WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Sunday January 3, 2010
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
Raw is live Monday night from Dayton head-to-head against Impact with Bret Hart making his first in-person Raw appearance since 1997; plus DX vs. JeriShow for the tag titles, Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston; and Melina likely dropping the Divas title. The Hart Dynasty are also booked for the show. I don’t know whether they will make the announcement tomorrow night but Stu Hart is a lock this year for the Hall of Fame.
The Smackdown/ECW tapings are Tuesday in Louisville including Batista vs. Rey Mysterio with the winner facing The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble.
MVP talked about the Chris Benoit murders in an interview with New York’s Hot 97 at http://tinyurl.com/yeux454. It’s a pretty big deal as there is an unwritten rule within WWE that you never talk about that topic in media interviews. He said Benoit was a good friend and that he is still messed up over what happened. He discusses a lot of other inside stuff including Vince McMahon at the gorilla position… MVP was also a guest on Opie & Anthony back on December 16 pushing Tribute to the Troops. He talked openly about smoking marijuana noting that when he was in Iraq, one of the U.S. troops told him a lot of marijuana is grown in Afghanistan, and he joked that he was disappointed that WWE wasn’t taping the show over there.
Jim Ross celebrates a birthday today. His latest blog is online at www.jrsbarbq.com where he talks more about the passing of Steve Williams and said the funeral is likely Friday in Lakewood, CO. He also talked about helping to set up a college scholarship fund for Williams’ 16-year son Wyndham.
Mickie James was involved in a minor auto accident on New Year’s Eve.
She was rear-ended by a teenager who was driving while texting on their phone. Luckily she was unhurt.
The DVD project that Bret Hart is working on with WWE is actually a Hart family DVD. Several members of his family have recently taped interviews at the TV studios in Connecticut.
Shane McMahon was reportedly in Las Vegas last night for the UFC PPV.
Toymaker Mattel officially took over the WWE license from Jakks Pacific on January 1. It’s a major deal for the company giving them a larger global reach for merchandise adding considerably to their bottom line in years to come.
WWE talent chief John Laurinaitis visits Louisville for talent evaluations at Ohio Valley Wrestling on Wednesday.
Due to the holidays ECW was delayed by a day in several overseas markets as the tapes didn’t arrive on time.
James Roday and Dule Hill of Psych, the USA Network show, are penciled in as guest hosts for the January 25 Raw in Columbus, OH. John Cena has a Psych cameo on January 27 so they will be pushing his appearance.
Kelly Kelly was listed among AskMen.com’s poll of most desirable women of 2010.
Eve Torres wrote on her Twitter that she met RnB starlet Rihanna this afternoon at LAX.
TNA WRESTLING NEWS
Impact is live for three hours starting at 8pm ET on Monday from Orlando
with Hulk Hogan and friends; Tara vs. ODB for the Knockouts title;
Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Awesome Kong & Hamada for the Knockouts tag
titles, and the X-Division title is defended in a steel cage.
They are also taping another episode of Impact on Tuesday that won’t air
until a week on Thursday.
Angelina Love finally got her U.S. work visa stamped and is scheduled to
start back with the company on Monday.
Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles for the TNA title was just announced for
Genesis on January 17 which includes the TNA PPV debut of Hulk Hogan.
Shannon Moore wrote on his Twitter that TNA officials called him to come
in for Monday’s Impact. Jeff Hardy and his girlfriend Beth wrote on
their Twitter that they were going with Moore to support him and check
out the show. Actually, they were invited separately. The last time
Moore came in for a TNA taping he went over AJ Styles in a televised
match but then swerved them and signed back with the WWE which
infuriated a lot of TNA people at the time.
IGN.com has the most amazing interview with Hulk Hogan at
http://tinyurl.com/ygwndqb. He said TNA reminds him of WCW back in they
day because they produce wrestling in a tiny sound stage and were up
against a monster. You know, because WCW wasn’t bank rolled by a
billionaire or anything. He claimed when he jumped to WCW in 1994 all
the WWF fans were outraged at him, but this time it’s different because
they have his back. He ripped on Triple H and Shawn Michaels saying that
the DX skits with Hornswoggle are goofy and fans are sick of them. He is
probably correct in that regard. He tried to put across that Vince
McMahon is scared of competition and that’s why he brought back Bret
Hart: “Vince is panicking and scrambling… I’m excited for Bret to come
back. And guess what? I already won again. Because Vince McMahon is now
showing that he’s worried about Hulk Hogan going head to head. So Vince
is going to do all he can to squash me on Monday night and I’m given the
opportunity of a lifetime. It’s like a human being going up against a
monster.” He talked again about getting guys over saying the goal 12
months from now is for A.J. Styles to walk through airports and have
people react to him like he’s Ric Flair: “There is a lot of talent there
but someone needs to breathe life into them and make them larger than
life. And to get them to really think about what they’re doing in the
ring. To really dial their characters in. And that’s what I’m coming to
do.” Hogan also claimed that he’s going to look at getting TNA talent
health care, insurance, and profit sharing. That’s a huge statement.
