----Mike Aldren with WGN.
WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
2/7 Raw TV results from Milwaukee, WI: R-Truth over Mason Ryan; Eve Torres, Gail Kim & Tamina over Melina & The Bella Twins; John Morrison over Michael McGuillicutty; Jerry Lawler & Daniel Bryan over The Miz & Ted DiBiase; Alberto Del Rio over Santino Marella; and CM Punk over John Cena. The show drew 5,600 people.
2/8 NXT TV results from Green Bay, WI: Byron Saxton won a Rock Em Sock Em challenge; Daniel Bryan over Saxton; Brodus Clay won a WWE Shop challenge; Brodus Clay over Johnny Curtis; and Saxton was eliminated.
Superstars tonight on WGN America includes Tyler Reks vs. Curt Hawkins and Jack Swagger vs. Trent Barreta.
Jim Varsallone, pro wrestling editor for the Miami Herald, broke the news yesterday that Wrestlemania 28 will take place on 4/1/2012 at the outdoor Sun Life Stadium in Miami, home of the Dolphins, Marlins and Hurricane. The Stadium, since it's 1987 construction, has hosted five Super Bowls and two World Series, and would accommodate around 70,000 fans for Wrestlemania. A press conference took place last night at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach where WWE and Miami city officials and representatives made the official announcement. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino, and Dolphins partner and Grammy Award Winner Emilio Estefan, joined WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE’s Senior Vice President of Special Events John Saboor in making the announcement. John Cena, Big Show, The Miz, Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio, and Eve Torres also attended.
WWE filed a lawsuit against Interactive SPA, a firm based in Italy over TV licensing and website rights fees they claim they are owed. The suit filed in Connecticut on 2/3 alleges breach of contract. WWE is claiming $500,000 in TV rights fees and $129,000 for website rights, plus interest.
Raw on Monday night did a 3.3 rating and 4.9 million viewers... Some notes from the show: Punk suffered a fractured nose during his opening segment with Orton from an accidental head butt. He went on to work the main event as well as a post-show dark match... R-Truth apologized via Twitter to fans in Milwaukee for saying, “Green Bay, Wisconsin, What’s up?" during the show. Michael Cole going nuts and ripping him on commentary was said to be pretty much instigated from backstage. Bad week for Truth.
Before the Smackdown taping Tuesday night in Green Bay there was a backstage meet and great for Packer players and their families. Among those reported at the show were Donald Driver, Graham Harrell, Donald Lee, Brandon Jackson, Scott Wells, Chris Campbell, Tom Crabtree, Curtis Young and Clay Matthews --each were presented with a replica WWE title belt. No Aaron Rodgers.
The official poster (http://tinypic.com/r/2zhgvop/7) just released for Wrestlemania 26 features John Cena--front and center--flanked by Undertaker, Miz, Mysterio, and Orton. Very generic in keeping with previous years. Now, THIS is a poster: http://tinypic.com/r/dr3444/7.
Undertaker vs. Wade Barrett has apparently been dropped as the proposed co-main event at Wrestlemania. There is a new direction in the works for Taker which ties into the recent vignettes hyping his return on 2/21.
Paul Bearer was a guest this past week on Arda Ocal's radio show on The Score. He talked about his recent run saying that he had fun but realized he would only be coming back for a few shots. When asked about the Hall of Fame, he said he feels like he's earned his spot, but is in no hurry and would prefer to be inducted into the same class as Undertaker.
Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, 67, underwent successful surgery yesterday in Fayetteville, GA. The operation was to fuse his ankle that had been causing him discomfort for some time. Initially scheduled for four hours, the operation actually took nine hours to complete due to the severity of damage surgeons discovered. Sheik will also be undergoing knee surgery at some point in the near future.
Lisa "Ivory" Moretti took part in Kayfabe Commentaries' Timeline: History of WWE 2001 DVD discussing changes in WWE's treatment of female wrestlers, among other topics. Video preview at http://tinyurl.com/4wapjug.
Chris Jericho on Monday Night Mayhem radio clarified his future this week saying that he has no immediate plans to return to WWE. He noted promoting his upcoming book and touring with Fozzy this summer, but said rumors of his return to wrestling are exaggerated. "It's not like I'm 90 percent ready to return to the WWE, or that it's 90 percent done. There's a contract that's on the table and that has been on the table since September," Jericho said. "It's not done because it's not signed, but because there's other things going on. I could be returning tomorrow, I could be returning two or three years from now. I don't know. People are asking when I'm coming back, and like anything else, if I was coming back and if I was the 2.21.11 guy, I wouldn't tell anybody." Full interview at www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
Alex Marvez interviewed Jericho about his new autobiography, Chris Benoit and more at http://tinyurl.com/676wvf7. Jericho gives a stiff analogy on Benoit: "He was one of the best of all time, but I don't know how you can ever watch a Chris Benoit match and get into it knowing what this man did. I now watch my matches with him with a cold heart. I hate to say it, but it's almost like listening to a Charles Manson album. The guy was a talented writer and singer, but is that really what you want to listen to?"
