There have been discussions all week about whether to close Sunday's WrestleMania XXVII pay-per-view event with John Cena vs. The Miz or Triple H vs. The Undertaker. The latter match was scheduled to close the show last week, but Vince McMahon is going back and forth this week on what to do.
Below is the updated confirmed card for WWE’s WrestleMania 27, coming out of tonight’s RAW from Chicago. An eight-man match with Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Corre was added, despite earlier plans of Christian and Kofi Kingston being the partners of Kane and Show.
Special Guest Host: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
America The Beautiful Singer: Keri Hilson
Special Appearances: Cast and trainers from WWE Tough Enough, 2011 WWE Hall of Fame Class
WWE Title Match John Cena vs. The Miz
World Heavyweight Title Match Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge
The Streak on the Line – No Holds Barred Triple H vs. The Undertaker WWE United States Title Match Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole, Special Referee: Steve Austin Cole’s trainer Jack Swagger will be in his corner.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes
Snooki, Trish Stratus and John Morrison vs. Michelle McCool, Layla and Dolph Ziggler
Big Show, Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov and Kane vs. Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater
Sports journalist Alex Del Barrio recently sent Jim Ross his well wishes on Twitter and revealed that Ross didn’t get hired for an Oklahoma University play-by-play job that apparently Ross was in the running for.
Ross replied: “Thanks, man. I’m disapopinted in not getting the OU PXP gig but felt all along I was a long shot. Still love #BoomerSooner!”
STAMFORD, Conn., March 23, 2011 – After their war of words, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will finally confront WWE Superstar John Cena® and WWE Champion The Miz®, live in person, March 28th on Monday Night Raw at 9/8c on USA Network. The verbal sparring was ignited when The Rock triumphantly returned to WWE last month. The fireworks will emanate live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL.
The Rock will be The World’s Most Electrifying Host in Entertainment at WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday, April 3rd at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, live on pay-per-view. The Rock is expected to lay the SmackDown® on all the pomp and festivities that make WrestleMania the world’s greatest, annual pop culture extravaganza.
For all the latest updates, ‘Like’ The Rock at www.facebook.com/DwayneJohnson or follow him at www.twitter.com/TheRock.
WrestleMania XXVII will be broadcast in more than 100 countries around the world. Check with your local cable operator or satellite provider to order the pay-per-view on Sunday, April 3rd. For more information on WrestleMania and WrestleMania events, please visit www.wrestlemania.com.
IGN.com has an interview with multi-time WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus promoting the USA Network’s revival of WWE Tough Enough, who appears as a trainer on the show. She notes that many of the contestants have previous wrestling experience.
“A lot of the contestants have a background,” Stratus said. “They come from wrestling backgrounds. They’ve been doing it for a few years, but it’s an entirely different thing to be doing it on the big stage and to do it professionally and to do it with the grind of the big WWE machine.”
Stratus said of current WWE talent, Natalya is “untapped.”
She explained, “Fans are starting to get to know her more and more and I’m just waiting for the day where she goes out there and really can do her thing because I don’t think she’s been given the opportunity to really get out there and show everybody what she’s got.”
In light of Sunny’s induction into this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, Stratus suggested that Chyna be enshrined next.
“I think Chyna should be next in because she did a lot of stuff to bring attention to the women’s division itself and just presented women as a different thing,” Stratus said. “I think fans were conditioned to see women as eye candy for a long, long time and she really broke the mold with that.”
WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper said last week on his Twitter account that he will be on hand for WrestleMania XXVII, which takes place April 3 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. No word if he will appear live at the event but he will be in town.
Husky Harris, who was demoted last month to Florida Championship Wrestling (though officially still listed as a RAW Superstar), recently debuted a masked character in the developmental promotion.
Paying homage to his grandfather, WWE Hall of Famer Blackjack Mulligan, Harris appeared at the March 9 and 16 FCW live events as Axl Mulligan. His appearance appears based on the Lord Humongous character from the 1981 film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, which spurned various knock-offs in wrestling. Harris wears jeans and a black Misfits T-shirt to go along with the hockey like mask.
