Mick Foley was announced Friday as the first name for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class. Foley started rumors regarding his induction months ago stating if he were to be inducted he would rather it be this year with the induction ceremony taking place at Madison Square Garden. Foley, 47, attended shows in the Garden before going on to become a pro wrestler and one of the central figures during WWE’s Attitude Era when the company enjoyed its most profitable years. His induction coincides with the release of his new WWE DVD, “For All Mankind – Life & Career of Mick Foley”. Following the official announcement Foley tweeted, “Thanks to all of you who sent messages of congratulations, and to my fellow wrestlers, who have kept my cell phone jumping. It’s a big day!” Foley has said he would like Jim Ross or Terry Funk to induct him. Remaining Hall of Fame tickets go on sale today and by the time you read this will have sold out.
Regarding the Hall of Fame, Triple H has been in communication with Bruno Sammartino on behalf of the company but there is no deal at press time. The biggest other names we’ve heard mentioned within company circles are Bob Backlund, Jake Roberts, and the late Bam Bam Bigelow. Trish Stratus has also been talked about as a Diva induction and if they can sway him Mr T as a celebrity induction.
Tyson Kidd suffered a serious knee injury on the last loop and is expected to be sidelined for more than 6 months. This will be the longest period Kidd has been out for in his career to date so it’s a big blow with a Wrestlemania payday coming up.
Trent Barreta (Greg Marasciul, 25) and Styler Moon (Natalie Osman, 23) were released on Friday. Barreta was sparsely used on the Smackdown side while Moon never made it out of developmental after battling an eating disorder and spending time in WWE-sponsored rehab.
El Generico (Rami Sebei, 28) out of Montreal was offered a developmental deal pending pre signing screening. Generico is one of the most popular indy wrestlers in the world famous for his Luchadore super hero gimmick.
There is talk of the entire developmental program relocating to Orlando before the end of the year. NXT currently tapes its events at Full Sail University using students as part of the audience and production team while the actual training facility is located in Tampa.
There was a DX reunion of sorts at the NXT tapings on Thursday night with appearances from Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Shawn Waltman, Billy Gunn and Kevin Nash They did a spot which resulted in a Superkick to Damien Sandow. During the tapings they did a tag title tournament to crown the first-ever NTX tag champs. Derrick Bateman, Mason Ryan, and Jake Carter, son of Vader, all returned to action.
There are unconfirmed reports that Billy Gunn has replaced Bill DeMott as head trainer for NXT.
Dusty Rhodes did some work this past week for a Best of War Games DVD being producing for release in September.
WWE has done very little so far in Houston to promote Raw 20. There was one story in the Houston Chronicle plus Brodus Clay and Natalya are visiting a school on Monday to promote the WWE reading initiative. Raw will feature a Rock concert (Rock playing his guitar) and Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas title. They are also bringing in a few names including Jim Ross presumably to commentate and Ric Flair for a segment with CM Punk. Steve Austin and Undertaker are both rumoured as appearing too but that isn’t confirmed.
Former Women’s champion Madusa wrote on Twitter that she is considering attending Raw in Houston. She still has the original WWF women’s title belt that she dumped in the trash on WCW television all those years ago.
Wrestling 101 has an interview with Ric Flair. On Vince McMahon as a boss: “Vince again is a great guy, he’s very honest and to the point and truthful. He is brutally honest and it takes a lot for someone in this day and age to be brutally honest but Vince is and I respect that about him. He’s the man, there is no one like him and no one has ever compared to him in this business, he has put things together that no one ever has, he’s a genius. But don’t piss him off! I’ve pissed Vince off plenty of times but oh boy did he make me aware of it and at the end of the day Vince always wins.” On the current WWE product: “I think the current product is average but that’s because you can’t replace guys like The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair, it’s very hard to replace all of those great guys, but the WWE is still the best wrestling product there is. The WWE really misses that whole attitude era but you’ll never get that back because it is just so hard to establish new names over night, you can’t just take a generation of people and try to replace them to make it better because it is a very tough and difficult business.” Flair does put over Cena, Orton, Show, Mysterio and Ziggler as stand outs but doesn’t believe the main event depth is as deep as it once was. “There are a lot of good guys there right now but it’s just not what it was when you had the likes of Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle… I think Kurt is awesome, right now he is the best wrestler in the business.” Full interview at http://tinyurl.com/bgnf4rj.
