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Friday April 1st, 2005 Issue #1972
Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com
//->> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
Colin Vassallo -[editor@...
Hey hey. Yeah, we're super early today...but I won't be here tonight so
here we go.
Back in the weekend.
Order the 2 disc DVD of Rob Van Dam 'One Of A Kind'
Buy it now from http://www.wrestling-megastore.com
//->> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d
> AUSTIN REMOVED FROM HOF DUE TO MONEY
- Last week WWE pulled out Stone Cold Steve Austin from the Hall Of Fame
ceremony after he was announced that he will induct Rowdy Roddy Piper.
After the press release was sent by WWE with details of who will induct
who, the company pulled Austin and replaced him by Chris Jericho and
then replaced Jericho by Flair. Some industry insiders are saying that
the reason Austin was taken off was because he asked for money to appear
at the ceremony and WWE didn't really appreciate the request. He is
still however scheduled to be the guest of Piper's Pit at WrestleMania.
No official reason was given by WWE as to why he was pulled out from the
> HOGAN INJURED
- Hulk Hogan will be at the Hall Of Fame...on crutches. Plans for an
impromptu WrestleMania match against Mohammed Hassan were scrapped late
yesterday after Hogan suffered a leg injury and is now on crutches.
Despite the injury, he will be at the Hall Of Fame and on 'Best Damn
Sports Show Period' tonight on FOX Sports. Movie superstar Sylvester
Stallone will do the honors at the ceremony inducting his friend the
> SHANE DOUGLAS, RAVEN ADDED TO ECW PPV
- In a quite an interesting twist, Shane Douglas and Raven - both TNA
contracted wrestlers - have been added to WWE's ECW pay-per-view for
this coming June 12th. Douglas is running his own 'ECW reunion' show
titled 'Hardcore Homecoming' in Philadelphia two days before the WWE
PPV. Apparently Paul Heyman who is also working on the WWE production as
a consultant managed to get Douglas to a deal where Douglas is getting
some nice dollars for his appearance. The relationship between Douglas
and WWE is none too nice and since he left the company in 1995, the
former ECW champ never wanted to do anything with the McMahons. Raven
was 'easier' to get as there are no hard feelings between the two
parties but he only agreed after Douglas agreed to appear himself.
> WARRIOR DVD IN JEOPARDY
- An Ultimate Warrior DVD is being planned to be released later this
year featuring Warrior's greatest matches in his WWE career. On his
official website, the Warrior said that he's not having his input in the
DVD and does not want to be associated with the product. Rumors now are
that since he owns the license and trademark of 'Ultimate Warrior' he is
considering legally stopping them from releasing the DVD altogether. But
hey, best of the Ultimate Warrior on DVD? Is there such a thing of best
of the Warrior?
//->> DON'T BLAME CANADA
Jason Clevett -[j_clevett@...
Writing for W-O has meant a lot of success to a lot of columnists.
Whether branching out into other areas of writing or actually getting
involved in the wrestling business, the talent of many of our staff,
past and present, has lead to great things. However, one of us is set to
make a huge impact. By the time you read this, our own Chris Bernes will
have spent several days in LA on his first week on the job as assistant
to the WWE creative team.
"The only word I can use is euphoric! You know, growing up, I wanted to
be either starting second baseman for the Yankees or a wrestler. Now, I
get to assist the Creative Team at WWE, and hopefully, someday, make it
to the actual team. It's absolutely unbelievable!" Chris told us.
Bernes will be sitting in on his first creative meeting in Stamford on
"I will be offering opinions when asked, and cleaning up copy for
grammar and flow... being an English major, I have a grasp on grammar.
Of course, I won't overstep my boundaries, but when asked, I will offer
my opinion. That is step one... what happens from there, leading into
WrestleMania weekend, is promising to be one of the most pleasurable
Getting into the WWE isn't easy. Chris had to make three separate trips
down to Stamford, CT in order to make it through the rounds of
interviews and meetings.
"On January 23rd I had to drive from here in Jewett City, which for
those that don't know is near the Rhode Island border, to Stamford for
the initial interview. I was asked to bring 4 samples of my work, and
three letters of recommendation, including two shining letters from
Colin and Jason. The interview itself was on my knowledge of the
wrestling business, and in particular my knowledge of World Wrestling
Entertainment. On February 16. I drove again to Stamford, and was
feeling pretty good going in. This time, it was more along the lines of
what I felt I could offer the company as an assistant to Creative. How
could I make them better? What makes me believe I am the right choice
for the position? Why would I be a good fit for World Wrestling
Entertainment, and their creative process? I gave what I felt were good
answers. In the end, I felt I had failed the second interview."
Those feelings proved to be false, but the third interview was taxing
for different reasons.
"On March 1, I got the call to be in Stamford the next day for interview
three. The night before I went with a friend of mine to the Motley Crue
reunion show in Hartford, at the same Civic Center I had been booted
from some 7 months earlier. I was wrecked physically as I was front
row. So I get the call asking me to be in Stamford the next day. I was
unsure how I would function. I gathered up all my courage, and put on
the best game face I had and drove again to Stamford. This time,
however, they were completely nice to me. Breakfast at a very nice
restaurant, a very wonderful tour of the WWE facilities, the works. From
my arrival at 9am till noon, I was like a VIP."
While the entire experience had been surreal, the biggest moment of
Chris' interviews so far came when he came face to face with Jim Ross.
