Greetings! This is your new Wrestlemania 25 thread, to ring in the 24th anniversary of the PPV. It's the granddaddy of them all so you'll see here:
*All the BEHIND THE SCENES REPORTS right up to the PPV here!
*Match previews and predictions, which of course you'll be open to reply with your own!
*A LIVE PPV Report from me on the day of the PPV as it happens!
Scroll down to see the latest news and info
Welcome as so far we got a few news pieces.
The Wrestlemania 25 site is at http://www.wrestlemania25.com/ but PLEASE note the error that we're only at the 24th anniversary, as you don't count year one as an anniversary!
As we know so far for the night prior to Mania, the HOF ceremonies will induct in so far:
Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Funks, Terry and Dory Jr., Inducted by Dusty Rhodes
Online it's been also revealed that Ricky Steamboat and Cowboy Bill Watts will also join them, and I'm sure WWE will release that info officially soon along with other inductors like Ric Flair for Ricky and JR for Watts. No word still on who is inducting Austin.
Rumours will go abound for Mania, so here's one for a possible match: LordsOfPain.net is reporting that a source within WWE says that feelers have been sent out to Hulk Hogan to wrestle a match against John Cena at WrestleMania 25.
We know too an Edge/Cena feud might start again, and other matches we can deduce so far are Orton/HHH for the title, Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy, the winner of JBL vs. HBK to face the Streak of the Undertaker, Christian vs. Jack Swagger, Beth vs. Melina for the Women's belt, and the return of Money in the Bank (MITB). Things change from week to week for Vince so we shall see how things shape up with a month plus left!
Some LATE news today as the Cena/Hogan plan is in the early stages but of course, Cena/Edge is the main plan until a contract can be reached with Hulk Hogan. But now WWE is taking another long shot to try to get Trish Stratus, last seen on RAW in Toronto, to come and do a one off Mania match as well. Sources point to Michell McCool being her opponent.
*UPDATE Feb 21/09*
-Another release you can chalk up to "WWE Creative had no clue what to do with them" is Scotty Goldman, better known as Colt Cabana who will likely return to ROH. I've had the pleasure of seeing him on the Indy scene and he's a great in ring comedian, but once more the talent cannot rise if the Creative keep shrugging and giving up being, well, creative.
Also on the news pages is some analysis of house shows to possibly figure out other Mania matches. One such case Kane and CM Punk might be paired for the IC Belt match as they're doing a lot of matches in a row together.
Hogan is the latest to now go outside and say he's out of Mania. Add Austin not wrestling but doing the HOF and the ever changing Mickey Rourke status, Chris Jericho simply has to play the waiting game and have great promos with the likes of Roddy Piper. Jericho will get some legend in a big match or Rourke, but let the Oscars finish tomorrow and we shall see possibly Monday on the direction. Hogan is the same deal if he changes and gets paired against Cena. Trish is still being courted to face McCool.
Your current running possible card now: (with some help from http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8431/
HHH vs. Orton for SD belt
Edge vs. Cena for RAW belt OR Cena vs. Hogan
Chris Jericho vs. Mickey Rourke or Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair or Roddy Piper
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Money in the Bank
MVP vs.Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. R. Truth for the US Belt
CM Punk vs. Kane for the IC Belt
Undertaker vs. Winner of HBK vs. JBL vs. Vladimir Koslov
Trish Stratus vs. Michelle McCool
Jack Swagger vs. Christian for the ECW Title
And these are just some thoughts of my own for matches:
Beth Phoenix vs. Melina for the Women's Title
The Returning Gail Kim vs. Maryse for the Diva's Title
The Returning Evan Bourne vs. Rey Mysterio or Mike Knox
One of the tag belts or both on the line being held by Miz and Morrison (RAW) and the Colons (SD) who faceoff for a possible title unification bout next Friday on SD
Speaking of Jericho, WWE security now is getting their act together, now being very diligent since the incident in Victoria, B.C. Again as a Canadian I want to apologize for the few dummies who take things too far attacking wrestlers, no matter who started it.
Do say a prayer as the matriarch of the Funks Dorothy Funk Culver, who will be going into the HOF this year, passed away at the age of 89.
*UPDATE Feb. 23/09*
So add to Scotty Goldman the release of Manu, who once was cut from Legacy was doomed.
TY to Andy in the BEHIND THE SCENES to mention Freddy Prinze's release too from the writing staff.
To update, WWE also updated again that Rourke will at least be a guest at Mania 25. http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/rourkeoscars
Do figure more will be made of his loss by Jericho tonight and we further his involvement.
