Wrestling Globe Newsletter for 6/11

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WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Thursday June 11, 2009
 
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Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren – All the latest professional wrestling news, gossip and occasional opinion direct to your mailbox.
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WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

6/10 Raw house show results from Helsinki, Finland: Goldust over William Regal; Maryse over Kelly Kelly; The Colons over The Legacy; Kofi Kingston over Matt Hardy; Big Show over MVP; John Cena over The Miz; and Triple H over Randy Orton.

The show didn’t draw too well with just over 3000 paid in an arena that can hold 10,000. The day before they were selling tickets for half price. Report we got was that the undercard was very slow and lackluster. None of the matches went much longer than 10 minutes and the show ran just under two hours. I believe the crew had endured a travel schedule from hell coming straight from TV following weekend shows with some guys having not slept for 35 hours. Matt Hardy on his Twitter described it as “possibly the worst travel day in the history of travel days.”

The Raw crew runs tonight at the Tesla Arena in Prague followed by the Belgrade Arena in Serbia on Friday, and The Arena in Nimes, France on Saturday. The Smackdown crew are back on the road on Saturday running the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, NY followed by Giant Center in Hershey, PA on Sunday. TV next week has the tri-branded three-hour Raw from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, and the Smackdown/ECW tapings from the Coliseum in Roanoke, VA. We’re looking for reports from all these shows to you2us@wrestlingglobe.com.

***

Superstars tonight on WGN has Beth Phoenix & Rosa Mendes vs. The Bella Twins; Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison, and Evan Bourne vs. Zack Ryder.
This show is starting to get close to the same level of ratings as ECW and TNA Impact.

WWE.com reported earlier today that Eddie Fatu (Umaga) was released “due to his second violation of the WWE Wellness Program and his subsequent refusal to attend a rehabilitation facility.” The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling reported that WWE had delayed the announcement because they said they were reviewing the policy about someone being fired in this situation. As we noted here on Wednesday from Umaga’s perspective he quit because he refused to go to rehab but by the same token WWE can say that they fired him. Almost everyone believed he failed a drug test, but regardless of whether he quit or was fired, that happened a week ago and up until today the company made no test failure announcement. This also gives credence to the theories on Batista, as we’ve now established that the WWE claim of announcing drug test failures is at least suspicious. My gut tells me that none of this would ever have come out without the media pressure for an explanation.

The WWE sent out a casting-call memo to talent agencies apparently looking for the next Lilian Garcia. The memo stated: “WWE is looking for a young, attractive female (20-30) to sing the national anthem and be our regular ring announcer every week, for one of our most popular TV shows… This is a breakout job for any young singer. Please specify on submissions if anyone has appeared on American Idol, making the Band or any show of this comparison. Rate: depends on talent.” Garcia has been scaling back her WWE dates of late. She is currently overseas on tour with Raw.

ECW on Tuesday night did a 1.2 rating, its highest rating since Wrestlemania.

Ricky Steamboat is advertised as wrestling at the house show in Hershey, PA on Sunday.

Eve Torres was sent to train with developmental talent this week in Tampa.

12 Rounds in the UK has done just over $500,000 at the box office taking the worldwide gross to $14,7 million. The UK will end up being the highest gross for the movie outside of the U.S. consistent with being the WWE’s biggest overseas market.

John Cena is throwing out first pitch at the Dodgers-Cubs game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on 8/20.

CM Punk is hosting the 2nd Annual Men’s Fitness Ultimate Athlete Event at North Avenue Beach in Chicago on 6/20.

The Decider in Milwaukee plugged the Smackdown show on 6/23 with a photo of Bobby Lashley and Umaga, which is kind of funny.

Kane was interviewed by the Central Chronicle in Delhi, India. He put over the Great Khali saying he was a nice guy and an asset to the country. He said his favorite opponents over the years have been The Undertaker, The Rock, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. When asked if Tne Undertaker was really his brother, he said: “You have to be two different people in and out of the ring. But I am the same person since I began my journey in professional wrestling. (Undertaker) has been a great support for me in my career. He has played a big role in my growth to this level.”

The Times of India at http://tinyurl.com/lpxrdc also has a story on Kane.

Vickie Guerrero has been moved to the Alumni section of WWE.com. Umaga and Mr. Kennedy were not. You can really tell who left on good terms and who left on bad terms.

JBL wrote a new blog on WWE.com talking about recently breaking his fannypack. He wrote: “Well, my wife is happy. My fannypack broke. I think Michael Hayes and I were only people alive to still have them anyway. I don’t think you can even buy them anymore. And, I have to defend myself-I never wore it, I just used it to carry my valuables to the gym. Michael is the only guy I have ever seen wear one with a suit-if you call that thing he has on that must have batteries a suit.”

