WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren - All the latest professional wrestling news and analysis direct to your inbox. WGN is read by industry power players, many top wrestlers and thousands of fans from around the world.
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WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
5/11 NXT TV results from Buffalo, NY: Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan were eliminated; Wade Barrett over Heath Slater; Skip Sheffield over Darren Young; David Otunga over Justin Gabriel; and Skip Sheffield was also eliminated. The big story is that Bryan Danielson is alive and well.
Superstars tonight on WGN has Chris Masters vs. Dolph Ziggler; Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer vs. job guys; Vladimir Kozlov vs. another job guy; and The Bella Twins vs. Maryse & Jillian Hall.
Smackdown on Friday night has Kofi Kingston vs. Christian for the IC title; Shad Gaspard vs. job guy; MVP & JTG vs. The Dudebusters; Beth Phoenix vs. Rosa Mendes; Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane; and CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio; plus Drew McIntyre returns with a surprise for Teddy Long.
WWE tours Canada this weekend with the Raw crew in Barrie, ONT on Friday, Kingston on Saturday, London on Sunday, and television is live next Monday from Toronto. The Smackdown crew runs Halifax, NS on Saturday, Moncton (1pm) and Saint John, NB (7pm) is a double shot on Sunday, and the TV tapings are next Tuesday in Ottawa. John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus and the Hart Dynasty headline the Raw tour with Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Jack Swagger and Christian the biggest names advertised on Smackdown. Fans are safe as Jericho is gigging in the UK with his band Fozzy.
WWE confirmed that Jared Bartie, Executive VP of General Counsel, has left the company amid allegations of sexual harassment. Corporate Counsel, part of the American Lawyer family of magazines, posted a story on its website quoting a WWE statement released to them, which stated, Bartie "was not terminated by WWE. Jared Bartie and WWE have parted ways amicably. James Langham is acting general counsel for WWE." So they don't deny the allegations, but do deny Bartie departed due to the allegations.
Claire Murphy, who headed up WWE's UK office, has left the company and moved back to her native Australia. She was brought in to take a hard line stance with media in the wake of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, but ended up alienating much of the UK press. The Daily Mirror newspaper stopped covering pro wrestling completely - and I know from my own experience doing interviews for The Sun at how nit-picking they could be if they felt talent were off-message. She is the second high-profile departure from the UK office, following Andrew Whitaker - who left for the U.S. to take over Shane McMahon's old role. Insiders say she'll be greatly missed by many in the company.
Beth Phoenix, who claimed she was fine after getting injured last week, was diagnosed with a partially torn knee. The injury occurred during a match with Rosa Mendes at the 4/27 tapings in Hershey. She is expected to be out for some time. They taped an angle earlier this week to explain her being sidelined which airs tomorrow night on Smackdown.
Dave Finlay is still working behind the scenes as an agent, but there are no plans for him to return to TV any time soon. Vince thinks he's too old now and wants to push younger guys. The funny thing is, even at 52 he's one of the best workers on the roster, but being a good worker isn't a top priority in 2010. Finlay has been active in the business since 1974 and has worked for a major company since the mid 90s. Both his father and his grandfathers were professional wrestlers, and his sister was a referee. Filmmakers from Ireland recently completed a documentary called The Fit Finlays’ which is about the history of wrestling in Ireland. The film, funded by Broadcast Authority Ireland, follows the story of the Finlay family from touring Northern Ireland in the 1950s and 60s to headlining in front of millions of fans as part of WWE. Producer Ronan McCloskey shot footage with the Finlay family both in Ireland and in America and also with some of their old adversaries such as Mad Monk Rasputin (Johnny Howard), Kung Fu (Eddie Hamill) and El Bandito (Orig Williams)--who died late last year. They filmed at Williams' funeral which included a reunion of veteran British wrestling stars. One section of the film documents some amazing stories about life on the road – wrestling by day and partying all night. The release date is still TBA.