Also from http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8460/ you can already talk Wrestlemania 26 (the TRUE 25th anniversary) with a site at Arizona. And looks like the Great One Wayne Gretzky has been endorsing them. Yes there's more than one Great One folks.
Not much else yet but if post RAW stuff sprouts something we'll see where it goes! Take care!
*UPDATE Feb. 26/09*
Thankfully from Monday's RAW, Jamie Noble is recovering after suffering a stinger from Mike Knox in that stupid quick match idea. During the awesome Steamboat/Jericho promo he was taken out on a stretcher legit, but looks to recover well. He'll be back in ring soon but hopefully they yield from more injuries with green talent like Knox trying this quick match idea as it's not only counterproductive but now we can see here, unsafe.
On that note of the awesome continuation of promos Jericho has been having, give former WWE talent Lance Storm's site a look at his view on the Steamboat encounter at http://www.stormwrestling.com/022409.html
Meanwhile WWE Creative can't even keep PPV names straight:
"WWE has renamed (again) June's One Night Stand pay-per-view Night Of Extreme in an effort to be more PG-rated. A few weeks back, the show's title was changed to Extreme Rules."
OK how does this keep making it more PG rated? Talk about bowing down to the censors...
*UPDATE MARCH 3/09*
OK let's look back at those possible plans:
HHH vs. Orton for SD belt RESULTS: CONFIRMED FOR MANIA
Edge vs. Cena for RAW belt OR Cena vs. Hogan RESUTLS: FOR the moment it's Edge vs. Show so it hinges on if Hogan is still in it to face Cena or Jericho, or the match will become a (less exciting) three way match with Cena added to help carry Show
Chris Jericho vs. Mickey Rourke or Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair or Roddy Piper RESULTS: Some added names to consider are Snuka, Steamboat, RVD and Goldberg, but if you saw RAW, it looks like the emergency plan might have to be used and a letdown of JERRY LAWLER will be your opponent for Jericho.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy - Still waiting to see but will likely occur.
Money in the Bank - CONFIRMED for the match are CM PUNK, Kane and Mark Henry (Man so much for making this a spotfest, and how DOES Henry climb a ladder?!)
MVP vs.Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. R. Truth for the US Belt - Again we need to wait on this one, but could happen still.
CM Punk vs. Kane for the IC Belt - VOID as both are in MITB
Undertaker vs. Winner of HBK vs. JBL vs. Vladimir Koslov RESULTS: CONFIRMED as UNDERTAKER vs. HBK
Trish Stratus vs. Michelle McCool - Might happen, might not.
Jack Swagger vs. Christian for the ECW Title - Since this was done on ECW, might mean Christian will be considered for MITB now.
And these are just some thoughts of my own for matches:
Beth Phoenix vs. Melina for the Women's Title
The Returning Gail Kim vs. Maryse for the Diva's Title
-VOID both as the plan looks to be now Melina vs. Maryse. I'm all for it if it unifies those belts. Might also be a Divas tag match.
The Returning Evan Bourne vs. Rey Mysterio or Mike Knox - Again if they are left out of the MITB this could happen or they all get put into some Battle Royale so guys can get a Mania paycheque.
One of the tag belts or both on the line being held by Miz and Morrison (RAW) and the Colons (SD) who faceoff for a possible title unification bout next Friday on SD - NO CLUE on this one, as some or all might be in MITB too.
Also your HOF inductions this year are Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ricky The Dragon Steamboat (inducted by Ric Flair), The Funks (inducted by Dusty Rhodes) and Cowboy Bill Watts (inducted by Jim Ross).
Looks like Batista sees his return in a month. He's promoting WWE TV and RAW in Singapore where he has family and hopes to stay on RAW when they return, but hints the draft might change that.
Enjoy, talk it up and read here often for Mania news!
Here, there, everywhere! Online in random spurts when I can be!
