Friday, February 29, 2008

SmackDown! Preview From WWE.Com

Road tested
February 29, 2008

The Road to WrestleMania XXIV may prove to be a bumpy one for World Heavyweight Champion Edge. Moments after proclaiming to our fans that he was not afraid of Undertaker and that he would be the man to stop The Phenom’s undefeated WrestleMania streak, the Rated-R Superstar came face-to-face with the No. 1 contender.

Rather than stick around and live up to his words, the Ultimate Opportunist ducked out of the ring and watched as Undertaker demolished Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder. As Edge prepares for his showdown with The Phenom at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on March 30, will his vow to break “The Streak” leave him in the crosshairs of Undertaker’s fury? Will The Deadman have something to say about his pursuit to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship?

This Friday on SmackDown, Batista & Kane will face the team of United States Champion MVP & The Great Khali. Last week, for the second straight week on SmackDown, Batista defeated United States Champion MVP in one-on-one non-title action. Both Superstars were bruised and beaten following the Elimination Chamber Match at No Way Out, but The Animal found a way to put down the cocky MVP. What will happen when The Animal & the Big Red Monster team up to take on the Ballin' Superstar & the Punjabi giant? Can MVP find a way to bounce back from consecutive losses with Khali in his corner? Or will The Animal's rage and Kane's hellfire prove to be too much?

One Superstar who is unleashing his fury on WWE is Big Show. The man who will face Floyd Mayweather at WrestleMania is intent to send a strong message to "Money" Mayweather, and he will do so by any means necessary. This Friday, Big Show will return to a WWE ring for his first in-ring action in more than a year. Who will step up and face the gigantic challenge? Will Big Show give Floyd Mayweather a preview of what's to come at WrestleMania XXIV? And if Big Show returns more dominant than ever, who can stop the angry giant?

Finally, Shelton Benjamin qualified for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXIV when he defeated Jimmy Wang Yang. Shelton now joins Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy as participants in this year’s match. Will ECW’s “Gold Standard” finally earn his opportunity at a World Title? Who else from Friday night’s will find themselves reaching for gold at WrestleMania? Who will qualify in the coming weeks for this awe-inspiring encounter?


North Palm Wrestling Vol. 8


Thursday, February 28, 2008

FLASHBACK - One Year Ago on Let's Wrestle: ECW 2/27

The Following was Posted on Year ago today on Let's Wrestle

WWE continued their week of TV with ECW from San Jose on Tuesday night, with a cage match main event with Bobby Lashley vs Bob Holly for the ECW title. Add to that the presence of Vince McMahon making it a 5-minute match or Lashley loses, and you had a lot of things going against Lashley. Of course he did get the win, after Umaga, who was there simply to promote their upcoming WM match, threw in a chair, which Lashley used to pound Holly before pinning him.

The show was okay, with a total of four match, albeit the match of Balls Mahoney vs Matt Striker was barley underway when Snitsky came in and took out Balls and Striker. You also had a very good money in the bank qualifer match with Kennedy beating Sabu. That match was by far the best of the night.

The other two matches included a rare appearance from Stevie Richards, as he lost to C.M. Punk, and a tag with the New Breed's Kevin Thorn and Marcus Cor Von vs Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer. Both matches were short, with Punk winning the first and the New Breed using a little outside help to win the tag match.

The Lashley match was okay, going just 4:30 due to the time stip. Umaga outside the ring builds on their upcoming feud, and the final shot of the show was Lashley jumping through a side of the cage on top of Umaga. That shot was pretty intense, and a solid build as they continue until the big match at Mania. The show overall was good for an ECW product, and thus far the week I feel has been solid for TV with what should be another good SmackDown! on Friday night.

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Jim Ross Talks of a WWE Roster Draft in 2008

From PWTorch:

Jim Ross recently spoke to the Daytona Beach News-Journal in Florida about the possibility of a WWE roster draft in 2008, saying "I assume that there is a chance, but I have heard nothing concrete about this matter. In 2008, I would rather see an influx of new, young talents make their debuts in an organized, systematic process rather than see the same established talents simply change addresses." You can check out the full interview here.

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WWE Diva Maria's Playboy Cover (Kids Cover your eyes!)

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Billboard Recreational Sports DVD top 10 list

1. WWE: The Best Of Raw: 15th Anniversary 1993-2008
2. UFC: The Ultimate Fighter 5
3. UFC 76: Knockout
4. UFC 77: Hostile Territory
5. WWE: John Cena: My Life
6. TNA: Turning Point 2007
7. WWE: Armageddon 2007
8. WWE: The Shawn Michaels Story: Heartbreak & Triumph
9. UFC 74: Respect
10. 2001 FedEx Orange Bowl National Championship

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Trailer for The Rocks Next Movie - "Get Smart"

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WWE Diva Back in the Ring This Weekend

From Pro Wrestling Insider:

Candice Michelle is set to return to the ring at tomorrow's Raw house show in Cape Girardeau, MO, facing Beth Phoenix.

Also set for the show is WWE champ Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy, Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly defending the WWE Tag Team championships against Carlito & Santino Marella, and Chris Jericho vs. Umaga.

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Reviewed by Steve “ Rockamaniac “ Wilson of

When the Global Impact special aired in mid January on Spike TV, the fan response was generally positive, But many fans were left wanting more. The classic Kurt Angle – Yuji Nagata battle had taken up most of the one hour special, and many fans had hoped to see more of the event’s matchups and surrounding events. So TNA listened to the demand and has put together a very impressive DVD release in “TNA Wrestling : Global Impact in Japan”

The DVD begins with 40 minutes of “Pre Show Interviews”, which is basically a documentary on how the event came to fruition, the importance of it to TNA as a company, and the importance of it to the wrestlers involved. Six Wrestlers are featured here, starting with Jeff Jarrett who looks at the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling and how the event came to be, He also touches on the Japanese fans love for the “sport” in comparison to american fans. Jarrett also recounts his career experience in Japan, and later talks about how and when he “brought TNA to Hulk Hogan”

Kurt Angle is up next as he begins his second day of his time in Japan. In typical Angle fashion right now, he spends much of his interview talking about how he beat Brock Lesnar for the IWGP title, and that he is the true champion as opposed to being the second champion or third champion. (Note : Angle has since lost the title.)
Christian Cage then talks about the travel aspect of wrestling in Japan. Including what he and the boys do on the long flights, whether jetlag becomes an issue, and how hard it is to leave early on New Year’s Day. Cage also looks at the history of NJPW, more specially at the Tokyo Dome, Finally he spends time on his experiences in Japan including a funny story of how one day he was walking the streets and a Japanese fan tapped him on the shoulder and proceeded to do a dead in imitation of Cage and any other wrestler Cage requested for a half hour period of time.

Petey Williams spends a moment talking about the Japanese fans and what he would be doing if he wasn’t a wrestler.

Brother Devon gets some rare solo interview time and talks about his match preparation, the history of 3D in Japan, and getting the tables.
Finally we get The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels, who was “fired” from TNA as part of the Feat or Fired match stipulations, but they would pass his appearance off as a previously agreed to commitment that TNA had to honour. Daniels spends time on whether he gets nervous before a big match in Japan and talks a lot about what he expects from his match against Wataru Inoue.

The battle between TNA and New Japan then begins as Don West and Mike Tenay bring you into the Tokyo Dome for the full length matchups between TNA and New Japan stars. There is optional Japanese commentary for the wrestling action, Ring announcing is bi lingual, but much of the hype videos in between the matches are only in Japanese.
First up is a 6 match tag with Christian Cage, AJ Styles, and Petey Williams taking on Milano Collection AT, Minoru, and Prince Fergall Devitt. Styles wins the match with a styles clash on Milano Collection AT after about 15 minutes of quick paced action.

Next we have Christopher Daniels vs Wataru Inoue for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship. Inoue ultimately retains with a cross legged brainbuster after about 13 minutes of action, and we then get to see the traditional Japanese presentation of a trophy to the champion.

3RD Match sees Abyss taking on Manabu Nakanishi. This is a solid battle between the two men that quickly spills to the outside of the ring, we get some thumb tacks and a brawl, and ultimately Nakanishi defeats Abyss with a overhead german suplex into a bridge after about 6 minutes. Kind of short, looked like Abyss got his shoulders up before the three but nonetheless it’s a Nakanishi victory.

Team 3D vs Togi Makabe & Toru Yano – It’s a hardcore tag team battle between these two teams, with 3D scoring a pinfall victory after about 15 minutes of action.

The semi main event then features The Steiner Brothers (TNA) taking on Tomko and Giant Bernard (NJPW) with the IWGP Tag Team Titles on the line. Before hand, Jeff Jarrett makes an appearance, he addresses the crowd and takes a seat at ringside to watch as the TNA witness for the big match up. As you could expect Jarrett does not stay on the sidelines the entire match, as when the ref is knocked down, The Steiners call for Jarrett to enter the ring, guitar in hand and knock Tomko out once and for all to give TNA the win, but NJPW star Yano jumps the ring and Jarrett hits him instead, Tomko and Bernard regroup as the ref revives and retain their titles with “The Magic Killer” finisher.

Poor Bernard then gets cut off of the DVD as he began to cut a promo and instead we now get the Yuji Nagata / Kurt Angle battle. This part of the DVD plays out the exact way it did on TV, with English hype video and commercial interuptions during the match. As you’ll recall Kurt Angle retains his title with the Ankle Lock after about 20 minutes.

The 6 matches and hype videos run 2 hours, and much like what people are saying about TNA house shows, these matches are just solid wrestling action. But the DVD isn’t done yet, it then moves onto feature another Japanese tradition, of immediate post match press conferences. With the exception of Christopher Daniels, All the TNA stars press conferences are shown, and interesting to note that even Abyss, still with mask, but with hair tied back, answers the press’s questions, in total another 36 minutes of footage.

