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How about that? Let's check the news.


    The big news is surely Eric Bischoff's debut on Raw. Who would have thought it? Not I! All I have to say is... thank God he dyed his hair again. Thank God. But where was the airplane walk?

    If you're at all interested in what my Monday night was like this week, I taped Raw and during the first hour I watched HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm... or "CYE" if you're like me and don't want to look up how to spell "enthusiasm" all the time... or "The Curb" if you're "street". What a show that is. Last week I tried watching both Raw and CYE at once, and it was a mess of me flipping back and forth and basically missing stuff on both shows before I settled on one. So this week I figured I'd watch The Curb, have an hour to pursue other activities at my leisure, and then I'd watch Raw after it ended.

    But just for kicks I flipped over to Raw when CYE ended and OMG holy crap it's Eric Bischoff. I was quite astounded. I like the idea of Vince appointing two people to run Raw and Smackdown, and I'd actually been thinking it would happen sometime after Linda stepped in and pulled Vince away, upset at all his philandering. But either way it gives the shows a more distinct identity than they had with Vince owning both, even if he had cut down his TV time lately. But I feel kinda sorry for whoever's getting the spot on Smackdown, cause I don't know if anyone can beat the "holy shit"-ness of Bischoff.

    So how long until Raw becomes Nitro? ("It already is!") I mean how long before Bischoff takes over and they CALL it Nitro, you ASS.

    There's a PPV this Sunday! I haven't done the previews in a while. I hope I remember how.

    • The Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle - undisputed title match
    • Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar - intercontinental title match
    • Hogan/Edge vs. Storm/Christian - tag team title match
    • Big Show vs. Booker T - no DQ, no count out
    • Benoit/Guerrero vs. Bubba/Spike - tag team table match

    A cruiserweight title match with Kidman seems a likely occurrence. And probably John Cena vs. Chris Jericho? I think maybe so. Also, I guess Bischoff will be there, so that's surely worth the price of admission alone.

    Last week's show has been getting all kinds of love on the internet. It was probably the best show they've put on, but a lot of the comments I've read have been laying it on thick. I mean the "these MATCHES are AWESOME they'd KILL the WWE head TO head every OTHER words IS in CAPS" type comments, that based on his similar match commentary makes me think that maybe Don West is sending in feedback with the old Paul Heyman hotmail trick.

    The one thing that really bugs me about TNA is that there's hasn't been much attempt to introduce a lot of the characters. Like the Sinister Minister... he pops up in ECW and now TNA cutting his evil promos, but who is this guy? How about some background? Why is he the way he is? You'd think there's an interesting story behind a guy who looks like a devil and runs his own church. And he's got dudes that follow him around who have no story either. AJ Styles is another case. You'll have to pardon me for not ordering tapes of NWA Wildside, but I don't know him. I don't know if he has a character of any sort. He seems to just be this guy who is good in X Division matches.

    And perhaps because of this lack of connection to the characters, the announcers try to make up for it by really overselling the guy on commentary so that we'll get behind him. Like this past week with Styles, during the opening tag match... there was a series of near falls on AJ that weren't preceded by any moves that one would expect to end the match, but the announcers sold it like AJ was Superman.

    ::backbreaker:: ::kickout::

    Tenay: ANOTHER KICKOUT!!! This is truly unbelievable!

    West: WHAT can you DO to PUT him AWAY?!?!?

    ::kneedrop:: ::kickout::


    Maybe it wasn't that bad, but you see what I mean. And if they aren't doing it to hype a wrestler, they'll do it to hype the quality of a match... like when Don West declares an X Division thing the greatest sight ever seen by his eyes only about 5 minutes into it. It annoys me. If I'm going to be impressed it'll be by the action, not by the broadcasters shouting about things.

    Thank you for listening. Speaking of TNA there's an interview with Vince Russo at 1wrestling that you can read if you'd like to read an interview with Vince Russo.

    There's no newz like Torch newz. VIP, let's kick it.

  • Lots of heat is falling on the shoulders of Brian Gewirtz. Likely in response to poor ratings the week before, Brian pushed for Kevin Nash to return to the ring earlier than planned. Nash didn't know he was scheduled to wrestle until arriving at the arena on Monday afternoon and complained about being put in the match, saying that he hadn't wrestled in months and was being thrown onto TV with short notice and no warm-up matches. He didn't even have his ring gear with him and had to send a friend to his condo to get the ring gear sent out on the next flight.