Smackdown MITB qualifying matches over the next 2 weeks
Spoilers, only read if you don't care about knowing whats going to happen over the next 2 weeks
MVP and Shelton will be Qualifying on the 06/03/09 edition of smackdown
Finlay will be Qualifying on the 13/03/09
Well its more like they have Qualified but the shows just haven't happened yet since they are pre taped
Meaning next week on Raw/ECW the last 2 qualifying matches will likely take places
*UPDATE continued for March 4th*
Thanks slowdude for the Spoilers, we'll leave those there for people who want to peak on them. Yeah since Smackdown tapes now tapes 1-2 shows in advance some stuff is usually going to happen but takes some time to be confirmed for TV sakes. To confirm the full Smackdown tapings, you can go to http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8543/
For some other quick news points, apparently Mr. T was invited to the HOF ceremonies but turned it down in disgust that Pete Rose is in the HOF (I kid not, the article is here at http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/2009/03/03/mr-t-exclusive-why-i-rejected-an-invite-from-wwe-to-join-their-hall-of-fame-115875-21168825/ )
Apparently Stone Cold will go into the HOF shaved completely as the beard is gone! http://www.tmz.com/2009/03/03/stone-cold-stunner-did-steve-shave-the-goat/
As usual ROH, TNA and other groups tend to hold events at the same place on the same week of Wrestlemania each year, but this is a first where WWE forced talent to be at their events over others. In this case, Nick Bockwinkel, Tito Santana, Torrie Wilson and Ron Simmons will now be at Mania festivities in Houston.
Prayers for former WWE talent Paul Heyman who lost him mother on the weekend, as she was a Holocaust survivor and very key in his life.
Meanwhile about former talent, Bobby Lashley continues his MMA career with a match coming up against another former WWE talent in Ken Shamrock on March 21st http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/mma/2833/lashley_vs_shamrock_mma_bout_set_for_mar_21 while Brock Lesnar is confirmed for his Heavyweight Title Unification bout for UFC against Frank Mir on May 23rd http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/mma/2836/frank_mir_vs_brock_lesnar_official_for_ufc_98 at UFC 98. Always good to see them do well despite their pasts and shine.
MORE news in today. From http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2009/03/04/8629121.html
Boogeyman, who jobbed to Kane on ECW this week, looks like he'll need a new job as WWE released him today. This is the second time WWE released him so don't expect anymore returns.
Also add from http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8550/ add that there's some creative team changes behind the scenes. No final details on how they wil result but so far but long time employee on the team John Carle has been released.
In case you're in the Houston area to see Wrestlemania or at least go to the Fan Axxess, here are some details for it:
--WWE Fan Axxess schedule from 4/2 to 4/5 at Reliant Arena will include live matches, Q&As, Call-a-match, get photos with Divas and wrestlers as well as the annual videogame superstar challenge. Planned appearance schedule is
4/2 at 6 p.m. - Rey Mysterio & John Cena
4/3 at 6 p.m. - Shawn Michaels & Edge
4/4 at 8 a.m. - HHH & JBL
4/4 at 1:30 p.m. - Randy Orton and Big Show
4/4 at 7 p.m. - Kane & MVP
4/5 at 8 a.m. - Ric Flair & Chris Jericho
4/5 at 1 p.m. - Batista
It's a fun time when I went during the time Mania was in Toronto, as I got to meet the late Curt Hennig, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Big Show, Scotty 2 Hotty, Albert, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Kiebler, and also got to see future talent live like Brock Lesnar facing the late Crash Holly.
*UPDATE March 5th*
First off some news courtesy of http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html
-Looks like the one Divas match will now be a whopping 25 Diva Royale, as Tammy "Sunny" Synch already announced online she's coming for it. Funny if this is Gail's premiere return as she did the same to win the belt a while back for her first appearance.
Of the Divas we can figure out they'll use so far http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Wrestling_Entertainment_employees : Sunny (legend), Beth Phoenix, illian Hall, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Michelle McCool, Maria, Maryse, Katie Lea Burchill, Alicia Fox, Candice Michelle, Layla, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Eve, Gail Kim, Natalya, and maybe Tiffany (Teddy Long's assistant) and Rosa Mendes which brings you to...20 Divas so far.
Again this is maybe where Trish Stratus then gets put in, while I do hope they don't count Stephanie McMahon, Vickie Guerrero or Lillian Garcia in this. They could call up FCW talent too like Angela, Jenny Cash and Wesley Holliday, and will likely call on some more former talent for a one off performance.
-Meanwhile your Daily Hulk Hogan update is he's first of all now getting in on Twitter and his latest speech is that he shall be the one facing Chris Jericho on behalf of the Legends at Mania 25. We shall see as it's Hogan being Hogan, though will say he has been a part of Wrestlemania for years and #25 would be good to have him in there, even if his in ring won't be up to par.
*UPDATE March 9th*
Wow tons of news so let's get to it! From http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/wrestling/2879/law_march_9_update__contract_signing_on_raw
**Tonight "Raw" takes place in Jacksonville, Florida featuring Triple H Vs Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Creative had a number of meetings last week and I would expect a number of changes to be made over the next few weeks as Vince McMahon was apparently on the war path with paranoia of plans being leaked (and the script leak probably didn't help matters). They have announced tonight that there will be a contract signing for Edge and Big Show for WrestleMania.
