Sure, you know all about the recent $4 billion sale of the UFC to William Morris Endeavor-International Management Group. But have you heard about the 23 new owners now on board?
On Thursday, UFC officials confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that 23 celebrities have invested in the world's largest MMA promotion. Included on the list are sports stars Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Maria Sharapova, and Serena and Venus Williams, actors Ben Affleck and Mark Wahlberg, musicians Adam Levine and LL Cool J, and talk-show host Conan O'Brien.
O'Brien also announced the deal on Thursday's new episode of "Conan" on TBA, jokingly adding that he would soon be competing in the octagon, as well.
Terms of the investments weren't revealed. A full list of the 23 celebrities is expected to be released on Friday.
WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel said selecting the 23 for potential investment was simple.
"They would always ask for tickets," Emanuel told The Wall Street Journal, adding, "I think it's a mainstream sport now."
September 30, 2016
September 29, 2016
Billy Corgan Says There is a “Gunfight” Over Who Will Get Control of TNA, Confirms Vince Wants to Buy TNA
TNA President Billy Corgan was today’s guest on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard Show, and the following are more highlights from Corgan addressing the current TNA sale situation.
Corgan said the current TNA situation is complicated because pro wrestling is struggling with revenue, and a pro wrestling show will typically generate much lower revenue than a show with similar, or even lower ratings. Corgan added not only is there a money struggle within TNA right now, but there is also a creative struggle.
Corgan confirmed Vince McMahon’s interest in buying TNA, but he said as of right now Vince has not purchased the company and Corgan would be the first person to know since he has a stake in TNA.
When asked about his pro wrestling philosophy, and how he would create a unique wrestling product compared to WWE, Corgan admitted WWE has really been the only wrestling company with a winning philosophy.
Corgan thinks he could create a different type of product with TNA, but there are obstacles in the way as others in the company have a completely different vision for how TNA and Impact Wrestling should be presented. Corgan also stressed the importance of consistent capital for TNA, which is something he said the company has not had in a long time.
September 26, 2016
TNA's Billy Corgan spoke with ESPN this week and revealed that a full-length movie focusing on the current "Broken" Hardys saga is in the works. He did not elaborate on those plans. Corgan also revealed that if he purchases the company, his first order as owner would be to change the company name so they can truly move on into a new era. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
TNA using former WWE stars:
"Many times in the past, TNA has made the mistake of bringing in WWE people to sort of create a buzz that didn't sustain. But success is building a culture that is distinctly your own, with your own identifiable signature. If everything you do doesn't feed into that, you are making a big mistake that history shows does not work."
The current Hardys program:
"So maybe like super hero movies, we get the Hardys as the center of the universe and start to use them to sort of branch off in other directions. We are making it up as we go along and that is sort of the fun part. It's really exciting because we are hopefully writing a sort of new golden dawn in terms of how wrestling can be presented on television, and I think that's fantastic."
CM Punk coming to TNA to wrestle or work creative:
"I hope that someone who is so gifted comes back to professional wrestling if he wants to be there. So of course I would just love to see him in a ring. If it's our ring, even better. Even if he just wanted to be involved, I would love to have that conversation with him."
Check out the full interview with Corgan at this link.
September 25, 2016
In an interview with Bleacher Report, Kathy Hamilton, Chyna's sister comments on her sister's relationship with Triple and what ultimately lead to her split with WWE:
Shortly after signing with WWE, Chyna broke up with Gerry Blais, her personal trainer, and began dating Paul Levesque, who had blossomed into one of the company’s top stars as Triple H. The couple lived together for more than three years and were inseparable on the road.
In an industry where wrestlers often become addicted to alcohol and painkillers, Laurer and Levesque practiced a clean lifestyle and spent most of their free time in the gym.
But around 2000 the relationship began to fizzle. Friends say Levesque wanted children; Laurer did not. She was also jealous of the time Levesque spent with his parents and siblings during the rare days the WWE wasn’t on the road.
When she sensed Levesque was growing closer with Stephanie McMahon—the boss’ daughter, whom he later married in 2003—Laurer was crushed, telling numerous friends she’d searched Levesque’s briefcase and discovered a love letter from Stephanie.
“They wouldn’t have lasted whether Stephanie came into the picture or not,” Kathy says. “I have no animosity toward Paul. He was very good to Joanie. He cared about her deeply, but she just had too many issues.
“Still, I really do think Paul was the only man she ever truly loved. She was devastated.”
