WWE Judgement Day 2007 did an initial buyrate of 245,000. That makes for a far stronger number than Backlash, which did 194,000 buys but was scheduled one week before the costly and well-publicised De la Hoya vs Mayweather boxing match. It would also make it the strongest B-show PPV since Unforgiven 2006, which was stacked with a TLC match and a Hell in the Cell.
The Wrestling Observer reported that the stress of recent weeks has been evident on Vince McMahon to a greater extent than ever before. His latest decision was that all choke or strangulation moves are banned, with any wrestlers or agents who want to include one in a match having to request permission directly from him beforehand. He doesn’t want to provide any current footage of his employees using choke holds that the media can include in their Benoit coverage. No word on whether he realises just how much footage already exists of choke holds in WWE.
The reason Cody Runnels was debuted so soon is that Vince told the creative team and the agents that they needed to bring in fresh faces so the fans would have something new to latch onto. According to the Observer, he told them “It’s your job to get the fans back into the angles instead of dwelling on the tragedies.” Since none of the other developmental wrestlers were anywhere near ready to be called up, they turned to Cody Runnels.
One of the agents, Mike Bucci (Simon Dean), has some heat on him after his contact at the new Florida Championship Wrestling territory started acting like a big-shot and flaunting his power in front of the wrestlers. Also, James Gibson (Jamie Noble) is now an agent and in charge of helping the cruiserweights put their matches together. WWE recognises that most of their agents have a ’70s and ’80s view of wrestling and that they need some fresh approaches from people with more knowledge about things like UFC, ROH and Japanese promotions.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 23 July 2007 (click here for subscription information)
Tags: Smackdown, WWE