WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren – All the latest professional wrestling news and analysis direct to your inbox. WGN is read by industry power players, many top wrestlers and thousands of fans from around the world.
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WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
6/11 Smackdown TV results from Tampa, FL: Rey Mysterio over Jack Swagger; Layla over Tiffany; Christian over Dolph Ziggler; and Big Show over CM Punk via DQ.
Raw is live tonight from Charlotte with Mark Feuerstein and Big Show as guest hosts. Nothing else is announced at press time other than the fall out from the NXT angle. As of yesterday afternoon creative still hadn’t finalized most of the show.
The Smackdown/NXT taping is tomorrow night in Raleigh with Drew McIntyre vs. Teddy Long with the stipulation that if McIntyre wins, then Long is fired as GM.
The official word, or what was told to several company officials and those on the creative team, is that Bryan Danielson was released due to an influential outside force, believed to be a major player at NBC, who complained about the choking of ring announcer Justin Roberts with his tie during the NXT angle, breaking an old post-Benoit rule that Danielson wouldn’t have known about. The company has apparently made him the scapegoat in all this and has made assurances to NBC, who gives Raw it’s PG rating, that this type of thing will never happen again. The general consensus among WWE people is that Danielson will be brought back once the dust settles. Still, a lot of people in the business, both inside and outside the company, are divided as to the belief that Danielson’s release is an elaborate work. Jim Cornette, who’s been involved in the creative process of almost every major wrestling company, as well as his fair share of invasion angles, has his suspicions. “I actually watched the close of (Raw last Money) when it was posted on the internet and raved about, and besides of course the complete giveaway of having nobody run out to try to help John Cena, thought it did look fairly decent as a shoot angle EXCEPT for the tie choking incident,” said Cornette. “That stuck in my mind as being the giveaway of it being a work because of the funny, phony sell face the ring announcer made. I remember thinking, ‘If I was Vince, I’d yell at/slap/fire the announcer for doing funny face in a serious heat angle.’ In light of what ended up happening, I guess that’s why I am not relevant in today’s wrestling business.” Cena himself commented on his Twitter page yesterday that he wanted Danielson back in WWE and claims he was upset to hear about his release. So did other WWE wrestlers–most of which have since deleted those comments. Cena wrote: “I know I’m not exactly appreciated by all, nor do I care to be, but I believe what I believe. I would like Bryan to come back to the WWE. I would like to sign your petition to bring him back. I was taught to stand up for what I believe in. I tried and failed, so I could use some help. Tell me how to sign and I will.” Tonight’s Raw may offer some further clues. If they push hard that Danielson was fired, well, that confirms most of the suspicions. If they don’t mention him at all one would assume this was in fact a real firing. If he shows up, then WWE has worked it’s own office staff, which I cannot imagine happening in 2010, although history has proven that almost anything in this company is possible.
Fady Madani, a 28-year-old Northeast indy wrestler of Syrian descent who wrestles as The Arabian Bull, was offered a developmental deal. Madani trained with Kevin Knight’s IWF group out of New Jersey and has the 6-5, 250, physique that the company likes. He played college football and was also an amateur boxer.
Chris Jericho has been tapped to host ABC’s latest game show. Downfall premieres on 6/29 where contestants answer questions against the clock while on the roof of a Los Angeles high-rise as a conveyor belt sends potential prizes over the side of the building. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plan is to also have contestants eliminated from the show by taking a “controlled fall” off the side of the building.
Edge talked about retiring in two years during a recent interview with Asheville, NC’s Citizen Times. Edge, who recently purchased a home in North Carolina, said the following about his career: “I’m coming up on my 20th year, and I’ve definitely had some injuries that have shortened my career. That’s part of the reason I bought up here — we want to retire and listen to the wind in the trees, and we want to do it fairly soon. I may have two more years. With each injury, it’s harder and harder to come back.”
The Undertaker underwent surgery last week to repair his damaged orbital bone. He is expected to be sidelined until Summerslam.