Harris has also changed his in-ring mannerisms and is using the Stone Cold Stunner as his finishing maneuver. He beat Ricardo Rodriguez with the move last Wednesday, and then struck Brodus Clay during a post-match brawl. Photos of that event has surfaced online. You can click here to view photos of the new gimmick.
It is unclear as to whether the character will continue as Harris appeared as himself at last Thursday’s FCW live event, one day removed from appearing as the masked persona.
Time is running down to WrestleMania 27, and today we take a look at past Mania's, and today it's the 10 best WrestleMania main events in the 26 years of the springtime WWE event.
1. WrestleMania X-Seven: Steve Austin defeats The Rock in a No Disqualification match for the WWF Championship - The ending that many thought they would never see, Steve Austin and Vince McMahon shaking hands. The match between the biggest two stars of the new generation was a classic, as both were at the top of their game for this well put together match in front of a record crowd in Houston.
2. WrestleMania V: Hulk Hogan defeats Randy Savage for the WWF Championship - The "Mega Powers" explode in Atlantic City, and add in Miss Elizabeth to the fray, and you have an emotion filled match that lived up to the billing for a long feud between Hogan and Savage in which Hogan clearly won with some great matches along the way. This one was just the start to a classic spring/summer feud.
3. WrestleMania XIV: Steve Austin defeats Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship - Having Mike Tyson at ringside just added to the intensity of this battle, as Michaels pushed himself to the limit in what would be his last match before leaving for five years. For Austin, it was the true start to the Austin 3:16 Era with a great win with Tyson counting the pin.
4. WrestleMania XIX: Brock Lesnar defeats Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship - A match wrestling fans waited a LONG time to see, Angle and Lesnar went back and forth in a classic match that had plenty of build. A botched ending by Lesnar almost saw him break his neck, but nevertheless the two waged a classic war that is always fun to go back and relive every now and then.
5. WrestleMania III: Hulk Hogan defeats Andre the Giant to retain the WWF Championship - Was there ever a bigger build for a match? Probably not, but it was worth every second of the 13 minute match between the Giant and Hogan. 93,173 watched as many felt Andre was simply unbeatable, but the image of Hogan slamming Andre is one that lives on forever, and it was a battle both wrestlers put at the top of their list for all-time favorite match.
6. WrestleMania XV: Steve Austin defeats The Rock for the WWF Championship - The first of three Mania battles between these two great Hall of Famers (at least Austin is with Rock to go in within the next few years), the two had another back and forth great battle that saw Mick Foley get a chance to count the pin and hand Austin the title. The Rock also started to get cheers during the match, a sign of things to come.
7. WrestleMania 23: John Cena defeats Shawn Michaels to retain the WWE Championship - With Triple H on the shelf, these two faces had a solid near 30 minute match that saw a ton of near falls as Michaels had a final shot to win the strap. Cena again got his share of boos and cheers, but in the end like the year before in Chicago vs HHH, he got Michaels to tap out to the STFU in a great end to a great show.
8. WrestleMania XII: Shawn Michaels defeats Bret Hart in a 60 Minute Iron Man match for the WWF Championship - Not a huge fan of "Iron Man" matches, but these two mat legends pulled it off and kept the crowd into it without scoring a fall at any point and time. That is until the sudden death, where Michaels scored a pair of super kicks to win his first world title.
9. WrestleMania XXVI: The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels - Billed as "The Career vs The Streak," these two future Hall of Fame mat warriors went at it for 23:59 as Michaels refused to go down easy for Taker, who left it all in the ring as well to move to 18-0. In the end, you knew that HBK was done, and it was a great ending that wrapped up with the two shaking hands.
1o. WrestleMania VI: The Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan for the WWF and Intercontinental Championships - The first time two faces went at it in a Mania main event, it wasn't your classic mat wrestling clinic, but it kept the crowd on the edge of their feet and the shock of seeing Hogan miss the legdrop and get pinned was a sight that a lot of Hulk fans growing up never felt they would witness.
