TNA Observer news

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    SBR

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    TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:17 pm

    1/6

    While I don’t think the Jeff Jarrett resignation is an angle, it has been noted to me by people in the company that doing such things is the current m.o. The line in the TNA release talking about him still being a part owner of the company, calling him an investor, raised some red flags to at least the possibility. Pretty sure it’s not the case.

    The Magnus vs. A.J. Styles match airs on the 1/9 show, which would be Styles last TV appearance from his previous contract. The Styles situation continues to be interesting. He’s continuing to book indie dates and his people are aggressively publicizing that fact in a manner that is done for no other wrestler. Him doing ROH TV has more people thinking that negotiations with TNA, that were close last week, have fallen through. Most in TNA are not aware of anything with Styles. There are also people who would know who say that everything that is happening is part of the plan. But Styles was on our radio show and insisted that this isn’t a work. There are those in ROH under the impression that negotiations with TNA hit a snag and that’s why the deal with them was cut this past week, and was finalized just hours before it was announced over the weekend. ROH and Styles are talking about more dates on him going forward and Styles gave the indication he planned to work more for them this year. We do know that Styles coming back as a surprise on 1/30 in Glasgow was the TNA plan. If he doesn’t appear on that show, then things probably did fall through, and the announcement that he’s doing ROH TV tapings on 2/21 shows that ether those plans did fall through or ROH and TNA are working together with each thinking they are getting something out of the angle. Styles didn’t give details on the talks other than he’s still open to listening but indicated they had months to make a good offer, and he himself was surprised they focused so much on him when his contract was expiring and they weren’t close on a new deal. Someone with full knowledge of what is going on said that Styles has made a choice to do other things than TNA, because he couldn’t do ROH TV if he was going back to TNA. However, the idea that TNA talks fell through completely was dismissed to me saying that negotiations have improved with TNA of late. Styles may also be willing to wait things out for a few months and see how the landscape changes with AAA and whatever move Jeff Jarrett makes. He’s also got dialogue going about starting in Japan in a few months. It doesn’t appear there is anything particularly strong about WWE. He noted that with WWE spending so much on their new performance center, they are looking to develop their own talent there. He didn’t indicate that was a direction he was expecting to go in.

    Styles made his first appearance at a non-TNA show on 12/28 in Cornelia, GA, for NWA Anarchy. Styles started his career working regular in that arena for NCW and NWA Wildside, the predecessors to NWA Anarchy. He didn’t do a match, just got into a verbal deal with Mike Posey, and then laid him out with the Styles clash.

    John Gaburick right now is the guy who is really running things. The three sides of the triangle that you have to answer to are Panda in Dallas, Dixie in Nashville and Spike TV.

    Magnus in doing U.K. media to promote the tour at the end of the month, was billed as the first British wrestler to win the main title for a recognized worldwide company. Last week, when mentioning Billy Robinson as CWA champion, that was Tennessee. When Robinson was IWA champion in Japan, that was only a Japanese company. As IWA champion in Australia, it was still only on TV in Australia and that part of the world, even though it may have been the strongest company in the world at the time. When Chris Adams was World Class champion, they had some overseas TV. They didn’t have as much as TNA and didn’t have anything in the U.K., but I’m pretty sure they reached a hell of a lot more viewers.

    The company is really high on both EC 3 and Spud. They’ve done a great job with EC 3 in taking a complete unknown, giving him a unique gimmick and getting him over like a star heel. The look and music help. I see why they like Spud as a character. I’m not sure all of the focus on him will pay off, but time will tell. They were able to build them as the two lead heels on TV for the main event this past week and do a very strong number by their current standards, so people are open to new people with no previous name being focused on.
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    SBR

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:34 am

    1/13

    Kurt Angle, 45, who is believed to be the highest paid wrestler on the roster, has his contract due at around the end of August. It will be very interesting how that is handled. Even though they’ve had problems in the past, Angle and Jeff Jarrett are said to be on great terms with each other now.

    Lockdown will be airing live on PPV on 3/9. They moved it up a month to avoid WrestleMania, as they have the only month of the year where there is no pro wrestling show PPV.

    TNA signed a multi-year renewal of its television deal with Challenge TV in the U.K.

    Regarding Jeff Jarrett, there is a ton of speculation going around that he will be starting up his own promotion. As far as whether it will be with Toby Keith, who was looking to buy TNA, that I don’t know. There was talk something would be announced this week, but from what I’ve been told, there is nothing to be announced at this point. Connecting the dots there is a lot of smoke coming from different places, but exactly what it is and what will transpire, anything I would say would be more educated speculation. Jarrett would only say he’s got a lot of meetings over the next few weeks before anything substantial can be talked about. The talks of Keith buying TNA came very close, as noted months back, actually closer than anyone knows, but talk in that direction appears to be dead at this time. Given the landscape, you can’t promote a national wrestling product today without a television deal, and really, without a TV deal that also pays you, and I don’t know how easy that will be, although it’s been noted Keith has extremely strong ties with CMT, and the Spike deal with TNA expires in the fall. The key to this game may be Spike’s contract with TNA. Spike can be a king maker here based on who they want to carry, or they can make a play for WWE, which would hurt anyone’s chances of running unless another station of similar level shows interest in a weekly wrestling show. WWE is shopping the idea of making Smackdown a live Tuesday night show, figuring that the ratings would be better on Tuesday than Friday. Plus, with the premium stations are paying for live sports, even though live vs. taped means nothing when it comes to wrestling viewing (the percentage of people who watch Raw on DVR which is live, is significantly higher than Smackdown, which is not live) habits because 98% of the pro wrestling audience in their minds views that the show is live, the feeling is they’ll make far more new money going live than what would be the added expense. The funny thing is, of all the stations that may see it that way, Spike would be the one station, with its experience with TNA where live shows do the exact same ratings as taped shows, where live vs. tape wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

    Jim Ross was inundated with questions regarding this, because he and Keith had dinner together this past week, but that isn’t unusual because they are friends who talk at almost every University of Oklahoma football game and run in the same social circles at games. Ross wrote, “I have not had any conversations with anyone about starting a `new’ pro wrestling promotion. I have not spoken to Jeff Jarrett since he left WWE on a day that doesn’t rank too high on my list of fun days at work. Some websites are irresponsibly running with the story that just because Toby Keith and I are friends and fellow Okies who both follow the Sooners that I’m about to do business with Toby and Jeff Jarrett, which isn’t true. Toby and I had dinner at the Sugar Bowl, he’s a wrestling fan from the old days and, a hell of a entrepreneur with deep pockets. Nonetheless, the reason that we were there was to support our Sooners vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and not talk about wrestling. We did talk the wrestling biz some, but that’s not unusual for me in any conversation after a 40-year career within the genre. We also talked country music, business investments, OU football and we spent the afternoon together with ESPN’s Brad Nessler, who’s another wrestling fan. Yes, TNA came up a time or two, but that was really a non-issue in our conversations. I am not motivated to re-engage in the wrestling business on a daily basis and it would take a mighty healthy offer to consider such. The politics and paranoia that go with today’s rasslin business isn’t healthy for me to be around on a full-time basis, especially at this stage of my life. Plus, I have a specific philosophy regarding how the business should be presented that doesn’t seem to be in fashion these days. My name has been linked to doing some voice overs for a couple of international wrestling promotions who air their product, including PPVs and DVDs in North America, but that’s not something that we’ve pursued just yet. We’ll see what the future holds on that one. Sounds interesting, though.” A few notes on what he said. The last time Ross and Jarrett talked based on that post would have been when Jarrett last worked for WWF and Ross headed up talent relations, in October, 1999. Jarrett was IC champion and his contract expired one day before the PPV where he was supposed to drop the title to Chyna. Jarrett demanded a significant amount of money, believed to be close to $200,000, to do the job, which he got. Ross took tremendous heat for not having signed him to a deal before this point. The sides were said to be far apart on money on a new deal and there was at least talk at the time that McMahon wasn’t interested in Jarrett as a high dollar player. When WCW folded in early 2001, because of what happened, McMahon had no interest in acquiring Jarrett, who instead, along with Bob Ryder and his father Jerry, started TNA in 2002. I don’t know whether Ross has a non-compete built into his severance package from WWE, but I’d expect that he does because the strong impression I had was that despite the fact WWE acts like TNA isn’t competition (and it isn’t), they strongly did not want Ross showing up on TNA television. While I don’t see them socializing as any evidence of anything, since they probably talk all the time around the football games, that said, if Keith were to start a wrestling company, whether Jeff Jarrett is with him (all signs point to this and I’ve got zero direct confirmation of it past a lot of smoke) or not, one would logically think he would go to Ross. Even if Ross can’t do it based on a non-compete, and my belief such a deal is in effect, such a thing wouldn’t go on forever. The international stuff Ross talked about is that it is well known AAA would love to have Ross announce their product if and when they attempt to break into the U.S. market on El Rey television. There would be natural speculation regarding him doing New Japan if they want to have an American broadcaster, but I’m almost certain there have been no talks in that direction, nor has New Japan spoken with any of the most obvious candidates about doing English language broadcasts of their big shows. With AAA, there had been no talks I’m aware of past the idea that they’d want him if he could do it.

    There’s an obvious question if there is going to be a start-up, and that is where the main event talent is going to come from. There are plenty of wrestlers who can fill time out there who are working indies and even with some former WWE pedigree like Chris Mordetzsky (Masters), John Hennigan (Morrison), some of the New Japan Americans, A.J. Styles, and guys on the indies like Chris Hero, and there are plenty of undiscovered guys like Anthony Nese, Ricochet, Rich Swann who can also entertain. But as far as the main drivers go, WWE has everyone tied up long-term and TNA has most of its talent tied up long-term and TNA has never really made that star that we’re talking about.

    TNA has a major issue as dates in Orlando at Universal are very limited for a long time. As noted when they made the announcement of the move back, there were a lot of issues as far as date availability. That’s why they are taping 1/16 in Huntsville and doing six weeks worth of shows in England. They are expected to be doing more arena tapings when they come back, and with that and the tapings of the One Night Only shows, that seemingly means the same financial issues that hit last year could hit them again. They don’t have as many big money deals and the Hogan deal is gone, and the Eric Bischoff deal will be gone in a few weeks, but the big expense wasn’t the contracts, but the $600,000 spent per taping on the road. Right now there are no dates scheduled anytime soon in Orlando, plus when they did all those tapings in a short period of time, by the end of the run, which is the show that airs on 1/9, the crowds were small and weren’t making any noise. The U.K. tapings will be for shows starting 1/30 (which will air on a several hour tape delay the same day from Glasgow, so if they are any big surprises, Glasgow or Huntsville are where they will be happening) through 3/6. So they will have to do another taping on the road in the U.S. on or before 3/13.