MMA website AOL Fanhouse has a Q&A with Hogan at
http://tinyurl.com/yl2fqoy. In another awesome story he said he made the
decision to return to wrestling after hanging out at Brian Knobbs’
wrestling school one day, and… “I happened to just walk by the ring
and I kind of brushed the corner of the ring with my left hand and when
I did, I got goose bumps. I mean, I got chills from head to toe, and I
said, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?’” He talked about Impact being on
Spike TV for seven years (actually it’s four) and said Dixie Carter
signed him to be TNA’s version of Vince McMahon: “… I don’t mean to
use this guy’s name over and over again, but I have to, because he’s so
good at what he does: they’re bringing me in to be the Vince McMahon for
TNA.” When asked how long his contract was with TNA he claimed he didn’t
know: “I’m not sure. I think it’s a year with rollovers, you know, if
[Dixie Carter and I] both happy. It’s definitely a year, it’s not any
shorter than that.” On Vince Russo, he said he can forgive, but can’t
forget: “A leopard doesn’t change their spots. So I’ve got to really be
aware, but I’m not walking in there to fire Vince Russo the first day;
I’m not walking in there to fire Terry Taylor the first day. I’m walking
in there going, OK, guys, it’s a new day, and I hope everybody here has
something to contribute because I learn from everybody. I listen to
everybody. I mean, even my next door neighbor said something about
wrestling last night, and it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard,
so I listen to everybody, and it goes with Vince Russo. With Russo I
come in peace, but history is not going to repeat itself here, and if
you try to undermine me, or if you try to underwrite my story lines or
you try to do anything to hurt me or sabotage me, I’ve got my eye on
you. But instead of me just knocking you out, or me just firing you, I
have an open mind in how good of a writer are you. What do you really
know about this business? What can you really contribute to this
business other than just blocking out a two-hour show and doing the
transitions and the inserts and the pre-tapes and keeping flow good
enough to hopefully keep people interested? I mean how good are you
really? So I mean, there’s an issue there with him, which has to be
Rob Van Dam wrote in his blog that he won’t be appearing on Monday’s
Impact: “This Monday kicks off the new ratings war between WWE and
TNA-like I have to tell you! I admit, I am interested in the hype. In
fact, I feel like I’m involved with this new era just because of the
ginormous rumors involving me and a return. I’m going to say this-even
though I know it won’t do much good-don’t be mad at me that you tuned in
to see your favorite wrestler and I wasn’t there. I’m going to be
watching with you.” He didn’t address rumors that he agreed a short-term
appearance deal with the company. He also noted joining the growing list
of wrestler’s who have donated their brains after death to the Sports
Eric Bischoff at http://www.ebwrestling.blogspot.com/ says he is looking
forward to working with TNA in 2010. He praised Spike TV for putting
some “nitrous (get it?) into the tank” and going live head-to-head
against Raw: “Clearly TNA is up against a Wall Street mega-corp bully
with a billion dollar bank account and a Chairman that thinks only he
should have any meaningful market share of the professional wrestling
business (even though he’s embarrassed to admit he’s in the professional
wrestling business). It will be an up-hill battle for TNA indeed. The
real winner though, will be the wrestling fans.” He said he watched Raw
a couple of week’s ago and described it as “mind-numbingly stupid”
adding, “perhaps the fact that TNA stepped up and is at least taking a
swing at the bully was enough to make McMahon realize that he could not
afford to take his audience for granted and continue to shove tripe down
the throats of his Goliath “universe” while David was reaching for a
Dixie Carter in an interview with The Sun at http://tinyurl.com/ykpembt
talks about Hulk Hogan being the greatest wrestler and mind in the
history of the business. She said Hogan has been analysing the TNA
product for months looking at every aspect of the company. “He is
involved with everything from looking at new talent to how we are
shooting the show,” she said. “We’re looking at what we can do better,
what we can do differently and what we can try. I’m not adverse to
trying things or to taking risks, because without that you won’t have
great success.” She added that for her January 4 won’t be defined by
ratings but just the fact they are in the game: “We have Goliath
bringing out the biggest guns that they could possibly bring. And we’re
trying to put our best foot forward. You’ll see a lot of surprises and a
lot of great showcasing of TNA’s top talent. The bottom line is that the
fans are going to win that night and wrestling is going to win that
night. And that’s what we want to see happen.”