World Wrestling Entertainment announced this afternoon that Abdullah the Butcher will inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. It's interesting to note that WWE.com's bio on The Butcher notes that while he never brawled two-time WWE Champion Bruno Sammartino or went the distance with Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden, all three wrestling icons will be together when he's inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The text reads: "Still active today even though he’s in his 70s, The Butcher has battled every legend in nearly every promotion on the planet — except WWE. Despite his decades in the ring, Abdullah never brawled with Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Championship or went the distance with Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden. These are dream matches that will never happen, but these icons will all be together when The Butcher takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011."
It appears to be a mistake on the website's part as Sammartino and Backlund aren't members of the WWE Hall of Fame, not to mention that it is far fetched that Sammartino would involve himself with WWE. Since his retirement from in-ring competition in 1987, he has been highly critical of the organization's lurid storylines, over-the-top theatrics, and drug and steroid abuse. The living legend has been particularly critical of Vince McMahon, saying that "Junior" has been detrimental to his father's creation. Sammartino has refused induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as to provide commentary on retrospectives of his career.
Meanwhile, Backlund reportedly refused an invitation into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 because he didn't consider himself retired. He competed for TNA Wrestling in 2007 at the age of 58 and made an appearance at the 15th Anniversary of Raw on December 10 of that year, participating in the 15th Anniversary battle royal.
Cody Rhodes recently spoke with The Toronto Sun to promote his match with Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 27. Here are the highlights:
The match with Mysterio: “I’m not one for false promises, exaggeration or hyperbole. In sports entertainment, you hear a lot of those. But I really believe this match has potential to steal the show. We’re stacked up against some beautiful matches and this is my hometown so that would be an added bonus. It’s our best superstars. I wouldn’t feel comfortable without having a< quality story. I used to think I should be on Mania, but looking back, no, shouldn’t have been. I wasn’t ready."
His “Dashing” nickname: “It’s always been a running gag. My dad always tells people how good looking I am, with the movie-star looks … that kind of garbage. So (my character) does a lot of things men do every day, (grooming things). I’m fully on board with all of them, and he’d hate to hear this, but a lot of them really come from Randy Orton.”
World Wrestling Entertainment announced on their website that the incomparable Abdullah the Butcher will inducted into the company's Hall of Fame on Saturday 4/2 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Abdullah, who will be inducted by longtime rival Terry Funk, has actually never competed for WWE, making it a pretty unique induction. He's been a longstanding tradition in the Atlanta area, where he lives and operates his restaurant, Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs & Chinese Food.
As the date for the WWE's biggest annual event gets closer and closer, it's always fun to look back and the good, and the not-so-good, of what makes WrestleMania the biggest event of the year. No other wrestling event in the world is watched, broken down, or comes under as much attention as Mania, which is why the company invests as much time and money as they do into it.
Today, instead of the good, I will break down the bad, and give you my WORST 10 all-time WrestleMania Matches of the last 26 years. The matches are in no set order, as these truly were all stinkers in my book.
1. WrestleMania II: Adrian Adonis defeats Uncle Elmer - This was to the point where Adonis (Keith Franke), who at one point was a very solid worker and heel, had gone the "Gorgeous George" route, and had also balloned to well over 300 pounds. His character garnered more attention than his skills, and this match with the tubby Elmer (Stan Frazier) was one for the birds. Thankfully for these two now deceased grapplers, this bout only lasted 3:25.
2. WrestleMania IV: Ultimate Warrior defeats Hercules - Neither of these two guys will ever go down as good workers, but this match of muscleheads was tough to watch, as was the entire feud for that matter. Herc was actually the better "wrestler" in the feud, which is not saying much. Warrior was nothing more than a muscle bound goof that never deserved the push that he eventually got, leading to main eventing WM VI. This 4:29 match that saw Warrior win when he lifted his shoulder after a half-nelson suplex is one to fast forward through if you ever watch this Mania in full.
3. WrestleMania V: The Red Rooster defeats Bobby Heenan - Not much needs to be said about this garbage, other than the :32 seconds it took Rooster (Terry Taylor) to win the match was about :30 seconds too long. Add the Brookyln Brawler in for a little post-match attack, and you have all the eyesores you can handle for one day.