    Regarding A.J. Styles and a potential surprise appearance on the 1/30 show in Glasgow, he does not have an indie booking that day, but he is scheduled for Dream Wave Wrestling two days later in LaSalle, IL. TNA is taping six weeks worth of television that week, so if he was going back for that taping, one would think he would not have U.S. bookings that week.

    The Hardcore Justice PPV, which was taped on 12/29 in Lowell, MA, will be airing on PPV on 2/7. The lineup is Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe & James Storm & Abyss vs. Bobby Roode & Magnus & Robbie E & Jessie Godderz in a Lethal Lockdown match, Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin in an Escape the cage match, Bully Ray vs. Ken Anderson last man standing, Joseph Park & Eric Young vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian in a Full Metal Mayhem match, Le’D Tapa vs. Velvet Sky, Roode vs. Joe for the man advantage in Lethal Lockdown and EC 3 vs. Tommy Dreamer in a tables match.

    They have two cage matches on the 1/9 TV show, at least one cage match on 1/16 (Angle vs. Roode), the idea of Lockdown is all cage matches on 3/9, and they’ve got two cage matches on PPV on the show that airs on 2/7.

    The Blossom Twins from the U.K., Hannah & Holly Blossom, who were on a developmental deal and stationed in Louisville, noted on Facebook that they are no longer with TNA or OVW, saying after nine years, it’s time for them to take a break.

    The reason TNA has a lot of house shows in the old Jarrett promotion territory right now is that they recently signed an eight week deal with Randy Hales, who was the General Manager of that promotion in the 90s. Hales was hired to work as a marketing consultant and house show promoter for tours in the area. He was there to do heavy local promotion the way it was done in the old era going to old stops and the high school gyms and arenas that had wrestling in the old days. Hales had later worked for the Cole Brothers Circus for years with a number of former wrestling people including the late Ron West and Bill Dundee. They did coupons all over the cities for one child admission free with an adult, which encourages parents to bring kids and the kids make a lot of noise and bring up the atmosphere at the shows. Jonesboro was packed, and had great reactions. Paid on 1/3 in Batesville was 600, 1/4 in Jonesboro it was 700 and 1/5 in Jackson drew less than 500 in the building, held down due to horrible area weather.


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    Xero

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Xero on Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:11 am

    Meltzer says fuck paragraphs
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    StylesClash

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by StylesClash on Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:26 am

    Really wish this news was split up over several threads, just a pain to see all the words just jumbled together...I'll comment on Jarrett and Angle.

    Angle's time is coming to an end soon. Will it be this year? Very possibly, but I think this is the time where the 2 and 3 year contracts are a thing of a past and Angle will be going year to year. It just wouldn't shock me at all to see him return to the WWE for one last run.

    As far as Jarrett, I know he left on pretty bad terms with the WWE so not sure his return would be welcomed. I could obviously be wrong, but I'm certainly interested to see what he does. If he starts his own company he's going to need some strong financial support and that means more than Toby Keith, Billy Corgan, or Jim Ross could prepare. I just think its going to be a lot of work and money that Jarrett doesn't really have. I hope I'm wrong because the more premier wrestling organizations, the better it is for the wrestling business and for all the fans.
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    JustSkiff

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by JustSkiff on Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:46 pm

    I've requested SBR to bold anything that he thinks I need to read, but he only did that once. =[
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    Swarles
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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Swarles on Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:10 pm

    Maybe he thinks you don't need to read any of it?

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    JustSkiff

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by JustSkiff on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:08 pm

    That is also possible.
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    Spudz

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Spudz on Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:07 pm

    I'm not mod or anything but spliting these up over several threads would just leave a bunch 0 to 3 replys topics each week.
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    SBR

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:11 am

    1/20

    Regarding Jeff Jarrett, there is nothing new past the point that we’re aware of some major meetings he has between now and the end of the month to attempt to finalize the deal regarding starting a new wrestling company with Toby Keith as the backer. There are meetings in different parts of the country over the next couple of weeks. Jarrett is also making calls all over the world asking about what kind of talent is out there and available. One thing for sure is that Jarrett is of the belief they are starting a new company and that all talks of Keith buying TNA are dead because the negotiations hit a snag. However, TNA was trying to sell to Keith after Janice Carter wrote the letter and it was TNA that went to Norman, OK to sell to him, not him coming to Texas looking to buy, so Janice Carter’s letter that she sent talent was not the case at all.

    The 1/16 Genesis show in Huntsville, AL, is advertising locally a cage match with Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode where Angle can never go into the Hall of Fame if he loses; Ken Anderson vs. Bully Ray, Sting vs. Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title, Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries for the X title and Gunner vs. James Storm in a pole match with the world title shot briefcase at stake. Everything except Sabin vs. Aries was advertised on the 1/9 show for “next week,” so I’m presuming Sabin vs. Aries will air on the taped 1/23 show.

    We’ll know when it happens, but the original booking plan was, as noted, for A.J. Styles to return at the 1/30 tapings in Glasgow and build for Magnus vs. Styles in a cage match at Lockdown on 3/9 in Coral Gables, FL at the University of Miami BankUnited Center, a 7,900-seat arena. Styles being booked so far in advance by ROH would indicate that the plans ended up falling through, or if he does show up in Glasgow, that ROH and TNA were working together in this instance. Watching this week’s TV would lead you to believe there is no way Styles wasn’t coming back given the way that match was laid out and finish was executed, but the lay of the land has changed with the Jarrett/Keith move. If they get something going, Styles could be in the unique position of being able to negotiate with both sides if he just works indies until the Jarrett thing gets going.

    Jesse Sorensen did an interview with Highspots.com, and while most of this has come out, among the things he said was that after the accident in the hospital, his mother was freaking out over the medical bills, and Dixie Carter assured her in front of everyone that she would not have to worry about money. She also said, “As long as I have this company, you’ll always have a job.” He said Dixie went so far as to tell his mom that she thought of Jesse like a son, and when Jesse’s mom would use the phrase, “My son,” Dixie would correct her and say, “You mean our son.” I should note that obviously TNA financially was hit hard and Sorensen being let go couldn’t have been an easy decision. A key point is that the key decisions as far as financial prudence were made by Janice Carter by that point. While Dixie was the president and running things, this may have been a decision out of her hands. Today, the reason John Gaburick was brought in was to handle the contract talks, since Gaburick had no emotional attachment to anyone in TNA because he knew nobody (well, maybe Taz since they knew each other from WWE since Gaburick worked on the TV side in WWE under Kevin Dunn as he was Dunn’s life-long friend). Sorensen in response to criticism of him still wrestling said that wrestling makes him happy and you have to live life to the fullest. He noted that his mother’s insurance maxed out at $10,000, and thus he had to pay for his MRIs, doctors’ appointments, CT scans and had to rehab himself. He said his friends in WWE were stunned when they heard the situation because in WWE, if you get hurt, the company takes care of all the bills. He said the only way out from the huge bills was his mother filing for bankruptcy. TNA’s response was to give him a job in production that he said paid decently, but he said it wasn’t a lot of money compared to guys like Hogan (well, that’s quite the comparison, because nobody was paid a lot compared to Hogan, as even Sting and Angle weren’t close to being paid in the same league). He said that TNA seemed stunned by the massive negative reaction when he was fired and that after they were bombarded with negative reaction, Dixie called him and asked if they could release a joint statement saying the release was 100 percent amicable and he asked to be let go to pursue other things. He said he wouldn’t agree to it and just told her she should let it blow over, and that his mother was furious at Dixie for even making the call and asking.

    Shannon Spruill once said that she had asked Sorensen to join in her lawsuit against TNA (which TNA settled out of court because the independent contractor aspect was going to be challenged in court) but he turned it down out of loyalty to Carter. The statute of limitations on Sorensen suing TNA regarding the injury, the same thing Spruill did, is believed to have expired.

    Jay Bradley was released. The guy never had a shot but it’s another cost-cutting move.

    Wes Brisco was officially released as well, although the impression we had when Aces and 8s were dropped that he wasn’t going to be brought back. Garett Bischoff and Mike Hettinga (Knux) are both in limbo in he sense they haven’t been released, but also haven’t been used in some time and no hints have been given regarding them being used.

    Rob Terry is still under contract but he’s working for Wrestle-1 in Japan right now.

    John Klinger, who wrestles for wXw in Germany as Bad Bones, and won the on-line Gut Check voting by a landslide, has been booked on the 2/1 show in London and the 2/2 show in Birmingham, England.


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    Indy
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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Indy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:17 am

    Sorensen is the most egotistical kid in the world. I won't get too much into detail. But this is a situation where Dixie should be made into a villain.

    They gave the kid an office job, Live Event Manager, Part of his job was to make sure wrestlers all had valid wrestling licenses in states that required it and he failed numerous times.

    Past the obvious, Not many wrestling companies cover hospital bills. No sympathy for the kid.
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    Slayer

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Slayer on Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:35 am

    So Sorensen was to blame for that house show where 6 or so wrestlers had to be pulled from the card due to them not having licenses then, correct?
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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:57 pm

    1/27

    Talks with Hassan Assad (who was MVP in WWE and New Japan), 38, have gotten serious and he may be doing a surprise debut on one of the upcoming TV tapings in the U.K. He said that he has not signed a contract on Twitter after we reported they were in talks. The belief in TNA is that he is with them and about to start. I don’t know that he’s the mystery investor, but from a timing standpoint, it was right after he agreed to come in that they came up with the idea and a lot of other things lead me to believe he’s the guy earmarked for the position, but that’s not 100 percent. The babyface investor vs. Dixie Carter angle is supposed to carry television through October.

    Sting lost to Magnus with tons of interference on the Impact show that airs on 1/23, taped 1/16, where Magnus tore up Sting’s new 2014 contract. The belief is that Sting working the two house show dates last week were because he owed two dates on his existing deal, which is expiring. If Sting signs a new contract, they can do the deal where the new investor brings him back. If he doesn’t, then they’ve written him off the show. As noted for months, those in WWE have believed that Sting was going to be coming in when this TNA contract finished, but only Sting really knows where his head is at.