"At first, I was shaking. 'Oh my God, it's F'n J.R.!!!' Within
seconds, I remembered I was there to gain employment. I stood up,
offered my hand, and introduced myself. At that moment, I heard what I
consider the most beautiful words I may ever hear. 'I've heard a lot
about you, kid... let's go inside and talk.' This was it to me. I was
inside the office of one of the most respected and revered men in the
wrestling business. I couldn't have been happier."
While Bernes can't get into exact details of the discussion, he did give
"We talked for about an hour about many subjects, most of which I am
embarrassed to say were not WWE related. The wrestling aspect of our
talk, however, really brightened up the conversation! He told me he was
impressed by my knowledge and my grasp on the industry's trends. I was
not offered a job on the spot. I had to wait another long, tedious
week. I actually wasn't here for the call offering me the job! I was at
work when my cell phone lit up like a Christmas tree. It was my
fiancée, KJ, calling me and her message sounded frantic. She is not a
fan, but she sure as hell knows who Good Old JR is! 'That guy with the
cowboy hat from WWE Raw wants you to call him immediately!!' was the
message on my phone. I dialed Mr. Ross from my office, and after a nice
15-minute conversation, which was akin to foreplay; I was told I had the
job! I thanked him calmly. When I hung up, however, the mood had
definitely changed! I was ecstatic! I felt like I had pulled the slot
machine, and all the fruit had lined up."
Chris made one final trip down to Stamford to finalize his contract.
"I was there to dot the I's and cross the T's. The contract is signed,
two years and X amount of dollars. Unfortunately, however, I was told
that this interview would be the last contact I would have with outside
internet media sources not affiliated with World Wrestling
As many readers know, Chris has always shot from the hip and been honest
in his appraisal of WWE. He feels this was also a positive in getting
"I think that was a big part of it. I didn't exactly bring my most
glowing WWE columns as my examples of writing. I brought a rather
scathing column I did where I said SmackDown was bleeding, and only Dr.
Vince could fix it. I think my honesty and my love for the product was
the key. In my second interview I used the following analogy: I have
been a Yankee fan all my life. When they were playing like garbage,
despite having a heap of talent, I stood by them. Don Mattingly, Rickey
Henderson, Dave Winfield, Ron Guidry... the talent pool was enormous.
But the team sucked. A fan can often tell you how to fix it, because
it's a fresh set of eyes viewing the situation. That, and the fan has a
genuine LOVE for the product."
Chris gave us insight into what his workweek will look like.
"The travel will be week to week. I am being attached to SmackDown,
which as you all know, films Tuesday nights for Thursday broadcast. I
will be required to be in Stamford on Saturday for booking and creative.
Tuesday I arrive in the town SmackDown emanates from for last minute
re-writes. I have Thursday and Friday off since I am not expected to
help with House Shows, or as WWE like us to call them, Live Events.
Monday is also a day off in theory, but I am still at the office tying
up loose ends in the morning before getting on a lane to the next town.
Wednesday, as it was explained to me, is a "clean-up" day. We work on
flowing the angles and storylines into the next week of TV. The stories
are written and planned in advance, but it's HOW we get there next week
on TV that we have to decipher. I am eager to learn the process. It's
not booking-on-the-fly, like WCW did many a Monday or Thursday, but
rather a seemless timeline deal. How do we get from point A to point B
with the least resistance?? That is what my Wednesdays will be like,
and then I'm home."
With that in mind and this his final words to W-O's readers and staff,
Chris wanted to take this final opportunity to thank everyone who he
feels has been part of his W-O success, and in turn his new
"I can not put into words how much that hurts me to say. How can I say
anything that will properly express how I feel about the readers, my
colleagues, and my time with W-O? It tears me up that after March 28, I
won't be with you anymore. I have some great great memories of this
sheet. I can't fathom my life without it, but I can't fathom my life
without this new endeavor either! I have been with W-O since June of
2002. In that time, I have earned respect, hatred, love, loyalty, and
over all, the trust of the people who read this newsletter, and by
extension, the website. I have been honored to be someone who you read
and respond to. God or bad, you always had something to say. And I
always made sure you knew I appreciated that. My colleagues, what can I
say about them?
To Colin, Jason, Ian, Jon, Ginger, Lekisha, Eric, all of you are top
notch! If it weren't me doing this, I could think of no one else who
deserved it more. You are all special. You all have a place in my
Chris' parting words reflected on the good times with W-O.
"I ask one thing. Never forget the last few years. The times Lekisha
and I swapped IMs about wrestling, the trip to New Jersey for ROH, when
Ian thought I was going to slap that kid for cussing out loud, the fun
we had that day at the RexPlex. The crap you guys fed me for
inadvertently getting kicked out of Vengeance 2004. You guys are the
best. My colleagues, my readers, and all involved here, I will
certainly never forget you. You are all stars.... and I will keep you
with me as I go forward in this new challenge!"
On behalf of Wrestling Online, thanks for the memories Chris and best of
Until next time
© Copyright 1996-2005 Wrestling-Online.com
Just in case you didn't notice, today is April 1st....which means,
you've been FOOL'D! Yeah, sort of like PUNK'D! Before you send death
threats to me and Clevett, everything you read in today's issue was just
a joke, to celebrate one of our favorite days of the year - April Fool's