CREDIT TO THE TORCH
Well enough is enough and it's time for a change! You know how it seems
like more and more often there's not that much big news to talk about?
Combining that with the seasonal change in my schedule happening now, and
after long and intense discussions with CRZ and my spiritual guides, I have
decided to make these updates heavier with content from the Torch newsletter
as opposed to scraping up little tidbits from everywhere.
That's not to say that there won't be news from anywhere else, but when
there's not much to talk about I'll fill it with Torch stuff. Also, as the
summer begins, the updates will probably be appearing later and later on
Tuesday instead of first thing with the Raw reports. Sound good?
Let's check the news.
- There's still a lot of details swirling around about this incident. Mr.
Perfect was fired after being a dick on the plane and goading Brock Lesnar
into a fight. Dustin Rhodes got tanked and was singing love songs to Terri.
Ric Flair may have been running around naked. More to come later.
STUFF WADE SEZ:
- WWE Judgment Day is this Sunday! Here's the current line-up:
More matches should be added on Smackdown.
- Hollywood Hogan vs. The Undertaker - undisputed title match
- Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Hell in the Cell
- Steve Austin vs. Ric Flair & Big Show - handicap match
- Kurt Angle vs. Edge - hair vs. hair match
- Eddie Guerero vs. Rob Van Dam - I/C title match
- The Hardy Boyz vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
Predictions? Well, with Heyman costing Brock his match on Raw, there's been
speculation that they may already be building to a split between the two.
Heyman somehow ending up the legal man and being beaten would surely help
that along. But I predict a Brock victory.
Eddie/RVD is a toss-up. They could probably keep this feud going, but next
month is the King of the Ring and both guys should ideally be part of the
tournament. Eddie could squeak by here only to lose to RVD in the
semi-finals next month, that'd be something. I pick RVD, though.
I can't imagine Edge would shave his head, and Angle is a year or two from
baldness as it is, so Edge seems like the easy pick here. You'd think Flair
and the Big Show would be an easy pick, but Austin can fight off 15
lumberjacks and still win a match so it seems anything is possible. But I
pick a heel win.
HHH/Jericho will hopefully be a great notch on the Hell in the Cell
tradition. I would assume that this match will be the blow-off between them
for now, so I pick HHH on the notion that a Jericho win would seem to
prolong the feud. And if they stay attached to each other, where does
anyone else close to the top go to? Although, Jericho has Vince in his back
pocket and all that, so a win by nefarious means certainly seems
Taker/Hogan is a tough call. Hogan hasn't brought the ratings at all as
champ, and surely the WWF knows this, so getting the belt off him seems
wise. And if there's going to be a "legend reign" with the title, I'd have
rather seen it with Taker than with Hogan in the first place. But then
again, it seems strange to put Hogan in this position and not do a PPV match
with Austin, so maybe Hulk keeps it and they do Austin/Hogan next month. Or
Taker wins and loses it to Austin shortly, and Hogan gets a shot in a few
months. I don't know.
But with the injury angle on Raw, I pick Taker getting the belt. But I
don't think he'll hold it for too long.
Now on with exclusive Torch newsletter tidbits. Credit, as always, goes to
Wade Keller. If you've already read this elsewhere, there's nothing new
IMAGE OF THE WEEK:
- Smackdown did a low rating for Hogan/Jericho. It wasn't pre-empted in an
unusually large number of homes. The rating shouldn't be blamed entirely on
Hogan, which is what's being done, or entirely on Jericho, which isn't
happening at all (despite Jericho being the one constant in the main event
for back to back weeks of poor ratings) because analysts would never blame
him for anything.
The entire drop can almost entirely be attributed to the teenage audience of
the show. The teen demographic dropped 33% from the previous week. You might
blame FOX and the Star Wars stuff they were showing, but oddly enough that
had a huge drop in the teen audience, too. And America's Funniest Home
Videos on ABC had a 92% surge in the teen demo. Who knew?
A theory within WWE, is that young people don't care about Hogan because
they have no
nostalgia connection to him. If you're 15-16 today then you were like 5 the
last time Hogan was wrestling for the WWF title, and even that was years
after his peak. But it could just be a freak rating.
- Scott Hall was canned. After the incident when he was first signed, he
had cleaned up (at least in public) and wasn't getting into trouble. But
here recently and with the Europe tour he went back to "full blown
embarrassment and danger to himself" mode and got the boot.
- Speaking of drunks and Europe, oh the flight. Most stuff we've heard
already. Hennig/Lesnar, Dustin singing. It was a private chartered flight
and they served alcohol freely, which probably won't happen again. Had
anything like this happened on a commercial flight, the guys involved
probably would have been fired before the plane landed. Vince chewed out
everybody, but some don't see Vince's comments having as much credibility as
normal considering Vince spent a whole flight last year goofing off in a
playful scuffle with Kurt Angle.
