Rampage Jackson Conference Call – June 5, 2013

rampage-jacksonQuinton “Rampage” Jackson talks to the media about his partnership with Spike TV, Bellator and TNA Wrestling, why he is so excited about this new deal, leaving the UFC and why this will be different and better for him, when he will be able to fight next, if he likes the tournament style in Bellator, being a wrestling fan growing up, actually getting in the ring and wrestling for TNA, his goals in fighting now, how much longer he would like to fight for, upcoming movie roles and more.  Also on the conference call are Bjorn Rebney of Bellator and TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter.

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‘Rampage’ Jackson Signs Deal with Bellator, TNA

rampage-jacksonBellator MMA along with TNA Wrestling announced today that Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has signed a “multi-year, monumental partnership” that includes both MMA and pro wrestling.

As part of the deal, Jackson will also star in a reality TV show on Spike TV leading up to his MMA debut for Bellator.

“Rampage is a true superstar both inside and outside the MMA cage” Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney said. “The partnership that we’ve created with Quinton is unlike anything that’s ever been done in the sports & entertainment arena and Rampage is the perfect athlete/entertainer to carry it off.”

This deal is similar to one that Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal signed with the companies involved last year.  More details on this deal will be announced during a press conference on Wednesday in Los Angeles followed by a conference call with media.

“Rampage is one of the best known MMA fighters competing today,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “He is a true cross-over star and his talent, big personality and popularity among a wide range of fans make him an extraordinary fit for our company.”

Jackson (32-11), a former UFC light heavyweight champion and Pride champion, left the UFC earlier this year following loses to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira.  At that point, his relationship with the UFC and President Dana White had gone south to the point where both parties decided a split was necessary.

Spike TV is hoping that Jackson and his personality will help provide a ratings boost to both Bellator and TNA Wrestling.  It is not known yet what role Jackson will have with the wrestling company.

“We are thrilled to create this opportunity for one of the greatest athletes and personalities in MMA,” said Kevin Kay, Spike TV President. “Rampage is a proven ratings driver who brings incredible star power to both Bellator and TNA.”

TNA Slammiversary press call with Bully Ray – May 29, 2013

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TNA World Champion Bully Ray speaks with the media about this Sunday’s Slammiversary PPV where he will face Sting, transitioning from being in a tag-team for so long to a singles wrestler, reinventing himself, which younger guys in the company stand out to him, who he has learned the most from in the wrestling business, the current state of tag-team wrestling, Team 3D Academy, Impact Wrestling going live, if there should still be blook in wrestling and more.

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TNA News: Impact Wrestling Moving Timeslot on Spike TV

Impact Wrestling is once again moving timeslots on Spike TV with TNA President Dixie Carter making the announcement on Twitter.

 

It was just over a year ago when Impact moved up to the 8:00p start time.  But since then, the first hour of the show has struggled in the ratings.

Part of the move up to the earlier time slot was to create a four-hour block between Impact Wrestling and Bellator Fighting Championships.  But the move can be made now with Bellator not running every week until at least the fall.

There is no word on if Bellator is being moved to a different night although that would seem likely with Impact Wrestling going back to the 9:00-11:00p ET time slot.

TNA President Dixie Carter Talks Plans for 2013

Recently, TNA President Dixie Carter sat down with Jeremy Borash to discuss where the company is right now and the plans for the upcoming year.

 

 

In the first video, Carter that 2012 was a big year going live with the ‘Impact’ television show and that the locker room is working well together and she is happy with the leadership there right now.  This has been a problem in the past with talent not confident in the direction of the company and upset with the creative direction.

 

She goes on to say that 2013 “will be the tipping point for this company where we really take it to another level”.  As for what that next level is remains to be seen.  TNA would like to go on the road more often with the remaining three pay-per-views this year all being outside of Orlando.  There is a thought that they would like to take ‘Impact’ on the road as well but that would be a costly endeavor.

 

Carter also discusses the X Division and says there will be a greater emphasis on it in the coming year and that injuries have been a problem lately for the division and its growth.

 

In the second part of the interview, Carter addresses about the Knockouts division and says there are big plans in the works there.  As for the division itself, she says that the women should be portrayed in a certain way and not be gratuitous.  That is an interesting comment because in the past with a different creative head (Vince Russo), this was not the case and the argument could be made of how poorly the women of TNA were treated creatively.

 

Speaking of the creative direction, Carter says that the company has never been as good creatively as it is right now and that anyone who stopped watching should come back.  She goes on to talk about the upcoming year and hopes to have more programming in the United States.

 

That is all well and good and I hope TNA can improve and stay around for a long time to come.  But I do have skepticism, especially when it comes to the creative direction of the company.  I think that has improved but I want to see more.  The biggest thing that TNA has to do is make stars, bigger than life figures that stand out and are important to the viewer.  They have plenty of talented performers but no one person stands out as being must-see or special above the others.