The Botterm Dollar In Wrestling #21

Short intro this week, folks. Many thanks go out to all of you who wrote in to welcome me back and congratulate me on my exit from the Army. I appreciate all the kind words.

A new feature I’m going to include every week is an update about my fitness goals. When I went into basic training, I was well over 200 pounds. When I left basic training, I was 165 pounds. Over my last year in the Army, I didn’t do a ton of PT because it wasn’t really required, and I gained a lot of weight. A lot. I came home in December at 226lbs, the biggest I’ve ever been.

Anyway, I joined a gym in December and started working out. Through February 15th, I had lost seven pounds, mostly because I wasn’t eating correctly. On the 15th, I started eating properly: six small meals a day, no fat, lots of protein, nothing to drink but water. In fact, I drink over a gallon of water a day.

I weighed in today at 210 pounds. I feel fantastic and I’m addicted to this health stuff, and if you feel like keeping up with my efforts, you can pay a visit to my blog.

WWE NOTEBOOK

— The Wrestling Observer Newsletter 2006 Wrestler of the Year award winner Mistico received a tryout in front of agents prior to Smackdown. Reports are that his tryout was great, but that if he’s signed he still won’t appear on television immediately. Yes, he’ll probably have to learn to work WWE style before they put him on television, which totally negates all the stuff that won him the award in the first place.

CMLL is furious about the tryout, going so far as to alert border patrol over the weekend to try and prevent him from entering the US. That, folks, is the best wrestling story I’ve heard in a long, long time. It’s almost as great as Batista paying a hostess $40 to seat him as far away as possible from Vince and Shane in a restaurant because he was in flagrant violation of the WWE dress code.

The Mistico tryout will have a huge impact on the North American wrestling scene, no matter which way it goes. CMLL has offered to pay him far greater amounts of money than what he’s been making should he decide to stay in Mexico. The sad thing is that CMLL has been ripping him off terribly for quite some time; the CMLL office charges almost $10,000 for Mistico’s booking fees, and then only pays him roughly $100 a shot. He gets enough bookings that he’s making a good living, and if he stays in Mexico he’ll be close to his family, so that’s a strong pull.

If he decides to go to WWE, CMLL will immediately feel the effects. A lot of the lower card guys will be disappointed to see him go, because having him on any card automatically draws a bigger house and thereby makes all payouts even bigger.

If Mistico does indeed sign with WWE, they will send him to developmental for awhile before bringing him to the main roster. CMLL owns the rights to the Mistico gimmick and it doesn’t look like they’d be willing to give it up. It actually makes no sense to even bring the guy in if you can’t call him Mistico, because the reason you’re signing him is to draw lucha libre fans, and giving him another gimmick is wasting him as a draw. I don’t know if he’d be able to get over or not anywhere except Mexico, but at least calling him Mistico would give him a decent shot in Mexico. Without that name and a substantial push, he’s just another guy.

— Test was fired last week, but he’s lucky he didn’t get fired in January. He’s failed two at minimum and possibly three tests for steroids (yes, I know, it’s hard to believe), but they kept him around to try and give Lashley a boost. Vince had a real thing for Test a few months ago, but then completely soured on him during the Lashley vs. Test vs. RVD match from ECW. The match was designed to get Lashley over huge, but Test pretty much ruined the match by trying to get all his major spots in, resulting in both the match being completely horrid and Lashley not getting over as expected. The belief is that once the Lashley program ended, Test really didn’t do much for the company, and given his history, he was canned.

For what it’s worth (which is nothing), Test claimed on his MySpace page that he left the company voluntarily. He says he’s tired of WWE and tired of the politics. By “politics”, of course, he means “the WWE Wellness Program”. I strongly suspect TNA will sign him, since wellness and steroids and other health-related issues don’t mean all that much to certain people in the TNA office.

— The company will be running an 11-day, 22-date European tour at the end of April. They’ll be doing two shows per day for 11 days straight, which is absolutely mind-boggling. There’s going to be some sore bodies when that one is all said and done.

— As a followup from last week, it has been confirmed that WWE actually cancelled the planned March 5th Saturday Night’s Main Event, not NBC as was previously reported. Despite the awful ratings for the two previous prime time shows, NBC approached WWE about doing another one leading into WrestleMania. They agreed to do it, but later talked their way out of it and got NBC to agree to do the show in June instead. They didn’t want to get sidetracked from building up Mania, which is great, because the buildup for the company’s biggest show of the year has been as good as I can ever remember.

