Wrestling Globe Newsletter for 1/25 (2010)

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WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Monday January 25, 2010
 
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Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren – All the latest professional wrestling news, gossip and occasional opinion direct to your mailbox.
WGN is read by industry power players, many top wrestlers and thousands of fans from all around the world.
 
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WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

1/23 SD/ECW house show results from Hammond, IN: R-Truth over Dolph Ziggler; The Hart Dynasty over Jimmy Yang & Slam Master J; Tyler Reks over Goldust; Mickie James & Maria over Beth Phoenix & Layla; Matt Hardy over Finlay; Christian over Ezekiel Jackson; Drew McIntyre over John Morrison; and Rey Mysterio & Kane over Chris Jericho & CM Punk. The show was a complete sell out drawing 4,000.

1/24 Raw house show results from Champaign, IL: Chris Masters over Johnny Curtis; Mark Henry & Evan Bourne over Legacy; The Miz beat Primo, Carlito &  MVP in a four-way; Gail Kim & Bella Twins over Maryse & Jillian Hall & Alicia Fox in a trios match with Santino as guest referee; Big Show over Jack Swagger in an over-the-top-rope challenge; Randy Orton over Kofi Kingston; and John Cena over Sheamus via DQ. Show drew an estimated 8,000.

1/24 SD/ECW house show results from Cleveland, OH: Drew McIntyre over Matt Hardy, R-Truth & John Morrison in a four-way; Mickie James & Maria over Beth Phoenix & Lalya; The Hart Dynasty over Jimmy Yang & Slam Master J; Christian over Ezekiel Jackson; Tyler Reks over Goldust; Finlay over Dolph Ziggler; Rey Mysterio & Kane over CM Punk & Luke Gallows; and Triple H over Chris Jericho. Show drew an estimated 5,000.

Raw is live tonight from Columbus with James Roday and Dule Hill of Psych as the guest hosts. The SD/ECW tapings are Tuesday in Cincinnati with Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison for the IC title; and DX vs. The Straight Edge Society for the tag titles. We’re looking for reader reports from both shows to you2us@wrestlingglobe.com.

Steve Austin co-stars on Chuck tonight at 8pm before Raw on NBC. He plays a killer on a plane.

***

The lawsuit Jody Hamilton brought against WWE was settled out of court for an undisclosed fee, according to Hamilton’s attorney out of Atlanta.
Hamilton, 72, who was a wrestler in the 60s, 70s and 80s as The Assassin, reopened his Deep South Wrestling promotion in 2005 as an affiliate of WWE, to train talents signed to developmental contracts. In 2007, WWE abruptly ended their contract with Hamilton and DSW with no notice. In April 2009, Hamilton sued for breach of contract and intentional interference with contractual and business relations. His attorney claimed that, WWE “fraudulently contrived a reason to end the agreement” without giving 90-days notice as laid out in the contract between Hamilton, DSW, and WWE. A key-paragraph in the suit read: “WWE unlawfully entered the premises occupied by Hamilton and DSW and removed property that belonged to DSW and Hamilton. Contemporaneously with its clandestine operation to dismantle DSW’s operation and cripple its ability to operate at all, John Laurentis [sic], WWE’s VP of Promotions and a member of the Board of Directors [Laurinaitis is actually WWE EVP of Talent Relations], assembled all the independant contractor wrestlers who were committed to DSW’s upcoming events and issued an ominous warning. He cautioned them that, ‘if they ever set foot in this building again or had anything to do with Hamilton or DSW their relationship with WWE would end and they would never work again in the wrestling industry.’” Apparently there were two former WWE talents willing to come forward and testify that Laurinaitis gave that speech. WWE were unsuccessful in a motion to dismiss so settled with Hamilton before the case went to trial.

The Undertaker and Michelle McCool, who turns 30 today, missed the Smackdown show last night in Cleveland due to a death in their family.
Triple H was brought in as Taker’s replacement in the main event against Jericho. Both are expected back for TV tomorrow in Cincinnati.