Not long after strutting onto that Good Morning America set in 2001, Laurer’s WWE career came to an end. For years she told friends and reporters that the company dumped her because of backstage tension with Levesque and McMahon, but that wasn’t true.
Hamilton says the WWE offered her sister a new contract in the fall of 2001 for $400,000 per year, but she opted not to sign it. Ross confirmed that story, adding that the figure was merely a “downside guarantee” and she could’ve earned significantly more—maybe more than double that amount—from merchandise sales, pay-per-view appearances and other revenue streams.
Still, Laurer wouldn’t accept an offer with a base salary of less than $1 million.
“It was an outrageous demand that wasn’t even realistic,” says Ross, who was hesitant to negotiate with Laurer. But he said Vince McMahon wanted Chyna to remain with the company and was confident her issues with his daughter and Levesque wouldn’t last.
Hamilton can’t help but wonder how different her sister’s life might’ve been had she signed that contract.
“Joanie told me a few years later that she regretted it,” Hamilton says. “The WWE was the only place where she was ever accepted. Once she lost that, she fell into a hole.
“And she never could climb out of it.”
You can read the full article here.
September 24, 2016
Kurt Angle Says At One Point He Was Taking 65 Vicodins a Day, Admits to Mixing Pills and Alcohol During His Time in TNA, Why He Left WWE & More
Dan Le Batard, host of ESPN’s “Highly Questionable”, recently spoke with former WWE and TNA star Kurt Angle, and the following are some interview highlights.
On taking up to 65 Vicodin’s per day at one point in his life:
“I was on a lot — there was no way I couldn’t get out of it,” the 47 year-old-said via phone call on Friday morning’s show. “The only thing I could do was eventually go to rehab and try to fix my life again. But I actually beat it on my own. I stayed in my house for about 10 days and didn’t leave, and I was able to get through the withdrawal.”
On mixing painkillers and alcohol during his time in TNA:
“The thing is, everybody drank down there [in TNA]. So I started drinking with my meds. And then I started manipulating my meds. I would save all of them until the evening, and drink it with alcohol. And it got me in a lot of trouble — four DUIs in five years.”
On checking into rehab following his last DUI in 2013:
“I finally got the right help.” he added. “I tried to do it myself, but when you’re that deep into that stuff, you can’t do it on your own. You need somebody else’s help, and I finally reached out and I did what I had to do to get it done.
“It was the worst seven days of my life as well. I went through detox again. That time it stuck. You can’t do anything; you can’t think; you’re in constant pain; your body’s shaking. You don’t wanna eat; you don’t wanna do anything; you feel like you’re gonna die. It’s the worst pain you’ve ever had in your life. And I went through it twice.”
Angle added he left WWE back in 2006 because the company wanted him to continue working a full-time schedule. Much more is contained in the interview which you can read at this link.
Tammy Sytch, a.k.a Sunny, was arrested tonight and is at Carbon County Prison in Nesquehoning, PA. She was brought in for a probation violation for not showing up for her regularly scheduled drug / alcohol test that the judge had ordered. She will await to see the judge via video court for a gagnon hearing, at which time the probation officer will tell the judge what they feel the revocation time should be.
“There was a point in the middle eighties, toward the end there, I worked in Salt Lake City, and I was working against the Barbarian. His finish was a high leg kick coming off the ropes, and he comes flying off the ropes and hit me in the chin and I slammed the back of my head on the mat. I was out. They had to help me in the locker room, I just couldn’t get my bearings. So, for two days, I was sort of nauseated and dizzy, and you know what, I told the guy, and the agents said I still had to wrestle every night. Then, I was in [Los Angeles], and this doctor (Ungar, I believe), was examining me. I told him, I don’t feel too good, I took a bump on the back of my head in Salt Lake City three nights ago. He looked at me and said, ‘Jim. You can’t wrestle. You have a third degree concussion.’
So, I can’t remember who the agent was who said, ‘He has to work tonight, because we have no substitute.’ We went over and I was working with Hercules, Ray Fernandez, and the doctor told him, ‘The only way that I will let Jim wrestle tonight is if you don’t hit him in the head, slam him, or – in any way – kick him in the head.’ We agreed and had a pretty decent match, and he got disqualified. But, the reason why I did that, was because there [was] no thought in head injuries during that early time of the [WWE]. And what this lawsuit is trying to get is money from the WWE to put it in a pool to compensate for these guys that might have early dementia, and it’s the same lawsuit that got the four billion dollars from the NFL.”
