Saturday, February 19, 2011

(WGN) Feb 18, 2011: WWE PPV, The Rock, Tough Enough update, former Divas pregnant, Jericho talks HBK, injury note, Impact rating, Lockdown, Knockouts return, Flair surgery, more...

----Mike Aldren with WGN.

2/14 Raw TV results from Anaheim, CA: CM Punk over John Cena; Eve Torres over Natalya to retain the Divas Championship; The Miz over Daniel Bryan; John Morrison & R-Truth over Michael McGuillicutty & David Otunga; Randy Orton over Sheamus.
2/15 NXT results from San Diego, CA: Brodus Clay won a Pinata challenge; Brodus Clay over R-Truth; Brodus Clay won a trivia challenge; and Daniel Bryan over Derrick Bateman.
2/17 Superstars TV results: Chris Masters over Tyler Reks; The Usos over Yoshi Tatsu & David Hart Smith; and Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella over Zack Ryder & Primo.
Smackdown TV tonight is the 600th episode with the main event of John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth & John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, CM Punk, Kane, Dolph Ziggler & Sheamus; plus The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston in a non-title match; Santino & Kozlov vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater; Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix vs. Layla & Maryse; and the coronation of Dolph Ziggler as new World Champion.
No house shows this weekend. Sunday is the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view from Oakland which is headlined by The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler for the WWE title. Expect anything and everything. Raw is live Monday in Fresno and the Smackdown/NXT taping is Tuesday in Sacramento.
Raw on Monday night did a 3.2 rating and 4.8 million viewers, lower than the year-to-date average, which doesn't say much for the curiosity factor in regards to the surprise reveal of the Wrestlemania guest host. Very few people until late in the afternoon of the show, including many members on the creative team, knew that Vince McMahon had negotiated with The Rock to return. The 20-minute overrun did a 3.8 rating, and the last five minutes of the show peaked at 3.95 which overall added more than one million viewers, likely due to word quickly spreading that Rock was back on Raw. The story Rock told during his promo that Vince wanted Justin Beiber to host Wrestlemania was 100 percent accurate. Two week's ago we had confirmed as such with someone from Beiber's management company. What's funny is that WWE Producer Kevin Dunn, one of the few people who really knew Rock was coming back, was working his own production staff, telling them that the Wrestlemania guest host was Beiber. Monday's Raw run sheet was even titled, "Leave It to Beiber!" to throw people off the scent.
Triple H is expected to return or at least an announcement of his return is expected within the next week. Shawn Michaels will also be making some TV appearances during the coming week's to promote Wrestlemania.
Production got underway on Tough Enough this past week in Simi Valley. Miss USA Rima Fakih is among the contestants which is more of a PR deal than her being a serious competitor. Fakih in recent media interviews has claimed that she's a huge wrestling fan from childhood--which is questionable (her family is Muslim and immigrated from Lebanon to New York City when she was nine years old), and I cannot imagine for a second that she's going to bump. Not much else about the other contestants is known at this point. We know of many indy wrestlers around the country that didn't make the cut. The big unveil is supposed to be at Wrestlemania. We didn't confirm this with anyone official but we did get a report telling us that the contestants were at the Smackdown taping on Tuesday wearing Tough Enough t-shirts but were kept well away from the rest of the crew.
Michelle McCool suffered a foot injury (broken toe and strained ligaments) and was walking on crutches at the TV taping in San Diego. She will be kept out of the ring for a few week's but won't be missing any television time.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match was added to Sunday's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
Thomas Veit is WWE's latest executive hire and was announced this week as the new Senior Vice President of Live Events. Veit previously worked for the Tampa Bay and Philadelphia Major League Soccer teams. He will report directly to Stephanie McMahon.
Chris Jericho in a new interview at hails Shawn Michaels as the greatest in-ring performer of all time. "Shawn is the epitome of what the Hall of Fame is because to me he is the best performer of all time. He is not even close to anybody else. You can debate it with me until the cows come home — you can say all you want. You can give me all the facts and figures, it's not going to change my mind. I'm so excited that he is in the Hall of Fame, but it's essential that he be in there. If he wasn't it would be a waste of time." You can listen to the full interview at
Jericho's new book currently ranks #25 on the New York Times' best sellers list based on presales.
The Miami Herald has a story on Alicia Fox as part of it's week-long Wrestlemania special at She credits Gail Kim for helping her improve her game and says she models her look on Madonna.  
The French edition of WWE Magazine is about to cease publication after just 43 issues.

TNA ran last night at the Convention Center in Beckley, WV with Kurt Angle & Beer Money vs. Jeff Jarrett & Ink, Inc; Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Hardy; Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky; Matt Morgan vs. The Pope plus Mick Foley, Kazarian, Chris Sabin, and more. The same crew runs tonight in Huntington at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena and also on Saturday night in Gassaway at the County Armory.
Jeff Hardy was granted another continuance Wednesday in his drug possession and trafficking case. The reason this time for the continuance was Hardy's attorney calling in sick, according to the Fayetteville Observer. There was also another version, reported by Jason Powell, who was in contact with someone at court that day, who told him the attorney wasn't sick but busy working on another case, believed to be a murder trial. Moore County Assistant District Attorney Peter Strickland told the Observer that Hardy's attorney was still in the process of negotiating a plea deal with his office. The next hearing takes place on 3/21.
Traci Brooks and ODB both returned at the Impact tapings this past week. Traci had been trying to get back in virtually since the company released her a little under a year ago. ODB had been in recent talks and it was a said to be a mutual decision that she return.
Impact last night did a 1.1 rating and averaged 1.5 million viewers. The highest rated quarter hour included the segment with The Pope and Samoa Joe.
Tickets for Lockdown on 4/17 at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati officially went on sale today. There is also a fan interaction event on 4/16 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center as well as a VIP package that includes a boat cruise and evening meal with the wrestlers on the Ohio river. More info at
Against All Odds aired in the UK Wednesday night on Challenge TV. The Knockouts title match was completely cut due to a technical fault. The channel has said they plan to repeat the entire pay-per-view late Saturday night at 1am.
Ric Flair has said he's going to avoid shoulder surgery for a long as possible while he's involved in a major angle and is still a focal point of the show. His doctor has advised that he will need an operation at some point.

Paul Bearer on Saturday will serve as one of the Grand Marshall's at the Mobile, AL Mardi Gras parade.
Former Diva Candice Michelle just announced she is pregnant again.  
Another former Diva Jillian Hall also teased that she is pregnant. She noted on Twitter that she won't be doing any wrestling for the next seven months and when wishing Candice Michelle well, she wrote, "There must be something in the water!"  
Kevin Thorn and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world this past week.
Today's Babe of the Day is ODB at