Bret Hart is scheduled back with WWE this week. Not sure he will appear at the Royal Rumble but likely next Monday in Nashville.

Linda McMahon appeared on Face the State, a political show in Connecticut, which is the first extended television interview of her Senate campaign. She fielded questions from two local journalists, including questions on the content of WWE TV, the Wellness Program, independent contractor status, and Henry Waxman’s congressional enquiry into illegal steroid use in pro wrestling. She came across very well and wasn’t flustered at any point. When asked about the Katie Vick storyline involving Triple H simulating sex with a corpse she admitted that creative pushed the envelope too far with that one and brought up the change from TV14 to PG. Other interesting notes are that one of her heroes is Maggie Thatcher [UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990] and that Vince McMahon might campaign with her closer to the Republican Primary.
Full interview is online at www.wfsb.com.

A lot of unhappy fans in Chicago this past weekend. Rey Mysterio was in town for a book signing at KMart. Hundreds of fans turned out and purchased $35 or more of merchandise for a wristband that was supposed to guarantee them an autograph. However, Kmart allowed people to stand in line without a wristband. To make matters worse Mysterio was 30 minutes late arriving to the signing and tried to leave early. All hell broke loose. People rushed him and security had to force people back so he could escape. Afterwards lots of people took the merchandise they just purchased back to the counter for a refund.

WWE are keeping the CM Punk gimmick alive at weekend live events as they are finding local workers/fans willing to have their heads shaved.

Jamie Noble was working the Smackdown tour as an agent over the weekend.

The Miz is profiled in his hometown paper at http://tinyurl.com/ydn8nxt.
Miz’ father is quoted as saying in the article: “Michael has got a fantastic personality… He’s very, very smart. He’s a comedian. I think he’s going to definitely go into movies or something. I don’t think that’s his goal, but what they’re doing with him on WWE, I don’t see them doing that with anybody else.” Umm, okay.

Alan Wojcik at http://alanwojcik.com has an interview with the former DJ Gabriel [Steve Lewington] talking about his release: “I don’t have any bitterness for the WWE because the only thing they did was give me a chance. That’s all I asked for. I didn’t complain about the personas I played and I don’t have any ill feelings towards anyone in the WWE. I was lucky enough to be in the number one company in the world for almost five years because I proved that I had what it took to be there. I’m utmost happy about my tenure with the WWE and maybe one day I’ll return.” He said he has friends in TNA and would love to go there if the opportunity presented itself.

There is a presale tomorrow morning for WrestleMania Axxess. There are
$55 VIP tickets that get you line jumps to interactive areas, an 8x 10 signed photo, and access to an exclusive area ringside. Standard price is $35.

Chasing The Grail, the fourth album of Fozzy with Chris Jericho, goes on sale tomorrow via iTunes.com. The track, Martyr No More, from the album is the official theme song of the Royal Rumble.

TNA WRESTLING NEWS

TNA debuts in France tonight with a house show at Le Zenith De Paris. No line up announced. The original date that was booked for Sunday had an advance of 3,500. A good advance considering they currently have no television in the country and have done very little by way of advertising. Dixie Carter will be at the show and is presumably working this week to address the TV situation in France.

The remaining tour dates are all in the UK this coming week with stops in Bournemouth, Cardiff, Coventry, Manchester, and London. We’re looking for readers reports from all these shows to you2us@wrestlingglobe.com.

The Beautiful People [Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne] have been called in for the remainder of the tour starting with Bournemouth on Tuesday. They are working tags against Taylor Wilde and Sarita. Not sure where this leaves Hamada.

***

AJ Styles rips on WWE at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling saying, “All the horror stories I’ve heard about WWE, there is no reason why I’d want to go. I’m going to tell you what I know as the main difference between the two companies. Desmond [Wolfe] and I are going to work together to make this company the best, for everybody. Whereas in the other company they will stab each other in the back to get themselves to the next level.
It’s not about me. It’s about us in TNA.” Regarding reverting back to a traditional wrestling ring, Styles said the reason he was given was that they wanted to be taken seriously as a wrestling company. He said: “I can understand that. I don’t care what it is that gets us to the next level as long as we get there.”

