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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1972

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  • Colin Vassallo
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at

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      Friday April 1st, 2005 Issue #1972
      Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com

      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

      Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-

      - 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

      - 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

      - 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.

      - 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
      the 28th.

      "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
      an overview.

      "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
      the job.

      "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…

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      © 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
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