but he's leery because he doesn't want a full-time schedule. "I have a perfect gig at WWE doing Raw every week and the PPVs every month and that leaves me with the rest of my time to devote to art and the occasional independent shot," he said. When asked if he had ever considered contributing to creative, he said: "I have thought about it with a lot of fear and trepidation. It's just more demanding than I would be able to withstand. I have all the respect in the world for those guys on what they do, but the conditions that job entails. Vince McMahon is a great guy to work for but a hard guy to work for. Anything that diverts his attention from WWE, he doesn't like. When you work for someone like that, they have a tendency for you to have that same thought process. It's a lot of hard work and it's more than I would be up to at this point in my career."
Daniel Bryan wrote a blog noting that he's been suffering from sickness recently and has lost 15 pounds. He said he has a really weak immune system which is something he's struggled with all his life.
NXT last night did a 0.8 rating and 1.1 million viewers.
Triple H has been attached to star in The Champerone, yet another direct-to-video movie from WWE Studios. He will play an ex-con who chaperones his daughter's school field trip. Filming commences this summer in New Orleans.
Canada's Fight Show interviewed Mickie James about her release and upcoming country album. She said she was surprised that WWE released her and thought that they were supportive of her musical aspirations noting that they ran a recent article in WWE magazine about it. She said she is looking forward to moving on to a new chapter in her life. Her main focus is music moving forward but she wouldn't rule out working for another wrestling company.
Ontario-based indie wrestler Laura "Cherry Bomb" Dennis has a tryout at the Raw show in Toronto on 5/17.
Rumble Road: Untold Stories from Outside the Ring is another WWE book currently in developmental. The book is authored by Jon Robinson, a huge wrestling fan, who writes for ESPN.com, and will be a follow up to Robert Caprio's Are We There Yet? A promotional blurb reads: "WWE superstars and divas dish the dirt on the late night shenanigans that take place behind the scenes, on the road, and in hotels all across the world. If you think all the WWE drama unfolds inside the wrestling ring, then think again. Sometimes the action outside the ring can be just as exciting -- and as dangerous -- for the wrestlers as they drive, fly and occasionally fight their way from city to city to entertain their millions of fans. In Rumble Road the superstars of the WWE recount their shocking and hilarious road trip misadventures. From classic pranks to the particular habits of the baddest of the bad guys who ever set foot inside the squared circle, these are the untold stories of life on the road -- straight from the mouths of those who continue to live it one trip at a time." Expect this to be the PG version. Rumble Road goes on sale in July from Simon & Schuster.
Abraham Washington and Tony Atlas have resurfaced as a duo during taped intro segments on WWE 24/7.
A tentative card was just announced for the 6/19 show at Madison Square Garden: John Cena vs. Sheamus; Big Show vs. Jack Swagger; The Undertaker & Kane vs. CM Punk & Luke Gallows; Randy Orton vs. Edge; The Hart Dynasty vs. Carlito & Primo; Mark Henry vs. The Miz; Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre; and Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix & Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse, Michelle McCool & Layla with Santino as guest referee.
CFO George Barrios dumped WWE stock worth $63,000 this past week. He still owns stock worth nearly $1.5 million.
Sgt. Slaughter took part in a boot camp for the San Antonio Spurs to get them ready for the playoffs. Footage is online at www.sgtslaughter.com.
Diana Hart-Smith did an interview this week with the Mayhem radio show at www.mondaynightmayhem.com. She said she was happy with WWE's job on the new Hart & Soul DVD--feeling it was accurate in that they didn't gloss over anything too much. "I think they were trying to help (the family) have closure, because if they had just brushed over (Owen Hart's death), I think they would have gotten a lot of criticism over that. But they didn't go so strong on it that it stole from the story of my mom and dad, and all of us were a part of it...I'm glad it was put in the way it was. There was no shock value in it. They didn't show the fall, they just showed Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross and what they said at the time. They then talked about the trial, which I'm glad they did, and my mom and dad walking into the courtroom. It just showed what we all lost." She added regarding family unity, "John Laurinaitis went to great trouble to get us together for a picture after Wrestlemania, and that picture was the end of things. They had their party, but everyone kind of split up and went their different directions. I think that picture, when we all get our copies of it, will say so much."