4. WrestleMania X: Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon defeated Doink the Clown (Ray Apollo) and Dink in a "Mixed Tag Team match" - Ugly. That's about all you can say about anytime you have a "Mixed Tag," but add the awful clown comedy of Doink and his small mascot - Dink, and this just over six-minute match is one you'll want to forget.
5. WrestleMania XII: Roddy Piper defeated Goldust (w/Marlena) in a "Hollywood Backlot Brawl" - Talk about the dark ages for the WWE. This was supposed to be a parody of the O.J.Simpson car chase, where Piper chased Goldust around and it was shown on the large screen back at the arena. Awful. Needless to say that they kept cutting to this "match", and everytime they did it got worse and worse.
6. WrestleMania VII: Tenryu and Kitao defeated Demolition (Crush and Smash) (w/Mr. Fuji) - To me, Mania is supposed to be about feuds ending or starting, and wrestlers getting their shot at the big time. That's why having two wrestlers on the card that basically no one knew, or never really heard from again in Tenryu and Kitao fight for 4:44 beating an established team like Demolition was one of the bigger head scratchers of the last 23 years of booking of the event.
7. WrestleMania XVI: T & A (Test and Albert) (w/Trish Stratus) defeated Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman) (w/Chester McCheeserton) - Ugh. Three of the four wrestlers in this match are downright bad workers, which made this thing ugly to watch from the word go. This Mania was bizarre in the fact where all the matches were tags or six-man matches, and this one may have been the worst of the bunch.
8. WrestleMania XXI: Akebono defeated The Big Show in a Sumo Match - A one-minute match that was very much a gimmick, but also very unnecessary. Again, no real reason to put one of your bigger names in a gimmick match with an unknown and make him lose. Hey wait, isn't that going to probably happen again this year? Hmmm.
9. WrestleMania XXV: 25-Diva battle royal to crown Miss WrestleMania - This would have been a solid put together match, but instead they made it a farce with the throwing in of Santino Marella dressed like a woman calling himself Santina. I would have like to have seen 25 divas from the past and present really being allowed to go at it.
10. WrestleMania IX: The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) defeated Giant Gonzales (w/Harvey Wippleman) by disqualification - While Taker is still undefeated at Mania, this had to be the worst of his Mania wins. First off, Gonzales is just downright awful, and then you had it where Taker actually took a beating from him, only to make a return after the DQ. This one Taker fans won't ever want to relive.
With the countdown to WrestleMania just weeks away, today we take a look at past Mania's, and today it's the 10 worst WrestleMania main events in the 26 years of the springtime WWE event.
1. WrestleMania XIII: Undertaker defeats Sycho Sid in a No disqualification match for the WWF Championship - With Shawn Michaels out due to injury, this was a hurried put together main event with Sid, who was a throw away champ against Taker, who while a Maina legend, wasn't nearly the icon he is today. Bad plodding match where you knew from the start Taker was going to win the strap.
2. WrestleMania X: Bret Hart defeats Yokozuna for the WWF Championship - The second match for both, as it was built as a night where many felt it would be Hart vs Lex Luger for the strap. Instead, a disputed finish between Luger and Yoko earlier in the night led to this match. Hart wins, but only after Yoko falls off the rope doing his vintage finish. Just lacked what their WM 9 match had.
3. WrestleMania X8: Triple H defeats Chris Jericho for the Undisputed Championship - The crowd was totally dead after the emotion and crazy match between the Rock and Hulk Hogan, which should have been the true main event. Jericho had Steph McMahon in their corner, and H was a face, which simply didn't work. Again, dead crowd at the SkyDome didn't help matters.
4. WrestleMania XXV: Triple H defeats Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship - Orton was so due to win this match, but knowing the backstage politics, it was no shock they let H get over on his rival. What made this match even more of a dud was the fact that Orton won the strap a month later.
5. WrestleMania IV: Randy Savage beats Ted DiBiase in a tournament final for the vacant WWF Championship - The whole card was off due to the long four plus hour event that had 14 guys fighting for the WWF title. Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant was not nearly as good as WM 3, and you saw the writing on the wall after both Hogan and the Giant were DQ'ed. Savage's reign lasted exactly one year.
