I’m back for another edition of The Botterm Dollar that is WAY packed with great news. There’s all kinds of stuff here that you haven’t read anywhere else, mostly because I get this stuff from the newsletters and then repurpose it for you, our amazing readers. As usual, everything here is from Figure Four Weekly or The Pro Wrestling Torch. Both are fine newsletters, and both give you a great online membership package for roughly $5 a month. Figure Four, in particular, is a great deal because you get almost-daily audio shows featuring the hilarity that is Bryan Alvarez.
== WWE NEWS ==
– Randy Orton would not have been welcomed back into WWE so quickly if the in-patient rehab center he went to for counseling hadn’t given the front office good reports. The company sprung for a top-notch counseling program and feels that Orton has learned the tools needed to deal with his issues on treatment of women.
– The finish for the Cena/RVD match has been decided, but it could always change at the last minute. Most WWE sources say it’ll be some sort of disputed finish, because they’re not keen on having Cena lose the main WWE belt and they need some sort of angle that will allow them to create an ECW World Title. There had been talk of Cena losing the belt and going back to one world champion between both shows, but since Smackdown is even being viewed internally as a b-show (hence Randy Orton’s jump to Raw on Wednesday night), they quickly nixed that idea. The creation of the ECW title will happen as a result of the Cena defense, however, so don’t get your hopes up about Sabu winning the belt.
– Even though Kurt Angle will actually be working more often in ECW than he currently does, he’ll be working a lower-impact style as evidenced in his match with Rey Mysterio on Smackdown. It’s believed, at least in the company, that having Angle wrestle a shooter style will minimize the amount of bumps he has to take from suplexes and things of that nature. The “new” ECW that Heyman talks about so often is expected to feature a lot of shoot-style matches, and that’s why Angle is being portrayed as the face of the new direction of the promotion.
– As of June 6, See No Evil has made a total of $12,608,973, which far eclipses the production budget of $8 million dollars. When you factor in DVD sales, the film will actually be considered a resounding success, at least from a movie industry standpoint where films come out all the time that barely recoup costs. The John Cena flick will probably be even more successful, but only if they’re able to get the rating down to where kids can see the film. After all, kids and women are the only people really cheering Cena and buying his merch, so they need to market the film to that demographic as much as possible.
– The road agents are high on Beth Phoenix for her in-ring skills. They’re also high on her because she suffered a broken jaw, which is an incredibly painful injury, and gutted out the rest of the match anyway.
– Even though Harry Smith made his debut as one of the faceless 20 wrestlers that made the save for Cena from ECW on Raw this past Monday, they’re going to forget it ever happened. Smith will stay on the road for awhile and will probably debut in July to prepare for a SummerSlam match with Shawn Michaels.
– Greg Gagne is making lots of friends down in OVW, but not for reasons that you’d think. Gagne is making a name for himself with his complete lack of knowledge of the past fifteen years of wrestling. He does like CM Punk, however, and told him that he could be the next Randy Savage. Now THAT is pure comedy, folks.
– Superstar Billy Graham was admitted to the hospital last week with a bowel obstruction.
– Former WWE/WCW semistar Giant Gonzalez recently had a newspaper article written about him. He’s confined to a (very big) wheelchair these days and is barely surviving. He’s hoping to get some relief from the Argentinean government to help with medical bills.
– They’re contemplating dumping Paul Burchill’s pirate gimmick. So, they see that a gimmick is starting to get over with the crowd (no matter how retarded it is), and then they kill it right before the biggest blockbuster of the summer is released, which also has to do with pirates? Does this seem like bad business sense to anyone else? How in the world Vince McMahon ever grew to rule this industry, I’ll never know.
– The Tazz/Lawler match on Sunday won’t actually be a match, which I guess is why it hasn’t been billed as a match thus far. Instead, they’ll try to get as much heat out of it as possible, and then Tazz will choke him out. Tazz will obviously be the ECW color guy, but he’s expected to wrestle a few matches per year.
– John Cena told the Dayton Daily News that Hulk Hogan was his hero and the man who was everything he wanted to be while he was growing up. He also says he’s never taken steroids, which I can believe. Then again, Chris Masters said he’d never taken steroids, and he’s currently sitting at home because of a supposed steroid violation, so you never know.
– The company would probably sign Teddy Hart if they knew he had his head screwed on straight and would act professionally. Of course, there’s no guarantees of that with Teddy. Nattie Neidhart is pretty much holding a guaranteed spot if she wants it after she finishes recuperating from a knee injury.
– Dewey Larson (who) from Fusion Pro Wrestling signed with WWE to act as the ECW ref. I want to know what happened to Jim Molineaux, though.
