December 2, 2016
It was 1925, and pro wrestling was big business. A throng of fans had packed themselves into a Kansas City convention hall, expecting to see champion Ed “Strangler” Lewis easily defeat Wayne “Big” Munn, a noted former NCAA football player. Munn was a newcomer to the wrestling world, and this was his first true test. Surely, fans thought, he would wipe the floor with the novice.
What the fans got instead was an outcome so unthinkable it created a buzz that shot around the arena. The air was electric. After less than 40 minutes, Munn had defeated the great champion, throwing him across the ring and out of it. It was a loss unlike Lewis had ever faced.
The crowd left that night in amazement, with an incredible story to tell: the night Wayne Munn beat Ed Lewis.
But there was a small problem.
“Wayne Munn couldn’t beat Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis to save his life,” says Kyle Klingman, director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. “There’s just no way he could beat him.”
Enjoying This Story?
Everyone knows pro wrestling today is “a work.” A planned event. A show, no different than a television episode or film.
But it wasn’t always this way. Pro wrestling started in the world of legitimate sport, in the same way boxing did. Legitimate wrestling bouts sold out arenas across the country. In 1911, when Frank Gotch wrestled George Hackenschmidt at the newly-opened Comiskey Park, it was in front of 30,000 people, one of the biggest crowds in sports history at the time.
But professional wrestling began to change in a way unlike anything ever seen in sports history. While boxing had known to be fixed from time to time, and the “Black Sox Scandal” had briefly tarnished Major League Baseball, no legitimate sport had ever made the full transition into what the WWE now calls “sports entertainment”—fully scripted, predetermined matchups, with chosen champions.
That change didn’t happen overnight. But wrestling historians look to one match, which completely altered pro wrestling’s history: Lewis vs. Munn, Kansas City, Miss., Jan. 8, 1925...More?
As noted, Linda McMahon, who donated millions for President-elect Donald Trump's campaign this year, met with Trump in Manhattan this week.
"The meeting went great," she told reporters, via The Hartford Courant. "Anytime the president-elect of the United States asks you to come in for a conversation, you're happy to do that. We talked about business and entrepreneurs and creating jobs, we had a really good conversation."
Politico reports that she is a top choice to head his Small Business Administration. She was previously considered for Secretary of Commerce, however that position was filled on Wednesday by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.
According to The Morning Call, there was no ruling today in the Jimmy Snuka competency hearing which took place in Lehigh, PA. The hearing was to determine whether or not Snuka is mentally competent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his then-girlfriend Nancy Argentino.
The Morning Call added that Snuka was too sick to travel today and was not present at the hearing. Furthermore, it was noted that Snuka is now in hospice, and only has 6 months to live. Snuka did testify today via FaceTime and couldn’t remember the judge’s name. Snuka’s wife testified and said that he was suffering from psychosis and will often try to escape their home because he thinks he’s supposed to be at a WWE match.
WWE Reportedly Offering “Mark Deals” to Indy Talents to Keep Them Off UK TV, News on Possible Big Competition for WWE in the UK
According to The Wrestling Observer, ITV recently taped a pilot for the World of Sport revival, which is set to air at the end of the month. ITV is the #2 network in The UK, and WWE could end up being in a situation in which it’s no longer the #1 promotion in The UK, as Raw draws about 150,000 viewers on Sky Sports, whereas ITV could be seen by millions of people. When it comes to live attendance, however, WWE would still be the #1 promotion in The UK.
The World of Sport Revival special, which was taped back in November, will air later this month and feature commentary by WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross. A series has yet to be picked up, but it’s strongly being considered, with one idea being to hold a large taping in a few months in which about 10 episodes of TV is shot all at once.
In related news, WWE has been very aggressive as of late in offering UK talents new deals, and speculation is that the deals being offered are simply an attempt to keep the talents off potential competitor’s TV programs. Furthermore, it appears as if WWE vs ITV is already a battle brewing behind-the-scenes, as ITV recently sent talents amendments to their contracts stipulating talents cannot appear on other major TV shows while under contract to ITV.
As it pertains to the talent deals being offered by WWE, the contracts are said not to be for the main roster or even for NXT or the Performance Center, and are being labeled “competition-killer” deals. The contracts are said to be low-dollar guaranteed deals, which would allow key UK talents to work the independent scene, but WWE would have the right to approve any and all bookings the talents take. The appeal here for the talents is that the deals would give them a financial cushion from WWE, as well as the value of being associated with a big promotion. The appeal for WWE is the company would then be able to lock the talents into deals preventing them from working for ITV.