Raw last Monday night did a 3.1 rating and 4.42 million viewers, 900,000 viewers up from last week and the best number since August. That’s pretty impressive against the BCS national title game which did 26.38 million viewers and was the second most watched event in the history of cable television.
Rock was part of the Elimination Chamber PPV commercial that they shot backstage on Monday.
Beth Phoenix took to Twitter this week to deny online rumors that she was pregnant.
In case you missed it, Alberto Del Rio captured the World title from Big Show this week on Smackdown. The switch wasn’t originally planned this soon but will be part of a bigger picture down the line.
Zack Ryder’s YouTube show “Z! True Long Island Story” is apparently no more. That’ll show him for trying to get TV time. The last episode is online at http://tinyurl.com/aan2cn3.
The Genesis pay-per-view is Sunday from Universal Orlando with Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Tessmacher vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky to determine the No. 1 contender to Knockouts title; Christian York vs. Kenny King with the winner facing Rob Van Dam for the X-Division title; Joseph Park vs. Devon; Sting vs. Doc; James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels; Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan for the tag titles; and Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode in a triple-threat elimination match for the TNA world title.
Elijah Burke, 34, aka Pope has departed after his contract expired on January 1. He wrote on Twitter his departure was not a storyline, “Thanks to Dixie and the whole TNA family for a wonderful 3+ years.” Sarita (Sarah Stock, 33) also appears to be gone after her profile was removed from the website roster page. She hasn’t been seen on television for months but continues to compete in Japan and Mexico.
The company announced a major revamp to its pay-per-view schedule for 2013. They will now run four live PPVs per year, Genesis in January, Lockdown in March, Slammiversary in September, and Bound for Glory in October, along with 8 taped three hour specials to fulfil contracts. The specials will be themed to air on the first Friday of each month. The move is largely a financial one that will eliminate the cost of a live production. “The pay-per-view industry has changed so much in the last decade,” said TNA President Dixie Carter in a press release. “The traditional pay-per-view wrestling model needed to evolve and we believe this strategy will positively impact not only the pay-per-view events but the weekly television programming as well.” Pricing information has not been released at press time although Multi Channel News ran a story with suggested prices citing network officials at http://tinyurl.com/a9xzra9.
The first two PPV specials are being taped as I write this; an X-Division show “X-Travaganza” and a tag team tournament called, “Jokers Wild.”
Eric Bischoff commented on this week’s Impact show: “Had a blast at last night’s TV. Watching talent, both in-ring and creative emerge and grow is the most rewarding aspect of my role here.” The show did a 1.02 rating and 1.29 million viewers, a 25% decline in viewership from the previous week.
Officials are pleased with ratings for the first three episodes of British Boot Camp in the UK. The first two episodes (including +1 hour repeats) did just over 80,000 viewers while episode three did 122,000 viewers on the overnights. Final numbers should be released in a week or two.
Hulk Hogan was officially announced for the UK TV tapings in Manchester and London later this month. UK fans can purchase tickets via Ticketmaster.
Hogan now has wrestling night every Monday and Thursday hosted by Jimmy Hart and friends at his new Tampa restaurant, Hogan’s Beach. The restaurant is getting ripped on Trip Advisor with stories of customers walking out due to lack of servers. One person wrote, “Florida’s newest tourist trap has descended upon Tampa with a vengeance. In addition to being able to pay exorbitant prices for mediocre food we were treated by our elusive waiter, when we could find him, to a demeanor and dress more befitting of street bum. The Hulkster, a real local hero deserves better, much better.” Another diner wrote, “The food was fair. The french fries were pretty good. There was really nothing wrong with the sandwiches, they were just unremarkable. This restaurant has just changed from Crabby Bills to Hogan’s Beach. I think once things get worked out and in place it might be worth trying again. I just wish they had things ready to go before opening for business.”
