Latest on Flair
Ric Flair posted on Facebook and Twitter that he is now selling signed replica championship belts. You can find them on his official website.
– Speaking of Ric Flair, The Charlotte Observer reports that he currently owes $237,436 to the federal government in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. He also owes the North Carolina Department of Revenue $41,358.
Hulk Hogan Thanks Dixie Carter For Putting Up With ‘B.S’
Hulk Hogan posted a message on Twitter Wednesday thanking TNAWrestling President Dixie Carter for putting up with “b.s.” from the creative team and maintaining her composure.
“Really looking foward th IMPACT this Thursday, the show now has energy, momentum and a real life of its own, props to Dixie for always being there and keeping her cool when sometimes we are all over the place with our he said she said b.s.,” Hogan wrote.
“She’s a constant and is always in the trenches with us even if we’re right or wrong. Thank you Dixie Carter for letting Impact continue to grow. You haven’t seen anything yet. HH4Life.”
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania 29?
Partial Source: The Wrestling Observer
– A member of WWE’s creative team suggested this week that Brock Lesnar perform a run-in during CM Punk’s WWE Championship defense against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson next month at Royal Rumble. This would then lead to a match between Lesnar and Johnson at WrestleMania. This is NOT confirmed and just one idea brought up in a recent creative meeting.
Ex-WWE Developmental Talent Tells Wild Story
A video has been released where a former WWE developmental wrestler Devon Nicholson talking about reports of “inappropriate conduct” at WWE’s former training school at Deep South Wrestling.
Nicholson sent the following statement to f4wonline.com:
“I was in DSW during the time of the incident between Zack Ryder, Melissa Coates and Drew Hankinson. Nobody involved in the “Naked Jelly Donut Incident” were forced to do it. They volunteered to do it to get out of training that day. Bill had come up with the elaborate game because he wanted them to train and didn’t think they’d agree to it. Hankinson was not “nearly naked” he was totally naked, the only thing covering his genital area were his hands. He was in the ring nude for approximately 30 – 45 minutes while Demott walked from one corner to the other holding up approximately 18 jelly donuts for Hankinson to “stink face” on both Zack Ryder and Melissa Coates. Ryder and Coates were cheered on heavily by many of the DSW talent who also did not want to train.”
“I had passed a try out and was paying to be there to learn wrestling and attempt to get a WWE contract but went back to wrestling in Puerto Rico shortly after this incident occurred. I doubt Vince McMahon knew that this type of “training” was going on in his territory and I had assumed him finding out was one of the reasons it was shut down and Demott was let go. Although I disagreed with some of his training methods, I had a good relationship with Bill Demott while I was in DSW and valued the wrestling related advice he gave me.”
Here’s video of Nicholson talking about the incident:
Why is Raw staying at three hours?
WWE CFO George Barrios indicated this week that WWE has no plans to retreat from the current three-hour Raw format.
Despite concerns over the erosion of WWE’s flagship show in the long-term, Barrios pointed to several reasons why WWE (and USA Network) are at least publicly pleased with the current three-hour shift during a presentation at the 40th Annual UBS Global Media Conference in New York on Monday.
- In reference to the addition of a third hour (as opposed to the actual third hour of Raw which has experienced audience erosion), Barrios said the 8:00 p.m. hour is “up 35 percent versus what it replaced for USA.” Barrios did not say if that is viewership, overall rating, a key demographic, or a combination of numbers.
- Barrios said USA is “very happy with that,” referring to the additional hour of programming. “The content is delivering for our network partners,” Barrios said.
- The short-term benefit of returning to six hours of original TV programming is generating more revenue from the more-lucrative third hour of Raw (as opposed to one hour of the D-Level Superstars show) and the new “Main Event” show (as opposed to one hour of the C-Level ECW/NXT).
- The only real concern expressed by Barrios is whether WWE is “duplicating” content across all of their shows. However, he claimed the audience is not duplicating, suggesting WWE is reaching a majority of new viewers with each show, as opposed to a majority of repeat viewers.
“When we went from six hours of television to four hours of television domestically couple of years ago, our total viewership declined,” Barrios said. “Is there duplication between Raw, Smackdown and now Main Event, Saturday Slam? Of course there is some duplication, but there is non duplicate of the audience.”
Royal Rumble DVD cover art already released
Around the same time the official Royal Rumble PPV poster was released, Amazon.com released WWE’s official Royal Rumble DVD cover art. Both the poster and the cover art feature The Rock front-and-center with the text “Finally…” highlighted.
The Rumble DVD, which is due out February 26, carries the following description for the PPV event occurring on January 27:
“WWE kicks off The Road to WrestleMania with the 2013 Royal Rumble and this year The Rock is back to electrify the WWE Universe once again! Will the Peoples Champ finally bring the WWE Championship home to Team Bring It for the first time in over ten years? Plus 30 or more Superstars compete in WWE’s historic over-the-top rope main event where one resilient Superstar earns a chance to main event WrestleMania! Sheamus emerged from the pack in 2012 and went on to claim the World Heavyweight Championship on the grandest stage. Who will add their name to the illustrious list of Royal Rumble winners this year and will they have a date to go one-on-one with the great one The Rock at WrestleMania 29? This is truly a monumental edition of one of the WWE’s most long-standing events and a must-have for all WWE fans.”
CM Punk’s Injury & Return?
Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
At this time, the unofficial timeframe for CM Punk’s return is three weeks. More information should be available soon.
Punk had been working through a knee injury for several weeks, but due to the meniscus damage, he knee started to lock up and he couldn’t go at 100%.
After the surgery, there was a chance that Punk would work the TLC PPV and many professional athletes who have undergone the same procedure have gone back to work within a few weeks. WWE decided against that due to Punk being a top guy and also because of the planned mach with the Rock at the Royal Rumble.
Hogan & Flair Receiving Wrestling Offers
Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
While Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair have both claimed to have wrestled their final matches, both have recently received offers to return to the ring.
Llaves y Candados, which is backed by one of the biggest television networks in Mexico, met with TNA officials and Hulk Hogan at the November 29th TNA iMPACT! tapings. Roberto Figueroa made a huge offer to Hulk Hogan to wrestle one show in Mexico. Hogan turned down the offer, stating that he cannot go in the ring any more. They even proposed a match where Hogan could stay stationary and have wrestlers run into his punches and bump around for him, but Hogan rejected that as well, which may be very telling about his current physical condition.
Ric Flair has also received a big offer to work with an international promotion. It is believed that Flair would wrestle again if the money was right. The general feeling is that he will likely end up back in WWE, and they have made it clear that if he comes back that he will not wrestle in aWWE ring.
WWE inks deal with Yahoo for PPV distribution
Yahoo is the latest entertainment company to partner with WWE for their Rolling Stones “One More Shot” PPV concert on December 15.
WWE announced Thursday a partnership with Yahoo to be the exclusive online PPV provider of the concert.
In the announcement, a quote attributed to WWE CEO Vince McMahon reads: “We are pleased to partner with Yahoo!, a global leader in digital media, to bring the Rolling Stones pay-per-view online to millions across the world. Our partnership will create unprecedented reach for this historic event.”
This follows WWE announcing a partnership with E! earlier this week to broadcast a TV pre-show one-hour before the PPV goes live on cable, satellite, and now Yahoo.