WWE Observer news

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    Spudz

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Spudz on Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:50 am

    Xero wrote:
    Brian Myers, the former Curt Hawkins, did an interview with Live Audio Wrestling last week. He wasn’t down about being let go, saying he loved wrestling in the ring and for a long time, he was just sitting at home collecting a check and having no fun, so he was happy to be let go so he could start wrestling again. He said that the non-push of Ryder really broke the spirit of a lot of the undercard guys. “The worst part of that whole thing is that it really kind of broke the spirit of the locker room. For years, we were told in all these pep talks that there’s a brass ring, you’ve gotta reach for it, and it’s there for the taking if you work hard enough and get yourself over. And he did it. He defied the odds and actually does it, and all the boys are rooting for him, like, `Oh, wow this is cool as shit. This has never been done before.’ He got over without the office and without TV time. It was pretty mind-blowing. And then they just crush it and take it all away from him. To me, I felt the example that set for the rest of the boys was pretty brutal, because then, it’s like it almost feels hopeless. Its like you’re not going to be pushed unless they pick you to get pushed, and that’s kind of it. I thought, above all, that message that sent to the boys was the worst part. They crushed the spirit of a lot of people, like, `Okay, so my hard work here isn’t going to pay off.’”


    This is pretty much it, and it's not just with Ryder.  Christian is another example of a guy with tons of talent that just never got a consistent main event push largely just because he was never pictured in that role.


    Roman Reigns is a good example of the opposite.  As the third man in a stable featuring Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, this no-name muscle man is the main getting the main event push.  The only reason people care about him at all is because somewhere along the line, WWE decided we should care.


    Apparently unless you can get a football stadium to mimic your chant, you just have to hope Vince and creative like you enough to warrant a push.

    Not sure comparing midcard level at best Zack Ryder with Christian is a good example.

    Christian basically been injured more often then not since 2012, so hard for them to push him on a consistent basic after the feud with Orton for the World heavyweight title but when he been around he been in the hunt for a title, which not many of the guys can say that.  If you going to bring up 2005, he gave up too soon and left and went to TNA but before then he was always on tv while Ryder hasn't been seen regularly since his short term push happened.

    It sucks but there only so many that can be in a main event spot on a regular basic.

    Roman Reigns is not the best techinal wrestler, high flyer or brawler and never wrestled on the indies.. so he should be a jobber!!!!! who cares if he has charisma, looks, improved a bunch since being called up, or get crowd reaction.
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    Spudz

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Spudz on Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:58 am

    JustSkiff wrote:I had no idea Rudy Charles or Jason Harding were signed.
    Very sure I posted about Rudy when he got signed a year ago on the last board.
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    JustSkiff

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by JustSkiff on Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:42 am

    Spudz wrote:
    JustSkiff wrote:I had no idea Rudy Charles or Jason Harding were signed.
    Very sure I posted about Rudy when he got signed a year ago on the last board.

    And now that you say something, I kind of recall that.
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    Xero

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Xero on Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:00 pm

    Spudz wrote:
    Xero wrote:
    Brian Myers, the former Curt Hawkins, did an interview with Live Audio Wrestling last week. He wasn’t down about being let go, saying he loved wrestling in the ring and for a long time, he was just sitting at home collecting a check and having no fun, so he was happy to be let go so he could start wrestling again. He said that the non-push of Ryder really broke the spirit of a lot of the undercard guys. “The worst part of that whole thing is that it really kind of broke the spirit of the locker room. For years, we were told in all these pep talks that there’s a brass ring, you’ve gotta reach for it, and it’s there for the taking if you work hard enough and get yourself over. And he did it. He defied the odds and actually does it, and all the boys are rooting for him, like, `Oh, wow this is cool as shit. This has never been done before.’ He got over without the office and without TV time. It was pretty mind-blowing. And then they just crush it and take it all away from him. To me, I felt the example that set for the rest of the boys was pretty brutal, because then, it’s like it almost feels hopeless. Its like you’re not going to be pushed unless they pick you to get pushed, and that’s kind of it. I thought, above all, that message that sent to the boys was the worst part. They crushed the spirit of a lot of people, like, `Okay, so my hard work here isn’t going to pay off.’”


    This is pretty much it, and it's not just with Ryder.  Christian is another example of a guy with tons of talent that just never got a consistent main event push largely just because he was never pictured in that role.


    Roman Reigns is a good example of the opposite.  As the third man in a stable featuring Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, this no-name muscle man is the main getting the main event push.  The only reason people care about him at all is because somewhere along the line, WWE decided we should care.


    Apparently unless you can get a football stadium to mimic your chant, you just have to hope Vince and creative like you enough to warrant a push.

    Not sure comparing midcard level at best Zack Ryder with Christian is a good example.

    Christian basically been injured more often then not since 2012, so hard for them to push him on a consistent basic after the feud with Orton for the World heavyweight title but when he been around he been in the hunt for a title, which not many of the guys can say that.  If you going to bring up 2005, he gave up too soon and left and went to TNA but before then he was always on tv while Ryder hasn't been seen regularly since his short term push happened.

    It sucks but there only so many that can be in a main event spot on a regular basic.

    Roman Reigns is not the best techinal wrestler, high flyer or brawler and never wrestled on the indies.. so he should be a jobber!!!!! who cares if he has charisma, looks, improved a bunch since being called up, or get crowd reaction.

    Ok, if not Christian, then I would bring up Dolph Ziggler, Raven, William Regal, MVP, and John Morrison as examples of guys that had all the talent in the world but didn't fit the WWE mold of what a superstar should be.

    It's not that Roman Reigns isn't all those things that you mention (though at least to me, charisma is his weakest aspect), but rather, he fits the WWE mold absolutely perfectly.  He's a big guy with a good look and average talent.  he's a blank slate that can be easily shaped and molded by the company's marketing team.

    That doesn't mean I can't like Reigns or that I can't appreciate a match or a feud, but still, he is the definition of a prefabricated talent
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    RFSKannon

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by RFSKannon on Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:15 pm

    As much as I love Regal, age isn't on his side. Besides, he wants to retire or at best work the lightest schedule humanly possible.
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    Spudz

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Spudz on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:40 pm


    Ok, if not Christian, then I would bring up Dolph Ziggler, Raven, William Regal, MVP, and John Morrison as examples of guys that had all the talent in the world but didn't fit the WWE mold of what a superstar should be.

    It's not that Roman Reigns isn't all those things that you mention (though at least to me, charisma is his weakest aspect), but rather, he fits the WWE mold absolutely perfectly.  He's a big guy with a good look and average talent.  he's a blank slate that can be easily shaped and molded by the company's marketing team.

    That doesn't mean I can't like Reigns or that I can't appreciate a match or a feud, but still, he is the definition of a prefabricated talent

    Hmmm...doesn't WWE call everyone on the roster a superstar??

    Like I said not everyone can get that regular main event role/megastar spot.. Some can't handle the stress, some has health/injury/drug/behavioral issues. Some simply don't wanna deal with sick kids regularly, don't want be up be early to do local interviews or anything that may give them extra points with TPTB's. Some talent's character (Zack) or skills doesn't evolve enough to be consider for that level of a push.

    There nothing wrong with being a upper midcard/midcard talent that is regularly used and push often. What we should be bitching about is why has Zack Ryder been use for on tv rarely this past year or so not that he isn't in the Main Events that you seem to be doing.

    Roman himself would tell you he still not there where he wants to be but you if you can get past Omg This guy is getting the big push only cause WWE decided we should care, He's the next Cena or Batista so I rather pout and half ass ignore him so I can go on calling him a no name muscle guy if you ignore his heritage, you might actually see him improving and him showing charisma.. The reason WWE decided to push him Roman was he kept up with Seth and Dean, he learned from them, they got over with the fans. Speaking of Seth & Dean these two are getting big pushes too, they are going keep stealing the show and Yes, they weren't in the Main Event fighting for the world title last ppv or next ppv but who to say they won't be in the next year.
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    SBR

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:57 pm

    7/13

    For Battleground on 7/20 in Tampa, it’s now Cena vs. Reigns vs. Orton vs. Kane for the WWE title, Rollins vs. Ambrose, Jericho vs. Wyatt, the Battle Royal for the vacant IC title, Usos vs. Harper & Rowan for the tag titles in a 2/3 fall match, Rusev vs. Swagger and A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the dias title.

    The mixed tag program with Fandango & Layla vs. Ziggler & Summer Rae wasn’t pushed since Fandango and Ziggler are in the Battle Royal. There won’t be a U.S. title match since Sheamus was added to the Battle Royal. They were pushing on Main Event the idea that Sheamus wants to win the Battle Royal and unify the U.S. and IC titles. That’s an idea that gets brought up every so often and ends up not happening, but after unifying the two world titles, and not doing two shows with separate angles, there’s really not a major need for two secondary singles belts, particularly since those belts haven’t gotten people over in years. But that’s also because of how they’re booked. It’s not inherent at all that holding a secondary singles title gets you less over, because through most of history the opposite was the case.

    Tenille Dashwood (Emma) had a crazy day on 7/2, as she was fired in the morning, and rehired in the afternoon. The firing came as a shock to everyone, because it was so inconsistent with how the company has handled arrests of things far more serious. The reaction of the fan base was very negative. Really, she should thank Cameron and Jack Swagger, because without their recent examples of being arrested and not being let go, there wouldn’t have been a recent precedent that made her firing for a shoplifting charge that is going to be dropped from her record after she does three hours of community service look so bad. She wasn’t on Raw this week nor was her name brought up.

    The update on Bryan is that he may now also require shoulder surgery, as a full exam has revealed a lot of different shoulder and neck issues. At this point, because of uncertainty as to whether he’ll need surgery and what surgery it could be, he’s out of plans and there is no estimate on when he’ll return. The plan seemed to be the Roman Reigns ascension to being the top guy at WrestleMania 31 whether Bryan was hurt or not, but now the TV is built around Reigns as the major badass. Without the injury, and if Bryan was still champion and Cena was top guy, it would likely have been a slower burn. The idea was Reigns working with Orton and maybe a big PPV match with HHH all along coming out of the Evolution vs. Shield program and Shield split.

    A lot of talent unhappiness over money. That’s always a concern, but there’s a realization that nothing is going to be done or changed as the complaints are that guys in the same positions are making less money on the same houses, for reasons explained here weeks ago. The company announced a fining system in recent weeks which didn’t help. They are back on the dress code kick, in the sense that if you were in public anywhere you are seen by fans, you have to dress in a professional manner. A failure to do so will result in a fine. It was also said that as far as arrival times at all arenas, if you are even one minute late arriving, a fine will be implemented. Then, this past week, the quarterly royalty checks were sent out. If you recall from the last quarter, the usual video game royalty check in the first quarter, the big one, has historically been around $70,000 if you are a star and in the game. Obviously if it’s a bigger star, it’s bigger, but that figure would be for people who would be considered major stars. Well, people at that level for the most part got around $11,700 for the first quarter of this year. Mick Foley went on a public rant about it. Lots of talents were privately very unhappy. One person who alerted us said that it was the nature of the sending of revenues from 2K Sports and the timing is different but some of it would be made up for during the next quarter. Well, the second quarter royalty checks came in and the number that most of the top level guys got was $1,555. I will say this much, there were guys in WWE who talked with UFC guys in Las Vegas and the subject came up. It was a pretty big deal this weekend. The WWE guys didn’t feel so bad because almost none of the UFC guys get anything from the video game. I believe if you are on the cover or are used in the video game ad itself you make something, but just being in the game you don’t. Don Frye refused to allow his likeness in the game the first year and I guess they felt it important enough that he got paid, but nowhere near what WWE people got. But that’s probably the reason he’s not in the new game.

    The big thing is that WrestleMania payoffs should be mailed out this week. Nobody has been told anything, but if the talent is getting paid only on the PPV revenue, that will be down significantly from last year and bonuses will be declining monthly from the other shows. But if they pay a percentage of the network revenue to talent, the gap may close for Mania and be the same or more for the rest of the shows.

    The feeling is no talent is going to do anything, because they all recognize there is nowhere else any of them can go and make even close to what they are making. But money concerns are not only the biggest issue from a management standpoint, now it’s also the most concerning issue among the wrestlers.

