This Week in ‘E – New Logos, New Wrestlers, Same Old Vince

The company is rumored to get a new logo. Plus they sign new wrestlers, look for new Divas and threaten the possibility of another Undertaker-Kane match.

Opening Witty Banter
Did you miss me? No, of course you didn’t. I would be worried if you did actually. At any rate I have been out of my usual routine over the past few weeks in a lot of ways, including my usual wrestling intake. In the past three weeks I have seen one episode of RAW, a half of one NXT and no Impact or SmackDown, which is staggering considering my usual wrestling intake. I can’t say it’s been bad for me to be away from things for a while, and it’s been kind of enjoyable. I’ve been to a wedding, a funeral, drank a lot of beer, did some road tripping and a lot of things no one cares about. But now it’s time to get back into the thick of things.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
According to The Wrestling Observer the image to the right is a rumored new logo for World Wrestling Entertainment. However no one can confirm right now whether the logo is legitimate or not. At this point it may be just a fake logo someone created and has floated around the Internet.

If it is legit and a change for the company, then it will be its first new company logo since the company name change from “World Wrestling Federation” to “World Wrestling Entertainment” back in 2002. The name change of course came after losing a court battle with the World Wildlife Fund, which had the same initials and was the cause for confusion between the two companies.

Eh…I don’t know if I’m a big fan of it. I guess it kind of is a throwback to the old school days before the Attitude era so I can see what they were going for. Then again it’s probably all a fraud so it won’t matter in the long run.

Recently Vince McMahon did a nice long interview with the Connecticut Post. It’s got a lot of good stuff in it, including Dawn Marie admitting that she took steroids while in WWE. But the most notable quote taken from the article has to McMahon’s stance on his crew getting company healthcare.

“Anyone who makes the kind of money that they make can easily afford their own health care. Most independent contractors have their own health care.”

It was a fun interview to read as it’s always a treat to read an interview from Vince done by an outside source. But it’s obvious you are not going to get anywhere on this independent contractor front with Vince.

Speaking of boring stuff involving Vince, the company announced the quarterly dividend on Friday.

STAMFORD, Conn., July 30, 2010 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE) today declared the Company’s regular quarterly dividend of $0.36 per share on its Class A shares of common stock. As previously announced, members of the McMahon family have waived $0.12 per share of the dividends. As a result, all Class A and Class B shares owned by the McMahon family will instead receive dividends in the amount of $0.24 per share. The record date for the dividend will be September 15, 2010, and the payment date will be September 27, 2010.

There you go. The more you know, I guess. The point is that the McMahons are still rich, even if half of them don’t work for the company any more.

Last weekend was Comic-Con and it was all the rage. It’s the one big time of the year where all the nerds of the world are pandered too, and it’s now expanded into something far greater than the stereotypical nerd things. This year WWE creative guys, the infamous Brian Gerwitz and Ed Kosky, were apart of a joint WWE/Mattel Q & A panel session. Here are some highlights, courtesy of IGN:

On how times have changed – “It’s changed a lot since back then [1999]…Back then, we would fax our ideas to Vince [McMahon] and then hang out for a week and then check to see if any of them got used on the show… [Now] Friday, we pitch all our ideas to Vince. It’s our big ‘Vince meeting’ day. Saturday we put the show together and then Sunday we’re usually traveling. Then we take some time to run the ideas by the talent.”

On writing changes – “It’s our goal to always plan as far in advance as possible, but sometimes if a superstar gets hurt, or if something’s not getting over and the audience thinks it sucks, yes we have to act like a triage…You can’t just dictate to the audience. You have to adjust and come up with stuff on the fly.”