Even after all that were still not done yet. We then get a 7 minute featurette on the culture of Japan, This is mainly about the different foods of japan as you get to see Tomko, Bernard, Christian and Bubba Ray enjoy some raw liver, The Steiners enjoy some sushi

Like I said off the top of the review, this is a impressive DVD package from TNA, it is very well put together and gives you a full outlook of the company’s time in Japan. Because of that Id highly recommend picking this DVD up, it’s TNA action at it’s best.

TNA Global Impact in Japan is now available on DVD from TNA Wrestling’s Home Video Collection. For more info head on over to or , and to read my previous DVD reviews head on over to


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Latest Jim Ross Blog Hits on Numerous Topics

jeffJim Ross is back with another big blog update at Here are some of his latest comments:

On why commentary is recycled in SDvR each year: I know nothing of that matter. I do fresh commentary every year. The THQ guys work hard to produce great products but perhaps they got caught in a time crunch.

On when Jeff Hardy will be a "top guy": I do believe that Jeff is "there". That’s my perception. A huge win at Wrestlemania might truly seal the deal for the "Legend Thriller".

On possibly why The Undertaker never commented on Eddie Guerrero and Owen Hart on TV: Much more TV persona than anything. Taker loved both men and had huge respect for them. Please don’t over analyze this matter and make more of it than it simply is.

The Rock update: The Rock is doing amazingly well. I spoke with him recently and he is really busy and really happy. Look for great things to come his way with some major news preparing to come out of his camp.

On future HOF candidates and Andy Kaufman: Solie may be close to a lock in Orlando this year, Lance is damn sure deserving and was awesome and dominated his home territory as a broadcaster better than anyone I can name. Andy Kaufman is an intriguing suggestion. I can’t argue against Gary Hart either. There are so many deserving men and women who could be inducted that it will simply be an act of patience by all of us during the upcoming years to see who gets the nod.

His thoughts on Stone Cold Sharkboy and whether TNA struck with the "first blow": Uh, yes I’ve seen it and I have commented on it. "First Blow" for what?? If you’re wishing for another Monday Night War, don’t hold your breath.

The location for the May 5th RAW, the night after Judgment Day: Looks like it is scheduled for Kansas City.

On WWE's travel schedule plans and changes: I don’t know the exact solution for the travel schedule within the WWE, but I do believe that a more wrestler friendly schedule needs to be and is being considered, but the current schedule is much better than it was not that long ago.

Austin update: Stone Cold doesn’t have a website but he is healthy, doing great, working out, deer hunting in season, eating J.R.’s Bar-B-Q Sauce and Chipotle Ketchup, and looking to film two movies in 2008 if all goes well. Steve has never been better.

On The Undertaker's age: I thought he was in his late 30s. Someone will know. He looks to be in the best physical condition I can ever recall seeing him.

After asked how he took Triple H's Pedigree so well: Beats me. Perhaps my ample front is pedigree friendly. One just does their best and hopes for the same. I have a tear in my right shoulder from a pedigree I received from Chyna many moons ago. I just discovered it on a MRI I had due to shoulder pain. Goes with the territory.

On why WWE refers to the second hour of RAW as RAW Zone: Ratings purposes… makes it a second show.

On if he has asked Austin about Stone Cold Sharkboy yet: No, but if I were TNA, based on the amount of comments we’re getting here, I would headline the next PPV with Sharkboy!

Ron Killings update: I have heard the same thing, but I have yet to see him any where that I have been, which doesn’t mean Killings isn’t returning to the WWE. Perhaps he is being held back until after WM24.

On the Divas and recent WWE releases: Divas get extensive exposure because apparently the WWE wants to appeal to the 12-17 male audience, of which they "own" on cable. Lashley wanted to leave the WWE and that was facilitated. I am not going to throw Masters or Cryme Tyme under the bus, as I like all three guys, but apparently the company had specific reasons for those talents being released. Who’s to say that all won’t be back?

Droz update: I saw Droz recently in Philly when we were there for Monday Night Raw and he is still in his automated wheelchair and has an attendant with him to assist him when needed. Droz’s positive outlook, however

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Lesbian Angle Coming to the WWE?

From Wrestleattitude:

There is a strong rumor going around backstage in WWE that the current SmackDown storyline with Maryse will lead to a lesbian angle with her and Eve Torres. The story is that she wanted to talk to Teddy Long alone so she could be introduced to Eve. Both Divas have recently been down in Tampa training together. We'll keep you updated on anything else we hear.

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FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - WWE Bids Farewell to Test

The Following was posted on Let's Wrestle on February 27th 2007:

A WWE/ECW superstar has bit the dust, as the company announced this afternoon the release of Test (Andrew Martin). Test had recently been suspended by the company for 30 days for some sort of violation of substance. The release of Martin ends (of now), a long career with the company, that included a "wedding" to Stephanie McMahon. That wedding, which is one of the better ones in WWE history, was stopped by future real life husband of Steph, Triple H. The storyline was that HHH got Steph drunk, then took her to a Vegas chapel to get married. It was one of the funnier storylines the company had pulled off in years.

Test was gone for the company for sometime, then returned to be a part of ECW, where he had been wrestling shortly after the rebirth of the brand. His biggest program was with ECW Champ Bobby Lashley, who he at one point fought, and lost to three times in seven days. He was also a mainstay opponent of Lashley at house shows across the country. You can bet that Martin will take a long look at moving to TNA.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Punked Again

So next week we get to see CM Punk take on Chavo for the ECW title. What an original idea guys, it's not like we have seen this match before. This match came about due to Punk getting the number one contender-ship via a three way dance with Shelton Benjamin and Elijah Burke. You all remember Elijah, he's that guys that has barely been on ECW over the past few months, but some how is considered a number one contender. Same could be said for Benjamin, who really hasn't faced anyone since coming over to ECW. But with Miz and Morrison and Big Daddy V playing over on Smack Down there really isn't much left in ECW, now is there. So I guess these three are your top contenders. Not shocked to see Punk win, but will this feud carry over to Mania? Before Cena returned I would have said no. But now Jeff Hardy is not in the main event, but Money in the Bank instead, and I'm not sure if Punk will participate in that match. I originally felt he would win MITB, but I have to feel Hardy will take it. If there is a ECW match at Mania most likely it will be Chavo/Punk. Benjamin and Punk would be better, but we have Shelton in MITB.

As far as the match tonight there were some amazing moves, Benjamin's leap to the top rope to slam Burke being the highlight, but it really lacked pace. What should have been an amazing match was just so so, only because of some of the top moves. The end was pretty dull as it had Benjamin leaving the ring for some reason after stunning Burke. Then Punk capitalized with the GTS and won. I just wonder if and how Punk will move off ECW , or if he will forever stay there. Right now he is the only thing ECW has going and I really think that is hurting his chances of moving onto something better.

Kelly Kelly and Kofi Kingston took on Layla and Santino Marella in mixed tag action for some reason tonight. Kelly and Kingston would win, but nothing else really could be said for this match. Kelly Kelly looked bad again in the ring and I'm still not sure why they are pushing her this way. She has enough looks to get by on that alone, so why not wait until she develops more of a ring presence until we push her in action on TV. I was also disappointed in not seeing more out of Kingston. Marella offered him a decent opponent to show what he has in the ring, but they did not have enough interaction in my opinion. The jury is still out on Kingston to see if he is the real deal, or just another name passing through the WWE on his way back to the indy circuit.

The plot thickens some more as Tommy Dreamer and Colin Delaney win tonight against Miz and Morrison. Too bad it was not for the belts as this result would have served everyone well. Of course it will be next time, but I'm nor sure if Dreamer and Delaney win again. Anyone who reads these posts regularly know I want the belts off Miz and Morrison so they can return to singles competition. And titles for both Dreamer and Delaney would put them in the spotlight and boost both their careers. Dreamer has done nothing since ECW was relaunched and I don't see Delaney doing much, so tag belts would really make them semi significant.

Las Vegas Journal Story on Mayweather Doing Mania

Welterweight champion to participate in Wrestlemania on March 30

WWE enlists Mayweather Jr.


Forget mixed martial arts. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is turning to professional wrestling instead.

The world welterweight boxing champion made it official Monday: He will enter the sports entertainment field by participating in World Wrestling Entertainment's Wrestlemania on March 30 in Orlando, Fla.

Mayweather, 30, said Monday that WWE owner Vince McMahon is paying him $20 million to be part of his company for the next five weeks.

"I've been a big fan of wrestling since I was a kid," Mayweather said from Los Angeles, where the announcement was made. "It's always been entertaining."

Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's co-manager, said, "We received a tremendous offer and, as his manager, I'm always trying to expand his fan base.

"There's 47 million people who watch wrestling every week. This will be great exposure for Floyd."

Mayweather appeared on ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" last fall and recently participated in the celebrity basketball game during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. He had talked about going into MMA with Mark Cuban's HDNetFights, but that idea is on hold.

"We're trying to do things outside the box," Ellerbe said. "It's all about building the Mayweather brand."

Mayweather, who is scheduled to fight Oscar De La Hoya in September in a rematch of their May 5 fight which Mayweather won by split decision, isn't worried about putting his boxing career in jeopardy.

"Is the risk worth it?" he said. "We'll find out. But fighting Oscar? That's easy work. It's like taking candy from a baby."

De La Hoya said it doesn't bother him that Mayweather is venturing into wrestling.

"I'm sure he's going to have a good time and I'm sure the entertainment part of what he's doing is going to be successful, and I'm not going to worry about him getting hurt, whatsoever," said De La Hoya, who will return to the ring May 3 to fight Steve Forbes at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

"Obviously, any visibility a fighter can have is great. Floyd Mayweather is doing a lot of touring and appearances, which is a plus for our September rematch. The more he does, the better."

The Wrestlemania story line has Mayweather (5 feet 83/4 inches, 147 pounds) feuding with Paul "Big Show" Wight (7 feet, 425 pounds). They began their battle 10 days ago at the Thomas & Mack Center during a WWE pay-per-view event that resulted in Mayweather breaking Wight's nose.