    Jericho talked about his return on his podcast this past week. He said that there was discussion of him coming back to work with Bryan last year at Mania (this would be toward the latter part of 2013) but they didn’t go in that direction. This would have been before the Bryan vs. Sheamus plan. He said at the time, he brought up when the Bryan thing fell through, about working with Wyatt, but he was told at the time (this would have been late 2013) that they were earmarking Wyatt for Cena. He said that about a month ago, someone from creative brought up his working with Wyatt in a program over the summer. He noted that unlike past summers, he hadn’t been able to put together an extensive tour for “Fozzy,” so he had a few dates booked but that was it. I don’t think he said this, but the impression I had was he was up for working with Wyatt but it took several weeks before Vince officially agreed to go in that direction. He said on 6/27, he and Paul Levesque negotiated for all of five minutes before reaching a deal. He was hidden out in a production bus until his segment, with the exception of working with The Wyatts and Miz in setting up the segment. I know that they wanted it to be a big surprise, but it did get out a couple of hours ahead of time. He had his first match back on the 7/6 house show in Toronto against Miz, the night before the Raw match. Jericho didn’t say how long he had signed for, but as things stand right now he’s staying through the 9/22 Raw in Memphis, which is the day after the Night of Champions PPV, which would be his final major show. He will be working a regular house show schedule through that point, although has some time off for Fozzy commitments. He has several dates with Fozzy during that period, including his record release on 7/24 in Los Angeles at The Whiskey and an 8/2 date in Syracuse, as well as three September dates while he’ sunder his new WWE deal. He’s got a regular Fozzy touring schedule from 9/23 to 10/11.

    Regarding Sting, he posted “7.14.14" on his Twitter account, which people will take as a tease of something. That is the date of this coming week’s Raw in Richmond, but the impression is this is something related to a different project, perhaps a video game. For a long time, there was no real impetus to get the Sting deal signed, since if he’s going to be involved in next year’s WrestleMania, that’s a long time away, which may explain why the deal was so slow in being finalized.

    Laureen Ong, the former President of the Travel Channel, was elected to WWE’s Board of Directors. She had spent three years with the channel, with her responsibilities being brand building strategy, program development and creating new business opportunities. She also was the former COO of the Hong Kong based STAR Group Limited, a TV channel which goes into 55 countries. She was also the first President of the National Geographic Channel when it launched and was once awarded the Woman of the Year award in Women in Cable Television. She has a long history in TV, as she was Vice President of Programming for the Chicago White Sox cable channel, Sportsvision, from 1979 to 1986.

    The KENTA signing announcement takes place on 7/12 in Osaka. This is the Japan week with shows on 7/10 and 7/11 at Sumo Hall in Japan, as well as the Osaka show, as well as the 7/12 Madison Square Garden show. Charlotte debuts on the main roster on the domestic tour.

    Fans in Japan have noted that WWE and Antonio Inoki are able to get far more mainstream publicity than New Japan gets and far more press coverage for their announcements.

    Masahiro Chono has apparently completed a deal with WWE to where he’ll be able to sell NWO T-shirts in Japan. When WWE bought WCW, they bought the rights to the NWO. During the NWO era in the late 90s, with Chono and Keiji Muto as the leaders of NWO Japan, they sold 400,000 T-shirts. Chono has been negotiating with WWE, thinking that it’s the right time to bring the shirts back as a nostalgia thing. The shirts would be the NWO designs from that era, but also include a WWE logo.

    For 7/12 in Madison Square Garden, the main event is Cena vs. Wyatt in a lumberjack match. The 20 lumberjacks will be split among two teams, the face lumberjacks led by Ric Flair and heel lumberjacks led by HHH. The show also has a Highlight Reel with Jericho and Sheamus vs. Orton vs. Del Rio for the U.S. title. Jericho was briefly listed for the Japan tour that weekend, but then moved to where he’s working Wildwood (7/13) and MSG. Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn, likely against each other, possibly for the NXT title, was added to the Japan tour.

    With the opening of “Fast & Furious 7,” (which just completed filming this past week) moved to 4/3, up from 4/10, that would seem to lessen the chance of Dwayne Johnson doing WrestleMania, since he’ll likely be booked all over the world the two weeks before that, promoting the movie. It’s not impossible, but they’d need a great idea because he only wants to come back to break records, and I don’t know there’s a record breaking match for him out there.

    The WWE film crew will be in Memphis on 7/10 to do “A Day In the Life of Jerry Lawler.” It looks like they are filming for a Lawler DVD. He will be doing an independent match, promoted by his son Kevin, at Minglewood Hall in Memphis, with Lawler vs. Scott Steiner and Bill Dundee, at 70, faces Dustin Starr.

    Within the company, a lot of people see a major ascension from Renee Young. She’s been moved to host on Superstars as well as on the pre-and-post game shows, even though they’ve cut back on those on the network, but they are still doing pre-games for PPVs and I think Raw, but that changes. The belief is that she will wind up announcing on Smackdown at some point and eventually move to Raw. Regarding ESPN interest, she’s at least given the impressions she’s staying and has some time left on her WWE contract. Unlike Todd Grisham and Jonathan Coachman, who came from real sports and were given a job by a wrestling company but their hearts were in sports, Young is a wrestling person deep down.

    The company sent out an e-mail blast to Canadian fans regarding the WWE network, asking them what is the level of interest they would have in seeing a variety of different Canadian promotions. What was listed was Stampede Wrestling from 1948 to 1989, Grand Prix Wrestling in Montreal from 1971 to 1975, Border City Wrestling from 1993 to the present, All Star Wrestling in Montreal from 1967 to 1975, Northern Championship Wrestling in Montreal (1986 to present), Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling (1960s to 1986), All-Star Wrestling out of Vancouver (1960s to 1989), ECCW from Vancouver (1996 to present) and Maximum Pro (an Ontario indie). What’s notable is that WWE has purchased tape collections of old promotions, but not existing groups, and they specifically asked about Border City, NCW, ECCW and Maximum Pro, which are still in operation. Another note is that the WWE Network usually only airs what I’d call Major League groups. When you consider with more than 100,000 hours of footage, they can never even get what they’ve already got all up. As far as interest goes, for example, an ROH or PWG would have far more and an Evolve would have more names that are going to be something in a few years. Of the libraries listed, they already own the Stampede library, but haven’t used it on the network except for some DVDs. I don’t believe they own any of the other libraries but obviously they wouldn’t have listed them if they didn’t believe they could get them. Grand Prix and All-Star Wrestling from Montreal were very much major league promotions in their day, and the war between the two groups is generally considered the hottest period ever for pro wrestling in Quebec. But my impression is very little footage still exists from that period. Atlantic Grand Prix is Emile Dupree’s promotion that ran Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, a season group that paid really well for its time. It was pretty much major league for its time with some good talent, as a lot of the Stampede regulars would work there during the summer because it paid so much better. They were always as I recall a seasonal promotion. All-Star Wrestling in Vancouver in the 60s was very successful with a strong circuit and a very impressive talent roster for the era, but the names like Gene Kiniski, Don Leo Jonathan, John Tolos or Dutch Savage really don’t mean anything today. It weakened greatly as the 70s wore on. I’ve never heard that any old footage of that promotion’s heyday still exists. There were times when the Vancouver group had national syndication in Canada, so even though it was pretty minor league by the late 70s and into the 80s, a lot of older Canadian fans outside British Columbia would have seen it. The key to this is if WWE is considering these groups, then it would make sense to also be thinking about the top U.S. current indie groups.

    Dwayne Johnson is in talks to play the lead role in a movie called “The Janson Directive,” based on the 2002 book by Robert Lundlum. If he signs on, he would play the role of Phil Janson, a former Navy SEAL and former star U.S. government covert agent who is haunted by the fact his commander and mentor was a sadistic psychopath who when Janson was young, his commander arranged for him to both be captured and tortured by the Viet Cong. Janson escaped and provided evidence that led to his commander’s execution as a war criminal. Later, he was framed for a death and the U.S. government, believing he was a killer, ordered the same covert agency he was a star with to find and kill him.

    Swagger was off TV because with his DUI, he’s currently not allowed into Canada.

    During the Miz interview on Raw, where he read a “fan letter” from “Little Johnny Russo,” while that probably was a knock to a degree at Vince Russo, there is a writer on staff named Johnny Russo as well.

    Jim Ross noted in his blog that some WWE decisions of late affected things for him and Steve Austin. The way I heard the story, Ross & Austin were looking to debut a two-man show in Las Vegas this past week in conjunction with UFC 175 but Austin couldn’t commit to it due to possibilities of other commitments, which ended up falling through. I do expect that either together, or Ross alone, they would be doing something in San Jose next year during Mania week and perhaps in other markets. Ross is done with one-man touring shows for now, unless a booking is added for before football season. He’ll resume in 2015 and is also working on his autobiography, although noted he does not have a publishing deal. He’s working with one of my best friends, Texas reporter-turned attorney Scott Williams, who did the books for Terry Funk, Bill Watts and Jim Duggan, on this project.

    Regarding WrestleMania, we’re told that Highspots was able to get local hotel for shows and a convention in the area as did the WWN crew. ROH is still undecided about coming due to difficulty in getting a location. WWE attempted to lock everyone out, and no public facilities will rent to any wrestling groups, nor will San Jose State University. But you can’t lock up counties completely.

    WWE stock closed at $11.60 per share at press time meaning the company’s market worth is $871.79 million.

    Add Rashad Evans to the list of UFC fighters who have recently inquired regarding going to WWE. Evans, who is almost 35, is recovering from major knee surgery and had talked about considering retirement even before that. Fighters who get to that point recognize that they need to plan for after fighting and WWE seems like a transition, but thus far we’ve never had anyone be successful at it in the U.S. except those who were pro wrestlers first (Lesnar and Ken Shamrock). We’d heard his name bandied about in the company of UFC guys thinking about WWE as a future destination for years. I don’t know that he’s directly spoken to WWE, but he was talking to people in the pro wrestling business this weekend about the idea. In recent years, people associated with Chael Sonnen, Shayna Baszler, Roy Nelson and Frank Mir have also tried to open up talks or we’ve heard very vague ideas suggested for Baszler at one point. In the case of Nelson and Mir, neither seemed to get anywhere. WWE and Vince McMahon in particular, are leery about using former MMA fighters, particularly big stars, since they are used to huge payoffs and he doesn’t think they’d survive the schedule. Some of this comes from McMahon’s failed negotiations with Bob Sapp, who he wanted badly, but the negotiations never got past a certain point due to money and schedule. Plus, McMahon knows virtually nothing about the modern UFC scene. With Evans, like Sonnen, age is also an issue. Sonnen’s name is the only one with some smoke, in the sense there are people who throw ideas regarding him out there although the impression we’ve got is any interest would more be as an announcer, and that would likely not happen now because of the controversy associated with his name. WWE doesn’t like the idea of signing novices who are in their mid-30s from other sports with the idea they come in with their bodies beaten up, and by the time they are trained, they may not have much time left.

    One of WWE’s two contracted shows on NBC will be airing at 7 p.m. on 8/3. They’ve moved it from Saturday night to Sunday. 7 p.m. on Sundays is considered prime time.

    A correction from last week. Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge show was not taped at Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch in South Texas, but it was taped somewhere in Southern California.

    Travis Banks is one of six wrestlers from New Zealand that will be getting tryouts at the WWE’s house show in Melbourne backstage.

    There was an apparently crazy lawsuit filed against Natalie Neidhart (Natalya). Christopher Donnelly, who is currently in prison in Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit on 6/27, representing himself, hand-written, asking for $250,000, claiming Neidhart was a dominatrix who had beaten him between the period of 2005 and 2009 when they were together at hotels throughout the U.S. and had forced hi into extreme sexual abuse and even to prostitute himself. Neidhart has been mainly traveling with current husband T.J. Wilson (Tyson Kidd) for her entire WWE career. The suit was immediately thrown out of court due to no evidence being presented and apparent mental issues with the plaintiff.

    Cena was pulled from next month’s tour of Australia which takes place from 8/7 to 8/9. Nothing was said but it would likely be because of the movie commitments mentioned last week. To make up for the tour losing Cena, they have taken Reigns off the domestic shows and are sending him there, along with sending Flair and Jericho on that swing.

    Cena and Orton were not booked for any house shows this past week except Toronto.


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    Swarles
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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Swarles on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:53 am

    When does Renee start Raw? Is this monday good for everybody?

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    Vipes

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Vipes on Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:47 am

    I hope there are a ton more crazy random lawsuits being filled against WWE stars by deranged prison inmates around the country. Like a guy suing El Torrito for getting him into a bad drug deal where Torrito pistol whipped him and handed him over to a Chinese triad when the deal went south.

    And yes, Renee Young on Raw commentary can't happen soon enough. And bring Regal with her while they're at it.


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    WhoBetta

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by WhoBetta on Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:29 am

    Swarles wrote:When does Renee start Raw? Is this monday good for everybody?


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    CapitalTTruth

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by CapitalTTruth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:43 am

    Every night before I go to bed i kneel beside my bed and pray to every god and goddess i can think of. I ask them all to please help make William Regal the color commentator for Raw. Yet every week they forsake me.


    Seriously though, I love me some Renee Young. It is so obvious that she actually understands wrestling and can help move things along when she is involved. Such a refreshing change from many of the other young pretty ladies they hired to do interviews and host things.


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    TeeBeeKay

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by TeeBeeKay on Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:47 am

    I love Renee as well, but I think anyone who thinks commentary is going to drastically improve just because of her are fooling themselves, I don't think it has as much to do with the announcers as it does with them being over produced by Vince. On Austin's podcast Heyman said he would make Cole and JBL come to the studio every week to re-record SD commentary so they could do things the way Paul wanted versus the way Vince wanted and as I recall a lot of people liked JBL and Cole during this time.