    Tommy Dreamer returned as an agent at the 1/16 tapings in Huntsville. He was never shown beaten up on camera, as the other agents were. He was taking the spot of Jeff Jarrett, who quit the promotion. It was a John Gaburick move, since Gaburick would be well familiar with him from WWE.

    The original idea for the debut of Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards was to win the tag titles from Robbie E & Jessie Godderz, but the decision was changed because David Lagana felt they had gotten the Bro Mans over. So they debuted by just standing there and having Dixie Carter treat them like two guys who were in for a tryout match. Good lord. In storyline, the owner thinks of them as prelim guys on day one. Instead, the plan is for them to work with Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian.

    Daniels and Kazarian’s deals are up in April and Daniels has one of the better remaining contracts still on the books. There is strong speculation he’s going to be the next one to get the cost-cutting treatment. Pretty much everyone left who has a good deal is expecting things to change as soon as their deals are up.

    Ken Anderson’s wife gave birth to twins on 1/14. As noted before, Bully Ray and Anderson had used his wife’s pregnancy and him having twins as part of interviews they had done for their program.

    All the TV tapings to build up Lockdown will be done in the U.K., so we should have the basics of the show after those tapings are over. The TV will be done through 3/6 in the U.K., and Lockdown is 3/9 in Miami, so the next U.S. taping will be 3/13. Right now there is another TV show being taped at the studio they were using in Orlando so they can’t use the building any time soon. They are looking for a new place to tape in Orlando.

    Kurt Angle did an interview listing his ten favorite cities to wrestle in as well as his favorite match in each city. No. 1 was New York, and his favorite match there was with Eddy Guerrero at WrestleMania. No. 2 was in Chicago, and his favorite match was a WrestleMania three-way against Mysterio and Orton, partially because the match time was cut in half at the last minute because the show was running long. No. 3 was Los Angeles and his favorite match there was a WrestleMania match with Michaels. Not looking good for TNA. No. 4 was San Antonio . When talking about San Antonio, Angle said he thought Michaels was the best wrestler ever. No. 5 was Boston and his favorite match there was with Benoit. No. 6 is Detroit and his favorite match there was a three-way against Rock and Undertaker. No. 7 was San Francisco and his favorite match there was watching the Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar match. No. 8 was Tokyo and his favorite match there was with Yuji Nagata. No. 9 was London and his favorite match there was with A.J. Styles. At least he named one guy in TNA. No. 10 was Pittsburgh and his favorite match there was with The Rock.

    There was a talent meeting before the 1/16 tapings but it was just officials from Spike TV coaching talent what to do on the day of the show and during the week on Twitter to promote the show.

    Jeremy Borash appeared on the 1/17 “Restaurant Impossible” TV show hosted by Chef Robert Irvine, the husband of Gail Kim (who was working that night in Mobile).

    Although this has been inevitable for some time, TNA officially pulled everyone and everything out of Louisville and OVW on 1/15. Only a few people were left, Rob Terry (in Japan), Jessie Godderz (moving to Los Angels), Rockstar Spud (moving to Nashville) and I think Le’D Tapa. OVW also removed all the TNA mentions and logos from their web site.

    The reason the Magnus vs. A.J. Styles match went the way it did was twofold. They had to do it that day because Styles had not signed a new deal and had to clean up that storyline in case he didn’t come back. The other reason is Magnus was injured in his match where he won the title from Jeff Hardy (taped two days before the match with Styles) and was very limited in what they wanted to risk allowing him to do physically.


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    StylesClash

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by StylesClash on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:01 am

    I'm honestly glad they didn't have the Wolves come in and win the title in match number 1. It would have made the BroMans look even weaker and they need to be viewed as at least a legitimate team. The American Wolves vs. Bad Influence should put on a pretty good series of matches...

    As for the Magnus/AJ match, I understand that you don't want to risk injuring your new champ after having a dangerous spot filled ladder match, but the number of run-ins was ridiculous and it made Magnus look really, really, really, weak. I understand he is a heel and is suppose to come off with cheap wins, but that was too much and it made AJ go out looking like gold.


    Last edited by StylesClash on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : just added a little...)
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    SBR

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:23 pm

    2/3

    TNA was able to make a deal to get the building in Universal back and will now be taping three or four weeks of shows at a time there. That will be something if TNA tapes at the same site as the WWE Hall of Fame. They will go live on 3/13 from Orlando and then tape shows for 3/20, 3/27 and 4/3 over the next two days. They’ll return 4/10 with another three day taping with one live show and three weeks of taped shows. They’ll be four days of tapings from 4/26 to 4/29 with 4/26 being a One Night Only PPV (for August I think), and 4/27 being a live PPV, the second of the four scheduled this year (with Slammiversary in June and Bound for Glory in October). Then they’ll tape two more weeks of TV on 4/28 and 4/29. They’ll come back 5/7 to 5/9 for more tapings. That’s good news because they couldn’t afford the road tapings.

    Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards were not supposed to win the tag titles immediately in the original booking in their debut, although at one point the first booking was to include an attack on the Bro Mans, before the decision was made to keep them apart because they liked the Bro Mans and didn’t want them to drop the belts right away. TNA had to fill out paperwork for everyone that would do anything physical in front of the crowd because Alabama is a commission state. They hadn’t filled anything out for Richards & Edwards because their deals weren’t actually signed until a week before the show (so when Richards was talking at shows about going to Orlando, they hadn’t actually signed the contract). Richards & Edwards were said to have been licensed in Alabama to wrestle on their own. So the decision was made to get them on the TV is have it be something backstage, so they were used to kick off the investor storyline.

    The investor is supposed to be revealed on the 1/30 TV show from Glasgow, Scotland, which will air on a few hour tape delay. Hassan Assad, who was MVP in WWE and New Japan, is scheduled to debut that night. I can’t say 100% he’s the investor, but all signs point to him in that role. The only match promoted on TV for the show was The Bro Mans defending the tag title against Eric Young & Joseph Park. As noted before, in the original plans, A.J. Styles was to return on this show. Him taking so many indie dates, most notably appearing on ROH television for months going forward, would give the indication he’s not going to be there. Given that it’s the only nearly live show until 3/13, if he’s not there, that would say that there’s no deal in place for him to come back because it would make no sense to do Lockdown without him if they had come to a deal. He’s booked that weekend for a show in LaSalle, IL, so he would at least have to miss several weeks of TV leading to Lockdown. Since TNA is taping six weeks of TV, it would at least give the indication he’s not going to be there. I was told there were two major debuts scripted into the show, with MVP being the one solid and another name is scheduled, but it wasn’t a lock as of the weekend, and I don’t know who that would be.

    It’s interesting to note that in the advertising TNA sent out in a press release for Lockdown on 3/9, that Kurt Angle’s name isn’t listed, nor has he been advertised for the fan fest the day before, at least in literature I’ve seen. The names listed as appearing on the show are Magnus, Bobby Roode, Gail Kim, Bully Ray, James Storm, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson and Ethan Carter III. Angle was in a TV graphic as far as selling tickets to the show that aired on Impact so one would think he’d be there. They can’t advertise Jeff Hardy because even if he will be there because of the storyline that he’s quit the company. Since they are taping all the TV’s leading to the show in the U.K., and he can’t go there, it makes it difficult to do an angle with him. I mean, they can, and they probably should have him on the show since it’s one of their majors, but they are doing a storyline where he’s retired from TNA, and could on U.K. shows tape stuff where he says he’ll return for Lockdown, but advertising him now would jump their storyline. Or they may wait until he can do a surprise return on a live TV shoot 3/13 or later.

    Angle appeared on the U.K. TV show “Sunday Brunch” on 1/26 to promote the tour and mentioned that he would be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame at a ceremony taped on 2/1 at Wembley Arena in London. The London shows are scheduled to air on 2/27 and 3/6. He also said that his left hand is completely numb. If that’s the case, then he really shouldn’t be wrestling at all, let alone doing moonsaults off the top of cages. Interesting that in one U.K. interview, Angle said that he believed one day he would have singles matches against both Punk and Bryan. As noted, his contract expires in August or September (he’s given both dates in recent interviews). Dana White said that Angle couldn’t pass a physical (Angle and manager Dave Hawk denied that story) in 2010 when they tried to cut a deal with him to be on the Kimbo Slice, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson season of Ultimate Fighter. If that’s the case, particularly if his hand is really numb, there would be questions he could pass a WWE physical. Edge’s hand wasn’t numb, nor was Mick Foley’s, and both were flagged and will never be allowed to wrestle again.

    In an interview with The Sun in the U.K., he said he did have a desire to return to WWE but that Dixie Carter had treated him well. He said he can’t lie to himself anymore, but didn’t explain what that meant. He talked about going back to WWE, saying it could be one year or three years, but that staying in TNA wouldn’t be a bad thing. He said the loss of Sting was a bigger loss than the loss of Hulk Hogan and a big blow to the company. He said he felt Hogan was worth the price he was asking but it was a decision the company had to make. He said he’s battled depression because he was never able to reach the natural high in pro wrestling of winning an Olympic gold medal, and another reason for depression in pro wrestling was being away from his family so much. He did say he has learned to love pro wrestling. He felt TNA creative didn’t do a lot with him in recent years but he just did what he asked, but now will speak up.

    A.J. Styles said that he had a speaking tour of the U.K. but he was threatened by a TNA lawyer about some things going on which delayed it from March until June.

    The U.K./Ireland tour starts 1/29 with a house show in Dublin. TV for 1/30 and 2/6 will be done on 1/30 in Glasgow, with the first show airing on a few hour tape delay and where one would think any surprises would be unveiled. The TV for 2/13 and 2/20 will be taped on 1/31 in Manchester. Then they tape the final two weeks in London at Wembley Arena. They will be taping a One Night Only PPV, I believe for July if Slammiversary is in June, on 2/2 in Birmingham.

    There is a trademarking issue in the U.K. Trademarks for TNA and Impact are being opposed by two European companies, Aritzia LP and Datalogic Automation, Inc. Aritzia LP has had a TNA clothing brand which is advertised on television dating back to 1984. Datalogic Automation Inc. has an Impact product line related to video production.