UK fans will get a two-hour edited version of the January 4 Impact on
Saturday, January 9. Dixie Carter noted they are going to put the
three-hour version on the TNA Video Vault website so fans outside North
America can watch the show for free.
On the TNA website there is a new logo dropping the words “Total Nonstop
A.J. Styles in the Poughkeepsie Journal at http://tinyurl.com/yfxovor
talks Hogan and Eric Bischoff saying he has spoken to neither and knows
nothing about their plans coming in. He blamed the economy for poor
house show attendance and suggested TNA put more posters up in the
Alex Marvez interviewed Brian Diamond of Spike TV at
http://tinyurl.com/ydhsb7t. He talked up the return of the Monday Night
Wars saying there are 10 million wrestling fans who have been waiting
for this moment. Not sure where he came up with that figure but possibly
there were that many viewers ten years ago. “Part of the discussion we
have with TNA is what do we need to do to raise the bar and make things
better,” he said. “Stronger talent and story lines are the key.”
Vince Russo on his Facebook teased tension between himself and Hogan. He
wrote: “On my way to Orlando. Don’t know what tomorrow brings but I do
know that every challenge in life makes us grow. Headed to a party
tonight hosted at Margaritaville at Universal’s Citiwalk. It will be
hosted by BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE and HULK HOGAN. Was I invited, or am I
crashing? Let the show begin!!!” I assume he is trying to imply that he
and Hogan haven’t had any discussions prior to today, which is not the
case at all.
Hogan is going on 99.9 KISW-Seattle radio at 7am tomorrow morning to
“shoot back” at CM Punk after Punk ripped Hogan on the same show last
Alfonso Castillo interviewed Taz in-depth at http://tinyurl.com/y8wj4yp.
He talked about Hogan coming in and why he left the WWE. Excellent
interview and well worth a read.
The Slam Wrestling website has a story on The Pope at
http://tinyurl.com/yezdep5. They really should have this guy doing more
media interviews for the company. He’s awesome.
Mark Madden’s response to rumors linking him to TNA: “Taz does a good
job, and TNA couldnâ€™t afford me”.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Battery and criminal trespass charges against Sean Haire aka Sean
O’Haire were dropped in Savannah, GA. Back in September it was alleged
by Haire’s ex-girlfriend that he went crazy and “began to choke her
while calling her a bitch and a whore.” According to the arrest report,
Haire’s girlfriend said she “does not know what caused the sudden
attack, but that it has happened in the past on several occasions.” She
eventually escaped his grip and ran outside to call the cops. He was
later charged and released on a $4,600 bond.
IWA Puerto Rico booker Luke Williams, the former Bushwacker, was
hospitalized last weekend in Carolina after suffering pneumonia. He was
very sick but is now out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.
UFC president Dana White said Brock Lesnar is going to see a specialist
this coming week for a definitive prognosis on whether he can resume his
MMA career after he was diagnosed with diverticulitis and other
undisclosed ailments. White said Saturday night during the UFC 108
post-fight press conference: “This is the week Brock Lesnar is going
back to the doctor, getting fully checked out by one of the best doctors
and hospitals in the world… If the doctors say things are going well
and things are going in the right direction, then maybe we’re a few
months away from him coming back, if it’s not, and not going in the
right direction, he’ll either be done and have to retire or he’ll be out
for a couple of years. So hopefully we get good news. And then after we
get that announcement, then we’ll be able to plan what we’re going to do
with the heavyweight division.” Lesnar is the reigning UFC heavyweight
champion after defeating Randy Couture for the title in 2008. White
added: “I’m not looking at Brock Lesnar and saying ‘Oh Brock,’ now he’s
gone we’re going to lose all these pay-per-views buys. What I’m thinking
about is I hope Brock’s going to be OK. If he has to have this major
surgery, you’re talking about changing the quality of this guy’s life
for ever. I like him, I respect him and I hope that doesn’t happen for
him and his family’s sake.”
Spike TV has purchased a reality show featuring midget wrestlers called
Half Pint Brawlers. They bought six half-hour episodes with
wrestler/comedian Puppet the Psycho Dwarf as the midget leader touring
the country putting on shows, and dealing with life in “the bigger
world.” Half Pint Brawlers was originally a wrestling promotion that ran
ten years ago out of Chicago featuring midget wrestlers in hardcore
Jimmy Hart talks WWE vs. TNA at www.dory-funk.com.
Julie Hart, the former wife of Bret, is in the process of writing a
The Edmonton Journal at http://tinyurl.com/yzda8eq has a story on
Dorothy Roberts, the 93-year-old sister of Gene Kiniski, who says she
has adopted a wrestler’s stance to aide her while walking around because
it helps her keep her balance.
Today’s Diva of the Day is Beth Phoenix at