    Hopefully I'm wrong but I just don't foresee a world where Renee comes in and all of a sudden the commentary's great unless Vince is gone
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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by CapitalTTruth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:36 pm

    I agree 100% with this. I like Renee, but I am not under the impression that things are all of the sudden different with her calling matches. On one of his podcasts (not sure which) Jim Ross gingerly talked about the current team and how they were really overproduced and clearly asked to do things that puzzled them as well as him as an observer/expert.



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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Swarles on Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:44 pm

    Is Renee going to make shit up the whole time, reference stuff from the 1950s and argue with Cole or King? No. Therefor improvement.

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:21 pm

    Yeah babyface Cole isn't terrible. It's really Lawler and JBL who are just the dirt worst.


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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by WhoBetta on Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:45 pm

    Swarles wrote:Is Renee going to make shit up the whole time, reference stuff from the 1950s and argue with Cole or King? No. Therefor improvement.
     lol


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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:33 pm

    7/21

    The announcement of the WWE network subscriptions will be on 7/31. This could lead to either a significant increase or decrease in stock price depending on the number announced. The 825,000 to 900,000 range would be considered okay I believe as far as the stock goes, but I could be wrong and it really isn’t. To me, anything under 915,000 would be bad given all the hotshotting and promotions and that you are likely to lose 10-15% under the best of circumstances in September and October. A number about 910,000 to 925,000 would indicate hitting 1 million by the end of the year because of the loss of 70,000 to 100,000 at best in September and October (most services of this type lost 15 percent, UFC Fight Pass, the closest equivalent, usually maintains closer to 90 percent at the time of renewal). I don’t know that Wall Street will understand that aspect, forget that with the six-month commitment almost nobody has canceled and nobody has had to renew yet, and will just have the idea of a 42,000 increase per month as on the way to 1 million, and based on that, 833,000 would be the goal to hit 1 million. And that’s not taking into account 1 million is figured as a domestic number in their goal, and a very significant percentage of subscribers are outside the U.S. Anything below 800,000 I’d consider a disaster with all the hotshotting promotions, international buys and strong big events. Even hitting 1 million on 12/31, hardly guarantees continual growth to 1.4 million by July (although with full international promotion that is not unreasonable) and 2 million at the end of 2015 (a lot more difficult). The one thing I’m certain of is that WWE greatly underestimated its foreign projections. I believe they overestimated domestic projections but that we’ll have a lot better idea of in a few weeks. While it is possible to cancel by simply not paying, the number of people who have done that is minuscule to the point it’s not significant. The first cancellation point won’t be until September, which is why the September Night of Champions PPV is going to be made into a special card. In September, about 495,000 people will be making a decision to renew. They need to do the same in October show, because that’s when the 172,000 people who signed up the week of WrestleMania will all come due. For those who signed up for the free week, they got an e-mail blast saying if they signed up for six months by 7/19, they get a $25 off merchandise card from WWEshop.com, which, if they order merchandise, essentially means they can get six months for $35. This isn’t the first time this offer has been made, as WWE a few months back had an offer that if someone had the network and referred to a friend who would sign up for six months at $60, they would get a $25 off merchandise card and the person signing up would also get a $25 off merchandise card. What’s key here is that in the network breakdown, the accounting would show $60 in revenue to the network and profits (or less losses) on the network side, but the WWEshop would bear the cost of the expense and shipping of the merchandise with no revenue figured in. So that’s something to look for in the next quarter business analysis is the profit margin on WWEshop as compared to usual levels to see if a significant number of people signed up for these incentives. When the announcement is made, WWE will have had three PPV shows since Mania, Warrior week, the $50 in merchandise deal for a $60 order, and countless other gimmicks. It’s hard to believe they wouldn’t reach 800,000. If they don’t, it really tells me the only growth periods going forward will be January through April each year. In fact, with all the incentive orders, this quarter really came across as a hotshot to get numbers up by the reporting date to keep the stock price up. Every time you do a marketing gimmick, it loses its effectiveness for something similar in the future. HBO and Showtime will do free weekends from time-to-time, but you don’t see them doing free weeks several times a quarter or offering nearly the full price of a six month subscription back if you order to jack up numbers now. But there is a difference as WWE is trying to get people to try out a new technology for free (Netflix gives you a month free and the UFC Network gives you a free tryout period at any time; WWE doesn’t do that because of the PPVs as they don’t want people watching a PPV for free; the one-week free trial with you not needing a credit card and only an e-mail address was something Hulu originated in 2011 and seemed to work in adding new subscribers). The reason the numbers aren’t bigger is as much an aversion to this technology as providing a product not enough people are interested in. On Raw, they pushed that they were having the C.M. Punk documentary run on the network on Tuesday.

    Punk’s WWE contract has officially expired and he’s now a free agent, and with prior usage before coming to WWE, should have the rights to his name for any entertainment ventures. Punk has returned to Twitter and started making deals now that his WWE contract expires this week, wrote “Starting a band, a podcast and a fire. One of these is true (Okay, two).”

    The Sting orchestra commercial for the WWE 2K 15 video game aired on the 7/14 Raw show. They left the crowd mic’d during the commercial, expecting a big pop, particularly since Richmond is kind of considered more WCW country, although the heyday of Richmond as a major wrestling market was before Sting was a top star. The crowd popped big, but then booed when they realized it was a video game commercial and not a vignette for Sting coming to WWE. WWE also started selling Sting merchandise that night which made people think a deal has been done. We’re told there is no deal at this point, not that there won’t be because everyone has gone with the idea that it will eventually get done. The Sting marks for the characters they are merchandising was considered intellectual property of WCW, which WWF purchased in 2001, thus WWE believes they have the rights to merchandise it. The sides are still working toward a deal and given that HHH on his weekly interview with Michael Cole talked about the subject and strongly hinted Sting would be coming in says he has to belief the deal is happening. The playable characters are billed as two generations of Sting. They pushed the late 90s Sting in the commercial but the late 80s and early 90s Sting will also be a different character in the game. We were told the entire vignette came in at around a $200,000 cost. Sting himself did an interview with The Daily Mirror stating he’d like to do one last match at WrestleMania 31, and his goal would be with Undertaker. “Why now? It’s a now or never thing,” he said. “I’ve done so many things in the wrestling business, but the one thing I’d never done was wrestle or be a part of the WWE family. I didn’t want to hang it up and retire, and disappear again without having done that in some capacity.
    I’ve made it clear I’d love to have one last hurrah, one last big match hopefully. And of course, I’ve been outspoken about Undertaker being the opponent.” “I think, or at least I’m hoping, that Taker’s still going to come back and that he’s not done. If he’s not done, and he would consider doing it, I’d love to work with him one time. I’d love to wrestle him one time before I call it quits.” He said he always wanted to work with Rock, Cena and Orton as well. Years back, Sting was a guy Rock had talked about coming out of retirement to face, but that was roughly a decade back. Sting said that he’s never personally met Vince McMahon. Sting didn’t make the searching trends on Monday, nor did anything from Raw, and that when down to 20,000 that night.


    The WWE has purchased positioning on a transponder on a c-band satellite, which is what cable networks use to send their signals, but for the WWE Network. The network is on the same transponder with Bloomberg and Reelz. Networks usually share transponders to share costs, but this means they are paying a significant amount of money to transport a signal that would be normally used by cable and satellite companies to bring in a station. It opened a lot of speculation but WWE sources say it’s not significant of anything.

    For Battleground, it looks like the complete lineup is Naomi vs. Cameron in the pre-show match, and the main show is Cena vs. Reigns vs. Orton vs. Kane for the WWE title, Rollins vs. Ambrose, Jericho vs. Wyatt, a 20 man Battle Royal for the vacant IC title with just about everyone on the roster (listed names are Cesaro, Sheamus, Khali, Fandango, Ziggler, O’Neil, Kingston, Van Dam, Big E, Ryback, Axel, Del Rio, Miz, Dallas, Ryder, Sin Cara, R-Truth, Diego, Woods and Slater), Usos vs. Harper & Rowan 2/3 falls for the tag titles, Rusev vs. Swagger and A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the Divas title. Rose and Sandow had been advertised for the Battle Royal, but when they cut down to 20, they were the two taken out. The pre-show is only on the WWE Network, not even if you buy PPV. Isn’t the purpose of the pre-show to get people on the fence to order? In the promotion of the event on Raw, it was exclusively about WWE Network and they never even mentioned it was available through cable companies as a PPV.

    WWE stock closed at $11.93 per share at press time, giving the company a market capitalization of $896.59 million. It’s probably going to remain at that level until the end of the month, and then the market will respond to the network number.

    Linda McMahon made a $1 million donation from the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation to purchase 3-D Mammography machines for the Greenwich, CT Hospital Breast Center and the Diagnostic Imaging Center in Stamford, CT. The hospital screens about 18,000 women annually for cancer.

    Big Show’s return is imminent as his role in the movie “Vendetta” finished filming on 7/13.

    Lesnar is scheduled to return on the 7/21 Raw in Miami, which is the same arena where he made his WWE return doing an angle where he laid out Cena. It wouldn’t shock me that his return will be doing something similar. This show will be the kickoff for the SummerSlam build.

    Flo Rida will also be performing a medley of hits and doing a skit or two on the show.

    Cena had to pull out of a first weekend of August Wizard World comic con convention booking, filming the movie “The Nest,” during that period. As noted last week, he’ll be off some house over the next several weeks as well.

    If you’re wondering why Cesaro has been kept as a heel and has cooled off so much even with Heyman as manager, it’s been somewhat intentional. Obviously, as noted in plans on who was going to be pushed, Cesaro was slated to be on the verge of a major face push late this summer. The decision was made, and this was before Bryan went down, that Reigns would be getting the big focused face push to the top with Cena, Bryan and Sheamus (who has also cooled down greatly because the way they book their secondary champions almost inherently does so) as the key guys. Cesaro is slated for a face push, but no time soon. The idea is “when we need it,” which would likely be after the big push for Reigns has already fully established him and they need the next rising star. The danger is Cesaro may have cooled off by that point, and really already has. It’s not like if they turn him and push him he doesn’t get over, but whether he reaches the level he could have had they taken advantage of the timing and momentum he had a few months ago, that’s the question.

    In conjunction with this year’s WrestleMania, WWE will be releasing a Daniel Bryan autobiography. The working idea for the title is “YES! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania.” Craig Tello, who writes for the WWE web site, will be the ghost writer.

    Dwayne Johnson was on ESPN Sports Center promoting “Hercules” and talked a lot of pro wrestling. He spoke about his injury at WrestleMania 29. He said that his title match with Cena was scheduled to go 50 minutes (some Hoganisms here), and at the 25:00 mark (the entire match actually went 23:59), he tore his rectus (abdominal) muscle, taking a suplex. He continued on. The ref knew he was hurt but he said he was fine, but he was limping a little, and he never told Cena he was hurt (he partially tore his hamstring at WrestleMania 28 and didn’t tell Cena or anyone about that injury either), and at the 50 minute mark, when he took the Attitude Adjustment for the finish, that’s where he tore the adductor. When asked which was harder, playing football, wrestling or doing “Hercules,” he said wrestling in the WWE was the hardest due to the schedule. When asked if he could live his life over again and do a sport besides football or pro wrestling what would he do, and he said MMA with no hesitation. When asked if he would do one more pro wrestling match, he said, “possibly.” Later, in another interview with ESPN Sportsnation with wrestling fan Michelle Beadle amended that, saying he would love to wrestle one more match, but said the opponent would have to have the marquee value of a Cena or a Lesnar to make it worth it.

    The Miz-Sheamus program on Raw that started had Miz go over because the idea is to do a long-term program between the two of them based on the idea Miz is obsessed with his face and Sheamus promises people that he will kick Miz’s face in.

    NXT is taping four more weeks of shows on 7/17 with The Wyatt Family as the guests.

    In the weird advertising department, on 12/29, the final Raw of the year takes place in Washington, D.C. Because it’s the post-Christmas week and the best weekend of the year to draw, particularly when it comes to kids, they are doing a house in Richmond, VA at the same time as Raw. They almost never book a house show on Raw night. Also, in advertising right now, Orton, Ambrose, Rollins and Ziggler are advertised for both shows. They are close enough together that for a nearly four hour Raw show, they actually could get guys to work early in Richmond and rush them to DC by plane, but WWE also rarely does that.

    Another financial cutback has to do with the production crew, which is a pretty big deal. They used to provide buses for the crew on Sunday to Monday on PPV weeks, and Monday and Tuesday every week. The gist was that after breaking down the set they would be done at about 1 a.m., get in the bus, sleep on the bus and be driven to the next arena where they’d get up in the early morning and set things up for the next night. Now, with no bus, they have to drive to the next city, which is often a few hours. So instead of sleeping, they may drive, get in at 4 a.m., and either set up with no sleep or get a hotel, and get almost no sleep. Plus, with the bus, after set up, they could go on the bus and get sleep before the show starts. The change is a lot more physically taxing and there is the feeling many are going to be looking elsewhere and be gone if they can get another gig.

