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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 – Issue #8


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<> Another update on the SAVE_US.222 cryptic message from Raw. Although all the obvious signs would point to Chris Jericho it could be a huge swerve. The hidden messages promo was originally the brainchild of former WWE creative writer Court Bauer who pitched the idea to Stephanie McMahon earlier this year. Bauer’s idea was to be an updated version of the Y2J countdown clock that led to Jericho’s debut in 1999. Promos would run every week with various hidden messages that the fans would have to crack. Although the smart money is that these promos point to Jericho it was Bauer’s original intention for this to be a swerve and the cryptic messages would actually lead to the debut of The New Hart Foundation – Harry Smith, Teddy Hart, T.J. Wilson, and Nattie Neidhart.

<> The Associated Press today is reporting that the lawler for Chris Benoit’s doctor, who faces federal charges of over prescribing medication, has asked a judge for permission to withdraw from the case because he said Benoit can no longer pay his legal fees and expenses.

Dr. Phil Astin has plead not guilty to federal charges of improperly prescribing painkillers to Benoit. Attorney Manny Arora told the courts that since being placed under house arrest, Astin has been unable to work and foreclosure notices and other liens have been placed on his real estate. There was no immediate ruling by the court. Authorities have said Astin prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Benoit every three to four weeks between May 2006 and May 2007. Link:

<> A correction from yesterday on the Randy Orton story. The $100 bill he signed to the fan didn’t say “To Dipshit – Love Randy Orton” it said “To Dipshit – Randy Orton” as you can see here —
http://tinyurl.com/28l7n4 — so there was no love.

<> Wrestlemania 23 tickets go on sale to the public on 11/3. I am assuming there will also be some form of Internet presale as with previous years.

<> Some notes from the Smackdown/ECW tapings last night in Indianapolis.
Jesse and Festus (the tag team of Ray Gordy and Drew Hankinson) beat Deuce and Domino in the dark match. As expected due to Teddy Long’s “heart attack” last week they announced Vickie Guerrero as the new acting GM. She had some news for Hornswoggle. TV matches were: Torrie Wilson vs. Victoria, Chuck Palumbo vs. Kenny Dykstra, MVP vs. Kane, Jamie Noble vs. Shannon Moore, and Undertaker vs. Mark Henry. They also taped another interesting interview segment with Rey Mysterio and JBL, and MVP hosted a VIP Lounge segment.

<> Justin Roberts will now be announcing for Smackdown, and Tony Chimel has crossed over to ECW.

<> The WWE sent out a press release this afternoon touting their oveerseas expansion into into London, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Sydney. The release states: “The regional office in London will be led by Andrew Whitaker as the President of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Carl DeMarco will continue to focus on expansion through the Toronto office as the President of Canada, Latin America and China.
Jonathan Sully will establish WWE’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia, as the President of Asia Pacific.” …”Whitaker, DeMarco and Sully will oversee integrated sales, marketing and digital initiatives as well as focus on new and emerging markets. This new structure will allow us to more quickly exploit business opportunities and leverage the strength of the WWE brand,” said Shane McMahon.

<> Indy wrestler JD Michaels has recently relocated from Connecticut to Louisville to work with OVW in the hopes of getting a WWE deal. Michaels wrote about the move in his web blog as well as a detailed account of his try out matches: http://tinyurl.com/35enjy

<> More book news. Michael Krugman has been commissioned by the WWE to write a book on the life and times of Andre the Giant. Krugman also worked on the biographies of Amy Dumas, Eddie Guerrero and the Hardy Boyz… Hall of Famer Tito Santana is writing a book called “Tales from the WWF” which is slated for an April 2008 release. Chris Kanyon is also writing a book with a 2008 release date.

<> I don’t know where the report came from but there is no truth that the WWE is dumping the Cyber Sunday PPV. That show is still scheduled for 10/28 in Washington, D.C.

<> Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a long time friend of the McMahon family, said during an interview with MMA Weekly Radio last week that he hopes to work with the WWE in co-promoting events for his new venture HDNet Fights: “We’ve been in discussions with the WWE, Vince and Linda McMahon and Shane about doing some cross promotions under the HDNet Fights banner.”