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News on Umaga's WrestleMania Opponent

The backstage vibe from both sides is that Umaga is going to take on Batista at WrestleMania 24 in a singles match. It simply appears that while both wrestlers are high enough on the roster for a singles match at the event, neither has a strong enough storyline going to have a match with anyone on their current brand. That's exactly why they are going this route, making it a cross-promotion match with the two that will be pushed as a middle of the road match on the show.

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Hardy's Attitude Backstage Still Good


Even thought WWE fans have been voicing their frustration over WWE Superstar Jeff Hardy not winning the WWE Championship at the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view and not qualifying for this year’s WWE WrestleMania 24 pay-per-view main event, he doesn’t seem to mind and is pleased with his role. Jeff Hardy has been telling friends that he happy to be getting a great singles push and has been making the most money he has ever made during his career.

Jeff Hardy has just been going with the flow like he always has been and no one is expecting his current push to go to his head.

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SmackDown Moving to MyNetwork TV

From: Wrestling Observer

WWE announced today that MyNetworkTV would be the new home for Smackdown starting in September.

In a joint announcement by Vince McMahon and MyNetwork President Greg Miedel, they announced the partnership. No terms were publicly announced for the deal, nor was a night of the week for the show announced, other than the show would stay in its two-hour format.

MyNetworkTV and WGN were the only two networks to show major interest in a product that would significantly boost ratings for all but the major broadcast network stations. Due to significantly more clearances, MyNetworkTV was clearly the best option for WWE.

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FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - More on Mania and Rumored Matches

The Following was posted on Let's Wrestle on February 26th 2007:

WrestleMania 23 hype is starting to now shift into full gear. We have less than five weeks left until the event, and after watching SmackDown! on Friday night, things are starting to get a little more clear as far as the overall direction we are heading in. Expect next week to have an Undertaker promo on SmackDown!, which would be his first speaking of the match between he and Batista, and overall his first interview in which he has spoken for some time. That match will continue to get pushed as heavy as the RAW main event of John Cena and Shawn Michales, and currently is still the plan to be the last match on the card as the true main event.

Right now on the WWE website, they have just four matches listed as official, but there are plenty of matches that are in the works, and more than a few that are for sure a go.

The listed matches include:
Batista vs Taker
Cena vs Michaels
The Hair vs Hair match (Lashely vs Umaga) between Donald Trump & Vince McMahon
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Edge, C.M. Punk, King Booker already in)

Here are some of the rumored matches and things that are likely to take place and be announced soon as Mania gets closer:

* Ashley vs Melina for the Womens Title is a go. The match will be built on the jealousy factor that Melina has for Ashely appearing in Playboy. Speaking of which, that issue releases on 3/12.

* Kane vs The Great Khali is another likely match after this past weeks SmackDown! They had better once and for all decide about Khali, as this weekly switching brands thing is getting old, and he needs to get better in the ring once and for all, or just be kept off of shows all together.

* ECW Originals vs The New Breed is likely to be a go as well. This basically is an 8-man tag of most of the mid-level ECW guys, and look for this to be extreme rules. RVD is the MVP of this one, so look for him to shine and get the win.

* I still think Randy Orton finds himself in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. With Edge already in, they really are lost on what to do with Orton, and for sure he needs a spot somewhere. They scrapped the planned Edge-Orton match to keep them a team, so with nothing else really out there, look for him to be added to this match.

* Ric Flair vs Carlito is also a planned match, as you could see Flair turn heel as early as tonight, but likely in the next two weeks. I think Carlito being back to heel would be a better storyline, but I don't think that is the route they are planning.

* There will be some mega-tag match in there somewhere, with the two top teams, London and Kendrick, and the Hardy's (they are planned to get the belts shortly) being in the match with two other teams. I am thinking a four-way ladder with them, along with Decue and Domonio and MNM could be the plan at this point.

All in all, that would be nine matches, which I think is about what they want to do for this event, the problem is they still have plenty of star power on the sidelines if the card above is all but set. They simply have to find a place though for a few guys - Chris Benoit, Finely, Kenny, Shelton Benjamin, Chavo Guerrero, Gregory Helms, and MVP. There are three spots left in the Money in the Bank match, but that actually will be two after Orton is added. Look for some creative booking to possibly add 1-2 more matches with some of these guys mentioned above involved.

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AP Reports Mayweather Getting $20 Mil to WM 24

LOS ANGELES - Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a champion boxer and has tested his moves on "Dancing With the Stars." Now the man many consider the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is preparing to drop the gloves and do some wrasslin.'
A $20 million payday awaits the undefeated WBC welterweight champion when he takes on Big Show as part of WWE's "WrestleMania XXIV" at Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on March 30.

"It's entertainment. You have a chance to just be you and do what you want to do," Mayweather said Monday after a chaotic Staples Center event that masqueraded as a news conference.

The boxer nicknamed "Money" clearly likes the way WWE does business.

"Wrestling takes care of business right on the spot," Mayweather said. "Whatever they say they're going to do, they do it right on the spot. There's no waiting three, four, five months. Quick results, quick money. Quick big money, too."

His manager Leonard Ellerbee and WWE executive Shane McMahon confirmed Mayweather's eight-figure payday for the outdoor match to be shown on live on pay-per-view.

Mayweather incited the couple hundred of already hyped fans at Staples Center by whipping out a thick wad of cash and repeatedly tossing $100, $50 and $20 bills into the crowd that had nearly as many women as men.

A mad scramble ensued, with a light pole nearly getting knocked over and two small children caught in the chaos. One lucky man emerged from the pileup clutching six $100 bills.

Mayweather played to the frenzied crowd after appearing from behind a black curtain wearing a New York Yankees jacket and cap. Fans shouted insults and the name of hometown hero Oscar De La Hoya at Mayweather.

"I run Vegas and I run L.A. and I will run the WWE," he boasted.

At 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Mayweather gives up big numbers to the bald Big Show, who stands 7-feet and weighs 430.

"I weigh three times as much as he does," Big Show crowed. "It's not fair, but I'm a businessman and I see an opportunity for business."

Then he picked up the wooden podium and tossed it to the floor, where it splintered and the attached two mics lay like broken sticks. Clearly, Staples Center officials hadn't expected the move.

Mayweather hopped onto a chair and exchanged glares with Big Show while WWE regulars Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H and Edge looked on, witnessing a newcomer who clearly understands the theatrics of modern-day wrestling.

"WWE is the biggest it gets," Mayweather said. "This is going to be an event like none other."

Ellerbee scoffed that hard-core boxing fans won't take Mayweather seriously after his WWE antics.

"After March 30, when Floyd goes out and takes care of his business at WrestleMania, he's still going to be the best fighter in the world and the face of boxing," he said. "Tell me what changes about that? Nothing changes."

The wrestling gig is another part of Ellerbee's carefully crafted plan to expand Mayweather's fan base.

"Either I'm going to be a genius with this or I'm the biggest idiot," he said. "Boxers have such a short window of opportunity. He can't become any bigger in boxing."

That's why Ellerbee snagged Mayweather a spot on ABC's reality hit "Dancing With the Stars." Mayweather didn't win the disco ball trophy, but he wasn't the first one voted off, either.

"It crossed him over and took him into the households of many middle-aged Middle Americans and turned him into a mainstream superstar," Ellerbee said. "Now when Floyd goes into the grocery store, the first thing 65-year-old ladies say is, `You're Floyd from `Dancing With the Stars.'"

Mayweather plans to train with WWE Latino star Ray Mysterio, who wears a mask on his face.

"I'm outside the box," he said, lapsing into the third person. "Floyd Mayweather is not just a fighter, he's an entertainer. That's what the world must know."

But he hasn't forgotten his night job.

Mayweather alluded to a possible rematch with De La Hoya in September. De La Hoya lost a split decision in their last bout May 5.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Road To Mania Heats Up In The Desert

Tonight we started off with a boxing like press conference with Triple H, John Cena and Randy Orton squaring off. The verbal spats on this one were a bit off and it really didn't do much to build on this match. Orton still is the odd man out in this situation and that's bad for him being the champ. I feel this match is going to hurt Orton as no one likes him as champ now, and with Cena and Triple H no one will care about him at Mania. Orton still has a future as a champion, but this match is only going to postpone his potential greatness as champ. This will only add negative press to him as many have questioned his reign. Hopefully he will find a way to make his mark, but he will be dwarfed by the super-stardom of Cena and H. At least he had the final word by RKO'ing both men tonight.

This would lead to a tag match with Cena and Triple H going against Kennedy and Orton. William Regal put this one together to have a little conflict with team mates who do not like each other. Kennedy let Orton know if he won money in the bank he was coming for the champ that night at Mania, so him and Orton had some beef. This match would see H and Cena win, but not without some controversy. It looked like Triple H was ready to jump Cena at the end, but during the stand off Kennedy put the Mic Check on Cena as Triple H watched and did nothing.

Jericho tonight qualified for Money In The Bank by defeating Jeff Hardy. This match started a little slow and sloppy, case in point the cross body attack off the ropes by each man. It eventually picked up at the end as both men became comfortable in the ring together. Jericho is another good addition to the MITB match has he is also a good high flier. We shall see if this breeds into anything between these two. I doubt it as it almost seemed like Jericho was showing respect to Hardy at the end of the match. Either way these two will bring excitement to the match at Mania.

HBK tonight accepted Rick Flair's challenge to face each other at Mania after HBK beat Lance Cade. This has been rumored and tonight confirmed it. This is a good choice as I really don't see anyone else on the roster who would be worthy enough to end Flair's career. Plus with HBK being his good friend this is the best way for Flair to go out. On a side note, it looks like this may be the start of Cade going solo. He didn't look to bad up against HBK, so we shall see what his future will be.

Tonight we also had some announcements for Mania weekend. First, the great Samoan legacy in wrestling will be honored at the Hall of Fame with Peter Mavia and Rocky Johnson going in. Of course this brings the Rock back into the picture as he will induct his Father and Grandfather. With Flair also going in, this will make the HOF one hot ticket with all the big names so far announced to be there. It's also great these two men will be honored as they are part of the great Samoan legacy that has given so much to wrestling over the years. Can we see a DVD soon on the legacy of Peter Mavia. Here's saying it should be out after Mania sometime.