    Matt Bloom (Tensai) has moved to Orlando and is now coaching to go along with his being an announcer for NXT.

    Marella is running shows of his own in Ontario. He may be using the Battlarts name, from his gym. What’s notable is one of the instructors at his gym is Yuki Ishikawa, who headed the Battlarts group in Japan and he’s apparently a hell of a coach. Ishikawa was a protégé of Yoshiaki Fujiwara, who was Karl Gotch’s top student. Marella’s neck is in really bad shape and at some point he will have to undergo fusion surgery. He wants his Battlarts shows to be like the promotion in Japan, which is shoot style but still be worked, but working a realistic in-ring style with more based around submissions. New Japan’s Davey Boy Smith Jr. worked shows for him this past week.

    After TV this week, the women from Total Divas were sent on a Carribean cruise for filming for the fall season.

    Notes on more wrestlers set for a WWE tryout in August in Sydney, Australia. One is former amateur wrestling champion Shane Whitehead of New Zealand. Whitehead took a silver and gold medal in the Oceania championships in 2008, but gave up on amateur wrestling at that point for pro wrestling. He uses the ring name Shooter Shane Sinclair, or SSS. Another is Marc Perry from New Zealand, 26, who wrestles as Marcus Kool.

    Kalisto & Sin Cara are being tried out as a tag team in developmental. The worst thing they could do to debut Kalisto is hook him up with a guy who has already been established to fans as a job guy. That’s as close to a kiss of death debut and a guarantee of being the Latin version of R-Truth & Woods.

    Becky Lynch has changed from long tights to short tights and from redhead to brunette, and has stopped doing the Irish dancer gimmick.

    Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder are now working as a tag team called The Mechanics, basically the idea they are colorless wrestlers who are technically sound. You know how well those gimmicks usually get over in WWE. Wilder, 27, is Daniel Wheeler from Raleigh, who worked indies as Steven Walters.

    There has been a former UFC star training at the Performance Center. The name is being kept secretive for political reasons but it’s said he’s got most of the attributes WWE is looking for, but age would not be in his favor.

    Tyler Breeze is back in action after breaking his finger, which was exaggerated into a career threatening injury. If you don’t watch NXT, The Miz’s face routine is largely taken from the gimmick Breeze had been doing a lot better in NXT.


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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by Xero on Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:41 pm

    If you’re wondering why Cesaro has been kept as a heel and has cooled off so much even with Heyman as manager, it’s been somewhat intentional. Obviously, as noted in plans on who was going to be pushed, Cesaro was slated to be on the verge of a major face push late this summer. The decision was made, and this was before Bryan went down, that Reigns would be getting the big focused face push to the top with Cena, Bryan and Sheamus (who has also cooled down greatly because the way they book their secondary champions almost inherently does so) as the key guys.


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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:35 pm

    8/4

    This is the update on SummerSlam, the third biggest event of the year, on 8/17 at the sold out Staples Center in Los Angeles: Matches official are Cena vs. Lesnar for the WWE title, Orton vs. Reigns, Jericho vs. Wyatt, Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella, Rollins vs. Ambrose and Swagger vs. Rusev in a flag match. Two other matches being built are Miz vs. Ziggler for the IC title and A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the Divas title, so that’s eight matches and a full card right there. There looks to be an Usos vs. Kingston & Big E direction, so that’s a possibility. They may add a short match but it doesn’t look like anything else significant would be on the show.

    Sting appeared as part of the WWE panel for Mattel at the San Diego Comic Con on 7/24, along with Michael Cole, Bryan, Heyman and Hogan. That once again led to rumors about Sting having signed. He has a deal with Mattel, like with 2K, but not a wrestling deal with WWE at this point. He’s still a free agent and in that sense, with all the recent publicity, he seems to have more value and momentum. The belief in WWE, even though he’s not signed, is that there is more interest in Sting from the 2K announcement, possibly because he’s more current and possibly because there is the feeling he could wrestle, than Warrior when they made the announcement last year. In Houston at Raw, when they aired the 2K commercial, there was a loud “We Want Sting,” chant. Sting can still get big money for autograph shows on the outside. I can’t see him wrestling on the indie scene. He talked openly about wanting to have a run in WWE, or at the least, a match at Mania this coming year, saying that at his age, it’s now or never. HHH has brought up Sting possible matches and they’ve been negotiating for months. One source said they were hopeful of getting it done by SummerSlam, since Sting is coming to Los Angeles for the event, although at this point is not scheduled for the show itself. As Sting has noted, he has never in his life met Vince McMahon, so I guess he’s going to personally meet him for the first time in less than three weeks. It’s become a running gag now when people talk about Sting and his contract, basically that it’s in the same place it’s been since January when they started talking seriously. Sting at the panel talked about Cena, Undertaker, Orton and Rock as possible opponents and did say he was really against the idea of Undertaker’s streak being broken. Cole was constantly pushing the WWE network, past the point of it being comedy, and he was very much in on the joke in the sense he was making fun of the fact he had to keep mentioning it. Hogan said that the backstage reaction when Lesnar beat Undertaker was like being at a funeral. Heyman pushed the idea that when Lesnar lost to Cena the first time that he wasn’t 100 percent and was suffering from diverticulitis, but that it’s a different story now and he’s completely healthy. Heyman also put over Jimmy Hart (who was there since Hart travels with Hogan) as one of the greatest managers of all-time and said how Fred Blassie, Bobby Heenan, Lou Albano and Fred Blassie were better than he was, and that he can’t touch their body of work so doesn’t even try. He said he wasn’t a manager, he’s an advocate. He went from a sports agent to an advocate, Sting was introduced at the end, as a surprise. He was already booked for the Comic Con, but not as part of the WWE contingent. Cole put it over as Sting’s first WWE appearance.

    A funny question was when someone asked how the PPV bonuses work with the network, and Bryan said that nobody really knows. From what we understand, the WrestleMania checks were sent out this past week and pretty much everyone should have gotten them over the past few days. The only thing I heard is that people who expected to get screwed, given the unhappiness over the video game royalties, said that wasn’t the case and the payoff was better than they feared and about what they expected. As far as a comparison of guys from equal spots on the card last year or this year and how it overall compares, right now I don’t know anything about that. But it did do 689,000 buys or so on PPV at the highest price of the year, plus did a $10 million live gate, so payoffs, even if limited to the PPV, would be big even if nothing from the network is kicked in. Because we haven’t gotten anything from anyone in the same spot both years for a comparison, it’ll probably be a week or so before we know more unless it’s spelled out on the SEC filings over the next week. Cole quickly changed the subject and did it so obviously and painfully that it was actually comedy that everyone there recognized. Bryan heavily put over KENTA, and said KENTA kicks hard and is a great wrestler and that a lot of WWE guys have that to look forward to. Cole then joked about how KENTA will soon be on NXT, exclusively on the WWE Network.

    Robbins Arroyo LLP, a shareholders rights law firm, filed suit on 7/25 in U.S. District Court on Connecticut against the WWE on behalf of all people who purchased stock between 10/31 and 5/18. The lawsuit accuses WWE of making false and misleading statements concerning the company’s ability to double its U.S. television rights. They certainly strongly hinted at it, forever citing the NASCAR television deal and comparisons of WWE ratings to NASCAR ratings, which were similar. Vince McMahon also told an investor at a conference when he suggested that the U.S. television rights could double, Vince said to Brad Safalow on a conference call that “If we don’t double, I’ll let you put me in a hammerlock.” There were no guarantees stated, but based on how he said it, he was talking about far more than doubling, as if doubling would be well under expectations. The complaint alleges that during that period, WWE officers issued materially false and misleading statements in filings, press releases and conference calls regarding their ability to double their U.S. television licensing agreements. In 2013, WWE took in $106 million in U.S. television revenue, a number that also included Main Event (since canceled by Ion and put on the network) and several months of Saturday Morning Slam (canceled by CW), as well as Total Divas. The new deal is estimated at being at $132 million for the 2014-15 season for Raw & Smackdown. That doesn’t include Total Divas, which, if two seasons air this year, would up the total by around $10 million. But there is no guarantee Total Divas will have two seasons in 2014-15, as shows like that usually don’t have a long shelf life, even though Total Divas has done well in the ratings so far and appears to have some legs left. The lawsuit stated that WWE, when presenting ratings comparisons with NASCAR and the NBA, never mentioned advertisers pay far less for WWE television spots and thus, even with similar ratings, the value of the programming to stations isn’t there. They also claimed WWE never told its stockholders that the launch of the WWE Network would hurt them in television negotiations. That is true, nobody ever said that beforehand that the launch could impact talks. I was surprised Vince McMahon outright said after the new deal came in and the stock price dropped so hard, that the launch of the network did hurt them in negotiations. People who purchased stock during that period have 60 days from 7/25 to join into the lawsuit. They also provided an 800-350-6003 number for such stockholders.

    Batista, while in the U.K. promoting “Guardians of the Galaxy,” said to The Mirror that he would be returning to WWE but said at 45, he doesn’t have much time left. He said that he’s looking to come back and do a retirement program with HHH and retire at WrestleMania. He didn’t specifically say this year’s Mania. HHH would be the apropos finish for his career since he made his career. HHH hand picked Batista to be in Evolution, and without it, his career wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as it was. HHH also maneuvered the HHH vs. Batista feud. The writing team wanted to rush the program and have them battle on TV and PPV months earlier, but HHH insisted on them not having a match until the 2005 WrestleMania, which did 1,090,000 buys, at the time the biggest pro wrestling PPV event of all-time. “I kind of have my wish list of guys that I would like to work with, because I realize my career is not going to be that long if I do go back just because physically, realistically, I’m 45 years old now, how much longer can I continue?” He also said, “It’s not will I go back, it’s when will I go back. Hopefully it won’t be far too long.” He said the transition to acting, which is his next goal, hasn’t been easy. “When I left WWE to pursue acting, that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to pursue acting, which has not been easy to do because I think people automatically want to slap this label on me, which is very frustrating.” He said he’s looking for more dialogue-driven roles, and more character driven roles, and said people wouldn’t believe this, but he’d love to do Shakespeare. He said his first acting lessons were doing Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure” and “Taming of the Shrew,” and said that’s the kind of thing he loves, although he admitted he’d struggle with it. There was a New York Post story that listed him as being 6-foot-6. Huh? He said he broke down and cried when he got the role. “I left wrestling and I really pounded the pavement trying to get people to take me seriously as an actor for about three-and-a-half years, finally there was some kind of justification that it was the right choice,” he said.

    “Hercules,” starring Dwayne Johnson, did $29,800,263 in its opening weekend, good for second place behind “Lucy.” The number isn’t spectacular for an opening for a $100 million budget movie, but it is slightly above industry projections.

    Lesnar is only advertised for one more TV appearance before SummerSlam, on the 8/11 go-home show in Portland, OR. It’s possible he could appear next week but isn’t being advertised locally. He is also scheduled to appear at the 8/18 Raw, the day after SummerSlam, in Las Vegas, the 9/15 Raw in Lafayette, LA and Night of Champions on 9/21 in Nashville.

    For Las Vegas, they had only set up the lower bowl of the Thomas & Mack to sell tickets in (6,500 ish) but that is now sold out except for a few limited view seats so they may open up more of the arena.

    Hogan did an NBC conference call for the 8/3 airing of WrestleMania Highlights (the Hogan/Rock/Austin segment, along with edited parts of Cena vs. Wyatt and Undertaker vs. Lesnar). He claimed the Mania segment with Rock and Austin wasn’t scripted. Funny, the day before I was told about one of the three at that moment going through the script. He claimed Vince in the ring was one of the best he ever worked with. He skirted the issue when asked if the thought the decision for Lesnar to beat Undertaker was the right one, just saying Vince has a plan and there’s more to it than what he knows. When asked about Piper being mad because he wanted a match with Hogan at this year’s Mania and Hogan not going for it, he said it was never considered and Piper was just working his own angle. He said with all his surgeries he’s not ready to wrestle now but didn’t rule it out for the future.

    For the 10/26 Hell in a Cell show in Dallas, the first show after the six-month network subscriptions for those who signed up WrestleMania week will expire, is advertising HHH, but not Lesnar as appearing.

    Sheamus missed last week’s television with a serious case of the flu. They were scheduled to start a Sheamus vs. Rusev U.S. title program at the tapings. He was at the building, at least for sure in Orlando, but was unable to wrestle. This week he was not at TV, as he was in Ireland, and there have been no U.S. title programs set up for SummerSlam. There was talk of Sheamus losing the U.S. title to Rusev as a way to increase Rusev & Lana’s Anti-American heat. That still could happen down the line.

    Regarding the “Yes” chants, Bryan has noted he got it from Diego Sanchez, and Sanchez said he learned it from a Tony Robbins seminar.