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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by StylesClash on Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:16 pm

    I wonder who the other debut will be for tonight's show. I know they have two new divas (Shanna and Santana Garrett) and I hope they come in soon to bring in new faces to the division. TNA really needs some new faces in about every division, and debuting them on a UK tour could be big. I also expect at least one title change during the tapings in Europe. It seems to always happen, and certainly bring an awe of exciting to what many consider "big house shows."

    As far as AJ Styles returning...I think it'll happen eventually, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't return til Slammiversary or Bound For Glory. TNA just need to focus on their homegrown talent and building up new stars going forward.

    As far as Angle, personally I hope he returns to WWE. There was talk they don't think he could pass a physical so that could cause a WWE return to be unlikely. I just wouldn't miss his presence in TNA based on what I've seen the last year or so
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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:34 am

    2/10

    A deal which Jarrett largely put together before he left was announced this past week. TNA announced it would be taping a One Night Only PPV on 3/2 at Sumo Hall in Tokyo in a joint show with the Wrestle-1 promotion. This was the concept we wrote about months ago. The idea was with TNA trying to cut back on costs, that they would try and spend as little money as possible on the One Night Only shows. The concept that Jarrett pitched to Wrestle-1 with Jimmy Suzuki (a U.S. based Japanese magazine photographer who did some wrestling angles in the 80s and is the North American General Manager for Wrestle-1) before he left TNA and also to AAA was that TNA would send a number of wrestlers to their show, and the companies wouldn’t have to pay them. The companies could sell their DVDs of the show, put it on TV, and sell tickets. In exchange, TNA would get a copy of the tape and have the ability to put it on as their own television show in foreign markets outside of the home country, and put it on a PPV in the U.S. (The One Night Only shows do incredibly low numbers on PPV in the U.S.). Essentially TNA would have to pay its talent, but not the foreign talent, transportation, but would get a tape with zero production costs, which are the big expense. Jarrett and Keiji Muto, the owner of Wrestle-1, had discussed this when Jarrett went to Japan for an early Wrestle-1 show, and Muto came to Tennessee. In addition, Muto, as Great Muta and Seiya Sanada will appear on the 3/9 Lockdown show in Coral Gables, FL, as well as the Fan Fest the day before. Muta can barely walk, so even though he was a big name in the U.S. in 1989, I’m not sure how he helps the show, although him at the Fan Fest would be cool for some older fans and Sanada can go. As part of the deal, Sanada will be in for several months. TNA will be sending Magnus, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Austin Aries, Abyss (who will be recognized as TV champion, so I guess that title is back in play now that he’s back under that name), Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards to Japan for the show. They wanted Kurt Angle more than anyone, but due to his knee surgery, he wasn’t going to be available. The working idea is to do a second show with the two promotions over the summer (there is talk of it being a four-hour double Impact taping but that is very preliminary and could easily not happen that way), built around Angle vs. Masakatsu Funaki, since Funaki was the original pro wrestler who popularized MMA and he used the ankle lock as a finisher and taught the move to Ken Shamrock and it’s a battle of Hall of Famers. The show is expected to air in the U.S. over the summer. The theme will be Wrestle-1 guys challenging for the three major TNA titles, and all five TNA champions would appear. On 2/15 at Korakuen Hall, there will be a Battle Royal and the winner challengers Aries for the X title. Also, Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo will face two members of Desperado (the lead heel group in Wrestle-1 of Masayuki Kono & Ryoji Sai & Kazma Sakamoto & Rene Dupree–Sakamoto is the same Sakamoto that was with Tensai in WWE, not to be confused with the New Japan wrestler of the same name) with the winners facing the tag team champions. Now, the plan was for Edwards & Richards to beat the Bro Mans for the title at the 2/1 tapings in London. But things are super disorganized with stuff constantly changing. Bully Ray, who is a huge proponent of the Wolves, argued against them winning the titles this early and felt they should spend more time building them so it’ll mean more when they get the shot and the belts. Angle is also a big proponent of them. Part of that could be that Steve Bradley was involved in training Edwards and Bradley helped out Angle a lot in Memphis when he was starting his career. My impression was Dave Lagana felt the same way, and John Gaburick, who is the guy in charge of creative, went with it. The negative is that now the Wrestle-1/TNA PPV plan for the tag title in some form will have to change or the Wolves have to beat the Bro Mans at a house show. They could have Daniels & Kazarian win the titles at a house show and them go over there and defend them, and have them work a program with the Wolves, although the idea of Daniels & Kazarian vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto is possible. Or they could just have Wrestle-1 drop the tag title match on that show due to TNA’s last second change of plans. There will also be a tournament to see who faces Magnus for the TNA title. The four-man tournament takes place on the 2/15 show with Funaki vs. Yasufumi Nakanoueno and Kai vs. Tanaka. The way the storyline went, Kai seemed to be the guy who would get the shot. Tanaka is an awesome worker. Funaki would be a style problem with Magnus as I don’t know that Magnus would have the experience to work a good match within Funaki’s style of having to make the whole match look legit. Gaburick is expected to attend the show as the TNA rep. In Japan, people are going to think he looks just like Big Van Vader.

    The whole Japan deal was originally done by Jarrett but Wrestle-1, which is loyal to Jarrett for coming over early, and for booking A.J. Styles vs. Sanada at a Korakuen Hall show, has been working with Gaburick and Bob Ryder. They are under contract for the show and want to make a long-term relationship. But if Vince Russo is brought back (and while he is not in now, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff being gone has opened the door strongly to that possibility), they want nothing to do with TNA once the deal would be up because of the feeling Russo is racist against Japanese because of comments he made when he worked for WCW and how he used the Japanese talent when booking WCW and TNA.

    The TVs this week were actually being changed around as they were being shot.

    A funny story regarding MVP. When we reported he was probably the investor and definitely going to TNA, he responded saying he had no contract. I just figured he’s protecting his storyline, and essentially, that is what he was doing. However, at least as of the weekend, he had not signed his contract. He did reach a verbal deal and has a deal agreement in place, but had not signed an actual contract. The angle had been booked for several weeks, with TNA figuring he would sign before going on TV, but when he hadn’t signed, they put him on TV anyway since it was their storyline. This may end up meaning nothing because 2014 isn’t 1998, where the other side could now steal him. Today, WWE isn’t going to sign someone just to screw with TNA, and WWE is building around younger guys in the training center and MVP is an older guy, nearly 40. He may have signed at press time as the last word I got is he could very well sign, but hadn’t when he was on TV. Vince McMahon and HHH have shown little interest in bringing him back after John Laurinaitis had told him when he left because he wanted to go to New Japan (he was going nowhere in WWE, plus, he really got into pro wrestling by watching New Japan tapes and wanted to work for that company), that the door was always open for a return.

    The reason he’s using the MVP name is because he came up with the idea for the name and gimmick and trademarked it, so he was able to take it with him after leaving WWE. Smart guy there.

    The Lockdown PPV on 3/9 from Coral Gables, FL will have Magnus vs. Samoa Joe for the TNA title in a cage match that can only be won via knockout or submission called Joe’s rules, a Lethal Lockdown match for control of the company with MVP’s team of himself, Jeff Hardy (who won’t be announced until the last minute as MVP’s surprise returnee), Gunner & Edwards & Richards, facing Dixie Carter’s team of new heels Austin Aries & James Storm, along with Robbie E & Jessie Godderz. Also Kurt Angle vs. EC3 and James Storm vs. Gunner in a last man standing match. Every match on the show will be in the cage. Most likely a Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim Knockouts title match and another program being teased is Ken Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw.

    The Angle vs. EC 3 match is not a lock. Angle had a knee injury, although they did an angle where Angle claimed he didn’t have a knee injury and it was wrestling web sites erroneously reporting it as part of the angle for the EC 3 match. They did an angle on the show that airs this coming week which appeared to write him out where his knee was destroyed. Then he’ll be off a few weeks of TV (or at least not wrestling) since he didn’t work in Manchester. There were people who saw Angle in a wheelchair, but that was just working people on the angle. Then he did the Hall of Fame ceremony and angle with EC 3 in London to build up their match at Lockdown. Angle does have a knee ligament tear legit and is going to undergo arthroscopic surgery at some point, which should keep him out a few weeks, but not the major surgery that would put him on the shelf until his contract expires. It was expected the angle in Glasgow was to set it up, but then they brought him back for London and announced him for the PPV on 3/9. Several noted to us that on the first day and backstage on other days, Angle could barely move and looked like he was hurting bad. But he was like Terry Funk, in that as soon as he was in front of the people, all of a sudden he ignored it and would put on good matches. There was a story that at one point over the week Angle blew up at Gaburick about being used so much. The way we heard it is that it wasn’t even an argument or that Angle blew up, just that he expressed confusion as to thinking that his booking didn’t make any sense.

    Regarding Angle, the fact Angle kept putting over WWE during his interviews that were arranged to promote TNA, saying he wanted to wrestle Punk and Bryan and expected he would at some point, and tweeted about how great the Bryan vs. Orton TV match was, has pretty much indicated in the eyes of those in the company that he’s preparing for life elsewhere when his contract expires in the fall. The only question is if WWE will take him back, which is very much a question because he may not be able to pass a physical, or if he’d go with Jeff Jarrett’s group. Even though one would think Angle and Jarrett would be enemies based on Jarrett marrying the former Karen Angle, and there was very real heat about it some years back, they are actually on very good terms.

    The U.K. tour was said to be the most grueling ever, but the best ever in terms of locker room morale. Everyone was happy to be working before larger crowds than they are used to, and crowds which for the most part were super receptive, at a far greater level than U.S. crowds. It’s the same thing with WWE, as they love the U.K. tours because of the hotter crowds. Another aspect is they did the tour without Hogan, Sting, Hardy, RVD, etc. The only one with the WWE big star pedigree advertised was Angle. Samoa Joe gave a pretty emotional speech on the bus back to the hotel about how this was his toughest tour, but the tour had no prima donnas, no complainers and no whiners and how proud he was of everyone. The wrestlers were chanting “Joe, Joe, Joe” when the speech was over.

    The Birmingham PPV taping for the Jokers Wild show was said to be the most fun for the wrestlers because it didn’t have the pressure of a TV taping and was more like taping a house show, and the most fun.

    A lot of U.K. celebrities attended the TNA London party after the 2/1 show. The talent was required to make an appearance amd most stayed until 4 a.m. A bunch of photos were shot of Angle with Anthony Ogogo, who won a bronze medal in boxing for the U.K. as a middleweight at the London Olympics.

