Tuesday, February 01, 2011

(WGN) Feb 1, 2011: Booker T update, Nash talks signing with WWE, Raw rating, Flair badly injured, TNA taping notes, former WWE star engaged, Bruno Sammartino dicusses his journey into wrestling, much more..

----Mike Aldren with WGN.



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1/31 Raw TV results from Providence, RI: Santino & Kozlov over Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty to retain the tag titles; Daniel Bryan over Tyson Kidd via submission; Edge over The Miz in a non-title match, LayCool over Eve Torres & Natalya; and Jerry Lawler won a mini Rumble for a title shot at Elimination Chamber. Dark match was William Regal over Johnny Curtis. For Superstars they taped Zack Ryder & Primo vs. Yoshi Tatsu & DH Smith, and Melina vs. Tamina.
The Smackdown/NXT taping tonight in Long Island (Nassau Coliseum) has Edge & Kelly Kelly vs. Dolph Ziggler & LayCool with the stipulation that if Edge and Kelly lose, then Ziggler becomes World champion.
Announced last night for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on 2/20 from Oakland: A Raw Elimination Chamber match for a Wrestlemania title shot with John Cena, Randy Orton, John Morrison, Sheamus, R-Truth and C.M. Punk, plus The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler for the WWE title.
Regarding the 2/21/11 vignette that aired last night, speculation is rife that Sting is coming in. If that's the case then only a few people know. And people who would know tell us they're not under that impression. The 2/21 date is a live Raw from Fresno, CA following the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Marketing material provided by WWE to the Save Mart Center and California State University hints at the return of The Undertaker at that show.
Booker T is expected to join the Smackdown announce team at today's taping for the start of a trial run that will likely become a full-time gig... Medallion Press just announced a deal with Booker to release his autobiography in September 2012. From Prison to Promise will chronicle Booker's struggles with family and crime in urban Houston before becoming one of the world’s most recognized wrestlers. The book will be co-written by Andrew William Wright, a New Jersey based writer, who also produced the Hardy Show video series with Matt and Jeff Hardy.
Kevin Nash on ESPN Radio Milwaukee last night said he expects to sign a legends merchandise deal following talks with WWE management on Wednesday. He said nothing has been discussed creatively but he's open for a run at Wrestlemania if that's what the company wants. He was complimentary when asked about his time with TNA saying that underlying financial issues hurt his relationship with Dixie Carter towards the end but wishes everyone in that company the best. "I had four good years with those guys," he said. "I have nothing but respect for them. I wish them all the success in the world."
Alberto Del Rio was interviewed today on Hot 97 Radio in New York. He talked about growing up within the business and becoming a third generation star in Mexico. He noted he's the first full-bloodied Mexican to win the Royal Rumble. He also said he'd love to work a program with Undertaker. Comes across as a very quiet guy out of the ring. You can watch the interview at http://tinyurl.com/64qcxtr.
Raw last night did a 3.5 rating and 5.3 million viewers--it's highest mark since last August.
Smackdown on 1/28 did a 2.0 rating and 3 million viewers.
Cody Rhodes in selling his facial injury angle is passing through airports and hotels wearing a band aid on his nose. 
A lot of talent were battling a sickness bug going around over the weekend. 

While we were told there were no serious injuries in Europe, according to one of his best friends, Ric Flair tore his rotator cuff during his match with Doug Williams in London on 1/29. He didn't realize it was torn until he went to a doctor on Monday, so it's likely nobody knew the extent of it until now. It's believed the injury occurred during his trademark spot where he's tossed from the top rope. He's not expected to miss much television time but won't be wrestling again for several months. He didn't come in for the television tapings this week.
Christopher Daniels worked as Suicide last night at the TV tapings but is still under contract to ROH. The deal is ROH allowing him to take TNA dates but only if he works under a mask, meaning the revival of the Suicide and Curry Man characters.
Hernandez also started back at the tapings.
Newcomer Divina Fly has been renamed Rosita, and will be introduced soon as the cousin of Sarita.
Indy worker Josh Daniels had a tryout last night working Robbie E in a dark match.
For UK readers, re-runs of 'missed' Impact episodes air from Thursday on Challenge TV. First-run episodes of Impact will air from next Tuesday at 8pm.