September 23, 2016
On episode 11 of The Ric Flair Show, the 16-time professional wrestling world champion discussed CM Punk's MMA debut at UFC 203 and what Punk's future in MMA holds:
On the topic of Punk, 'The Nature Boy' stated that he felt sorry for Punk after his resounding loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203.
"I actually felt bad for him. I just think, number one, it's a lot to bite off and he [has] been injured a couple of times, I guess, while training. But you always want to go out there and you hope for the best for everybody because if he wins it makes us look [good], but if you lose like that…" Flair continued, "but the problem I have, as we discussed before, he [has] been so negative and knocked everybody in WWE, but always treated me [well], so I never had a problem with him. But what goes around comes around."
When asked about Punk's future in MMA, Flair suggested that Punk should try his hand at something else.
"If I was him, I don't know how you follow that. I didn't see it, but I heard it lasted, what, 30 seconds?" Flair continued, "he still has some name recognition because of his success in the WWE, so I'm sure he has options. But, I mean, why would you do that again? It's kind of like, once you get that, it's pretty devastating. I'm sure he had a hard time sleeping that night, knowing he put in all that time and that so many people, because of his brand, were looking at him. Does that make sense? So those are decisions he has to make, but whatever he does, I wish him well. Make no mistake, going out there, just to do that, you get a lot of respect from a lot of people. That's a tough sport, so my hat's off to him for trying, but if I were him, I'd do something else."
September 22, 2016
Recently on You're Welcome With Chael Sonnen, professional wrestling legend Chris Jericho spoke about his behind-the-scenes altercation with 'The Beast Incarnate' Brock Lesnar following the abrupt and bloody finish to WWE SummerSlam's main event match between Lesnar and 'The Viper' Randy Orton.
According to Jericho, he and Lesnar got into a "brouhaha", as 'Y2J' wanted to check on Orton after the match with Lesnar.
"Well, anytime something like that happens, there's always a lot of rumors and a lot of stories being told and that sort of thing. But, I mean, not to get into specifics, between me and Brock, but we did have a little bit of a brouhaha, shall we say. And I think that happens when you get guys that are in a sport such as ours. It's half entertainment and half real and half not. And I think you get he had just come out of the ring. I had just come out of the ring an hour before, so whatever. And I just thought the finish of that match was very brutal and very violent and I just didn't know if Randy was okay. And I was just checking on my friend. We have always been pretty close. And I said something. He said something. The next thing you know, we're nose to nose, kind of yelling at each other.
"It diffused pretty quickly, but, I mean, listen, let's make no bones about this. Brock is a trained fighter and he's a beast, but I'm not the type of person to back down from anybody, to my detriment or harmful to my existence even. But hotheads fire off, we were in each other's face, and that happens sometimes. I guess I kind of have a reputation for it too. I've never backed down. And I think in the case sometimes of guys his size, they think that most people will wilt and most people do, but that's not me. That's not my background. That's not what I came up from, coming up from Winnipeg [Manitoba], and my dad's lineage of being in the NHL, and it's just not what I do, so, like I said, I'm glad he didn't eat me. Basically, there was a face to face altercation. And, like I said, I'll leave the rest between the two of us."
Bleacher Report writer Jason King appeared on the latest episode of X-Pac 1,2,360, which you can watch here or listen to at this link. King, who wrote 'The Great Fall of Chyna' piece, talked about Chyna's WWE departure and noted that it was over a contract dispute.
"Getting ahold of Kathy [Hamilton, Chyna's sister] to me was the key to the whole story," King said. "She and Chyna's mom had never really spoken much to the media and there was just a lot of questions about what was Chyna really like before she became a wrestler. And not only that Kathy and her were still very close during the time she was in the WWE and that was obviously when she was dating Triple H, and that was when she had the contract issues. And you know Chyna had kind of pushed a narrative once she was no longer in the WWE that she was let go or fired or however you want to call it, or didn't get her contract renewed, and that wasn't entirely true. According to her sister she was offered $400,000 a year to renew the contract and she turned it down. She wanted a base salary, downside of a million."
Vince McMahon may be 71-years-old, but he’s still in tremendous shape and trains regularly. Last week, WWE announced that The Chairman sustained an injury which forced him to undergo surgery. He was back in his office at WWE’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut last Wednesday.
According to Court Bauer of MLW Radio, RAW and SmackDown is being assembled by Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and the creative team during Vince’s absence. He also notes that while Vince oversees everything, the final decisions are being made by Triple H.
