WRESTLING GLOBE NEWSLETTER
Saturday May 2, 2009
Wrestling Globe Newsletter by Mike Aldren – All the latest professional wrestling news and analysis 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
5/1 Smackdown TV results: John Morrison over Shelton Benjamin; Jeff Hardy over Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho & Kane in a four-way elimination match, MVP over Dolph Ziggler, and CM Punk over Edge in a non-title match.
In Brief: Big news out of the show is Hardy winning the four-way to face Edge for the World title at Judgment in Chicago. One of the better shows in a long time. Jericho was all over the place. They teased a feud with Morrison, who is now babyface, so they’re moving away from the legends deal. Cryme Tyme hosted a dance contest between Eve and Layla. That broke down into a cat fight and was horrendous. MVP retained the U.S.
title over Ziggler. Sherri Shepherd from The View was managing MVP. She came out wearing a robe like Ric Flair. At the live show there was a loud “we want Whoopi” chant but it appears they edited it out. The show ended with a good Edge-Punk match where after Punk pinned Edge clean with the Go 2 Sleep he tried to cash in his Money in the Bank. Before he could Umaga made his return and laid him out. Edge went to hit Punk with the briefcase but Hardy ran in for the save. He hit Edge with a swanton as the show went off the air.
No house shows this weekend. Raw is Monday from the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, with Randy Orton vs. Shane McMahon. They are pushing a dark match locally of John Cena & Triple H (unlikely unless he returns to TV that night) vs. Legacy in a handicap match. The Smackdown tapings are Tuesday at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. We’re looking for reports from both shows to email@example.com
Some interesting notes coming out of the WWE Annual Shareholders Meeting on Friday in Connecticut. Vince McMahon, who hosted the meeting, said the company was looking at adding a Wednesday night television show, so eventually they will have a nationally broadcast show each week night.
He didn’t think it would be over exposure as fans who miss a show could follow storylines easier. On the decline in PPV buys he partially blamed it on fans choosing to watch collectively rather than as an individual.
You know, because the concept of hanging out with friends to save money is unfair. He said they are considering (pretty much confirmed now) cancelling the tour of Mexico later this month due to the swine flu outbreak.
Vince talked about China (not Joanie Laurer) being a big part of WWE’s future, and was looking at touring over there. He announced a deal with Pepsi as a new sponsor, fitting in with their new PG environment. He said there will be no more Playboy pictorials or bra and panty matches.
He didn’t rule out another reality show but felt it would be more in terms of a Diva Search than a Tough Enough. He confirmed what has been said for years in that the Hall of Fame “is located in my head” and he didn’t feel they would ever open a physical building as a tribute. When asked, he said they aren’t interested in MMA.
Somebody asked about an affinity program which Vince thought was a great idea and said they would look into it. That would basically be a reward scheme for the most loyal customers i.e. a discount for frequent PPV purchasers. He was defensive of WWE Films saying overall they estimate a
$6 million profit from four theatrical releases (The Marine, See No Evil, The Condemnend and 12 Rounds) which, without knowing the production budgets, I’ll take his word on. He said television ratings are holding up although he did note he was unhappy with ECW, and called the old ECW a “wild west shoot-em-up bang bang promotion.” WWE COO Donna Goldsmith said they have major marketing plans for Summerslam, including a huge party leading into the event. She also talked about upcoming marketing meetings with USA and CNN. Vince predicted that Summerslam will sellout. They also talked positively about the new partnership with Mattel, the largest toy maker in the U.S., when their deal with Jakks Pacific expires in January, 2010.
WWE Exec VP of Television Production, Kevin Dunn, was hospitalized yesterday morning, and missed the shareholders meeting. Right now we have no information on him. Dunn is Vince’s right hand man and the highest paid office employee in the entire company.