Also announced was the eye candy match of Maria and Candice up against Beth Phoenix and Melina. Not much to talk about here, but it should be a good match anyway. Three of these ladies are not to bad in the ring. Can you guess which one will lookout of place?

Other matches tonight saw the World Tag champs of Rhodes and Holly take on Carlito and Santino Marella. Things keep getting bad for poor old Santino, as he and Carlito lost again. And Santino got upset at Maria for leaving ringside to talk to Jerry Lawler about her Playboy spread. It looks like the beginning of the end for these two.

And Umaga make a quick exit of DH Smith's return to TV. It looks like Umaga will find himself up against Batista at Mania. Regal mentioned a challenge by Vickie Guerrero to have a Raw versus Smack Down match. Regal mentioned Umaga and since Batista does not look to be involved in any program he would be the logical choice. Most likely we will find out on Friday who Smack down will send.

Details of Today's WrestleMania 24 Press Conference


The WrestleMania 24 press conference kicks off with a video promo with highlights of the Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather angle thus far.

We cut to a video package for WrestleMania and we are live in Los Angeles, California. It looks like hundreds of fans and the media are in attendance. Jonathan Coachman welcomes us to today's press conference. Coachman brings out WWE's Chairman of the Board, Mr. McMahon.

Vince welcomes the media and says he thinks of WWE as America's greatest export. Vince puts over WWE as being great, worldwide entertainment that represents America. Vince brings up the entertainment and says they are the only variety show left on television. Vince brings up all the entertainment and athletic factors that is WWE. Vince says that is what we will do at WrestleMania, entertain you. He goes on to mention autograph signings for the fans and the Tribute to the Troops, saying that's what WWE does; entertain. Vince talks about the first WrestleMania with Hulk Hogan and Mr. T teaming up in Madison Square Garden and brings up the celebrities that have taken part in WrestleMania over the years.

Vince says this is the second outdoor event that they will attempt and says this will be a WrestleMania like you have never seen before. The WWE fans in attendance pop at this statement. Vince thanks everyone for attending, his music hits and Coachman comes back to the podium. Coachman brings out today's first Superstar, and touts him as a recording artist, movie star, former WWE Champion - John Cena. Coachman mentioned 12 Rounds filming now. Out comes Cena to his music. The crowd indeed pops for John Cena.

Cena thanks everyone for coming out and steps back when a chorus of "YOU SUCK" chants come out of the crowd. Cena laughs and says you guys are killing me. Cena says this really is fantastic. Cena thanks Vince McMahon for putting this together, a guy who he normally hates but this time of year he thinks is a great guy. Cena talks about the passion for WWE and WrestleMania among the WWE fans. A mixed reaction of "CENA" and "YOU SUCK" chants from the crowd. Cena says this event brings out the best in everyone, the wrestlers and the fans. Cena says today, he won't predict anything for the match but he will try his hardest to bring the WWE Title home. He says he is proud because he was supposed to miss this WrestleMania and he loves this business. He says love him or hate him, everyone knows the respect he has for the business. The only prediction he will make for WrestleMania is that history will be made. Cena goes on to put over the AXXESS tour, the Hall of Fame and the big show itself. Cena says WrestleMania will deliver. He asks the fans to be there with WWE, as history is made. Cena's music hits and he takes a seat.

Coachman introduces the WWE Champion next, Randy Orton. The Legend Killer comes out with the WWE Title over his shoulder. Cena and Orton exchange a few small words and Orton approaches the podium. Orton talks about the 3-way at WrestleMania and says he is faster, stronger and better than his opponents, Triple H and John Cena. Orton says he will walk out of WrestleMania as WWE Champion and won't be known as the Legend Killer, but he will be known as a Legend. Orton holds his WWE Title high, his music plays and he takes a seat after posing for the crowd.

Coach introduces The Game next and out comes Triple H. HHH says it's exciting to be here, because last year he watched WrestleMania from the sidelines. This year, he says, The Game is back. Triple H says this main event will be what this business will be all about. He says when you see that match, you will know what the best is. Triple H says they will put on a show like nobody else in the world can, except the WWE. He says at WrestleMania, the King of Kings goes back on his throne.

Triple H takes a seat and Jonathan Coachman talks about the Diva Search that WWE conducts each year. Coach introduces Candice Michelle and Maria and says they will be involved in the Playboy Bunny Mania match at WrestleMania. Out comes the two WWE Divas. Candice talks first and says it's great to be back, after being sidelined with injury and she thanks God for her blessings. She will be teaming with Maria for Bunny Mania at WrestleMania. Candice shouts out Maria's birthday today. Maria says what's up Los Angeles and the crowd breaks out in "Happy Birthday" to Maria, who blows a kiss to the crowd. Maria says she couldn't have made her Playboy decision without the great WWE fans. She says she can't wait for the fans to see it, and wants them to cheer on Maria and Candice in the Playboy Bunny Mania match at WrestleMania. The two Divas take a seat and Coach comes back to the podium.

Out next is Edge, with his World Heavyweight Title. Edge brings up The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania, and brings up how he is also undefeated at WrestleMania. Edge says he gets goosebumps just talking about the match and guarantees it will give the fans goosebumps also. Edge says he will walk away the Champ still and The Undertaker's streak will come to and end. Short speech by Edge as he takes a seat beside Randy Orton.

Coach introduces Rey Mysterio next, saying he won't be able to compete at WrestleMania due to the injury he suffered in Chile. Rey comes out, thanks the crowd and speaks some Spanish to the fans in attendance. Rey talks about his injury and how this business has risks and rewards. Rey keeps breaking out in Spanish, talking to the fans. Rey says his reward would have been to be a part of WrestleMania 24, but unfortunately he is going to miss out on the big show again. He says it's all good because the love and passion he has for the business makes him want to come back stronger and better. Rey brings up Floyd Mayweather and says if he needs any help in preparing for the match with Big Show, he is there for him. Rey says his surgery is scheduled for this Wednesday, but that's not going to stop him from helping out Mayweather. Rey tells the fans to enjoy WrestleMania, thanks them and takes a seat.

Coach brings out WWE's newest broadcaster, Mike Adamle. He says Mayweather will be speaking soon, and puts over the match with Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show. Adamle says Floyd will be giving away over 200lbs in weight, 14 inches in height and 12 inches in reach when he faces Big Show at WrestleMania. Adamle introduces Shane McMahon as a 4th generation McMahon and out comes Shane. Shane says a lot of networks like HBK, CableVision, Comcast and other people in the pay-per-view and broadcast industries are nervous and wondering if the risk is worth the reward, and we will find out at WrestleMania when two pay-per-view juggernauts meet, WWE and Floyd Mayweather. Chants for "CENA" and "TRIPLE H" break out while Edge and Randy Orton hold their World Titles high. Shane introduces Floyd Mayweather, with his business manager. 50 Cent's "I Get Money" hits and Floyd comes out to a mixed reaction of cheers and boo's.

The fans break out in a "De La Hoya" chant and taunt Mayweather, who pulls out a stack of money and says he has all day. Floyd starts off by thanking the McMahon family, the WWE, the fans and the WWE Superstars who are behind him. The crowd continues to taunt Mayweather. A "BIG SHOW" chant breaks out. Mayweather picks up some piece of paper, tears it in half and throws it down. Floyd turns his hat around, looks at the crowd and pulls out another wad of money. Do they want him to throw some of this? He says keep saying "De La Hoya" and you won't get any money. Mayweather says he runs the show now. He says everyone needs to address him as Money Mayweather. Mayweather taunts the crowd now. Mayweather walks around to the crowd of fans and throws dollar bills to the fans. He makes his way back to the stage, and continues to taunt the crowd with his money. Floyd tests to see which part of the crowd will pop the hardest for him and he throws more money into the crowd. Back to the podium, Mayweather puts over WrestleMania and says be there or be square. He says we're going to turn the two W's in WWE around and make it Money Mayweather Entertainment. Mayweather continues to act a fool before taking a few steps back, taunting the crowd some more and continuing to proclaim he runs the show now. Mayweather says he runs the WWE as well. This is getting drawn out and ridiculous as he keeps talking about his lifestyle and money, and running the show. Mayweather keeps talking and finally he asks for Show to be brought out and finally, he takes a seat. Mike Adamle says now that Floyd has shown you the money, it's time to show you the show, the Big Show.

The Big Show's music hits and at this point the WWE's streaming feed cuts out. The stream cuts on about 5 minutes later and Show is talking to Mayweather about business. Show says if he has to slap Mayweather around and make him understand that wrestling does hurt, then he will. Show takes the podium and throws it to the side. Mayweather stands on a chair and comes face to face with Show. Show balls his fist and shows Mayweather it is bigger than his head. Show keeps talking trash to Mayweather, who finally takes a seat. Show's music hits and he takes a seat as well as Mayweather looks on.

Jonathan Coachman thanks the media and the fans for coming and says we will see everyone at WrestleMania 24 in Orlando.

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New Cena Movie Starts Shooting Today

The John Cena film "12 Rounds" begins preliminary shooting on location in New Orleans, Louisiana today. Cena will be at today's press conference in Los Angeles and one would assume Raw in Phoenix, Arizona, so he'll head to the set later this week. The film will be shooting through May, but Cena isn't expected to miss any significant TV time since unlike previous WWE Films productions, 12 Rounds is being shot Stateside as opposed to Australia.

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Reviewed By : Steve Rockamaniac of

Chikara is a new revolution in the US independent wrestling scene. There are fans of the Lucha Libre style, There are fans of the Japanese style and then there are fans of the US Indy style, who at the same time, are haters of the US mainstream style, so Chikara decided to take all of this into consideration and put out what is a very unique product, And “The Best Of Chikara” now on DVD from Big Vision Entertainment is hoping to give you a taste of what they are all about as they feature 8 matches on this DVD, All from the 2005/2006 time period.

First up is a Trios Match from June 2006 which has Shane Storm, Jigsaw, and Mike Quackenbush against Gran Akuma, Icarus and Claudio Castagnoli.