“Right now if you watch WWE programming everyone says ‘well, always comes down to Vince and what he wants.’ Here’s the thing, yes he’s still reviewing all the scripts, yes he’s overseeing everything from afar at Titan Towers in Stamford, Connecticut, but he’s not in the trenches, he’s not signing off at the moment to moment stuff at TV,” Bauer said. “He wasn’t in Memphis (for RAW), or at SmackDown, because he’s recovering from a nasty quad tear injury. So Hunter, the rest of creative and Stephanie are assembling the show.
Bauer continued, “Right now, for all intents and purposes, Hunter is in the control seat and calling shots at the [Gorilla Position].”
September 19, 2016
For this article, WrestlingNewsSource.com got the opportunity to speak with one of Chyna's dearest friends, Rob Potylo. Mr. Potylo is a comedian, musician, and film producer, who was working with Chyna to produce her documentary, The Reconstruction of Chyna, at the time of her passing. He was one of her closest friends and actually lived with both Chyna and her manager Anthony Anzaldo at one point.
Rob has spoken with several media outlets regarding Chyna's passing and some of the details about the final days of her life, but now he would like the chance to go into more detail about what was actually going on with Chyna at the time of her passing and for the last few months of her life.
Tell us about your time living with both Chyna and her manager Anthony Anzaldo. What was their relationship like, and how would you describe the relationship between the three of you?
I lived with her and Anthony on the road, going back to his beach house in Redondo, and then on the floor of the living room of that house for two months (Chyna got the couch), while I helped film, produce, and upload video for the documentary. 90% of the time, Anthony was generally very pleasant. We all had similar senses of humor, and had a bunch of fun times.
I understand he had a plan to get Chyna back on track, but he also seemed to want to put her in a shit-load of Comic-Cons, get her back into porn, and generally get her plugged back into a crazy schedule without seeing that she needed rehab and counseling pretty much right off the bat. Anthony also had a brutal, brutal temper. When he didn't like the way things were going, or didn't feel he was receiving "consideration", he would go off like you wouldn't believe. I was at the receiving end of this once or twice, and heard Chyna on the receiving end of this too. I also heard this temper many other times with family, or on the phone.
In August of 2015, Anthony and Chyna went to Vegas for some weekend event. She had failed to meet her wake-up call at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning, and Anthony decided that he'd "had enough". He left her in Vegas for five days by herself. I was woken up that Sunday night to unearthly screaming; Anthony was on the phone with Chyna, shouting, "I don't care what F'ing happens to you! You are shit!" I was so scared, both for her and myself. I really was prepared to die at that point. The police got called by the neighbors, he was so loud.
Chyna finally got on a Greyhound to LAX, and Erik had to hook her up with an Uber to get back to Redondo. When she came through the door, she was F'd up as all hell with her pants hanging off her hips.
Back in the summer of 2015, WWE Hall of Famer Roderick Toombs, better known to the world as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, sadly passed away in his sleep at the age of 61. After his funeral, there were rumors circulating on the internet about Chyna's behavior at Roddy's funeral. More specifically, there were rumors that she allegedly "rushed over" to WWE Chief Operating Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque, who Chyna had dated for several years back in the 1990's, and created somewhat of a scene during the funeral. What can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding Roddy's funeral? How did Chyna feel about Roddy's passing, and was it her intention to somehow "confront" Paul Levesque at the funeral or create any kind of a scene?
Chyna's lawyer Sam Perlmutter also represented Roddy. I remember having lunch with Sam, Chyna, and Anthony in Beverly Hills. Sam was talking to Chyna about possibly joining a wrestling company in Vegas with Piper. Piper wanted Chyna on his podcast, and had been talking to Anthony about getting that set up.
When Roddy died Chyna was very sad, not just for him, but for his family, who she knew and cared about very much. She was invited along with Anthony by the lawyer to attend his funeral up in Portland, Oregon. At the end of the service, Anthony told Chyna to go up to Hunter and say she was sorry for everything. She did. She even gave Hunter a hug. According to Chyna, Hunter said, "Me too", and they parted ways.
Somehow, Hunter's old best pal Sean "X-Pac" Waltman got wind of this afterwards (I wonder who could have told him). And even though he wasn't there, he blasted Chyna on Twitter for "bum-rushing" Hunter at the funeral, and almost being "taken down by security". I was sick to my stomach, and Chyna was also very distraught. We created a video of her defending her actions. She explained that she had been invited by the lawyer, and that she genuinely did have a tender moment with Hunter at the funeral, which turned out to be their last moment together. I'm very happy that there's footage of it, to show how blown out of proportion the whole thing got. It was filmed by her manager Anthony, in showing this footage there is no disrespect meant toward Piper's family but Chyna's name was dragged through the mud cause of the an event I can prove didn't happen.
