WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
5/4 NXT TV results from North Charleston, SC: Michael Tarver over Daniel Bryan; and R-Truth over David Otunga.
5/5 Raw house show results from Monterrey, Mexico: Evan Bourne over Chavo Guerrero; Kofi Kingston over Zack Ryder; Mark Henry over Carlito; Eve Torres over Maryse with Santino as guest referee; Christian over Ted DiBiase; Dos Caras Jr. (under his mask) over William Regal which was said to be very good; Big Show-Miz segment with Show delivering the death punch; and John Cena & Randy Orton over Batista & Sheamus. The show drew nearly 14,000 people.
The rest of the tour has the Raw crew tonight in Aguascalientes, then Friday in Puebla, and Saturday in Mexico City. The Smackdown crew runs tonight in Mexico City, Friday in Queretaro, Saturday in Leon, and Sunday in Monterrey.
Superstars tonight on WGN includes Chris Masters vs. Chavo Guerrero; Beth Phoenix vs. Rosa Mendes; Shad Gaspard vs. JTG; and the reformation of former tag champions.
WWE announced today financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2010. Net income was $24.74 million or $0.33 per share from $10.32 million or $0.14 per share in the prior year quarter. Several analysts had predicted a $22 million profit for the quarter, so very close. Revenues totaled $138.72 million compared with $107.82 million in the prior year quarter. Revenues from North America and outside North America increased 28 percent and 33 percent, respectively, showing the strength of WWE's live event business. Television Rights Fees revenues were $29.4 million as compared to $24.9 million in the prior year quarter. Revenues from Consumer Products businesses were $30.7 million versus $33.1 million in the prior year quarter. The WWE stock closed this afternoon at $16.21 down $1.49 (-8.42%) on the NYSE. Today would have been a better day but the market was down as a whole due to heavy selling pressure amid fears that the Greek credit crisis is spreading globally.
Vince McMahon spoke to investors this morning to discuss first quarter earnings. He was in some serious denial over the effect that UFC had on Wrestlemania 26, which aired on pay-per-view the night before WWE's flagship event. "You're talking about two completely different audiences," he said. "The UFC audience is more of a boxing audience than an entertainment audience." WWE reported that Wrestlemania this year generated 885,000 pay-per-view buys, down from 960,000 buys last year. Vince blamed several factors, including creative and again blamed people gathering in groups at viewing parties in order to save money. When asked if the economy was an excuse he quoted what he once heard from Bobo Brazil, saying they didn't draw as well as they anticipated because they didn't have a big enough attraction. "As with anything in the content business, sometimes you're on and sometimes you're not," he said. "I'm not saying it's a failure, but it didn't measure up in terms of budget and it didn't measure up to last year. It was a good attraction, but it wasn't a great attraction." Regarding WWE Studios, he talked about closing the window between theatrical and direct-to-video release, claiming they would do this better than anyone ever before in the film industry. He said the idea was that they would benefit in terms of capitalizing on promotion with titles released closer together.
NFL great Lawrence Taylor, who headlined Wrestlemania 11 against the late Bam Bam Bigelow, was arrested today after an underage girl accused him of rape. Taylor, 51, was taken into custody by police early this morning. The alleged crime took place at a Holiday Inn in Montebello, New York. The girl who made the accusation is believed to be a prostitute, according to local news reports. An attorney for Taylor, Kenneth Gribetz, says he is confident Taylor's innocence will be proven. The police chief handling the case, Peter Brower, told reporters at a news conference that Taylor paid the girl $300 for sex. The girl claimed a pimp, named Rasheed Davis, was forcing her to have sex with strangers. Davis was also arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The girl told police that Davis delivered her to the hotel for Taylor to have sex with. When she refused, she claimed Davis left her alone with Taylor who allegedly forced intercourse.
2010 Hall of Famer Bob Uecker, 75, underwent successful heart surgery on 4/30. Uecker had his aortic valve, aortic root and part of his ascending aorta replaced as well as a coronary bypass. Expected recovery time is three months at which point Uecker says he will return to his broadcast position with the Milwaukee Brewers. He will cover home games only until his doctor give him clearance to travel.