Michael Hayes was the most annoying guy on the flight. He apparently has a
tradition of giving guys a playful punch in the forehead after they've
recently bladed. He did it to Bradshaw and got punched out. He was
belligerent to everyone and when he finally passed out X-Pac cut off his
ponytail to an ovation of cheering from most of the plane.
When Hayes woke up and realized his hair was cut, he went crazy. He blamed
Gerald Brisco for it and cut a huge promo on him. X-Pac stood up and took
credit for the scalping and Hayes backed down. At Raw, in addition to the
hair being pinned to the wall, there was a sign reading "Auction: Freebird
Ponytail, proceeds to benefit Alcoholics Anonymous".
Hayes wasn't fired but lots of people aren't happy with him. At Raw Austin
refused to let Hayes work as his agent for matches anymore.
- Bob Holly was given the task of doing "initiation matches" with Randy
Orton. That meaning a new guy works with someone who's usually stiff and
people see how he reacts, whether he complains about it, whether he fights
back. Orton has gotten positive locker room reviews. He doesn't have any
spectacular moves, but has a good look and solid fundamentals.
- The attitude among Smackdown talent towards working the Jakked/Metal
tapings has improved tremendously since the split. When the roster was
together, working Jakked was looked at like a punishment or a demotion. But
now it's seen as a valuable TV time since they only have 1 big show a week.
- The locker room is already preparing for Life Without Rock. Most think
he'll never be a full-time guy again, and some think he'll just make special
appearances when he wants to hype his latest project ala Mick Foley.
- DDP was backstage at an indy show and was upbeat about his situation,
telling friends that he's confident he'll be able to return from his injury.
- There's a list of everyone involved with the last WWE training camp.
Among the notable names, I guess, is HORSHU formerly of WCW.
- Sources from HWA say that April Hunter and Daffney didn't really impress
anyone with their in-ring work, but WWE officials liked the "look" of both
women. It's expected that Daffney will be offered a deal because she's a
Friend Of Jericho. April is a former nude model and has a pay section of her
website where you can see her bare boobies and her giant woman button, and
it's expected that this will not sit well with some current WWE Divas should
April ever make the
main roster. Ooh catfight. Rowr.
- Sources say Scott Steiner finally passed a physical. This opens the door
for a WWE signing, but friends say he's probably more likely to sign with
the Jarrett's due to their lighter schedule.
- The final contract between the Jarretts and the NWA should be signed
this week. The Jarretts will be able to make title changes without going
through the NWA board of directors first. They aren't planning to use Dan
Severn, the current NWA champion, at their first PPV. They're saying that
they are more interested in establishing a product and their own wrestlers
before crowning a champ.
- The way "Total Nonstop Action" breaks down to "TNA" has some people
saying "haha see I knew Russo would be involved", but actually Jerry Jarrett
came up with the name. The company line is that the Jarretts had a meeting
with Russo, but it didn't go well. But Russo allies Ferrara and Borash are
all signed up. Ferrara is moving to Tennessee.
- Several former NWA champions have been contacted about appearing for a
special legends ceremony at the first PPV. Dusty isn't expected to take part
because he's still an active wrestler with his Turnbuckle promotion, and he
doesn't want to be seen as a "legend" like he shouldn't be wrestling. Ricky
Steamboat takes bookings through Les Thatcher and it's believed that
nobody's contacted him yet. Terry Funk may not have been contacted yet, but
it's expected that he will be. Barry Windham may be involved, maybe even as
a wrestler for the promotion. Lou Thesz will be unable to attend.
- Warrior, Shamrock, Sid, and Randy Savage are all big names who have been
contacted by the Jarretts. Shamrock has signed on. Savage has expressed
interest, but is making lofty demands as he did with the WWA. Warrior has
expressed interest also, but his demands are even more lofty and more insane
than Savage's. Macho, though, has a history with the Jarretts and they may
be able to strike a deal.
- AJ Styles and Konnan have both confirmed that they've signed short-term
contracts to be part of the first PPV. They're both expecting to be offered
long-term deals prior to the show.
- Road Warrior Animal has booked a show in Atlantic City with the plan of
taping it and trying to sell it as a PPV. He's said to have a money backer
and he isn't using any of his own funds on the project. Himself, Hawk, Great
Muta, Jim Duggan, Public Enemy, the Shane Twins, and Tom Brandi are all
being advertised. I smell a hit!
- The Sinister Minister will make his return to wrestling with NWA
Wildside in the coming weeks. Since ECW folded he's been running a karaoke
business in Florida.
- Sting's agent is still giving the impression that Sting is willing to
return to wrestling, but friends say that isn't the case.
CLOSING OF THE WEEK:
- Aw jeez, man.
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