6. WrestleMania VIII: Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice - In what should have been Hogan vs Ric Flair, they instead didn't like the program in house show matches, so they instead went with a lame double main of Flair and Randy Savage and Hogan and Justice. Maybe the worst Hogan Mania match of them all, Justice dominated and then was DQ'ed in a lame finish that saw the short lived return of the Ultimate Warrior.
7. WrestleMania XXIV: Undertaker defeats Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship - In wanting to send the crowd home happy, they saved the Deadman's World title win for last, pushing what should have been the main, the three-way between Randy Orton, John Cena and Triple H on earlier. A way too long match with a quick ending giving Taker the strap.
8. WrestleMania: Hulk Hogan and Mr. T beat Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff - In watching this match from some 27 years ago, it was so built up that there was no way they could match the build. it was a mess, but hey, anything that had Mr.T in it wasn't going to be a classic. Piper made the match, but in the end it wasn't enough to save it.
9. WrestleMania XI: Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - Give props to Bam Bam, who made the match and made Taylor look way better than he should have. To me Taylor was a better in-ring performer than T, and it showed, but at the end of the day, it was still not worthy of Mania main event status.
10. WrestleMania 2000: Triple H Beats The Rock, Big Show and Mick Foley to retain the WWF Championship - On paper a very good match, but add in four McMahon's who didn't need to be there, and throw in an overweight, out of shape Foley who had retired a month earlier, and you have a fatal-four-way that could have clearly just been H vs Rock, which we saw a month later with the Rock finally getting the belt back.
As part of Kmart’s new, exclusive sponsorship of WWE, Intercontinental Wrestling Champion, Kofi Kingston will make an appearance at a Tampa Kmart store.
Hailing from West Africa, Kingston brings unique in-ring abilities and style to the WWE®. A fan favorite, Kingston maintains his bright, amiable smile while destroying his opponents with high-flying, high-impact offense.
Kingston made an immediate impact on the WWE® upon his arrival in 2008, first wining the Intercontinental Championship from Chris Jehrico, then becoming World Tag Team Champion with CM Punk and then capturing the United States Championship.
Consumers and members of the media are invited to the in-store appearance to learn more about Kmart’s sponsorship of WWE. Media are welcome to shoot footage, take photos, and interview Kingston and/or Kmart executives about the new partnership.
WWE and Kmart recently announced that Kmart will be the exclusive presenting sponsor of all WWE’s U.S. live events throughout 2011. As part of the partnership, WWE is providing in-store appearances by WWE Superstars and Divas.
The signing will be Thursday, March 10th at the Kmart Store at 2915 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607 from 6 to 8pm.
Jim Ross is back with another blog on jrsbarbq.com where he talks about UFC purchasing Strikeforce. Here are some of the wrestling-related highlights:
- It is still a head scratcher to me as to what role @TheRock will play, if any, in the WWE Title Bout at WM27. A good piece of road has been traveled in that vehicle to not deliver the good in some fashion, or so it would seem. This mater alone makes this Wrestlemania hard to definitively predict.
- WM27 ticket sales are well north of 50,000 paid for well over a $5M gate and I'm predicting that the event will do between 65-75,000 fans for a gate of over $6M and perhaps getting close to $7M. When I broadcast the first event ever in the Georgia Dome, an Atlanta Falcon exhibition football game, in 1992, never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine that I would be attending a wrestling event in the house that Deion Sanders used to electrify that it would be packed.
- The St. Louis Raw this Monday is an important stop on the road to Wrestlemania especially after following the Dallas show last Monday when @steveaustinBSR returned to pop a terrific TV rating. If history holds true, the final three Monday night Raw's going into a Wrestlemania PPV are generally hot shows. St. Louis has significant advance ticket sales and the long time hotbed of pro wrestling from the Promoter Sam Muchnick days will likely be a hot, loud crowd which makes any show better. It is crunch time for all involved in MNR as its like needing three wins over three weeks to make it to the championship game at the Final Four.
Sheamus declared at this weekend's OKC live event that his "King" persona is dead and long lives The Celtic Warrior. Sheamus cut a promo before his match with Yoshi Tatsu and said ever since he won King of the Ring, he has been on the biggest losing streak of his career.
