February 26, 2017
Mattel is dedicated to bringing you the most detailed and collectable WWE action figures ever produced, and now the toymaker is empowering you to cast your vote and determine which versions of four exciting Superstars get the toy treatment next.
Third in this series of Mattel WWE fan votes is Triple H, who has dominated in WWE for more than two decades. Will Mattel create a clean-shaven Royal Rumble 2003 version of The Game, complete with red trunks; a WrestleMania XX version of The Cerebral Assassin with white boots; or a WrestleMania XXVI action figure of Triple H from when he battled Sheamus on The Grandest Stage of Them All?
Cast your vote now, by clicking here and check back with WWE.com on Thursday to find out which WWE Hall of Famer action figure you’ll get to vote on in our final poll.
February 25, 2017
Dory Funk Jr. is the guest on Bill Aprt’s latest Is Wrestling Fixed? podcast, which releases tomorrow morning. In a preview, Apter and Funk talk about who would have been a good NWA champion among the current WWE roster.
Apter asks Funk who in WWE Sam Sam Muchnick would have considered “championship material” and answers “Triple H.” He added, “I think one of the better matches that I’ve ever seen is Triple H and Undertaker. The other one who was very instrumental in that match, a WrestleMania match, was Shawn Michaels who refereed it.”
You can listen to the show when it releases tomorrow morning here.
February 23, 2017
During a recent edition of the Steve Austin Show (transcript via wrestlinginc.com), Austin talked about an old photo taken during a WWE European tour, which features many of the wrestlers hanging out at the back of a tour bus…
On The Below Picture: “We [were] on a gig over there in Europe, having a damn good time, and wrestling our ass off, putting asses in the seats. Guys were laying their stuff in and the business was on fire. That’s what it was.” Austin said, “the picture is probably from, it was ’97 or ’98. I’m almost positive. And this was, we were on a tour. We were over in Germany and over in the U.K., either one. I don’t remember which country we were in, but it was on that tour because we would go to Germany for seven days, and then, we’d go to the U.K. for seven days, or vice versa. And this is the back of a tour bus. And, I tell you what, we we’re traveling with two tour buses. Normally, it was heels on one bus, and babies on the other bus.”
On Everyone Drinking But Triple H: “It’s a circular table back there and you see in the picture, damn near everybody has a beer. The beers are all covered up because there are so many arms. Henry Godwinn has got a bottle of Jack [Daniels] and we were passing that thing around.” Austin added, “there are 11 people crowded around this table. Not everybody was in the back of the bus. Not everybody was in on the party thing. There are a lot of guys in all the seats up ahead, so, man, we probably had a crew of guys, man, probably 30 strong. Everybody on the damn back of the bus was drinking, except Triple H. Only every now and then would Triple H would have a drink with the boys because the dude just doesn’t drink and he’s into his body and his physique.”
Ever since Netflix announced their upcoming series based on G.L.O.W., it seems like everyone in television is trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet pro wrestling content. The Rock and Will Ferrell are developing a comedy set in a wrestling promotion, and people like Norman Mailer and Billy Corgan had wrestling-based shows in development at one time or another.
Deadline reports that the cable network Starz is the next into the fray, as they are in active development on an hour-long drama called (for the moment) Heels. Starz is considering a direct eight-episode order of the first season, which has yet to shoot a pilot. The details as of now, such as they are.
Written by Michael Waldron and to be directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (The Stanford Prison Experiment), Heels is the story of two brothers and rivals – one a villain, or “heel,” in the ring; the other a hero, or “face.” Real conflicts play out in fake matches as they war over their late father’s wrestling promotion, vying for national attention in small-town Georgia.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll never get tired of non-wrestling outlets being forced to explain wrestling terminology. It’s basically just one of these:
Anyway, it’s clear that pro wrestling television shows are the new hotness. If any studio honchos are reading this and need ideas and/or staff for a pro wrestling show, the entire With Spandex family is available. You’re welcome.
February 22, 2017
February 20, 2017
Diamond Dallas Page, a world champion-turned-fitness guru, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017 during WrestleMania 33 Week. The news was first reported by RollingStone.com.
February 19, 2017
Jeff Jarrett and new TNA Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm recently spoke to Newsweek.com about taking over the reigns of TNA. Jarrett and Nordholm had the following to say about Dixie's handling of TNA:
Jarrett: "It was a black-eye on the industry. It wasn’t fruitful for anyone—whether you’re a fan of, a wrestler, an employee. It was a really ugly, unfortunate situation. It wasn’t good for the industry."
