HAPPY BIRTHDAY NASH
And happy birthday to the /slash, too! Hey, Nash and slash, that rhymes.
Let us check the news.
He apparently injured his quad and will need surgery. Where have I heard
THAT before, jeez Nash how about trying something original? I don't want to
make light of someone being injured, but... come on. Come ON. His first
match back? Is he made of toothpicks and held together by used gum? This
would be pretty funny if it wasn't so sad. Sad meaning pathetic.
What this means for the nWo I surely do not know. I figured the chances of
HHH joining were pretty slim, but now he may have to if the group is to mean
In some late breaking news, the NWA TNA site has announced that Vince Russo
has joined them, meaning he must have left WWE. Or maybe Vince McMahon sent
him to TNA to destroy it! We shall soon see.
I see people saying the split needs to end and, I'll tell you what friends
and neighbors, I don't at all agree. Yes, the rosters are weak, at least
Raw's is. Yes, the shows would probably be better. It may not be strong
enough for 2 rosters, but it's too strong for just 1. If you take a typical
Smackdown and then try to work in Booker, the nWo, RVD, Brock, Benoit,
Guerrero... how much time is left for say Team Canada? How much is left for
Not to mention the wrestler hierarchy would be screwed. Would Angle and
Jericho consistently be the top heels when Brock Lesnar and the nWo are also
on the show? Would Benoit and Eddie be underneath all of them? RVD and
Booker are pretty much the top babyfaces on Raw by default, although they
haven't really hit that "top" level yet. But put them on the same show with
Rock and HHH and Hogan and how high on the card will they be? What becomes
of Edge in the same situation?
It's a much better idea to keep things like they are and try to build Raw,
in my opinion. I wouldn't have liked the idea at all 24 hours ago, but the
first step in that may be turning HHH heel and putting him with the nWo.
Smackdown has gotten along just fine without him, and Raw seriously needs
the star power. Then with him in that role somebody like Booker T has a top
opponent he can feud with to ideally take him up to the next level. Is that
really going to happen by fighting Big Show or X-Pac?
Why does nearly every person in the free world feel the need to say things
like "why are they showing the Rey Jr. videos on Raw shows when he's going
to be on Smackdown"? Yeah, WE know he's going to be on Smackdown. Have
they said that on TV at all? In the realm of storylines couldn't he be a
free agent who could go to either show? Isn't it nice that they're hyping
him, so that when he does show up it seems like a big deal? And maybe the
announcers could even talk about how great it is that Rey ended up on their
show? For the love of Pete.
Last week's Wrestling Observer had surprisingly little about the Vince Russo
situation, so you didn't miss anything from that. This week's covers
in-depth the Bret Hart injury, the WWE financial report, and the career of
- Regarding WWE financials, they currently have $294 million in cash and $64
million in receivables, meaning they'd be able to take $358 million in
losses before needing more money.
- "Very early" estimates on Backlash have it doing 400,000 buys, which is
about a .8 buyrate. Very early? It was like 3 months ago.
- Shawn Michaels is (was?) going to start attending house shows in Nash's
corner once Nash started wrestling. There may start to be pressure on HBK
to wrestle due to the lack of star power.
- The general consensus is that Shelton Benjamin, Rob Conway, Nick Dinsmore,
Victoria, and possibly Steve Bradley are all ready for elevation from the
WWE development territories. John Cena was also mentioned, but he's already
CLOSING OF THE
- WWE finances! They're pulling in some money. I'm not gonna go over all
this cause it's pretty boring. In the period from February to April they
made $135.9 million, up almost 5 million from that point last year. They
ran more events than they did last year, which softens the blow even with
lower attendance and stuff.
PPV revenue was up just over a million dollars compared to the 2001 quarter,
and actual buys were 2.4 million up from 2.3 million last year. The April
PPV began the $5 increase in price, it should be noted. Early WrestleMania
figures were estimated at around 1.2 million early on, then were estimated
around 800,000, but looks to be somewhere between that as they noted the
show doing approximately 1 million buys like last year.