    He ended up wrestling without his usual knee brace. If he'd had several days warning about the match it doesn't necessarily mean he would have been doing days of deep therapeutic stretching to prepare, but it might have made a difference. He ended up tearing his quad "on live TV in a way that made Nash look anything like the tough guy bad ass that he is portrayed as". Gewirtz was said to be quiet backstage after the injury. Vince looked shaken.

    With Nash gone the nWo is weakened again, leaving Big Show and X-Pac as the only active members. With Austin gone, Taker not drawing, and Nash injured, pressure might grow on HBK to get back in the ring. I sure hope he's not injured in his first match back.

  • Stacy Keibler has heat with management and wrestlers alike. Sources think JR was alluding to this in the last Ross Report with his comments about whether being a WWE diva is a blessing or a curse. Stacy has gotten heat for not showing up to buildings on time, plus skipping the workout sessions with Fit Finlay that the females take part in while on the road. Sources say Stacy constantly comes up with excuses for missing the workouts, usually blaming it on her busy schedule of radio appearances and photo shoots, but people aren't buying into it. One wrestler supported Stacy, though. "Stacy is a sweet girl. She's not here to wrestle. Not to be sexist, but she's here to look good. Why does every female have to prove they can take bumps? How does having skinned up knees and bruises help her gimmick?"

  • Vince had a meeting with Dusty Rhodes. It may have been to talk about a booking job, which would be another sign of Vince's lack of confidence in current writers. There's no word on how things went or what, if anything, Dusty would do if he were hired. Hopefully comedy skits with Goldust or a feud with Bubba Ray.

  • Sources say Stephanie has showed signs of frustration recently. She has been short-tempered when it comes to non-writers questioning the direction of her staff, and she also has been gaining a rep of not accepting storyline suggestions. Some wrestlers say she makes people feel stupid by being condescending when they offer storyline suggestions that she doesn't like or understand. Her standard response to wrestlers who ask why they aren't being pushed is that they aren't connecting with the live crowds.

  • The writers continue to tell wrestlers that Vince only wants to hear about storyline ideas for the top wrestlers and is not paying much attention to the mid-card.

  • There is talk of having Jeff Hardy record an album for Smackdown Records, oh dear lord no. Jeff is a singer, song writer, and guitarist and he plays a mix of alternative and hard rock.

  • Curt Hennig was interviewed on a Chicago public access show and claimed that he wasn't fired by WWE, but was instead suspended for 120 days. He added that he's still on good terms with Brock, which Brock has confirmed during recent interviews, and that he'd love to manage Brock if Paul Heyman gave up his on-air role.

  • As I think the Torch said guys were predicting even before she was called up, development chick Kim Neilson earned a ton of heat during her short stay on the active roster. She ruffled some major feathers by eating dinner with a group of wrestlers, including Faarooq, and walking out on the check. Faarooq started referring to her as "Sunny" and "Sable" backstage. There are even rumblings that Kim was taken to Wrestler Court. She has not been at any of the development groups since her brief run on the roster.

  • It was X-Pac who was originally supposed to lose to Booker and get the "tough love" routine the other week, not Big Show, but Pac said he'd injured his lower back at the house shows and was taken out of the match. JR said it was an inflamed sciatic nerve and X-Pac had the weekend off. But since he was supposed to lose, some are accusing X-Pac of faking the injury.

  • Aside from the heat on Gewirtz for booking Nash into the match on Monday with no notice, there's also heat on him for booking a 10 man tag with wrestlers who'd already wrestled earlier in the show. That led to the guys being unable to work out the details of the match, I guess cause they were busy doing other stuff, which especially during the end led to them being unaware of where they were supposed to be. "Gewirtz has no respect for the art of putting a match together, and the time and planning involved," one wrestler said. "You just can't throw 10 guys in a ring on national TV after some have already wrestled once and expect it to look good".

  • Tazz is moving to commentary full-time and is all but retired from being an active wrestler. JR said DDP was approached about doing commentary, but he said he was still adjusting to retired life.

  • Colleagues have praised Bradshaw for putting over Chris Nowinski in back to back TV matches, but more than one person feels he's hurting his career by doing so.

  • The July 6th Confidential was a repeat due to the production staff having a long holiday weekend.

  • Vince Russo was backstage at last week's TNA show and now he's been hired. Disco Inferno was there with him and the two spent most the show sitting in the gorilla position next to Jerry and other TNA officials. They were said to be quiet and respectful and Russo managed to avoid talking with anyone he has heat with. There were wrestlers who were upset he was there, mainly those who have had problems with him before. Russo is expected to work closely with Jerry in the same way he worked with Vince during his successful WWF run.

