Hi! How about we check the news?
It's not every week that I see Raw before writing this update, but on most
weeks that I do see it Raw is usually a grand program. And that was
certainly the case this week, as I thought it was quite good, I did. I'm
looking forward to SummerSlam more than I've looked forward to any show in
The Raw main event was just tremendous. The crowd heat was top of the line,
which helped Washington crowds out of my personal list of "crowds I hate
because they suck" after last year's debacle in Tacoma. I'm concerned about
SummerSlam in Nassau, though. But anyway, the finish to the match I didn't
see coming at all, though it was sure a nice way to continue building for
the PPV. You just know people will impress us with their "knowledge" of the
"business" by saying things like "sure Taker does the job on TV so he won't
have to at the PPV", but I counter that by showing MY knowledge and saying
that the Undertaker rules and I hope he kicks Test's ass.
Something in the main event, or perhaps a combination of factors like the
crowd heat and Rock and Triple H wanting to go and the strong action and the
different angles combined into one match, had me fondly reminiscing back to
the glory days of 2000 when all was right with the world. Rock/HHH next
week will hopefully be a rocket buster, as they say.
How about Jericho and his skinny white legs! How about Stacy's butt! How
about Mini Dust! That move where they shook him like they were cleaning a
carpet was BRUTAL. Ouch! How about Matt Hardy turning heel again! At
least the crowd really booed him, which I don't remember ever happening the
last time they tried it. Good luck to you, Matt.
SummerSlam is just two weeks away! Here's the card as we know it
Boy, that last one kinda sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn't it? Not only
has the building of the show been strong, most of those matches seemingly
have the potential to rule. What a delightful combination!
- The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar - Undisputed title match
- Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H - "fight"
- Chris Benoit vs. Rob Van Dam - I/C title match
- Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair
- Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio - (rumored)
- Storm/Christian vs. Booker/Goldust - Tag team title match
- Undertaker vs. Test
These tidbits are brought to you by the famed Wrestling Observer!
- William Welch, who wrestles as Messiah, had his thumb cut off with garden
shears when he was assaulted at his home. The police thought it might have
something to do with the wacky world of wrestling, with the "things that
make you go hmm" story being that Messiah left XPW months back amidst rumors
that he'd been doing Rob Black's wife. Black's wife Lizzy Borden is a porn
star, and I really don't know how it works where you'd be jealous over her
doing 1 guy but doing 5 at a time is okay as long as there's a camera on,
but maybe that's why I'm not married to a porn star. Anyway, his attackers
also tried cutting off his other thumb AND his weenus! Zoinks!
- Bret Hart was released from the hospital and has made impressive progress.
He's doing 5 days of physical therapy a week.
- Don West's announcing situation in TNA is "tenuous". Former WCW names
have been tossed around, including Mark Madden, but Jerry Jarrett doesn't
like Mark's look. I don't think Mark is all that sexy either, but is he
really any worse than Ed Ferrara with those freakin' dreadlocks?
- Ron Killings aka The Truth aka K-Krush aka K-Kwik did a radio interview
saying he'd never work for WWE again. Sure he won't.
- Lesnar destroying Hulk was a way to get rid of Hogan for a while. He
asked for time off due to problems with his knees and back getting worse.
It's not clear when he'll be back, be it a few weeks or a few months. Hogan
asked to be taken off of the show in Australia over the weekend due to the
pain he'd be in during the long flight and the fact that it was his birthday
- While reviewing Raw and the attack on Lilian Garcia, Dave snuck in the
line "nice knowing you" as if to imply that she won't be back. A little
birdy told me that there are literally thousands of slash readers losing
sleep over this story, wondering if Lilian will be back or not, so I thought
I'd mention it. He didn't actually state that she was gone, though, and I
think a lot of times there's instances where Dave might just be guessing or
even making a joke... but unless he actually clarifies his comment as such,
people will assume that he's serious. She was mentioned on Raw and the evil
Howard thing continued, so if I had to guess I'd guess that she's not
Speaking of Lillian, I was reading the Torch recap of Raw and they told a
story of this time Lillian said she didn't think Trish should have to
wrestle, and Triple H told her to shut up. I would bet you dollars to
donuts that when the Torch originally printed that story, they said it was
Shane McMahon who said that. Can't they even keep their own stories
straight, the wacky bastards.
- Jeff Hardy did an interview where he said he was taken off house shows in
order to finish his band's first album. He and Shannon Moore have a band
called Peroxwhygen that will surely
give Neurotica's smashing sales record a run for it's money.
I don't think I mentioned this last week, as for the most part columns that
run in the Torch newsletter make me want to hang myself, but Jason Powell
talked about the Hardys and how Jeff is suffering from "major out of ring
issues" that have resulted in him losing weight, his skin getting pale, and
so on. The implications aren't nice but, of course, it was never
specifically said what his "issues" are.
I got a lot of comments last week... "Seadawg, why did you cover the TNA
lawsuit without giving the other side of the story? Have you secretly been
hired by TNA to spin the news?" Well, I did get a virus e-mail from
JBorash@aol.com yesterday, but other than that I don't think I have any
connection to TNA. I was just waiting for Wade to cover the story with the
unbiased insider coverage that only he can provide. Ha. Haha. Hahaha.
