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Sunday, February 23, 2014

News and Notes

Courtesy Wrestling On Line Network

- WWE today unveiled the WWE Network programming lineup which kicks off on
Monday, February 24, at 9PM EST. The first live show on the Network will
be the RAW pre-show starting at 7:30PM EST on launch day, followed by a
post-RAW show titled RAW Backstage Pass at 11:05PM EST. These will be
weekly shows. Smackdown will also get the same treatment, with a 30 minute
pre-show starting Friday, February 28 at 7:30PM EST and then the Smackdown
Backstage Pass follows at 10PM EST after Smackdown is over. WrestleMania
Rewind will premiere on Tuesday, February 25 at 9PM EST followed by WWE
Countdown at 10PM EST. These will also be weekly shows. A one hour special
titled This Is NXT premieres on launch day at 11AM EST, giving everyone a
behind-the-scenes look at the next generation of WWE Superstars and Divas.
This will serve as preview for the first ever live in-ring event on the
WWE Network, the NXT ArRival, airing live on Thursday, February 27 at 8PM
EST. Before ArRival kicks off, a 30 minute pre-show will air live. NXT
will also have a weekly show every Thursday at 9PM EST starting on March
6, at 9PM EST. WWE Superstars will be airing on the WWE Network starting
February 27 at 10PM EST with a new show every Thursday and another new
show titled Beyond The Ring, featuring action from WWE, WCW, AWA, and ECW
kicks off on Saturday, March 1 at 8PM EST. Rounding up the new shows are
Best of RAW and Best of Smackdown, with Best of RAW starting on Thursday,
February 27 at 4:30PM EST and Best of Smackdown kicking off on Saturday,
March 1 at 1PM EST. The WWE Legends House premieres on Thursday, April 10
at 8PM EST and will air every Thursday. Legends House has Superstars such
as Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Hillbilly Jim, Tony Atlas, and others living
in a house together. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air in full
on the Network on Saturday, April 5 at 9PM EST followed by the first ever
pay-per-view on the Network, WrestleMania XXX, on Sunday, April 6 at 7PM

- In a statement issued to from DISH Network’s
Corporate Communications office, the company has confirmed that they will
not offer WWE pay-per-views however will consider the value of the PPV
shows on an event by event basis. “WWE has chosen to launch a 24/7 online
network, without its TV partners, that includes all of its pay-per-view
events. As WWE enters the increasingly fragmented media world by
themselves, DISH will continue to consider the value of WWE pay-per-view
on an event by event basis,” the statement says. “DISH continues to
provide a variety of WWE programming, including WWE Raw on USA, WWE
Smackdown on Syfy, WWE Main Event on Ion and WWE Total Divas on E!. At
this time, WWE pay-per-view events are not available on DISH.” DISH
becomes the first PPV provider to dump WWE shows due to the WWE Network.
DirecTV threatened to do the same in January but has confirmed that it
will carry the Elimination Chamber, the last PPV-only show that will air
before the Network launches. Upcoming WWE pay-per-views will be available
on the WWE Network as part of the $9.99 package and will also be airing on
the traditional pay-per-view format for the usual price of $54.95.

- In reaction to DISH Network’s decision to dump the Elimination Chamber
pay-per-view from its schedule and basically the rest of the WWE
pay-per-views, WWE issued a statement on their own. "WWE is pleased that
the majority of our cable and satellite Pay-Per-View distributors are
giving our fans an option to purchase traditional Pay-Per-Views as we
prepare to launch WWE Network on Monday, February 24. Unfortunately, DISH
will not be doing so. We hope DISH will reconsider for this Sunday’s
Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event and especially for WrestleMania
30,” the statement read. WrestleMania 30 will undoubtedly be a major,
major loss in revenue for both WWE and DISH if the provider decides not to
carry it as well. DISH said that it will consider carrying WWE shows on an
event-by-event basis.