Mick Foley on his MySpace blog noted he watched Raw (from 4/19 featuring the one-night return of Lilian Garcia) on DVR and voiced his displeasure over the comment where Triple H said Lilian had returned to "horse around" which was an inside joke. Foley wrote, "Why does someone like Triple H, one of the most talented, well paid guys in the business, do something so shallow and mean? Why would a multi-millionaire, with millions of fans around the world, feel the need (several times over the years) to say something that is only meant to hurt?" This all stems from Triple H, Vince McMahon, and WWE Producer Kevin Dunn often joking on the corporate jet that Lilian had a horse-shaped face, a joke which was later passed around the locker room.
The Great Khali may be planning to open a wrestling school in India. Seriously. The story is at http://tinyurl.com/38uc2g9 which says Khali wants to establish the school near his hometown so locals can learn "WWE wrestling techniques". Khali says if he remains in good health he would wrestle for another 6-7 years.
Beth Phoenix suffered an ankle injury during a match with Mendes that airs tonight on Superstars. She claimed on her Twitter page yesterday that she was fine but has since been pulled from Mexican tour.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy's injury crisis didn't last long, as he's on the tour.
Melina Perez wrote on Twitter that her physical therapy was going well and she expects to return in late June.
We didn't get this confirmed but Brett DiBiase (22-year-old brother of Ted) reportedly suffered a knee injury last Thursday at the FCW tapings. Bad break if legit as we had heard he was close to a call up.
Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer returned at Tuesday's TV taping in a dark match over Chasyn Rance and JT Talent.
There is some interest in Austin Creed, who was recently let go by TNA. He may be getting a look soon. Creed is heading to Japan this weekend to compete in the first Super J Tag Tournament for New Japan where he teams with Kota Ibushi against Gedo & KUSHIDA.
Edge vs. Randy Orton was just official for the Over the Limit pay-per-view.
NXT on Tuesday night did a 0.8 rating and 1 million viewers. SyFy are unhappy with numbers since the rebranding from ECW so imagine how Spike feels about Impact.
Shad Gaspard named his new born son Aryeh Estario Gaspard.
Mickie James did a radio interview yesterday saying she was baffled by her release. "I really don't know what happened. I was doing interviews for the draft that morning (on 4/22) and then a couple of hours later, I got the phone call," she said. "I guess they just wanted to make a roster change." When asked about her crazy fan who threatened to blow up Titan Towers she hoped nobody would ever do that because she has friends in the office, but noted she appreciates all her fans, even the crazy one's. "Anger never solves anything," she said.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
Bubba the Love Sponge and his people continued their rants against the company this week on Tampa radio. He read his dismissal letter from Dixie Carter over the air and called her a "fucking mark". He said he wouldn’t work here again for triple the money saying the company is a sinking ship.
Mike "Cowhead" Calta--the host of the radio show that got Bubba fired sent out a press release. "I was glad to have been able to provide Bubba with a forum to respond to accusations made by Awesome Kong since the incident where she physically attacked him at the TNA venue," Cowhead said in the release. "I am shocked by the hypocrisy displayed by Dixie Carter and TNA. They immediately publicly fired Bubba after his appearance on my show, but continued to let Awesome Kong work in TNA after a physical assault. TNA is resting its future on the reputation of Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately Hulk's 60-year-old shoulders can’t handle the burden of this sub-par product TNA continues to deliver." Ouch. For the record, Hulk is 56.
Los Ben Dejos (translates to bad words) with El Grando Wizard (Pat Kenney wearing a Wizard hat and shades) as their manager got a dark match tryout this week. Dejos are local workers and graduates of the Team 3D Academy. Told they are good workers as a team.
During a match taped on Tuesday for 5/13, Shannon Moore had an earring ripped from his ear and was bleeding profusely.
Several TNA people were surprised that Tara was used on television this week after her coming out publicly and burying the company in her MySpace blog. She was originally programmed with Angelina Love, who is currently out injured, so the assumption was that she wouldn't be used moving forward as her contract expires later this month. The way creative works here it wouldn't be a surprise if she wins the title at Sacrifice.
The company is now promoting house shows to media in local markets saying people who purchase $50 tickets for the first three rows will be invited backstage before the show to meet the wrestlers.