Jim Ross keeps reiterating on Twitter that he is not currently scheduled to announce at WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta. As noted before, there has been a lot of talk lately about JR calling the show but most within WWE feel that it won’t happen.
As noted before, one of the modes in WWE’s All Stars video game will be Fantasy Warfare, where THQ puts a current and former WWE Superstar against each other in dream matches and promotes the feuds with custom video packages. The mode will feature 15 game modes.
IGN has a new feature up with Jerry Lawler where he blogs on the Fantasy Warfare feature and shares his thoughts on some of the dream feuds. Here are those dream feuds that have been revealed:
* Ruthless Aggression: Kane vs. Jimmy Snuka
* Greatest Warrior: Sheamus vs. The Ultimate Warrior
* Biggest Superstar: John Cena vs. Hulk Hogan
* Superior Lifestyle: CM Punk vs. Steve Austin
* Greatest High Flier: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
* Most Charismatic: John Morrison vs. Randy Savage
* Coldest Snake: Randy Orton vs. Jake Roberts
* Perfectly Awesome: The Miz vs. Mr. Perfect
* Excellence Execution: Edge vs. Bret Hart
* Undisputed: Triple H vs. The Rock
* Innovative Offense: Kofi Kingston vs. Ricky Steamboat
* Mr. WrestleMania: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
* Stars & Stripes Showdown: Jack Swagger vs. Sgt. Slaughter
* Pride of Scotland: Drew McIntyre vs. Roddy Piper
The Rock will be returning to RAW the night after WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is WWE’s official release:
“Just 24 hours after WrestleMania XXVII Host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes the reins of The Show of Shows, “the most electrifying man in entertainment” will be appearing on Monday Night Raw, live in Atlanta. Tune in to Raw at 9/8 CT on Monday, April 4 – the night after WrestleMania – to find out what The People’s Champ is cookin’.”
According to Ticketmaster, all tickets for WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, Georgia are officially sold out. There will be additional tickets released in the final days before the show once production is complete and more seats are available. There are still a few tickets left for the Hall of Fame ceremony.
WWE’s website interviewed JBL this week after his return on RAW Monday night. Here are some highlights from the in-character interview:
WWE.com: First of all, sorry about the night you had this past Monday. I don’t think it was the return you were expecting.
JBL: What bothers me is when other great champions come back, like The Rock, “Stone Cold” or Roddy Piper, when these guys return they’re not treated like that. And I was the greatest champion of all time. You got the best [Superstars] from the ’80s and ’90s coming back for WrestleMania, and I had to reiterate to my fans, because they love me so much, that JBL was the greatest champion. So, when something like this happens it’s just a matter of complete disrespect by a guy like Steve Austin. I hear he’s very successful in movies – God bless him – but that’s where he should stay.
WWE.com: Speaking of being successful after WWE, you’ve been gone for almost two years now, what are you up to these days?
JBL: I invested in a really good beverage company, New Leaf Beverage (newleafbrands.com). We’ve got about 18 brands, including four lemonades and four iced teas. We’re in about 35 states, and sales have been pretty good. It’s been a good investment; I’ve spent a lot of time with that. I spend a lot of time in Bermuda. I can do my investments anywhere, so I spend about 4-6 months a year there. It’s only an hour-and-a-half from New York, so it’s an easy commute.
WWE.com: Any final words for the WWE Universe?
JBL: I’m thrilled they got to see the greatest champion to ever come back. Also, I got to meet Alberto Del Rio, and I cannot tell you how proud I am of the young man. I knew his dad. I knew his uncle. And one thing we agree on, Rey Mysterio is not a good role model for kids. You want to look up to people like Alberto Del Rio and me, both great champions, both very successful financially.
Jim Ross is back with another blog on jrsbarbq.com, looking at last night’s RAW. Here are some highlights:
- Thought the cold open to the show featuring Undertaker/HHH was on the money and edited well. WWE TV folks do a marvelous job with their video features. IMO the Taker-HHH match could efficiently be promoted via video packages of the two future WWE HOF’ers greatest moments in WWE.
- Keep an eye on Brodus Clay. I think that he can be something special and him manifesting that particular ‘it’ is on him and how well he maximizes his minutes on TV. He’s a big, monster of a man who mentally seems to ‘get it.’