In the big revenue generating categories PPV was first with $40.6 million,
merchandising did $30.8 million, house shows did $27.9 million, and TV ad
revenue got them $21.9 million. They nearly doubled the amount of home
videos sold, and DVDs jumped from 13% of the units sold up to 49% this year.
The cost of switching from WWF to WWE was only about $2 million.
Since it was the end of the 4th quarter they covered the fiscal year that
ends in April, which showed some losses. Total revenues were $425 million,
down from $456 million last year. Live event revenues and attendance were
down, even with the increase in shows. PPV revenues and buys were down,
part of which can be blamed on the DirecTV situation. Based on the figures
the average buyrate from May 2001 to April 2002 was 500,000 to 600,000, but
it's hard to pull out exact numbers for specific shows cause gay stuff like
the Fanatix series would also be included there.
Over the next year they plan to run more events and make even more money.
Linda apparently said during the conference call that they plan to increase
the number of PPV's, too.
- Bret had a stroke and suffered paralysis on the left side of his body. He
wasn't wearing his helmet when he fell on his bike, but doctors don't think
his previous head injuries played a part in it and that he might have had
the stroke before he fell. I think some article said Bret didn't agree with
that, though. The situation has gotten lots of mainstream press in Canada
and Vince was quoted in the Calgary Sun.
- Disco Inferno is telling friends that the deal was done for him to be
Russo's assistant in WWE, but now it's all up in the air. Russo is telling
people that he still thinks he'll be taking over the writing sometime soon.
Wrestlers say that Russo returning to power would not be accepted by most of
the locker room. "Vince Russo is not welcome here," one guy said. "There
are just too many people who don't like him. I'm hearing it from just about
- Paulina from Tough Enough One is training at the OVW center. Sources say
she's not being asked to pay for the training even though she's not under
- No contracts have been offered to anyone from the last development
- HWA sources think Mike Sanders will get called up if Nash has anything to
say about it. Otherwise Mike is SOL. And you know what that means.
- Nidia is getting good reviews from co-workers. Someone said she's rough
around the edges, but it's to be expected from someone with as little
experience as she has. There's no truth to the rumor that Nidia and Jamie
Noble are actually a couple. Jamie is married and has a kid.
- There are rumors in HWA that Johnny the Bull will be called up to wrestle
exclusively for Heat. You don't say! Some apparently uninformed HWA
sources didn't think that was the case, nor did they think that Johnny is
ready to be called up.
- Friends of Hogan say he wasn't consulted before Russo was brought back,
despite their ongoing legal issues. Other wrestlers supposedly got wind of
it a week or so before it happened.
- The women who worked the divas lingerie show were surprised that TNN got
uppity. One WWE employee said "you probably see more T&A during a bra and
panties match on Raw". I dunno about that.
- Shane McMahon did his "attend the PPV and the TV aftewards" loop after
- JR says there is no consideration being given to doing away with the brand
- Tazz, Big, and Michael Cole attended a Cubs game at Wrigley on June 24 and
sat right behind home plate. A WWE employee remarked "There was heat on
Tazz for not standing during the national anthem, but later it was confirmed
he really was standing so everything turned out okay". Ha.
- Curt Hennig did a recent interview saying he didn't blame Vince for firing
him over the plane incident, and he expects to work for WWE again some
- For what it's worth, Stephanie McMahon is being named in a radio ad for an
upcoming Smackdown taping.
- Linda Miles is getting strong reviews from veteran wrestlers for her
backstage attitude and her in-ring potential.
- Officials are under the impression that Shawn Michaels wants to return to
the ring. He's brought up the idea while talking with friends, but he's
still not sure if he wants to risk his reputation.