OddJack.com at http://tinyurl.com/njfy35 did an interview with JBL. He thinks he would be a better matchmaker than Dana White.

KLFY Ch. 10 in Lafayette at http://tinyurl.com/levhfw has an interview with Santino Marella (in character) with a kid from the local Boys & Girls Club.

WWE has just sent out a new survey asking fans if they would be prepared to pay a cover charge to watch PPV on closed circuit at restaurants and bars. They have tried this before with little success.

TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING NEWS

TNA are back on the road this weekend starting Friday night at the Civic Arena in St. Joseph, MO. They also run the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, IA on Saturday and the Firstier Events Center in Kearney, NE on Sunday. Three matches confirmed are Abyss vs. Matt Morgan; Awesome Kong vs. ODB; and Suicide vs. Daniels vs. Homicide. Kurt Angle is expected back on the tour with Scott Steiner, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Beer Money, Inc., Eric Young, Lethal Consequences, and more. We’re looking for reports from these shows to you2us@wrestlingglobe.com.

Impact tonight has Kurt Angle vs. Sting in a King of the Mountain qualifier; Tara (Victoria) vs. Madison Rayne; AJ Styles vs. Shane Douglas; Scott Steiner & Booker T vs. Samoa Joe in a first blood match; and Team 3D vs. Consequences Creed & Alex Shelley.

Jeremy Borash said that doctors have cleared Shawn Hernandez to return to the ring. Hernandez recently underwent neck surgery.

Rob Van Dam revealed on Live Audio Wrestling that TNA called him to come in last week and that WWE calls him to come back every two months. He said he keeps turning them down as he doesn’t have the passion for wrestling any more. He noted just signing a deal with Grindstone Pictures (Lionsgate) to do four movies, one of them being Wrong Side Of Town, which starred himself in the lead role with Batista, the former Big Daddy V and Ja-Rule. He said he pretty much gave up on wrestling when Vince McMahon told him that he didn’t want the new ECW to be like the old ECW, and when he told Vince that people still chant “ECW” at shows, Vince said that was because he has trained them to do it for the last five years.

Steve Corino told Alan Wojcik at http://alanwojcik.com/id140.html that he emailed Vince Russo to ask for a job.

Lisa Marie Varon wrote a blog addressing why she left WWE and eventually opted to join TNA. She wrote: “I left (WWE) because I didn’t enjoy my role, and I didn’t see it changing. That, in addition to the brutal travel schedule, made it an easy choice for me to walk away and leave the opportunity available to one of the scores of female wrestlers who were anxiously awaiting their chance. TNA approached me with the offer to come to their organization, work a less rigorous schedule, and more importantly, wrestle to the best of my ability with no limitations.
Several people have debated whether this will effect my chance at one day being elected into the WWE Hall of Fame. I am flattered at my name even being mentioned with such an honor. And whether or not you believe that I am worthy, I really don’t think that WWE will hold it against me for doing other things after I left. I truly believe that I gave 100% every day with WWE, and that I went above and beyond what was expected of me. I think that if I am happy with my choices, then they are happy for me. Of course they took me off their website. They can’t promote talent with another organization. But again, I’d like to think that on a personal level, they are happy for me.” She also noted that the match that airs tonight on Impact was her first singles match in about five months.

Mick Foley at http://tinyurl.com/mahpdb blogged about his upcoming books. He said while researching new material that he flipped through his last bio The Hardcore Diaries and now understands why some people in WWE were less than thrilled about what he wrote: “I was really pretty rough on the company, and three years after writing it, I’m shocked that the powers that be (mainly Vince) allowed so many negative musings to be published. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t personally regret writing any of it, but I am really surprised that the book wasn’t edited down to matchbook size.”

Someone has put the Jim Cornette rebuttal to Joey Styles on YouTube at http://tinyurl.com/lx557s.

OTHER WRESTLING NEWS

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution at http://tinyurl.com/mhnwgk is
reporting that Paul and Maureen Toffoloni, the parents of Nancy Benoit,
have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Phil Astin in U.S.
District Court. They filed the suit on behalf of the estate of Nancy and
Daniel Benoit, and are seeking financial damages for the loss of their
lives as well as their own emotional distress.

Shaver Hansen, the son of Stan Hansen, who we’ve mentioned here before,
was was a sixth-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in the MLB
draft. The Seattle Post Intelligencer has a story at
http://tinyurl.com/n8pvbw noting that Shaver lived in Japan for his
first and second-grade years and speaks fluent Japanese.