- Congrats to Sunny on being named to the 2011 WWE HOF class. She really started it all with the risqué, Diva personification and portrayed a very effective ‘bad girl.’ One might say that the forecast for Atlanta the first weekend of April are for ‘Sunny days.’
- The Dallas/WWE fans definitely came to see Stone Cold Steve Austin. Although Austin did not have that much to say nor did he overstay his welcome by any stretch, Austin stole the show Monday night and seemed to be having a great time interacting with the fans and even the cameramen. Austin’s fans long ago made a strong emotional bond with the Texas Rattlesnake that will seemingly last forever. @steveaustinBSR, on Twitter, can still command an audience as good as any WWE performer today or any previous generation.
- Michael Cole had the tables turned on him with Austin becoming the special referee for Cole’s WM27 match w/ Jerry Lawler. It will be interesting to see how ‘Cole sore’ reacts this Friday night on Smackdown and again next Monday from St. Louis on Raw. Cole draws as much villain angst as anyone on the Raw roster and his match with the King is one of the most talked about bouts that we will see in Atlanta. I think that Lawler ought to make Cole wear a diaper when, not if, the King gets his hand raised at Jerry’s first ever Wrestlemania match.
As most everyone knows, The Undertaker defeated Triple H ten years ago at WrestleMania 17 back in 2001.
For their current WrestleMania 27 feud, officials have ordered that the WrestleMania 17 match not be brought up and acknowledged because there’s a feeling it will take away from the fans believing that Triple H can end the streak.
An introductory video package showcasing Sin Cara’s mask and unprecedented aerial ability aired during RAW last night. WWE developmental wrestler Peter Orlov appeared as his stand-in opponent in the video, which was filmed two weeks ago in Los Angeles, California.
WWE® (NYSE:WWE) and Kmart® announced today that Kmart will be the exclusive presenting sponsor of all WWE’s U.S. live events throughout 2011. The partnership encompasses promotional rights to WWE’s pop-culture extravaganza WrestleMania®, exposure at all WWE pay-per-view events and the more than 250 WWE live shows held in the U.S. throughout the year. WrestleMania XXVII will be held on Sunday, April 3 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and is expected to draw approximately 70,000 fans from all 50 states and around the world.
As the exclusive presenting sponsor of WWE’s “Live Tour,” Kmart will be incorporated into all promotional elements of the live events including marketing materials, tickets and digital platforms. The partnership will also include in-program exposure, as well as :30 commercial units during WWE’s “Monday Night Raw®” on USA Network and “Friday Night SmackDown®” on Syfy. WWE will support the partnership by creating a microsite on WWE.com which will host several sweepstakes and exclusive offers; featuring ads in WWE Magazine and WWE event programs; and providing in-store appearances by WWE Superstars and Divas.
“Kmart is excited to expand its relationship with WWE,” stated Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, Kmart. “This partnership will allow our customers to engage with an exciting entertainment brand and enjoy exclusive offers and promotions throughout the year.”
“The partnership between WWE and Kmart is the perfect fit,” said Michelle D. Wilson, EVP, Marketing & Sales. “The exposure Kmart will have across all of our platforms including live events, TV, pay-per-views, digital assets and talent appearances is certain to drive measurable business results.”
Jim Ross wrote the following on his website this weekend when asked about TNA politics and Hulk Hogan revealing Jimmy Hart as Jerry Lawler’s manager at WrestleMania 27:
“First of all I watch so little TNA that I’m not a good person to judge how their inner workings are, good or bad. Philosophically, I don’t enjoy their style of creative more often than not but, again, I’m not a regular viewer. But it’s none of my business either and only a personal opinion from afar. I think the statement Hogan made about Jimmy Hart being King’s manager for the night @ WM27 is simply speculation and rumor. I don’t think that it will happen or that it has any basis in fact. Time will tell but it’s not a big deal one way or another. I hope TNA succeeds and I spend zero time concerned about TNA politics, etc.”