    Magnus was also shot likely for TV going to U.K. Parliament as a guest for being the first British-born world heavyweight pro wrestling champion. I know he’s not the first, but it’s pro wrestling and the titles Billy Robinson and Chris Adams won are no longer in existence.

    Al Snow is no longer the booker at OVW with the TNA involvement completely done. A group of the local workers are booking now.

    Jessy Sorensen did another interview on the Monster Factory radio show. He said how a debt collector called him one day saying that he owed $50,000 in medical bills when he was under the assumption that TNA was covering them since that’s what Dixie Carter told him and his mother. He said he told the woman he called that TNA was paying the bills and she had no idea what he was talking about. He said that both Carter and Bruce Prichard told him to send the bills to the office and they’d take care of them, which he did, but they never took care of them. He said that his mother, who had to declare bankruptcy, lost her restaurant in the bankruptcy. He said the job that TNA talked about when he was let go about how highly paid he was, actually paid him about $30,000 a year which couldn’t even cover his medical bills and that his checks were always arriving late. He said to cover bills, he had two other jobs, waiting tables at a Clearwater beach restaurant and managing at a gym. He said the restaurant was next door to Hogan’s merchandise shop on the beach so wrestling fans were often coming into the restaurant, seeing him, and asking him why he was waiting tables. He said a lot of the TNA talent had second jobs and were making more from their other jobs. He said Dixie Carter would tell people that they are starting out. He said he didn’t understand why people working for the No. 2 wrestling company had to have a second job to make it. He said he’s now making at his other jobs about double what he made in TNA. He said when the firings started happening, he was in catering with Brian & Earl Hebner and worried he would be the next to go. They told him there’s no way TNA would fire him because of all the bad publicity it would bring. He also said Zema Ion didn’t call him for months after the accident and Ion later told him it was because he lost his number.

    TNA already announced three dates for next year’s U.K. tour. They are going to run 1/29 in Glasgow, 1/30 in Manchester and 1/31 in London at Wembley Arena. London will be a TV taping and will include an Ultimate X match.


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:56 pm

    2/17

    Regarding talk of Vince Russo in TNA, it was reported by Mike Johnson two weeks ago that Russo was CC’d some memos. A number of people in TNA all denied Russo had any involvement, including people regularly around the creative process who stated his name had never even been mentioned. A number of wrestlers said the same thing, that they had not even heard his name mentioned nor did they see any indication or fingerprints of his on the television. Russo has been in contact with at least a few people in the organization. Samoa Joe publicly on Twitter mentioned that he and Russo had just worked out their differences. Others close to Russo said that he has been following the product again and they believe that is something he would never do under normal circumstances. But the key was the thing noted last week when a rep from Wrestle-1 asked a TNA official directly if Russo was involved or coming back, because the future of the relationship between the companies depended on it, and they didn’t get an answer. The TV that aired on 2/6 felt different from weeks past. It had different fingerprints on it, with the rushed wrestling, excessive backstage, more comedy in the verbiage (some of which was good dry humor) and the key thing was the Velvet Sky/Chris Sabin segment, because the humiliation of really pretty girls in the scripting is a Russo specialty. It really doesn’t matter at this point. TNA has never been able to keep relationships with Japanese companies so this one was doomed to fail at some point. The ratings of Impact are going to be what they are. You could put the best product possible out there and it would take forever to move it because it’s just secondary wrestling to people. You could put the worst product out there and it may drop slightly, but it’s still wrestling on Thursday night on an easily accessible channel in a familiar time slot and there are enough die-hard fans to draw 1.2 million to 1.5 million, depending on the season since it’s always in the same slot. The fact they lost Hogan, Styles, Sting and some people think they’ve lost Hardy and ratings are actually up (seasonal bump and stronger lead-in numbers) tells you aside from peaks from hot shot things like a Brooke Hogan wedding (and they don’t have anything like that on the horizon) or climax of a long storyline, they’ll do what they’ll do. They look better and are higher now because of stronger lead-ins, but the pattern in recent weeks of starting big (like 1.4 or more every week) and then consistently dropping isn’t good for any TV show, let alone wrestling that should naturally peak with the main event. But that happened long before any new fingerprints were there. Russo has not been at any shows, nor has any talent that we’re aware of have any clue past the idea that rumors started getting out and some dismissed them and others thought there was something to them. The light on wrestling and rushed wrestling aspect could have also been because it was getting late and it was the second show taped in Glasgow, and they had three more days of TV yet to come. But that’s probably not the reason. It’s either a change in direction and focus that comes from the top or a new person with a different philosophy of show layout having input. The ratings are more-or-less going to be what they are under any circumstance. Russo’s historical weakness, both here and in WCW (it wasn’t in WWF because the guy calling the shots was Vince McMahon, who knew at the time where the money came from) was the ability to build programs that anyone wants to see. It doesn’t matter as much now since they are largely out of the PPV business, and their programs don’t build to house shows anyway. And it’s not like the house shows could do much worse than they are doing now.

    Unlike last week, where everyone we heard from said Russo’s name had never been mentioned, at the weekend house shows, Russo’s name was being talked about. But it’s only people reacting to the stories out and not anything internal. Bully Ray and Abyss, who are pretty much both office and talent, both said to the wrestlers that if Russo was involved, they know nothing about it.

    Regarding the 3/2 PPV taping at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, where three TNA titles are at stake, the Bro Mans have been added to the tour, so they don’t have to get the titles off them at a house show before that show. They’ll be facing the winners of a Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo match against two members of the heel Desperado group (Masayuki Kono & Rene Dupree & Kazma Sakamoto & Ryoji Sai) on 2/15 at Korakuen Hall. One would expect that to be Hayashi & Kondo. Obviously for Japanese standards, both between the name recognition and working aspect, the match isn’t exactly Hayashi & Kondo vs. Wolves.

    The 4/27 PPV that will be live is being called Sacrifice. It’ll be done from Universal in Orlando. They are also scheduled for Slammiversary in June and Bound for Glory in October. It looks like the PPV taped in Birmingham, England (Jokers Wild) would air between May and July and the 3/2 show from Sumo Hall is looking like it’ll be airing in August.

    The Birmingham show I was told is the best of the One Night Only shows they’ve done. Just was told the show from start to finish was a lot of fun live, very entertaining television in particular the interaction of the Bully Ray & Rockstar Spud tag team. Also, the match with Edwards & Richards vs. Roode & Storm was said to be really hot.

    I don’t know if it’s an official role, but Taz has been contacting indie talent and working directly with John Gaburick in that recruitment process. As noted, the company wants to bring in people who would be fresh faces on the national scene, with the idea they’ll be hungry, won’t be expensive and they can put a fresh coat of paint on the product with their latest new slogan campaign.

    Tommy Dreamer is expected to be used, often, if not regularly, going forward as an agent for the TV tapings. He worked Huntsville, but was not brought to Europe. I don’t know what the official title is other than he is expected back.

    Vignettes are being filmed with Kenny King, so he’ll be back with a push.

    When Angle messed up his knee doing the moonsault, it was discovered that he has no ACL, and in fact, hasn’t had one in several years, but has been working on it. It’s unusual, but not impossible. Jericho worked since 2008 with no ACL and it didn’t even hinder him. It actually partially grew back. Frank Shamrock fought the last several years of his career with no ACL. Dan Marino played several seasons without an ACL as well.

    The company jumped their TV by announcing Jeff Hardy’s return for the Lockdown PPV on 2/11, even though the TV surprise angle that brings him back doesn’t air until 3/6. Given that he could sell some tickets being on the show, it’s probably the best thing. If they were masters at storytelling and you’re compromising stories it’s one thing, but nobody buys any of their stories so if you compromise them, you’re really compromising nothing.

    A correction from last week. The Alpha Female, who debuted with Sabin, is from Germany. We reported she was from the U.K., where she wrestles regularly.

    There was bonding on the European tour, stemming from the Samoa Joe speech written about last week. Joe basically told the talent that they were all in a fight and everyone needed to band together to make a difference in turning things around. Nobody from creative was there, just the wrestlers. Joe and MVP were positioning themselves as the locker room leaders with so many of the veterans no longer being there. They want the company to bring in new talent that can go and are trying to motivate those there. They basically said that nobody buys anything regarding Jarrett until they see something concrete, since there are people there loyal to Jarrett or just wanting out of TNA and seeing Jarrett as their life preserver. They said that TNA is safe because people have said it was going out of business for 11 years and it’s still there.

    MVP is thought to have significant issues since WWE wasn’t interested in him back, particularly HHH, since he was the one who made the call. He made a comment insinuating how he, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards, all had something to prove and wanted to show HHH he made the wrong call.

    A story that broke in the U.K. involving the promotion was a mother was angry that her 12-year-old son was put in detention when he showed up for school with the TNA logo shaved into the side of his head after he had gone to the show last week at Wembley Arena in London. Eventually the entire side of his head was shaved so the logo was no longer visible. The school said they have a dress code which bans extreme hairstyles. Dixie Carter brought it up on twitter, linked to the story, and sent him some TNA merchandise.


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by WhoBetta on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:00 pm

    SBR wrote:2/17
    A story that broke in the U.K. involving the promotion was a mother was angry that her 12-year-old son was put in detention when he showed up for school with the TNA logo shaved into the side of his head after he had gone to the show last week at Wembley Arena in London. Eventually the entire side of his head was shaved so the logo was no longer visible. The school said they have a dress code which bans extreme hairstyles. Dixie Carter brought it up on twitter, linked to the story, and sent him some TNA merchandise.

    I want to commend TNA for this, then I think about Jesse Sorensen, thus Im conflicted..


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:30 am

    2/24

    Jeff Jarrett did a video where he hinted at starting a promotion without outright saying it. He said his family has been in wrestling for 70 years, and he feels a boom period coming due to the WWE Network, AAA coming to the U.S. with Mark Burnett at the helm and what he is planning. Although nobody is saying it publicly, privately Jeff and Karen Jarrett are very unhappy with Dixie Carter and how things went down in TNA.