So Vince is going Howard Hughes on us as he's going ballistic about any leaks that they rewrote a lot this weekend.
-They released both Ryan Braddock, who was going to be used as JBL's protege until JBL nixed that idea, and consultant Afa Sr.
**Greg Valentine recently stated that he and Honky Tonk Man will both be attending "WrestleMania 25" this year, likely in the audience for the Chris Jerico Vs Legends match.
So expect everyone ringside against Jericho like Steamboat, Flair, Rourke, Piper, Snuka and so forth. We still await who he'll face with the likelihood down to Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and Jerry Lawler, with outside chance of Goldberg, Terry Funk or RVD. Or as Vince changes his mind it might be someone else altogether.
**The rumored 25 Diva Battle Royal for "WrestleMania 25" has some interesting potential participants. In addition to Tammy Sytch heavily hinting on her Facebook page that she will be in the match, PWInsider is reporting that Wendi Richter has been contacted for the match. Richter has not worked for the company since 1985 when the company executed "the original screwjob" where Richter would not sign a contract backstage before a Madison Square Garden match with "Spider Lady" and under the mask was Fabulous Moolah (which Richter was not aware of) an Spider Lady went over in the match.
Well that's a history lesson for all. Again we had figured the Divas there so now it's whom they can book from the past, with Trish and Sunny for sure contacted. Some ideas might be Lita, Tori (not Wilson who is injured but the one who was with X-Pac), Stacy Keibler, Jazz, Victoria, Molly Holly, Ivory, Chyna, Amy Weber, Sable, Joy Giovanni, Dawn Marie, Beuleh, Francine, Medusa, Jackie Gayda, Ashley Massero, Nidia, Shaniqua, and the Jumping Bomb Angels.
If free and more news comes in tonight I'll try to update it ASAP.
And as I say that and about to get dinner more news comes in. From http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8594/
-Raw tonight is in Jacksonville, Florida, hometown of Kelly Kelly. Matches announced include a non-title champ vs. champ match with Maryse vs. Melina, plus a Money in the Bank qualifier with Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston to add to the above stuff.
--PWInsider.com today reported Koko Ware as being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, perhaps even being announced tonight. That certainly lowers the bar. Funny how Honky Tonk Man a few weeks ago said when they talked about the Funks, Watts and Austin in this year's class, how he didn't think he even deserved consideration as a star of that level. I guess he can't say that anymore.
Yeah again makes you itch your head and sing the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..."
-Richter has been contacted and said she's about 75% sure she's coming.
Some more releases as announced on http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2009/03/09/8687301.html and more on the Braddock and developmental talent Patrick Brink releases:
--Ryan Braddock aka Jay Bradley and Patrick Brink aka Kaleb O'Neal were released by WWE over the past week. The company just took Braddock off the Smackdown roster on the web page but never even wished him well in future endeavors. Brink wrote a long post on Saturday on his myspace account claiming he was cut because after one of his best friends passed away, some of his family wanted to pay for him to get tattoos with his name, and said in WWE, you need permission to get tattoos. He spent 12 days trying to get an answer until he found out the person he needed to give clearance was out of the country, so he decided to get them, and ended up fined $1,000 and suspended for six days. He noted he was 30 minutes late for rehab after a strained right quad due to construction closing an exit, and he was told his excuse for being late was unacceptable and they were letting him go until he could be more professional.
And yet another release:
--Kizarny was wished the best in his fizuture endizeavors.
Joking aside WWE never let him do how the act should be. I've seen him live and he's very close to Edge and Christian from past companies. He did the gimmick without the silly talking, and had a manager do freaky stunts on him pre match like throw darts into his back to show his toughness. His in ring is also quite good if unorthodox.
*UPDATE March 13th*
From http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8628/ and http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8638/
Some minor things involving past WWE talent. Looks like Bobby Lashley will now face instead of Ken Shamrock in a former WWE vs WWF matchup in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for the Roy Jones Jr. mixed boxing and MMA event, as Shamrock recently got tested positive for steroids and is suspended 1 year from MMA, will now face either longtime fighter Don Frye, or at the moment being pushed moreso, former boxer Hasim Rahman. Rahman is a former world heavyweight champion. UPDATE: As I kept reading, it won't be either name but it will be Jason Guida, brother of Clay Guida of the UFC, facing Bobby now.
