Saturday, February 05, 2011

(WGN) Feb 4, 2011: Lawler vs. Cole? Tough Enough update, Superbowl, Dixie Carter talks WWE rumors, TNA Hall of Fame, Nash, ROH, Jesse Ventura, career change for former WWE star, more...

---Mike Aldren with WGN.


2/1 NXT results from Long Island, NY: Johnny Curtis won an arm wrestling challenge; Chris Masters over Byron Saxton; Brodius Clay over Ted DiBiase; Derrick Bateman won a talk the talk challenge; and Daniel Bryan & Derrick Bateman over R-Truth & Johnny Curtis.

2/3 Superstars TV results: David Hart Smith & Yoshi Tatsu over Primo & Zack Ryder; Melina over Tamina; and Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks over JTG & Trent Barreta.

2/4 Smackdown TV results from Long Island: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater over Santino & Kozlov in a non-title match; Drew McIntyre over Kofi Kingston to qualify for EC; Rey Mysterio over Jack Swagger to qualify for EC; Kane over Chavo Guerrero to qualify for EC; Wade Barrett over Big Show to qualify for EC; and Edge & Kelly Kelly over Dolph Ziggler & LayCool for Edge to retain the World title. Vickie Guerrero then fired Kelly, and Ziggler hit his finisher on Edge to end the show.

A full house show schedule this Superbowl weekend starting tonight with the Raw crew in Minneapolis (Target Center), followed by shows Saturday in Rochester, MN (Mayo Civic Center), and Sunday in Philly (Wells Fargo Center) which is a dual-brand Supershow. The Smackdown crew also runs Saturday night in Toronto (Ricoh Coliseum). Television is live Monday from Milwaukee and Smackdown/NXT is taped Tuesday in Green Bay where ringside tickets have been reserved for Packers players and officials.

THQ's WWE online game, designed for the Asian market, has been cancelled. The games publisher said this week that it had "re-evaluated its strategy of adapting certain Western content for free-to-play online games in Asian markets." The news follows an earnings call where THQ announced that sales of  Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 were down from last year in the third quarter. The game shipped 2.7 million units during the 2010 holiday season, down from 3.5 million units for the same period in 2009. THQ President Brian Farrell said he expects that the new WWE All-Stars game, along with other high profile releases, will help to boost THQ's fourth quarter revenue.

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole is under consideration for Wrestlemania 27. The rest of the card, which is being kept under wraps, barring any major injuries, was signed off on by Vince McMahon this past week.

Tough Enough is slated to start shooting at a secret house in Simi Valley, CA in a couple of weeks. In addition to Steve Austin as host, Booker T was also signed as a trainer. Each week a different wrestler will visit the house to introduce a challenge. The show premieres on 4/4 at 11pm following Raw, and will then move to a regular timeslot of 8pm each Monday night thereafter.

Beth Phoenix at says she's looking forward to working with Awesome Kong. "There's been a lot of chatter around about her being signed by WWE. I think a lot of people, their first inclination is to think that it would be quite a clash to see us in the ring together. If we get that opportunity, it will be amazing. I look forward to it. She and I have never wrestled each other, not even on the independent scene or anything. I think it will be quite the spectacle to have Awesome Kong and Beth Phoenix in the same ring at the same time. Hopefully we'll get to see that in the near future."

A quick update on the Martha Hart lawsuit. Lawyers for WWE and Hart appeared in court in Connecticut on 1/28 to present arguments on previous motions for dismissal of the suit. Judge Stefan R. Underhill will issue his decision at a later date.

Former WWE writer Dave Lagana blogged at about the company's attempts to sign Sting several years ago to work with Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 18. Good read.

Another former creative writer Court Bauer wrote about WWE's interest in Mistico and his attempts to get the company to sign him in 2006. "Mistico inking with WWE continues the trend of shaking things up--that's a good thing. But and it's a big but it's going to be a tough road for the silver masked sensation. In late 2006, I pushed for WWE to pursue bringing Mistico's talents to Stamford. Vince McMahon had mandated more Latin talent on the show (and rightfully so) and at the time who fit the bill better than the KING of the Arena Mexico BO - Mistico? We brought him to our shows and there was a buzz amongst the boys. They knew this guy was legit as did many of us behind the scenes. Unfortunately, there were key people who found ways to ice a deal: "He doesn't speak English! How's he gonna draw?"... "Dang (yes really) he's so SMALL!"... "He's got to work on those punches," ... "He can't sell because of that MASK!" and on and on. Here's thing about "change" and WWE--if you want to change things, it starts at the core of the operations, not the secondary, etc. for those very same people who 86'd Mistico in '06 are still there and are still big time players today and their vision remains the same. Will they back Mistico all the way? Will they champion him to WrestleMania 30? Time will tell but one thing is for sure: Given their underperformance, PPV buys, thin roster, etc WWE can't afford to NOT to change."