I was sent a copy of the latest WWE comic book. Its the June issue with Triple H on the cover, who apparently died in the last issue. Quite a few inside references. The current storyline is that terrorists have taken over Wrestlemania and are holding everyone hostage. Vince McMahon is forced by the heels to read a list of demands, which includes season tickets to the Lakers. I swear I'm not making this up. The Undertaker is portrayed as the locker room leader who deals with internal drama. In one fight scene, Big Show, who is portrayed as a goof, takes a chair shot to the head. And Randy Orton tries to hit-on Mickie James, but she is rescued by John Cena. So, not very PG, but quite realistic. You can find out more about WWE Comics at www.wwecomics.com.
In his latest Facebook blog, Bret Hart revealed he learned about his US title match next week from his son Blade. He said he didn't mind and life is good... Also, a correction from the last newsletter. It was actually Bret's oldest daughter Jade, not Alexandra, who just gave birth to Bret's granddaughter Kyra Beans Hart Doenz. Mother and baby are said to be doing great.
Triple H (Paul Levesque) and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque are listed as part of a lawsuit by a company called Music City Coach for an unpaid bill of $216,666.66 in a deal with Star City Coach for modifications to the family's coach bus. The bus was customized so the whole family can be on the road together.
The WWE website has an update on JJ Dillon at http://tinyurl.com/38pxu77. Dillon, 67, noted he now resides in Delaware where he works for the department of corrections as a corrections officer. Although the money was great at the time, he says he was miserable working for WCW in 1997. He buries Eric Bischoff: "I was the one person who could expose him for somebody who knew absolutely nothing about the wrestling business. Instead of tapping into me as a resource, he went around me." He said he predicted the demise of the company a long time before anyone else. "I knew what was going to happen, but nobody wanted to listen. They looked at me like I was crazy." Sounds familiar. He also talks about recently surviving a prostate cancer scare. "They caught it very early so all my options were open. I've had two blood tests and I'm cancer free," he said.
WWE issued a press release on beating the NBA and NBC amongst others for website traffic in March. WWE.com did 14.3 million unique visitors and 32.6 million video streams for the month.
Raw on Monday night did a 3.1 rating and 4.4 million viewers. NXT on Tuesday night did a 0.8 and 1 million viewers.
Maryse' Judo instructor on Raw was Northeast indy wrestler, Kekoa the Flyin' Hawaiian.
John Cena now has Twitter @WWEJCena. Most of the top guys are being encouraged to get on Twitter and promote the product.
Florida Championship Wrestling will hold a talent evaluation clinic from July 30-August 2... Dusty Rhodes, out of retirement, teams with sons Cody Rhodes and Goldust at the FCW show on July 9. More information at www.fcwwrestling.info.
David Otunga is going on house show duty soon to get some experience. That, and the fact he's on more money than anyone else in developmental due to his somewhat celebrity status.
ESPN's Page 2 interviewed Maria Menounos and briefly discussed her WWE ambitions at http://tinyurl.com/3all82f. "I want to be a WWE champion. I want to do UFC. I want to do roller derby. I want to be a ninja," she said. "I want to live life to the absolute fullest."
The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling has a story with quotes from Chris Jericho talking about his love for music. When asked about his WWE future, he said, "I think now is the time to stay for a couple of years to help those around me. I want to help the young talent."
Jericho is on the cover of the new issue of Revolver Magazine and hosts the Revolver Golden Gods awards on VH-1 Classic later this month.
The WWE stock took a hit yesterday, closing at $16.42, down nearly $1 or 5 percent, and was listed as the No. 5 worst stock on the NYSE, on a day when the market was up. Analysts blamed declining revenue. The financial report last week showed profit had increased, but most of that was due to cost cutting.
Linda McMahon's campaign through her spokesman Ed Patru fired back at Rob Simmons over the article earlier this week in the Manchester Journal Inquirer--the one where they brought up how much money the McMahon family has made in stock dividends: "Linda has created nearly 600 jobs in Connecticut and her company has been an enormous tax base for the state... Simmons' strength isn't in creating jobs. It's in handing out taxpayer-funded checks and federal pork to people and then patting himself on the back for a job well done. I think before he gives small business owners any more lectures, he should remember that it's job creators like Linda that have made it possible for Rob Simmons to be a career politician with government pensions."
