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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1853

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2004
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at

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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1853
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Thursday August 5th 2004
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hey hey. Here we go with another issue, we'll be back again on Saturday.

      Order the Ric Flair book 'To Be The Man' for just $17.99
      from http://www.wrestlingmegastore.com - Now Shipping


      - The Rock is set to take on another role quite possibly right after he
      finishes production on Spy Hunter. The movie, titled 'Gridiron Gang' is
      set on real life events about a counselor for a Los Angeles youth
      probation center that forms a football team for troubled youths. Movie
      website Coming Attractions is saying that the movie is currently in
      development and will come out under the Columbia Pictures label. The
      Rock is currently working on pre production of Spy Hunter.

      > RATINGS
      - RAW pulled a 3.8 rating with a 6.0 share for Monday's show off hours
      3.7 and 3.9. It's up from last week's 3.6. In weekend numbers, Velocity
      did a 0.6 with a 1.3 share, Experience a 0.5 with a 1.4 share and Heat a
      0.9 with a 1.7 share. (Ratings compiled by Neilsen Media Research and
      put online by PWInsider.com)

      - The following matches are scheduled to air on Smackdown! tonight on
      UPN. RVD vs John Cena; Rene Dupree vs Orlando Jordan; Charlie Haas vs
      Kurt Angle; Paul London & Kidman vs Basham Brothers; Rey Mysterio vs
      Spike Dudley. JBL and Undertaker will also be on the show.

      - Smackdown Superstar Ryan Sakoda has been let go by the company reports
      Dave Meltzer of the Observer. Sakoda, along with Akio were brought in
      the company to team up with Tajiri as a Japanese mafia group but the
      trio didn't last long as Tajiri was soon transferred to the RAW roster.
      Sakoda was last seen at Ohio Valley Wrestling where he was sent to do
      more training.

      - Only two videos made it on Billboard's Top 10 Recreational Sports
      chart for the week ending August 14th. These are 'Bad Blood 2004' in the
      third place and 'Wrestlemania XX' in the fourth place. These videos and
      much more can be purchased from WrestlingMegastore.com on DVD.

      > STOCKS
      - Stocks closed the day at 12.45, a 0.32% increase over the previous
      closing. The day's range was 12.30 - 12.60.

      - Ric Flair's book 'To Be The Man' will be the in the sixth position on
      the New York Times Best Seller list which is to be published this coming
      Sunday. That is one place up from last week's chart and its currently in
      its third week on the list.


      >> KNIVES OUT
      By Ian Hamilton, [ian.hamilton@...]

      Since the release of Mick Foley's first autobiography, "Have A Nice
      Day", the glut of wrestler's memoirs have been met with a mixed

      Most of the WWE's releases managed to sell well, and a few of them were
      actually good reads. Of course, for every "Have A Nice Day", we've also
      had a "If Only They Knew", a "Hulk Hogan" and a "The Rock Says", but you
      get my drift.

      Despite the number of high profile book releases since "Have A Nice Day"
      signalled the entrance of wrestler's autobiographies onto the scene five
      years ago, none of them have quite sparked as much controversy as Ric

      Of course, the book's been out for a few weeks, and anyone who's going
      to have bought it by now won't need any internet columnist like yours
      truly to sell the book to you. So I won't. But there are some things
      which really disappointed me about the book.

      "To Be The Man" should have been remembered as the best written
      wrestler's autobiography since "Have A Nice Day". Unfortunately, it's
      some of the comments inside the 336 pages which have overtaken the
      stories of Flair's career.

      People will remember a total of two pages (tops) of comments about Bret
      Hart and Mick Foley, rather than Flair pouring his heart out about his
      career, especially towards the end as WCW was finally killed off.

      Now, you've probably read about all of the bickering between Flair, Hart
      and Foley, but I would like to make one last comment on it. No matter
      how much you read, or hear about these guys' arguments, I just wish that
      everyone would forget about it. It's just another locker room argument
      that's spilled out into the public (thanks to Flair's book) - but when
      this all dies down, the trio will be remembered for what they did in the
      ring during their careers, and not what they said during some public

      - Love him or hate him, Teddy Hart will surely go down as one of the
      dumbest guys ever to be involved in the wrestling industry.

      Despite having a surname (and I don't mean Annis) that would have bagged
      him a major role in WWE long before now, we could very well be looking
      at someone who has talked himself out of a job. When he left the (then)
      WWF on bad terms after forgetting to keep his mouth shut during a
      training camp, Hart pretty much had to start from square one on the indy

      If you want to be complimentary about the guy, you could say that his
      style fitted in with the oft-maligned independent groups which choose to
      go for acrobatics over wrestling. While Teddy admits himself that he
      sacrifices himself to entertain the fans, maybe it's time that he takes
      a step back and looks at what he's doing.

      In the past year, Teddy has burned bridges with a lot of promotions. TNA
      won 't touch him until he signs a contract (and we all know Teddy
      doesn't like being tied down), and ROH are understandably tetchy about
      using him after his Scramble Cage stunt last November (yes, I know he's
      worked once for ROH since then). On top of that, Teddy cost himself a
      booking in Florida after feigning an injury to get out of CZW's Best of
      the Best tournament in July 2004.

      With three of America's top independent groups now unwilling to get
      burned again, Teddy turned his sights to setting up a promotion of his
      own - H2 Wrestling With Court Bauer - a man who's been behind three
      failed iterations of Major League Wrestling. Ooops. Well, it all went
      well, until H2 cancelled a show in Boston, claiming (using very vague
      wording) that someone at ROH had gotten the show cancelled.

