Between The Ropes Podcast – August 3, 2013

Brian and Steve are back for a quick audio discussing Kurt Angle getting arrested for DWI in Texas, his future with TNA Wrestling and if he should have one and more.

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Kurt Angle Arrested For DWI, Heading to Rehab

Former WWE world champion and current TNA star Kurt Angle was arrested last night for DWI. Angle who appeared last night on TNA’s Impact Wrestling in Wichita Falls, TX was driving to Tyler, TX when he was pulled over in Decatur by Wise County Police. The TNA star was taken into custody and released on $2,000 surety bond.

This was Angle’s fourth alcohol related arrest in the last six years. Angle just posted these tweets and indicated that he will be entering rehab.

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Video: Tito Ortiz Revealed as #August1Warning on Impact Wrestling

In case you missed it, here is the video of Tito Ortiz being revealed as the person behind the #August1Warning at the end of last night’s edition of Impact Wrestling.

Just don’t stare too much at his watch … you may go blind.

Between The Ropes MMA Podcast – August 2, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about Tito Ortiz signing with Bellator MMA and coming out of retirement to face Rampage Jackson on Bellator’s first pay-per-view on November 2, the interest in the fight, both fighters also going into wrestling with TNA, cross-promotion between the two companies, the UFC world tour, Chael Sonnen and Victor Belfort talking fight, UFC 163 on Saturday night and more.

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Tito Ortiz Revealed As The #August1Warning

TNA Wrestling had been hyping up who the #August1Warning would be. Rumors had circulated it could be the likes of Bill Goldberg, Dave Bautista, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Bob Holly and Adam Pearce. We got the reveal, but it wasn’t a pro wrestler.

The reveal was former UFC light heavyweight champion and the newest signee in Bellator MMA, Tito Ortiz. Throughout tonight’s episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling, it was teased as who the person would be.

During the final segment of the show, The Main Event Mafia, which consists of Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Sting, Rampage Jackson and Magnus came out to challenge the Aces and Eights to a match. A brawl ensued between the two factions, when the lights went out and when they came back on, Ortiz was walking down the ramp.

The wrestlers were shocked especially Jackson and then the show went off the air.

This isn’t the first time we have seen Tito Ortiz in TNA. Ortiz made some appearances in 2005 including a special referee position on a pay-per-view, which was during a time he wasn’t with the UFC.

It was announced yesterday by Bellator MMA that Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson will headline the organization’s first take into pay-per-view on November 2 in Long Beach, California.

The logic would seem here that we will be seeing cross promotion between Bellator and TNA to hype the pay-per-view bout. This has never been tried before, so we could get a good indication if the crossover appeal will be effective.

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Adam Pearce Plays the Internet with His #August1Warning Video

Adam Pearce has a pretty good sense of humor.

And with all the speculation on who could be the mystery person behind the TNA #August1Warning videos, old “Scrap Iron” decided to have some fun with it today, just hours before that person is revealed on Impact Wrestling.

#August1Warning Mystery Revealed Tonight on Impact Wrestling

It’s August 1st and that means tonight on Impact Wrestling, the mystery will be revealed behind the #August1Warning videos.  And yes, this person is “out for personal justice”.

This is the company latest attempt to drum up intrigue and viewers and has had some success so far.  But one of the problems is that when they have done this in the past — and they’ve done something similar plenty of times — they typically end with a dud.

That being said, there is plenty of speculation on who it will be.  We know it’s not Batista or Chris Jericho because, well, the person in the video said so.  But those are also names that very few people would really believe but they’re just not realistic.  Even Jericho has got public stating that he will never work for another wrestling organization other that WWE from this point forward.

In watching the video, the shadow of the person looks somewhat like Bob Holly.  That would be a letdown with most people.  Adam Pearce has jumped on this bandwagon and teasing that he could be the mystery man.  Another choice could be Tito Ortiz who just signed on with Bellator MMA to fight Rampage Jackson.  With Bellator having a working relationship with two of its fighters (Jackson and King Mo) along with both Bellator and TNA being on Spike TV, this would make sense.  Another fighter that could possibly be a fit would be Bobby Lashley.