The new deals were reportedly a hot topic at the last ICW show in Glasgow, and some talents there were urging other talents not to sign the deals, calling them “mark deals”, with the idea being WWE doesn’t actually want the talents, they just don’t want them working anywhere else.
There’s also speculation on WWE possibly doing some kind of TV show with these new UK talents for that market only. The idea is that just being associated with WWE will be a big boost to the local marketability of each talent signed.
WWE star John Cena will be hosting Saturday Night Live next Saturday, December 10th. Cena becomes the third pro wrestler to host SNL, following Hulk Hogan, The Rock and
Cena commented on the gig with the following Tweet:
"So incredibly honored & excited to host @nbcsnl on Dec. 10th. Can't wait to be live from NYC on a Saturday night!!"
December 1, 2016
Former TNA President and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan spoke with PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson following his recent settlement with TNA and Anthem Media & Entertainment. While Corgan is happy with the deal and believes Anthem is in the best position to take over TNA, he has not waived his right to pursue legal action against certain individuals involved in the matter. Corgan called being portrayed as a 'predatory lender' by TNA's legal team "laughable". Also, Corgan discussed being lied to about negotiations with WWE, and whether Dixie Carter is dumb.
Although Corgan said he is "very happy" with the settlement and he admitted that he feels Anthem is the best to take over TNA, he is not releasing all claims against "certain people".
"In making this deal with Anthem, and I'm very happy with the deal, and I do sincerely wish them the best. I think they are the best people that have taken over the company, given the circumstances as they've played out and from what I know now. With that said, in the deal that I made to make this finally resolve and as [Johnson] said in the beginning of this and I've seen other headlines, I did not release all claims involved in this matter. And I specifically put in the paperwork that there were certain people I was in business with within the company that I still have the ability to go after directly."
The former Evan Bourne (Matt Sydal) is expected to be released from prison in Japan on December 6th. He's been incarcerated since late September for possession of liquid cannabis after customs found the substance in a hidden pipe. Sydal was convicted on drug charges in mid-October and sentenced to prison but it appears he's coming home early.
November 30, 2016
Former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney joined fighters Georges St-Pierre, Donald Cerrone, Cain Velasquez, TJ Dillashaw and Tim Kennedy on a conference call with media earlier today to announce the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association. Rebney said he is working with the group as an advisor, providing strategy and support. The five fighters on the call make up the board of the association.
The group laid out plans to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with UFC and to establish a 50/50 revenue split between UFC and the fighters. It was claimed on the call that UFC fighters receive just 8% of company revenue. Rebney clarified that this new group is an association and not a union because UFC fighters are independent contractors and unionization would slow their process down.
The group is focused on just the UFC but Rebney said they have not reached out to the UFC yet and don't plan on doing so any time soon. He said:
"There's no reason (for us) to (reach out). Our structure and what we're doing, and our plan of attack, does not include us reaching out to the UFC. It includes the implementation of strategies that are designed, and have been designed over the last two years, to achieve a very specific set of goals. And those strategies, I think, will be very effective in achieving those goals. And at some point, I'm quite comfortable our phone will ring."
Kennedy was the first to speak on the call and talked about how they're concerned about fighters of yesterday and tomorrow, pointing to how fighters of the past have been forgotten and discarded. Cerrone said the group was something that needed to be done and while he still has a UFC contract, he's scared to death. Cerrone confirmed he will still be fighting for UFC next weekend. Regarding possibly recruiting Conor McGregor into the association, GSP said they are looking to get as many big names as possible. GSP said, "He [Conor] knows what's right. He's not a coward. Everyone knows what we're doing is right."
A UFC official issued a response to the new association, seen below from MMAFighting.com:
"We respect all of our athletes and are always open and willing to hear their thoughts on how to improve the sport."
The same official added that the company will not have further comments at this time because they feel not enough details were shared on the two-hour call.
Linda McMahon Comments on How Her Meeting Went with Donald Trump, If She Has Been Offered a Position
As noted, Linda McMahon met with Donald Trump at his New York City Trump Towers office today, and following the meeting McMahon issued the following comment to The Hartford Courant:
“The meeting went great. Anytime the president-elect of the United States asks you to come in for a conversation, you’re happy to do that. We talked about business and entrepreneurs and creating jobs, we had a really good conversation.”
When asked if she had been offered a position within the Trump administration, McMahon said “stay tuned.”