      At first, it looked like a legitimate excuse, but as time ticked away to
      next weekend's rescheduled H2 debut show, we started getting hints that
      we had all been worked. A recent interview with Teddy and Court went
      slightly awry when Teddy went into business for himself after Bauer left
      the interview - and we all learned why Teddy's nickname in some circles
      is Teddy Anus.

      Hell, if you needed a further example, just look at Hart's match against
      Derek Wylde at the Buffalo Brawl, in Buffalo, NY on July 18. Hart and
      Wylde went out there and worked a long spot-filled match. Except Teddy
      didn't sell anything, pushing birthday boy Al Snow to the verge of
      killing Hart for "exposing the business" after the show. Well, he would
      have, had Teddy not injured himself while doing a 20ft backflip from the
      backstop of the baseball park onto the ground.

      Anyway, everything was looking rosy for Teddy, as H2 Pro Wrestling
      headed into their debut show in Boston next weekend. Except that show
      has been cancelled, and Teddy "I'm only going to work for H2 now" Hart
      has booked himself into a corner.

      For a guy who's so intent on working his own angles, and trying to book
      himself as a modern-day Brian Pillman, it seems that Teddy didn't have
      the sense to tell himself when to stop. With the stillbirth of H2, Teddy
      could very well be left without any high profile indy bookings - unless
      he can quickly repair all of those bridges he burned down, while trying
      to make a name for himself.

      And while it's every wrestler's biggest priority to get over with the
      fans (which leads to big matches, and the big money which follows), you
      have to question the wisdom of a guy who works the kind of stupid
      internet angles, at the expense of bookings, that Teddy did. Still, as
      long as it means he's had his name in another Dave Meltzer update, then
      that's alright, isn't it Senor Anus?

      - This November sees the sixth edition of the WWE's popular "SmackDown"
      franchise of video games for the PlayStation.

      THQ look to have gone all-out to make this the best WWE game so far for
      the PS2, and judging by the leaks of information to date, it looks like
      it may very well reach that goal. Unfortunately, the use of the old
      SmackDown engine means that it won't beat the much-vaunted No Mercy and
      WrestleMania 2000 games, but it'll come close.

      As with every year, we've got the same promises of a deeper career mode
      (with 12 wrestler-specific storylines, while the rest get a succession
      of random stories), improved graphics, the return of Legends (possibly
      including Andre the Giant and Bret Hart this year.) and extra
      customisation for your created wrestlers (so that's the newest WWE
      t-shirts included in the game then). But there's more:

      For the first time ever, a WWE game will be playable online (and no, I
      don't count the crappy "With Authority" card game that WWE had a few
      years back). Yes, WWE SmackDown vs Raw will be playable online via the
      PS2 Network Adapter, which means that any New York (Jamie) Nobles can
      take on a Shawn Michaels fan in Seattle. Molly marks in Michigan can
      fight a John Cena fan in Johnstown, and an Evolution fan in Elizabeth
      can test their mettle against a Benoit fan in Baltimore. You get the

      If that's not enough to whet your appetite, how about this? Create-a-PPV
      is back - so those of you who've been wanting to simulate a card since
      SmackDown 2 can now do that. and you can now create your own belt. Yep -
      that even includes designing the strap as well (although you'll need a
      second memory card to do that - which is extra cost).

      Behind all of the flashy customisation options, there's even more new
      stuff when you actually play the game. Yes - commentary is back!
      Although THQ have denied it so far, the early video demos of the game
      have distinct commentary from Tazz and Michael Cole on the game, which
      should keep it fresh for, ooh, two weeks of solid playing.

      But when the bell rings, you'll notice the real changes. No more will
      wrestlers start in opposite corners - you now get a random start to each
      match, where you can win the opening lock up with a test of strength, a
      cheap shot at a stare down, or a simple shove to the mat. Other gameplay
      improvements will see the weighting system extended to the finishing
      moves (which really buggers you up if your 150lb CAW wants to use a
      Death Valley Driver finisher on the Big Show), and you can now do
      ten-count punches on the turnbuckles, if you can time your buttons

      Other "improvements" (depending on how you look at it) will mean that
      you can only eliminate opponents in the Royal Rumble by using special
      moves, and not the cheap "batter them into the ropes and dropkick them
      out" method that was favoured by almost everyone.

      Finally - THQ step into the waters of faces and heels. Now you can be a
      nice guy and be squeaky clean, or your character can be a heel and low
      blow your way to the top.

      The one thing that has hamstrung the SmackDown series of games in recent
      years is its roster. Since the brand extension, we now have over 60
      active wrestlers, and SmackDown has left out a fair few wrestlers.
      However, THQ seem to be going against that, saying "as long as they're
      on TV in August, they'll be in the game." So, will we see the likes of
      Paul London and Molly Holly on a SmackDown game? Let's hope so.

      WWE SmackDown vs Raw is scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 2 in
      October/November (some European sites are listing October 1, while IGN
      is listing November 9). Just in time for everyone's Christmas stockings.

      - And if you like the GameCube, WWE Day of Reckoning is set for a
      release at the end of August; with Bret Hart confirmed as a playable
      legend in the game, with a total of around 40 playable characters. If
      you're wondering what kind of game it'll be - no, it's not going to be
      the crapfest that WrestleMania 19 was, but it has been described as a
      "modern day WrestleMania 2000" by some.


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