Wrestling Globe Newsletter for 12/9 (part 1)

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WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Wednesday December 9, 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
 
12/7 Raw TV results from Dallas, TX: John Cena over Carlito; Legacy over
Evan Bourne & Primo; Maryse over Gail Kim; Kofi Kingston over Randy
Orton with Mark Cubin as special referee doing a fast count; The Miz
over Mark Henry; Hornswoggle & Eve over Chavo & Jilian Hall; and Chris
Jericho vs. Triple H & Shawn Michaels in a handicap match was a no
contest when Big Show interfered. Dark match was Chris Masters over Alex
Riley.

We’re still looking for reports from the Monday night Smackdown/ECW show
in Beaumont, TX to you2us@wrestlingglobe.com.

***

Services for Eddie “Umaga” Fatu will take place next weekend at Davis
Funeral Home, 6200 South Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV. 89119-3175. Tel:
702-736-6200. A private family viewing will take place on Friday,
December 18, followed by an open service on Saturday, December 19. The
family has requested that any flowers or cards be sent to the above
address. Las Vegas is where Umaga’s mother was laid to rest.

Several guys wore black armbands at the TV tapings in Houston last night
as a tribute to Umaga. A few people were upset that the company didn’t
acknowledge his passing on Raw, but most assumed they wouldn’t anyway
because of the negative press it brings.

The Houston Chronicle story on Umaga is online at
http://tinyurl.com/yfeblv5. His aunt, Lynn Anoa’i, and Bruce Prichard
share some memories.

ESPN at http://tinyurl.com/ycurkqe has a major report on brain damage to
athletes, specifically looking at Andrew “Test” Martin, who passed away
earlier this year due to an accidental overdose of oxycodone. Dr. Bennet
Omalu, co-director of the Brain Injury Research Institute, told ESPN
that after examining his brain he believes that Martin suffered from a
similar chemical imbalance to that of Chris Benoit; known as chronic
traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. Dawn Marie Psaltis is quoted in the
report speculating that Martin and Benoit took more than 50,000 bumps in
their career which the Institute believes led to brain damage. “I’m just
floored,” said Psaltis. “You’re telling me that people in my life are
brain-damaged because of what we do for a living. That’s really sad to
me. It’s just our ignorance. A child doesn’t know that fire can hurt
them until they put their finger in the flame.” WWE were asked to
comment on the institute’s findings and released the following
statement to ESPN: “While this is a new emerging science, the WWE is
unaware of the veracity of any of these tests, be it for Chris Benoit or
Andrew Martin. Dr. Omalu claims that Mr. Benoit had a brain that
resembled an 85-year-old with Alzheimer’s, which would lead one to
ponder how Mr. Benoit would have found his way to an airport, let alone
been able to remember all the moves and information that is required to
perform in the ring. WWE has been asking to see the research and tests
results in the case of Mr. Benoit for years and has not been supplied
with them.” The Institute said they have never received such a request
from the WWE and invited them to review their data at any time.

Politico published an article on criticisms against Linda McMahon and
WWE by former wrestlers such as Superstar Billy Grtaham, Larry Zbyszko,
Bruno Sammertino, Marc Mero, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, and others. The main
issue brought up was the lack of health care benefits citing the
independent contractors argument, while others, like Bruno, complained
about the content of the WWE TV shows. These days I don’t really think
you can knock WWE in either regard. The last time Bruno watched
wrestling on TV was a decade ago when Steve Austin was chugging beers
and flipping the bird. He didn’t care for that type of product, but a
lot has changed since then. Dawn Marie Psaltis is also quoted in this
story defending WWE saying that Linda would make an awesome Senator.
When WWE fired her, while on maternity leave, in 2005 she filed a
complaint against them with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
claiming that her contract had been wrongfully terminated as a result of
her pregnancy. The case was settled in 2007 but it’s assumed the
undisclosed settlement means neither side can make disparaging remarks
about the other. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/yjv9fov… In some
unrelated irony, the campaign manager for Linda’s opponent in the
Connecticut GOP primary is named Jim Barnett.