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
Impact tonight back first-run on Thursday nights has Rob Van Dam vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy in a non-title match; Rob Terry vs. Abyss; Orlando Jordan vs. Tomko; Douglas Williams vs. Brian Kendrick; The Machine Guns vs. Team 3D vs. Beer Money vs. Ink, Inc. in a four-way; Matt Morgan & TBA vs. Generation Me; and Tara vs. Taylor Wilde.
TNA runs tonight in Springfield, IL and Friday in Hammond, IN with RVD vs. Styles vs. Hardy in a three-way; Jeff Jarrett vs. Mr. Anderson; The Beautiful People vs. Taylor Wilde & Sarita; Desmond Wolfe vs. Abyss; Beer Money vs. Ink, Inc; and Kazarian vs. Brian Kendrick.
Sunday is the Sacrifice pay-per-view back in Orlando with RVD vs. Styles for the heavyweight title; Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett; Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy; Matt Morgan & TBA vs. Ink Inc. for the tag titles; Kazarian vs. Douglas Williams for the X-Division title; Desmond Wolfe vs. Abyss in Chelsea vs. WWE Hall of Fame Ring; and Tara vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title. If Tara loses, she leaves the company. If she wins, the company has worked its own locker room.
Slam Wrestling has a story on Rob Van Dam at http://tinyurl.com/36orq3n. He says moving to Thursday nights was probably for the best. "Dixie never said, 'Hey, we're going to beat the hell out of them on Monday nights, we're going to take over and own it. She always said, 'We know we're going up against a much bigger company, we're doing this slowly, we're going to try to win battle-by-battle.' She always seemed to have everything in perspective. As long as it didn't put too big of a hole in them financially, I think it was a great move." He added that he loves working for Dixie because she's genuine. "She's not the wrestling expert, she's the one who owns it and would like to make her money back and she's got to trust certain people and listen to the advice of certain people and know who to listen to and that all seems very upfront and right there for everybody to understand." He said he's now Mr. Thursday Night.
Fan House has a Q&A with Abyss at http://tinyurl.com/334pzp2. He said locker room morale is great right now, even after the announcement about moving back to Thursday nights. "There's been a lot of changes since the beginning of the year. And moving to Monday nights I think was a learning process for the company. There was obviously high expectations. As we went along, I think we learned a lot with some focus groups and stuff. We learned that our fans really like us on Thursdays. They really didn't like the Monday night thing. They didn't like having to choose and the back and forth. So, that was something we learned that we maybe didn't know at the beginning of January when we kicked the whole thing off. There's a lot of excitement moving back to Thursday."
Not everyone agrees with the above though. Kurt Angle posted the following comments on his Facebook that have since been removed: "I was upset that TNA is going back to Thursday nights. I know in time we could have had the Monday Night Wars. I have mixed feelings about this. I can’t wait to come back. The Monday Night Wars were one sided, and rightfully so. But TNA deserves an applause for trying. Maybe it was too early, but TNA tried, and TNA will try again when the time is right. Remember WWE wasn't built over night and in time TNA will be right up there."
Angle has told the office that he is ready to return to television next week.
Hogan will be on TMZ's syndicated TV show tonight talking about drinking piss. Seriously.
Hogan's lawsuit against Wells Fargo over inadequate insurance coverage has been moved to US District Court in Tampa, FL, making it a federal case.
Dixie Carter is taping a Kayfabe Commentaries interview tomorrow at the Legends of the Ring convention in Monroe, NJ. Maria Kanellis will be at the event too so its likely their paths will cross. There are a ton of TNA talent and former WWE names coming in including Jeff Hardy, Shannon Moore, Jeff Jarrett, Stevie Richards, Amazing Red, The Beautiful People, SoCal Val, Christy Hemme, and many more. Full details at www.legendsofthering.com.
