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3/27 Observer Notes


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WWE News:


-The reason for new signings of Chuck, Jindrak, HOG and Test is that Vince told Johnny Ace that due to last firings WWE had some spending money for low downsides for some midcard talent. The criteria given to Ace were: 6'2" "naturally" big guys.


-Rosey was supposed to team up with the returning Jamal to reprise 3 Minute Warning, but the idea was dropped, and Rosey was fired.


-Charlie Haas has done only one OVW match since being signed and is still taking indy bookings that are approved by WWE.


-London and Kendrick maybe beating MNM for the tag belts soon, as they are listed as defending champions in some house show ads for shows after 'Mania.


-Helms is too injured to wrestle at 'Mania.


-Moore will come in as a heel to work against Super Crazy on SmackDown after Mania.




SNME fallout


-Internally, WWE felt that it was not as important as the Homecoming show to USA, but nobody quite expected to get the low ratings that they got. NBC pulled a 4.7 from the week before with their own weak lineup, so the argument that WWE did better than other programming in that slot for the network is false. NCAA tourney was a non-factor as outside of the Final Four games it never made a dent on wrestling programming ratings before. NBC has not yet made a comment to WWE about how they feel about the low ratings, but the feeling among WWE people is that once NBC fulfills their contractual obligations for the other SNMEs, they won't make a new deal for it.


-Part of the original SNME charm was that it was a rare chance to see Hogan wrestle on free live TV, which he almost never did on usual programming, and non-squash matches. Dave equates the problem of SNME with the Clash of Champions after Nitro started, as Nitro made Clash meaningless because it gave away the matches that made Clashes feel special.


-The ratings progressed throughout the show, and only dipped a little for the Henry and Daivari interview segment, but went right back up once 'Taker showed up.



MMA Roundup:


-UFC at Staples Center in LA for the Gracie vs. Hugher fight will likely be the biggest gate in the history of MMA and will probably make more money that three out of the four 'Manias held in California. (XXI, which was also held in Staples, will probably not be beaten).


-PRIDE is trying to get the ring allowed in California, where currently only the cage is allowed.


-Elbow strikes are becoming an issue in California, as the commission was at the Strike Force show in San Jose and felt that there were discrepanies over what was allowed and what wasn't, so they want to figure out whether they'll be banned or not to create streamlined rules for MMA.


-Seamless gloves are being discussed for Cali as well, because the commission feels the seams on the regular gloves can cause cuts and stoppage of fights.


-No mixed shows will be allowed. So no combination of boxing, kickboxing or San Shou bouts on an MMA show. Only one set of rules will be allowed per each show.


-Alexander Emelianenko wants to quit PRIDE and work for K-1, who are offering him better money.



Japan News:


-NJPW drew disasterously in Sumo Hall Show on 3/19. The crowd was barely 4,500, but was announced at 7,500. Akebono vs. Lesnar was not received well. The whole buildup to the show was whether or not Lesnar could get Ake up for F5. Lesnar went for it early, but Ake hit a backsuplex to block it. The rest of the match went okay, but the crowd wasn't into it, and in the end, Lesnar blocked Ake's low-chokeslam (nodowa), and then hit a DDT for the pin, deflating the crowd.


-King's Road is working NJPW, but King's Road's stars are not getting a reaction from NJPW crowds, who don't feel these guys are important.


-Big Mouth Loud and NJPW are at odds after Uwai (President of BML) pulled Shibata from a rematch with Tanahashi. The deal was supposed to be Shibata goes over Tanahashi at Tokyo Dome, and then Tanahashi gets his win back at Sumo Hall. Shibata went over at Tokyo, but at the last second, Uwai pulled Shibata from a rematch saying it was too early to do it. Choshu is pissed and said he will never do business with Uwai again.


-NOAH is doing well, which Dave credits to their smart booking that protects their stars and what he calls an old school philosophy (he compares it to Mushnick's running of the St. Louis territory, and since that was waaaay before my time, I'll leave it to people that actually seen it to compare and contrast and discuss that)


-Dave pimps Morishima as the future of NOAH.


Misc Non-Fed News:


-The company that is selling the Chyna/Syxx sex tape are saying they sold more than 100,000 copies.


-Maven will be "booked" on Surreal Life as an a-hole that wants to show off his body, but was really nice to everyone on the show and the production crew liked working with him.


-Mark "Smelly" Bell, an ex-UPW guy, became one of the strongest men in wrestling, by winning a weightlifting competition, where he deadlifted 617 lbs. Only Scott Norton, Ted Arcadi, and Kazmier have done more.



Trials and Tribulations of TNA:


-Dave feels TNA is screwed, because they cannot expand outside of their core audience with their current booking strategy, and don't have a budget to compete with WWE in terms of production, stars, or marketting; yet TNA right now is trying to present themselves as WWE-like, which it obviously can't pull off.


They are having a hard time establishing themselves as an alternative, and seem to be trying to emulate WWE.


Dave questions the philosophy of cramming as many matches as possible into a single hour of programming and not giving X-Division guys enough time to develop a match. He contrasts this with ECW, who never had a strong lead in and were never in a position to benefit themselves as much as TNA is, but did better because they sometimes only had two matches on their shows, but built hot angles around it and made the matches seem special.


-Plymouth, MI show did very well, and although ICP promoted it, most of the fans came in because of TNA and not ICP. Dave doesn't understand the wisdom of having Scotty D'Amore do a Canadian Destroyer on the show, as a "super hot move" should not be made to seem like a manager can pull it off.


-Lots and lots of media pub for TNA angles with White Sox.


-Spike Dudley is probably going to come in to TNA.


-More on the BG James and Kip situation. BG was getting $1,000 per appearance with TNA. Kip got 2,500 for PPV and 1,500 for TV. BG wanted more, and management told him that due to losing 24 mil, they cannot give it to him. When BG complained, they told him that if he wanted, they would the money away from Kip and give some to him and he could explain to Kip why that happened (personal sidenote, that's fucked up). When this was said to BG, he told them he was quitting. At this point, management told Kip that if BG quits, he would be fired, because without BG, they'd have nothing for Kip to do. So, BG and Kip worked out with TNA a deal. Both are now getting 1,250 for TV and 1.750 for PPV.


-Konnan is getting experimental hip therapy by a doctor that performed this type of procedure on two members of the US Olympic skiing team. If successful, other wrestlers will follow suit.

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Guest SweetMama Scaat

The way TNA handled that was clever yet fucked up. Road Dogg shouldve quit then he and billy gunn wouldve been gone...and all wouldve been well.

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Guest savagerulz

Some more news:


From PWinsider.com


Partial Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter


--Helms recently signed a multi-year contract extension with WWE


--Tajiri has agreed to appear at this year's ECW One Night Stand PPV.


--Vince McMahon confirmed in a creative staff meeting yesterday that Kane

will win the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day. Stephanie McMahon is in charge of how to book Kane's win.


--Also confirmed at this meeting is that Ric Flair will win the Money In The Bank Match, however, RVD will still challenge the wwe champion at One Night Stand II.


--wwe are considering JBL vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Texas Bullrope match Judgment day.


--Expect Undertaker to take a leave of absence after Wrestlemania.


--Batista is due to return by the end of April.


--A very close source in wwe is reporting that Rey Mysterio will be winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 22, however, he may loose it as soon as Judgement Day.

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