And none of these people mentioned could be ‘the guy’ either.  If it wasn’t for past disappointments on this front, this could be a really big deal right now.  But there is some intrigue behind it which should be tempered until the person is revealed.

As for who it is, that’s still anyone’s guess right now.  But feel free to share your thoughts and take a stab at it.

Madison Rayne Discusses Leaving TNA Wrestling, Was Not Fired

madisonrayneAlthough Madison Rayne (Ashley Cabot) has said that her contract with TNA Wrestling simply expired on July 3, there are still some that believe that she was fired from the company.

Rayne reiterated on her personal blog that she simply left the company on her own terms with a baby on the way and was not given the best in her future endeavors.

I was not released from my contract on bad terms, with any ill feelings, or with the slightest bit of regret for giving everything I had to Impact Wrestling for 4 1/2 years!* I’ve had what seems like an endless number of tweets lately telling me that I need to go wrestle elsewhere, and people cannot believe I got fired because I was pregnant.

She went on to say:

Y’all, as much as I appreciate the support and the fact that people were affected enough by my release to generate some sort of emotion, please don’t stress over it. I’m surely not. As cliche as it may sound, if I am meant to be back in a wrestling ring on television, God will put me back there. And I have this overwhelming feeling that He will, but for right now I’m so excited and so looking forward to being a mommy and bringing the next generation of Queen Bee into the world.

Rayne added that she has plenty of good memories while working at TNA Wrestling and still has a great relationship with Dixie Carter.

As far as Dixie goes, that passport I mentioned, all those trips around the world, the chance to frisk Earl Hebner (LOL) was all because of her. Bosses are always the easy target when something is less than perfect. That’s business. But at the end of the day she gave the green light to every face you see on the Impact roster. That’s something I think everyone should thank her for because that roster kicks ass! I still touch base with Dixie often. I send baby bump updates to her in the middle of the day and not one time have I gone without a response.

While there were some recent cuts from TNA Wrestling, it’s pretty ludicrous for anyone who continues to think that Rayne was fired, especially while pregnant and the firestorm that would have created.  She had appeared for the company dating back to March 17 and was still on the roster leading up to her contract expiring in early July.

Some of the Fallout from #AskDixie

In light of the recent criticisms that TNA has faced follow cutbacks and perceived money issues with the company, President Dixie Carter has asked for fans to send her questions on Twitter for her to answer, using the hashtag #AskDixie.

While all of her intentions were good, but it really isn’t a great idea to allow all of the general public to take part in a Q&A session for the world to see.

As expected, many people took advantage of this idea to sarcastically ask some ridiculous questions.  Here are just a few of the examples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TNA President Dixie Carter Issues Statement to Fans

In light of the recent cuts and backlash from fans, TNA President Dixie Carter issued the following statement today on ImpactWrestling.com:

Hi everyone,

In the 11+ years that I have been with TNA, I am still amazed by the passion of pro wrestling fans. That passion – both positive and negative – is remarkable and something that all of us at TNA values.

With that said, I asked for questions from you like I have done many times in the past, but I didn’t provide a timeframe by which I would answer you. I know I have frustrated you all, and I apologize. Beginning next week, each Thursday, I will answer legitimate questions from you on a weekly basis.  I will not, however, address outrageous or hurtful questions/posts.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to provide perspective from inside TNA – where we stand and where, with support from our current and future fans around the globe, we are going. What is being shared with you now is what was shared with the IMPACT roster before our phenomenal Destination X show from Louisville, KY last week.

This has been a big year for TNA. We took IMPACT LIVE on the road, exactly where it needs to be – where you’ve asked us to be – in your backyard. We also changed our Pay-Per-View schedule, shifting from 12 to four live Pay-Per-View events each year, in order to increase the value of these events for you. To grow TNA, these are moves that needed to be made. And, part of changes like this, includes structural changes within TNA to align with this new business model.

Many of your comments and questions reference our recent roster changes.  The relationship that fans have with wrestlers is unique and one of the many great aspects of the wrestling business. And, for this reason, releasing talent is never easy – not for you and not for us. But, bringing in fresh faces and the best wrestling talent in the world is what you expect, and what TNA will always strive to deliver.  Recently, we have brought back some talent favorites (Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams and Homicide), and you will continue to see this and new talent that we are excited to introduce you to in the coming months.