On managers – “I can’t explain why there aren’t any managers anymore…When I was a kid I loved to watch Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Luscious Johnny V and all of them. But right now I think only manager in the WWE is on the RAW writing team. He’s the Great Khali’s translator. It is kind of a lost art and I’m not really sure why it evolved like that. I think one of the reasons is because the superstars themselves are so entertaining and are so verbally skilled, whereas in the past you needed a mouthpiece to talk for somebody. Now, pretty much everyone has the skill, well maybe not everyone, but most of them have the skills to get themselves over. More than someone else can do it for them. I can’t say that managers are totally dead. They might come back at some point”

On 2 minute matches – “And often times you can put aside a certain amount of time for the matches that you want to see and believe it or not, and I can’t speak for this panel but sometimes the talent will go over the allotted time and that creates a domino effect that cuts into the time in the next segment and then the next segment and on a live show, if a segment goes three, four minutes heavy, you’ve got to take time out of something else.” “Kind of like the Main Event stuff, with the beginning, middle and end, is going to take up the majority of the time so if something runs long then it’s the in-between stuff that gets cut… And that’s when you usually get your two minute matches. It’s just the cost of doing business when you do live TV.”

These guys actually had some good points and it was nice to hear some thoughts from the proverbial wizards behind curtain.

Hey look, WWE is on the hunt for new eye candy! They have apparently sent out feelers to agents and managers to submit the names of female actresses as potential WWE Divas, with “sessions” to take place in October. Successful candidates will be part of various aspects of WWE programming, including wrestling, singing, dancing & interviews.

I’ve never been a big champion of women’s wrestling but if WWE doesn’t care about their women’s divisions then I don’t care either. If they aren’t going to have men’s managers like the creative team talked about earlier, then at least use some of these ladies as managers/valets. They definitely would perk up some of the new/unheard of/untested talent WWE pumps out these days.

The biggest mystery in pro wrestling for years has been why WWE won’t work with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Well that bridge has been rebuilt a tiny bit at least as Mattel signed a deal with Savage to produce a classic action figure for their line. Savage then appeared in a video for Comic Con promoting the prototype of his figure. This video was actually posted on wwe.com of all places, which was really his first appearance/acknowledgement in the WWE Universe other than his unpromoted DVD set that came out last year.

Now once again, let the rumor mills start swirling about a Macho Man appearance and a bid in next year’s Hall of Fame.

In more WWE legend news, According to PWInsider, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan fell recently and broke his hip. While in rehabilitation for that injury, he slipped and broke his shoulder and suffered a fractured hip. He is scheduled to have surgery on August 4 for the broken shoulder. Naturally this has put Heenan’s public appearances on hold, including his scheduled appearance at the recent NWA Legends Fan Convention. It has been announced that WWE will release a DVD retrospective of his career this coming December.

Is there anyone more universally loved than The Brain? Get well Bobby.

But in good news about the legends, Jim Ross has reported that Ricky Steamboat has been released from the hospital and is resting at a home of a relative in Tampa. He reported that Steamboat is expected to return to work in about a month. Steamboat was rumored to have been lined up for a legend’s spot on John Cena’s SummerSlam team, which has now been filled by Bret Hart instead.

Okay, is there anyone more universally loved than The Dragon?

In news just to stick it to Jeff Jarrett, WWE booked next year’s Fatal Four Way pay per view for June 19, 2011. This is the exact date of TNA’s first event nine years previous and the date that Jarrett was hoping to book Slammiversary.

Okay that kinda sucks for Jarrett and TNA as I’m a big nostalgia guy and can see what they were going for there. But is also kind of funny in that petty “screw you” type of way.

Shawn Michaels has officially become an old man. Vince McMahon recently gave the thumbs down to the marketing team in regards to putting Michaels’ image on any new marketing or products, feeling he is truly retired and will not be returning to the ring any time soon. Michaels, meanwhile, seems to be enjoying his retirement and has been trying to get a hang of this new fangled Twitter technology. You can follow him at http://twitter.com/ShawnMichaels_ and read his rants about NASCAR and being old.

