WWE Smackdown Rundown – June 28th, 2013

wwe smackdown logoIf you missed Smackdown last night, you missed the best (major) wrestling show of the week. WWE put together a fun, athletic two hours for Friday Night that delivered from top to bottom. Let’s check it out. [Read more...]

WWE Fines Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton

WWE announced today on its website that both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton were fined for chair shots to the head during their street fight on Monday’s edition of Raw.

“We don’t allow chair shots to the head in WWE,” WWE COO Triple H informed WWE.com. “We understand it was in the heat of the moment but we take this very seriously and as a result, [Orton and Bryan] were fined.”

WWE did not disclose the amount of the fines to either Bryan or Orton.  The story did have a comment from Orton regarding the fine which he said, “Trust me, it was enough.”

WWE has made a regular practice of fining talent for chair shots to the head over the past few years.  Both Triple H and The Undertaker were reportedly fined for this during their match at WrestleMania 27.

Matt “Doink The Clown” Osborne Passes Away

Matt Osborne, best known for his role as the original Doink The Clown in the WWF during the mid-1990′s, was dead earlier today in Texas.  He was 56 years old.

WWE issued a statement on his passing:

Reports indicate that Matt Osborne, aka the original Doink the Clown, has passed away. A rugged brawler in promotions like Mid-South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, Osborne made a major impact in WWE under the greasepaint of a prankster named Doink — one of the most enduring personas of the early ’90s.

WWE is saddened by the news of Osborne’s passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Osborne’s family, friends and fans.

Osborne started off as a high school wrestling star in Portland, Oregon and later debuted in pro wrestling in 1978 as “Maniac” Matt Borne.  He worked his way up the ladder in Portland Wrestling but never truly broke though do to various outside the ring issues.

Then in 1991, he was signed by WCW and turned into Big Josh, an avid outdoorsman and was sometimes accompanied by bears during entrances on pay-per-views.

His big break came after that when he was hired by the WWF and made into Doink the Clown donned in white makeup and a big, neon green wig.  But he was not a friendly clown but instead turned into an evil clown pulling pranks on other wrestlers.

As much as this became the role that Osborne was best known for, his run as Doink the Clown in the WWF only lasted about one year after he was released due to substance issues.

He had a brief stint in ECW but mostly worked for various independent groups for the rest of his career.

Revisiting TNA’s Impact Wrestling: Week 1

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This is part one of an ongoing series, looking at TNA’s product from a non-fan perspective as it builds towards Destination X. 

Before last night, I hadn’t caught an episode of TNA’s IMPACT Wrestling since 2012. The last major Pay-Per-View I caught was Bound for Glory 2012, back when Aces and Eights revealed it’s (not actual) leader to be Devon, and Jeff Hardy captured the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Austin Aries.

I didn’t stop watching because I disliked the product. In fact, TNA’s big Summer IMPACT Wrestling push last year was some of the most consistent work in the company’s 11-year history. The shows were entertaining, Austin Aries was a great champion, and the Aces and Eights storyline still had a little teeth to it. My schedule simply got too busy for a Thursday wrestling show.

Unfortunately, I tuned in last night and my first thought was, “well, not much has changed.”

I can’t compare this show to last weeks show, and I have no idea how last night’s events fit into the big TNA picture. But watching that episode of IMPACT Wrestling left me feeling completely indifferent. It wasn’t the in-ring work, which was as solid as ever (including Samoa Joe, who continues to be one of my favorite wrestlers never to step foot in a WWE ring). I’m also a big fan of the Bound for Glory series, which was hyped prominently throughout the night.

It just felt like TNA had too much going on. Moreso, it seemed as though the creative staff didn’t know how to highlight the really important things from the not-so-important things.