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
Bubba the Love Sponge ambushed Awesome Kong during a call-in interview yesterday on the Cowhead radio show in Tampa. Bubba and Cowhead are friends dating back many years so you could probably see this one coming. The audio is online at http://tinyurl.com/3axkkqh with Bubba confronting Kong mid-interview with a ton of expletives until she hangs up. He offered her $5,000 to shoot fight him with the proceeds donated to Haiti. Bubba also claimed he's talked to WWE's John Laurinaitis and has squashed her chances of going North. Kong later wrote on her Twitter page that she thinks it's hilarious that Bubba is seemingly obssesed with her.
Hulk Hogan was a studio guest this morning on Howard Stern's radio show on Sirus. He was promoting Little Hercules in 3D, a movie he shot three years ago that just came out on DVD. Most of the conversation was dominated by Stern asking questions about Hogan's sex life. Very creepy stuff especially when they brought in Hogan's fiancee, Jennifer McDaniel, who looks and sounds like Brooke. When asked about his net worth he said due to his divorce he's currently $5 million in the hole. Regarding TNA, he said he approves the overall creative direction and offers his own suggestions. He said the company wants to hire more girls because they draw ratings but that would depend on the budget. Well, it's not like Knockouts are paid comparative to the male wrestlers, except for Christy Hemme, who doesn't wrestle. He said Torrie Wilson recently called the TNA office looking for work (not true) and claimed that he talked to Steve Austin about wrestling him. He also claimed Randy Savage was getting married soon (not true) and that Lanny Poffo used to suck his own penis in locker rooms, and some of the guys would pay to him see it (apparently true). Regarding his own radio show, he's doing another one soon claiming that 25,000 callers melted down the phones lines during his solo debut.
Hogan was also a guest on The View today in a short interview segment. He put over Dixie Carter as a great boss but never mentioned Impact or where and when viewers can watch it. The footage is online at http://tinyurl.com/2bud2cq.
Homicide did an interview this week on Dave LaGreca's satellite radio show. He was really negative on creative saying he's lost confidence in their ability to push him as a character. "I have no faith in nobody," he said. "It's like somebody telling me every six or eight months they are going to give me a call and nothing happens." He added: "There is a lot of political B.S. going on. I don't know what's going on. All I know is I am going to go out there, get paid, and take care of my family." On who really calls the shots behind the scenes: "Dixie is the boss. She'll say to bring in this guy or that guy, but I don't know who is the real boss. I don't know if it is Russo, if it is Hogan, or the jabroni security guards... I don't know who is my real boss... Hogan does come out and talk to the guys. He spoke to me about where I came from, why my name is Homicide and why I have this character, and he loved it... I'm like 'okay, you like it, but do something about it.'"
Ric Flair is the face of another new $5 scratch-off ticket in conjunction with the South Carolina Education Lottery. The new tickets are available from Monday with Flair doing promotion at the NASCAR 500 in Darlington on 5/8 and at the Sun Fun Festival in Myrtle Beach on 6/5.
Flair and his wife Jackie are still together despite the recent domestic charges.
Mick Foley wrote a blog for the Huffington Post at http://tinyurl.com/33572eu to help raise awareness amongst men against sexual violence. Foley is currently a weekly volunteer for RAINN's (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Sexual Assault Online Hotline, an anonymous crisis support service for victims of sexual assault.
Brian Elliott wrote a strong editorial on what lessons TNA can learn from UFC at http://tinyurl.com/28mgn8h.
Some UK ratings data from Ian Hamilton for the week ending 4/18. Impact did just 63,000 viewers (down 47,000 viewers from the previous week), Raw did 137,000 viewers for it's live airing, and Smackdown did 102,000 viewers for it's first airing. Back in January, TNA was doing record numbers in the UK.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
The Slam Wrestling website has a story on Melissa Anderson (Raisha Saeed, Alissa Flash and Cheerleader Melissa) talking about her departure from TNA late last year. She noted leaving on good terms citing creative differences but that the door is left open for her to return in the future. "I'm in light talks with Mexico, and that's something that I would really love just to add to my career," she said. "I spent a lot of time in Japan, the United States, Canada, a lot of time in Europe. I never really gave Mexico a shot, so that's a personal goal for myself right now." She also discussed the upstart Female Fight League, describing the group as a female version of the NWA. "The details are still being worked out. We really want to do something to boost female wrestling as a whole throughout the world, and, mainly, the United States." She added that she doesn't view other women's group, like Shimmer or WSU, as competition and hopes that they can work together in harmony. She also put over MsChif, Sara Del Ray, and Mercedes Martinez as lesser known female wrestlers on the indies who she feels deserve national exposure. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/37dpd8r.