Trio’s matches in Chikara take their rules from Lucha Libre action as tags can be done without actually tagging, instead you can enter the match when your partner exits the ring. Also if you rip your opponents mask off it it’s a automatic DQ. In Chiakara, Good guys are known as Tecnicos, and Bad guys are known as Rudos. It takes some getting used to, but as mentioned not all matches are the same in Chikara and this DVD offers up a nice array of variety.

This is a long opening battle, nearly 24 minutes in length, with Castagnoli, Icarus and Gran Akuma showing some dominance, but when their opponents mount a big comeback, the Rudos get frustrated and ultimately DQ’ed when Icarus, (who had recently been demasked in Chikara) removed Jigsaw’s mask ending the match. This match had some very solid action, and gets some of the learning process out of the way so that you can move on to some bigger and better matches.

Next up is one of Chikara’s most talented wrestlers, Chris Hero taking on Shane Storm in singles action. Storm wears an insane clown mask, and moves pretty well for a guy his size which he displays early on in the match hitting some reversals on Hero who becomes frustrated and bails from the ring where he is able to take advantage of the match hitting a big boot and several stiff forearms. Hero then dominates for a few minutes taking time to egg on the crowd, but the insane clown does not say die and just over the 7 minute mark when Hero goes for a senton bomb, Storm gets his knees up and takes over the offence. Some quick paced back and forth action from there and Hero gets the rollup victory at 12:05.

Chikara will on occasion feature some women’s action, specifically when working in collaboration with the Shimmer promotion, as is the case in this DVD which serves up a great example of how talented some female’s are on the US indy scene right now. The match is a Trios battle between Allison Danger, Ranmaru, and Rain against Daizee Haze, Mickie Knuckles and Sumie Sakai. This match features some quick paced hard hitting action from these 6 ladies, And comes to an end at the 7:24 mark when Sumie has a school girl reversed on her by Allison Danger who scores the pinfall victory.

Mike Quackenbush and Claudio Castagnoli have an intense battle in the 7th match on the DVD, Quack uses his quickness to take it to Castagnoli early on with some very innovative offense that you’ve probably never seen in the US indy scene. Followed by Castagnoli, who is a bigger man than Quackenbush taking control with some overpowering moves, so overpowering that any time Quack starts to show some fight Claudio knocks him back down. After about 5 minutes of domination, Quackenbush makes a comeback knocking Castagnoli to the outside and diving on him, Quacks comeback continues hitting a very impressive looking “black tornado slam” for a 2 count at 7:59, Castagnoli powers himself back into power but Quack does not say die, outsmarting Claudio and hitting a Quacken-Hurricurana after his Tale of the dragon DDT is blocked, scoring a pinfall at the 10:49 mark.

The final match of the DVD sees “Sweet n Sour” Larry Sweeney defend his ICWICWA Texarkana TV Title against Eddie Kingston. This is your classic Heel (Sweeney) taking advantage of a known injury on his Face opponent, in this case a throat injury, and working it for a long period of time until the face fights the pain and begins a comeback, followed by a set back and a yet another comeback , and ultimately a win for Eddie Kingston who becomes the new champ shortly at the 10:24 mark of the match.
Other matches featured include The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) VS Milano Collection AT and Skayde, Jigsaw vs Hallowicked, Angel De Fuego, Equinox and The Colony vs Los Ice Creams, Crossbones and Rorschach, as well as The Northstar Express taking on The Kings of Wrestling. Overall 2 hours of unique Chikara action in one DVD.

No extras beyond trailers for other DVDs are on the disc, but you do get a free Chikara trading card inside each DVD box. I got Hydra, a self replicating Mini Monster, which is actually pretty cool. This DVD can cater to so many fans and now you can include some of the younger wrestling fans (meaning 10 yr olds) as they will get a kick out of the wrestling card and even from some of the action as the crazy and comical characters will draw their attention, perhaps not enough to sit through the entire 2 hour DVD, but since it caters to so many different types of fans then you and others can watch the rest.

So to put a final word on this, Chikara is different. It’s because its so different that you should check it out. At under 10$ its priced low enough that for some reason you don’t like what you see that you didn’t waste a ton of money on it, and quite frankly I don’t think you’ll feel this way as Chikara has something for everyone.
The Best Of Chikara is now available on DVD from Big Vision Entertainment for the bargain price of$9.98. For more information head on over to You can also check out my previous DVD reviews at


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Raw Preview for 2/25

And then there were three
February 25, 2008

John Cena now has an opportunity to headline WrestleMania in the WWE Title Match, but now he must worry about two men – Triple H and WWE Champion Randy Orton. And Triple H made a statement when he delivered a thunderous Pedigree to both men after he officiated their match last week. What lengths will these Superstars go to mark their territory and gain momentum going into WrestleMania XXIV?

With a bandaged nose and a black eye, Big Show made his first appearance on Raw in more than a year. The 7-footer was there to apologize for his behavior the night before at No Way Out, when he and Floyd Mayweather traded blows. After “apologizing” to the WBC welterweight champion, Big Show then taunted Mayweather into accepting his challenge for a match. The type of match was unspecified, but what type of bout might we expect from these two warriors?

In other Raw action, Mr. McMahon looked on callously as his son, Hornswoggle, suffered a ruthless beating by JBL and lie unconscious in the middle of the ring. As the night began, the little guy had expected to battle his father in a Steel Cage Match. There shown, however, a sliver of light when Hornswoggle’s protector, Finlay, tried to rescue him. But JBL turned out the lights when he attacked the Irishman and handcuffed him to the ring ropes. He then began to pummel Hornswoggle so severely that even Mr. McMahon was taken aback.

What is Hornswoggle’s condition? And what are JBL and the Chairman’s reactions and explanations for the brutal attack? And what are Finlay’s thoughts?

Finally, last Monday, Maria defeated Women's Champion Beth Phoenix in a non-title match to earn a photo shoot in Playboy Magazine. Following the victory, the elated Diva immediately flew to Los Angeles for the sexy spread, which our fans can get an exclusive look at, this coming week on Raw. What will this steamy glimpse bring to Monday night? Don't miss out.

Find out the answers to these questions and more by tuning in to Raw when it emanates live from Phoenix at 9/8 CT on USA Network.

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Photo from Mr.Kennedy's Recent Wedding

You can see more wedding photos at this Link:

Mr.Kennedy Wedding Photos


Story on How the City of Orlando got Mania

With WM 24 coming up, the Orlando Sentinel today put up a pretty good story about how the city got the event. The story can be found at this link & is below.

Orlando flexed its muscle to land showcase WWE event

Like true wrestling theater, the City of Orlando knew it had to make a big splash to land WrestleMania 24.

Enter Mayor Buddy Dyer, a trip to WWE headquarters and a borrowed catchphrase.

Before we tell you how this all unfolded, let's start from the beginning, to get the complete story of how Orlando got the biggest wrestling event in the world.

In January 2006, WWE marketing adviser Bob Collins approached Centroplex officials Allen Johnson and Jon Dorman about the thought of bringing WrestleMania to Amway Arena. Collins, who helps scout out locations for the big event, was familiar with the arena because WWE had put on several Raw and Smackdown shows there.

Plus, WWE wanted WrestleMania 24 in a tourist destination. So Orlando was on a list with Miami, Tampa, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Until Collins approached them, nobody in Orlando seriously considered hosting WrestleMania.

But once Collins opened the door, Johnson and Dorman contacted the Central Florida Sports Commission to find out if the idea was viable for the city. John Saboor, president of the sports commission, got to work, learning more about the logistics of hosting the event, what type of economic impact it would bring to the city and why it attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world.

"We had to get our arms around the magnitude of the event," Saboor said. "This is the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. We talked to other cities who hosted, saw corresponding economic windfalls. After talking to our partners at the city, we decided this was something we definitely wanted to pursue."

After making that decision in the summer of 2006, Saboor and his team got to work. They needed to set up a strategy to win WrestleMania. Knowing it would not outspend Las Vegas or Atlantic City, or be able to compete with the adult attractions that come with those cities, Orlando laid out a three-point strategy:

*Create a good business deal for both sides. WWE would pay for its share of the setup, with the city making money off tickets, food and parking.

*Emphasize added value propositions. That means tying in the local community to help make the event a success. Saboor and Orlando wanted to make it a weeklong event where WWE became woven into the fabric of the community.

*Show how much Orlando wanted to embrace the event on every level. To that end, Saboor got letters of support from Dyer, Johnson, Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty, then-Governor Jeb Bush, Clear Channel, Bright House, and the Orange County Library. He included them in the proposal he submitted to WWE.

Saboor also had three more ideas that he hoped would set Orlando apart. He knew WrestleMania had never been held in the Southeast, so he wanted to emphasize that. He wanted to make the city's pitch at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Conn. And he wanted to bring Dyer with him.

"Our thought was we could make an indelible impression to ask Buddy Dyer to travel to WWE headquarters to show how much we wanted this," Saboor said. "When I called Mayor Dyer to ask if he'd be willing to travel with me, not only was his answer 'yes,' but it was 'yes' within five seconds."

At the end of September 2006, Saboor and Dyer traveled to Connecticut. Saboor described himself as nervously excited as he walked into the WWE boardroom and saw Chairman Vince McMahon, CEO Linda McMahon and 10 other executives around the table.

It was extremely rare for anyone to make a presentation for WrestleMania in person. Bringing the mayor along was a first.

Saboor passed out silver binders engraved with WRESTLEMANIA 2008 ORLANDO. The cover page borrowed a famous catchphrase from wrestlers Shawn Michaels and Triple H: "We've got two words for you . . . Choose Orlando."

He made a presentation outlining the benefits of staging the event in Orlando. The meeting lasted 90 minutes and then the group went to lunch, where Saboor and Dyer answered more questions about the bid.

"That visit of John Saboor and Buddy Dyer really made a difference," Collins said.

"What means so much to WWE is when we're really embraced by people. They showed heart, they showed passion, they showed enthusiasm. When they opened with 'We've got two words for you' everyone took notice."