Meanwhile Steve Austin is getting tons of looks as he heads into the WWE HOF as he is now a part of the huge cast for the new Sylvester Stallone movie the Expendables. Playing the lead is Charisma Carpenter (From Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) along with Mickey Rourke, MMA fighter Randy Couture, Jet Li, Jason Stratham, Eric Roberts, Forest Whitaker, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others in this huge movie that will come in a few years about a group of assassins hired to kill a dictator. The former Rock, Dwayne Johnson of course has Disney's Return to Witch Mountain coming out today and it's getting him moe rave reviews for his range in acting, and he had done SNL once again last week. Johnson is now looking at a Broadway musical among his next projects. As for Mania connections don't expect either man to be in action at Mania 25 at this point. Hulk Hogan also claimed in his ongoing court case with his former wife that he cannot work due to having surgery so now count him out as Jericho's opponent as if he did work Mania, he'd be lying to a US court and that leads to bad things so to speak. Looks like now it's leaning to Jerry Lawler (a letdown in my view) to take on Jericho at Mania 25, or Ric Flair (even worse as his retirement is one of the rare ones so please let it be).
Alright from http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html we got news on Batista's return. He's being billed for May 16th for his first house show return. The supershow in Bloomington, Illinois will have him tag with HHH and Cena against Orton, Show and Edge.
Meanwhile back to the topic of the Divas Battle Royale (Check the thread out and do the poll for it, also on these forums) that the former WCW Medusa/WWF Alundra Blaze was not given an invitation to the match. Guess WWE is sadly still bitter over her trashing the old Women's Title in the garbage bin on WCW Nitro long ago...
Finally from http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/wrestling:
JR reported a Rise and Fall of WCW DVD will be coming, though this should be even MORE critical than the ECW one considering the rivalry and Vince's perchance to take any shots at former competition, even if he owns them now.
*UPDATE March 15th*
-Thankfully tests come back that he should be OK but that's a huge scare avoided if he's OK.
For anyone into gossip of Hollywood I suppose:
"--The Miz is all over gossip sections today. Apparently he was hugging and whispering with Lauren Conrad of "The Hills" at a Star Magazine party in Los Angeles."
I must be getting old so someone else can fill me in on who that is with Miz.
Meanwhile John Cena made an unannounced appearance on last night's Saturday Night Live, playing a security guard in the opening sketch. Tracy Morgan has a running gag of late punching out people bigger than he is and yes he decked Cena cold. Maybe Edge or Big Show should have him in their corner, heh.
Finally from http://www.wwe.com/inside/industrynews/9566302 a followup to the Rock's appearance on SNL where he did an excellent job, including one becomeing the Rock Obama which was a "what if" Obama got mad like the Hulk and thus turns into the Rock. Apparently another skit he did with Fred Armisen about entertainers who accosts tourists is getting protest from the lieutenant governor of Hawaii for showing a skit in these hard economic times that would scare tourists away.
All I got to say to him is WHO IN THE BLUE HELL ARE YOU?! Joking aside, people can't be so sensitive to comedy even in said "rough times."
*UPDATE March 17th*
"**The WWE did announce on their website last night that the Von Erich family will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The decision not to announce this on TV is believed to me because of the timing with Andrew Martin's death and the fear that the media will jump on the WWE. I did find it unfortunate but definitely not surprising that they failed to make mention of his passing. The company is going to avoid negative publicity wherever possible even if it means ignoring a performer who worked there as recently as two years ago."
-I'll add that likely after the Benoit situation the WWE is less up to honour or even mention someone's passing if even the slightest possibility is around he died of steroids to avoid the news media linking it back to them and asking more questions. The Von Erichs are a deserving inductee for their past in ring contributions but it's well known they all had personal demons outside it leading to their passings. Meanwhile for Test, indeed steroids and prescription drugs were found on site; we await a toxicology test to determine the reason of death but don't hold your breath on what it is...
-Smackdown does one more taping tonight with double shows before returning to one show a week, which I prefer considering how much Vince is changing ideas on the fly too. MVP vs. Shelton is the only match for the 500th episode so far this week.