Abraham Washington and Byron Saxton are still working in developmental following the demise of ECW in February. They are the current FCW announce team. A few week’s ago there was some talk of using Washington in the role as Raw GM but that spot went to Bret Hart when the company worked out a new deal with him. He could still end up on the Smackdown side. There are a lot of people very high on Saxton. Before WWE, he worked for WJXT News in Jacksonville as an associate producer and then later on camera as a traffic reporter. He was groomed by Dusty Rhodes in FCW, and his call up came last fall when Jim Ross suffered a Bell’s palsy attack, which resulted in a shuffle of the announcers, with Stryker moved to Smackdown and Saxton promoted to ECW. Michael Cole took over what would have been his spot on NXT because creative wanted to push Cole as the main heel of the show.
The St. Petersburg Times has a nice story on FCW at http://tinyurl.com/2c6bbo2. The story quotes owner Steve Kerin who says Vince McMahon told him that the future of wrestling belongs in his hands.
Tyler Reks worked Smackdown house shows over the weekend as “T-Reks”. I don’t recall him appearing on television since before Wrestlemania.
There had been some heat on him which seems to have now subsided. In a bizarre incident earlier this year, Reks freaked out as a flight was about to take off for Tampa at the airport in Green Bay following a TV taping. He holds a private pilot license and vocally complained to flight crew that he observed a strange movement on the flaps of the wing. This led to panic among other passengers fearing the plane was unsafe. He then demanded to be deboarded. The pilot decided that they didn’t want to take any chances with him disrupting the flight or distressing other passengers so they returned to the terminal and escorted him off the plane. The flight was then delayed for sveeral hours which irked other WWE people on the same flight.
Shad Gaspard and former WWE wrestler Mark “Muhammad Hassan” Copani are working together on a graphic novel titled Assassin & Son: Path of Vengeance. The novel, published by Blackline Comics, is due for release later this year.
The WWE website has an update on The Headbangers at http://tinyurl.com/24wnwlz.
Preliminary estimates for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view back on 4/25 is 185,000 buys, down slightly from what the same show did last year airing in June, but making more money due to the $5 domestic hike in price.
Vince McMahon appears to have done a 180 on his decision to discontinue the Survivor Series. Tickets for the show are now on sale for American Airlines Arena in Miami on 11/21.
WWE All Stars will be a new concept video game from THQ featuring current and past wrestlers. Jim Ross recently did some voice over work for the project. The game play will be much faster than the Smackdpwn vs Raw franchise with slow-motion sequences cutting in with the bigger moves. The character’s will be “larger than life” which basically means they look like they would never pass wellness testing. So far The Rock and John Cena are the first two playable characters confirmed for the game which is slated for an early 2011 release… SD vs. Raw 2011, due out on 10/26, will also feature a new physics system that will make all objects look more realistic. Several gimmick matches, like TLC, will be enhanced. For example, instead of just crashing through a table, the table might break in different ways than before and ladders will also bend and break depending on where they are impacted. THQ will unveil more details on both games this week at the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles. WWE is sending several wrestlers to the convention to sign autographs and meet fans.
Actress Yeadley Smith, most famous for voicing the character Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons, wrote the following on Twitter about working with Triple H on the WWE Studios film The Chaperone, currently shooting in New Orleans: “He’s the sweetest, most delightful wall-of-man I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Sure, not his persona on the WWE, but he is wonderful… I LOVE Triple H! He is a dream pie!”
Christian noted in a recent interview that his wife Denise just got her masters degree.
Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer have both been added to WWE’s Smackdown website. A blurb on Archer mentions that he used to wrestle for a “regional promotion in Florida” before being signed by ECW. I wonder who they mean?