There is talk of Styles bleaching his hair as part of the new storyline with Ric Flair.

Styles also promotes the UK tour at http://tinyurl.com/ykchg4r. When asked about watching British wrestling he said he didn’t but put over Johhny Saint after watching some of his matches on tape.

Roxxi is having X-Rays on her ankle today to determine whether her fracture has healed enough to start light training.

The storyline with Jay Lethal jobbing to old-timers appears to have been dropped under the new regime. The original plan was for this to lead to Lethal dropping the Machismo gimmick.

Hulk Hogan was awarded a judgment in his favor over ex-wife Linda removing fixtures and fittings from their Bellaire mansion. Hogan filed a complaint in December which claimed that Linda unlawfully removed items from their former family home including chandeliers, a tanning bed and even a “wooden antique toilet seat from the guest house”. A friend of Hogan [wonder who that could be?] that wasn’t named is quoted in various showbiz reports saying that a judge has ordered Linda to return the toilet seat and other items she had removed. Linda sent out a press release through her agent before the holidays claiming she had used the toilet seat to frame a photo of the Hulkster.

Trishelle Cannatella wrote on her Twitter page that she watches TNA and would love to appear on the show. She is the former Real World contestant who gained notoriety for having a three-way in a hot tub with two other male contestants, and later had a fling with The Miz during a Real World/Road Rules reunion show. She was also one of the women on Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling.

Lance Storm reviews last Thursday’s edition of Impact and makes some great points about the show at http://tinyurl.com/y97almr.

John Pollock of The Fight Network posted his December interview with Hulk Hogan at http://tinyurl.com/yfceysq.

Tara has an upcoming interview in Lifestyle magazine.

OTHER WRESTLING NEWS

Ring of Honor tonight on HD Net has The Briscoes vs. Cheech & Cloudy; Skullkrusher Raschke Brown vs. Bobby Shields; and Kenny King vs. El Generico. Plus, Jim Cornette handles business regarding the Final Battle controversy involving ROH champ Austin Aries and Tyler Black. More info at www.rohwrestling.com.

Tooth Fairy with Dwayne Johnson finished the weekend at No. 4 at the U.S. box office. Studio estimates has the movie taking in $14.5 million [plus $6.3M overseas] for its first weekend behind Legion [$18.2M, first week], The Book of Eli [$17M, second week], and Avatar [$36M, sixth week]… Avatar is on a course to become the highest-grossing movie of all time ahead of Titanic.

Cinematical.com has a Q&A with Dwayne Johnson at http://tinyurl.com/ygj7jw3. When asked how wrestling has helped him for acting, he said: “Wrestling has helped me [because] now I guess it goes back to checking your ego at the door. I didn’t have to win, and winning wasn’t important to me. Being world champion wasn’t important to me.
What was important to me was entertaining the audience, and whether that meant winning, losing, singing, or whatever it was on the live show we were doing every week, which was awesome, I was game for it. So I think you check your ego at the door, put your audience first, make sure you love your material, and then think about how much the audience is going to enjoy it as well.” … Julie Andrews puts over Johnson at http://tinyurl.com/y9hol4l.

Gabe Sapolsky talks Dragon Gate USA, TNA vs. WWE, his excommunication from Ring of Honor, and more at http://tinyurl.com/y937xcu.

WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel will be participating in a special Q&A session at the Promolast Atlanta Reunion Fanfest scheduled for June 4 and 5 in Atlanta, GA. Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly will also be giving a Yoga demo at the event. Other talent booked to appear include Booker T, Lex Luger, Ron Simmons, Molly Holly, and Glacier. More info at www.promolastevents.com.

The American Wrestling Rampage tour of France has been moved from March to November with dates in Bordeaux, Marseille, Grenoble, Dijon, Lille, and Rouen.

The New York State Wrestling Federation runs on March 20 at the high school in New Rochelle, NY, with Jimmy Suka, Trevor Murdoch, plus a Mexican midget match. This event serves as a fundraiser for the New Rochelle Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team. Tickets are available at www.nyswfwrestling.com

www.InYourHeadOnline.com has an audio interview up with Bruno Sammartino.

www.forceofwrestling.com has an interview with Balls Mahoney.