- WWE announced its fourth quarter results ending December 31, 2013,
before the market opened today, with revenues totaling $118.4 million as
compared to $115.1 million in the prior year quarter. The company had an
operating loss of $12.2 million compared to an income of $2.6 million in
the prior year quarter. Net loss was $7.9 million compared to an income of
$0.6 million. The decline and loss were majorly due to a heavy investment
in staff, talent, and marketing initiatives to launch the WWE Network.
“During the past year, we laid the foundation for future growth and
enhanced our brand strength,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer. “We have now announced the renewal of our television
distribution agreement in the U.K., are continuing the negotiations
regarding our domestic content, and are poised to launch our global WWE
Network in the next few days. With preparations for WrestleMania 30 fully
underway, we look forward to celebrating our enduring legacy and ushering
in a new era as we blaze new trails in the media industry.” You can read
the full press release at

- The Hell In A Cell pay-per-view was the most successful in the last
quarter while Battleground was the biggest loser out of the four
pay-per-views which WWE offered between October and December. The first
Battleground did 114,000 buys, followed by Hell In A Cell with 228,000
buys, up from the 199,000 the show did the previous year. The Survivor
Series was down from 208,000 buys of the 2012 edition to just 177,000 in
2013 while TLC did 181,000 buys, an increase of just 6,000 buys over the
previous year. Survivor Series is the worst of the original top four
pay-per-views when it comes to buys and is no longer a draw as in previous

- During the conference call held earlier today to discuss the quarter
earnings results, Vince McMahon made the first public comment about CM
Punk since Punk walked out of the company several weeks ago. When McMahon
was asked about the upcoming WrestleMania and a status update on CM Punk
by one of the callers who managed to get through. McMahon said that this
year’s WrestleMania will be big both storyline-wise and talent-wise and as
far as CM Punk goes, the Chairman and CEO said, “He’s taking a sabbatical,
let's just put it that way." WWE has avoided talking about CM Punk since
he quit almost a month ago and Punk himself has not used his Twitter
account since January 27, where he thanked his fans for all the support.
WWE has denied releasing him last week and Punk remains on the WWE.COM
website and his merchandise is still selling on

Greatest of All Time

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PPV Poster of the Day

February 16th 1997
UTC  Arena
Chattanooga,  TN


DarkThe Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) defeated The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher)Tag team matchUnknown
1Marc Mero (with Sable) defeated Leif Cassidy[1]Singles match09:30
2The Nation of Domination (FaarooqCrush, and Savio Vega) (with Clarence Mason) defeated Bart GunnGoldust, and Flash Funk[1]Six-man tag team match06:42
3Rocky Maivia (c) defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley[1]Singles match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship12:30
4Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon defeated Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) (with Clarence Mason) bydisqualification[1]Tag team match WWF Tag Team Championship10:30
5Bret Hart defeated Stone Cold Steve AustinVader (with Paul Bearer), and The Undertaker[1]Four corners elimination match for the vacant WWF Championship24:05
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

News and Notes

courtesy Wrestling-Online Network

- The world of pro wrestling lost one of its boys yesterday as Nelson
Frazier, better known to fans as Big Daddy V, Viscera, and Mabel, passed
away at the age of 43 due to a heart attack. Frazier signed with the
then-WWF in 1993 as Mabel along with his tag team partner Mo to form Men
on a Mission with their manager Oscar. In 1995, he was pushed as a solo
competitor and turned heel, winning that year’s King of the Ring
tournament. He headlined SummerSlam 95 against Diesel for the WWE title
but never won the big title. In 1999 he returned to the WWE and was
kidnapped by The Undertaker and the Acolytes. He was repackaged as Viscera
and formed part of the Ministry of Darkness before being released a year
later. In 2004 he came back for his third run with the company with a
completely new gimmick as the “world’s largest love machine,” and ring
announcer Lilian Garcia proposed to him, only to be dumped after the
Godfather offered many of his hos in return. He moved to the ECW brand in
2007 and wrestled his last match for the WWE against CM Punk in 2008.
During his time in the WWE, he won the Hardcore title once and the Tag
Team titles once.