Wisconsin's Post Crescent interviewed Wade Barrett at Speaking on comparing the indy's to WWE: "I think when you’re wrestling in the independent circuit, there’s a lot less spotlight on you. There’s a lot less critique. There’s a lot less riding on what you’re doing. If you’re wrestling on the independent scene and you don’t have a great match, there’s not really anyone criticizing you. There’s not too much pressure, but when you deal with the WWE, it’s a huge thing cause it’s a global show. The world’s watching as they say. … The stock price of WWE will be affected by the amount of views we get and things like that so it’s a lot more important to make sure we perform well with WWE than it ever was for me on the independent scene."

A new five-year deal with J Sports in Japan was just announced to broadcast first-run episodes of Raw, Smackdown, Superstars, and NXT in the country.

Superstars last night on WGN America did a 0.7 rating and 839,000 viewers.

The former Armando Estrada was backstage at TV this week and had a meeting to discuss a potential return to the company.


2/3 Impact TV results from Orlando, FL: Ink Inc over Gunner and Murphy; Mickie James over Sarita; Bully Ray over Pope; Jay Lethal over Jeremy Buck & Douglas Williams in a three-way for a spot on the 2/13 PPV; and Mr. Anderson over Jeff Hardy to retain the TNA title.

TNA on the road this weekend runs tonight in Hattiesburg, MS (Lake Terrace Convention Center) and Saturday in Pensacola, FL (Civic Center). They also ran last night in New Orleans. Kurt Angle is a late addition to the tour as a make up for missing dates in Europe last week due to his family emergency.


Impact last night drew it's second highest rating ever on Spike with 1.95 million viewers.

Dixie Carter at answered several fan questions. She said she would love to tape Impact or a PPV in the UK but would require the company's TV partner over there to help facilitate that. When asked about her biggest mistake, she noted going live on Monday nights against Raw. "Even the ratings of the Thursday replay (which did not force viewers to watch on Monday), were as high or higher than the debut telecast." On Sting potentially signing with WWE: "I have read these reports. I would really hate to see that happen." She also teased a tour of Australia in the near future, as well as a TNA Hall of Fame. 


Sad to report that Oliver Humperdink was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney and is currently hospitalized while doctors determine the best course of treatment.

Kevin Nash appears this weekend on iPPV for upstart promotion Dreamwave in LaSalle, IL. Nash will be honoring most of his dates he took on before signing back with WWE. Davey Richards vs. Jason Hades headlines. More info at

Ring of Honor announced it's 9th Anniversary show as an iPPV from Chicago, IL on 2/26 headlined by Roderick Strong vs. Homicide for the title. Roderick Strong & The Kings of Wrestling vs. Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin & Davey Richards was also announced for the 2/25 show in Dayton, OH. More info at

WrestleReunion announced Bruno Sammartino coming to Atlanta for WrestleMania weekend for an autograph signing at the Downtown Marriott on 4/3. This may be Bruno's final wrestling convention outside of Pittsburgh because he doesn't like to travel. More info at

Jesse Ventura is releasing a fourth book in April on government secrets. Jentura said through a press release: "I’ve put together this book in the same spirit as the WikiLeaks’ disclosures – to reveal the truth... It’s become crystal clear that our democracy has been undermined from within and it’s been going on for a long time." The book, 63 Documents The Government Doesn't Want You To Read, is actual government data; written examples of criminal activity that Ventura hopes will inspire or infuriate readers to "wake up and start demanding accountability."

Former ECW General Manager Steve Karel is launching the Urban Wrestling Federation, which blends pro wrestling with hip hop. More info at

TruTV recently shot footage for a reality show called All Worked Up with Ronnie Lang, the former ECW head of security and owner of Atlas Security. 

TMZ at spoke to Joanie "Chyna" Laurer about her new goal of teaching English to kids in Japan.

Today's Babe of the Day is So-Cal Val at