Jerry Lynn in a new interview discussed why he left TNA back in 2007: “They had us all sign a little amendment to our contracts that said we couldn’t work for any independents that had TV, DVD distribution, PPV or even iPPV and that was a lot of my regulars and TNA wasn’t making me rich by any means. Now they’re telling me I can’t work for a bunch of my regulars and make any money and then they left me home for two TV tapings. That’s a whole month without any income. They were starving me to death so I had to ask for my release. I have a wife and two daughters at home I have to feed.” On whether he would reconsider retirement: “This is pretty much my body telling me, it’s had it. My bump card is full. The only match I’d come back and come out of retirement for and it’d be one time is if I got to wrestle on a Wrestlemania but I don’t foresee that happening. That would probably be the only time I’d come back. It kind of irks me that Snooki got to be on Wrestlemania and I never will.”
THE OTHER NEWS:
Tammy Sytch got engaged (presumably to on-off boyfriend Damien Darling) this past week after returning home from WWE-sponsored rehab. Sytch says she’s going to do a farewell tour before going to Chiropractic College in the fall.
Terry Funk, 68, claims he’s finally retired from the ring. “I had a match against Tommy Dreamer for a company just over a year ago, and that truly and honestly is my last match. That said, there’s no point in being an idiot. If somebody approached me offering an extreme amount of money to wrestle, I’d be a fool not to,” Funk told The Ministry of Slam audio show. “Take into consideration, too, that the quicker I’d lose, the more money I’d walk away with. Think about that. I am retired, but if some idiot wants to go ahead and give me much more than I’m worth, well then, I’d take it from them. What I’ve often thought about is having one more show, where I’d sell the tickets for $1 million apiece. If I sell one ticket, then I go ahead and I wrestle. If I don’t sell any, I don’t wrestle. But seriously, I am retired for good, but that doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea.”
Matt and Jeff Hardy are reuniting next Tuesday in Durham, NC for the return of Omega Pro Wrestling in a benefit show for former Omega wrestler Chuck Coates. Main event is advertised as the Hardys, James Storm & Shane Helms vs. Steve Corino, C.W. Anderson, Lodi & Gunner.
Jimmy Snuka launched his book “Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story” today at Barnes & Noble in Stamford, CT.
Former Diva Stacy Keibler is working with George Clooney to promote his new Tequila brand. Keibler has been dating Clooney now for 18 months.
A wrestling promoter in Tupelo claims to be KKK leader at http://tinyurl.com/af6ahxp.
Event diary courtesy of www.prowrestlingevents.tk.
Saturday, January 12th, 2013:
WWE @ Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana
WWE @ Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas
NXT @ St. Joseph Catholic High School in St. Augustine, Florida
TNA @ Universal Studios (Soundstage 21) in Orlando, Florida
AAPW @ AAPW Arena in Austin, Texas
Anarchy @ Anarchy Arena in Cornelia, Georgia
APW @ American Coliseum in Spartanburg, South Carolina
APW @ Statesboro Karate Studio in Statesboro, Georgia
APWA @ School Square in Shinnston, West Virginia
ASW @ ASW House Of Pain in Lewisburg, Tennessee
ASWF @ Valiant Arena in Tuckerman, Arkansas
AU @ Village Square Commercial Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
AWF @ Community Center in Arlington, Minnesota
C4W @ Sports Mall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
CWFA @ CWFA Arena in Scottsdale, Arizona
CZW @ Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey
DODPW @ Do Or Die Arena in Metropolis, Illinois
EMWF @ Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
EPW @ Empire Arena in Rossville, Georgia
EPW @ Luttrell Center in Sweetwater, Tennessee
EPW @ EPW Arena in Booneville, Mississippi
EWA @ Springfield Turnverein in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts
EWA @ Tall Cedars Hall in Parkville, Maryland
F1RST @ First Avenue Night Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota
FMW @ Community Center in Fairview, North Carolina
FPW @ Moose Lodge in Gloucester, Virginia
GOUGE @ National Guard Armory in Roxboro, North Carolina
HoPWF @ Superior Pro Wrestling Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland
HPB @ Mid-Country Machinery in Fort Dodge, Iowa
HWA @ HWA Arena in La Vergne, Tennessee
ICWA @ Trinity Assembly Of God Church in Johnson City, Tennessee
IPE @ National Guard Armory in Martinsburg, West Virginia
IZW @ Impact Arena in Lawton, Oklahoma
KSWA @ Lawrenceville Moose Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
KZW @ Old Shopville Gym in Shopville, Kentucky
LSC @ LSC Arena in Middletown, Ohio
MCW @ Blue Water Resort & Casino in Parker, Arizona
MMWA @ South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri
MPX @ Midcities Metroflex Gym in Bedford, Texas
MWF @ Vietnam Veterans Center in Lincolnton, North Carolina
NAW @ Wrestleplex Arena in Fresno, California
NEW @ Buffalo Rose Bar & Grill in Golden, Colorado
NWA Atlanta @ Metro Auction Company in Locust Grove, Georgia
NWF @ Bonekrushers Training Center in Cincinnati, Ohio
NWP @ Terre Haute Music Venue in Terre Haute, Indiana
OSW @ Hood Jr. High School in Odessa, Texas
OTW @ Monroe Business Center in Williamstown, New Jersey
OTWF @ Morgan County Fire Station #4 in Buckhead, Georgia
OVW @ Richwood Station Event Center in Walton, Kentucky
OWO @ East Amory Community Center in Amory, Mississippi
PPW @ Community Center in Pelham, North Carolina
PWA @ PWA Arena in Bowdon, Georgia
PWE @ Bethel Park (Family Center) in Indianapolis, Indiana
PWE @ Giant Flea Market in Union City, Tennessee
PWF @ National Guard Armory in London, Kentucky
PWF @ Civic Auditorium in Kingsport, Tennessee
PWG @ City Hall in Maroa, Illinois
PWG @ American Legion #308 in Reseda, California
PWR @ St. John’s Banquet & Conference Center in Girard, Pennsylvania
RCW @ Taekwondo Center in Plymouth, Indiana
RCW @ RCW Arena in Chatsworth, Georgia
RNRW @ Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa
SCPW @ Boys & Girls Club in Oceanside, California
SCW @ Walcott Coliseum in Walcott, Iowa
SPWA @ Old Action Apparel Building in Ramer, Tennessee
SWA @ Boondocks Arena in Eastanollee, Georgia
SWE @ Rubicon Ranch in Rubicon, Wisconsin
SWI @ Shelby County Fairgrounds in Sidney, Ohio
TAP @ 3 Star Sportatorium in McMinnville, Tennessee
TIWF @ Showplex Arena in Trenton, Tennessee
TOTW @ Top Of Texas Wrestleplex in Amarillo, Texas
TWE @ Texas Wolverine All-Stars Gym in San Antonio, Texas
UCW-Zero @ UCW Training Center in Salt Lake City, Utah
UW @ Community Center in Phelps, New York
UWC @ Pemberton Township Fire Station #1 in Browns Mills, New Jersey
VCW @ Masonic Temple in Norfolk, Virginia
WCCW @ WCCW Arena in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
WOF @ Police Athletic League Building in Parsippany, New Jersey
WVCW @ Recreation Center in Princeton, West Virginia
WXW @ Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville, Pennsylvania
XWE @ Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio
Sunday, January 13th, 2013:
WWE @ American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas
WWE @ Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas
TNA @ Universal Studios (Soundstage 21) in Orlando, Florida
787PW @ Boys & Girls Club in Troy, New York
AOW @ Indio High School in Indio, California
Believe @ Team Vision Dojo in Orlando, Florida
CWFH @ Glendale Studios in Glendale, California
DOA @ East Portland Moose Lodge in Gresham, Oregon
ECW @ Municipal Auditorium in Houma, Louisiana
IWA Unlimited @ Knights Of Columbus Hall in Olney, Illinois
MWO @ McCree Theatre in Flint, Michigan
OVW @ Derby Park Flea Market (Expo Five Building) in Louisville, Kentucky
PS @ Cine El Rey Theatre in McAllen, Texas
UWF @ Bingo Hall in Georgetown, Kentucky
VPW @ Community Lutheran Church in Flat Rock, Michigan
Monday, January 14th, 2013:
WWE @ Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013:
WWE @ AT & T Center in San Antonio, Texas
HoPWF @ Superior Pro Wrestling Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland
IWR @ Murray Theater in Murray, Utah
OMEGA @ Northern High School in Durham, North Carolina