- There is concern between mid and undercard guys that development wrestlers
and Tough Enough guys are getting better pushes. Some are privately
accusing management of pushing the younger guys because they'll work
- Sources say that even though most of the wrestlers sided with management,
nobody is saying anything bad about Austin. One guy said he thinks people
are afraid to say anything because they think Steve will be back sooner or
- WWE wrestlers who admitted to watching the NWA show were impressed with
the product, especially the X division. They hope the group
- More than one wrestler has laughed about how "young and arrogant" members
of the writing staff are. Others joke that the writers are young because
Stephanie feels more comfortable being their boss than she would being above
people who are older than her.
- Following up on last week's item, Dennis Brent has taken a leave of
absence from his job as head of developmental talent relations. He didn't
resign and he's leaving to work on a family project, writing a book I think
JR said. He'd given them notice a few months ago.
- Sources don't think JR is on the verge of resigning, as some had
speculated last week. He's giving up some duties to Johnny Ace because he
has too much on his plate.
- More than one person thinks of Brian Gewirtz as a cancer on the writing
staff. The feeling is that he writes most of his material to please Vince
and not the audience. But people say he's an excellent promo guy who has
written some of Rock and Booker's best stuff.
- Wrestlers were surprised by Taker's interview on WWE.com where he said he
wouldn't consider he and Austin friends. Some took it as Taker laying
groundwork for a future angle, since people did think of Taker and Austin as
- People are now claiming that the first two NWA TNA shows drew far less
than what the Jarretts are saying. Several sources are saying the show did
under 20,000 buys. "If TNA had drawn 80,000 buys they would have been
running naked through the streets," one source said. "They're claiming
80,000 buys? Yeah right". Meanwhile, WWE officials have told people that
the first show only did an estimated 18,000 buys.
- Two sources backstage at the first NWA PPV defended Buff... or should I
say Marcus... in light of the comments that he was passed out backstage.
One wrestler who's not friends with Bagwell said that he saw him several
times and didn't think he looked tired or "out of it" at all. Jerry Jarrett
is high on the idea of being the first to "utilize Bagwell's
- Kid Kash is telling friends that he contacted TNA about working for them,
but was told that he'd need to send a tape of his work.
- Jerry Jarrett is getting rave reviews from those who met him for the first
time at the PPV. The difference between Jerry and Eric Bischoff was
described as "night and day" by one guy. Jerry is soft spoken and has no
signs of having a big ego.
- Gangrel has told people that he was only signed for one show and was given
no indication of if he'd be back.
- Sawyer Brown wrote and performed much of the music used on the
- Lots of wrestlers were in awe after meeting Ricky Steamboat. More than
one wrestler called him a class act and hoped that he'd be around for future
shows. People say he was very helpful backstage and gave younger guys a few
pointers on selling. He also called a few spots in the Shamrock title
match. The promo Steamboat did with Shamrock on the second show had to be
edited heavily for things like Ricky saying "earlier tonight" when referring
to the first week's show.
- The XWF passed on their TV deals, which would have had them paying WGN or
Fox Sports to air XWF TV. They're going to try getting deals overseas.
Several office people were laid off following the decision.
John Flood will run the company from his office in New Jersey, but the
offices will remain in Tampa. Jimmy Hart is still with them. Former WCW
employees Mike Lima and Janie Engle were let go. The XWF says the people
who were laid off got a month's severance pay and will continue working into
mid July. Sandra, another former WCW employee who designs costumes, was
also let go but already got work with the Houston Texans.
- XWF officials are quietly saying that it was bad WWE press that prevented
them from getting better TV deals, as all the networks wanted the right to
edit content. They also say the door is still open with Fox Sports and WGN
if they change their minds and decide to pay for programming.
- Josh from Tough Enough did give up his $500 a week XWF retainer to attend
the last WWE camp. Josh has told people that Kevin Kelly played hardball
with him, saying the camp was his last chance to get in WWE. The XWF is
still interested in using Josh in the future, but won't put him under
- Sonny Onno has been trying to help them get a TV deal in Japan, probably
with the Samurai Network.
- Terry Taylor is telling people that he's been working with John Collins,
formerly of the MECW fiasco, about a new project. Taylor says Collins sent
him a check and it actually cleared.
Don't miss the Anniversary stuff. I've heard good things about it.
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