The Hill also has a story on Linda McMahon. Regarding the WWE Wellness
Program, she said: “It’s as good as it can be for today… But as
technology advances and more is known and developed, we’ll continue to
develop our policy, as we have done over the years… Unlike football or
baseball or basketball, where steroids can actually enhance performance,
they do nothing to enhance performance in WWE.” The article noted she
answers questions on WWE as if she was still running the company. When
asked about ex wrestlers coming out of the woodwork to knock her she was
very defensive. She was quoted as calling Superstar Billy Graham a
“self-confessed liar” and dismissed Bruno Sammartino as someone who has
“still got sour grapes because he didn’t make as much money as the
guys today are making.” Story is at http://tinyurl.com/ybejxlw.

WWE CFO George Barrios participated in the UBS Media Conference on
Monday. He presented WWE to potential investors and advertisers in New
York City. Nothing very noteworthy. He drove home that the WWE is
“family-friendly” these days and claimed 40 percent of their TV audience
is female, which is true if you round the real figure up to the highest
ten percent. When asked about competition from UFC, Barrios blew it off
saying UFC is a “different type of entertainment” and claimed cable
companies have told him the same people purchasing WWE PPV aren’t
purchasing UFC PPV. That’s a ridiculous claim. He also talked about WWE
wanting to expand into China and said he believes Mexico will be the No.
4 PPV market in the world within the next five to ten years.

CNBC has a story on WWE’s international growth plans including possible
expansion into Russia and Brazil at http://tinyurl.com/yztwynq.

Jim Ross has a new blog at www.jrsbarbq.com/blog discussing Mark Cubin’s
involvement on Raw.

Rapper Timbaland was announced as Raw guest host for December 28 in
Charlotte. He does have some history with the WWE as he used several
Divas in his 2007 music video Throw It On Me… Actors Jon Heder and Don
Johnson were also announced as guests hosts for January 18 in Knoxville
to promote their upcoming movie When in Rome.

Phil Mushnick in his weekend New York Post column ripped on Dennis
Miller for agreeing to guest host Raw.

Rey Mysterio has told friends he plans to hold off on knee surgery until
after Wrestlemania. He is said to be in a lot of pain right now with his
knee joint virtually bone on bone.

Mark Cubin’s appearance on Raw got some decent play on ESPN and a few
newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. The original plan was for
Orton and Legacy to get physically involved with Cubin and the Mavs
players sat ringside but Cubin claimed that the NBA put the kibosh on
that.

Raw on Monday night did a 3.2 rating, slightly below the YTD average.

Maryse is being positioned for another Divas title run… Michelle
McCool vs. Mickie James for the Women’s title was officially added to
Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view… Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston was also
added.

Academy Award Winner Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover, Devon Graye and
Madeleine Martin have joined the cast of John Cena’s next movie
Brother’s Keeper. The film shoots later this month in New Orleans.
Clarkson is a major coup. According to someone close to her the price
was right and she is a native of New Orleans and was home for the
holidays. Cena isn’t expected to miss any TV time during filming.

WWE has released Hornswoggle’s DX t-shirt on their website.

TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING NEWS

Hulk Hogan pulled out of media appearances, including a TV interview, in
Canada last night citing illness. He was scheduled for TSN’s Off The
Record on Thursday but no word yet on whether he will make that show.

The company has paid for a billboard in Times Square which is going up
either today or tomorrow hyping the January 4 show with Hogan going
head-to-head with Raw.

Lisa Marie Varon is heading to Los Angeles today to pitch her reality
show to network execs. She said her show will chart her cross-over from
pro wrestling to MMA.

Kurt Angle tweaked his back again at house shows this past weekend. He
didn’t work a match Monday night at the TV tapings but he was part of a
10-men tag on Tuesday… Thursday’s edition of Impact, which some TNA
people have described as a train wreck in terms of booking, even the
people who usually defend Russo, includes: The British Invasion vs.
Chris Sabin in a 3-on-1 handicap match; Bobby & Krystal Lashley vs.
Scott Steiner & Awesome Kong; Hamada vs. Eric Young (yes you read that
right); ODB vs. Tara in a trailer park match; Team 3D, Rhyno & Jesse
Neal vs. Matt Morgan, Suicide & Hernandez; AJ Styles vs. Desmond Wolfe
in a non-title match; and Lacey Von Erich vs. Velvet Sky in a mud
wrestling match. There will also be a pre tape segment with Mick Foley
at the TNA offices in Nashville in his quest to reach out to Jeff
Jarrett.