    The WWE officially announced the signing of Fergal “Prince” Devitt this week. He’s starting imminently. This deal was inevitable when he didn’t renew his New Japan contract in January. It was just the timing issue of getting a visa, doing medicals, etc. Devitt is 33, which is older than they like to start people, but he and KENTA are both special talents. He’s from Ireland and has been wrestling for 14 years. His big break came in 2005 when he was invited to train at Antonio Inoki’s old gym in Santa Monica, CA. He got his tryout as a young boy with New Japan in 2006. The Prince Devitt name came because he said the Japanese had a hard time pronouncing Fergal. He was so impressive that on some shows they put a mask on him and gave him the name the Pegasus Kid. The first Pegasus Kid was Chris Benoit, which tells you from the start how impressed they were to give him the name of someone who was so heavily respected. This was a year before Benoit killed his family and himself. He moved up from young boy to a pushed junior heavyweight over the next few years, first winning the IWGP jr. title with Minoru (Minoru Tanaka) as his partner on January 27, 2008, from Dick Togo & Taka Michinoku. His most famous tag team in Japan, Apollo 55, was with Ryusuke Taguchi from 2009 to the breakup in 2013 when Devitt went heel with the Bullet Club. On July 5, 2009, they beat Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley to win the IWGP jr. tag titles and he went to the finals of the Super Junior tournament that year, losing to Koji Kanemoto. Four years later he turned on Taguchi and became the top star of The Bullet Club. He was in a great spot with New Japan, as the first foreign junior heavyweight (he’s really about 185 pounds) who was getting a legit top push as a heavyweight, something that even people like Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero never got. In last year’s G-1 Climax tournament, he scored wins over both Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. His New Japan run included three IWGP jr. titles, including a 14 month reign as champion that ended at the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show when he lost to Kota Ibushi, at which point they pretty much knew he was leaving. But he was professional staying with the company until 4/6 to tie up all loose ends, including putting over Taguchi to end their program. He left as a babyface, shaking hands with Taguchi and being turned on by The Bullet Club, with A.J. Styles replacing him in the role as the top singles star. He was actually signed months ago, but like all the signees, they are told to deny, and keep quiet. Other titles he held in recent years included the NWA middleweight title for CMLL, the IWGP jr. tag titles six times (twice with Minoru, four times with Taguchi, and he and Taguchi are generally considered the greatest junior heavyweight tag team of the modern era in New Japan. His six title reigns with the belt ties Jushin Liger for the most in history. He won both the 2010 and 2013 Best of the Super Juniors tournament and his 2010 match with Taguchi against Ibushi & Kenny Omega was voted match of the year that year by the Japanese press, which is an amazing accomplishment since that award usually favors dream matches and heavyweight matches.

    Barry McMullin was hired this past week as Senior Vice President of Sales & Partnership Marketing, to work underneath Michelle Wilson. His past includes working for the PBR, NBA and the Salt Lake City organizing committee for the 2002 winter Olympics. He held a similar role with the PBR and secured deals with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Monster Energy drink, Dr. Pepper and Tyson Foods.

    Regarding the new heel group, people who have worked with him say that Woods was very good at doing heel promos when he was practicing for the role.

    Cena wasn’t booked on the house shows this weekend due to doing the movie “Trainwreck.” I’ve seen photos from the movie set and the guy is covered in tattoos.

    C.M. Punk was on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani wishing Daniel Cormier well. He said getting married was the best thing he had ever done. He talked about attending UFC 178 with Jon Jones vs. Cormier, saying he had to clear it with his wife but if she can get the weekend off and they can hang out and eat room service. He praised Conor McGregor but said he puts a lot of pressure on himself, but that fighting needs guys like him. He made it clear he didn’t want to say anything about his leaving WWE.

    Ambrose did an interview for the hard rock web site AlternativeNation.net and defended the decision to pull his match with Rollins from Battleground. “You never know what you’re going to see, card subject to change always. There are some fans that may have been a little disappointed, but I think in the long run nobody will remember it as much as a negative as they might have instantly thought they would. That night definitely upped the intensity of the rivalry between me and Seth Rollins. If anything, even though there was a lot of craziness in me getting kicked out of the building, and fans never got to see the match, but one of the things I take away from it is that at the beginning of the night, they wanted to see the match. But they weren’t all that vocal, and they didn’t really realize how much they wanted to see it. But when they realized they weren’t going to get it, the whole place started chanting, `Let them fight.’ Then the whole place realized just how much they wanted to see it. I think the way it worked out shone a bigger spotlight on me and Seth and our rivalry than if we had just gone out there and wrestled, personally.” The issue here is card subject to change is supposed to cover a promoter in the case of an emergency, a family illness, an injury, transportation problem, essentially what used to be referred to as “An act of God.” It is not meant to give the promotion the caveat to do blatant false advertising. If you are selling a show and charging admission, particularly since this was still a PPV in most of the world, if you aren’t planning on delivering a match, you have no business advertising and promoting it. He said that during the days of The Shield that all three traveled together and would go to the gym together. He talked about how much developmental has improved, saying when he was first signed, Lucky Cannon was considered the top guy in developmental, and today they’ve got KENTA, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and others coming in. He praised Arn Anderson as someone he learns a lot from and he’s the guy he asks when it comes to an idea, saying if he gives it the thumbs up, then he’s doing it. He also said he’s learned a lot from Dusty Rhodes, Joey Mercury and Michael Hayes.

    Stock closed at press time at $12.47 per share meaning market capitalization at press time is $941.5 million. With the earnings call on 7/31, logic (not always the case in Wall Street) would indicate either a big gain or loss this week, based on the network number largely and earnings a distant second. Wall Street’s expectation is $15 million in losses this quarter even though it’s the Mania quarter, usually the most profitable of the year. So if losses are less than that, as bad as that sounds, it shouldn’t hurt the stock. As far as the network number goes, anything above 1 million should be a positive, at least to a degree. Anything below 900,000 should be a negative, but Wall Street may not understand the six-month commitment aspect and that there’s a churn period in September and October coming. A direct line of 667,000 to 1 million from Mania to this week would be 792,000 at the end of June and 834,000 at the end of July. So they could take those numbers and say that’s fine, but they only would be if nobody doesn’t renew. That’s not viable. I’ve got to think with Mania over you are talking 10 percent dropping (roughly what UFC is doing right now, most similar networks are at 15 percent non-renewals but Netflix is less than 10 percent). Bradley Safalow of PAA Research, one of the leading researchers when it comes to WWE has predicted a number of 750,000 to 850,000 (I’ve seen a lot of 740,000 to 760,000 estimates, which, to me, would be terribly low because it would show all of the post-Mania gimmicks and hotshots didn’t amount to much. Plus, the “shock” of ending Undertaker’s streak was partially to hotshot buys the week after the show. Safalow admitted that number would be disappointing based on previous thought, but has now stated that the original projections for the network from those in the investment community were unrealistic. However, he noted WWE has made moves to cut expenses in other areas of business so the feeling is while network numbers are going to be lower than the company and those who followed it projected, with the cuts, the company will also be spending less than was projected a couple of months ago. Most of the stockholders of growth managers have sold off. They still believe there will be international TV deals that will increase over the next 18 months and the network still has long-term growth potential. Safalow is only projecting 800,000 (after the September/October churn) for 12/31, but is projecting 1.43 million for the end of 2015 and 1.92 million for the end of 2016. Even if it takes more time to get there, if the network does hit 1.9 million, it’s a big success, even if it takes a few years to get there. Safalow still projects 4 to 5 million subscribers eventually. If they ever get anywhere near there, the company will be at a financial level never dreamed before. But I question with the number of people who watch the TV show and the slow growth, that there just aren’t that many people who already can watch five hours a week for free on television that are willing to spend money to watch more. He did push that WWE needs to put a halt to the ability for five to ten devices being able to use the same password. It’s been noted that those who pay with Paypal have the ability to stop payment, or cancel before the six months, but that number is likely very small because less than five percent of network subscribers are paying via Paypal. There is also the suggestion to start taking outside advertising to add to income, and offer a price break for a one year subscription.

    This week’s method of promoting the network is promoting a historical show. The next two Sundays they will have old SummerSlams in the 8 p.m. Eastern PPV time slot, starting with the biggest one ever, in 1998, with Austin vs. Undertaker for the WWF title and Rock vs. HHH in a ladder match, which did 700,000 buys, making it the second biggest non-Mania pro wrestling PPV show in history.

    Brian Meyers, the former Curt Hawkins, was rightly upset about a WWE web site story talking about how Axel was the wrestling training partner of Dwayne Johnson in 2011 and 2012 when he made his comeback. While Axel did train with Johnson, Johnson’s main training partner was Meyers. He wrote, “This story is missing some details. Cold blooded move. I don’t think The Rock would appreciate it either.”

    A correction from last week. Lana went to Florida State University, not University of Florida. Fans did the Gator chomp to her to throw her off at TV last week, even though she didn’t go to Florida, which was the college O’Neil went to.

    KENTA has been backstage at the NXT shows but has not been used yet in front of the people.

    At the NXT house show in Daytona on 7/26, JoJo from Total Divas, who was been doing ring announcing at the house shows, was working as an interviewer for a segment with the Rosebuds (Adam Rose was on the tour so they just had a Rose Buds entrance and interview segment). They interviewed Captain Comic (Jody Kristofferson, who also is Garrett Dylan) and woman Zero, several of the NXT women not wrestling on the show were Rose-buds.


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    SBR

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:18 pm

    8/11



    For whatever this is worth, Hogan is claiming that he is going to wrestle one more match. Hogan was on the Matthew Aaron show this past week, and said, “Brother, my goal is to perform in the ring again. It’s not if, it’s when. I’ve been training like crazy. My back doesn’t hurt at all. My back’s perfect. Now I’ve finally got my back straightened out, and I’m really trying to get myself into shape because if you step inside that WWE ring, you better bring it, and the last time I brought it, they begged me to take it back.” He also said, “If I get in there, I want to make sure I’m ready to go and I give them something to remember me by, so my goal in life is to perform again in that WWE ring.” Hogan did say that there would be no more leg drops, and that he was foolish using the leg drop as his finisher, stating that was the reason he had so many back problems later in life. This is Hogan. Within WWE, the mentality is Hogan is a retired wrestler who has a guaranteed money public relations/brand ambassador type contract that calls for a certain amount of dates per month, and leaves him not exclusive to the company, meaning he can call his own shots on outside endeavors.

    The SummerSlam main card looks to be complete with all the matches being built up now officially announced, with Cena vs. Lesnar for the WWE title, Stephanie vs. Brie Bella (which is very much being pushed like it’s the second biggest match on the show), Reigns vs. Orton, Rollins vs. Ambrose in a lumberjack match, Jericho vs. Wyatt, A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the Divas title, Swagger vs. Rusev in a flag match and Miz vs. Ziggler in an IC title match. At one point there was a plan for Usos vs. Ryback & Axel vs. Goldust & Stardust vs. Harper & Rowan in a tag title match for the pre-show, but whatever the pre-show match is won’t be finalized until next week. I could see Slater Gator being added in since they are giving them a prelim push right now and they beat Goldust & Stardust on Main Event.

    “Guardians of the Galaxy,” with Dave Bautista as one of the lead characters, did $94,320,883 in its opening weekend. Bautista got great reviews for his portrayal of “Drax the Destroyer,” and this box office pretty much guarantees this as a franchise movie and, unless they decide to kill off the character, that means major starring roles for him. This is a giant career break given that he’s pretty well conceded his wrestling days are limited at 45. The movie has already topped $160 million worldwide. It was the biggest movie opening as far as gross revenue ever in the month of August, and the 32nd biggest opening weekend of all-time.

    “Hercules,” starring Dwayne Johnson, fell to $11,010,367 in its second weekend, a drop of 63% from the opening weekend. That’s a bad drop, but “Lucy,” which dropped last week, fell almost as much, so part of the drop can be attributed to how much business “Guardians of the Galaxy” did. The movie as of the weekend had done $52,658,415 domestically and its worldwide total was $109.2 million.

    Jericho’s album “Do You Wanna Start a War” opened at No. 54 this past week on the Billboard overall charts, No. 20 on the Billboard rock charts and No. 9 on the Billboard hard rock charts. That would mean it sold 5,600 units in the first week. The previous Fozzy release sold 3,000 in the first week and sold 19,000 units in all. Jericho, who usually tries to keep his comings and goings a secret, outright said this past week that his final date is 9/21 in Nashville, which is the Night of Champions PPV. He starts touring with Fozzy a few days later.