Example: Main Event Mafia kicked off the show (which annoys me unto itself). Kurt Angle and Sting hyped that they would be adding a new member by the end of the night. But, when the segment with Samoa Joe took place, it just felt awkward. All three men seemed unclear how to handle the moment, and the announcers fumbled through the call. Wasn’t this supposed to be a big development? Furthermore, have Aces and Eights just given up? They didn’t seem too concerned with tearing apart TNA anymore. If that’s the case, then why are Sting and Kurt Angle so threatened by them?

Every segment seemed to have more than one thing happening at a time. It couldn’t just be a match – it had to be a match AND THEN an interview. Or an in-ring promo, then a backstage segment. And why the heck was Hulk Hogan featured more prominently than the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray?

I thought the Austin Aries reveal was a nice surprise. On the other hand, knowing what little I do about recent TNA events, it seemed to completely undermine the whole “X-Division Champion can challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship” scenario. From my understanding, the Chris Sabin X-Division Championship win was a big deal, and it seemed like a great way to build him up to that next level. But watching fake Suicide steal the title in such a ridiculous manner, the stipulation, and thus the title, both lost a little prestige. It seemed like TNA was trying to make this its own Money in the Bank at the cost of the championship.

And by the end of the night, with so much going on, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to care about.

Yes, WWE has some weak nights too. But it seems to promote its flagship show in such a way that you know what’s important, who to focus on, and what to talk about the next day. All TNA seemed to emphasize was the “more stuff happening” part, and it caused the whole product to suffer.

Between The Ropes | David Otunga – June 28, 2013

david-otungaWWE superstar David Otunga talks about being in the movie The Call which is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download, acting alongside Halle Berry, the youth movement in the WWE and seeing some of the guys he trained with coming up, what he calls his former tag-team partner Curtis Axel, finding a colorful coffee thermos and the clothes to match it, the big George Zimmerman case which he is following closely and more.

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CM Punk Gets A Two-Year Restraining Order Against His Mother

CM Punk got the request he was looking for.

The former WWE champion was granted yesterday by an Illinois judge a two-year restraining order against his mother. We reported on Wednesday that Punk was looking for an extension on the restraining order due constant harassment by his mother.

Punk was also looking for her to not be allowed to attend WWE events, but no word has been released on if he was granted that request as well.

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GLORY Agrees To A Multi-Year Deal With Spike TV

Looks like Viacom is pretty set on making a mark in the combat sports world.

It was announced today in a press release that Spike TV has agreed to a multi-year deal with GLORY kickboxing.

The first event between the parties will be taking place in October, with the events taking place on Saturday nights in Primetime.

GLORY made its major U.S. debut with an event last week at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom to see Tyrone Spong capture a $200,000 light-heavyweight tournament.

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Jake Roberts Discusses His Relapse With Diamond Dallas Page

It was reported yesterday that former WWE star Jake “The Snake” Roberts had relapsed in his attempt to overcome his addiction to his drugs and alcohol.

We have part one of the video of where the coaches at Dallas Page Accountability Crib and then part two has Roberts and Page discussing what happened.

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TNA Hires Former WWE Production Executive John Gaburick

Former WWE Vice President of Television Production has been hired by TNA Wrestling to oversee their television.  Gaburick parted ways with the WWE earlier this year after working with the company for 13 years.

Many fans know his best as “Big” John Gaburick from his appearances on the original Tough Enough reality series on MTV.

Here is the press release that TNA sent out:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

JOHN GABURICK NAMED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT TELEVISION PRODUCTION TNA ENTERTAINMENT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 27, 2013) – John Gaburick has been named Executive Vice President of Television Production for TNA Entertainment effective immediately. Gaburick is an accomplished production executive who joins TNA from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he served as Vice President of Television Production. The announcement was made today by President Dixie Carter, to whom he will report.  In his new role, Gaburick will oversee management and production of TNA Entertainment television including LIVE IMPACT Wrestling, marketing and advertising production, special projects and digital assets.

“As TNA evolves, John’s award-winning creative vision and production expertise coupled with his sports and entertainment industry business savvy make him the perfect person to push us in new directions,” said Carter. “He is a gifted and innovative storyteller, and we are thrilled to have him on board.”