September 17, 2016
The New York Post posted an article on Billy Corgan trying to become the majority owner of TNA. Also mentioned in the article is WWE’s interest in buying the company. WWE and Sinclair Group have reportedly made bids for the company. Sinclair Group also owns Ring Of Honor. You can read the entire article here.
Corgan was quoted in the article as saying the following regarding the possible purchase of TNA:
“I would love nothing better than to stand up in front of everyone and give a clear picture of where this company is and where it’s going.”
Dave Meltzer commented on how much TNA is worth, seeming to contradict the New York Post’s report, and you can read his tweet below:
Nobody is paying $40 million. Take one zero off https://t.co/Y0kroSlYJJ— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) September 17, 2016
Outlasting 31 other competitors from all around the globe, the charismatic T.J. Perkins emerged as the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic Wednesday night, and will bring the WWE Cruiserweight Championship to Raw in Memphis … but he won’t be alone.
WWE.com can confirm that the following Cruiserweights are also joining Team Red:
Who will we see on the Cruiserweights’ first night on Monday night’s hottest show? You won’t want to miss any of the action as a new division ignites Raw’s New Era.
Bray Wyatt sat down with The Daily Journal to promote an upcoming tour of Tupelo Mississippi. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
Always wanting to make a name for himself:
“I don’t really view myself as a legacy. I am my own thing. When I was a child, all I wanted to do was get here some day at some point because I had so much to say and things I wanted to accomplish. Not because someone before me did, but because I had my own message.”
Growing up in the business:
“Growing up in that environment is a strange thing. Most people couldn’t imagine it. When I was a child, I thought everyone was a wrestler. I thought when you went to work, you went to go wrestle. It was weird hearing kids talk trash about your family from what they see on television, but it kind of molded me and made me what I am today – thick-skinned.”
Being the most memorable going today:
“I am the most shock and awe product there is today. It’s a strange vibe when I come out. I’m different than anything else out there. It’s violence and wildness.”
“I was sitting at home one day, and – keep in mind, I was called up about the concussion lawsuit going on, you know how the boys are, there’s a lot of trash in this business; a lot of it – I remember me and Lex [Luger] talking about it like come on man, really? No one made me do anything, it was a scam, reaching out for things. It’s ridiculous. Well, I’ve probably over the years had three or four or five of those kind of phone calls, where somebody saw a loophole, trying to get everybody together to go after Vince, and everytime I’m like, you gotta be kidding me. One day I get a call, about a year ago, probably, from a lawyer, super great guy, his name is Matthew Peterson, and he talks to me for a minute and says, ‘I’m doing a thing where I’m checking on independent contracts; I know a lot about WCW’. He made me give him my resume over the phone. And it was a good one. I liked the way he spoke, I liked the way he talked, he said, ‘basically, what I do is I look at your contract, and I see if you felt like you’ve been mistreated at all; and if you do, we look at some openings and see how you feel about that.’ I said, I’ll send you a copy of my contract today so you can look at it and see what you think! So, I sent him my contract, and I realize that in a class action lawsuit, there’s a bunch of people always. Well, there aren’t a whole lot of people who worked for the WCW, WWF, and WWE, and I fall in that real small group of names that did that.
So, maybe that’s why I thought this one was intriguing at first. I said that only thing I’m upset about, is every single week, I hear somebody say, ‘you were on WWE, the nWo part is on now, and you beat up Scotty Riggs’. The first time I heard that, no big deal, didn’t think anything about it. All of a sudden, I’m hearing 2 Cold Scorpio, Scotty Riggs, Nasty Boys. So me and this lawyer started talking, and he sees that they didn’t – through their wording – fire me. They released me. I realized that I wasn’t getting any checks anymore. Every once in a while I would get a 100 dollar check, a 200 dollar check here and there, but nothing was ever WWE Network. It was always some kind of nWo tape that I was on, or t-shirts. And the last thing I got from them, and that’s what got me on this, was probably 5,6,7 years ago; and it was probably a hundred bucks. All of a sudden, I’m hearing the Network, Network, Network, and I’m always on it. And little kids come up to me and say, ‘Yeah I saw you! My daddy watched you on TV!’ So, me and the lawyer started talking, and sure enough, he finds a loophole where they owe me a breakdown that they have to pay me a certain amount of money quarterly. And that’s all it basically boils down to.”