The ROH Take No Prisoners PPV airs on Friday. This will be the last PPV
for now as the company decided not to renew its contract with G-Funk,
which expires after this show. The PPV was taped in Houston during the
weekend of Wrestlemania 25. The lineup is KENTA & Tyler Black vs. Austin
Aries & Katsuhiko Nakajima; Jerry Lynn vs. Erick Stevens vs. D-Lo Brown
vs. Bryan Danielson for the ROH title; Roderick Strong vs. Alex Koslov;
Colt Cabana vs. Ace Steel; Jimmy Jacobs vs. Necro Butcher; Claudio
Castagnoli vs. Blue Demon Jr. vs. Brent Albright; and Chris Hero,
Incognito, Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen, El Generico,
Magno & Jay Briscoe.

The Ring of Honor Wrestling Academy will be starting new classes during
the week of 6/22. The school is for people with previous wrestling
experience or no wrestling experience at all. More info ar
http://www.rohwrestling.com/wrestlingschool/.

Interview with Bobby Lashley at http://tinyurl.com/nbs69l talking about
his upcoming fight with Bob Sapp, how he would easily whip Kimbo Slice,
questions about working for TNA whether or not he would return to the
WWE.

Hulk & Linda Hogan are now working together, well their legal reps are,
to stop the depositions they gave in the Graziano family lawsuit against
them to become public. The argument is that allowing public access to
the depositions could damage the family’s right to a fair trial. The
story is in the Tampa Tribune at http://tinyurl.com/mvwd3t.

RFVideo.com are coming out with a scary interview with Billy Jack Haynes
at http://tinyurl.com/ngnpte who if he believes what he is saying needs
professional help. The interview is coming out on DVD and will be titled
Diary of a Mad Man: The Billy Jack Haynes Shoot Interview II.

The Southtown Star at http://tinyurl.com/mflguq has a story on Armando
Estrada. He says he is thankful to the WWE for the opportunity they gave
him: “I was fortunate enough to make it to WWE. I was fortunate enough
to learn from Vince McMahon amongst many others there. They have a great
group of trainers that helped work with the younger talents like myself,
and I learned so much in the three years I spent under Vince McMahon.”

Former TNA Knockout Nikki Roxx is trying to get work in Mexico. She also
recently sent a resume to the WWE.

Former WWE Diva Dawn Marie will be working the Dragon Gate USA shows in
Philadelphia on 7/26 and Chicago on 9/5. Its part of a deal where DGUSA
are donating items to the Wrestler’s Rescue project. More info at
www.dgusa.tv.

Diva-Dirt.com presents WGN’s Diva of the Day, Taylor Wilde at
http://www.diva-dirt.com/divaoftheday/

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THE WRESTLING GLOBE MAILBAG

WWE ignores the encroachment of MMA at its peril; you are 100% on point.
Two observations:

1) To say that MMA “doesn’t have stars” (spoken at a point where the WWE
– and all of pro wrestling, for that matter — doesn’t have a star on
the same planet as Hogan, Rock or Austin in their prime) is idiotic. The
fact that WWE are desperately clinging to a woefully washed-up but
financially free-falling legend like Flair while TNA lives off Mick
Foley’s guest spot charisma and promos shows you just how low the Q
ratings are among non-wrestling fans for people like Cena, Batista,
Samoa Joe and Triple-H. Meanwhile, what sports fan doesn’t know names
like “Randy Couture”, “Chuck Liddell” and even “Kimbo Slice” for
heaven’s sake? ALL the people who are over 30 who used to talk to me
about wrestling now talk to me about MMA.

2) “They don’t have a storyline.” You know, boxing has done well without
a pre-fab “storyline” for a long time now. So have baseball, football,
hockey, basketball and ALL professional sports. Because sports are
legit, they write their own storyline. Like Matt Serra Vs. Matt Hughes
or Brown Vs. Faber (I & II) or Tito Ortiz Vs. Anybody weren’t hotter
feuds than ANYTHING that WWE has developed since Rock and Austin
departed.

I know they don’t believe this obligatory crap, but the audience keeps
dropping in terms of age and kids are the most fickle audience around.
Go on the wrestling sites — they’ve almost all incorporated at least
superficial MMA coverage (and look at how long ago Dave Meltzer, who is
the smartest guy in wrestling journalism, hooked up with MMA — from Day
One). And I’m seeing more and more obnoxious MMA fans pissing on the
wrestling fans as marks even in the wrestling forums on sites that HAVE
MMA forums!

I still enjoy great wrestling (Kofi Vs MVP was a damned good match), but
I can’t get as excited in a pseudo-sport as I can about a real one and
the people behind pro graps had better get hip to that.

Another good issue, btw.

Bill Kunkel

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