Joanie "Chyna" Laurer was named in an LAPD battery investigation, according to TMZ. Gabriela Targos alleges Chyna, a former friend, attacked her on Saturday at a motel in Sherman Oaks, CA. Chyna is said to have punched Targos in the face, beat her with a wire hanger, pulled her hair and threatened to kill her. Targos told TMZ that she managed to escape and reported the incident to nearby police officers. No arrests have been made and Chyna has made no public comment.
Jenna Jameson underwent drug testing on Tuesday at American Toxicology Inc. in Las Vegas. She passed all the tests, including one for Oxycontin, which she claims proves that Tito Ortiz wasn't telling the truth when he accused her of being high during their altercation on Monday. Jameson's attorney Ronald Richards said last night, "The lab tests clearly exonerate Jenna Jameson of any hint, iota, or suggestion that she ingested or was under the influence of any opiates or controlled substances... Statements made by anyone to the contrary are completely impeached by the results from this prestigious testing facility." Tito's attorney, Chip Matthews, is now saying that the whole drugs thing was a huge misunderstanding due to Tito finding two pills in Jameson's pants pocket and that he jumped to conclusions.
Blake Norton's documentary on Stu Hart, Surviving The Dungeon, is now available for free download at www.thewrestlingdungeon.com. The film features rare footage from the original Stampede Wrestling with over 90 minutes of interviews and training footage with Stu Hart, his wife Helen, children Ross, Bruce and Georgia Hart, as well as grandson Harry "David Hart" Smith. There are also extras, including a discussion on wrestling psychology, an overview of training history narrated by Ross Hart, and a practice match from The Dungeon itself between Harry Smith and T.J. "Tyson Kidd" Wilson from back when both were just teenagers. All the profits from the original release were donated to St. Vincent De Paul charity on Stu's behalf, and everyone who contributed to the film, including photographer Bob Leonard and Bill Cubitt, did so without charge.
Lance Cade is appearing for NWA South West this Saturday in Whiteboro, TX. More info at
National Wrestling Superstars has another double shot this weekend. Friday night, they debut at the Morris Knolls High School Gym in Denville, NJ with a 7:45pm bell time and Saturday at the Brick Elks Lodge in Brick, NJ. Both shows are headlined by former WWE star Tatanka. For information visit www.nwswrestling.com. To charge tickets call 732-888-1704.
SPW presents Down With The Sickness on 5/15 in Freehold, NJ at the 3-2 Count Athletic Training Facility with Crowbar defending ISPW title vs. Ace Darling, The FBI (Nunzio & Tony Mamaluke) vs. The Logan Brothers vs. Danny Inferno & Judas Young in a three-way for the tag titles; Rob Eckos vs. Chase Del Monte; Reborne Again (Matt Borne) vs. Smith James; Big Vito vs. Rick Fuller, and Tammy "Sunny" Sytch' mystery wrestler vs. Danny Doring. More info at www.ISPWLive.com or email to ISPWWrestling@yahoo.com.
Big Vito (Vito LoGrasso) appeared today at Alonzo High School in Tampa to speak to kids and give out awards to encourage them to stay out of trouble. Vito is accepting bookings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Behrens is now accepting bookings for Karen Angle and Percy Pringle (WWE's Paul Bearer) through his website www.sbibookings.com. Karen, soon to be Mrs. Jeff Jarrett, is relocating from Pittsburgh to Nashville in June.
AAA star La Parka Jr. had some breathing difficulties during his match in San Pedro, Mexico last Sunday as he is dealing with a respiratory tract infection that took it's toll on him. He had to stay in the corner squatting and trying to catch his breath although he managed to finish the match. A medic gave him oxygen afterwards and he was sent by ambulance to the local hospital to get checked out. He was released the same night and is said to be okay now.
Viva La Lucha's PPV Revolucion will tape this weekend in Mexico City to begin airing in June.
Bobby Lashley is scheduled to headline Strikeforce's 6/16 event in Los Angeles. His opponent is unknown at press time.
Rich Tate and Mike Sempervive talk to Nick Bockwinkle about his career at http://tinyurl.com/2wbw5xe.
Today's Knockout Diva of the Day is Tara at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.