After lunch, Saboor and Dyer boarded a plane to head back to Orlando, discussing the day's events. They had plenty of time, as they waited three hours on the runway before the plane took off.

"I felt very positive we were going to have a good outcome," Dyer said. "The vibes were right, and making a personal appeal was very helpful. We showed how much we wanted to have WrestleMania here in the city of Orlando."

The following week, WWE contacted Saboor and said the presentation was well received. Then, it was time to wait. All Orlando knew was that WWE would make a decision before WrestleMania 23 on April 1 in Detroit.

Early last year, WWE got back in touch with city officials. The company was leaning heavily toward Orlando, but there was one problem. WWE wanted it to be moved from Amway Arena to the much bigger Florida Citrus Bowl, realizing it couldn't go from having 70,000 people at WrestleMania in Detroit to 15,000 at Amway.

The WWE was familiar with the Citrus Bowl because of its XFL days, and, though it knew the old stadium would present some challenges, it asked for the change. Saboor had to find out if the Citrus Bowl was available and then started studying 10 years of weather patterns with the National Weather Service.

WrestleMania had only been staged once before outdoors, in Las Vegas in 1993, so taking it to the Citrus Bowl was a risk. But it was one WWE wanted. Once Saboor found out the Citrus Bowl was available, the deal was done.

Orlando won the bid.

On March 21 at a news conference in City Hall, the official announcement was made. Music blared, wrestlers and divas mingled with 250 people crammed into the room. "You always want to come where you're welcome," Vince McMahon told the crowd.

The WrestleMania festivities kick off March 24 with events planned throughout the week. Amway will host the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 29, and WrestleMania will take place the following evening. Now that there is a little more than a month to go, Orlando is ready.

Saboor, meanwhile, already is thinking about bidding for another WrestleMania.


Friday, February 22, 2008

The Death Watch is On

I guess we should be organizing a candlelight vigil for Hornswoggle, as the reports out of the WWE keep getting worse and worse on his injuries sustained after the steel cage match Monday night. Of course there have been no reports in the legitimate press, only through the WWE, so all of this is most likely fake. Not sure why they felt they need to take this story line to the extreme like this. Granted it was losing momentum, but we really don't have to make people think the little guy is fighting for his life. Whats next? Footage of Finlay by his bed side praying the Rosary so little Horny makes it through another night.

Speaking of injuries, Mysterio is showing a ton of heart by continuing on with his biceps tear. Tonight he found himself in action against Chavo as part of revenge courtesy of Vickie. He put on a decent performance again, despite fighting through the pain. He came up with the win, but Vickie was not done yet as she summoned the Big Show to finish the job. And that he did, all the while targeting Mystreio's bad arm. No doubt that will add fuel to the fire with his ongoing battle with Floyd Mayweather.

The start of the show was great tonight as Edge addressed the crowd on how he will be the one to end the Undertakers undefeated streak at Mania. He even threw in some good jabs on how he was the one responsible for first weakening Mysterio, then finally putting him out. Great job of putting heat on himself in Rey's hometown. Of course when you challenge the Dead-man, expect bad things to happen. And that they did as the lights went out, the Undertaker arrived in the ring, and cleaned house of Edge and his two cronies Ryder and Hawkins. Let the build up to Mania begin.

Shelton Benjamin would qualify tonight for Money in the Bank as he defeated Jimmy Wang Yang. This match may have been the best of the night courtesy of the athletic display these two guys put on. It looks like Benjamin is finding his A game again, and may be returning to his status of being a big time player in the WWE. Most insiders agree he has the talent to be one of the top guys, but for some reason the work ethic just has not been there. Hopefully it works this time, because I don't think he'll get anymore second chances.

Yang's partner Shannon Moore took on big Daddy V tonight and I'm not sure why. I really don't get why Yang and Moore are not tag champs yet. As i keep repeating week after week, they are wasting the individual talents of Morrison and the Miz by keeping them as champs. There really is nothing to be gained by them having the belts. We know Yang and Moore work great in the ring together and being champs would boost their careers, especially Moore, who has yet to develop and persona inside the company as of yet.

In other tag action Jesse and Festus took on new resident tag jobbers Deuce and Domino. Since losing the belts these guys have turned into the whipping boys for any one else entering the tag ranks. And of course they would lose again tonight. The only real major news out of this match was Cherry has a new hair cut. Pretty exciting stuff.

And since were in the realm of excitement, we saw Kane and Khali tonight. No wait that's not exciting, but hold on, Chuck Palumbo was in action tonight. He basically beat the daylights out of a jobber as Michelle McCool watched in horror. That's right, this isn't exciting either. Sorry, I tried my best to make the report of these matches somewhat entertaining. You have to feel bad for Kane though. Just imagine showing up each week and seeing you have to work with big stiffs like Khali and Mark Henry. Kane was once a big name in this industry and even was champ, however brief it was. And now he has to work with these lumbering oxes and try to make them look good. Hopefully he'll get rewarded somewhere down the line with either a US or ECW title shot.

OK, I found a way to bring some excitement back to this post. Let's talk about the Batista and MVP match. Again these guys looked good together and you have to think they will meet up somewhere after Mania when MVP is done with his supposed planned program with Matt Hardy. Let me be the first to say I can't wait, heck I would even say toss Hardy aside and have these two go at it at Mania for the US title. And that is saying allot coming from me. Last year at this time I hated both of these guys and was dreading seeing there matches at Mania. Especially MVP, who I felt would end up in a quick match against Benoit. But both of these guys proved themselves big time at Mania, despite losing their matches, and used it as a spring board to bigger things. I really think this is the direction they need to go in. First, as of right now Batista is in limbo as he has no feuds or programs as of this moment. Second, I feel MVP could use the boost of going against Batista instead of Hardy. Matt's great and all, but he doesn't have the draw of Batista and most likely never will. Unlike his brother, I don't see much success for Matt as a singles performer as he lacks charisma big time.

FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - ECW 2/20

The Following was published on Let's Wrestle One Year Ago Today - February 22nd 2007

Things in the wrestling world are getting more and more critical as we now head for the biggest mega-show of the year, WrestleMania. Tuesday night in the second WWE TV show of the week, ECW for the first time in as long as I can remember, stepped up and had what I thought was a solid show, finally getting some help from a solid match from C.M. Punk and Johnny Nitro. The match was a qualifier for Mania's Money in the Bank match, and they finally got Punk out of the doghouse with easily his biggest win since being an employee of WWE.

The loss for Nitro continues to make me think we are still going to see a major bout between the Hardy's and MNM at Mania with TLC stip or at least ladders involved. The bout will have added emphasis if the Hardy's do with the tag straps, which I think is in the plans in the next 3-4 weeks. Both Nitro and Punk carried the bout well, and Punk got the clean win with a new knee to the head move that he had not used before.

The main event on the show was a decent 3-way for the ECW title between Bobby Lashley, Ken Kennedy, and Hardcore Holly. Lashley, who stays on this huge roll that has landed him as Donald Trump's "wrestler" for the Hair vs Hair match vs Vince McMahon at WrestleMania, got the clean pin on Kennedy with a power slam. Sort of odd booking with Kennedy getting pinned instead of Holly. I would think that with Holly leaving to nurse an injury that they would just let him get buried instead of Kennedy, but I guess that was not the case.

The other main match on the card included RVD vs Kevin Thorn in a ECW Old vs New Breed match. Both men again worked hard, and in the end they got RVD the win with a five-star frog splash. Again, as stated here before, look for an announcement in the next 2-3 weeks of a ECW Old vs New Breed Extreme Rules match for Mania.

There was one squash on the card, as they are putting La Resistance (Rene Dupree and Sylvan Grenier) back together to be another tag team in ECW, and they beat Los Luchas in 31 seconds. In the ongoing push for Snitsky, he came out and beat up the two 150-pounders some more after the bell.

Again, this was a much better showing for ECW, and now with specific matches lined up for Mania with some of their wrestlers, there seems to be much more focus for the upcoming few weeks of TV.

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SmackDown Preview from

Friday on SmackDown, World Heavyweight Champion Edge will kick the show off when he addresses our fans about his WrestleMania XXIV showdown with Undertaker. This past Sunday at No Way Out, the Ultimate Opportunist retained his World Heavyweight Title by defeating an injured and, essentially, one-armed Rey Mysterio. The Rated-R Superstar took advantage of Mysterio’s torn biceps and exploited the injury to keep the gold around his waist. But Edge’s victory may have come at a high price, because the he will go to WrestleMania XXIV and defend his title against The Deadman.

The Rated-R Superstar's No Way Out opponent, Rey Mysterio, had a tumultous week after learning of his injury and fighting for the gold despite the pain. Mysterio makes his return to San Diego this week where he will address his hometown fans on his future. What will Rey have to say in the heart of the 619?

The Phenom stamped his ticket to WrestleMania by defeating five other men in the second of two unprecedented Elimination Chamber Matches at No Way Out. Now, Undertaker will return to the event that has defined his career, and he will put his amazing undefeated record on the line as he pursues the World Heavyweight Championship. What will the Ultimate Opportunist do now that he knows he must face The Deadman and “The Streak” at WrestleMania XXIV? Will Undertaker have anything to say to the champion Friday on SmackDown?

After failing to come out of the Elimination Chamber with a victory, both Batista and MVP will be looking to find alternative plans for WrestleMania. The two Superstars will have a rematch from last week, when The Animal defeated the Franchise Playa. Who will find themselves one step closer to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on March 30?

Two other Superstars hoping to earn their spot at the "Granddaddy of Them All" are Shelton Benjamin and Jimmy Wang Yang. The two Superstars will battle in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match, with the winner earning the right to fight for a guaranteed World Title fight in the future. Both ECW's "Gold Standard" and SmackDown's resident redneck are fast-paced and high-risk, but who will fly higher in San Diego?

Find out the answers to all these questions and more on SmackDown, Friday at 8/7 CT on The CW Network.