TNA has always been, and will continue to be, a place where you can interact with the superstars, whether in person at a live show or via social channels, like Twitter and Facebook.  We are constantly exploring new and interesting ways to take this interaction to another level, and you will see this unfold in the coming months. I appreciate each of you taking the time to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas.  Your input and feedback helps us create a better product. I hope you will join us when IMPACT LIVE comes to your area.

Yours,

Dixie

Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 23, 2013

Brian and Steve look back at Raw from Monday night including the final segments with Daniel Bryan, the great CM Punk – Paul Heyman segment, the train wreck involving the Total Divas segment as well as a little accident, Ryback, Brad Maddox, could Rob Van Dam even be a world champion again in WWE, how important ratings are for this show and more.

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Between The Ropes | Justin Credible – July 22, 2013

justin_credibleJustin Credible talks about how tough the past few years have been for him, his addiction to drugs and his recovery, how healthy he is now, what he thinks his reputation is, getting back his passion for the wrestling business, his YouTube video series “Pro Wrestling 101″, how Colt Cabana has influenced him, independents these days and how tough they are, the current TNA product, being around Triple H in his early days in the business, what he likes in wrestling right now and more.

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Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 22, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about the current cuts in TNA Wrestling including both Bruce Pritchard and D’Lo Brown being let go, the current position of TNA, the issues with the house show over the weekend, a preview of tonight’s edition of WWE Raw, talk of Steve Austin returning at WrestleMania 30, the role of WrestleMania for the company and more.

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TNA Needs to Grow Up and Start Acting Like a Real Business

impact_wrestling_logoNews broke early this morning that TNA had to offer refunds for a house show Saturday night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Apparently, some states still require professional wrestlers to get licensed and tested, much like MMA fighters, while other states allow them to fall into the “professional entertainer” category. To put this in perspective, WWE recently ran a show in Cape Girardeau without any newsworthy issues. [Read more...]

TNA Impact Wrestling TV Draws Highest Rating Since January

Well it looks a themed pay-per-view that aired on free television could be the boost that TNA needed.

Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling scored 1.16 rating with an average of 1.494 million viewers. Last week’s show scored a 0.99 rating with an average of 1.190 million viewers.

The show was a Destination X theme with some solid matches especially the opening bout between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and the main event where Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the TNA heavyweight champion.

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Revisiting TNA’s Destination X 2013

destination xThis is the final part in a ongoing series, looking TNA’s product from a non-fan perspective. Check out Week One and Week Two.

Apologies for skipping last-week’s IMPACT WRESTLING (see, you have to bold it like that because it artificially makes the product more exciting). Some stuff happened, sure, but none of it felt terribly important. I know, I know… Rampage Jackson joined the Main Event Mafia last week. Big news. Should have covered it. So here’s my week-late article:

Rampage Jackson was announced last-night as the 5th wrestler celebrity of the NWO Main-Event Mafia. Because out of all the talent on the TNA roster to recruit from, Sting, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle felt it best to pick somebody who has never wrestled before to join their Main-Event level squad.

In the words of Damien Sandow: You’re Welcome.

Of course, I made that comment about Rampage Jackson before TNA fired about half of their personnel in series of cost-cutting moves (read: Hulkamania is expensive). So maybe I should cut TNA a little slack.

Last night on Twitter, I was told that Rampage Jackson is the “muscle” of the group, which is why he doesn’t have to wear a suit like everybody else. I can buy that logic. But I don’t understand the booking logic in advertising Destination X as the pay-per-view event of the summer, and then delivering with a series of qualifying matches for next week’s Impact Wrestling.

Right, because it makes the most sense to hold the popular Ultimate X match until the week AFTER your pay-per-view show, which is supposed to highlight the X Division. Of course, when a show in the year 2013 opens up with Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, and Brooke Hogan, you know that TNA Creative doesn’t quite have its priorities in check. Not that I don’t love me some Bully Ray (his heel schtick never gets old), but at least let him kick off the show with somebody NOT named Hogan Bollea.