    Jesus Rodriguez (Ricardo Rodriguez), Jody Kristofferson (Garrett Dylan), Sam Udell (Travis Tyler), Danielle Jackson (Dani Jax), Shaun Ricker (Slate Randall) and Will McNamee (Mac Miles) were all let go this past week. Most were the victim of budget cuts when the company is trying to get leaner. Rodriguez, 28, was the only main roster player. Those close to him say he was frustrated and that he wanted to be a wrestler and it wasn’t happening and asked to be released. He shined in his role as the ring announcer for Del Rio, winning Best Non Wrestler in the 2011 Observer awards. He was actually the second choice for the role but the original person, also a wrestler, turned the spot down saying they had no interest in being a ring announcer. They did tryouts with Los Angeles based wrestlers who spoke Spanish, and Rodriguez was the best and was hired. The guy who turned it down in hindsight feels he made a terrible decision since WWE has never used him as an extra or given him a tryout since he turned down the role. Rodriguez started on the indies in Southern California in 2005, and was signed for the role in the summer of 2010. He and Del Rio spent three years together as heels and later a face run. But when Del Rio turned heel last summer, the decision was made that people like Rodriguez too much and it would hurt him as a heel, so they split them. That was the kiss of death for Rodriguez. They used him as a face feuding with Del Rio, as a second for Van Dam, but very much like Colter right now, the face position for a manager has a short life expectancy. In Rodriguez’s case it was shorter than most as he and Van Dam had no chemistry. He was in developmental as El Local, working as a tag team with Kalisto, but was injured, and Sin Cara was given his spot to eventually do a Luchador tag team with Kalisto, but with Sin Cara having been buried for so long, that pretty much limits the upside of the team. There were also issues in that because of his physique not being up to their standard, even when his body was completely covered in his ring costume, they set a weight goal that they wanted him at and in the mind of the company, he was having trouble keeping to it. Rodriguez had both a talent contract and an announcers contract. He was cut this past week even though his two-year talent contract only had two more weeks on it. He was also doing the Spanish language announcing, but with budget cuts, a three man Spanish broadcast crew was one too many. Kristofferson, 29, was brought back earlier this year after being cut last summer, which was a personal issues deal with HHH promising him when he took care of things, he would be brought back, and kept that promise. He had been Captain Comic under a mask, often as one of the Rose Buds, as well as Garrett Dylan, with about two years in developmental. He’s the son of famous actor and singer Kris Kristofferson, who has come to many of his matches both in California and Florida, but he never wanted to trade in on his father’s name, although it did help him get signed. Udell was a high school and college wrestler from Colorado who had advanced only to the enhancement talent level in NXT. Jackson was an actress who had not made it to NXT television. Ricker, 31, was an 11-year pro trained by Les Thatcher who had been with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and other Southwest indies. He was a participant on “The Hero,” a TBS reality show that Dwayne Johnson hosted, and got a deal after that. One person said he had, by far, the most potential of those cut, but unlike the others which were the numbers game and being not what they wanted or not progressing, Ricker was a different issue. One person said he had the charisma they wanted but there was an issue regarding sending an e-mail that got him buried. Another person noted that his Twitter account was not what the company wanted. McNamee had just started on shows in an enhancement role.

    Heyman was on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on 8/4, when he was off Raw, for a two plus hour interview. He said his return to WWE in 2012 was because Laurinaitis was acting as the mouthpiece for Lesnar and they felt it wasn’t working the way it needed to, plus they were taking Laurinaitis off TV and needed someone to speak for Lesnar since he had limited dates. He said that Lesnar had agreed in 2012 to return to UFC for a fight with Fedor Emelianenko (this is a true story), which would have been held at Cowboys Stadium and likely been pushed as the biggest heavyweight fight of all-time, even though neither was champion. He said Lesnar had started a pre-training camp, but then Emelianenko dropped out when his father died. “He lost all desire and motivation to fight.” He teased that Lesnar could fight again, but he’s enjoying his role in WWE right now. He said Lesnar is healthy now, something he never was before, claiming that Lesnar was suffering effects of Diverticulitis dating back to college, but never knew it, and he’s completely healthy now for the first time in 15 years. He tabbed Ronda Rousey the biggest star going forward in combat sports, noting as a single-even revenue producer, she is behind Floyd Mayweather, but said he’s not very sponsorable and she is. He felt the WWE network was where the future is headed and that the PPV industry is in a decline, that PPV got oversaturated. He said TNA failed because they never branded themselves as something different from WWE and could never gain traction as the minor league version of WWE, or being the ECW nostalgia show. He said their lack of being able to create an identity cost them dearly. He said he wanted to use the footage of Lesnar and Undertaker after the Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez fight in Anaheim in 2010 as part of the WrestleMania build, thinking it added a different element with the idea there is a history between them that is legit, plus wanted to air footage of Mark Calaway as Mean Mark from WCW in 1990 at the Great American Bash, when he was managed by Heyman, and faced Lex Luger. The story would be that Mark left Heyman to become the Undertaker and again present it as a long grudge against both WWE for taking him and Undertaker for walking out on him. McMahon nixed both ideas. Regarding Punk, he said, “I think C.M. Punk’s mind set is never to come back and their (WWE) mind set is they never want him back.” But he said he would have sworn on his testicles in 2010 that he would never work for WWE again, and two years later he was back. “He’s (Punk) driven and determined never to go back. If he does go back, it’ll be a sign of failure on his part. His success in life is predicated on the idea he never goes back.” But he noted that others have thought the same thing that came back. He said he believes it absolutely won’t happen in 2014, and doubts it would happen in 2015, but he doesn’t know about the future because you never say never. “In his heart and in his mind, he passionately feels he will never put on a pair of boots again and I believe WWE is of the same mind set.” But he said some day both sides may change their tunes. He also teased the idea of Punk doing MMA.

    Raw on 8/25 from Anaheim will go head-to-head with the Emmy Awards on NBC. It’s the first time Raw has ever opposed that show.

    Raw starts going head-to-head with Monday Night Football on 8/18, but the first few weeks are preseason games on ESPN. Traditionally, the preseason games don’t hurt Raw. It’s historically about a nine or ten percent drop during the regular season.

    The Ric Flair segment on Raw a few weeks ago with Renee Young was almost entirely scripted, word-for-word. So all that stuff of Flair hitting on her when she was in the short dress was what the writers wanted out of the segment. The only ad-lib line was when Flair was talking about things he’d done in Richmond (where the show was filmed), and he said to the crowd “ask your mothers and fathers.” Creative still hasn’t come up with an idea on how to use Flair, which is why he seemed to have no reason to be on TV which is why the Richmond segment seemed to have no direction, he wasn’t used in Fayetteville for Smackdown the next night and hasn’t been on TV since. Originally Richmond was to start a direction that would make him a regular TV character. The idea was for him to be with Miz when Miz got his new push, but that changed.

    An update on Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat is no longer working full-time here. He wasn’t cut, in the sense he still as a legends contract (those are usually $10,000 per year), but his regular job as a brand ambassador was eliminated. I’m somewhat surprised about this one just because Steamboat had all those health problems related to injuries in the Nexus angle years back, to the point it was life-or-death for a few days and I don’t know if he ever fully recovered. I know as of a year later he was still having fairly serious problems stemming from bleeding on the brain.

    There has been some Orton Twitter drama this past week, some of which ended up on TMZ. First, when responding to a fan who asked him if he’d ever do a Q&A on Twitter, he said “No, that’s for people like Ziggler and Ryder.” Well, due to that response and the company not being happy with it, on 8/4, he was doing a Q&A on Twitter. He also tweeted his girlfriend (Kim Marie, who some say looks like she could be the third Bella), saying, “Look (girlfriend’s name), I met the Latino Ms. Piggy today at the gym. I wish you were there to have a good laugh with me!” Apparently that was Orton’s name for a woman he’s gone back-and-forth with on Twitter and those in the company aware of it refer to her as Orton’s stalker, and obviously his girlfriend knows who she is. They took a photo together at a hotel gym on the road this weekend, and the woman said Orton was a douche about taking the photo on her Twitter. Reportedly the “Ms. Piggy” and the girlfriend went back-and-forth when the “stalker” claimed the new girlfriend isn’t as pretty as Orton’s ex and other things like that, and Orton blocked her on Twitter months ago for sending harassing messages to Kim Marie. A lot of fans than Tweeted Stephanie and HHH, complaining about talent going on a public forum and calling someone Ms. Piggy, and it wound up with TMZ doing a story on it. Eventually Orton was asked to apologize with a “I apologize if any of my previous tweets offended anyone. The answer to bullying isn’t more bullying.” He also had to take the tweet down.

    As we reported last week, Sting was announced on 8/4 that he would be in Los Angeles the day before SummerSlam for a panel discussion for the 2K 15 video game roster reveal. Sting being there was advertised on Raw, noting he would be there with Cena, Hogan, Cesaro, Reigns, Sheamus and host Austin. What, no Ric Flair? That was meant as sarcasm, by the way.

    Raw on 8/11 in Portland, OR, is all hands on deck with Lesnar there, Cena returning, Hogan appearing (it’s his 61st birthday and it will be his birthday bash show), Flair appearing plus appearing as part of the Hogan birthday celebration will include Nash, Scott Hall, Jimmy Hart and Paul Orndorff. This will be the first time Hogan has appeared at a show in Portland since a November 14, 1991, match with Flair, so he should get a great reaction.

    Even though there is a hiring freeze as a general rule, they are looking at adding people with high-traffic site experience dealing with the network.

    Hogan took credit for the breakup of his daughter’s engagement to Phil Costa of the Dallas Cowboys in a radio interview in Dallas on 8/1. “I love the Dallas Cowboys, been a fan forever, but, my daughter was engaged to one of those guys and he didn’t walk the walk and talk the talk. I put a bullet in that really quick. There was no way my daughter was going to marry somebody that I don’t like, that got me mad, or has got in my face.” Hogan later said Costa never got it in his face but there was a run-in. Then he claimed, “He (Costa) knew better than to step up or he’d have gotten slammed like Andre the Giant.”

    The next NXT live special on the network will be on 9/11, called NXT Takeover 2, with Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze in a four-way for the NXT title, Charlotte vs. Bayley for the Knockouts title and the Ascension vs. Sin Cara & Kalisto for the tag titles. Charlotte and Kalisto are both supposed to be fast-tracked to the main roster. There is at least talk of Bayley winning to set up Charlotte going to the main roster but that’s not a lock.

    The movie “Leprechaun,” which features Dylan Postl (Hornswoggle), will have a limited theatrical release the weekend of 8/22. The DVD will be released on 8/29, so it’ll only be one week at very few theaters.

    Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake are apparently going to be given a spot and pushed as a tag team as they have gotten matching outfits.

    Vickie Guerrero just started a job working at a pharmaceuticals company, processing patients through insurance companies.


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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by JustSkiff on Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:56 pm

    Poor Phil Costa.
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    SBR

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:05 pm

    8/25

    Summerslam notes:

    Brock Lesnar won the WWE title for the first time in more than ten years, in the most one-sided title change of any length in company history, beating John Cena at SummerSlam on 8/17 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    The match consisted of Lesnar destroying Cena from the opening bell, throwing him around at will, including delivering 15 different released German suplexes, a few of which saw Cena land badly on his already damaged neck. Lesnar laughed at the little offense Cena mustered, kicked out of his Attitude Adjustment, and finished the match by simply powering out of his STF, and getting on top for vicious ground and pound, and delivering an F-5 for the pin. Cena was kept off Raw the next day to sell the beating.

    As far as one-sided savage beatings that a territory’s top babyface would take, the only person I can think of who did that on occasion would have been Jerry Lawler in Memphis, who in trying to establish a new top heel to draw, would work a match similar to this (usually much shorter) in a first meeting. I can recall him doing so for the debuting Kimala and the original Lord Humongous (Mike Stark). In the case of Kimala, the Lawler vs. Kimala run was a big success. In the case of Humongous, I don’t recall how successful it was, but guaranteed it did work and was more successful than had the first match been a traditional back-and-forth match where he put the big newcomer over clean. But as a weekly headliner, Lawler lost all the time so those were the rare extreme measures, done with a heel they were going to run with for weeks on end, and who was debuting on top and had no history with that gimmick (both Kimala and Humongous had worked the territory before, Stark without the mask had even had a run on top as a face with a heel Lawler years earlier). Since Lawler in both cases was winning out in the end, it did help business, got a longer run of singles matches than usual out of it, and Lawler wasn’t hurt at all in the long run for it.

    Of stars at the level of Cena, during their run as the top face, I can’t think of any other modern examples. Dusty Rhodes never did it. Hulk Hogan never did it. Bill Goldberg never did it. HHH never did it. Shawn Michaels never did it. Bruno Sammartino never did it. Giant Baba never did it. Jumbo Tsuruta never did it. Mitsuharu Misawa or Kenta Kobashi never did it. No world champion tippy top star babyface in the history of the Capital Sports promotion ever put their heel opponent over in this way.

    While it didn’t have nearly the excitement of a usual WWE main event, the stiffness and the ability of the match to take one out of the “expected” pro wrestling zone was more reminiscent of a Japanese match, and because that never happens in WWE (Lesnar vs. Cena in 2012 was the closest to it), it made it one of the most memorable matches in recent memory. While not quite as brutal as their 2012 match, this was close to that level with Lesnar delivering hard knees to the body like one would in a real MMA fight.

