Torch Today TORCH NEWS TICKER 4/27: N.Y. Times article on WWE, Foley at Backlash, Orton comments on maturity, Ross comments on Backlash
Apr 27, 2008 - 6:00:40 PM
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Sunday, April 27, 2008
- Backlash coverage: Join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST for our ongoing coverage of the Backlash PPV from Baltimore. We'll also have post-show audio and text Roundtables available for VIP members. ... WWE's website is reporting that Mick Foley will be joining Michael Cole on color commentary for tonight's Smackdown matches. The Coach appears to be gone from the broadcast position.
- New York Times published a lengthy piece on WWE's business turnaround from the Chris Benoit tragedy last summer to hosting presidential candidates on Raw this past Monday. A spokesman for Barack Obama's campaign told the Times he did the message on Raw "for the same reason we taped a segment with Rachael Ray — this campaign has been about reaching out to new voters and getting them involved in politics, so it’s important to reach as broad an audience as possible."
A spokesman for John McCain said there could be more to the relationship. "McCainiacs are freedom-loving people that believe our country is strengthened by personal empowerment and individualism," the spokesperson said. "So reaching out to WWE fans made sense, and it appears to be a successful relationship worth building on."
The article mainly focuses on WWE dealing with the Benoit tragedy from a P.R. standpoint and the company's history of steroid scandal. The article also touches on the declining ratings. They cite "analysts" who say WWE lacks charismatic and marketable stars they once had. (It's obvious when the candidates on Raw were referencing catchphrases from wrestlers no longer on the roster.) UFC president Dana White commented on WWE for the article. "People have been trying to count the WWE out for years,” he said. "They’re a powerhouse." Article link.
- Randy Orton is interviewed by Kevin Eck in the Baltimore Sun ahead of tonight's Backlash PPV. Orton commented on his personal and professional maturity that has come with a new family. "I was making myself miserable and I didn’t know it," he said about past maturity problems. "I let some people down like Triple H, who had a lot of faith in me and took me under his wing. Ric Flair would never say it, but he loved me like I was his kid and he was like a dad to me on the road. I’m sure I let him down somewhere along the way. These guys really invested a lot of time, faith and energy in me. The company invested money in me." Article link.
- Jim Ross posted thoughts on the Backlash PPV this weekend prior to leaving for the Backlash PPV. He said on jrsbarbq.com that WWE expects to make $600,000 in ticket sales in Baltimore tonight, and another $500,000 in N.J. for Raw tomorrow night. Blog link.
- Mike Mooneyham's Sunday column in the Charleston Post & Courier touches on Michael Hayes's 60-day suspension for unprofessional behavior. "Times have changed," he writes, "and expectations for a member of management working for a publicly traded company in a corporate environment and professional setting are considerably more stringent." Column link.
- Also in the Post & Courier, they have an article on the intertwining of politics and wrestling this past Monday on Raw. Entertaining read. Article link.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
- On Yahoo's homepage, Michelle McCool is currently the number one search on their list of "Today's Top Searches". She's beating out Michelle Williams and the NFL Draft.
- WWE Smackdown from last night averaged only a 2.4 in the Fast National ratings leading into the Backlash PPV. The show averaged an alarmingly-low 2.2 first hour, then increased to 2.6 for the second hour, which finished fourth ahead of ABC's offering, as usual.
- Toronto Sun published a story on Trish Stratus opening her yoga facility today with an open house for the general public to check it out. It's located at The Village at Vaughan Mills, 255 Bass Pro Mills Drive. "I'm not going to be teaching right away, because we have some senior teachers who really are fabulous," Stratus said. "I'm kind of selfish because I still want to be in the back, just learning from these people. But after a while I'll put in some 'Stratusfaction' classes here and there." Article link.
Friday, April 25, 2008
- WWE is set to report first quarter earnings next Tuesday, with analysts already raising expectations for the results based on the big business for WrestleMania. Wedbush Morgan raised its stock rating to "Buy" and predicted a $20 price level for WWE stock. WWE closed today at $17.69. Streetinsider.com report.
- Barrons blogged on WWE's upcoming financial report, and they're expecting very strong first quarter results and lowered expectations for second quarter based on the timing of WrestleMania at the end of the first quarter, rather than in the beginning of the second quarter in past years. Blog link.
- WorldScreen.com published a story on WWE being the first company in the Sports category to release products in Blu-Ray high-definition format. The first release, as we reported exclusively last month, is WrestleMania 24 on May 20. “It’s natural that WrestleMania 24, the biggest sports entertainment event of the year, is not only the first WWE title but the first sports title to be released on Blu-ray,” said Joel Satin, the VP of WWE home entertainment and books. Article link.
- UGO.com published a Backlash PPV preview with thoughts on the WrestleMania re-matches. They also plugged prowrestling.NET for more coverage. UGO article.