— Flash Funk (2 Cold Scorpio) is sitting at home collecting a paycheck because the WWE creative staff can’t come up with anything for him to do. There’s a belief that he might debut after WrestleMania, but nobody really knows what’s going on. He’s probably got the best position in the company — making six figures to sit at home. You’d think they’d at least make him work in the office or something. If I were Vince, I’d have him in the WWE lobby doing random funk dances to entertain visitors.

— No, the Hulk Hogan not being at Wrestlemania story isn’t a work. Unless something drastic happens, he won’t be there. This is one situation where I would love to see Hulk Hogan on a big card, and there isn’t many of those anymore.

— Speaking of sitting at home, Sylvester Terkay has a 90-day no-compete clause. I can pretty much guarantee you that he’ll be in TNA the minute his clause is up, but I’ll have more on that in the TNA section.

TNA NOTEBOOK

— Kurt Angle is pestering anyone and everyone who will listen, telling them they need to bring in Sylvester Terkay once his WWE 90 day no-compete clause is up. There has been serious discussion about bringing Terkay in and doing a series of amateur-style matches on PPV, mostly because with Angle as champion, there’s only one top guy he can be paired with (Joe) and they’ve already burned that program into the ground.

— Jeff Jarrett is upset with the direction of the company lately, and has pushed to have longer matches on television. He’s also given Vince Russo an edict not to write so much material for the show. At the last tapings, Russo showed up with a 42 page script…for a one hour wrestling program.

— Over 50 individuals appeared on TNA Impact last week. TNA Impact is only one hour long. You do the math.

— Sonjay Dutt was injured during his match with James Storm this past week at the tapings. Dutt went for an elbow and Storm decided he didn’t feel like taking a bump, and Dutt jammed his shoulder pretty bad. It’s the same shoulder Dutt injured in Japan a long time ago, and he was hospitalized for it after the tapings. There is a lot of heat on Storm because he didn’t seem to care that he’d injured Dutt by being lazy and careless.

UFC NOTEBOOK

— Don’t be surprised to see Chuck Liddell move up to the heavyweight division if he beats Quinton Jackson later this year. Liddell wants to fight Mirko Cro Cop, and Mirko has already indicated that he isn’t dropping to light heavyweight in UFC. Liddell said on Bubba the Love Sponge that he wanted to fight Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Quinton Jackson and Fedor Emelianenko. I’m pretty sure Liddell will easily beat Rampage and he’d probably murder Silva right now because Silva obviously still hasn’t mentally recovered from the knockout from Mirko, but Cro Cop would be a tougher one to call. Fedor is easy to call, because Fedor would murder him. Chuck Liddell is a great striker and a great champion, but there’s no way in the world he’d stand a chance against the fighter most believe to be the greatest of all time.

— Liddell also laughed off Kurt Angle’s claims that he (Angle) would beat Chuck in a fight. If anyone ever needs resounding proof that Kurt Angle is certifiably insane, the claim that he would be Chuck Liddell in a fight is all you need. Angle had claimed that Chuck wasn’t a wrestler, so Liddell reminded everyone that he was a four-year starter on a his college wrestling team. He took it easy on Kurt, but did say that Kurt had never been punched in the face.

— Dana White did an interview with NBCSports.com. “I’m after all the best fighters in the world. I’ll have Fedor someday.” Not if he keeps insisting on single fight deals, he won’t. “What’s happening now, is that with us going international now, and going after that talent, Tim [Sylvia] is finally in a position where a lot of those questions are going to be answered. A lot of people think that the mystique over in Japan, they’re bigger, better, making more money. All of it’s bullshit. It’s all a big myth and now we’re in a place where we can prove it. Look at Nick Diaz. Diaz was cut by us because he lost so many times and he just beat Gomi who everyone thought was unstoppable and the best guy in that weight division. Not only did Nick Diaz beat him, but BJ Penn destroyed him.”

Regarding PRIDE’s claim that UFC was the problem in making Chuck vs. Wanderlei: “I’ve been trying to make that Wanderlei Silva fight for Chuck for years. And that got these goofs running around saying I wouldn’t make the fight and I’m the reason it won’t happen. That’s bullshit. I’ve always been willing to prove we have the best fighters in the world. Now it’s unfolding anyway. It’s happening.”

— White also confirmed that the winner of the Mirko Cro Cop/Gabriel Gonzaga battle at UFC 70 in England would face the heavyweight champion at that time.

Thanks for reading again.

(The previous information came from a combination of my own sources and the Figure Four Weekly newsletter.)

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