Nordholm: "The buck has to stop someplace. The reality is the company got into a dire position and she was CEO. There was never any question [she wouldn’t be involved in the day-to-day operations], but not out of any particular animosity. If we’re going to invest...we’re owner-operators, we’re not passive investors. If we’re going to own it, we’re going to own it."
You can read the full article here.
February 15, 2017
Brock Lesnar has notified UFC that his days fighting in the Octagon are now over. Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Championship who is currently signed to a WWE contract, failed multiple drug tests stemming from his UFC 200 showdown with Mark Hunt in Las Vegas last year, which led to a one-year suspension of his fighting license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), as well as a $250,000 fine.
Lesnar, who is 39, returned to UFC in 2016 after five years away, defeated Hunt, but then was hit with two anti-doping violations from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which oversees the UFC's drug testing program.
Lesnar proclaimed his innocence. He tested positive for clomiphene, an estrogen blocker that can remain in the system for about a month after use. His team said it believed the substance in question was part of a foot cream used by Lesnar in the lead-up to the fight, but he was unaware it contained banned substances. If Lesnar wanted to get back into the Octagon, he would have been eligible in July of this year. This retirement announcement freezes the suspension, and he'd have to fulfill it if he still has a desire to fight down the line.
The retirement announcement has no impact on his WWE career. Some have speculated that Lesnar, who has been criticized by some fans for only appearing in a few pay-per-views a a year, might increase his number of appearances on weekly shows like Raw, where it has been noted that "The Beast" is a ratings boost when he does make an appearance.
Lesnar has not commented publicly on his retirement.
February 14, 2017
Former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon has been sworn in to lead the Small Business Administration.
Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath to McMahon Tuesday after the Senate voted 81-19 to confirm her. The vote was a rare display of bipartisanship compared to the conflict over many of President Donald Trump's other nominees.
In attendance were Vince, Shane. his wife and children, Paul, Stephanie and their children.
Emma’s New Emmalina Character Reportedly Nixed, Backstage News on Why WWE Officials Scrapped the Gimmick and Original Plans
As seen on WWE Raw last night and in the video below, Emma made her long awaited return to WWE TV, but instead of debuting the new Emmalina character which has been promoted for the past 17 weeks, Emma announced she’s now beginning the transformation back to “Emma”.
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, there were big WWE plans in place for the Emmalina character, but after multiple rehearsals, producers realized she couldn’t pull off what they were looking to accomplish.
Sources note Emmalina was intended to be a throwback to characters like Sable and The Kat, however, officials felt like she wasn’t committing enough to the role and ultimately they decided to just let Emma be evil again.
Producers are reportedly high on the concept of the character, however, so it’s possible it could be brought to life at some point down the line.
February 13, 2017
HBO Sports, WWE and the Bill Simmons Media Group will produce "Andre the Giant," a documentary film examining the life and career of one of the most beloved legends in WWE history, it was announced today by Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer, and Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. The ambitious and wide-ranging documentary film will explore Andre’s upbringing in France, his celebrated career in WWE and his forays in the entertainment world.
"For more than 20 years, Andre the Giant’s larger than life personality and unique charisma captured the imagination of fans around the world," said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. "I will always value our friendship, and I am proud to tell the story of the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.'"
Bill Simmons, who joined HBO in the summer of 2015 and founded The Ringer, will serve as an executive producer of the film.
"Going back to 2007 and 2008 when I was creating and developing '30 for 30' for ESPN, Andre’s story rode the top of every single sports documentary wish list I ever made," said Simmons. "We always hear about unicorns these days – Andre was the ultimate unicorn. He’s a true legend. Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an Andre story – and usually four or five. I’m delighted to join forces with Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture Andre’s amazing story once and for all."
Emmy-Award winning director and producer Jason Hehir will serve as the film’s director. HBO Sports and WWE are partnering for the first time on this full-length signature presentation, which will combine never-before-seen footage and revealing interviews for a comprehensive and intimate portrait of one of WWE’s most beloved, yet largely unknown figures. Interviews will include WWE Superstars, sports and entertainment executives, athletes, media, family, friends and associates.
André René Roussimoff was born in 1946 in Grenoble, France. Early in his teenage years, he exhibited signs of gigantism, rapidly growing to more than seven feet, though he was not diagnosed with acromegaly until his twenties. He began his training in Paris at 17 and eventually became known in wrestling circuits around the world, including Europe, Australia and Africa. In 1970, Roussimoff made his Japanese debut, which put him on the radar of Vince McMahon Sr., founder of what is now known as World Wrestling Entertainment.
In 1973, Andre joined the organization where McMahon Sr. famously billed him as Andre the Giant. Andre’s unique voice and athletic prowess, coupled with his more than 500-pound, seven-foot, four-inch frame, made him an unforgettable attraction.
