Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1853
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/ _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1853
| (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Thursday August 5th 2004
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>> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITORBy 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
>> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/news
> THE ROCK GETS NEW MOVIE ROLE- 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)
> SMACKDOWN! PREVIEW- 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.
> SAKODA GONE- 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
> WWE ON BILLBOARD- 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.
> FLAIR'S BOOK MOVES TO NUMBER SIX- 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 OUTBy 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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