There is a fun video with Fit Finlay talking about people who dare ask him if wrestling is fake at http://tinyurl.com/24jefyd. The clip is from the forthcoming documentary, The Fit Finlays, about the history of wrestling in Ireland. The film follows the story of the Finlay family from touring Northern Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s to headlining in front of millions of fans as part of WWE.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
6/13 Slammiversary PPV results from Orlando, FL: Rob Van Dam over Sting to retain the heavyweight title; Mr. Anderson & Jeff Hardy over Beer Money; Jay Lethal over AJ Styles; Abyss over Desmond Wolfe in a Monster’s Ball match; Matt Morgan over Hernandez via DQ; Jesse Neal over Brother Ray; Madison Rayne over Roxxi in a career vs. Knockouts title match; Douglas Williams over Kendrick to retain the X-Division title; and Kurt Angle over Kazarian.
Impact tapings are ongoing today and tomorrow for the 6/17 and 6/24 shows. For Thursday, they are teasing an announcement from Ric Flair that will “make history”, RVD’s next three title contenders revealed (as of last night the plan was Abyss vs. Hardy vs. Anderson), an update on what’s next for Sting, and the in-ring debut of Tommy Dreamer.
The “nice surprise” for Slammiversary that Dixie Carter had talked about
turned out to be Tommy Dreamer. Not sure that he has been signed yet but
his arrival may be part of a larger story long term. Dixie said her
masterplan that will change TNA forever will unfold over the next few
week’s. She also confirmed that her plan had nothing to do with her
recent conversation with Paul Heyman.
The Band (Nash and Hall) weren’t brought in for the PPV since they
Brutus Magnus is expected to start back this week… The Suicide
character is also expected to be brought back soon to coincide with the
release of the new Jakks action figure series.
Former WWE wrestler Jon Heidenreich was backstage at the PPV looking for
Roxxi was very upset about the swerve creative pulled on her with the
career vs. title stipulation. It’s believed she’s done again at this
point, a matter made worse after she was busted open hardway in the
match with Rayne. This may not be related, but Tara (Lisa Marie Varon)
has been talked with about coming back. She’s now blown cold on the idea
of doing MMA, and WWE has shown limited interest, so she would likely
return if they can come to terms on a pay rise for her.
ODB (Jessica Kresa) quit the company today. She said she parted ways
amicably although there had been a contract issue.
Abyss suffered a deep laceration on his forehead during his pay-per-view
James Storm also suffered some sort of arm injury but we don’t have any
further details at press time.
Impact on 6/10 did a 0.99 rating, it’s highest rating since the return
to Thursday nights. Kurt Angle vs. Amazing Red did the highest rated
quarter hour while the lowest rated quarter featured Brian Kendrick vs.
Homicide. Quarters were 1.01, 0.89, 0.95, 1.05, 1.09, 1.0, 0.94 and
Hulk Hogan has been shopping around a new reality show to various
networks. He’s calling the show The Resurrection of Hulk Hogan which I
guess documents his life post-divorce and near-suicide attempt… Hogan
also has new a deal with National Media Connection’s debt referral
company, Debt Help Center USA. You can watch the wacky commercial at
http://tinyurl.com/34lcsma. The company supposedly helps people who have
more than $10,000 in credit card debt.
The main reason why Mick Foley is gone right now is because his deal was
to work a maximum number of dates, and he was being booked so frequently
until his hiatus, that he was way ahead of where the company wanted
before his annual contract expired. Flair is working under a similar
There is some unhappiness among fans in the UK over ticket pricing for
the next tour in January. The tour–three dates in large arenas–is
built around Flair, RVD and Hardy (if he’s not in jail) so one would
assume the overheads are higher than with previous tours. Ticket prices
are nearly double the cost of a U.S. house show ranging from $33 up to
$109 for front row. They are also planning to do fan interactions before
each show although it doesn’t appear that these are including in the
price of a ticket. TNA is said to be very happy with how the UK market
is performing for them at the moment.
Indy women’s wrestler Sara Del Rey is booked for the house show in
Asbury Park, NJ on 7/3.