During his ascension to the top of the ranks, Andre engaged in memorable matches with Killer Khan, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy and compiled an undefeated streak that lasted for the better part of a decade. In 1987, Andre hit the pinnacle of his career during his rivalry with Hulk Hogan, one of the biggest stars in WWE and pop culture history. As a new villain, Andre squared off with Hogan at WrestleMania III at the Silverdome in Michigan, and in one of the most memorable moments in history, Hogan body-slammed Andre to retain the championship in front of 93,173 fans.
While wrestling’s fan base continued to grow, Roussimoff’s health began to decline. Despite his health issues, the "Eighth Wonder of the World" remained at the forefront during the company’s golden era. Following WrestleMania III, Andre took on other WWE Legends such as Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior and participated in numerous marquee events until 1991. Andre became the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1993.
Roussimoff’s larger-than-life personality also allowed him to pursue a career in acting. He appeared in television sitcoms and films during the '70s and '80s, often playing himself or some variation of a human giant, and is remembered for his role as Fezzik in Rob Reiner’s classic "The Princess Bride."
Outside the ring, Roussimoff was a gentle giant. The subject of stares and ridicule for his size throughout his life, he was a self-declared introvert. On Jan. 27, 1993, Roussimoff succumbed to his gigantism and died of congestive heart failure. And while WWE has had a memorable cast of larger-than-life stars during the two decades since his passing, Andre the Giant is still remembered as one of the greatest.
Holla, holla, holla! Theodore Long is the next inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as first reported by FoxSports.com.
Long’s induction is the culmination of a 30-plus year career in the sports-entertainment industry, dating back to the early 1980s, when he did odd jobs in various territories around the southern United States. That led to a position on the ring crew with Jim Crockett Promotions, the predecessor to World Championship Wrestling, and eventually a position as an official NWA referee. He shared the ring with legends and Hall of Famers like Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and countless others.
As the 80s drew to a close, Teddy Long left behind the referee’s stripes and became a manager, guiding the careers of up-and-coming grapplers. His first success as a manager came when his charges Doom, the powerful tag team of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed, captured the WCW World Tag Team Titles from the Steiner Brothers. During his tenure as a manager in WCW, Long helped guide the careers of a varied group of competitors, including Chris Jericho, Johnny B. Badd, Ice Train and One Man Gang, among countless others.
In 1998, Long made the jump to WWE, once again donning the referee’s stripes and doing his best to enforce the rules during some of the Attitude Era’s biggest matches. By 2002, he once again turned to managing, this time hitching his wagon to the nasty trio of D-Lo Brown, Rodney Mack and Jazz, later adding Christopher Nowinski, Mark Henry and Mark Jindrak to the fold.
However, Long may best be remembered by the WWE Universe for his work as a General Manager. He was made the SmackDown GM in 2004, becoming the first African-American to hold the position. During several tenures at the helm of SmackDown and ECW, Long established himself as someone who would work his hardest to give the WWE Universe the best shows possible. That included the New Superstar Initiative, which introduced WWE fans to the likes of Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger, among others.
On top of that, Long was often lauded for his matchmaking skills. When tensions ran high between groups of four (or more) Superstars, he knew how best to diffuse the situation – by splitting them up into squads for a tag team match! Long’s love for impromptu tag team matches became his calling card, endearing him even more to the WWE Universe.
Long’s groundbreaking career in sports-entertainment makes him worthy of the awesome honor of induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
February 11, 2017
Writing a diary ahead of the TakeOver: San Antonio event for ESPN, Young revealed that Triple H had the vision for SAnitY for around 10 years, but was never able to make it to television.
He wrote: “The group is Hunter’s brainchild.
“I guess he’s had this idea for, I think, going on 10 years now. He’s tried in a couple of different kind of ways, and it never really made it on TV because it didn’t feel right.”
Young – who made his name on TNA before jumping ship – went on to reveal that Triple H wanted him as the leader years ago, after watching one particular TNA promo where he did what he does best, act like a lunatic.
He added: “I met Triple, and he said, ‘It’s my job to pay attention to what’s going on in the wrestling world. I’ve known about you for years, and I’m still very close with Kevin Nash and I talk to him every now and then.’
“Kevin had talked to Hunter about me before, him and Road Dogg, about me being a guy that he should keep his eye on. He said he really liked my work, and that he was excited to bring me over.
“He told me he remembered seeing a clip of one of the first promos I did against Bobby Roode, when I had turned on Bobby in the ring, yelling like I lunatic. I couldn’t even tell you what the promo was, to be honest.
