JBL invests in Ohio Valley, WWE releases more of its talent and Mr. T is upset about not going into the Hall of Fame before Pete Rose. I wish I was making that last part up.
Opening Witty Banter
I am absolutely exhausted from a weekend of drinking back home for my Dad and brotherâ€™s birthday weekend. What does that have to do with wrestling? Absolutely nothing, but I just thought you should know.
Letâ€™s take some â€˜Eâ€¦
The News of the Week
On his WWE Universe blog, JBL announced that he is a sponsor for Ohio Valley Wrestling. Ohio Valley has been in financial peril lately, losing both their Six Flags live show deal and their local TV deal.
“I am the sponsor of OVW, it is true. Danny Davis is my good friend and I hate to see anyone lose their dream. Danny has mortgaged his home to make this work; I mortgaged my home for Layfield Energy,â€ said Layfield. â€œI understand passion, I understand love. I believe in the American spirit, I believe that if you want to achieve, you can. My company is doing well, and I can promise you I don’t take one account or one customer for granted. I am going to sponsor what Danny is doing. It will be much more than just wrestling. Trust me; we are going to do some really cool things. This will unfold in the next few months, I have big plans for what we are doing.â€
According to PWInsider.com, JBL is apparently interested in actually buying Ohio Valley, with Danny Davis running the day-to-day operations of the company. It would seem as if this would be something for JBL after he finally leaves the ring. There is also talk that JBL wants to get into promoting MMA.
Speaking of the MMA thing, the following was posted on the OVW website today:
â€œDanny Davis has unleashed the Vyper Fight League (VFL), an all new fighting organization to begin hosting events at the Davis Arena this April. The VFL is going to revolutionize Mixed Martial Arts just like OVW revolutionized Professional Wrestling. Be a part of the historic rise of the Vyper Fight League! Please visit http://www.VyperFightLeague.com for details.â€
I really, really donâ€™t enjoy watching JBL in the ring, but I am really growing to enjoy his other roles. He is fantastic on the mic, either cutting a promo or behind the announce desk, and Iâ€™m loving his outspoken nature in regards to things such as this and his thoughts on â€œThe Wrestler.â€ I kind of get the feeling that JBL doesnâ€™t really need WWE that much anymore and is just kind of doing what he damn well pleases. As long as he stays out of the ring wrestling and stands behind a microphone, Iâ€™m all for him.
Booker T is having his own legends convention in his hometown of Houston during WrestleMania weekend (for the Booker T’s Fight for Kids Foundation), but WWE has now contacted several of the announced talents to have them appear at their events instead. Torrie Wilson, Nick Bockwinkel, Tito Santana and Ron Simmons have now pulled out of the event and will be appearing for WWE at the AXXESS and or Hall of Fame Ceremony. WWE is purchasing plane tickets as well as paying booking fees.
Thatâ€™s kind of a dick move, not even so much on WWEâ€™s part (because I expect this type of behavior from them) but from guys like Tito, who seemed like they would have more integrity than jumping from one event to another. But hey in this economy Iâ€™m not going to turn down a payday like WWE is offering. But then again Booker just happened to schedule his event during the biggest wrestling weekend of the year so yeah.
Kawal (Low Ki) has apparently suffered a knee injury, and will need some time off from FCW.
I really, really hope he actually gets the chance to be called up on the WWE roster at some point before his eventual release, if only to have a match with Rey Mysterio and/or Evan Bourne and maybe kick The Miz really hard just for the fun of it.
Speaking of injuries, Candice Michelle suffered an ankle injury about a week ago, and is expected to be out of action until April.
This girl just canâ€™t catch a break. When the post-WrestleMania releases start happening again I would bet her name would pop up on that unfortunate list.
Speaking of releases, The Boogeyman was released on Wednesday after his job out to Kane on ECW.
Itâ€™s hard to believe Boogeyman has been on the roster since late 2005. Remember when he was released in the summer of 2006 but was hired back a week later because he was commanding ridiculous bank on the independent circuit? Apparently he has some rights to the Boogeyman moniker and gimmick so heâ€™ll be showing up at an armory near you with the same schtick, possibly to battle â€œU-Gene.â€ I read somewhere this past week in all this time he was on the roster he only had something like 33 televised matches. Well worth the investment.
In more release news, Ryan Braddock was also released this past week. He had been with WWE since 2005 and was a hot prospect in both Ohio Valley and Deep South as â€œBradley Jayâ€ and â€œJay Bradleyâ€ but for some reason never got any traction on TV.
I always kind of liked Braddock and was kind of disappointed that he didnâ€™t get any sort of push on TV. Then again he was under the same creative team who also saw nothing in Colt Cabana either, so what do I know. He kind of reminded me of Mike Awesome. He had the kind of look that WWE usually goes for. Maybe heâ€™ll get another chance down the road sometime. Heâ€™s the type of young guy TNA should actually be looking to scoop from WWE and invest into becoming a re-branded young homegrown talent like they did with Matt Morgan and Sheik Abdul Bashir.
Creative team member John Carle has also been released from the company.
Apparently this was more of a cost-cutting measure more than anything else. When he got his release did they tell him it was because creative had nothing for him?
The releases keep coming as developmental talent Patrick Brink, who wrestled as Kaleb Oâ€™Neal, was released. Apparently he had a string of things that led to his release, including showing up in Florida out of shape, getting some unauthorized tattoo work and then being late to rehab.