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

WRESTLING GLOBE MAILBAG

My Father, Dory Funk Sr. always said you can never learn the wrestling
business unless you face the best.

In my first year in the wrestling, I faced the best. I wrestled Verne
Gagne to an hour draw, defeated Sonny Meyers, Fritz Von Erich, and Pat
O’Connor and I wrestled Gene Kiniski to a one hour draw in what I still
consider one of the toughest matches I ever had. At about the 40 minute
mark, Gene grabbed both of my legs and gave me his “Giant Swing” until I
nearly blacked out, then dropped me in the center of the ring and jumped
on me with all 6′ 6 280 pounds, then crossed my face with his forearm
and said, “Your Mother is coming to ringside, Dorothy is worried about
you, here she comes to help you.” To this day I still consider wrestling
Gene Kiniski the most demanding athletic event I have participated in.

In the finals of a tournament to see who would face Lou Thesz for the
NWA World Championship. I went over Iron Mike Dibiase. Before a sellout
crowd in Amarillo, Texas I wrestled Lou Thesz to a one hour draw for the
World Heavyweight Championship.

In my second year in the business, (1964) it was my fathers opinion that
I must prove myself a box office attraction in other places if I were
going to climb to the top in the wrestling business. We chose the
Vancouver Territory as the place to go. My father had built a reputation
there a few years before wrestling as the Texas Outlaw.

My father made the trip to Vancouver with me for the first week. We were
booked around the territory as father and son tag team. This was an
introduction for me to the Vancouver Territory. After the first week,
Dad returned to Amarillo and I stayed to work the Vancouver Territory.
The loop included Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, New Westminster,
Chilliwack, and Tacoma Washington.

After the first week I had a meeting with promoter Rod Fenton. He told
me, “people here pay to see big men in the ring. Just look at my stars,
Gene Kiniski, Don Leo Jonathan, Mike Sharpe, Dale Lewis, and Tex
McKenzie.” I had some concern that maybe Rod Fenton was doing a favor
for my father and doubted my ability.

The wrestlers in Vancouver were great to get along with. Mike Sharp,
Gene Kiniski, and Don Leo Jonathan were my friends. In the dressing room
I would hear Jonathan say, “Okay kid, lets get your pushups done, 300 of
them, then Gene and Mike would make me lay on a bench and they would
work my neck until I couldn’t turn it from side to side. Gene Kiniski
would give me advice, “Listen kid I want to see you in a sport coat
every night. Give these people some wrestling that is what they are
paying to see, not a bunch of bull shit.” Mike would say, “Okay kid work
my neck. He would lay down on the bench. “Work it Hell, I couldn’t even
move it.”

After the first week, my father was gone and I was on my own. I received
my booking sheet. The whole loop for that week I was scheduled against
preliminary wrestlers on the first match every night. I did my best
hoping I could move up the card the next week.

At the end of the second week I received my next booking sheet and saw
that I was working second match with Peter Whickinoff. I had never heard
of him, but I would do my best. Peter Whickinoff was substituted for all
week by more jobbers. After suffering through my second week of mediocre
matches, I went in to get my next booking sheet and saw that I was
wrestling second match with Joe Noshow who turned out to be replaced by,
you guessed it, more jobbers.

I had had it. I was 2000 miles from home with my wife and two kids
trying my best and felt like I was going nowhere. I remember getting my
pay from Tacoma Washington, it was an all time record low for me. $17
and promoter Rod Fenton looked at me and said, “Don’t tell anybody in
Texas about this.” I told Mr. Fenton, “Please give me a chance. I
promise I will do anything if you will let me show you what I can do.
The next day I got my booking sheet, Monday in Vancouver was a battle
royal and the rest of the week, I was on top wrestling Gene Kiniski. I
was thrilled.