-You can add JBL vs. Rey Mysterio Jr for the IC Belt, Chris Jericho vs. Superfly Jimmu Snuka, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat and Rowdy Roddy Piper with Ric Flair and Mickey Rourke in their corner, and The Colons vs. Miz and Morrison for both Tag Team Belts to the Wrestlemania card. That brings the card up to:
Randy Orton vs. HHH (Smackdown Title Belt)
John Cena vs. Big Show vs. Edge (Raw Title Belt)
Undertaker vs. HBK
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
25 Divas Battle Royale (19 Current Roster Divas [including Gail Kim] + 6 Past Divas)
Money in the Bank (Finley, Christian, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, CM Punk, Kane, Mark Henry and Kofi Kingston)
Add those 3 matches and we got the latest in a while a full card has been announced for many at 9 matches. Also Ashley Massero also said no to an invite to the Divas Battle Royale like Debra McMichaels, Alundra Blaze got no invite, while we know Sunny and Torrie Wilson are in, with Trish Stratus and Wendi Richter just about locked leaving 2 spots left to fill. The current roster from the graphic last night showed in the Divas Battle Royale will be Melina, Maryse, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Michelle McCool, The Bella Twins, Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, Maria, Eve Torres, Katie Lea Burchill, Beth Phoenix, Layla El, Rosa Mendes, Candice Michelle, Natalya Neidhart, Jillian Hall, and Tiffany.
Above info with help with http://www.411mania.com/wrestling
*UPDATE March 24th*
Been a bit but here are some small updates courtesy sites like [
-One release since last time if you can call it one with Tyson Tomko released after only 1 dark match tryout. He looked bad, was injured and with Christian a face on ECW he wasn't needed there.
-Candice Michelle is out the the Divas Battle Royale due to injury, but is talking with WWE about extending her contract after it expires this year in October. Meanwhile Gail Kim is off the graphic for the match but don't discount this as meaning she's not in the match still.
-WWE still has some people to add to the HOF, with the latest to be Howard Finkel, who has to this point done every Wrestlemania ever. (NOW CONFIRMED)
-For 3 hour RAW shows, WWE has one April 13th in Atlanta after Mania to do the draft, then another one with a theme yet to be named June 15th in Charlotte, North Carolina.
-Vince is going all out as "reports say that the WWE will spend more money on advertising for this year's "WrestleMania" than any other ‘Mania in history with the company expecting 1 million buys worldwide for the show." At this time the build has been subpar even with likely good in ring matches, but ones we've seen too much of already.
-In you oddity of the week, "There was a crazy rumor going around last week that Glen Jacobs (Kane) and Affliction fighter Tim Sylvia were in a bar fight in Detroit with Jacobs getting the upper hand. Jacobs spoke to "The Sun" in the U.K and completely blew off the story as a lie and that neither man was even in Detroit."
-In case you're wondering the spot where Ric Flair got hit with a camera did not have the blood planned, as Flair was legitimately cut on the camera and need 12 staples backstage to close it.
-Nicole Scherzinger of "The Pussycat Dolls" will sing "America the Beautiful" this year at WrestleMania. Kid Rock will also be performing at the show. So for one song you get the one Doll who can sing, and Kid Rock must be signed for life with WWE it seems.
*UPDATE March 26th-27th*
Just a few items as the Princess Bride movie plays behind me (Love Andre the Giant in it as Fezzik!).
-Thankfully there won't be charges from either side for Jericho or the Canadian fans, but just let it be a lesson for all to be able to separate the wrestling story from real life.
-The cancelled Divas ECW episode was pushed to next week now.
-Mean Gene Okerland will be the one inducting Howard Finkel into the WWE HOF. At this time we know Ric Flair will induct Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes will induct the Funks, Michael Hayes will induct the Von Erichs, Jim Ross will induct in Cowboy Bill Watts, and the Honky Tonk Man (odd since he himself is not in the HOF yet) is inducting Koko B. Ware (the "odd" man out you can say). We still have yet to hear who will induct the big guy, Stone Cold Steve Austin, but rumours persist it will be Vince McMahon himself. By the way if you're in Canada, the Score will indeed show the HOF show just before Mania on Sunday at 5PM EST.
-An interesting note about moves banned to be used in WWE, which tend to be moves to the head like the Piledriver (except the Tombstone which only Kane and the Undertaker are allowed to use due to their senority), and for a brief time the DDT.
"Evan Bourne was able to convince the WWE to allow him using the Shooting Star Press. The move was banned by the WWE, and Paul London has been doing interviews stating he made a plea to use the move and was denied. "
Again this is more due to when Brock Lesnar, a person London criticized for using it, did and missed it on Kurt Angle a few Manias ago, nearly paralysing it. I personally don't like banning moves and it should be more on a person to person basis to check they can do it efficiently and safely enough before they do use it. And even then we can't be perfect, but banning it not the way to go IMHO.