The lawsuit against WWE by White Wolf, Inc. (now known as CCP) over the use of the name Gangrel was finally dismissed on 4/22. The case goes back several years. White Wolf produced a role-playing game based around vampires filed a suit claiming they owned the rights to the Gangrel name and WWE had used it without permission in 2003 for the character David Heath portrayed, and still portrays to this day. The judge threw out the case after CCP failed to pursue noting CCP was not utilizing the trademark nor proved that the character was in any of their games.
The Sun at www.the-sun.co.uk/wrestling has a Q&A up with CM Punk.
Nothing ground breaking. He predicts the next break out star will be Evan Bourne and puts him ahead of Jack Swagger and Ted DiBiase. He would love a run as a heel but didn’t think it was happening any time soon. He also talked about spending Thanksgiving with Samoa Joe while they were both World Champions.
When asked if he was going to be part of the upcoming Rise and Fall of WCW DVD, Eric Bischoff said “They called and asked me to be a part of it and I declined. I have no desire to give credibility to their revisionist history.”
Superstars on Thursday did a 0.9 rating.
MVP is confirmed for ABC’s The View on Monday, perhaps with a wrestling angle, if Vince has his way.
Jim Ross weighs in on the Jeff Hardy contract situation and laughs off the Santina skit at Backlash in his latest blog at http://tinyurl.com/dbn8am
TMZ at http://tinyurl.com/copju9 posted some footage of Jennifer Hudson at a FCW show watching her fiance, David Otunga, who has a WWE developmental deal. It showed her stood texting on her phone with other wife’s and girlfriends.
The EWF group is having a Judgment Day party on 5/17 at Hooters in Fort Wayne, IN. More info at www.ewfarena.com
The WWE stock closed the week at $10.81 on the NYSE… WWE also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.36 per share, with the McMahon family waving their dividend.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING NEWS
5/1 house show results from Corbin, KY: Eric Young over Kiyoshi; Angelina Love over ODB; Sheik Abdul Bashir over Consequences Creed; Abyss over Kip James; and Team 3D & Jeff Jarrett over Beer Money, Inc. & Booker T.
TNA continue it’s weekend run tonight at the Big Sandy Arena in Huntingon, WV followed by the Expo Center in Pikeville, KY on Sunday.
We’re looking for reports from both of these shows to:
Shark Boy (Dean Roll) was sent home from the house show last night in Corbin, KY because he was feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms. Please don’t email me about swine-flu. We hope to get clarification on him tomorrow. He will miss the rest of the tour.
Shawn Hernandez underwent neck surgery on Thursday. He will be out for a few months which is why they did the beatdown angle with the Brits at the last TV tapings.
In an interview on TNA’s YouTube channel Dixie Carter talked about becoming competition for the “other big wrestling company” and ruled out the possibility of becoming an on-screen personality. When asked about Vince McMahon calling TNA reprehensible, she said she took it as an acknowledgement that he watches their shows. She said: “Great that they finally admit they watch the product. My gut tells me they have been since the very beginning. Calling our product reprehensible when our competitor had been trying to do family-friendly … I found it comical quite honestly. I just felt like it was one of those comments I was asked to respond to and I enjoyed doing so.” Actually, to prove how much Vince watches TNA he was considering inducting Sting into the Hall of Fame earlier this year until someone told him Sting was the TNA Champion. The ongoing problem facing TNA is that although they do strong television ratings the majority of viewers simply don’t invest in the product. Case and point is UFC, ironically on the same station, which doesn’t draw as strong television ratings yet they regularly do upwards of 350,000 buys while TNA is struggling to max 30,000. Television is simply a way for TNA, UFC or WWE to drive revenue streams. Some just do it better than others.
Lance Storm at http://tinyurl.com/csdpmj pretty much rips TNA booking (and to a smaller degree WWE): “I’m tired of stupid sit-com booking, I’m tired of back stage skits, idiotic stipulations, unbelievable and unrealistic characters, inconsistent and contradictory angles, and the destruction and the devaluation of titles, match stipulations, and to be honest the over all importance of winning or losing a wrestling match. I think, with the exception of a select few, those in charge of booking/writing wrestling today have completely lost sight of what this business is based on and supposed to be.”