<> www.silvervision.co.uk in the U.K. is doing a 24 hour special where you can get the 2-disc Wrestlemania 20 Hall of Fame DVD for $4.99.
That’s the show with the inductions of Bobby Heenan, Jesse Ventura, Harley Race, Billy Graham, among others.

<> Billy Kidman was at the TNA tapings this week as Vince Russo was pitching for him to headline the X-Division.

<> This is an astounding story. At a recent TNA booking meeting somebody in power brought up the idea of bringing in Mike Awesome. Apparently that person was unaware that Awesome has passed away earlier this year.

<> Today’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a story on The Rock’s new movie at http://tinyurl.com/2mtunn … The Sports Illustrated website also has a Q&A up with Rock today at http://tinyurl.com/36az5n

<> WG YouTube Video of the Day — Chris Jericho makes his WWE debut — http://tinyurl.com/y72rwj


Some interesting wrestling-related notes from from Jim Ross’ latest web blog at www.jrsbarbq.com

<> Ric Flair seems to be on a hiatus, but he is still under contract to the WWE, is getting paid, and will most likely be back within the next few weeks one has to assume. Ric has not retired but I can’t see him taking the pounding night after night much longer. Even the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots deserves to slow down and enjoy life. The Ric Flair Finance Company is in the works as I understand it for Ric’s post wrestling life.

<> The ECW roster is small but I must say that every individual on it is utilized about as well as one could ask. Today’s ECW roster is about the size of a smaller wrestling territory back in the day. It is workable as evidenced by the Tuesday night broadcasts but obviously and naturally it would be a better product if there were more quality talents on the roster. The same can be said of every wrestling show on TV. I personally would have no issue with ECW getting more than one match on a PPV. I am sure that in time that they will.

<> I don’t see Tough Enough returning but I do see a renewed effort to recruit more top, world class athletes to the business. MMA is attracting many collegiate wrestlers that used to look first at pro wrestling and I feel that former college and pro football players, among other Jocks, have the skills to become standout pro wrestlers. Plus I see the training techniques refined in the future and the overall look of the developmental programs evolving and getting better. I feel that this will happen because if it doesn’t the overall business is in trouble over the long term.

<> I would be shocked if Eric Bischoff ended up on TNA, but who knows?
If that is what EB wants to do then I say more power to him. Eric has many diverse business interests and projects he is working on, some with Jason Hervey, and none have anything to do with wrestling as best I know. Eric working with Hulk again is certainly a possibility but I will believe “Hulk’s new wrestling company” when I see it.

<> I do not think that Mickie James is out of the picture at all in the WWE. Mickie is really a talented woman who can wrestle with any Diva, plus she can talk. I don’t think any one has “blown it” and Mickie has a viable future in the WWE. Longevity is fleeting with many Divas and Mickie will most likely last longer than many of her peers based on her in ring abilities and her natural aptitude to verbalize.

<> I feel as if the WWE Diva Division is getting better all the time. We will always miss the Trishs and Litas of the past just as we miss Stone Cold and the Rock but that’s simply the way business is and has always been. I think the Diva lay of the land is vastly improved since right after both Trish and Lita hung up their boots. If I could change anything with the Divas it would be to encourage more physicality and athleticism on a more regular basis and maybe just a little less T & A.
Shows I am getting older.

<> I personally feel that there are too many PPVs on TV, for my tastes anyway. I love the thrill of the chase and the building of anticipation for a big PPV event which is hard to do when there are PPV’s every month. I am also an old school guy who loves to enjoy great, long wrestling matches. Perhaps the trend will swing back that way some time in the future and we will see more compelling wrestling.

<> Building new stars is challenging, but doable. Rehashing older stars, especially those that have made their name elsewhere is a short cut and is creatively lazy. Just my two cents.