Really, though, he has been on top of the lawsuit story, which could turn
out to be a major situation if WWE played any part in it. Or it could be a
big waste of all our time.
CLOSING OF THE
- J Sports & Entertainment filed suit against Jay Hassman and his assistant
Len Sabal. They're suing for $50,000 in fees that they paid to Hassman,
plus additional expenses, plus compensatory damages as deemed by the court.
There is no theory provided as to why Hassman would do the things he
The suit gave details about the Jarretts' deal with In Demand, such as... if
there aren't at least 13 episodes of TNA, the Jarretts lose rights to all
revenues from all the events. If they aren't able to produce 52 weeks of
shows, they would incur a 13 week revenue penalty. Hassman's actions,
sayeth the lawsuit, set up the Jarretts to quickly run out of money.
The suit also goes into marketing stuff, saying that Hassman met with In
Demand without the knowledge of the Jarretts and told them that he'd be
responsible for marketing the shows. He "thereby purported to relieve In
Demand of its marketing obligations". The Jarretts didn't know this, they
thought In Demand was still handling the marketing.
It also talks about the WWE connection. Hassman apparently told In Demand
that he wouldn't be involved with TNA any longer because of a conflict of
interest, his working for Team Sports which markets WWE stuff, and that Len
Sabal would take over the handling of TNA. The Jarretts say they didn't
know about Hassman's WWE conflict, and they would have been against Sabal
taking over because they think he's incompetent. Sabal attended the first
TNA show and was told not to come back.
Len Sabal issued a statement about the case, which you can read at the
Torch's site. His statement suggests that the Jarretts backed themselves
into a corner by failing to produce two lines of credit that were promised
to In Demand, $1 million for the first two shows and $5 million for the next
6-8 months until PPV revenue started coming in. Because of this the
Jarretts are in breach of their agreement with In Demand in numerous
instances, and are "trying to deflect all attention away from their failures
and impending door-closing to whomever they can manage to weave into their
Jay Hassman hasn't made any public statements, nor has In Demand. Neither
has WWE but their connection seems limited to their association with the
company Hassman worked for. It looks like the Jarretts have no choice but
to keep on running events, or else lose all revenue the events have
generated (because they haven't done 13 shows yet) while hoping that the
lawsuit ends up in their favor.
- In a column he wrote for the newsletter, Wade examined the different
theories about this case, broken down by suspects. It doesn't seem that Jay
Hassman would have stood to gain anything by sabotaging TNA, and there
aren't any indications that he has a personal grudge with anyone in the
company, so he would have had to be acting on behalf of someone. BUT
THE WWE THEORY: Would Vince and Linda really
risk being connected with this just to assure that the Jarretts wouldn't
become successful? It's nice to be the only game in town when it comes time
to sign contracts, but deep down they gotta know competition is a good
THE IN DEMAND THEORY: If they didn't believe
in the TNA project, they stand to benefit the most from the company dying
early, as they'd get every penny of the PPV buys as per the "if they die
before 13 shows" thing in the contract. Rather than invest all the effort
into marketing this if they didn't think it would succeed, In Demand could
have schemed with Hassman to help the Jarretts run out of money. If it
turns out that In Demand was involved, or if the Jarretts think that's the
case, to indicate it would basically force TNA to shut down since In Demand
would have no reason to help them if they were being accused of
But this theory isn't that strong because In Demand would stand to make a
lot more if TNA was successful than they would through this scenario. Plus,
if TNA did well, In Demand would have much needed leverage with WWE, which
currently makes up 70% of In Demand's revenues.
THE SUPER THEORY: That last part leads to
the theory that WWE and In Demand and Hassman are all in it together, with
In Demand having no choice but to bow to WWE's wishes. Since In Demand
relies on WWE for survival it could be that, even without WWE's knowledge,
In Demand is behind this in order to protect WWE interests.
THE ANTI-THEORY: All the conspiracy stuff
could be fiction created by the Jarretts to try saving face and getting a
settlement to cover their losses. Perhaps the Jarretts got Hassman to help
with this and have now turned him into the fall guy.
Or it could be none of the above. But the story sure won't be encouraging
for others who are thinking about starting a wrestling company.
- Ric Flair is thinking of running for Governor of North Carolina again.
One wrestler commented "There isn't a better politician in wrestling than
Flair, and wrestling is full of politicians. He's not very genuine. His
whole career he has a pattern of telling one person one thing to make them
happy and telling another the opposite to make them happy, so he'd be
perfect for politics".
- There's talk of Matt Hardy jumping to Smackdown.
- Shawn was at Raw last week, he wasn't home in San Antonio. The "via
satellite" interview was done from backstage.
- Lita is now able to take off the hard collar she's been wearing since her
surgery. She still has to wear it to bed or when she does anything
- Flash Flannigan told TNA reps that his WWE no-compete clause is only 30
days, while everyone else got 90 days. While at a TNA show Mike Sanders
told wrestlers that he believes Paul Heyman was the major force behind him
losing his WWE deal. Sanders thinks he was caught in the middle of a feud
with Heyman and Nash, and that Heyman was down on him as an announcer
because Heyman was announcing when Sanders first auditioned for that
- Victoria is being heavily praised by co-workers for her work ethic. "I've
never seen a woman work as hard as she does," said someone who probably
wants to bang her.