Following the Impact portion of the tapings this week they taped
Xplosion on both days promising those in attendance a free DVD if they
stuck around for it.

Former WWE wrestler Chris “Tatanka” Chavis worked Tuesday’s taping in
the Jay Lethal deal where Lethal jobs to legends. Jessie Godderz of Big
Brother reality show fame worked a dark match against Alex Shelley. He
had been training in Tampa with FCW and while he wasn’t under WWE
contract he has been backstage at TNA in recent week’s.

Christy Hemme is returning to television soon in an interviewer role.
Her neck is still in bad shape.

Referee Mike Posey was brought in for this week’s tapings. He was
previously with TNA for several years before leaving and signing with
the WWE. He was cut from WWE in January. Most recently he has been
working indy shots both as a referee and a wrestler in the south.

Nikki Roxx also returned at the tapings. They are looking at bringing in
several women for a tag title tournament at the December 21 tapings.

Jeremy Borash and Mick Foley missed the tapings yesterday as they were
in Las Vegas for Playboy radio. You would think they would send a
Knockout instead of Borash but I guess someone had to hold the camera…
Speaking of which, TMZ cameras caught Foley off guard at LAX baggage
claims. The video footage is online at http://tinyurl.com/yc2pls9 with
Foley talking about his ear.

OTHER WRESTLING NEWS

Hustler magazine has filed a Supreme Court appeal over the federal court
ruling that they used nude images of Nancy Benoit for commercial — not
news — purposes thus violating her family’s right-of-publicity
interests. Nancy’s mother, Maureen Toffoloni, said Hustler had violated
her daughter’s right to prevent the commercial use of her image. After
some legal wrangling the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that
Toffoloni could protect Nancy’s rights because the photos were taken 20
years prior to her murder and therefore not sufficiently newsworthy. LFP
Publishing Group, Hustler’s publishing company, is arguing that the
First Amendment requires a broad interpretation of the newsworthiness
standard. Their appeal also stated that Supreme Court cases in the past
have found that it is inappropriate for courts to rule on whether an
article is newsworthy.

No real update on Brock Lesnar. He was scheduled to check into the Mayo
Clinic this week for a battery of tests to determine his next course of
treatment for an undisclosed ailment. He has reportedly lost a ton of
weight following surgery on November 16 to close a perforation in his
intestine that had been leaking into his abdomen; overtaxing his immune
system to the point that he contracted mononucleosis.

There is an interesting new wrestling documentary out next year. Memphis
Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ is based on Ron Hall’s book
Sputnik, Masked Men & Midgets: The Early Days of Memphis Wrestling. The
trailer is online at http://tinyurl.com/yzq3hr6.

The former Spike Dudley is interview at http://tinyurl.com/ybdgdjp. He
seems to have changed his stance on WWE following his burial of the
company when they released him in 2005: “Would I go back if I given the
opportunity? Yeah I’d go back. Whether it was with Bubba or D, I really
love working with those guys. I’m not sure if they’d ever take me back
without those guys. It’s nothing I’ve ever pursued. That’s the nature of
the beast. My character is forever tied with those guys. I could do it.
I would feel comfortable wrestling without them. Who knows? You never
know in this business.”

Former WWE wrestler Tajiri is helping to launch a new promotion in
Japan, called Smash, which debuts on March 26 in Tokyo. Smash is an
interesting concept reportedly mixing pro wrestling, kickboxing and MMA.
Tajiri heads up the wrestling division.

The Hulkamania show from Sydney airs in Australia on One HD on Sunday
night. This includes Umaga’s last ever televisied match including a run
in during the Hogan vs. Flair main event.
Promoter J.D. Costello announced his NWA Charlotte group will be
returning next year with monthly shows.

Today’s Diva of the Day is Dawn Marie at
http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva

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