<> For my money a great wrestler, one who sells tickets, merchandise, and PPVs, needs to consistently deliver the steak and evolve in being able to add the sizzle. So, being able to talk but not being able to physically perform from bell to bell as well doesn’t work for me. I do think mic skills are very important, though, and for a main eventer to be at the top of the cards for any extended length of time the individual must be well rounded, not one-dimensional. Delivering the goods in the ring, the steak, is more important to me than being able to bring only the sizzle. The “art” of mastering one’s craft inside the ring is extraordinarily challenging and is another reason of why it is so difficult to develop stars with staying power.

<> I would certainly assume that we will see Chris Benoit matches again at some point in time. “Time” will make this matter more palatable for everyone involved. There is still much more to the Benoit Family Tragedy than meets the eye or that the media has reported. A potentially contaminated crime scene is unsettling. Plus, has it ever been determined who died first, Nancy or Daniel?

<> I don’t know who the best referee in wrestling is or was but the rule of thumb has traditionally been that the best refs are usually the ones no one notices. Nonetheless, Tommy Young was extremely talented as was the late Brian Hildebrand, among others.

<> Do I think that Mae Young deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Hell, yeah.

<> Luger’s all American persona had lots of sizzle. I was never a huge fan of Lex’s in ring work but the guy was smart and made a bunch of cash which isn’t all bad. Luger has had his personal issues to deal with in recent years which is something I would not wish on anyone but I hear that he is trying to “kick out” of his issues and reconstruct his life.
I sure hope Lex is successful in his mission and wish him the best.
Perhaps if he feels he needs it, Lex can take advantage of the WWE’s offer to help ex-wrestlers who may have ongoing drug and alcohol issues.
I seriously wish Luger the best.

<> I don’t know how active Scott Hall is these days or how he is doing in the ring or how healthy he is. Having said that, I don’t know that Scott will “never” be in the WWE again but for some reason I don’t feel it and certainly don’t feel it would ever be full time. Is DX finished?
My instincts tell me that HBK and HHH have great chemistry and that this duo will always have a link officially or unofficially. As a fan I hope to see more DX when HBK returns from injury.

<> The Taker/HBK rivalry was big time. Plain and simply it was some of the best in ring stuff I can ever remember seeing in the WWE. I would love to see the two of them go at it again but only time will tell.
Let’s get everyone involved in the process healthy before we start our fantasy match making. But HBK vs. Undertaker is classic stuff.

<> No, TNA doesn’t remind me of the old WCW because they don’t have Turner’s cash and deep pockets or the name worthy, established stars in abundance that WCW had. I don’t speak for the WWE but I have serious doubts if the WWE fears TNA in any form. And no, that’s not a knock of TNA but some internet geeks will most likely make it such.

<> The late Eddie Gilbert was a really good in ring talent, an excellent talker and had a brilliant wrestling mind. If his personal demons had not defeated him, there is no doubt in my mind that Eddie would have made his mark working on the creative side of the business when all was said and done. Eddie was much akin to Paul Heyman, inasmuch as they were both students of the game and life long fans who were successful as performers before moving into more creative/business aspects of wrestling.

<> Are Chyna and the Big Show ever returning to the WWE? Wow…interesting pair…just had a freaky visual I need to eradicate from my memory bank immediately. The answer is “highly unlikely” for Chyna and a “maybe” for Show who I hear is training to be a pro boxer. I think Chyna is more focused on acting, etc while Show is still in his athletic mode and could make a seamless transition back to the WWE if he ever chose to.
The longer one stays away from the biz, especially in the ring the harder it is to return to it.

<> Bruiser Brody was an enormously athletic big man who was agile, hostile and mobile for a 300 pounder when there were few roaming the earth in wrestling. Plus the big guy was intelligent, could talk, was legit tough, had an unforgettable look, and would be one of the richest wrestlers on the planet if he had not been murdered. The matches Brody would have vs. The Undertaker would fill a stadium at Wrestlemania. I think Bruiser Brody’s life would make a great film if Bruiser could be cast properly. Brody should be in the WWE HOF some day in my opinion but again I do not speak for the WWE.



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