– I’d like to state for the record that WWE has really been putting out some incredible freaking DVD’s as of late, and the Dusty Rhodes compilation is another excellent title. The best part about it isn’t the matches or the story (in which you hear Dusty talk in his weird regular voice). Don’t get me wrong, because those are absolutely great. The best part is the DVD case itself, which will cut a different promo on you depending upon a button you press.
– Dean Malenko is going to be the lead road agent for ECW, with Steve Keirn as his assistant. One more agent will be added underneath Malenko. Other lead agents include Arn Anderson for Raw and Dave Finlay for Smackdown. Ricky Steamboat is getting rave reviews from the wrestlers for his work with babyfaces, which isn’t surprising, considering that Steamboat was one of the most effective babyfaces in pro wrestling history.
– JBL was scheduled to beat Rey Mysterio for the title at Judgment Day and would also have been involved in a top match for One Night Stand, but his cracked vertebrae and the pain resulting from trying to work through it forced a change in plans.
– Shawn Michaels will team with Hunter at Vengeance and will work a limited schedule through a match at Summerslam with Harry Smith, and will then have knee surgery. His surgery will require a lengthy time off the road, so expect him to be gone for months, not weeks, when he does go under the knife.
– Pat Patterson usually works at the final TV tapings before a PPV, at the PPV itself, and then the TV right after the PPV events.
== TNA NEWS ==
– For those wondering why they’re rushing into the Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner match so quickly, it’s become apparent that certain forces within the company don’t trust Steiner enough to create a long-term program for him, so they’re booking this one and getting it over with before he flips out. It’s not that he’s been acting strangely while in TNA; in fact, he’s been the model of the perfect citizen backstage thus far. There’s concern about his history, however, and they want to capitalize on the match as it is one that TNA fans truly want to see. It’s truly a good thing that I don’t consider myself a TNA fan, then.
– Dixie Carter gave birth to her second daughter last Thursday. Jeff Jarrett is still running the company in Dixie’s absence.
– It’s expected that there will be at least one PPV hailing from somewhere other than Orlando this year, but no one knows which one it’ll be or when. The company announced the Impact schedule for the rest of 2006, and they’re all coming from Orlando. So, basically, TNA is a local promotion with national coverage and a PPV deal. THE TERRITORIES ARE COMING BACK.
– Christy Hemme was on James Guttman’s radio show and talked about how it’s better to lose the Diva Search than to actually win it. She’d rather lose and get hired later on for $75,000 and then work her way up to a better slot than to get thrown out there with a $250,000 contract and then get fired when the company realizes you can’t actually wrestle or, well, draw any heat whatsoever.
– Low Ki has finished his Japan commitments and will now be working for TNA full time.
== FIVE THINGS I THINK I THINK ==
(with apologies to Peter King)
1. I think that the WWE vs. ECW special might have saved ECW from a quick death. I know I said last week that ECW probably wouldn’t last past the summer months, but if they’re able to create the same intensity as they did on the USA special, then it’ll last. That special was the only thing about the buildup thus far that has even felt remotely like a true ECW product, and even the Big Show defection which was completely out of nowhere yet, despite being on the stupid side of things, came off well. As long as One Night Stand can keep that momentum going, then they’ve got a real chance to bury TNA once and for all starting next week.
2. I think that WWE Films will actually be the rare non-wrestling success story for Vince McMahon. Yeah, See No Evil has only made roughly 13 million dollars thus far, and that’s low when you compare it to most mainstream releases. But the movie has nearly doubled its budget, and in a day and age where a lot of mainstream releases don’t even make up the cost of its budget, See No Evil has to be considered a success story. Lions Gate will keep putting these things out because it doesn’t cost them much, and they’re going to make a few million bucks each time.
3.I think that we’re going to miss Glen Jacobs a lot more than we think we will when he retires. I do not, however, think that we’ll miss Not Kane very much.
4. I think it’s time for a title change in TNA. Christian had a lot of momentum coming into the company, but he’s stagnant now. I’d put the belt on Abyss at the next PPV and then start a long, slow buildup to Samoa Joe defeating him for the belt sometime in the fall. Can you imagine Joe holding the belt for a year while remaining undefeated, and then having a new guy go over him? That guy will have instant credibility, at least with TNA fans.
5. I think the Dallas Mavericks are going to take the NBA Finals in five games. It’s been nice to see a motivated Shaq returning to the spotlight, but Miami has no answer for Dirk Nowitski, and Dwayne Wade isn’t enough to help Miami stick around. It’ll be a short, painless death for Miami, but they’ll be back next year.
Tags: TNA, WWE