WWE Trenton Live Event Results (10/31): Styles vs Ambrose, Wyatts Help Orton Again, Ziggler vs The Miz, WWE Trenton Live Event Results 10/31/16 Trenton, New Jersey Results courtesy of PWInsider.com *WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler pinned The Miz. *Jack Swagger pinned Tyler Breeze. *Apollo more
McMahon had previously been considered for Secretary of Commerce of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, however that position was filled today by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.
PWHF issued the following press release on their 16th annual induction.
2017 PWHF INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED
May 19th & May 20th the eyes of the Wrestling World will be on Wichita Falls once again!
Wichita Falls, TX, November 27, 2016 – 10 amazing individuals involved in the business of Professional Wrestling will be inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum (PWHF) the 3rd weekend of May 2017. The PWHF is the only brick and mortar Hall of Fame & Museum that preserves the history of all of wrestling, honoring every aspect of the business – the good, the bad and the ugly.
The only Hall of Fame where the Inductees are voted in by a committee of their peers. Voters include living past Hall of Fame Inductees plus 20 other historians and wrestling legends. We are proud to say that this is the first year many of the Hall of Fame inductees returned their ballots to vote, the most ballots ever returned to be counted.
There are 7 categories with 10 people inducted each year, the results for the 2017 PWHF Inductees are:
Pioneer Division (1865-1942)
Yvon Robert (10/8/1914-7/12/1971)
Dirty Dick Raines (2/17/1911-10/18/1979)
Television Era (1943-1984)
Luther Lindsay (12/30/1924-2/21/1972)
Sputnik Monroe (12/18/1928-11/3/2006)
Tag Team Division
Larry Hennig & Harley Race
Modern Era (1985-present)
Tatsumi Fujinami (Japan)
Colleague Division (managers, promoters, photographers, referees, valets)
George Napolitano (photographer)
November 24, 2016
If Paul “Triple H” Levesque were a baseball general manager, he would be named Executive of the Year.
Within the last year, he has seen 16 performers elevated from NXT to the big leagues — the main WWE roster — almost all either after Wrestlemania in April or through the brand split draft in July.
And like in baseball, when talent moves up, the developmental ranks need to rebuild.
“It’s on us and imperative to keep building new stars — that’s the point of the thing, that’s what keeps it fresh,” said Levesque, WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative and the architect of NXT. “If you don’t put your finger on the pulse of what’s going on and adjust accordingly, you’re doomed. We have to be growing, evolving and changing and keep track of what’s happening out there now and what the appetite is.”
Less than two weeks after his historic victory at UFC 205, when he became the first fighter to hold titles in multiple weight classes simultaneously, talk of what's next for Conor McGregor has continued to dominate headlines.
McGregor announced he will take some time off after a hectic 2016 for the birth of his first child, and he isn't expected back in the Octagon until at least May, per UFC president Dana White. At the same time, talks about a superfight in boxing with retired champion Floyd Mayweather just won't seem to go away.
But what about a third option -- the idea of McGregor entering the scripted world of pro wrestling during his upcoming hiatus from mixed martial arts, which coincides conveniently with WWE's WrestleMania 33 card on April 2 in Orlando, Florida?
According to his agent, Audie Attar, who appeared Tuesday on ESPN's 5ive Rounds podcast, it's something McGregor is willing to entertain -- as long as the money is right.
"I think it's all about business, man," Attar said. "If [WWE] is going to come with an offer, we are willing to entertain it. We are here. Have their people call his people -- which is me. We can have a conversation."
The topic of a McGregor crossover into sports entertainment picked up steam when executive and 14-time WWE world champion Paul "Triple H" Levesque was in attendance at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Levesque gave an interview with a British newspaper in which he said McGregor would be a perfect fit for WWE.
"He could come over, he's got it all, man," Levesque told the Daily Telegraph. "He's got the personality, the skills, the talk. He's an entertainer, for sure."
WWN Live issued the following update today, announcing a new WWN Championship that will be defended across all of the WWN promotions:
The World Wrestling Network (WWN) will crown the first ever WWN Champion in Orlando, FL on April 1st at the WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising 2017. Go to www.MoreThanMania.com for more event info. The WWN Supershow will be broadcast at www.FloSlam.tv live.
The WWN Family is a variety of promotions, each with its own championships. Now that all the WWN promotions are broadcast live on FloSlam, WWN officials have decided to tie everything together with a WWN Champion. The WWN Champion will defend the WWN Title across WWN promotions. The format of the tournament to crown the first WWN Champion will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
The WWN Family includes:
-EVOLVE: The prestige men’s promotion.
-SHINE: The prestige women’s promotion.
-Full Impact Pro: The Wild West promotion.
-Style Battle: A tournament based promotion.