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ECW Original Dreamer Shows Up at TNA Show

Reports have come in that ECW original Tommy Dreamer was at ringside last night at a TNA show in NYC. It has been known that Dreamer is not a happy camper in the WWE, and this could be some sort of indication that he wants out and wants to go to TNA (why I don't know). Dreamer sat upstairs for the event, and during the event Brother Ray (one of the Dudleys in the WWE) gave him a shout-out. Here is a recap from Pro Wrestling Insider on Ray pointing out Dreamer:

"Brother Ray then said they wanted to say hello to two friends in the balcony, Tommy Dreamer and Little Guido. They pointed Dreamer out and led the fans in chanting "Fat Ass" at him. Someone played Alice In Chain's Man in the Box on the sound system. Dreamer acknowledged the crowd and smiled. Ray said he was goanna see how much trouble he was gonna get Dreamer in and asked the fans if they wanted to see Dreamer in TNA. The place popped huge. From start to finish, the mic work, Street Fight and post-match segment was entertaining as hell. The rib on Dreamer was especially surreal if you were an old school ECW fan."

So what does the future hold for Tommy Dreamer? I expect it will not take long of the news of him being at the event to get back to the higher ups in the WWE. From there, I assume he will talk to them and they will have a discussion on his future and what he'll be doing next. You never know though, he could just be handed his release for a stunt like this despite his bond with Shane McMahon.

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Zach Gowen on his secret addiction to pain killers, his time in WWE and TNA, touching Sable's boob, and more!

SHOW: The Main Event Radio Show with Ryan Rider and Steve Rockamaniac, Airing Sunday Mornings from 10:30am-12:00pm on and 1690AM in Montreal

Interview Conducted by "Reporter" Ryan Rider Which Can Be Downloaded At:

Zach Gowen joined host Ryan Rider this past Sunday to discuss his time in both WWE and TNA, his future plans, and his substance abuse problem which was previously kept secret from the public. This man has overcame all odds being the one and only one-legged wrestler in the history of the sport and provided for quite an interesting interview.

Q: First of all to start off, I was wondering if you could tell us what you've been up to lately in the wrestling world and maybe in the real world as well.

A: "Wrestling is picking up quite well for me actually. I picked up a full-gig in All Japan and I'm over happy to be over there in Japan.

Q: How's it like working in Japan? What are the differences between working in America and then going on to Japan? I know during matches the fans are usually quiet and they clap at the end while in the U.S. they are loud throughout the entire match.

A: There's no really that much difference. It's still wrestling. You go out there and get to entertain people. As far as the physicality goes, it's a little more physical there; the ring is a little harder. As far as the style goes, they hit a little harder. The matches are set up a little bit differently than how they are here. But when it comes down to it, it is pro wrestling. You go out there and you do your thing and you do what you know how to do.

Q: The first time I believe I saw you was in TNA, where you has a match against BG James. I think it was back in 2003, you wrestled as Tenacious Z. How did that opportunity come about?

A: I was only wrestling for maybe 7 months at that point. I sent in a tape to Bill Behrens who was booking the TNA dark matches at the time. He saw my tape and he had me come down the following Wednesday for a dark match. I wrestled against the guy who trained me, Truth Martini. They said our match got the loudest reaction that's ever been at the Nashville Fairgrounds. They had no idea who I was, but we went out there and tore the house down and the next week they brought me back and I started with BG.

Q: You had a couple of matches there and not too long after that, you debuted in World Wrestling Entertainment. You got to work with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and the Big Show right from the get-go. How was that experience like?

A: It was overwhelming, you know it was exciting, it was crazy. Here I am, like a 19 year old kid, bagging groceries at the local grocery store and then two weeks later being on TV with Hulk Hogan. It was exciting, it was fun, and I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to do that. Because of my exposure in WWE and TNA I'm able to make a living in wrestling and I'm very happy where I was and where I'm at right now.

Q: What about Vince McMahon? What was he like to work for?

A: He was cool, man. He was always a gentleman, always professional. He demanded nothing but the best and that's what he deserves. He runs WWE, it's a billion-dollar company and of course he's a little demanding but that's what he needs to do to run his company.

Q: What about that story about how it was your dream to meet Hulk Hogan when you were a kid and then you finally did? How did that story come about?

A: Well actually I was the one who made that whole thing up. It goes back to TNA. Before I worked with BG James, Mike Tenay came up to me and asked me if I wanted him to say anything during the match about me. On the spot, it popped up in my head that this would be a cool story to tell over the air. So I came up with that story. It never happened; I never met Hulk Hogan when I had cancer but I felt like it was a pretty cool story.

Q: It was a cold story though and it was definitely worked. How was Hogan like working with?

A: He was great. He didn't have to go out of his way and give me advice and whatnot but he did. He's been everywhere, he's done everything, he's just made so much money it's not even funny. He was super nice to me and he was a true gentleman.

Q: Do you have any road stories from your time in the WWE?

A: I think when guys first come [to the company] they give them free rental cars. So I drove pretty much everybody around because nobody really wanted to pay money. I travelled a lot with Spanky and Rhino and Paul London. I drove Benoit around a lot, Eddie Guerrero a little bit. It was just cool getting to know the guys, being a part of the family.

Q: You mention Benoit. How was your experience with him?

A: He was awesome. He was real quiet; he trained real hard in the gym. He did his job. When I was there, he wasn't really happy about his push or his standing with the company. He was a little down about that but as far as what happened with his wife and with his kid it just completely shocks me. You know it's appalling and disgusting. But when I was there with him he was nothing but classy, and a gentleman, and a professional.

Q: At one point, you were really beaten up badly by Brock Lesnar where he "kayfabed" injured your leg and he threw you down some stairs as well. Where was this supposed to lead to?

A: I'm not really sure. I think it was just an angle over the summer to get Brock over as a heel. He was a babyface for awhile; they turned him into a bad guy. For a few weeks he was beating up me and Paul [London], but he wasn't getting over as a heel. When they came to Detroit, my hometown, they kind of put as a last minute thing me and Brock together to have him beat me up and get him over as a heel.

Q: How were the ladies like?

A: They're awesome man! They were really cool, they were smoking hot. Everything's professional, everything's cool, and it was cool getting to know them too.

Q: I seem to remember at one point where you had a thing going on with Sable on an episode of Smackdown. What about that?

A: That was cool. I'd make out with her, I touched her boob. She swerved me and it led to Vince and Sable humiliating me or whatever but it was cool. You know what I mean? When I was 12 years old watching her on WWE television, she was always like a girl I had a crush on growing up. It was cool, she was nice.

Q: Vince McMahon. You got to work with him in the ring actually. How was he like as an actual worker?

A: He was nothing to write home about. He certainly knows the business, he knows what to do. I liked the match [at Vengeance 2003]; I thought the finish was really good. They pulled me out to Stamford, to headquarters a week before and we went over the match like every day. So there really wasn't any room to make mistakes. He was there and he kept me safe and I kept him safe so I thought it was pretty good.

Q: At Bound for Glory 2006, you made yet another one-time appearance for TNA. Would you consider going back to TNA and how come it was only a one time thing?

A: That what that. That was in Detroit and I happened to be in Detroit. I think they used me to pop the crowd a little bit. I like working with TNA, I've done multiple shots with them over the last couple of years. It's just never really come about. Like a year ago they gave me the 'there are too many guys here, once we get two hours on TV then we'll use you more'. But the two hours came and it hasn't happened yet. I keep in contact with them and everything's cool with that.

Q: You also worked a little in Ring of Honor. I know you had a match with Delirious. How did that go?

A: I liked it a lot. I think Ring of Honor has a really good thing going. I especially like it that they have contracts now and all the boys have insurance. That's the thing that the business needs right now, more contracts like that. I have a lot of friends there, it's always good to see guys get paid and being insured. And the product's good so best of luck.

Q: What do you think of the current products? Do you get to watch at all, WWE or TNA?

A: I watch Raw every Monday. I sometimes watch Smackdown, it depends if I'm on the road or not. As far as what I've seen on Raw, the product is hitting all cylinders right now. Cena is super over, Jeff Hardy is super over, they have good matches in the ring. Things look good for them.

Q: Is there anybody who you didn't get a chance to work with but would like to wrestle the future?

A: Yeah, I want to wrestle Samoa Joe! I think me and Joe could do some cool things. I want to wrestle Umaga. I saw Umaga and Spanky [Brian Kendrick] have a match on Raw a few weeks ago and that was tremendous. Me and Umaga could be the same thing as that. I've always wanted to work with A-Train [Giant Bernard]; I've always liked working with bigger guys. Getting beat up and coming back, it always works out well for me.

Q: I remember you had some matches with the Big Show. How was he like? I've always heard that he's a funny guy backstage and how was he like in the ring too?

A: He was super nice, he was one of the nicest guys there. He slapped me down a couple of times to talk to me just one-on-one when he didn't have to. As far as his work goes, I think he's awesome. He's 7 feet, 500 pounds, I think wrestling needs more characters like that and that he does his job very well.

Q: So what was all that heat about when you originally departed from World Wrestling Entertainment? What lead to your release?

A: I was really young; I was really green at the time. I made some mistakes. Just from being young in the business, I had some growing up to do and I've done that over the last couple of years. I'm in a good place now and I'm really happy.

Q: Has there been any talks with World Wrestling Entertainment at all about a potential return?

A: Ya, I keep in contact with the office, I'm pretty friendly with the office. Right now it's just coming up with a good storyline for me and looking at the card and seeing where I can fit in there. I'm more than welcome for a return to WWE.

Q: In 2003, you won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie as well as Inspirational Wrestler of the Year awards. What was your reaction when you were notified of winning these awards?

A: That was pretty cool. I didn't really know I won them until I saw the magazine at the local drug store. I'm still waiting for my plaque.

Q: They haven't sent you a plaque? What is this?

I grew up reading the magazine and they always had pictures with guys with the plaques and stuff but you know it's been five years or whatever and I'm still waiting for them.