Shaul Guerrero in FCW, the daughter of Vickie and Eddy, has been renamed Raquel Diaz, you know, just incase she leaves WWE and becomes a huge star in another industry. She is doing the same "Excuse Me" gimmick as her mother. One of the reasons Lauren Mayhew left WWE in 2009 was her refusal to sign over the rights to her name. Singer/Actress Mayhew was originally brought in with a view to become the long term replacement of Lilian Garcia. She also had a Hollywood agent at the time, who had no idea of how the wrestling business works, who took one look at the standard WWE booking contract and told her anyone signing that deal would be insane.
EMLL is holding a press conference today on Mistico's future with the promotion. This may be the announcement of a farewell tour as he's believed to be WWE bound.
WWE posts it's fourth quarter finances later today along with an investors conference call hosted by Vince McMahon.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
Impact tonight on Spike includes Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan for the TNA title, plus a contract signing between Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle for Sunday's PPV;
While numbers have not yet been released publicly, Dixie Carter described ratings this week for the inaugural episode of Impact on Challenge TV in the UK as "great" adding that, "TNA is back full force, and so are our UK viewers".
Sting was removed from the roster page of the TNA website. I wouldn't read too much into that but this would indicate that the company is less confident than hopeful that Sting is coming back. Sting hasn't given any kind of indication what his agenda is regarding wrestling and as of last week there had been no formal contact made between him and WWE officials.
Hulk Hogan has a cameo in the new CGI movie Gnomeo and Juliet in 3D from Touchstone Pictures. He voices a character called Terrafirmenator. The film opens in theaters this weekend.
Mick Foley canceled his scheduled appearance yesterday morning on FOX News' Red Eye.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Pierre Carl Ouellette announced his retirement from active wrestling over the weekend in Montreal. Ouellette, 43, broke into wrestling in 1987 under Gino Brito, and will be best remembered for his mid-90s run in WWE as one half of the Quebecers tag team, winning the tag title three times with partner Jacques Rougeau Jr. He famously wore an eye patch to the ring due to losing the sight in one eye when a friend accidentally shot him with a pellet gun at the age of twelve. He also had stints over the years in ECW, WCW and TNA. His last match was in June, 2010 at a Montreal indy show against Desmond Wolfe.
The Los Angeles Times ranked Gorgeous George #4 on it's list of Southern California's coolest athletes, behind NFL Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, Lakers legend Magic Johnson, and Olympian Johnny Weissmuller. The Times writes: "It gets old watching Chad Ocho-whatever-his-name-is-today showboat around as though he's God's gift — but there's nothing like the original! Gorgeous George was the original, a professional wrestler who emerged in the late 1940s with an act later ripped off by Muhammad Ali, James Brown and Hulk Hogan. Wagner's magnetism drew crowds outside appliance stores to catch his early KTLA television performances from the Olympic Auditorium. Entertainment Weekly named his 1947 TV debut one of the top 100 televised moments of the 20th century. Wagner dyed his hair platinum blond and entered the ring only after one of his valets disinfected it with Chanel "No. 10." He would say, "Why be half-safe?" Bob Dylan recalls Gorgeous George visiting his town of Hibbing, Minn., in the 1950s. "He roared in like the storm," Dylan once wrote. "He seemed like 40 men." The young singer then reinvented himself, changing his name from Zimmerman to Dylan, and years later released the seminal album … "Blonde on Blonde."
Police in Detroit shut down a Juggalo Championship Wrestling show last night in Southgate, MI. The show opened with promoter Violent J doing a promo with an huge axe and I guess someone called the cops. The show, which was advertised as supplying "free beer", was shut down within a few minutes of the first match. Refunds were issues at the building.
Florida's WPTV spoke to Christopher Nowinski about research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the dangers of concussions. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/4oh2wm3.
Bill Behrens at email@example.com is now booking Brother Devon out of Orlando and Joey Ryan out of Los Angeles.
Today's Babe of the Day is Karen Jarrett at http://thewrestlingpress.com/?page_id=298.