    There were no surprises on the 2/15 Wrestle-One show as it relates to the 3/2 TNA PPV taping at Sumo Hall in Tokyo. Magnus will defend the TNA title against Kai, who beat Masakatsu Funaki in the finals of a four-man tournament to get a title shot. Shuji Kondo & Kaz Hayashi beat the Desperado team of Kazma Sakamoto & Masayuki Kono to get a tag title shot at the Bro Mans, and Seiya Sanada won a Rumble style Battle Royal to get an X Division title shot at Austin Aries. As part of the working agreement, Sanada will be going to TNA after the show for several months. The way Japanese promotions work when it comes to interpromotional matches are give-and-take, which means they can’t have a big show and do nothing but put outsiders over their own guys.

    Kurt Angle had arthroscopic knee surgery rather than the full blown ACL reconstructive surgery, so they are hopeful he’ll be wrestling on the 3/9 Lockdown show from Coral Gables, FL.

    Santana Garrett, 25, will be starting here soon. It was announced at a Shine show a few weeks ago that she was going to TNA. She had worked in TNA in 2010 briefly when Orlando Jordan was doing the bisexual gimmick and she was his girl. When that gimmick pretty much died, she was out, but did work one of their One Night Only PPVs last year. It’s part of the new idea of trying to bring in newer and cheaper talent that is fresh on the national stage.

    Another name talked about is Extreme Tiger, who had a tryout a few months back.

    There continues to be a push to bring in Chris Hero, but there’s no deal in place.

    Fairly often, because the crowds are so small, they sometimes have to actually write a check to the building to get out as opposed to do what everyone else does, which is the building gets its cut out of the final settlement. Apparently the last time they ran at Temple University in December, they had to write the building a $15,000 check because the money they took in couldn’t even cover what they owed for running the place.

    Regarding rumors of T.J. Perkins no longer being with the company, he hasn’t been on TV for a while nor talked about, but Manik is booked this coming week on house shows.

    For what it’s worth regarding the tag team title situation and the 3/2 PPV taping from Tokyo, the Bro Mans and Wolves are booked for title matches on 2/22 in Huntington, WV and 2/23 in Morgantown, WV, but that may not necessarily mean anything because the Bro Mans and Wolves are working all the house shows together anyway, and it’s been a while since TNA has done a house show title change.


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:26 am

    3/3

    Kurt Angle wrote a guest column in the new issue of Fighting Spirit Magazine, a United Kingdom publication, where he seemingly bared his soul on his drug addiction issues.

    Angle said that in rehab he figured out that it all stemmed from the aftermath of winning the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, and that he fell into a deep depression because, in his mind, he could never match that feeling and achievement.

    “Spending my time in WWE didn’t do anything for me. Going to TNA to try and build this new company didn’t do it for me And even having all those five-star matches meant noting to me. I didn’t enjoy any of it. I realized in rehab that I was taking drugs and drinking alcohol not because I needed it, but because I was depressed and wanted to hide the pain. But what pain do I really have, besides my neck? I can deal with that; physical pain is nothing to me. It’s the emotional pain. I put myself in that position. I’ve now realized that nothing I do is going to match my gold medal, and what I need is to enjoy what I do, and know that I’m very good at it.”

    Angle admitted being an addict and that he could relapse, but vowed not to, saying he’s been clean for the last six months.

    He put over how Road Dogg and Billy Gunn have come out of rehab and done a great job with WWE both in the ring and behind the scenes, and specifically mentioned the support he got from Bret Hart, as well as praised Dixie Carter for letting him keep his job.

    He said he never really appreciated world titles in pro wrestling, saying, “I thought it was nothing, like they were giving it to you because they wanted someone to beat you. I didn’t know it was an honor. All those things that meant nothing to me, now they mean something.”

    He also said he never accepted when people complimented him on being one of the best, thinking they were just blowing smoke.

    Angle still had words regarding the creative end of TNA in recent years, regarding both himself and Samoa Joe.

    “Joe is a guy who can carry any company. I have not seen much from him in the last four years, and that sucks. So it’s time for TNA to start utilizing him in the right away, and if they don’t, then he needs to go somewhere else. I’m being vocal about him because you don’t have a talent like Samoa Joe and then just do nothing with him.”

    As for himself: “For the last two years, until I started my program with Bobby Roode, they didn’t do one thing with me. I didn’t have a storyline. I didn’t have a title run. I was just treading water. I was waiting for something to happen, and nothing happened. Then I got vocal, and nothing happened. It’s good that we have new people in, both in creative and in talent relations.”

    The WWE negotiations are a key thing for TNA and also for Jeff Jarrett’s potential new group. If WWE gets big increases, and in foreign markets, particularly the U.K., they already have, it raises the value of pro wrestling. The key is for pro wrestling to be viewed as a significant American sport in foreign markets, and garner significant rights fees. TNA isn’t WWE, or nowhere close, but it is still the same genre and does a consistent audience and is somewhat DVR-proof in the sense its audience wants to see it when it airs.

    Regarding Jarrett’s group, while Toby Keith is the main guy behind it, it will likely be a group of partners and not all Keith’s money. Keith was, at last report, worth $500 million, which is considerably more than Vince McMahon was worth before the stock went through the roof. But when the group was looking at buying TNA, it was always described to me as Nashville music investors (Keith is from Oklahoma, but as a country superstar, is considered part of the Nashville music scene) with Keith as the driving force, but not a singular owner. The key to them is getting a television deal that pays, which is the name of the game for every pro wrestling and MMA company. That’s going to be the be-all and end-all going forward, as TNA and Jarrett’s group are not going to be able to go out and tour and make any significant money, do anything on PPV, and they aren’t going to be able to get video game deals or big merchandise deals. The lessons of 2010 for TNA are that you can’t bring in names, even if they are huge names, and expand your audience significantly. You can’t tour television without it being a far greater expense that yields no extra viewership. And live vs. tape doesn’t matter, as long as it’s presented as if it’s live.

    Jarrett appeared on 2/22 at Sportsfest in Nashville for an appearance at a local sports event. He arrived late because of having to fly in from Mexico City, so his appearance was rushed. He didn’t say a lot past that his new promotion was a go and talked about the idea of a Tuesday night show. If they’ve got a TV deal for Tuesday, that may need to be reconsidered if Smackdown moves to Tuesday.

    On the last house show before the 3/2 One Night only PPV taping with Wrestle-1 from Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards beat Robbie E & Jessie Godderz to win the tag titles. The title change took place on 2/23 in Morgantown, WV. The title change will be announced on Impact on 2/27. Edwards & Richards defending the titles against Shuji Kondo & Kaz Hayashi on that show had been agreed to by TNA and Wrestle-1 a ways back. It may end up being changed to a three-way since the Bro Mans are still scheduled to go to Japan and have no announced match. The Bro Mans were not originally booked on the show.

    . Wrestle-1 added several more matches for the One Night Only PPV from Sumo Hall in Tokyo, as Bobby Roode vs. Masakatsu Funaki and Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka, Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Abyss, Rob Terry & Keiji Muto & mystery partner vs. Samoa Joe & Masayuki Kono & Rene Dupree (TNA was under the impression Joe would be working a singles match), Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title and Satoshi Kojima vs. Yasufumi Nakanoueno. Daniels worked a lot with Kanemoto and Tanaka earlier in his career, and even took Kanemoto’s Koji clutch submission to the U.S. The Roode vs. Funaki match surprised me since Wrestle-1 a couple of weeks back was talking Funaki vs. Joe. It may have been that TNA wanted to protect Joe from doing a job to someone unknown in the U.S. on its own PPV show, whereas with Roode as a heel, it’s not as big a deal. The two top matches are Magnus vs. Kai for the TNA title and Austin Aries vs. Seiya Sanada for the X title.

    Regarding the Vince Russo and Wrestle-1 note, it’s not just Wrestle-1 but also New Japan that wants nothing to do with a company with Russo. Apparently there are hard feelings about the treatment of Kazuchika Okada when he was in TNA. I’d heard the remarks about when Tetsuya Naito & Yujiro Takahashi went to Mexico and worked main events for a promotion with better quality wrestlers and then worked as job guys in TNA. But with Okada, and granted, hindsight makes it look much worse, it would be like if an NBA team sat Kevin Durant on the bench for three seasons and never gave him playing time, and then he went to the Thunder and was one of the best players in the league and key to the growth of a marquee team.

    The Lockdown PPV on 3/9 in Miami will be an all cage match show. Official matches are Magnus vs. Joe for the title, the Lethal Lockdown with MVP & Jeff Hardy & Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Bobby Roode & Bro Mans & Aries, James Storm vs. Gunner last man standing, Ken Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw, Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III (this will be advertised on TV after an angle that airs from London, but Angle just had knee surgery and may not be able to wrestle so we’ve been told by a few sources this match is iffy), and Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts title. Great Muta and Sanada are scheduled for the Fan Fest but neither are at this point being advertised for matches. Sanada will be in TNA until the fall working full-time.

    Extreme Tiger will be introduced on TV and have a role of some kind imminently, so he is signed.


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by Spudz on Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:38 pm

    Kurt has to realize his age and how broken down his body is.. Yeah, TNA could have used him better at times in the last few years but at the same time It a good thing that they gave other people like Roode the ball instead of Angle at top. He is right about Joe, but it is too late?

    Jarrett and crew should think about 6pm on Saturdays.. and hopefully smart enough not to use Russo this time around.

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:06 pm

    3/17

    If TNA had any measure of a separate audience from WWE, this wouldn't matter, but since they really don't, it will be interesting the psychology of raising prices on PPV to $49.95 for HD at the time same WWE is putting everything on the network. Granted, the difference between buys at $44.95 and $49.95 probably isn't going to be anything, but the idea that major league wrestling PPVs are now a $10 buy probably doesn't help when what people perceive as the distant minor league is charging five times as much. Then again, you could argue that the people who bought TNA shows will be saving money by WWE cutting back and they'll be more willing to now spend on TNA. If TNA had a strong product and was delivering really hot PPV's, I'd be more confident in that thought. But with them not being the better alternative at anything, and so much free television out there with better matches and storylines than are here, it's going to be tough to convince people it's worth that kind of money.

    The undercard was hit and miss, more okay to good than not. But the last two matches fell flat. Joe vs. Magnus was fine, until the finish of Abyss coming from underneath the ring to cost Joe the title, and likely moving to a Joe vs. Abyss program. The problem with TNA is we are in an era where fans want mostly clean finishes. You can do screw jobs as long as they are balanced out by real finishes, but there's no balancing act here.