Impact on Thursday did a 1.2 rating averaging 1.6 million viewers.
Dennis Rodman was hanging out in Miami this week with Jeremy Borash. He enquired about coming in ala Donny Bonaduce.
Mick Foley started working on his fourth autobiography a few weeks ago.
Story on Chris Parks (Aybss) at http://tinyurl.com/dzbevw crediting Dutch Mantel for his gimmick when he booked him in Puerto Rico. The story noted he played football at Ohio and has a master’s degree. He his favorite wrestler growing up was Roddy Piper, and said Foley was also a big influence.
Jim Cornette donated a copy of his newly released book The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette 25th Anniversary Scrapbook for Wrestler’s Rescue.
The book is signed by Jim Cornette, Stan Lane, Dennis Condrey, and Bobby Eaton. There is an online auction right now for the book at www.wrestlersrescue.org. Proceeds will go to the campaign for Dr. Death Steve Williams’ hands-free voice device.
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Ric Flair’s Ring of Honor TV debut is tonight on HD Net. The show has Erick Stevens vs. Sal Rinauro; Brodie Lee vs. Necro Butcher; Kenny Omega vs. Chris Hero; and Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong. I was told it’s their best TV show to date and they have improved the issues with the lighting and crowd noise. Dave Lagana also helped produce the voice overs with Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood.
WFAA in Dallas ran a story on Shaver Hansen, the son of Stan Hansen, who is a shortstop on the Baylor University baseball team. He was recently named Big 12 player of the week, and noted a few weeks ago he was leading the conference with the most home runs. There was also a story in the print edition of the Dallas Morning News on 4/28.
Steve “Mongo” McMichael will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. His football career was certainly more impressive than his stint in pro wrestling.
Former TNA wrestler Sonny Siaki is donating his kidney to his brother Bernard on 6/5. He basically gave up his wrestling career (he was under WWE developmental at the time) for this and we wish him the best.
Time Magazine named Meredith Whitney (JBL’s wife) on it’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
I forgot to mention that yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Miss Elizabeth (Heulette). She was just 42 when she passed away and a really tragic end to a troubled life.
Dwayne “Don’t Call Me Rock” Johnson turns 37 today.
Marc Mero will be speaking at the DARE Graduation at Deerwood Elementary School in Orlando, FL on 5/8.
IGN at http://tinyurl.com/czuxed has an interview with Torrie Wilson talking about NBC’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. She said she wasn’t scared about eating live bugs or any other gross things she knows they will ask her to do: “Nothing really grosses me out, so I think this is a great challenge and it’s a great way to go on vacation and not answer my phone and not feel bad about it.” She’s open to working with WWE in the future but doesn’t want to go on the road: “The traveling, 280-300 days a year, I’m kind of past that. I just don’t know… And definitely with my back, having had back surgery, I don’t think a full time wrestling schedule is in the works.” Looking back she would often complain about doing the pillow and bra and panty matches. Now she thinks it was just an honor to be part of the show. Talking about her dad coming in for the angle with Dawn Marie she said he didn’t understand wrestling etiquette and used to try and bum rides in Vince’s limo.
The Miami Herald talked to Sylvain Grenier at http://tinyurl.com/cl6k66 pushing his school. ROH seems lost on him: “All those spots and meaningless big bumps, it’s not my type. I like storylines, and I like to have fun. I like to feel the ring, feel the crowd and not go 100 miles per hour. It’s a different mindset.”
For those following the case, Ed Graziano, charged in the murder-for-hire plot, was refused bail earlier this week. Graziano is the father of John Graziano, who was seriously injured in a crash involving Nick Bollea, son of Hulk Hogan. It’s alleged he tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife for $2,100 and a $13.06 Pizza gift card.
Big Daddy V is booked for ECWA in Newark, DE on 5/16. More info at www.ecwaprowrestling.com.
WG Diva of the Day — Traci Brooks — http://tinyurl.com/d5gz3w
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