-Seems Vince makes Vince rules again, saying TNA is not right to use things like bats and having the TV-14 rating, while WWE has the PG one. Sure, but he's saying then that a sledgehammer is fine, home invasion and love triangles are also family fun (urgh I almost threw up thinking about Big Show again...). Not to mention arson, men beating up women or elders, and otehr past doings. Hey love it for an edge, but don't go calling the kettle black, Vince the Pot. I'm amazed what Vince says on interviews sometimes, or letting talent say things then scold them later (think Mr. Kennedy, Carlito, MVP). Even this week you got Mr. Kennedy (again) talking about steroids with other sports compared to the WWE and John Cena saying A-Rod of the NY Yankees should be in jail for his admission. Again think first people, or get burned.
-"On Tuesday the WWE sent out a press release promoting the fact that they have a Talent Rehabilitation Assistance program, which began in September 2007. The press release mentions that they had sent out letters to 535 former contracted employees and that 3.1% (16) of them have taken them up on their offer."
This is the rehab program a few have taken up, so it's a small step forward to helping those in need of fighting personal demons.
-"WWE has flip flopped the Great American Bash, now 6/28 in Sacramento, and Night of Champions (all title matches) will be 7/26 in Philadelphia "
Apparently WWE is hiring legal aid so if interested, here's what you need to know!
--Do you want to work with Vince McMahon and Jerry McDevitt on a regular basis? Well, we've got a job for you. WWE is looking for a new legal superstar to be the company's primary attorney, responsible for negotiating and drafting agreements and documents, providing advice in the talent relations department (you can tell them they need to get better athletes), creative writing (you can tell them it's not a crime to start an angle, write it out from start to finish and then not change it every week so it makes no sense), television production, music, licensing and live events. Here's what you need:
1) 8 years of entertainment or transactional experience and familiarity with intellectual property law and talent negotiations
2) Excellent academic background - No claiming to have a degree in a field you don't. That's for the CEO
3) Experience practicing with a reputable law firm - That means nobody who has ever sued WWE in the past
4) Experience as an in-house attorney
5) Outstanding negotiating and drafting skills
6) A true appreciation, ideally a passion, for the company's product, yet at the same time it's a plus to be completely ignorant of the business.
7) Business-savvy (that means always agreeing with the chairman), impeccable legal and business judgment (defined as always agreeing with the chairman, if he says, "Let's compete with the NFL" you say, "That's a brilliant idea, and one Ted Turner never would have come up with") and excellent interpersonal and communication skills (that means you laugh at bad jokes by John Cena)
8) Ability to perform duties with minimal supervision and excel in a fast-pace environment
9) Ability to manage others and take a leadership role
10) Is a team player (that means willing to work 20 hours a day on two hours sleep, without complaining, and if your wife complains, you'll make a big salary and you can hire a nanny)
11) Is a down-to-earth individual ideal for the company's culture (I won't even touch that one)
WOW where do I sign up?!
*UPDATE March 27th*
-The recession hits hard as this is the first time since the 1990s that Mania tickets are still on sale at this point of the year.
Meanwhile let the war of words continue based on Vince calling TNA too violent, TNA replies:
TNA head Dixie Carter responded to recent comments WWE head Vince McMahon made about TNA in United Kingdom's SunSports saying, "I think it’s wonderful that Vince watches TNA iMPACT. And I agree with him that things such as the brutal beating of a sixty-year-old man, a vicious home invasion and gratuitous man-on-woman violence can be seen as reprehensible – and that’s just the last three Monday nights."
I'm not saying either in right but amazing either even speak of the other, a rarity as they usually think it's best to not acknowledge any competition.
Also if you want to see the 50% rating Cena's 12 Rounds is getting so far on Rotten Tomatoes, go to http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/12_rounds/
*UPDATE March 31st*
-Huge news after all as WWE let go one of its announcers last night after tapings. From http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8836/ it's reported that Tazz's contract expired last night and WWE let him go wishing good luck on future endeavors. He had agreed to work right up to the Smackdown which will air on Friday, but now looks like someone else will announce with JR on Smackdown, most likely some think it will be Matt Striker. I just worry as I love his work on ECW with good match calling, lots of cool references and jokes and being an overall geek calling it in a good way we get. Now Vince will likely neuter him like he did Tazz or Joey Styles...joy...the other option could be JBL as he's been talking about a big announcement at Mania that is not centered around his IC belt. That's maybe a better option since JBL is in Vince's good graces and unlike others will be allowed to say what he wants as most of it is what Vince likes (supporting the Troops, money talk, pro-Republican views).