He left a giant message on his MySpace that Iâ€™m not going to reprint, but he sounds like heâ€™s trying to stay in WWEâ€™s good graces for an eventual return.
In injury status updates, Evan Bourne is cleared to return and could be back any week. Mr. Kennedy should be back on TV in April after WrestleMania and Batista could be back as early as April.
Bourne needs to be back on my TV and in Money in the Bank yesterday. The other two I can take or leave at this point.
The UK Mirror recently spoke with Mr. T, who claims that he was invited to join the WWE Hall of Fame, but that he declined the invitation due to the fact that Pete Rose had already been inducted, stating…
“WWE asked me to be in the Hall of Fame and I turned it down. You know why? They put Pete Rose in the wrestling Hall of Fame. This guy can’t even get into his own Hall of Fame. After they put Rose in they came and asked me and I said “You don’t insult me! You don’t put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame before me! I ain’t going to be a part of that. They put him in and he only did one WrestleMania, and he didn’t even wrestle.”
First off Pete did three WrestleManias, which is more than T. But in Tâ€™s defense I can see why he would be offended that Pete Rose went in the celebrity wing before T did, who was the first real WrestleMania celebrity. But on the other hand I canâ€™t believe he got that upset about not being asked to a part of the frigginâ€™ WWE Hall of Fame. Is he in that bad of shape these days? Also, can you imagine his induction speech?
Around the web it has been announced that there will be a 25 Diva battle royal at WrestleMania XXV. WWE doesnâ€™t have that many divas on the current roster so there will be some surprise returns to pad out the roster.
Tammy Sytch announced on her Facebook that she is ready to “kick some DIVA ASS at WrestleMania!!” Jackie Gayda-Haas also told a fan at a recent appearance that she too has been contacted about the battle royal as well.
It seems as if there is always a battle royal on the WrestleMania card and the diva battle royal is a new twist on it. But what about all the â€œboysâ€ who will miss out on a payday? Iâ€™m expecting/hoping other big names like Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, Ivory, Mae Young, Lita and Victoria make an appearance as well.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, WWE Films is getting involved into the re-launch of the â€œMissing in Actionâ€ franchise. WWE Films would help finance the films and co-produce them, but no WWE stars are attached to the movie(s). The new movies will be straight to DVD. The original films of course starred the great Chuck Norris.
Is Chuck Norris going to make a one-shot appearance in the movies? Remember when he showed up at Survivor Series and protected The Undertaker and kicked Jeff Jarrett in the face? I know Vince McMahon would love replaying that clip over and over again.
Speaking of Vince, he has gone into his standard pre-WrestleMania paranoia. He is constantly changing his mind these days, snapping at backstage and creative team employees and has been very strict on stopping storyline leaks.
Whoâ€™s going to screw up and get fired over WrestleMania weekend this year?
The Road toâ€¦WrestleMania XXV
Triple H (c) v. Randy Orton
Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels
Money in the Bank V
CM Punk v. Kane v. Mark Henry v. MVP v. Shelton Benjamin v. three other participants to be named later
World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena v. The Big Show v. Edge (c)
Jeff Hardy v. Matt Hardy
Tag Title Unification Match
Carlito & Primo Colon v. The Miz & John Morrison
Chris Jericho v. â€œa legendâ€
25 Diva Battle Royal
(rumored participants: Tammy Sytch, Jackie Gayda-Haas, Mae Young, Trish Stratus)
Class of 2009 Hall of Fame
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Terry Funk & Dory Funk, Jr. (inducted by Dusty Rhodes)
Ricky â€œThe Dragonâ€ Steamboat (inducted by Ric Flair)
â€œCowboyâ€ Bill Watts (inducted by Jim Ross)
Wrestler of the Week
Week of March 2 â€“ 8: Randy Orton
I have to give some more love to Randy Orton this week and he was on fire this week with his promo work on RAW and then got to lay a serious beatdown on Triple H on Friday night. Orton is leading a new golden age of heels in WWE with guys like Jericho, Edge, JBL, Jack Swagger, The Miz & John Morrison combining for the perhaps the best crop of bad guys in WWE history. I expect more awesomeness out of Oton and these other evil guys as WrestleMania draws closer.
RAWâ€™s On Tonight!
A contract signing for the Edge-Big Show World Title match will be held tonight, but Iâ€™m sure John Cena will make his appearance known somehow. Remember in 2004 when Shawn Michaels kicked Chris Benoit in the face and signed his World Championship contract in his place? Yeah, me neither. Plus Iâ€™m sure Triple H and Randy Orton will continue their war of the words. And who will Chris Jericho beat up this week? And will somebody else join the Money in the Bank tonight? So many questions, so little time.
How They Rated
SmackDown! (2.27.09) â€“ 2.23
A.M. RAW (3.1.09) â€“ .8
RAW (3.2.09) â€“ 3.8
ECW (3.3.09) â€“ 1.4
This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Kirschner gears up for King of Trios 2009~! The team of â€œColdfrontâ€, with Al Snow, Glacier and Iceberg? Iâ€™m so there.
Wiswell continues to bring the Ring of Honor goodness, including a critical look at the â€œEscalationâ€ show.
Marshall has all the great TNA news, including the signing of hot Survivor chick Jenna as the companyâ€™s new Knockout.
For more relevant, interesting and exciting wrestling information from your truly, check out my gig as the Pro Wrestling Examiner over at Examiner.com.