“I’ve always admired Dixie Carter and TNA as a uniquely dynamic and growing organization,” said Gaburick. “This opportunity marks an exciting new challenge for me, and I am honored to join the team.”

Prior to joining TNA Entertainment, Gaburick spent the past 13 years in production at WWE. While there, he was awarded the PROMAX/BDA Brandbuilder of the Year Award and guided all image and brand-building media campaigns, as well as network documentary programming. Additionally, he spent 10 years as Operations Manager for National Business Archives in Jessup, Maryland. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Towson University in Towson, Maryland and is a proud member of The Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame. He will be relocating to Nashville with his wife and two young children.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 3 Set With Bader-Teixeira Headlining

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The busy fall season continues for the UFC.

The organization made official today that UFC on Fox Sports 1 3 will be taking place September 4 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The card will be headlined Ryan Bader(15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) facing off with Glover Teixeira(21-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in light heavyweight action. The co-main event will feature former UFC middleweight title contender Yushin Okami(29-7 MMA, 13-4 UFC)facing off with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacre” Souza(18-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

Bader was last seen in action when he defeated Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Fox 6 in January. Teixeira was last seen last month when he defeated James Te Huna at UFC 160.

The card will then be followed by The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 featuring UFC Women’s bantamnweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

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CM Punk Files Restraining Order Against His Mother

CM Punk says he is the best in the world. According to Punk, his mother isn’t the best mother in the world.

TMZcmpunk reported earlier today that the former WWE champion filed a restraining order against his mother. Punk stated in the order that his mother always asks him for money and when Punk doesn’t give her money, she threatens to kill herself.

Punk claims in legal docs filed in Illinois that he’s tried to break off his relationship with his mother for more than a year, “due to repeated financial demands and years of abusive, harassing and threatening behavior.”

In the document, Punk says he’s made an effort to help his mom who he claims suffers from bipolar disorder and has given her more than $100,000. But Punk says her “abusive/threatening behavior” escalated when he cut her off.

That’s when Punk’s mom allegedly unleashed a torrent of nasty emails telling Punk, “You don’t give a s**t about us. You just care about your money and money hungry/fame hungry friends. You would sell us for a nickel.”

In the docs, Punk says his mother has threatened to commit suicide on at least 4 occasions in 2012.

Punk says, “I wish for the harassment to stop and am requesting the assistance of the court in this regards.”

The judge in the case granted the temporary restraining order back on June 10 — but the wrestler is due back in court today where he will likely try to extend the protection order for several years.

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WWE Monday Night Raw Rating Down From Last Week

The Monday Night Raw rating came out yesterday and the rating could have been a lot worse.

WWE’s flagship show drew awwe logo 2.9 rating, with an average of 3.98 million viewers watching. That is down from last week’s 3.03, with an average of 4.15 viewers watching.

Monday’s Raw featured promos with John Cena and Mark Henry, who will square off for the WWE championship at Money in the Bank on July 14.

We seen a promo with CM Punk and Paul Heyman after Brock Lesnar returned last week and F5′d Punk.

The main event featured a match between Daniel Bryan defeating Randy Orton by submission.

The WWE should take this rating as a win as the NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 6, which featured the Boston Bruins against the Chicago Blackhawks drew 8.31 million viewers.

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Between The Ropes | Jason Powell – June 25, 2013

prowrestlingnetBrian talks with Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net about a ton of stuff including the youth movement in the WWE, if this will be a growing trend there, what guys TNA could have possibly had, using The Shield going forward, the Daniel Bryan storyline as we as plenty of non-wrestling stuff including the NHL playoffs and his Bruins losing to Brian’s Blackhawks, the upcoming Anchorman movie, the skywalk and their favorite TV shows.

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Jack Swagger Found Guilty of DUI

swagger

Former WWE World Champion Jack Swagger was found guilty of DUI and other charges today in a Mississippi courtroom.