“He told me that was the guy he wanted to lead this group.”
February 9, 2017
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, Chief Strategy and Financial Officer George Barrios and SVP Financial Planning & Investor Relations Michael Weitz hosted a Fourth Quarter 2016 earnings call today from WWE headquarters in Stamford. Below are highlights:
- Weiss opens the call and welcomes everyone. He gives the standard introduction and mentions that the earnings release can be read on the WWE Corporate website. Vince takes over and touts the record revenue announced this morning. Vince talks about how they're "super serving" the WWE Network audience with live shows and in-ring content - specifically 205 Live and the WWE UK Title tournament. He mentions how the cruiserweight division will have their own sources of revenue such as merchandise and live events. It didn't sound like he was indicating cruiserweight-only live events. He said they had 294 million hours of watched content on the Network. He mentioned how social media is big barometer for him and how they had more than 15 billion video views. They're satisfied but not thrilled with their 2016 performance. Barrios takes over the call next.
- Barrios talked about the release and some of their growth, touting that they are the 5th largest streaming service.
WWE noted in today's fourth-quarter earnings report that the WWE Network had 1.5 million paid subscribers as of January 31st of this year.
The Network averaged 1.41 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016. This breaks down to 1.1 million in the United States and 400,000 internationally.
WWE previously reported 1.458 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter in 2016 - 1.071 million in the US and 373,000 internationally.
February 8, 2017
The former WWE announcer and RAW General Manager announced to NBC Chicago that he has officially been diagnosed with dementia and that he likely does have a severe case of CTE.
He says that he has been suffering from epilepsy for around 19 years, and that doctors believe that he has symptoms of CTE due to brain injuries suffered from his days back in the NFL. CTE can only be diagnosed after death but he is showing many of the CTE symptoms and dementia is the final phase of CTE.
"I’ve been on short-term disability and then long-term disability, I’ve had seizures and epilepsy for the last 19 years." He said that he can no longer work and the diagnosis is the reason why he’s been off the air for a year. He was an anchor on the local NBC affiliate in Chicago up until a year ago.
He had been asked how many concussions he thinks he had during his NFL days and he replied he couldn't put a number on it. He has memory loss, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms with dementia.
TNA today issued the following:
IMPACT & PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING NOAH PARTNERSHIP
As announced earlier today in Tokyo, Japan, IMPACT Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH have come to terms on a working relationship. This is an exciting time for both companies with a more formal announcement coming soon.
In a Press Conference held earlier today, NOAH President Masayuki Uchida made the official announcement.
We look forward to making a formal announcement soon in Tokyo and seeing IMPACT Stars compete at NOAH's Yokohama event on March 12. We are thrilled to build this relationship even further with more details to come.
Stay close to impactWrestling.Com and all of our social media channels for more on this exciting partnership.
February 6, 2017
Dana Warrior, the widow of WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior, announced today on the official Warrior website that she has signed a deal with WWE to become a brand ambassador for the company. Warrior wrote the following:
“The relationship with WWE has built slowly and meaningfully; the way good ones do. From day one it was my mission to preserve my late husband’s legacy and ensure his Warriors around the world continued access to his brand of inspiration. I could not have anticipated all the ways WWE would partner with me and then go beyond in sewing Ultimate Warrior into their universe’s fabric. I could not have predicted how through this company I would find and develop myself, cultivate and unearth my skills. My roots were already at WWE; they’ve given me a place to struggle through growing pains but ultimately bloom.
This contract is affirmation of crossing into a new era of Warrior. The next phase honors the Warrior Women amongst us who carry the mantle too. WWE has been championing women emerging as athletes, executives, and business pioneers all along. I am honored to be amongst so many I admire and deeply respect.
Personally this opportunity feels like the ultimate “Always Believe” moment. It makes worth every sleepless night, every sacrifice, every moment of doing what scared the blonde out of my hair to do. It is proof if you work diligently you can prove yourself an asset, not a project. It is proof that hard work feels better than being handed something. For me, it is an example to my own Warrior Girls service to others is the greatest gift we give yielding ultimate reward.”
WWE has announced the following:
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, one of the greatest tag teams in sports-entertainment history, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017 during WrestleMania Week. The news was first reported by CBSSports.com.
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson first joined forces in 1983, in fellow Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler’s Memphis-based territory, and immediately skyrocketed into superstardom. With long, flowing hair and bandanas adorning their flashy ring gear, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express were true rock stars stepping into battle inside the squared circle. The teen idol tag team squared off with the likes of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo in Memphis, Tenn., but it wouldn’t be long before they began their worldwide journey to the top.