    The idea was to get Lesnar over as strong as possible as a monster, to make him break out of the pack. That was accomplished. The idea was also to get Cena over for not quitting in that situation and for taking the beating. In the Staples Center, it didn’t work, as fans cheered Lesnar and even after, booed Cena and sang “Na na na na, good bye,” thinking the beating meant he would be taking time off.

    Cena didn’t appear before the crowd the next night for Raw in Las Vegas. He didn’t appear on television, but did appear before the live crowd at Smackdown in Phoenix the next night.

    Surprisingly, given how the match was laid out, Lesnar vs. Cena for the title will headline Night of Champions, which this year is an event more important than SummerSlam, because the first six-month network subscriptions are expiring on 9/2.

    The first big hook event for renewals of the most hardcore of fans, the first group of subscribers, is the PPV on 9/21 from Nashville. The problem is the lack of depth of true headliners, which is more a function of WWE’s booking that mostly makes mid-carders, so when the headline situation needs something new, there are few options.

    This leaves only four viable headliners who could have faced Lesnar. There is Dean Ambrose, who is in a different program and while he may have great potential and will probably be the next Punk, he’s not ready in their eyes for that spot. And his movie shooting schedule may not allow it. There is Batista, who is supposed to return, and I don’t think has ever worked a program with Lesnar on the big stage (they worked back in OVW), but Batista didn’t get over as a singles headliner on his last run, although the circumstances are completely different now. But still, if they were to go to that, Batista needs to return, make a face turn (he sort of left as one with the blow up of HHH and his quitting, but it was more ambiguous) and build it, and this month would be too soon unless there was no other option. There is Roman Reigns, who most likely they are going to keep out of the title picture until he wins it at WrestleMania, since he is the chosen one and this is his period to rise. Having him lose a title match now would be counterproductive. And his winning this early, not at Mania, a month after Lesnar has won the title won’t maximize the impact of his win.

    The other opponent is Cena. But in theory, while the match was super compelling and much discussed when it was over because it was different, it also felt like the single worst layout of a match to build a rematch. This was a match where the loser has to disappear for a while and comeback with a make over, having a come to Jesus meeting or something to reinvent himself and explain why things will be different next time.

    All of a sudden what seemed like a brilliant and gutsy scenario to get people talking now comes across as a shock for the sake of talk, but making no sense for the direction they are going in. If you use logic of building fights, which WWE is in control of, and apply it to boxing or MMA or kickboxing, or tennis, or football, or basketball or baseball and you are trying to build a big rating for a game the very next month or for a PPV, do you book a 35-34 game that comes down to the wire, or a 72-0 game where the home doesn’t get a first down and the visitors laugh them off the field? Indeed, this is very close to the scenario Vince McMahon talked about as to why UFC would never have staying power, when he saw Rampage Jackson destroy Chuck Liddell, and felt all the work in building Liddell was then wasted because he was done as an attraction (Cena isn’t done, and Liddell wasn’t done either).

    If you are UFC and you can control the outcome to build a rematch, do you book a close fight, or a one-sided slaughter where it’s the most popular fighter who sells more merchandise than every other fighter in the company combined loses and gets finished, without winning a minute, let alone a round, and then you still try to draw with an immediate rematch?


    So SummerSlam was a super effective build for Lesnar as a top heel star. But it was more like a build for Lesnar to be a super strong heel and needing a new babyface to be the one to chase. Without that person in the picture (well, that person is in theory Reigns but for it to work, Lesnar has to keep doing that to everyone until he faces Reigns), they don’t have the follow-up for this month.

    As far as the WrestleMania build, I see these viable choices.

    Choice A, which seems the most logical, is Lesnar beats Cena again, with Cena being competitive and another heel screws him and Cena goes into a program with that heel, Lesnar beats another top face in January and then loses to Reigns at WrestleMania.

    Choice B, is that Cena gets his win back with a slip on a banana peel finish in a match he gets completely destroyed in, but he’s beaten so badly that Seth Rollins cashes in that night. Cena and Rollins can battle for a few shows, and eventually Reigns beats Rollins (or even Cena) at WrestleMania.

    That way you don’t have the situation where the championship is on hiatus, off house shows and television for a long period of time and on every PPV.

    They could always negotiate with Lesnar and make him an offer to do one match per month. Lesnar isn’t getting younger and socking away more money in his tenure in the business isn’t something I can see him wildly protesting. The idea of him doing a full road schedule may not happen because his need for more money given the deal he has wouldn’t be there. But once a month between now and Mania where he’s guaranteed to headline every major show and have a career run as a monster hardly sounds like something he’d reject without thinking. Dwayne Johnson had a far busier schedule and when he agreed to the deal for the championship, he did appear on every PPV during that period. It would simply be a business decision, whether the two sides could come to a financial agreement.

    At press time, that is the only match announced for Night of Champions, although one can sketch out a lineup somewhat based on television. If the concept is every title is at stake, the IC title match looks to be new champion Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz, perhaps in a stipulation match given it’s the third title match and fourth match overall in a short period of time. The U.S. title match is Sheamus vs. Cesaro, a virtual lock. Dating back to 8/17 at the 2K presentation, both were there and constantly talked about wanting to work a program with each other. The Divas title match would either be new champion Paige against A.J. Lee in a rematch, or perhaps a three-way involving Natalya, who beat Paige in non-title matches on both Raw and Smackdown, due to Lee’s distraction. In the tag team scene, Stardust & Goldust, who appeared to be going nowhere, suddenly beat the Usos on Raw in a non-title match, and followed it with a win over Luke Harper & Erick Rowan on Smackdown. There also could be a multiple team scenario with various other teams such as Harper & Rowan, Big Show & Mark Henry, and perhaps Ryback & Curtis Axel and/or Titus O’Neil & Heath Slater.

    Henry also could work as a single against Rusev, which seems more likely. Due to a lack of depth on top, they still seem to be going with Reigns vs. Randy Orton, which would likely need some stipulations added. If Dean Ambrose is back, he’d surely face Seth Rollins. If not, that match would be brought back on the PPV after his return. Jack Swagger is building a program with Bo Dallas, but that is as likely just something for television as building a PPV match.

    SummerSlam drew a sellout crowd of just over 14,000 to the Staples Center (announced at 17,357). The show sold out months ago, virtually as soon as tickets were put on sale.

    It was a very good show, with no bad matches and you can make an argument that there were three great matches. The main event was really the talk of the show.

    But the dynamic is different, as the big three shows of the year now are designed to be major movers in selling new network subscriptions. So it won’t be until November when we can really see if this show was successful in its business goals.

    The show featured mostly heel wins, and two other title changes, both surprises, as Ziggler beat The Miz for the IC title and Paige beat A.J. Lee to regain the Divas title. The big angle, hardly unexpected, was Nikki Bella turning on her sister and helping Stephanie beat Brie. The turn got a huge babyface pop. Based on the crowd reaction, they all saw it coming and wanted to see it.

    =========

    The tradition of SummerSlam in Los Angeles, which dated back to 2009, ended this year. It was very different from prior years in the sense that there were less activities publicized around town, no parties with celebrities and such. They had the 2K video game reveal and panel shows with Hogan, Austin and Michaels & HHH in the relatively small Nokia Theater next to Staples Center. There was no Fan Axxess this year which also meant that none of the NXT talent was brought in. Next year’s show will be in New Jersey/New York as they pushed on the show. The buildings I heard over the weekend were either the Barclays Center in Brooklyn or the Izod Center, although given it’s the summer, there is also talk of trying MetLife Stadium. The impression I was given is that it’s just too expensive to run Madison Square Garden for a major show these days as compared to the other arenas in the market and it doesn’t matter which one you run in because they are all selling out first day tickets are put on sale.

    They officially did the logo switch to the logo that was first introduced in December at the WrestleMania 31 press conference in San Jose, with the idea of the Internet technology logo for a company changing its business model to be largely about selling subscriptions to the network. The new logo on a flag is visible from the highway when you drive past the WWE headquarters in Stamford, as is a flag that reads “$9.99.”

    As far as the network in Canada goes, on Rogers cable as a TV product, you can order it by the month, meaning if you’ve got that system, a TV PPV is $12.99 a show, not to mention that all they hear on TV is $9.99 and they have to pay more. Funny thing is, the TV version is already far more successful than the streaming version, even with only about 40 hours of archived content compared to 2,000 hours for the streaming version. What’s also notable there is in Canada a lot of movie theaters air WWE PPVs for $18 each, and the picture and sound are better in the theater, but one ticket for $18 vs. whole family at $12.99 looks to make it tough on the theater business when the rollout goes national. As it turned out, even before it went national, Cineplex, the chain that has broadcasted all WWE PPVs for years, has just dropped every show for the rest of the year throughout Canada, except for Survivor Series. This hurts n most provinces who are not yet getting the network, although those parts of Canada can still order the show as a PPV until Rogers makes deals with the other cable companies to broadcast the network as a television channel. No deals are yet in place but they are working hard to close them. These orders the day of SummerSlam on Rogers will count as network subscribers and not as Canadian PPV buyers.

    The Canadian television experiment at this point looks to have been a huge success. SummerSlam buys at $12.99 in Canada were said to be far above projections. There is some question as to how many people will maintain the service, but it also may be an experiment about the viability of the network today. While we had tons of complaints about people having streaming issues for SummerSlam, Canadians who watched it on television had no issues at all. Given how ROH did roughly six times as many buys for a weaker show through television PPV vs. Internet PPV for far stronger lineups, the issue may not be the price as much as people not yet ready to make the move to purchase PPV’s on the Internet. My feeling is that’s a mentality that will change, and probably in just a few years and that ultimately the WWE Network will be successful. But for 2014, in the U.S. market, it may be time to investigate the viability of a television version. Rogers’ projection for WWE Network orders for the first month was topped two days after the service was introduced.

    Sting and Hulk Hogan at the 2K launch were both pushing for matches at Mania. Hogan was pushing for something with Austin or Cena. He was pretty negative regarding his few matches in TNA due to how bad his back was doing. He said his back was better but he’s now battling arthritis in his extremities that runs in the family. You always say never say never in wrestling, but Austin doesn’t appear to want to do another match. Hogan brought up how much longer his main event run was but you could tell it was more trying to somehow build a match. Whether Hogan can pass a physical would be the question. He’s Hogan and his first match in WWE in years will at a Mania will get over if it’s carefully done. If Cena has nothing better going on , it can be pushed as a once in a lifetime dream match even at Hogan’s age. I’m expecting Sting to work one match at Mania. He said if he could script it out, it would be one last match, with Undertaker at Mania. He’s pushing this one hard and vocally and did so at a WWE panel so they can’t be negative about it since Sting was in the office and talked plans with everyone. It probably depends on Undertaker’s ability to do another match. Sting also talked about maybe facing Cena or HHH. Sting said that he was “very close” to signing, but was very confidently saying we’ll see him again, but wouldn’t say when, but he shouldn’t wrestle until Mania. Sting was flown to Stamford, CT and met Vince McMahon maybe for the first time (he said that he might have met Vince at a NATPE convention for a brief second but he’s not sure) face-to-face (they’ve talked on the phone in negotiations for years). He was shown around to tons of employees and shown how the operation works and they don’t do that unless they are pretty sure they’ve got a deal.

    Bryan has been doing almost nothing but rehab on a daily basis. He joked and said that he actually feels fine, but his right arm has almost no strength, which is the troubling issue. He was going to undergo surgery on 8/19, near his elbow as they believe there’s a nerve issue there which isn’t allowing the arm to regain strength. But then this past week, they postponed it and wanted to do more testing and see if they can fix the problem without surgery. He’s pretty frustrated because he wants to be wrestling. He’s been told that after surgery, he would probably be able to return in three months, so maybe as early as the end of November. But by delaying the surgery, they delay the return. He goes to two different physical therapy sessions, as well as gets acupuncture treatment and goes to an Active Release Technique class. Bryan was actually told in 2013 that he was going to need neck surgery because of his wear and tear. It was not a question of if but when. He didn’t tone down his style as best we can tell, particularly doing the missile dropkicks and diving head-butts. He was hoping to go as long as he could without needing the surgery and is now happy he made it through WrestleMania. He also said that he thinks Yuji Nagata is the best wrestler he was ever in the ring with, said one of the best matches of his career that was never taped was with Minoru Suzuki, and thinks Shinsuke Nakamura is the best wrestler in the world, and when he said this, was only through day one or two of the G-1 tournament. He also noted in an interview with us at how crazy it was that the band of thieves who broke into his house were caught last week, figuring that after the one guy he tackled was caught and they knew the police were after them after so many burglaries and you’d think they’d lay low for a few weeks.