    In the battle for power, they had a nice storyline throughout the show. Dixie Carter had told security to ban Jeff Hardy from the arena so Team Roode would have a man advantage. And she had a secret weapon from New York. According to one person who knew the background of this, apparently the idea was that they wanted word to get out that it must be either a WWE guy or Vince Russo, and that would lead to late curiosity buys. Well, nobody cared enough to begin with and neither rumor took shape. It ended up being Bully Ray, who came in as referee in the middle of the match. But Bully Ray called it down the middle, and when Roode was about to put MVP through a table, Ray blocked it. Ray ended up turning on Roode and helping Team MVP get the win. So in storyline, MVP is now running wrestling operations, while Dixie runs the business end.

    The storyline could be that MVP found out that Dixie had gone to Bully Ray, and offered him more money to do the double-cross, or that Bully himself had gotten the offer, but as unscrupulous as he is, he went to MVP and said for more money he'd double-cross Dixie. Either way, it should be explained on TV later this week.

    Hardy showed up under a mask as Willow, which was just stupid. There were no skits regarding blocking an entrance. It was something not followed up on and thus, totally illogical even by wrestling standards.

    The only surprise on the show was the debut of Bobby Lashley, something that very few in the company knew about in advance. Ethan Carter III had made an open challenge to anyone on the roster. Lashley came out. Carter refused the challenge saying that he's not on the roster. Lashley then laid Carter out with a running powerslam and spear. Lashley is expected to be in the picture from here. He was in TNA before and wasn't booked well, and eventually disappeared pretty quickly. At the time, his priority was MMA.

    He's done both limited indie dates, some pro wrestling for the IGF in Japan, and his last fight was on 11/8, when he won a decision over five rounds over unknown Tony Melton to win the Xtreme Fight Night heavyweight championship in Catoosa, OK. He's got a 10-2 record, but he's fought almost all unknowns and is now 37. Two of his three biggest name foes were losses, James Thompson and Chad Griggs, and the other, a first round win, was over Bob Sapp. Lashley was Sapp's second loss in a string of losing 15 out of his last 16.

    Lashley, 37, did get over as a surprise, and he was ridiculously muscular, pretty much the same as in his WWE days.

    The show was something of a morale downer, because the company was coming off the U.K. tour and it appeared the new talent was getting over. But at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, FL, there were only 1,500 fans and that was with what was described as a good walk-up as those in the company were going in expecting a disaster. The way the crowd was mic'd, the fans felt like they were far away. The crowd didn't come across as dead, and those live said that even though small in numbers, they were into most of the matches, but it hardly came across like a big show.

    All matches were held in a cage. Some matches had different rules, but they were not advertised well in advance (some were advertised but not put over well on television, some were not advertised at all).

    Lockdown star ratings:
    1. Muta, Sanada & Yasu/Daniels, Kaz & Sabin ***1/4
    2. Shaw/Anderson *1/4
    3. Uno/Manik **1/2
    4. Gunner/Storm ***1/4
    5. Rayne/Kim ***
    6. Magnus/Joe **
    7. Team MVP/Team Dixie **1/2

    Jeff Jarrett did a video where he said he would be making a big announcement on 4/7, the day after WrestleMania. Both he and wife Karen were on the video, where he mentions he's been going to shows in the Midwest, Mexico and Canada and has found some unique talent. He said he's been impatient to make this announcement. Kevin Sullivan (not the former wrestler or author but the longtime production guy with WCW and TNA) produced the video so that would indicate he's part of the new promotion. The expectation is that Jarrett's group will use talent from AAA.

    Devin Driscoll, who was a former WWE developmental wrestler, has been telling people in the Knoxville area that he's working with Jeff Jarrett on his new promotion. For whatever it's worth, Jeff and Karen Jarrett both worked on his Next Level Wrestling show on 3/8.

    Slammiversary will be on 6/15 in Arlington, TX at the College Park Center.

    They are taping four weeks of television this week in Orlando. They are doing one show live on 3/13, along with some Xplosion matches. They are taping for 3/20 and part of 3/27 on 3/14. They are taping the rest of the 3/27 show, as well as the 4/3 show, on 3/15. They are back on 4/10 with several weeks of live taping in Orlando. The shows will be taped to build the 4/27 Sacrifice PPV, which is also from Orlando.

    Mickie James did an interview with The Fight Network. She didn't say much of anything related to TNA past that she and Magnus are back together after they had split up some months back.

    They are talking with a lot of new talent about coming in as the emphasis now is to feature guys who have never been pushed on a national basis, and give them gimmicks similar to what they did with Sam Shaw and Michael Hutter (EC 3).

    Davey Richards did an interview with Brian Fritz. He said that it worked out for the best that he ended up in TNA and not WWE. He noted that he's working out of pure love as a paramedic and likes doing it and doesn't want to give it up, which the WWE schedule would force. He said that he went to the Performance Center and were put in Billy Gunn's training class. He said it was fun and had nothing bad to say about it but said it was also kind of creepy because everyone walked around like they were on egg shells and afraid for their jobs. When asked about ROH, who he had a falling out with right before he was going to leave, as they were mad about what he said in an interview so they took him off his last show booking, he said, "We're not talking. We're not on good terms. I have no respect for them whatsoever. I strongly dislike management there with the exception of Jeff Jones, who is a great guy. But the booker (Hunter Johnson) is completely inadequate at his job and he got his job more for being spineless than being talented. And the owner is even worse. He could care less about wrestling. He just wants to do television. To me, it's just not something I agree with, but I'm not there anymore and they do their own thing. And for the talent, and the fans, I wish them nothing but the best of luck." Apparently this interview was the talk of the ROH locker room over the weekend, especially among those who don't like either Johnson or Joe Koff.

    There was a lot of speculation regarding Brooke Tessmacher, who hasn't been used since Bully Ray dumped her. She is still a member of the active roster, but changed a lot of her social media account names from Brooke Tessmacher to her real name of Brooke Adams, which fueled the speculation.

    Now that they are back from Europe and running non-house shows, Tommy Dreamer has been back as an agent starting with the PPV. The main agents now are Al Snow, Pat Kenney, Dreamer, Bully Ray and Abyss.


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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:16 pm

    7/6

    Bound for Glory was announced as a joint show with Wrestle-1 on 10/12 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. TNA held a press conference with Dixie Carter and Keiji Muto (called Great Muta by everyone, but translator and Wrestle-1 international booker Jimmy Suzuki told everyone that he was Keiji Muto, not Great Muta, in this situation). The only thing that makes sense out of this is they will probably air the show on tape, because the usual 8 p.m. Eastern time PPV window on a Sunday would have to be taped at 7 a.m. on a Monday at Korakuen Hall, and that’s not happening. Right now the show is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on a Sunday which is in October, 4:30 a.m. Eastern time on a Sunday morning and they aren’t doing it at that time. Moving to a different start time on PPV would in theory be suicide, but with TNA doing such low numbers as it is, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as if WWE was still a PPV entity and moved from the traditional time slot (now with WWE being a network entity it really doesn’t matter when they start the show). I’m not sure how tape delay in this day and age would affect things. It saves money on deliverance of the show, but there may be a mentality for viewers to skip the show because it isn’t live. How many people will know the difference is a question, because of the mass TV audience, most won’t know it’s not live, but it’s a very small number that buy PPV. It’s a real test because nobody has presented a major PPV on tape in the U.S. since 1992 (SummerSlam from Wembley Stadium didn’t air live in the U.S., and the buy number was way down which Vince McMahon attributed to not being live and said he would never do a taped major show again, which is why Europe never got another major PPV). This indicates the company is making no money on PPV to take that kind of a risk and they are cutting back to doing a taped show, and can get Wrestle-1 to take care of the production costs so they’ll just have to pay trans to get their talent there. The Sumo Hall show in March that is the One Night Only PPV that airs on 7/4, saw Wrestle-1 produce the show since they were doing it for Japanese cable TV anyway, and TNA got the rights to the tape for its own PPV. In exchange, TNA paid for the transportation and salaries of the foreigners on that show. They both indicated the show would be a combination of TNA talent and Wrestle-1 talent. What we do know is the card has not been decided, that Wrestle-1 wants its top four stars on the show and the number of Japanese on the show could be considerably more. The idea is to do both pure TNA feud matches off television, as well as some TNA vs. Wrestle-1 themed matches, where they’d have to negotiate wins and losses because neither side wants to bury the other, so they’ll almost surely split wins. Unless they are going to eliminate the production stage and ramp, they aren’t getting more than 1,500 people in that place. It’s notable that New Japan also has Korakuen Hall booked for an iPPV show on 10/12 as well, so one will run at Noon and the other at 6:30 p.m. A key reason TNA is doing this show is that they want to project an international image for the company, giving the perception they are part of the Japanese scene.

    What makes a lot of this interesting is that the negotiations appear to be with Gaburick and Suzuki, but Suzuki’s contract with Wrestle-1 expires at the end of July, even though the sides are in talks of plans well into 2015.

    There were reports that Dixie Carter was injured from the power bomb through a table by Bully Ray at the 6/26 tapings. That could be a work since it was the blow-off for the Dixie Carter character for a while on television, but she isn’t trained, she’s 49 years old and has never taken a bump. I believe the legit injuries were a fractured back. I saw the clip and Bully protected her as much as possible, to the point it looked more like he took most of the impact. There have been different reports regarding her having been banged up, but exactly what her injuries are in real life and storyline, people don’t seem to be sure, but she isn’t trained to take bumps like that and it was probably a one-time thing.

    The company is expected to make a major announcement on 7/12 in London at the London Film & Comic Con regarding their U.K. business, which may be the addition of a new U.K. only television show.

    When Bully Ray was on the Jim Ross podcast and asked what TNA would be as a product if he was in charge, he said it would be a combination of 1980s Jim Crockett Promotions and 1990s All Japan Pro Wrestling. As much as I enjoyed 1990s All Japan Pro Wrestling, that wouldn’t work on U.S. television today. Plus, to make it work, you have to have the greatest wrestlers in the world to pull it off, and with the benefit of hindsight, the physical damage of that style is something that should be learned from as a limit you can’t consistently go to.

    There were several people from Spike at the 6/26 taping in New York and TNA put on a really hot show, one of its best tapings in a while. The fact they were there I would take as a positive sign.