- WWE wrestlers are scheduled for an autograph session at the GI Film Festival at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., which runs May 14—18. We don't have the exact date for when the wrestlers will actually have their session. Festival details.
- Former WWE wrestler Steve Blackman is returning to the ring on Saturday in Marysville, Pa. for Classic Championship Wrestling. Ticket and show information.
- Merinews.com published a story on the popularity of wrestling returning in India thanks to Great Khali's run in WWE. Article link.
- Metalhammer.com is sponsoring a contest to see Motorhead in concert. To enter the contest, you simply have to answer the question of which WWE wrestler they perform the theme music for. Well, it's certainly not Great Khali. Article link.
- TNA Impact Notes: TNA has announced more Deuces Wild qualifying matches for next week's Impact, which will be taped on Monday in Orlando. Matches include LAX vs. Kaz & Eric Young and A.J. Styles & Tomko vs. Rock 'n Rave Infection. Cornette will then announce the "elite eight" participants who will enter the deal at the Sacrifice PPV. ... Cornette will also announce TNA's next "concept" match, to debut at Sacrifice. Why they need more gimmick matches is inexplicable. ... Also, Joe, Steiner, and Angle will be on the show to build toward their TNA Title match. ...
- Raw Notes: Monday night on Raw will be the official coronation for William Regal after he won the King of the Ring tournament last Monday. Of course, the main storylines will focus on the Backlash fall-out from this Sunday's PPV.
- ROH Video Wire for this week has more on the Jacobs-Aries-Lacey love triangle from recent ROH shows, including a very strong promo from Austin Aries, who is one of the most under-rated promo guys in wrestling. Also, a brief promo exchange between Nigel and Claudio ahead of their May 9 ROH Title match that accentuates the issues between them. Video Wire link.
- So Cal's most famous ringside photographer, Shane Kidder, posted a blog on Sid Vicious's return to wrestling at a recent NWA Showcase taping in Rhode Island. Sid is shown wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, which reads: "SID E-NUFF SAID" in block text. The storyline is that Sid is seeking the NWA Title, currently held by Adam Pearce. Kidder blog on Vicious.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
- TNA Impact preview: Coming up shortly, TNA picks up where Lockdown left off with the Angle vs. Joe re-match for the TNA Title. ... They're officially teasing a match between Sting and Booker, but we'll see if cooler heads prevail. ... Jim Cornette will clear up the tag title situation after last week's issues. ... We'll have live coverage of the show on the Torch main listing.
- U.K. published an interview with William Regal following his King of the Ring tournament victory. Regal said he wants to get back into wrestling, and not just being an authority figure. "Being general manager is a great spot – as it means I’m on the show – but I’m not ready to take a back seat," he said. "I wrestle on house shows all the time, and on TV I’ve had some decent outings, but now I’ve got the chance. I’m going to be all over it."
Regal said he's been all over Vince McMahon to give him more opportunities to wrestle. He said he's almost 40 years old, but feels like he's in great shape. “I don’t want to be remembered for pulling funny faces, I want people to get a chance to see me wrestle the top fellas and have some big time matches," he said. Regal also comments on Chris Benoit, MVP, and C.M. Punk in the interview. He said he's tried to get Nigel McGuinness into WWE, but people don't get his style. "If I ever got the chance to do something with Nigel - that would be pretty impressive," he said. Interview link.
- Floyd Mayweather's next gig is dropping the green flag to start the Indy 500 race next month. The AP report cites Mayweather's last mainstream role being part of WrestleMania 24. AP report.
- Motley Fool published a story on Jakks's financials they reported earlier in the week. Jakks disclosed a pre-tax expense of $2.6 million in legal fees concerning WWE's bribery lawsuit, which has been sitting in state court for the better part of this decade. Analysts are also concerned about Jakks losing the WWE toy license in 2010, even though they're picking up the rights to TNA. "Some analysts think perhaps the loss of the license -- even though JAKKS picked up the smaller TNA wrestling acts to replace the WWE -- will serve as a drain in the future," writes the Fool. "The boys in spandex still draw a crowd." Fool article.
- Slam Wrestling published a story on Randy Orton, with Orton providing commentary on the wrestling business. The story has many of the same quotes Orton gave at WrestleMania regarding his new family life and trying to be a role model for his family, like Rey Mysterio. Orton joked that he only has three wrestling moves in his arsenal, but he feels like his ability to tell a story and take the audience on a ride allows him to get the most out of the moves.
Orton commented on what younger wrestlers are missing from their performance in the ring. "What a lot of our guys and girls throw away is the facials, the body language," Orton said. "They hurry up and get to the next thing before they should, when they should take a breather and realize there's no action, so here's a camera on me." Orton said you have to take advantage of the camera focusing on facial expressions and body language. "This is where you're going to sell that persona, that character," he said. Slam article link.