-From http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/news.html we got confirmation of 4 of the 7 spots left for past Divas (recall all 18 active Divas are in except Candice who is injured) with it being Molly Holly, Victoria, Sunny and Torrie Wilson. Meanwhile if anyone is waiting on the all Divas ECW episode, it got nixed at the last minute again this week.
-It must suck to be ECW Champ Jack Swagger who has no match at Mania. Only thing this might lead to is a bigger build of him vs. Tommy Dreamer and his career stip at Extreme Rules. A side note from http://www.thefightnetwork.com/news/wrestling/3050/law_march_31_update__legends_match_stip is that after Mania, each of the next 4 PPVs only have 3 week builds which will drive writers insane and Vince is really stuffing way too much in at a time. That's Backlash, Judgment Day, Extreme Rules and Great American Bash. Hope you got the cash to buy all those PPVs...
-From http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/8841/ for the Divas count they oddly got 17 active Divas, the four announced past Divas above, suspect not Mae Young but Santino getting in...along with Vickie Guerrero who might be getting a crash course training as we speak! Actually, that training can be confirmed so look for of all people Vickie Guerrero to be wrestling more regularly! Wow and consider Vince and Shane McMahon since RAW have the wrestling itch again, I guess who needs to hire talent when you can use bodies there, crash course them and let the cluster begin! Heck post RAW in dark, McMahon beat up Cody (again) with a sledgehammer (which is OK with Vince since it's not a bat).
So final count at this time for Divas Battle Royale for sure is: the past Divas Molly Holly, Victoria, Sunny and Torrie Wilson, and current ones Melina, Maryse, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Michelle McCool, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, Maria, Eve Torres, Katie Lea Burchill, Beth Phoenix, Layla El, Rosa Mendes, Natalya Neidhart, Jillian Hall, and Tiffany for a grand total of 22 out of 25 spots filled. Candice Michelle is still listed but is questionable due to the ankle injury. For sure Lita, Debra, Alundra Blaze and Wendi Richter turned down their invitations.
-Finally from http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/100820/WWE-Hall-of-Fame-News:-McMahon-to-Induct-Austin,-WWE.com-Coverage,-USA-Replay,-More.htm we see Vince McMahon will indeed induct Stone Cold Steve Austin to complete the HOF roster. Enjoy it too if you're catching it!
*UPDATE APRIL 2nd*
Nothing too much to report. John Cena had another joke online about Vickie being Pregnant and then the article was pulled (man this title angle is the lamest since HHH/Jericho and Steph's dog...). Meanwhile you can add Jackie Gayda Haas to the Divas Battle Royale, leaving now 2-3 spots left (pending Candice's health status) for past Divas...or Santino to sneak in.
Finally in early news WWE is also sending out cease and desist orders to any website using Divas names, apparently of course due to copyright infringement so just be weary. Also JR on his blog notes the Wrestlemania announcing crew will now be him, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler the whole PPV for now, with no Matt Striker or Todd Grisham for now (considering with no ECW match and little ECW talent being used this is not a surprise). As for Tazz's replacement, even if Striker is moved to one of the other shows post Draft you got to imagine JBL is now going to be that other person returning to announce so long as it fits his schedule, and I find the one thing he does best is talk and commentate and miss him doing so.
*UPDATE APRIL 4th*
Pretty much the last update to do here. Most likely if anything happens the day of it will be covered in the soon to be made WRESTLEMANIA 25 LIVE REPORT thread, which will start as soon as I get back from a meeting on Sunday afternoon. I'll do on that thread the report, any behind the scenes news of the day, and my quick predictions of whom I got winning.
With 18 current Divas confirmed (Candice is still questionable to show), you can now add to the past Divas coming Nidia who was the tough enough champ a while back. Along with Sunny, Torrie Wilson, Molly Holly, Jackie Gayda and Victoria the total is up to 24 now. So that last spot goes to either Candice if healthy, or Mae Young, with an outside shot of Trish Stratus or Vickie Guerrero.
Confirmed in the crowd will indeed be Mickey Rourke ringside to support the Legends, and Carlo Colon, father of the Colon brothers so there's a good chance he'll be shown on screen too during their match with the Miz and John Morrison.
Jimmy Hart also made some amends with WWE so he can attend Booker T's charity event, and there's some patching up made between the 2 for their events after WWE banned talent from showing at both in Houston.
Enjoy the weekend!
Here, there, everywhere! Online in random spurts when I can be!