    The previous show from Japan, the 3/2 card from Sumo Hall, will be airing as a taped PPV on 7/4. The lineup has Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto, Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne, Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Abyss, Masakatsu Funaki vs. Bobby Roode, Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea & Rob Terry (without his mask) vs. Samoa Joe & Masayuki Kono & Rene Dupree, The Bro Mans regaining the tag titles from The Wolves in a three-way that also included Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo (which tells viewers it’s four months old since this title change was acknowledged on TV in early March), Seiya Sanada winning the X title from Austin Aires (also telling viewers that) and Magnus vs. Kai for the TNA title (which also tells viewers that).

    Given that nothing has been mentioned and it would have started at this weeks’ television, it appears they aren’t doing the Bound for Glory series this year to determine who gets the TNA title shot. Last year’s series where they essentially ran out of time long before everyone worked with everyone with the way it was set up, ended up a complete fiasco.

    Lots of newcomers were brought back at TV this week. Besides the previously announced Tommy Dreamer, Matt Hardy, Low Ki, Homicide, Great Muta, Brian Cage and Rhino, they also used Gene Snisky (Snitsky), Rycklon Stephens (Ezekiel Jackson, but I doubt they can use that name so not sure what name they are going to use for him), King Mo, Al Snow with Head and Devon. The first taping built up a new Dixie Carter-led heel faction of Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, Mo, Snisky and Stephens. I’m surprised to see Mo back since he’s still active in Bellator and everyone but Mo tells me that you can’t do both pro wrestling and MMA at the same time given the demands both require these days. But Mo was more of a bodyguard and didn’t work any matches, and the issue with pro wrestling was more the nightly pounding. I know that the ECW reunions are good for an easy pop, and this worked live. They really loaded up on the show and to try and make this a hot product for the New York market and even with the weak attendance the first night, they did sell out the second and third nights and the TV was far better than what they’ve been doing. Stephens isn’t that old but he’s still got the WWE washout feel, but if they have an idea for him, that’s one thing. But Snisky is 44 years old, hasn’t worked much in years, and was never good when he did work. It did appear they were only in for two days because they were fired in storyline by Dixie Carter after the second night of tapings and didn’t work the third night, and are not figured into anything going forward. Dreamer also isn’t scheduled as talent for the next tapings but he will be back behind the scenes. Homicide, Devon and Low Ki are scheduled to be back for the next tapings.

    The positive on the tapings, besides the great crowd reactions, is that even though it was a lot of ECW recreations, which have been done to death over the last 15 years and never have any legs, and lots of gimmick matches, it is no longer WWE-lite. As noted before, “being cool in New York” is a lot bigger deal than in any other city. Still, they lose their asses financially on these shows. Whether this leads to packing houses for the August tapings for the positive word-of-mouth, better quality of matches and stronger week-to-week booking, is of minor concern. If these tapings helped get them a Spike renewal, than they were worth it. If not, well, I don’t want to think about that because it would be terrible for the industry. If Jeff Jarrett had made key announcements, or AAA got its television on a station that had an audience and on the basic tier, I could say there are others out there who can pick up the pieces. But two hours of prime time on Spike is the strongest outlet, by far, that any No. 2 group looks to be getting.

    Great Muta was originally just scheduled to make an appearance at the tapings and shoot the angle with Seiya Sanada. Because his knees are so shot, he wrestles very limited dates and only on bigger shows. But he decided to do a quick match with Robbie E, partially because, as crazy as this sounds, in his entire career, he’s never wrestled in New York City.

    The deal with Sanada is that he was sent to TNA and Wrestle-1 is paying him his regular salary, so TNA gets him for free. The idea is that it will help make him a bigger star in Japan because he’s won a title with a major group in the U.S. The idea is he can be pushed in Japan like he got over big in the U.S., since Muto sees him as the future top guy in his company. There is talk about a joint contract going forward, with the idea he’d still be under contract to Wrestle-1, but would have a TNA deal, and would continue for the time being to work primarily for TNA and go back for Japan big shows. If this is the case, Sanada would politically have to be protected to a degree in booking.

    The announcers weren’t at the tapings. Taz was there the first night to do a promo welcoming people. Mike Tenay wasn’t brought in as all the voiceovers were being done in studio in Nashville due the delay between the taping date and air date. In the past, you’d bring the announcers to shoot some shots in the arena even if you voice over later, but as a cost savings measure, TNA hasn’t done that in a long time.

    After Austin Aries gave up the X title to get a shot at Bobby Lashley’s TNA title, which he lost at the Destination X taping, which airs on 7/31, they also did a series of three-ways for the vacant title which ended up with Low Ki, Samoa Joe (they’ve clearly dropped the 225 pound weight limit, although that was pretty much forgotten a long time ago when they made RVD champion) and Sanada, with Joe winning the title at the 6/27 tapings.

    The first night of the tapings on 6/25 drew 650 fans, which wasn’t full but won’t look bad on TV because they were in a small place. It’s one thing to draw 225 fans without any advertising in Bowie, MD, but 650 fans for a heavily pushed taping with tons of local media and tons of advertising in downtown Manhattan is so sad. They were going to lose a lot of money even with a sellout by taping at the Manhattan Center, but the idea they couldn’t sell a small building like that the first night they ran in, Wednesday or not, is scary. They did get good reactions from those there, and did sellout 1,000+ and turned people away the next two nights. The crowd was hot the first night, but also unruly in spots and a lot of the crowd chants may have to be edited or be embarrassing, like all the Punk chants, ROH chants, swearing chants and such. The second night crowd was even hotter and was a perfect crowd to perform for. The 6/26 show was said to be one of the best TV tapings the company ever did by those who have been there for a lot of them, which taped matches for the end of the 7/24 TV show and all of the 7/31 Destination X TV show, which was the Lashley vs. Aries title match, said to be good, and three three-ways to build to a three-way that would air on a following show for the vacant X belt. The idea in New York was to concentrate on the in-ring and do less talking, and it worked. The thing is, TNA has always had the in-ring wrestling talent, but when most of the matches were limited to 4:00 for all the talking segments, you wouldn’t know it. And again, wrestling on TV is not again wrestling time vs. talking time, and never has been. It’s about star making time and good stories. The third night was described as mostly good, but there were pockets of fans who did chants that they’ll likely have to edit out in post-production and the crowd turned on a Gunner vs. Ken Anderson match.

    Bully Ray was on Opie & Anthony, when they asked if Vince called would he go back instantly and he basically said he would in a heartbeat. I guess he didn’t lie, but on a show when you’re booked by TNA to promote TNA, and WWE fired you nine years ago and in that entire time, never wanted you back while TNA has given you the run of the place, you’d think he’d at least temper it a little. Even when Kurt Angle was trying to get WWE to take him back he put over that he loved both companies and never said he’d go back in a heartbeat. This was the interview where he claimed he had a two month relationship with Brooke Hogan. He said Hulk came to him and he told Hulk how he’d never disrespect his daughter, and Hulk then said that wasn’t what he was talking to him about, that he was warning him that what Brooke wants, she always gets. He claimed he now worked 150 days a year in TNA and another 50 days a year in Japan (?). He joked he could have been the heir to the Hogan fortune (which really isn’t that much of a fortune since the divorce), but went back to his ex.

    Lance Storm wrote an article on six-sides vs. four-sides which was by far the best thing I’ve read on the subject. Based on talking to several people, most wrestlers favored four-sides in the company but as noted, Austin Aries and I think Ken Anderson were the only ones who tried to push people to vote for it, although others went to management asking to keep the six sides, but once they announced they were putting it to a fan vote, they were kind of locked into it because the only people who would vote would be the ones who wanted it changed. There were some who did favor the six sides. Storm noted six-sided ring is harder, and ultimately that means wrestlers will have the option of two things, which is tone down matches or damage their bodies worse, which will lead to a higher injury rate, and pain killer usage. That alone should end the debate. He also noted the six-sided ring doesn’t shoot as well on television, plus it doesn’t shoot running the ropes as well because everything has to be at an angle to the cameras. It’s also worse when it comes to both shooting dives because the post is closer to the entrance ramp, which has no barricades, and also dives would be done in corners with barricades which gives less room to maneuver and increases the injury risk.

    When MVP was on Jim Ross’ podcast this past week, talking about Chris Benoit, who was something of a mentor to him in his early WWE days, he noted that Benoit was doing a lot of Ecstasy in the WCW days. I had thought that he may have meant liquid Ecstasy AKA GHB, which a lot of guys used then for both bodybuilding purposes and recreational drug purposes, with the idea it burned body fat while you slept and also gave you a deep sleep (some people had very significant problems from side effects of using it) which was a problem with the work and the schedule. While MVP was not in WCW during that period, he was very close with Benoit during their WWE days. Based on checking, Benoit was actually doing both, as both were part of the WCW drug scene during that period.

    The Co-Ed College Arm Wrestling championships show that Jessie Godderz co-hosted that was taped a long time ago, airs on 7/6 at 1 p.m. on ESPN 2.

    James Long, who wrestles as Paradyse in OVW and has had tryouts before, was working as a producer at this past weeks tapings.


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    dragondragon

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by dragondragon on Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:59 am

    Co-Ed college arm wrestling championships? Wonder how much he's getting from that.

    For the networks sake, I hope whoever was at the NY shows from spike isn't basing decisions off one set of tapings


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    SBR

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    Re: TNA Observer news

    Post by SBR on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:45 pm

    7/13

    The TV title, which hasn’t been talked about in a year, has been dropped. Abyss won the title on June 2, 2013, beating Devon, for a title that had rarely been in play since 2012. The title change made no sense since they were doing the Joseph Park angle and Abyss was a one-time thing at the time. He never defended it again and it was never talked about again. The storyline is that Kurt Angle as new Director of Wrestling Operations has officially dropped the forgotten title to clear up loose ends. In 2012 they had decreed that the title would be defended every week on television, which made sense for a TV title. They did that for a while and then forgot about it, and even still had the belt on Devon when his contract expired in September 2012. They did revive the belt with Samoa Joe and then Devon (when he was brought back) as champion, before Abyss beat Devon last year.

    When Christopher Daniels spoke with Steve Austin on Austin’s podcast, he said a problem with the six-sided ring was people in tag matches sometimes couldn’t remember which was their corner. He also said that on the top rope, instead of standing with your feet at a 90 degree angle, you had to stand at a 130 degree angle.


    Slow week...


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    Re: TNA Observer news

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