Betsy Ruth (Mary Kate Duignan) was signed this week. She is a graduate of Team 3D's Wrestling Academy who recently hospitalized Daffney during her tryout match. I know that sounds crazy, but that's what happened. Told she's a nice kid and tries hard.
There is interest in a few different women on the independents right now, although they aren't really hiring. Rayna Von Tosh of SHIMMER is a name that keeps coming up.
One worker has turned down coming in as they were put off by the fact the company hadn't fully covered medical bills of recently injured talents. The company has also been asking workers to provide doctors notes on their own dollar for medical clearance before coming in. These bills are taken care of in WWE.
Shelly Martinez, who sent in raunchy photos to try and get hired, wrote on Twitter that she received an email back saying they weren't interested. Martinez previously worked here as Salinas of LAX, which was an inside joke as Salinas is the surname of Dixie Carter's husband.
Awesome Kong was interviewed on Dave LaGreca's Sirius radio show. She talked about the pay discrepancies between male and female talent in TNA. "Wrestling does appear to be a man's sport and in true tradition, women are traditionally not paid as much as their male counterparts. It (pay) is out of whack. That's why instead of staying, I think everyone should come to a happy workplace and not to poison or be a bad egg, just leave the scene altogether and find something else." She said she's still a free agent and hopes to do more business with ROH in future. "I'm not officially with the company yet, this is like a one night stand type of deal. I have a lot of unfinished business before I can officially join ROH and that is something that I am open to. They take wrestling here very serious.....I would definitely be interested." On changes to the TNA product towards the end of her run: "The product definitely has changed, and since I am a wrestler, and this is pro wrestling for me, I took myself out of that particular product... of that equation, especially since it didn't make sense monetarily."
Homicide found himself in hot water over a radio interview he gave recently. Management confronted him last week, but he claimed he had been misquoted, so they are looking at getting a tape of what he said, which was him questioning who was running the company, because he said he didn't know.
The Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith, that aired Monday during Impact's old timeslot did a 0.44 rating.
Bubba the Love Sponge has a tryout soon for a daytime talk show on WGN Chicago. If anyone wants to sit in his audience, you can email for printable tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org. The show is being produced by Richard Dominick, formerly of The Jerry Springer Show.
Lilian Garcia wrote a Tweet responding to Mick Foley coming to her defense over jokes Triple H used to make about her appearance. "Mick Foley, this tweet's for you!! I really appreciate your kind words and the compassion you showed in your blog. Your care for my feelings proves what a loving, caring and wonderful human being you are. This is why I truly miss working with you. You are one of a kind!! Thank you, love you!!"
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Ring of Honor just announced the Bluegrass Brawl for Louisville, KY on 7/22 promoted by Jim Cornette at the Davis Arena, home base of OVW... The next internet PPV Death Before Dishonor in Toronto is headlined by Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards. More info at www.rohwrestling.com.
Former President Jimmy Carter's favorite wrester Mr. Wrestling II (Johnny Walker) is coming in from Hawaii for the NWA Legends fanfest in Charlotte. A trivia note--President Carter invited Wrestling II to his inauguration in 1977, but he declined upon learning that he would have to unmask.
Jushin Thunder Liger returns to the U.S. for Jersey All Pro Wrestling on 5/22 in Rahway, NJ. He is working TNA's Homicide, plus Charlie Haas, Steve Corino, The Necro Butcher, Dan Maff and many more TBA will be appearing. To reserve tickets email email@example.com or call 201-377-0308.
Former WWE creative team member Chris Gough is launching an indy group called Metro Pro Wrestling in Kansas City, MO on 6/5. More info at www.metroprowrestling.com.
The Peterborough Examiner has a story on Sean "Val Venis" Morley at http://tinyurl.com/327nwrz. He's going to be running some training camps in the area next month. When asked if wrestling was fake, he said its not fake enough, noting various injuries he's suffered over the years, including two elbow surgeries and a shoulder reconstruction. He said he's planning to open his own camp soon in Phoenix.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is taking PWI 500 submissions at http://tinyurl.com/2c25a7a.
Today's Babe of the Day is Dark Kitty at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.