At this point, I don’t believe that Michaels will never return again. Ric Flair’s retirement burned me bad and I won’t ever buy into a retirement again, but at this point Michaels seems really content to be a 45 year old stay-at-home dad and get old. Good for him.

In fellow old guy news, it looks as if the plans for Undertaker to return at SummerSlam will not happen. Taker was hoped to return at the show in order to give it a big boost but his injuries (including being in a vegetative state and marrying that blonde chick) haven’t healed in time. There is talk for him to still make an appearance in order to set up a bout against his brother Kane for September’s Night of Champions pay per view.

Because that’s what we need, another Undertaker-Kane bout, right?

Hey look, former WWE Women’s and Hardcore Champion Molly Holly is getting married. You can read the full article here.

The story of how she met this guy is “interesting” but I hope it works out for her. I always loved Molly Holly in her hot redneck Holly cousin phase.

WWE has scooped a couple new talents, including former TNA X-Division and Tag Team Champion Austin “Consequences” Creed and OVW independent star Brent “Beef” Wellington.

I’ve always been a fan of Creed and I hope he gets a fair shot in WWE. He wasn’t a big star in TNA so hopefully they won’t hold that against him. He debuted on FCW recently as Austin Watson, the brother of “Showtime” Percy Watson. Whether that sticks or not remains to be seen but he can’t be any worse than Braden Walker. As for Wellington, how many of these Beef Wellingtons are there? I think this is the third one I can think of by my count.

The Road to…SummerSlam
WWE Championship
Randy Orton v. Sheamus (c)

World Heavyweight Championship
Kane (c) v. Rey Mysterio

Elimination Match
John Cena, John Morrison, R-Truth, The Great Khali, Edge, Chris Jericho & Bret “Hit Man” Hart v. The Nexus (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, Darren Young, Skip Sheffield & David Otunga)

Wrestler of the Week
Week of July 26 – August 1: Dolph Ziggler
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you haven’t read or heard yet or chose not to, then more power to you. But on Wednesday night as the SmackDown tapings for next week’s episode of SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston finally to win the Intercontinental Championship. Even though the match hasn’t aired on television or been recognized on wwe.com, Ziggler is on tour in Australia and is promoted as the Intercontinental Champion in his matches against Kingston. Mr. Ziggler has come a long way from his days as a golf caddy and a cheerleader and has now cemented himself as a top superstar in WWE, terrible moniker be damned. This past month the combination of Ziggler, Kingston, Hardy, McIntyre, Rhodes and Christian have dominated the SmackDown in some sort of a poor man’s SmackDown Six. Now Dolph is king of that little mountain and should be occupied with those five contenders for the time being.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Well tonight’s show is already in the can as it was taped last Monday night in San Antonio after last week’s live show. So this week we are going old school; now only we just need Eric Bischoff to pop up somewhere and spoil it for everyone just moments before it goes on the air. That being said without spoilers, here are the matches that you will see on tonight’s RAW:
Edge versus Wade Barrett
A six Divas tag match
Goldust versus Sheamus
John Cena versus Chris Jericho
The Great Khali versus Ted DiBiase
Randy Orton versus The Miz

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

Superstars

NXT

RAW results and 10 thoughts

How They Rated
SmackDown! (7.16.10) – 1.8

Superstars (7.22.10) – .65

A.M. RAW (7.25.10) –

RAW (7.26.10) – 3.5

NXT (7.27.10) – 1.01

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Dr. TNA brings the most intelligent TNA commentary this site has seen in years.

Logan reminds me of another memorable RAW from 1995.

David B’s trip to Knoxville is so southern it comes with fried chicken and sweet tea.

Ditch is just awesome. Go read him.

Mark has been a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over three years now, evolving from his original “Historically Speaking” commentary-style column into his current Monday morning powerhouse known as “This Week in ‘E.” He also contributes to other ventures, outside of IP, most notably as the National Pro Wrestling Examiner for Examiner.com and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.

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