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR said about:
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara in WWE: Is there room for both Rey and Sin Cara in WWE? Absolutely. Why not? Do some feel that because both are Hispanic, masked stars that they cannot both be major assets in WWE at the same time. I think not. WWE is lucky to have both men. Rey is an established main event star and a future Hall of Famer while Sin Cara has a huge upside but has to prove himself to the WWE fans.
Michael Cole: "I agree with many emailers that Michael Cole is the type of antagonist that one legitimately wants to see get beat up and humiliated. He has Cornette-like heat hearkening back to the Mid South days where fans lined up in droves to see somebody, anybody humiliate the manager of the Midnight Express. Same emotion elicited by the late Andy Kaufman in Memphis. BTW most fans don't realize that the Lawler-Kaufman issue lasted well over a year." The Rock Back On WWE TV: "I am personally ecstatic that The Rock is back in WWE for WM27 and no matter Rock's role he's going to positively add to the event in multiple areas. Rock is a huge star on several fronts and his promo ability is as good as it gets. People 'over think' Rock's return as in what's going to happen when he's not on TV? How does he make Cena/Miz look? What happens if Rock steals the show in Atlanta, etc?"
"All talents throughout the Raw and Smackdown rosters need to step it up to attempt to get on Rock's level. Competition is great for everyone. If Rock, Austin, etc make the incumbents dig a little deeper to perform at a higher level then everyone wins especially the fans."
"I have no idea what Rock is going to do at WM27 but I can assure you that it will be impactful. His interactions via Twitter, @The Rock, directed to Cena, etc have been entertaining."
Two names being tossed around for the role of Michael Cole's special referee in the WrestleMania 27 match against Jerry Lawler are Vickie Guerrero and believe it or not, Steve Austin. It could just be that Austin does an angle with Vickie on next week's RAW or something as she is expected to be there.
The latest talk about The Undertaker retiring is that he will do it after going 20-0 at WrestleMania 28 in 2012. Of course there is always talk about Taker retiring and most people feel that he will wrestle as long as he is physically able to.
Two fans in attendance at last night's WWE SmackDown tapings from Cleveland, Ohio noted that Drew McIntyre was "fired" by Teddy Long due to his loss to World Heavyweight Champion Edge in the opening match.
McIntyre tried to attack Edge at the start of the show when Edge was talking about Vickie Guerrero being fired the previous week. Teddy Long came out and decided that this week, Drew should put his job on the line.
McIntyre, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler have all been "fired" from SmackDown in recent weeks. Kelly Kelly was also fired but brought back by Teddy Long.
WWE is planning a in-ring showdown between The Rock and John Cena for an upcoming RAW before WrestleMania, likely the March 14th or March 21st show. With Steve Austin appearing on next week’s show, it isn’t expected that The Rock will be there because of concern that it might be overkill, but that’s not confirmed.
While WWE indicated last night that Alex Riley had just been fired from his job at The Miz’s personal assistant, they have removed him from the RAW roster page. It was noted last night how there was no closing shot of Riley after he lost the cage match against John Cena.
There is speculation that Riley and Michael McGillicutty will be re-packaged and brought back to RAW or SmackDown. Nexus member McGillicutty was written off RAW last night after a punt kick from Randy Orton.
At one point, WWE had planned for a Nexus vs. The Corre match at WrestleMania 27 but that match has apparently been nixed from the card. It’s believed that The Corre will now take Big Show on in some kind of match.
This is not confirmed but Kevin Nash is being speculated as a possible partner for Show. Nash was apparently told he would be doing another match with WWE soon and that may come in Atlanta.
Variety reports that WWE has signed Kmart as their exclusive presenting sponsor for all live events, pay-per-views and TV shows for the rest of 2011. Kmart is paying several million dollars to sponsor over 250 WWE events, said to be less than $10 million. The deal runs March 1st through December 31st.
Kmart will run 30-second ads during WWE programming and have their logo featured on WWE graphics and signage at the arenas where events are being held. WWE has created a new “live tour” logo that features Kmart’s logo embedded into the design.
As part of the deal, Kmart will be promoting WWE through sweepstakes and lucrative shelf space in-stores. Kmart is also hosting 12 new in-store appearances by WWE Superstars that will be announced soon.