- Linda Miles was at Raw on Monday. Jackie Gayda has been in Louisville
looking for an apartment for her and Linda to share. They're both expected
to be sent to OWV for an "extended development run".
- Booker T is still gettin' it on with Sharmell, even though she was cut.
Some people apparently felt Terri should be cut instead, but she was kept
due to her seniority.
- The two top mainstream names in TNA might not be around for a variety of
reasons. Scott Hall's 4 show contract expired after the last show. He's
interested in returning and probably will be brought back if management can
fit him into the budget, but a new deal hasn't been reached yet. TNA
wrestlers continue to rave about Hall's behavior backstage. They say he's
been sober for every appearance and that he'd been submitting general ideas
for improvement to management.
Meanwhile, there's talk that some in TNA want to approach Ken Shamrock with
a buyout offer. Jerry Jarrett has told confidants that he's disappointed
with the lack of charisma Shamrock has shown. Ken is believed to be one of
the highest paid wrestlers in the company, and he's flown in every week from
San Diego, so cost cutting may also be why they want to be rid of
- Jeremy Borash has locker room heat after some comments he made on a radio
show. He was asked about the indy manager in Florida who's been outspoken
about how the Shane Twins have been poorly used as the Johnsons (tOA readers will know him as Ron Niemi. - CRZ) Borash
went off on a rant about how it shouldn't matter if they're getting paid,
and how he moved to Atlanta for free to work for WCW after years of getting
$20 to do ring announcing. Some wrestlers took this as Borash putting
himself over for "paying his dues" in wrestling, which guys would take as a
joke especially compared to guys who work indies like he was comparing
himself to. At least one wrestler was bragging that he planned to confront
Borash about his comments in front of others at the August 7th show.
One TNA official defended Borash by saying it's unfair if he has heat
because the guys don't know how hard Jeremy works hard and that he's very
easy to deal with.
- The wrestlers are staring to share payoff information with each other,
which is leading to bad feelings. Guys are under the impression that AJ
Styles is getting $800 per appearance. Low Ki is getting $600. But other
guys, even those who've worked top matches, are said to be making $500.
Some wrestlers chalk the complaints up to "petty jealousy", but AJ being the
first guy to have a TNA shirt made for him probably didn't help matters. A
number of the wrestlers think the Jarretts are investing too much in
- The latest plan for the Styles/Lynn feud is for Styles to be the heel,
which has some wrestlers asking even more questions about why they'd choose
to market an AJ Styles t-shirt first.
- Word backstage was that the July 31st crowd was smaller than the July 24th
crowd. If even the fans in Nashville aren't coming back, it's not a good
sign for PPV buys. It might not have helped that the July 24th show lacked
a monitor for the crowd to see the many backstage segments. One official
estimated the crowd size at the last two events at between 500 and 700 paid,
but said some of the fans took advantage of a "buy one get one free" deal
that was advertised. Ringside tickets sell for $15, while general seating
- After the first show at the Nashville Coliseum they switched the entrance
ramp to another side of the building and had the ringside camera guys stand
on stools to improve the look of the show. Jerry was heard telling the crew
that the building had to look a lot better than the previous week. "If we
have another show like last week's, we're done" someone claims to have heard
- Road Dogg has about 45 days left on his house arrest. There's still plans
to use him once he's available.
- New Jack contacted one of the Harris twins about the possibility of
working for TNA. He was told that they aren't doing the hardcore style at
this time, but to be patient.
- A source says TNA is not aggressively going after a syndication deal, but
they are open to working with anyone who's interested in their
- A TNA source thinks Buff Bagwell will be brought back at some point, if
only because he still has a number of dates on his 12 show deal. The source
said the Jarretts are just giving Buff some time to think about the way he
acted during his last appearance.
- Mortimer Plumtree is very well liked by the office, but hasn't been
brought back due to budget cuts. He was helping out with a number of
production chores backstage and will return if and when the budget permits.
Simon Diamond is another budget casualty, even though he offered to save the
company money by flying to Georgia and driving to Nashville.
- One TNA official says Ricky Steamboat is worth every dime he's being paid
just because of what he brings to the locker room.
- There's no talk of bringing in Air Paris, who teamed with AJ Styles during
their brief WCW run. Even friends say Paris has become "very lazy" and
isn't in shape to wrestle an X Division type match.
- A key source says that Jasmin St. Claire was asked to briefly show her
breast a few weeks ago, but she rejected the idea.
- The official line is that Jerry is the booker and Russo is the writer,
meaning Jerry tells Russo the matches, the finishes, and stresses the major
points. Then Russo fills in the rest.
I'm returning to school shortly, so in all likelihood there won't be any
Tuesday updates for the next few weeks as I get all settled in. At least
not from me... but I am in negotiations with several restaurant quality
pinch hitters. I can't promise anything though, but if someone is there be
sure to check 'em out. I'll be back soon.
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