  • As of July 5th TNA had decided to hold off on women's matches for the next few weeks.

  • Dutch Mantell and Bob Armstrong are working as the primary TNA agents.

  • Joel Gertner got even more heat with management at the second event. He was upset that they didn't have him scheduled to do a promo that included his vaunted "well, well, well..." catchphrase. Eventually it was decided that he and the Rainbow Express would do a pre-taped promo. Sources say Joel drove several people crazy backstage by searching frantically for a belt because he forgot to bring one with him. Jeremy Borash wrote about Gertner on the TNA site, saying management feels Joel has been "overanxious" about promoting his character.

  • Borash also wrote on the TNA site that Low Ki, AJ, K-Krush, Malice, Jerry Lynn, and Puppet have been signed to new deals. Sources say at least one of them was signed to a 26 week deal, which is a good sign that the Jarretts expect the promotion to be around for a while.

  • The company is claiming to have drawn a $20,000 gate at the first event in Huntsville, attributing the number to the walk-up crowd.

  • It's been a rough month for Disco. Not only did his dreams of a WWE job never emerge after the Russo situation fell apart, he was supposed to work as the primary agent on the WWA tour that was cancelled. Jeremy Borash was still booking most of the talent, but he was not planning to attend the tour and Disco was going to assume most of his backstage duties.

  • Wrestlers and management are still praising Scott Hall. Hall made it known that he's not accepting indy dates, but he's planning to work a few dates in Puerto Rico soon because he likes working there. Hall was ribbing Brian Christopher backstage after Brian told friends that he was winded after the main event tag match. Hall responded by saying he's 43 and several years older that Brian... and I guess that he wasn't winded despite this? They don't say.

  • There was talk that Sonny Siaki wouldn't be brought back as part of the Flying Elvises group due to his in-ring behavior on the first show. Some in management felt that Sonny was trying to make it known that he didn't care for his gimmick by pulling the top part of the costume down and not participating in the Elvis style dancing. But he was scheduled to appear (and did) on the July 10th show, but perhaps only because Jimmy Yang was on tour of Japan making him unable to appear.

  • TNA is trading plugs with smaller NWA affiliates in an attempt to spread the word about themselves. There's some talk of trading plugs with non-NWA indy groups that have their own TV shows.

  • Francine was visibly upset backstage after her match with Taylor Vaughn. She told friends she was down on her performance and was worried that it was so bad she wouldn't be invited back.

  • Buff has told people that he's surprised as anyone that TNA has portrayed him as a babyface since he feels that fans genuinely dislike him. This is a change from his feelings at the XWF tapings, where he asked to be pushed as a babyface.

  • Jasmine St. Clair was recently signed to a deal. She's still boning the Meanie.

  • Sources say Bob Ryder has a lot of power when it comes to talent signings. He's said to be responsible for bringing in both Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper, who he was friends with in WCW.

  • Slash aka Wolfie D was backstage at last week's show, but wasn't used even though he volunteered to appear at ringside for free during Malice's match. There's no heat on Slash but management wanted Malice to get as much spotlight as possible.

  • The Briscoe Brothers, who were to appear (and did) on the July 10th show, have been making a name for themselves on Ring of Honor shows.

  • Backstage interviewer chick Goldylocks was born Moon Shadow in Minneapolis. Her website ( says she's a singer/songwriter and that she's finishing her latest album. Her latest single "Pie Hole" is available for download, but has not yet made the Feely Top Forty.

  • Jerry wrote a column at the TNA site where he teased NWA President Jim Miller. In writing a list of suspects for who attacked Miller at the PPV, Jerry listed Bill Behrens, Jeff Jarrett, Francine ("because it is known that she hates fat"), the TNA Girls, the Rainbow Express, and himself as the top suspects. "While I'm at the bottom of the suspect list, I realize that I have been known to suffer 'temporary insanity' when someone blows lines and sweats profusely. I have admited during my deposition that I exploded backstage while Jim was droning on and on during the opening statement".

  • Wrestlers who worked a recent New Jersey show organized by Road Warrior Animal were given bad checks by the promoter. Although Animal booked the show, which was taped with the plans of attempting to air it on PPV, he was not a financial backer and was also given a bad check.

  • Shane Douglas told friends at the June 15th MLW show in Philly that he is considering retirement.
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