-American Combat Wrestling: The old school, regional promotion
-WWN Supershow: A conglomerate of all the promotions on one special event.
The WWN Champion will stand on top of The WWN Family. Who will represent WWN into the FloSlam era? Stay tuned.
Steve Corino will be finishing up with Ring of Honor in December, and will become a full-time trainer at the WWE Performance Center in January. Corino recently spent time at the WWE Performance Center as a guest trainer.
November 21, 2016
Shane McMahon was legitimately hurt during the Team RAW vs. Team SmackDown match at Survivor Series and was eliminated from the match after taking the spear from WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns.
While Shane was in pain backstage, Dave Meltzer noted on F4Wonline.com that he was telling everyone later in the night that he was feeling fine.
Despite how it appeared, Shane was supposed to be pinned after Reigns blocked the Coast 2 Coast with the spear, according to Meltzer. Both men were said to be shaken up after the spot as they may have bumped heads. The referee noticed Shane was injured and held up the match to check on him. Randy Orton then broke character and went to comfort Shane's family at ringside.
November 20, 2016
Triple H Talks NXT Takeover; Bobby Roode & Mickie James’ Futures, Title Changes, Dusty Rhodes Classic, Goldberg vs Lesnar Potential & More
Following tonight’s WWE NXT Takeover Toronto event, Triple H went live with Cathy Kelley on Facebook to react to the night. Below are some highlights from the live chat.
On Tye Dillinger, Triple H said he thought tonight was going to be Dillinger’s breakout night, but it fell apart. Triple H added after tonight it’s clear Bobby Roode is headed straight for the NXT Title, and Dillinger is left waiting to see what happens next.
On the Dusty Rhodes Classic, Triple H talks about how personal the tournament is to him, and says he doesn’t know if he’s seen a more dominant tag team than The Authors of Pain. He added the last team to be as dominant might have been the other team lead by Paul Ellering, The Road Warriors.
On the NXT Tag Title match, Triple H says on all three WWE rosters, it would be hard to find a more technically sound and together tag team than The Revival. He added the NXT Tag Title win for DIY has been a long time coming, and just like they created their tag team name, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have created their careers on their own.
On Asuka’s title defense tonight, Triple H praises her as one of the most dominant champions NXT has ever had, and she has cleaned out the Women’s Division in NXT. He added, however, that he thinks Mickie James earned Asuka’s respect tonight, and with regards to James’ future in WWE, it’s up to her whether or not we see her in a WWE ring again.
On the main event, Triple H said it was a shock to see Samoa Joe come up with the win as everyone thinks this is the Shinsuke Nakamura era in NXT. Triple H praised the physicality of both men, and added Nakamura kicks harder than anyone he has ever seen. He indicate the rivalry between Joe and Nakamura is not over, and he believes there will be a rematch, and when it does happen, it will be phenomenal.
Triple H ended by hyping Survivor Series tomorrow night, and said the competition between Raw and Smackdown is legitimate. He talked briefly about Goldberg vs Lesnar, and said it will be interesting to see what happens between the two and that paramedics will be standing by in case things get ugly.
November 18, 2016
New WWE Network Show Featuring Ric Flair, Bubba Dudley, Jake Roberts and More to Premiere After WWE Survivor Series
Story Time, a new animated short-form original series on WWE Network, will premiere this Sunday immediately following Survivor Series. Story Time paints an animated picture of some of the most entertaining stories in WWE, as recounted by the Superstars and Legends who lived them. As history is retold with imagination and illustration, these tales that took place behind the scenes and beyond the ring are finally revealed and brought to life.
November 17, 2016
ESPN is reporting that WWE will be rolling out a new business model around its four annual major events – Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.
Beginning with WrestleMania 33 in April of next year, WWE will bring all their shows – NXT, Raw, and Smackdown – in the same city of the particular pay-per-view, with fans able to purchase a complete package of tickets for all the shows.
WWE already did this for SummerSlam in Brooklyn and will be doing the same for the Survivor Series in Toronto. Merging all the shows in the same city and the same arena (apart from WrestleMania) will also bring down the cost as the sets only have to be assembled once, rather than different arenas on different days.
The WrestleMania 33 week will have the Hall of Fame, NXT, Raw, and Smackdown all at the Amway Center. This will be the first time that Smackdown will be held in the same WrestleMania host city.
Stephanie McMahon Named by CableFAX Magazine as One of the Most Powerful Women in Cable for the 7th Time
Stephanie McMahon has been named by CableFAX Magazine as one of the most powerful women in cable for the seventh time. She has been given this honor in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015. An awards luncheon will be held on November 17th at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.