Regarding fan voting, it's now been fixed so you can only vote once. Wolfe is still leading the current poll with the majority vote.
Hogan has another new grill out on the market for $1,200. This new grill promises to double as a waffle maker, skillet, panini sandwich press, pizza oven and even bakes cookies. The deal includes a cook book called Hogan Knows Best, as in his former VH-1 reality show.
Hogan talks the hottest celeb feuds at http://tinyurl.com/2g2tkp2.
Christy Hemme is getting married this weekend in Hawaii.
Jack Friedman, who founded THQ in 1989, and co-founded Jakks Pacific in 1995, died this past week. He was 70. Fiedman's companies published video games for WWE dating back nearly 20 years and currently holds the TNA franchise for action figures.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
El Supremo aka Salvador Cuevas Ramirez who was a star in Mexico in the 1970s and 1980s suffered a heart attack and died yesterday in Tijuana at the age of 59. Supremo trained under the legendary Diablo Velasco and started out as Magnifico 1976. He was a headliner by 1985 and was scheduled to have a mask match against El Dorado on EMLL’s 52nd Anniversary Show but a huge earthquake hit Mexico City the day before the show and the show was cancelled with Dorado later losing his mask to El Fantasma. Supremo retired during the mid-90s and moved to Tijuana where he spent the rest of his days. (Thanks to Kris Zellner).
ABC teased a pro wrestler among the 25 contestants for the next season of The Bachelorette (starring Ali Fedotowsky) which premieres on 5/24 at 9pm ET. The cast will visit Iceland, Turkey, Portugal, Tahiti, Hollywood and Broadway during the season, and will appear in a Barenaked Ladies video and an InStyle magazine shoot, according to a press release. There is also one episode where bachelors do battle with Turkish olive oil wrestlers.
Ring of Honor VP Syd Eick appeared in court on 4/29 in Fallsington, PA following an altercation where he allegedly spit on former ROH owner Rob Feinstein. The altercation took place in a pizzeria on 3/23 where Feinstein was eating lunch with a friend. Feinstein said Eick walked in and challenged him to fight which caused the pizzeria manager to step between them. The court found Eick to be in the wrong and he was ordered to pay $500 in fines and costs.
Honky Tonk Man is the latest to pull off the UCW tour of Nova Scotia. Honky says promoter Chuck Martin was unprofessional after his arrival and the transport provided between towns was not road worthy.
Memphis promoter Cory Maclin won the Shelby County Clerk Democratic Primary election this week with 48 percent of the votes.
Crowbar Press has several upcoming wrestling titles in the works including books by Stan Hansen, Bill DeMott, and Tony Atlas.
James Guttman interviewed the former Baby Doll (Nickla Roberts) about her marriage to Sam Houston, working with Dusty Rhodes, leaving wrestling and more. She also talked about working with Dark Journey (Linda Newton) saying the last she heard Journey was living in San Franciso, had major drug problems and feared she may be dead. Full interview at www.clubwwi.com.
Ole Anderson is interviewed at http://tinyurl.com/38cgra4.
I Believe in Wrestling runs this Saturday in Orlando at the Rec Center (next to Amway Arena) with Sean "Syxx Pac" Waltman, Scott Hall, Rich Young (formerly WWE's Ricky Ortiz), Chasyn Rance, Larry Zbyszko, Santana G, Becky Bayless, and many more. For information, call 407 334-2200 or visit www.ibelieveinwrestling.com.
The PGWA is fundraising to benefit Candi Divine to help with funeral costs following the death of her long time partner, journeyman wrestler Tom Burton. Donations can be sent to: Candi Divine, PO Box 140501, Nashville, TN 37214.
Dangerous Women of Wrestling and Celebrity Wrestling (formerly Celebrity Boxing) run Friday night in North Bellmawr, NJ with Michelle McGhee (whom slept with Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James vs. adult film star Gina Lynn; plus Sumie Sakai, Roxie Cotton, Annie Social, Mia Yim, and more. The event will be streamed live on pay-per-view at www.gofightlive.tv.
Today's Diva of the Day is Torrie Wilson at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.