Q: And they still show wrestlers holding the plaques, I've always thought that if you win an award you get a plaque sent to you…

Right, right, right, it should be in the mail, coming anytime now.

Q: It better be, must have gotten lost in the mail a couple of years ago. Should get there any time now. So, what's next for you Zach Gowen? Where do you see yourself in the coming years in professional wrestling?

A: Right now you're seeing a renaissance as far as my wrestling goes. I've grown up a bit, physically bigger, I'm better than I've ever been. I'm really stoked, really happy to be full-time in Japan right now. That's such a great opportunity. Hopefully it'll lead to returns in WWE. Right now I'm focusing on public speaking and sort of segway my wrestling career into motivational speaking so that's where I'm at right now.

Q: Have you done any motivational speaking? How has it been going so far? I know you've got a great story on how you overcame all odds as a one-legged wrestler.

A: It's a great career, lots of money to be made. Right now I'm taking classes, making contacts, getting my name out in that field. I think that my career in pro wrestling will really help me as far as that goes. I can only beat myself up or beat someone up for so long hoping on one leg or whatever. So I'm definitely looking to segway into that.

Q: I believe you had a concussion at some point too. How's your head doing these days?

A: It's good, I've had concussions over the years. My last one was a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland. My head's okay but it's like a wake-up call that you can't do this forever. I'd like to wrestle until I'm 30 at least but after that it's definitely time to move on and do something that's a little more safer as far as my body goes.

Q: You're wrestled for a few years now, what would you say have been your favorite matches?

A: Hmm…My favorite match probably of all time was against Jimmy Jacobs, he wrestles for Ring of Honor now. I wrestled him maybe a year and a half ago. It was a really low point in my life, where my confidence was shot. I had problems with alcohol and substance abuse and at that point it was kind of rock bottom. He kinda like brought me back, gave me more confidence in the things I need to do and we had a match and we just tore the house down. He's always been there for me and I can't thank him enough.
Q: I actually never knew you had a substance abuse problem. Have you been able to overcome your demons since then and turn your life around?

A: Yeah. I actually had a DUI in March 2005. Part of the treatment for that was checking into rehab and getting my head straight, my life straight. And I've done that and I've cleaned up. I'm back almost 100% now, every day's still a struggle, but I'm fighting a good fight.

Q: What was the rehab like?

A: It was different man, it was cool, it was something that needed to be done. Actually, I never really told anybody about it until you so I guess you've got the scoop right now. It was something that was getting out of control and I needed to turn my life around a little bit, and I did just that.

Q: I guess it's good to talk about sometimes. How did you get into this spiral of drinking and whatnot?

A: I drank a little bit or whatever. My problem was with pills, with painkillers and Vicodin and the like. Just over the years of abusing your body, looking the quick fix and trying to get to the next town and going to the gym. It just became a habit that spiralled out of control a little bit. Things needed to be changed and I changed them and I couldn't be happier right now.

Q: A lot of wrestlers especially in recent years have been having addictions to pain killers, Vicodin, stuff like that. Kurt Angle was a well-publicized one himself. Do you have sometime to tell to wrestlers who might be going through something similar issues to you as to how they can overcome them?

A: Every man's their own man. They have to take responsibility for themselves. As far as what I went through, it got to the point where it wasn't manageable anymore. It wasn't just for pain, and it got pretty ridiculous. Nobody could really help you except for yourself. Once you look in the mirror and you realize, "Hey this is like not cool anymore, this is out of control, I don't like where I'm going right now. This is preventing me from being where I should be at right now." That's when you have to make a change.

Q: And steroids?

A: Nope, I've never taken a steroid in my life. I haven't. I weight 160 pounds, you know what I mean?

Q: Best of luck to you in your future, in Japan and all over the world wrestling. It's great to hear that you got over your substance problems and it was great to have you on the show today.

A: Thanks a lot Ryan, appreciate it. Bye buddy.

You can listen to the interview with Zach Gowen in it's entirety on (February 17th show).

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

FLASHBACK - One Year Ago Today on Let's Wrestle - Tons of WrestleMania Rumors; News; Notes

The following article appeared one year ago today on 2/21/2007

Lot's of stuff to get to as far as WrestleMania and what not is concerned, but I will tell you ahead of time, some of the stuff below is spoiler material, so if you want to be totally shocked going into RAW next Monday in Fresno, I recommend you not read ahead. I am not into totally blowing storylines and where they are headed, but some of the stuff below is going to give you a general idea of where things are going.

* Donald Trump's wrestler will be......Bobby Lashley. Ugh. I can't believe we are going to have to get screwed out of watching Hogan at WrestleMania after all the year build up that he would be on the card. Instead, we get Umaga vs Bobby Lashley in the much hyped Vince vs Donald Hair vs Hair match. Umaga is going to have to carry Lashley, who continues to not impress me with much in the ring. Unless things take a massive 180, which I don't think they will, this will all come to form on Monday night at RAW. As for another shock in this match....

* Steve Austins role at Mania is set, and it is.....Guest ref for the Trump vs McMahon (Lashley vs Umaga) hair vs hair match. Yep, they blew that on E! when they showed a picture for Mania and it had Austin in the pic for the match with a ref shirt on. It will be the first time since the forgettable Brock Lesner vs Goldberg mess in WrestleMania XX that Austin has donned the ref attire. Of course they will probably make him more of a "special enforcer" like they did for that match. I expect they will have that Vinnie Jones at Mania as well, likely to taunt Austin.

* I would expect to see Mick Foley in some fashion at WM as well, as his new book "Hardcore Diaries" will be out and being pushed on WWE TV, as it was this past week. He has already set up quite a few book signings around the country, and I think that with the WWE pushing the book, he will be in Detroit for the big event and will at least have his face on the show. Interesting that the last two wrestling books the WWE has promoted, the Eric Bishoff book and now Foley's, both levy some heavy shots at the company.

* Many people are expressing confusion over the Hulk Hogan "20-year contract" that was the main topic on "Hogan Knows Best" this past week that he signed with WWE. The contract is legit, but it is NOT for wrestling, which they made it out to be. It is more for licensing and for the company to use his name and not have Hogan turn around everytime he's mentioned and suing the WWE. I still think and will continue to say that not having Hogan in Detroit at Mania is a crime. As for "Hogan Knows Best" season 4, reports say that shooting has already begun, despite earlier claims that season 3 would be the last.

* The WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Detroit will take place on March 31st, the night before Mania. The show will NOT be on TV, as the last two years they have taken an hour of it and put it on late on Saturday night on USA Network. If interested in going to the event, tickets will go on sale Saturday March 3rd at 10am via Ticketmaster, and the price ranges for the event are $100-$50.

* So as we stand at this moment, here is the confirmed and the unconfirmed but rumors for matches at Mania:

Undertaker vs Batista for the World Heavyweight Title (Top Main event)
Shawn Michaels vs John Cena for WWE Title (2nd Main event)
Umaga vs Bobby Lashley w/ Steve Austin as Ref (McMahon vs Trump Hair vs Hair match)
Money in the Bank Ladder Match w/ six wrestlers (Edge only confirmed name as of 2/20)

Ashley vs Melina for the Women's Title
Ric Flair vs Carlito
Hardy's vs MNM for the Tag Title in TLC Match (Hardy's beat Edge & Orton in 2-3 weeks on RAW for tag belts is heavy rumor)

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The Let's Wrestle WrestleMania 24 Pick the Card Contest!

All right Let's Wrestle marks, let's throw another contest out there! Here is what I am looking for, as I want you to get your thinking caps on:

We all now (for now) that we have the two main events decided for WrestleMania 24:

Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena for the WWE Title


Edge vs Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Title

What we here at Let's Wrestle want is to see the REST of the card. Yes, that is where you come in. Send us an e-miail at:

Your choices for the remainder of the WrestleMania 24 card! 5 matches? 7 matches? 10 matches? You decide. And when you do, there will be two ways to win

1. Two winners that enter at random will win a FREE copy of RAW's Greatest Hits CD complements of Columbia


2. The person that has the most matches correct will win a FREE DVD of the 2007 ROYAL RUMBLE complements of Electric Artists

So start thinking ahead wrestling fans...and start sending us those predictions. We will run the contest from Today (2/21) until Thursday March 6th at 5PM.

Again, you can email us at with your picks or any questions!

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The Latest From Jim Ross' Blog

Jim Ross is back with another blog update over at Here are some of the wrestling related highlights:

- On the King of the Ring tournament: I don’t see the KOR on PPV but perhaps on regular TV. I like tournaments.

- On Wrestlers in MMA: I think Bobby Lashley has a shot at doing well in MMA if his heart is into it. Shelton Benjamin might surprise some folks. The future of MMA is likely to be the great amateur wrestlers who have striking abilities and are coachable by men like Randy Couture.

- On Angle, Dudleys and Christian back in WWE and TNA's storylines: Creative is a very subjective issue without fail. Who’s to say that the aforementioned individuals won’t be back in the WWE some day? I can’t guarantee it but I damn sure wouldn’t bet against it no matter what anyone says.

- An update on Howard Finkle: I talked to Fink a few hours ago and he is doing great working in the talent department for the WWE and doing all the grunt work that many others don’t want to do. Fink is a future HOF’er in my book, hopefully at the 25th Wrestlemania. Michael Fluffer, er, Buffer can’t hold a candle to Howard Finkle.

- On Earl Hebner in the WWE Hall of Fame: I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one Joshua. Baby Earl is one helluva referee but unfortunately he did not leave the WWE on the best of terms.

- When he thinks WWE had the strongest roster: The most money was made in the Attitude Era so that would be my suggestion. Austin, Rock, DX, Undertaker, Mankind, etc sold lots of goods and services for the WWE.

- On crazy fans: Alcohol causes many people to become idiots. Fans who get in areas they are not supposed to be in, IE the ring, should be arrested for disorderly conduct and booked at their local jail. I am scared of many things but our fans have never been threatening to me.

- A Chris Harris update: Naturally I hope Harris makes it but until he is in the system it’s anyone’s guess as to how he will do long term. Chris seems to have solid fundamental skills.

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