WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Thursday, September 16, 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
9/14 NXT TV results from Detroit, MI: Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn over Primo & AJ Lee, Jamie over Aksana; and Kaitlyn won an obstacle course.
Superstars tonight on WGN has Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Usos; Great Khali vs. Primo; and MVP vs. Luke Gallows.
WWE has updated it’s Talent Wellness Program following events in Europe with the Smackdown crew last weekend. The most significant change is that the drug Carisprodol (Somas) has been added to the banned substance list, and there will be no medical use exemption. More updates to the program are expected to be announced publicly at a later date. Dave Meltzer first broke the story on Wednesday. Former WWE announcer Jim Ross on his website www.jrsbarbq.com welcomed the news. “I think that’s a great idea. Too many wrestlers took/take Somas recreationally, much like wrestlers used to smoke weed in the ’70s. Prescription pill abuse is a huge enemy of all wrestlers who abuse them. Pain medicine, Somas, Ambien, and Xanax are an evil mixture especially when mixed with alcohol and taken in excess.”
Matt Hardy’s future with WWE was determined earlier today but neither side is talking. Hardy has been active on Twitter and noted that he is looking for a professional writer to help pen his autobiography.
WWE confirmed this week that the Connecticut Department of Labor is investigating the company’s classification of talent as independent contractors rather than employees. The audit will specifically look at whether WWE has been misclassifying workers in order to avoid paying taxes and benefits. The Connecticut Post broke the story at http://tinyurl.com/33ac4ak which includes a statement from WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman, who questioned the timing of the audit relating to Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign. “Up until this election, WWE has not been fined nor investigated in the past for independent contractor classification. However, curiously the state of Connecticut is currently conducting an audit of WWE’s classification of independent contractors.
WWE constantly reviews its internal practices and procedures to comply with ever-changing employee laws.” Zimmerman went on to claim that the average WWE talent earns more than $550,000 annually, while only wrestling less than three days per week. He added that WWE covers all costs associated with any in-ring related injuries and rehabilitation.
Two years ago a federal judge in Connecticut dismissed the case of three former WWE wrestlers who attempted to sue the company over the independent contractor classification in relation to health care and other benefits.
Smackdown TV will be taped in Bridgeport, CT on election night allowing Vince McMahon to be near his wife when results come in.
Former WWE executive Jim Rothschild passed away last week at the age of
49 from brain cancer.
Right After Wrestling’s Arda Ocal spoke with Aloisia (Lindsay Hayward), the 6-9 female giant who WWE released earlier this week. She described her release as “a business transaction” but declined to discuss specifics. She said she hopes to continue wrestling and noted a reality project in the works. Full audio at http://tinyurl.com/385jhax.
The women’s title unification match at Sunday’s Night of Champions pay-per-view will be Michelle McCool vs. Melina. A new belt is in the works.
It’s virtually a lock someone from developmental will be replacing Michael Cole as announcer for NXT. The show this past Tuesday night did a 1.0 rating and averaged 1.2 million viewers.
Steve Austin will present Eric Roberts with his Career Achievement in Acting award at the Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival Awards Gala on Sunday.
The strange story of an Indiana woman arrested after she attempted to purchase two properties while falsely claiming she was married to WWE agent Fit Finlay at http://tinyurl.com/2e8gtm3. Nanette Michelle Stone, 35, faces a maximum of 16 years in jail for two Class C felony charges of forgery.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
Impact tonight on Spike has Douglas Williams vs. Jay Lethal for X-division title; Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash; Madison Rayne & Lacey Von Erich vs. Taylor Wilde & Hamada for the Knockouts tag title; Brian Kendrick vs. Matt Morgan; and Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle.
Dixie Carter announced a $100,000 Battle Royal Gauntlet main event for the live Impact on 10/7. Reaction that night will also air live with Hulk Hogan as the host.
Hogan is pitching a new TV series called Hogan’s Court where he handles disputes between siblings. The Hollywood Reporter has the story at http://tinyurl.com/28rpqzk. Punishments may include picking up dog poop.
British Sky Broadcasting has announced plans to shut down it’s recently acquired Bravo channel, home to Impact in the UK, which would leave the company looking for a new station in 2011. TNA’s EVP Andy Barton in response said he is confident about finding a new home in the UK market due to its stellar ratings over there.
The company has just cleared new TV markets with MCS in France and Live TV in Thailand.
Jeff Jarrett is scheduled for business meetings next week with AAA reps in Mexico.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Kevin Kelly of Ring of Honor is interviewed at http://tinyurl.com/2ueufx3. He talked about his WWE days noting the work was fun at times but hard on his family. When asked about Vince going nuts at announcers in the headsets, he said: “It was easy for me. I just turned the volume down and then would apologize later. He never said anything to me that was accurate or helpful on the headset. Now, JR, on the other hand was a terrific producer for the announcers and the few times I worked with him in that capacity, it was great!” He noted working with The Rock was the among the highlights of his WWE career, liked most of the boys, but wouldn’t want to work there again due to the mental stress. “I like wrestling. I like good guys, bad guys and titles worth fighting for. I can’t stand sports-entertainment. The philosophy with ROH is pretty simple. Wrestlers who look like stars wrestling in wrestling matches on a TV show that makes fans want to buy tickets to see those same wrestlers wrestle at live events… I would like to contribute to bringing the fans the best wrestling action in the world and there are so many creative people involved in the product that it’s great to collaborate with a group like this.”
Arguably the best promo currently in sports and entertainment, UFC’s Chael Sonnen, on Brock Lesnar: “If Brock Lesnar was here right now, I’d take my boot off and throw it at him, and he’d better polish it up before he brings it back to me… Talking about he’s the baddest guy in the UFC? Brock, quit eating so many raw eggs and doing push-ups because it’s affecting your realm of reality. Are you kidding me? I’d slap you in your face, and you wouldn’t do anything… ‘I’m Brock Lesnar. I’ve got this $5 haircut and a knife tattooed on my chest.’ I’ll shove it up your face if you get in Chael Sonnen’s way.” Sonnen, who fights two weight divisions below Lesnar, was ripping various other fighters during a UFC Q&A session earlier this week in Texas.
Legendary Japanese women’s wrestler Manami Toyota makes her U.S. debut this weekend for the CHIKARA promotion in Baltimore and New York City. More info at www.chikarapro.com.
Today’s Babe of the Day at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.
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Cheerleader Melissa makes her return to APW, where she first trained to be a wrestler, to take on the vivacious Reby Sky.