- WWE has issued a statement on the death of Nelson Frazier on the WWE.COM
website and put up some videos of Frazier from his WWE career. “WWE is
saddened by the news that Nelson Frazier Jr., aka Big Daddy V and Mabel,
has passed away. A larger-than-life Superstar, Frazier was a former World
Tag Team Champion, Hardcore Champion and the 1995 King of the Ring. As the
dark, formidable Viscera, he was also a member of Undertaker's faction,
The Ministry of Darkness. Frazier's colorful personality made him a
memorable competitor throughout the Attitude Era. Our deepest condolences
go out to Frazier's family, friends and fans,” the statement read.

- WWE TV shows could be moving to a new home as Variety is reporting that
both WWE and NBC Universal have “stepped away from the negotiating table”
with no deal in place to keep RAW and Smackdown on USA Network and SyFy
respectively. “WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our
flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired,” WWE
said in a statement. “While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU
during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive
partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by
programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about
our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who
recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content
delivered 52 weeks a year.” The exclusive window expired on February 15
and WWE can now talk with other networks such as Viacom, Discovery, Fox,
and others. NBC Universal can still match whatever offer WWE receives from
other networks as part of the original agreement to keep the shows.
Currently WWE receives around $140 million in licensing fees and the plan
is to at least double up on that money. Variety reports that WWE is
interested in either put all the shows on one network or else split them
up. If WWE decides to move to a new home, both RAW and Smackdown will
continue to air on USA and SyFy until September 30 of this year.

- The situation with CM Punk remains unclear and as noted yesterday he

still is featured on WWE.COM both as a Superstar and to sell merchandise
on and now WWE is denying the rumor that Punk was released
last Friday. The report initially came by saying that talk
during the weekend non-televised live events suggested that Punk received
his release on Valentine’s Day. Another report this time from Wrestling
Observer countered the rumor, saying that WWE has officially stated to
them that CM Punk was not released and he is still part of the roster.
Punk walked out of the company a couple of weeks ago and has not even
tweeted since then. A few photos surfaced online yesterday of Punk picking
up his girlfriend AJ Lee from the airport in Chicago during the weekend.

- The Elimination Chamber card looks to be complete now with two matches
added to the pay-per-view. Announced yesterday were New Age Outlaws vs The
Usos for the WWE Tag Team titles and Darren Young vs Titus O’Neil. Those
two matches will join the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World
Heavyweight title, Big E vs Jack Swagger for the IC title, The Shield vs
The Wyatt Family, and Batista vs Alberto Del Rio. The kickoff match will
see Cody Rhodes and Goldust taking on Ryback and Curtis Axel. That match
will air on the WWE App, WWE.COM, and WWE’s social media outlets such as
Facebook, YouTube, etc.

- When RAW went off the air, the fun didn’t stop for the folks inside the
arena and Dean Ambrose was the one who drew the short end of the stick for
the post-RAW antics. After the dust settled following the huge fight
between The Shield, The Wyatts, and all participants of the Elimination
Chamber match, Cena, Bryan, Sheamus, and Cesaro were left with Ambrose in
the ring. Cesaro got hold of Ambrose and performed the Cesaro swing -
almost 30 spins - before dropping him to a large ovation from the crowd.
Sheamus then followed with a Brogue kick on Ambrose and after he recovered
from that he got hit with the AA from John Cena. With the ring cleared,
Bryan was left alone with Ambrose as the fans hit a “Yes!” chant and then
he hit a running knee to finish off The Shield member.