Swagger was pulled over for speeding in February by Gulfport police about 90 minutes after a Smackdown taping had taken place in nearby Biloxi. The police had then found a small trace of marijuana in the car as well, which the possession charge was dropped by Judge Felicia Dunn-Burke.

Swagger was sentenced to 6 months unsupervised probation, fined $1,498 (including court costs) and ordered to participate in MASEP, an alcohol / substance education class for first-time DUI offenders.

Swagger has not been on WWE programming the last few weeks due to a severed tendon in his thumb.

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Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – June 25, 2013

btrlogoBrian and Steve are back to talk about Raw from Monday night including Daniel Bryan against Randy Orton and the CM Punk – Paul Heyman storyline, the backstage interaction with Bryan and Triple H from the previous week, the upcoming Money in the Bank PPV, the Wyatt Family and how they could possibly be used and a discussion on who is the bigger star between Brock Lesnar and John Cena.

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‘Monday Night Raw’ Reaction and Review – 6/24/2013

For complete coverage of everything that happened last night, check out the WWE Raw Rundown.

image2993Things got off to a hot start last night, with the Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton stuff. Although cancelling the match and postponing it until later in the night felt like a cheap way to squeeze every last drop out of this feud, it made a lot of sense to have this rivalry headline the show. Especially if, and I’m just guess here, this was their final match.

Bryan winning here made sense, as he needed a way to re-legitimize himself as a singles wrestler. I’m just curious what’s in store next for Orton. Their mutual-respect handshake at the end makes it seem like they’re putting the brakes on a Orton heel-turn. Then again, this could just be setting the WWE Universe up for a swerve.

Speaking of set-ups, I think it’s pretty obvious here that Punk is being “set-up” by Paul Heyman. Their interactions last night carried a lot of weight and emotion, which was good. But it’s also the exact type of thing that will be replayed over and over once Heyman finally turns on Punk. Overall, this seems to be a great way to extend the feud between now and Summerslam without using up all of Brock Lesnar’s appearance dates.

The Shield has officially dropped to lower mid-card duty (don’t say we didn’t warn you). Hopefully their feud with The Usos will be quick and painless. This is the major consequence of no long term build with The Usos – that is, nobody gives a crap about their storyline.

Money in the Bank participants were announced last night, albeit rather informally. I can’t help but imagine this would have carried so much more weight had they let the wrestlers come out to the ring and jabber back-and-forth about who was going to win. I’m also confused about whether or not this is the only Money in the Bank match this year. If so, this is a stacked match, and should be very entertaining. If not, I think the company would have been wise to limit the participants here by spotlighting a few key performers (imagine how great a four-way Punk vs. Bryan vs. Orton vs. RVD MITB match would be), and then save the “all hands on deck” match for the World Heavyweight Championship MITB.

The McMahons were featured again, just not quite as heavily. It seems like creative wanted to put them back on TV, but now has no idea where to go with this storyline. At least Vickie seems to be shining in her role as “pawn” in the game of WWE Corporate chess.

Overall show was definitely lacking. About halfway through, the momentum completely died. Mark Henry’s segment fell flat (they should’ve just stuck with Cena’s promo, and kept Henry off TV another week), CM Punk had a lackluster match with Darren Young, and the spark from last week seemed to have evaporated. We’re officially back in the summer hangover – let’s just hope things pick back up again BEFORE MITB.

WWE Raw Rundown – June 24th, 2013

rawRaw got off to a great start, but seemed to stall about halfway through. Luckily, a strong main event, plus a couple of big announcements, helped prevent the entire show from being a bust. Let’s take a look. [Read more...]

WWE Smackdown Rundown – June 22nd, 2013

smackdownSmackdown last night was the perfect way to end a great week of WWE programming. Between the well-paced PPV this past Sunday, the number of great surprises on Raw, and the wrestling-heavy focus of Friday Night Smackdown, wrestling fans should feel pretty satisfied. [Read more...]