Scott Hall appeared in Seminole county court yesterday for a violation of probation hearing relating to his arrest for public intoxication and resisting an officer in May 2010. The case was continued until 3/7 as the judge is allowing Hall to travel out of State for treatment in a residential psychiatric facility. He was ordered to keep in regular contact with his attorney and probation officer.
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that MVP will debut for the promotion on 2/20. TMZ at http://tinyurl.com/46bsmr6 reported that he had trouble obtaining a visa to work in Japan due to his past.
Wrestle Reunion this past weekend in Las Vegas at the LAX Hilton drew more than 1,000 fans from around the country. The highlight of the convention was said to be the PWG show on Saturday night, which ran nearly five-hours, and included the retirement match of Jake Roberts as well as a show-stealing confrontation between Roddy Piper and Terry Funk, who were the final two participants in a legends battle royal. A funny note from backstage, and bare in mind this was a smart crowd, was Low-Ki refusing to job for Davey Richards citing that he needed to look strong following on from his recent WWE run. On Friday night Edge showed up to hang out with friends for a couple of hours before he caught a flight to Boston for the Royal Rumble. He had been in town shooting retakes for his upcoming movie. Paul Orndorff and Billy Graham, who are both dealing with serious health issues, made the trip and had a great time talking to young wrestlers and meeting fans. Orndoff said he is due to start chemotherapy on Thursday... The next Wrestle Reunion event will be on the morning of 4/2 in Atlanta, which is Wrestlemania day. There is also talk that next years event will take place in Los Angeles.
Bruno Sammartino spoke to a group of Pittsburgh Shriners at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Moon Township on 1/29. Reader Max writes: Bruno spoke about his early days as a sickly youth in Italy and how his fellow village members would have to live atop a mountain outside of his village. When they needed food, his mother would sneak down to their home, which was occupied by Nazis, on a 24-hour trip to do this. It was dangerous, and one time, she was shot in the shoulder as she was making her way back up the mountain. But she survived. Bruno's father, who was working in America at the time, sent for his family in 1947, but Bruno was so sickly that he could not pass the physical to allow the family to go until 1950 (age 15). When they came over, he was 83 pounds at that age, but he and his brother, who worked cutting grass, were able to join the YMHA in Pittsburgh, where he got into weight lifting. In three years, he had gone from 83 pounds to 275, mostly because his appetite had come back from where it was when he had been ill, and the weight lifting. Bruno had a chance to play football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but found that they would make about $6,000 for the season, so he remained an apprentice carpenter, building the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel. Eventually, he was "discovered" by Rudy Miller, of Washington, D.C. and his wrestling career began. Bruno did not go much into that career, but did tell us that when he was in New York, he had become a legend for his strength, and he was asked, on a radio show, if he could slam Haystacks Calhoun, who had been weighed, at that time, at 640 pounds on scales used at that facility to weigh farm animals. Bruno told us that Haystacks was so large, that he could not put his arms around him to lift him, and he could not grab him by the crotch area to leverage him up because of Calhoun's sheer size. Finally, Haystacks had Bruno in a side headlock, and he was able to grab onto the leg and hoist him up. Bruno knew he could do that, because at that time, he was squatting over 700 pounds. With Haystacks on his shoulders, Bruno showed off a bit and walked around the ring with him. When he finally slammed him, the ring broke! Bruno also told us that neither he nor Buddy Rodgers liked each other, and when they wrestled for the title, Bruno charged him, put him up on his shoulders, and told Buddy that if he didn't submit, he'd break his back. Buddy Rodgers submitted in 47 seconds, and a new championship reign was started. Overall, he was very well received, the room of about 385 Shriners was quiet as could be, and Bruno received several standing ovations. For 75 years old, he looks great, sounds like he always did, and was very, very generous with his time, taking pictures with some of the attendees, and signing a lot of autographs.
Former WWE wrestler Giovanni "Romeo" Roselli proposed to his girlfriend Stacey on Sunday night on the red carpet at the Screen Actor Guild awards in Los Angeles. The proposal was covered the following night on CBS' The Insider. Wrestling on a limited basis, Roselli is working as an actor in New York City, in addition to instructing group exercise classes throughout the New York City area. Photo at http://twitter.com/giovanniroselli.
Dwayne Johnson discusses his next movie Fast Five at http://tinyurl.com/6g3tlbq. He bulked up for the role and says he's slightly heavier now than when he was while wrestling.
Ron Simmons and Gypsy Joe were added to the upcoming NWA Legends fanfest in Atlanta. More info at www.nwalegends.com.
Today's Babe of the Day is Winter at http://thewrestlingpress.com/?page_id=298.