Shocker To WWE, Rob Van Dam To TNA/Japan?


WWE is trying to sign Shocker, Mistico and Perro Aguayo Jr as they work on building upon their Hispanic audience, which supports the product in greater per capita numbers than any other ethnic group. Dusty Rhodes is pushing to get Shocker, who he worked with in TNA, and his is the priority deal as he lives in California and can speak English. They expect to get him but the others will be trickier as they have a lot of drawing power in Mexico, which could mean they lose a lot if they go to WWE and just wind up being jobbed out. Mistico was originally earmarked to join Smackdown and be the centrepiece of the Juniors Division, which was to have been kept separate from the heavyweights and just let the cruiserweights cut loose, but the deal fell through and by the time Stephanie McMahon got hold of the idea it became midget comedy.

Rob Van Dam gave his notice last week because if he hadn’t then his contract, which expires in the summer, would have automatically rolled over for another year. He now has the option to leave in the summer but WWE can attempt to negotiate a new deal with him. He has a downside guarantee of $250,000 but probably makes closer to double that amount with merchandise and pay-offs included. He has a standing offer to go to AJPW, although they run fewer dates than when he was there in the ‘90s, and could add to that with TNA and various indy appearances, perhaps at $2,500 per shot. Despite their financial cutbacks of late TNA are hoping to sign him. Age is also a concern for Van Dam, as he is fast approaching 40 and might not be able to keep up his high-risk style for much longer.

The WWE-produced History of World Class DVD shall rewrite some history, making no mention of WCCW beating the WWF in markets like Boston or the WWF copying much of their product. The main people featured are Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich but as Von Erich’s memory is shot and he is uncomfortable discussing backstage matters, it is becoming the Hayes version of events and he is said to come out of it looking like the architect of the boom period. Ken Mantell in particular is expected to be short-changed for his role as booker when the promotion was hot.

Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)