Jeremy Borash during a recent radio interview told a disturbing story
about Gary Coleman–the late Diff’rent Stroke actor who passed away last
month after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Borash said he was given the
task of chaperoning Coleman for a cameo at the WCW Fall Brawl
pay-per-view in 2000. Coleman was booked to take a guitar shot at the
end of a match between Jeff Jarrett and Mike Awesome. He noted that
Coleman enroute from the hotel to the arena decided he wanted to visit a
toy train store and was threatening to go back to the hotel unless
Borash took him to the toy store. Coleman also reportedly held the
company up for an extra $2,000 and pretty much drove everyone nuts
backstage with strange demands. Borash then joked that he paid off
Jarrett to stiff him with the guitar shot, but quickly said the shot
probably had nothing to do with Coleman’s death in later life.
Traditional Championship Wrestling ran on Saturday night in Pine Bluff,
AR with D-Lo Brown over Mr. Anderson plus appearances from The Pope, Jay
Lethal and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The group drew what was described as a
disappointing crowd in a large 8,500 seat building which usually caters
to rodeos, conventions and circuses. I believe the very last ECW show
took place at the same venue in 2001. Brown ended up with a black eye
after being rammed shoulder first through the ropes and hit the post
with his face. Pope managed Brown and didn’t get involved physically
because his shoulder is still immobilized. One of our readers at the
show noted that all the TNA guys worked really hard when they could have
easily phoned it in the day before a pay-per-view. The next show will be
in Little Rock on 6/25 with Nick Dinsmore, Trevor Murdock, Honky Tonk
Man and Missy Hyatt as guest referee in a ladies grudge match.
Brown, along with Pat Kenney, Brother Ray and Al Snow now appear to be
the regular crew of backstage agents.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Aurelian “Grizzly” Smith, the father of Jake Roberts, Sam Houston and
Rockin’ Robin, passed away on Saturday. He had just turned 78. Smith
started wrestling in Texas in the late 1950s and was one of wrestling’s
top stars during the 1960s. He worked in various territories all over
the country, most notably in a tag team with Luke Brown called The
Kentuckians. Together they held the NWA version of the tag titles in the
Tri-State territory, promoted by Leroy McGuirk. Smith also held tag
titles with Don Leo Jonathan in Vancouver and Fritz Von Erich in Dallas.
After his in-ring career ended, Smith promoted wrestling in Louisiana
alongside Jack Curtis and later worked with Bill Watts in the Mid-South
territory until he was fired reportedly due to a disagreement over
money. He was a respected booker and was famous for his complex
finishes. At various points during the 80s and 90s he also worked behind
the scenes for WWE and WCW. Smith had a strained relationship with one
of his sons. Jake Roberts has stated in numerous interviews over the
years that this was partially the result of his father not informing him
about the scripted nature of pro wrestling. Roberts has long told how
his father convinced the family that his injuries in the ring were real
and would often wear a neck brace at home to sell a storyline. Roberts
also claimed that he was conceived when his father, who was dating
Roberts’ grandmother, raped her 12 year-old daughter. He alleges that
the two were forced to marry against their wishes and that the resulting
emotional trauma is responsible for Roberts’ well documented substance
abuse issues and another family tragedy. However, former World Class
wrestling referee James Beard said the Grizzly Smith he knew was nothing
like the man Roberts would talk about. “Grizz might have had his
personal flaws, but I never experienced them or saw them. In fact, I saw
him go out of his way in the times I knew him to help his boys, even
when they didn’t really deserve the help. I’m sure Grizz wasn’t the
perfect father, but personally, I think he got a raw deal from both his
boys for the most part and I know for a fact a lot of the junk thrown
about by one of them was mostly bull. He was always straight with me and
always a level headed, easy going source of strength for those of us who
worked closely with him. Grizz had a great mind for the business and a
way about him that commanded the respect of the wrestlers who worked for
him.” Beard added: “I had some good teachers in the wrestling business,
between Johnny Valentine, Red Bastien and Grizzly Smith. It’s sad that
another of them has gone on, but I will always remember Grizz for his
gentle way of setting guys straight when it was needed and his
dedication to doing things the right way.” In recent years, Smith shared
a house with his son Michael (Sam Houston) and took a maintenance job in
a cemetery near New Orleans’ French Quarter. They lost everything in the
damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At the time of his death
Smith’s health had badly deteriorated, and he was living in a hospice
battling Alzheimer’s disease in Amarillo, TX.