- As things stand, DISH Network will not be carrying the Elimination
Chamber pay-per-view most likely in protest over the price of the WWE
Network and the availability of all WWE pay-per-views as part of the cheap
$9.99 monthly package. An e-mail sent to Danielle Johnson,
Programming/Consumer Relations at DISH regarding the pay-per-view remains
unanswered at time of this writing. DISH has removed all mentions of WWE
from their website. They do list the UFC and TNA shows which are set for
pay-per-view this month and next month. DirecTV, which threatened to take
off WWE pay-per-views in comments to the Los Angeles Times after the
Network was announced, is advertising the Elimination Chamber on their
website and will be carrying the show as usual. It is important to note
that the Chamber show is not airing on the Network since it launches the
next day in the United States.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

News and Notes

Courtesy of Wrestling OnLine Network

- On Friday, NBC Universal’s exclusive window to renew all WWE programming
came to an end, and unless they coughed up the money that WWE was looking
for, the company is now in a position to deal with other potential
networks. WWE has not announced that it has reached a deal and more likely
will not announce anything until April judging from previous comments from
WWE executives. All WWE shows were timed to expire together for the first
time ever so whoever gets to win the deal will get all the WWE
programming. WWE left Spike TV back in October 2005 and moved back “home”
to USA Network, which hosted RAW since its inception back in 1993. WWE is
looking to at least double the money on their current deal and networks
will be fighting for their shows considering they bring in the desired
ratings in the most important demographic in television.

- WWE and Mattel announced a multi-year extension of their global master
toy licensing agreement that will go through 2019. Mattel has owned the
WWE rights for action figures and toys since 2009 after taking over from
JAKKS Pacific. Since then, WWE action figures have ranked as the number 1
action figure property in the U.S. and consistently hold a top ranking.
“WWE and Mattel’s action figure line is consistently ranked in the top two
thanks to our creative marketing campaigns, tremendous retail support and
seamless infusion of cutting-edge innovations,” said Doug Wadleigh, Senior
Vice President, Global Brands Marketing, Boys and Entertainment for
Mattel. “We are excited to continue our partnership with WWE as they
expand their global footprint and leverage our global scale to deliver WWE
toys to kids around the world.”

- Scott Hall, one of the founding members of the nWo, is expected to be
announced as an inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014. Hall noted
on Twitter that himself, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Amy “Lita” Dumas, and
The Ultimate Warrior all got the Verified status by Twitter at the same
time, and the only thing that links those individuals is that they’re all
HOF inductees. Scott Hall had a pretty rough couple of years but thanks to
Diamond Dallas Page he got his life back together and is looking better
than ever. Hall also tweeted a message to his friends Kevin Nash and X-Pac
saying, “Hey yo..@RealKevinNash and @TheRealXPac wanna have a Wolfpac
reunion in New Orleans during WM? #Kliq”

- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has announced that HBO has picked up his pilot
of the show titled Ballers, a half-hour dramedy series looking into the
lives of a group of former and current football players. The former WWE
champion is the lead star and also once of the executive producers of the
series. Mark Wahlberg will also be serving as executive producer along
with Steve Levinson, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, and Johnson’s ex-wife Dany
Garcia. Omar Benson Miller, John David Washington, Rob Corddry, Troy
Garity, Donovan Carter, Jazmyn Simon, Taylor Cole and LeToya Luckett will
be playing the other main characters of the show which will start filming
later this year.

SHANE MCMAHON ALMOST LOSES $20 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT DEAL- Shane McMahon, the former WWE Executive Vice President of Global Media,
should thank his lucky stars as he just saved $20 million of his own money
after a fraudulent deal was uncovered. McMahon was part of an investor
group led by former Wall Street stockbroker Calvin Darden Jr that were
going to purchase the popular Maxim Magaine. Darden - who was already
convicted of a fraud scheme back in 2005 and spent time in prison -
received $8 million for the acquisition from other investors according to
Bloomberg and was trying to get $20 million out of McMahon. Darden didn’t
get the necessary cash in time and missed several deadlines to purchase
Maxim and eventually the deal - which was never going to happen - fell
through. Eventually Darden surrendered to federal authorities on February
12 after federal agents went on a manhunt to snatch him. Prosecutors say
that Darden fabricated paperwork and impersonated lenders and lied to
investors in the scheme to take over Maxim Magazine. Shane McMahon
currently occupies the position of Chairman of YOU On Demand.