Speaking of “kick off the show,” did anybody else notice Taz was missing at commentary? Me either. Moving on…

What was on display was just alright. The Ultimate X triple-threat qualifying matches proved entertaining. Even more entertaining? Listening to me attempt to pronounce Trent Barreta’s real name after a few glasses of wine… (“no, I got it this time – MAR-Soup-E-uhl. Huh? A Kangaroo?”)

The Main Event Mafia at least delivered on their promise to fight Aces and Eights. Or, at least, they tried. Sting, Angle, Joe, Mangus and Rampage all puffed up their chests and called out Bully Ray’s rag-tag Son’s of Anarchy knockoffs. But surprisingly, In one of the most realistic creative decisions in the entire history of professional wrestling, Aces and Eights just refused. Like, “nah, we don’t want to fight. Nevermind.” So what did the Main Event Mafia do? Run backstage, and let professional wrestling’s only Olympic Gold Medalist get kidnapped in the back of a cheap pickup truck. That’ll teach ‘em!

 

 

Don’t worry, Angle was back in about 15 minutes with ZERO explanation of what went down. I’m guessing he just hopped out. I mean, pickup truck beds are wide open – Bully Ray didn’t think through that one very well, did he? Also, is anybody else bothered by the fact that TNA REGULARLY uses kidnapping as a plot device? This is a serious issue. Apparently, backstage security must absolutely suck at all TNA events. If you have an average of one kidnapping plot per year, effectively carried out on high-level athletes all IN THE SAME WRESTLING ORGANIZATION, isn’t it time to do something about it? Maybe look at the guy who walks around as a “lone wolf,” regularly wearing a hoodie and acting depressed. Oh, right, sorry Dixie, forgot about the cost-cutting measures…

Bully Ray and Sabin put together a fun show. Most fun was the unanticipated arrival of Aces and Eights, the Main Event Mafia, the Four Horsemen, Immortal, S.C.U.M., the J.O.B. squad, and the cast of Happy Days. I’m not sure why, but with a smaller wrestling ring and less space around the outside, TNA feels the need to crowd as many people out there as possible.

But in the end, Sabin finally won, and captured the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Mike Tenay said it was “poetic justice.” I think the hammer in Sabin’s hands probably had something to do with it.

If these past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that I’m a lot more bitter towards TNA’s product than I realized. Either that, or this sarcasm is a normal reaction that every TNA fan has. I can only imagine how much more entertaining Impact Wrestling would be with the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the front row…

Agree? Disagree? Still pining for a Hulk Hogan title run in 2013? Just enjoy sarcasm? Let me know in the comments below, or follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman.

Video: Chris Sabin Defeats Bully Ray To Win TNA World Heavyweight Championship

In what has to be considered a big upset considering where both guys are at in their careers, Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the new TNA heavyweight champion.

It was a pretty good match even though Bully Ray dominated 99 percent of the matchup by working on Sabin’s injured knee.

Aces and Eights and The Main Event Mafia came out about halfway through the match. Near the end of the match, Anderson tried to give Bully Ray the hammer. Sting though came in and stopped that from happening with the two factions then brawling to the back.

Sabin then grabbed the hammer as ray tried a powerbomb, Sabin ray with the hammer and pinned Ray to become the new champion.

The Sabin era has begun.

Watch the video above as it shows the final moments of the match.

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TNA Head of Relations No Longer With The Company

The changes continue for TNA.

The company announced by press release that they were parting ways with Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard.

Here is the statement released a short time ago by TNA:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 18, 2013) – TNA has parted ways with Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard.

“TNA is headquartered in Nashville, and, as we move forward, our creative team and executive leadership will be here in Nashville with us,” said President of TNA Dixie Carter. “Bruce’s dedication and passion for TNA and IMPACT Wrestling will be missed, and we thank him for the incredible work he has done for us. We wish him all the very best.”

There were rumors in the middle of the week that Prichard was asked to restructure his deal and he denied that offer by TNA. This is likely the reason why both sides parted ways.

Prichard had been with the company since October 2011.

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