ROH tonight on HDNet has Colt Cabana vs. Steve Corino; Jay & Mark
Briscoe vs. Bob Evans & Sid Reeves; Christopher Daniels vs. Bobby
Shields; plus a special interview with Mike Briscoe (father of Jay and
Mark) and a contract signing between Tyler Black and Davey Richards for
Death Before Dishonor VIII. More info at www.rohwrestling.com.
Two moronic wrestling fans in South Charleston were arrested this past
weekend after choke slamming a two-year old baby girl, according to a
report on local news channel WSAZ. The toddler was hospitalized with
severe bruising and a broken leg. Andrew Young and James Miller were
each charged with felony child neglect creating the risk of injury. The
mother of the toddler, who was reportedly home when the injury occurred,
may also be charged. She took the toddler to hospital but doctors called
police because the injuries were inconsistent with what the mother had
told them had happened. Magistrate Pete Lopez set bond for Young and
Miller at $100,000 cash or property as they wait their arraignment.
Former WWE wrestlers Kizarny (Nick Cvjetkovich, 36) and The Kat (Stacy
Carter, 38) just announced their engagement. They got together at a
convention in Miami a few months ago–one which Jerry Lawler also
attended–and Kizarny wasn’t sure if they were still together before
deciding to make his move.
Stacy Keibler has been attached to a new reality show called SPINdustry
which is being co-produced by Kim Kardashian. The show takes viewers
behind the scenes of New York City firm Command PR with each episode
featuring a different celebrity they are managing. The show is set to
air on E!.
MTV Lucha Libre is doing it’s second taping for the new Masked Warriors
series this weekend in Springfield, MA. Former WWF and WCW ring
announcer Gary Michael Cappetta and Nigel Sherrod are doing commentary
for the series. The producers originally wanted Colt Cabana but they
couldn’t work out a deal with him as those involved have to sign
exclusive contracts. The matches are taped inside a six-sided ring with
a roster that includes Marco Corleone (Mark Jindrak), Lizmark Jr.,
Mascarita Dorada, Octagoncito, Charly Malice (AAA’s Charly Manson with a
name change), Tinieblas Jr and several minis. The series will premiere
on MTV2 on 6/26.
Juventud Guerrera is launching his hip hop album at the annual Lucha
Libre expo in Mexico City on 7/23.
Tiger Mask (Yoshihiro Yamazaki, 39) of New Japan Pro Wrestling, suffered
a fractured neck in the first night of the Best of the Super Juniors
Tournament at Korakuen Hall back on 5/30. He hopes to return to the ring
later this year.
The Little People of America are upset with Half-Pint Brawlers and their
use of the word midget. Story is at http://tinyurl.com/2urdq4u. The
premiere of the new series back on 6/2 attracted 1.4 million viewers on
Sting and Jim Ross will both be appearing at the NWA Legends Fanfest in
Charlotte, NC in August. More info at www.nwalegends.com.
The latest former wrestling people to send in audition tapes for Oprah’s
TV contest are Diamond Dallas Page at http://tinyurl.com/2eo7rbf and
Melissa Grill-Peterson (Nitro Girl Spice) at http://tinyurl.com/2wxpx63
who is now working as a chiropractor outside of Atlanta.
Former WCW wrestler Scott Norton is now available for bookings via Bill
Behrens at ShowBis@aol.com.
Today’s Babe of the Day is Trish Stratus at
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