    Bryan also told IGN.com about the angle with him having an affair with his physical therapist: “Yeah, to me, it’s groan-worthy (notable he would say that, whether he felt it or not because the company doesn’t really like people who say stuff like that and writers have been known to get reprisals from top talent who criticize them publicly). Don’t think it added anything to the story. It was just like, `Ugh.’ But they do what they do, and you just gotta roll with the punches. It’s funny, because I feel sometimes you just have to overcome these things more so than anything else. Like, Brie and Stephanie have to overcome that flaw. To me, that was a flaw in the story. The story was so good, and then here’s this flaw in it. But its’ whatever. It doesn’t hurt my feelings or anything. It’s entertainment, it’s not real.”


    Kurt Angle made inquiries recently about coming in and was pretty much blown off. Mark Madden reported, and we were able to confirm with a couple of sources, that Angle spoke to HHH and was pretty much blown off. Angle then called Vince McMahon, but McMahon, playing good cop/bad cop, said that HHH makes the talent decisions. Madden reported that HHH wasn’t happy that Angle tried to go over his head. Angle pushed the idea of returning on a schedule similar to what Michaels worked his last several years, where he’d come in for specific shows and work very limited house show dates. Angle, 45 had told Madden that he felt he could do at most eight dates per month. Vince still seems pretty adamant about it not being worth the risk, saying in the past that absolutely nothing is worth putting the company in the position where an Olympic hero dies on their watch, because of the negative news stories that would follow. The fact Angle, whose contract expires in one month, is approaching WWE probably says something about the Jarrett promotion in the sense that with Angle’s contract expiring with TNA, Angle would seem to make the most sense as the “foundation” star for Jarrett if he had something, and there’s really no other foundation star out there. Angle has claimed TNA has offered him a new deal and he turned it down because he wanted to end his career in WWE and felt this next contract would be his last one. If Angle had a chance to come back, and there were no indications McMahon had changed his mind, they weren’t helped by the reports from various WWE talent that were on a flight with him that he was passed out. Angle claimed he was just sleeping on the plane, and has claimed to be clean after going through rehab several months ago. But in the last year, between the rehab and two knee injuries, he’s had a lot of down time.

    A press release for season three of Total Divas, which starts on 9/7 in the Sunday at 9 p.m. time slot, gives some hints at the direction. Bryan and Brie Bella have their honeymoon, and then his injury is worked into the storyline. Not sure if they’ll address his father passing away just as their honeymoon ended. Brie considers getting pregnant. Nikki goes back into a funk when Cena again insists that he doesn’t want any children. Natalya and T.J. do couples therapy. Every season they are the ones chosen for the marital problems storyline. Trinity and Ariane split up in storyline. Eva Marie faces issues as her father doesn’t approve of her husband, and then her father ends up suffering from cancer. Ariane and Vinnie stay together and there are hints at an engagement. Summer Rae was gone for some of the filming doing “The Marine,” so Mendes will have the lead heel spot this season. In the storyline, Mendes returns to WWE after 18 months being gone to wreak havoc on everyone. I believe they were finishing up filming for the series this past week at SummerSlam, with a second wedding ceremony for Eva Marie and Jonathan, which was filmed in Los Angeles I believe. They actually had the secret wedding but since it wasn’t filmed the season builds up to their wedding and issues between her father and Jonathan leading up to it. They like to end the season with a wedding, and at this point, they’ll probably be pressuring Vinnie and Ariane since they’ve got Natalya, Eva Marie, Brie Bella and Trinity so far, and Nikki is with Cena who doesn’t want to get married. We heard reports that Bunim-Murray wanted the twins to be at odds with each other. As far as whether they wanted it and WWE wrote the angle or WWE had the angle and they wanted it anyway, that I don’t know. Season three will have the back story of Trinity and Ariane splitting up.

    Ambrose will likely be off for several weeks, as he’s got a starring role in a new WWE/Lionsgate action movie called “Lockdown.” It’s part of the six picture deal between the two companies. Ambrose will be billed by his real name in the movie, Jonathan Good. Production starts later this month. Stephen Reynolds, who has worked on “Tomb Raider: Ascension,” will be the director. Nathan Brooks and Bobby Lee Darby (“See No Evil 2") will be writers. Ambrose stars as a police officer who ends up trapped in his own precinct and hunted after by crooked police who are attempting to recover incriminating evidence against both them and their friends. They did an angle on Raw on 8/18 where Rollins and Kane double-teamed him with Rollins coming off the announcers table with a curb stomp, sending him through cinder blocks. They said Ambrose was injured but then disappeared without getting treatment.

    The company did a multimillion dollar advertising campaign for the WWE Network based around SummerSlam, feeling this is the time, like WrestleMania, where they can expand the subscriber base.

    Vince McMahon, HHH and Stephanie all did very visible Ice Bucket challenges this past week. Stephanie challenged every member of the San Francisco 49ers (tie-in since Mania is at Levi’s Stadium), every member of the cast of Total Divas and every member of the WWE Universe. She had Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir and Shayna Baszler (The Four Horsewomen) backstage to dump a garbage can filled with water loaded with a full cooler of ice over her head shortly after her match with Brie Bella.

    They held an event at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on 8/16 for the roster reveal for the 2K 15 video game. Austin & Renee Young hosted. It was the first time Austin ever did something like that. Unlike last year, when it was at night, it was done first thing in the morning so nobody would spend the day drinking before hand, which led to all the issues last year and led to a Ric Flair return not happening and Jim Ross’ long tenure with the company ending. On the panel were Reigns, Cesaro, Sheamus, Cena, Hogan and Sting. It was heavily scripted, as far as Austin & Young’s role. Unlike last year, they largely stuck to the script, so nobody got in any trouble. It was also early in the morning and not at night, so none of the panelists had time to spend the afternoon at the bar. Sting was introduced as the franchise of WCW. But they did a fan Q&A which allowed guys to speak off the cuff and Cesaro was the star with his quick-witted arrogant answers to everything in character. Reigns also showed a lot more when it comes to playing off people and things than he shows on TV, and he had some good comebacks when Austin was jabbing him. I was impressed with both. Hogan and Sting were both pushing hard for matches at Mania. They also did the roster reveal. What’s notable is that there was no rhyme or reason in the roster announcements given they didn’t announce Flair, Booker, Nash, Natalya but did announce Tyson Kidd and Gabriel. They also announced Punk’s name, which got a big pop and announced Mysterio. They ran past Mysterio’s name quickly but did announce it. They didn’t announce Del Rio’s name either, but that was understandable. These rosters were done a long time ago, and Punk has dual roles, since there is a major career feud storyline for both HHH vs. Michaels and Cena vs. Punk. Those announced were Wyatt, Cesaro, Hogan (both as old school Hogan and as heel Hollywood Hulk Hogan of the NWO), Cena, Reigns, Sting (both the early 90s version and the late 90s version), Jericho, Ziggler, Fandango, Sheamus, Show, Sandow, Lesnar, Punk, HHH, Michaels, Goldust, Ambrose, Batista, Usos, A.J. Lee, Big E, Swagger, Kidd, Darren Young, Mysterio, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, O’Neil, The Rock, Rollins, Kingston, R-Truth, Gabriel, Orton, Naomi, Bryan, Xavier Woods, Miz, Snuka, RVD, Austin, Rowan, Harper and Undertaker. Those not announced were Flair, Nash, Del Rio, Barrett, Booker T, Cameron, Cody Rhodes, Axel, Kane, Henry, Summer Rae, Marella and Ryback.

    At the Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles, there was a billboard for the panel with photos of everyone on the 2K panel. Sting’s Crow look face was superimposed on the body of a much younger bodybuilder whose body looked very different from how Sting’s looked even in his own bodybuilder days. So that explains them looking for a bodybuilder of similar size to Sting when they did their $200,000+ commercial and production for the announcement), Dwayne Johnston said, while promoting “Hercules” in Mexico City, that he will be in a new DC Comics movie but hasn’t decided on whether he’ll play Shazam or Black Adam. It may be Black Adam since he said that was one of his favorite DC Comics characters.

    Don Pardo, the legendary voice who did the opening introductions for “Saturday Night Live” since the beginning of time, passed away in his sleep on 8/18 at the age of 96. During the 80s, Pardo also did the introductions for “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

    Jericho’s third autobiography will be out on 10/6, so he’ll be making the rounds promoting the book shortly after he leaves, which will be after Night of Champions.

    John Layfield and Michael Cole will be starting a syndicated radio show on more than 500 stations shortly.

    Dana Warrior, the wife of the late Ultimate Warrior, was mad at Hogan this past week. Hogan did a Grantland podcast promoting SummerSlam and told a story that he and Warrior traveled together in the WCW days for several days because Warrior didn’t want to go home. That story doesn’t sound right because Hogan and Warrior weren’t on good terms in the WCW days (their real problems came during the deposition in Warrior’s lawsuit against WWF for the “Rise and Fall of the Ultimate Warrior” DVD when Hogan called Warrior a flash in the pan as far as being a star and was critical of his working ability). Dana was already with him by that point and took it like Hogan was saying he was hanging with him and avoiding going home to her. If the story was true, it may have been in the WWF days, when the two were closer. She wrote, “I’ve been really quiet since the passing of my husband and the father of my girls. Someone sent me what Mr. Bollea had to say in a video interview with Grantland yesterday and I would just like to ask him to stop. He is the only person in the WWE Universe who did not give a call or send a card. My girls asked why he didn’t check on us like everyone else and I explained simply there isn’t a camera at our mailbox or in the house when we receive our calls. I would ask respectfully, Mr. Bollea, for you to understand my girls hurt and just let some time pass before you say anything more.”

    Show, who is under a performers contract through 2018, at which time he’d be 46, is saying that he’s the lightest he has been in 15 years for this latest return.

    Marella is already talking about possibly coming out of retirement. He said he’s got a lot of neck problems and his stenosis has increased to the point he needs to get it taken care of. He said the severity of his spinal stenosis is such that he can’t do any physical contact right now. But he said that if he gets double fusion surgery in his neck, he may be able to return.

    There was a screw-up on 8/15 in the Canadian airing of Smackdown on Sportsnet 360. Somebody accidentally put the wrong segment in and while the entire show from Seattle aired until the main event, when it came time for the main event segment, they aired a match from some time back of Del Rio, who had just been fired, against Reigns.

    The company filmed segments this past week in Los Angeles of Torito and Hornswoggle, who are now being paired up as friends and tag team partners for comedy purposes (since they wanted Hornswoggle as a babyface on TV for the release of “The Leprechaun” movie) double dating Layla and Summer Rae. Not sure when or where these will air.

    They also filmed additional segments in Las Vegas with Lesnar for future shows since he’s not scheduled to appear on TV next week in Anaheim.


    One of our readers who subscribed to the network, and then his credit card expired, called customer service to renew. He was told to just start up a new subscription as his old subscription was closed after the card expired and he didn’t respond to e-mails letting him know. When asked about the four months left, he was told, “Don’t worry bout that. When people cancel or stop paying, we just close their account and don’t charge them anything.” He questioned that, saying he didn’t want to get a surprise bill after subscribing. He was told the company policy at this point was not to enforce the six month agreement (not wanting to get a negative reaction from consumers on the network most likely) but they “just hoped people didn’t know they could cancel at anytime.”

    Henry Cejudo, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, confirmed to MMA Junkie that he was close to signing with WWE but chose UFC. “It was something that was actually in the works,” he said. “One of their talent scouts (Gerald Brisco) saw me, met me,and wanted to bring me in for an audition or whatnot.” He also said, “I’ve always watched WWE ever since I was a little kid. But MMA right now is my No. 1 priority. Maybe WWE in the future, but as of now, I’m sticking straight to the UFC and my fighting career. It might be worth trying it out some day, but as of right now, I solely train and think about MMA.” Before Cejudo signed with UFC, to debut on 8/30 in Sacramento against Scott Jorgensen, he was scheduled to come to SummerSlam and meet with the higher-ups. He had been pitched with the idea of becoming the company’s much-sought after top Latino babyface and told they would groom him to be the new Rey Mysterio. Cejudo may be a super wrestler, and blow away everyone on the roster in that regard, but this quest to be the next Rey Mysterio is going to end up as successful as the old quest to find the new JYD in Mid South.

    Jeff Cobb, who wrestled in the 2004 Olympics representing Guam, and is the best athlete of the Northern California independent wrestlers, has a WWE tryout scheduled at the next camp over the first week of September. From what people who know him say, he’ll kill it at the athletic agility and conditioning drills and he can work. His negative is that he’s probably 5-foot-9 and is past 30.


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    SBR

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:13 am

    Two nuggets for ya:

    The Young Bucks were invited to a camp in September and declined.

    They've offered Uhaa Nation a deal but it is unknown if he has accepted it.


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    JustSkiff

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    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by JustSkiff on Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:14 am

    Signing Uhaa sounds to me like a way to fire Big E without anyone noticing.
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    SBR

    Posts : 1972
    Join date : 2013-12-13

    Re: WWE Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:21 am

    Merry Christmas

    There were suggestions this week of putting a mask on Adrian Neville and making him a kids character based on Mighty Mouse. Neville is expected to be the next NXT performer brought up to the main roster as they are batting around ideas for him.


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    Re: WWE Observer news

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