I wanted to be spectacular in the Battle Royal, “Impress the promoter.”
I was in the corner on the top rope with Tex McKenzie and Mike Sharpe in
front of me, both 6′ 9″ tall. From the top rope I jumped over the top of
them, landing in the middle of the ring. As I jumped from the top, Mike
reached up and grabbed at my leg, throwing me off balance. In an effort
to land standing in the middle of the ring I reached for the floor with
one leg only. As I landed, I could feel the knee break to the inside. As
I set there on the mat knowing my knee was busted, my friends picked me
up and threw me over the top rope and down to the floor. That’s what
friends in wrestling are for. (You know, the show must go on)

The next morning I was in the doctors office. He said, “Check in the
hospital tomorrow and we will do knee surgery.” Disappointed and
Dejected, I called Promoter, Rod Fenton to give him the bad news. Fenton
said, “Before you have surgery, call Gene Kiniski. I didn’t speak much
to Gene, I just listened. “Kid, go to a sporting good store and buy some
tough skin, some tape, and long wrestling tights. Shave your leg and
show up for the show one hour ahead of time. I did what he said.

That night I had to cover up and sneak in the back door. I was on the
main event wrestling Gene Kiniski and couldn’t let the wrestling fans
see that I couldn’t walk. Gene was there one hour ahead of schedule. He
taped my leg tight as a cast from top to bottom, then said bend it till
you get a slight tear in the tape by your knee. As Gene left, he
growled, “Okay kid, I will see you in the ring.”

Gene Kiniski was there every night that week one hour ahead of schedule
to tape my knee before we wrestled, then we would go into the ring and
he would whip the heck out of me but leave the knee alone. I owe it to
Gene Kiniski that I did not have to have surgery on my knee in Vancouver
and he may have saved my career, In fact I have been wrestling all these
years and never had more trouble or surgery on my knees.

When time came to leave the Vancouver Territory and return to Amarillo,
I was wondering what to give to Gene Kiniski for a gift to thank him for
taking care of me and most likely saving my career in wrestling but as
my advisor, Big Gene left nothing to chance. At my last show in
Vancouver, Gene came to me and said, “Listen Kid, Before you leave for
Amarillo, you need to go to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of
Crown Royal and on your way out drop it off and my house in Bellingham.”
(Washington) On the way out of the territory with wife and kids we
stopped by Gene’s house with Gene’s bottle of Crown Royal.

Five years later in Tampa Florida on February 11, 1969 I went over Gene
Kiniski for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. No one was prouder
of my career as NWA Champion than Gene Kiniski.

At WCW’s Slamboree in ’93, Gene Kiniski was my manager in the legends
match against Nick Bockwinkel. Verne Gagne was in Bockwinkel’s corner
and John Valentine was commentating the match. As we walked into the
ring at the Omni, Gene had his arm around my shoulder, still the boss
and still telling me what to do. As we came to the center of the ring in
the Omni in Atlanta, He stopped, looked at me and said, “Look up, Your
father is up there looking at us now. Do you see Nick Bockwinkel over
there?” “Give’em hell Kid.”

Dory Funk Jr.

Now on !BANG! TV at http://www.dory-funk.com “Blast From the Past” Dory
Funk Jr. vs Gene Kiniski NWA World Championship Match from the Tampa
Armory February 11, 1969 / Photo of NWA Champions.

For training information and ticket information to !BANG! TV Tapings,
call 352-895-4658 or visit http://www.dory-funk.com.

***

Hey, fan of the newsletter, but I have an issue with today’s email.

It’s not like Cheech & Chong have been MIA for 30 years. Cheech has been
constantly working in film and television. He plays Hurley’s father in
Lost and is in most of Robert Rodriguez’s films. Chong was a
semi-regular on That 70′s Show, which is played to death in syndication
on various cable channels.

And they got their reunion thing in full swing.

Now, if you want to take the angle of why a squeaky clean WWE would want
a duo best known for pot smoking to host the show, that would be another
thing. But if CM Punk wins the tag titles and is on Raw that day, then
it would be worth it. Even more so if they can get RVD to work a RR to
WM schedule.

Keep up the good work.

Adam Monetta

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