- Frankie Kazarian (Kaz in TNA) is the subject of Alex Marvez's weekly syndicated column. Asked whether he regrets losing his opportunity in WWE in 2005 for not cutting his hair, Kaz said, "I don't regret it, nor would I do anything differently. You can ask yourself, 'What if?' all day long. At the end of the day, you've got to look at yourself in the mirror." Regarding his current TNA push, Kaz said he always knew he could match main event wrestlers on technical skills, but he had to prove himself to TNA management. "Now it's just a matter of further elevating myself so I can be in there regularly with guys on that level," he said. Article link.
- During Great Khali's planned leave of absence from WWE, Khali is expected to be in India May 7-10. He'll be in Delhi May 7 and 8, then Mumbai on May 9 and 10. During his time off, he'll be filming a Bollywood movie. Indiantelevision report.
- Part 2 of Kevin Nash's interview with Jeff Wilen in the Daytona Beach News Journal includes Nash's thoughts on size in wrestling. "It's always been a larger-than-life industry, and in that environment, I was the largest human being we had," Nash said. "When I was young, to break into the business, you had to be gigantic. I was gigantic... Everybody took steroids. They weren't even a felony conviction back then."
Nash also commented on "Internet guys," which is about as broad of a category as "human beings". Anyways, Nash said they like to push people's buttons. "It makes them insane. It's my own form of self-entertainment," he said. "I'll read Wade Keller. There are some guys that actually loathe me. They just hate me. They're Internet guys. Why wouldn't they hate me? I'm having a good time. They're not." Interview link.
- Tommy Dreamer posted his comments on Joey Styles leaving the ECW broadcast position on WWE's website. "My heart is very upset that I won’t have him calling my matches anymore," Dreamer said in an eloquent piece. "Call me selfish, but I know he is just that damn good. I am not going to get into our history as friends, because it is well documented through the trials and tribulations all the ECW Originals went through. Joey and I went through all of it together. I am happy to call him and his family my friends for many years."
Dreamer closed his thoughts with advice for Mike Adamle: "I know it is hard to do wrestling play-by-play. I have done it, and it is tough. I wish you much success. Hang in there, study the product and have passion for what we do." WWE.com article.
- RVD posted on his myspace page that his wife, Sonya, is battling colon cancer after complaining of stomach cramps for several months. Sonya wanted to use her tough trial to let everyone know to get checked out and not ignore signs that there is a problem. Blog link.
- There's an MMA promotion named Ultimate Warrior Challenge that has a show on Saturday in Virginia at the Patriot Center. Free Lance-Star says, "Move over WWE, NFL and UFC; there's a new acronym in town. It's the UWC--and Saturday, it's invading Virginia." Article link.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
- WWE issued a press release formally announcing the WrestleMania 25 PPV in Houston next April. WWE officials and Ric Flair traveled to Houston today to meet with more than 100 business leaders in the fourth-largest city in the U.S. to work on sponsorship agreements for WrestleMania. Press release.
- ROH Notes: ROH announced that Austin Aries will take Mark Briscoe's place as one-half of the tag team champions with Jay Briscoe. Their first title defense will be May 10 in New York City. ... Jack Evans vs. Necro Butcher has been added to the May 9 debut show in Virginia.
- XPW has added WrestleFanatic.com as the title sponsor for their "Cold Day in Hell" reunion show on May 24. WrestleFanatic is a social wrestling website, similar to Facebook. From XPW's press release: "WrestleFanatic.com allows wrestling fans, wrestlers, and industry insiders to create profiles, post pictures and videos, watch clips, and play video games."
- Metro Spirit published an article on a recent TNA house show in Aiken, S.C. The author calls TNA "Total Nonstop Action Wrestling Federation". Well, if WWE and TNA ever were to merge, that could possibly be a title considered. Basic observations on being at a live wrestling show. Article link.
- Merinews.com in India is reporting that Great Khali will be taking a break from WWE at the end of the month to return to India. "He is planning to take a break from WWE and open a wrestling training school for children in Mumbai," they wrote. Khali's brother told merinews that Khali will be in India for at least one month. Article link.
- Jim Ross posted a new blog on jrsbarbq.com discussing this week's hot topics. He said about the presidential nominees appearing on Raw: "None of them should quit their day jobs and look for work in ‘rasslin, but they all seemed to be good sports in their recorded, cliché laden spiels." Ross said the publicity for WWE was good, as national media that usually only covers WWE during tragedy or scandal were quick to talk about this WWE-related story. Blog entry.
- In last week's prime time cable ratings, USA Network won yet again on the strength of Raw's 4.5 million viewers for the April 14 Raw. It was a weak week for cable TV, as Raw finished first and second in overall viewership despite its low ratings. TNT took second place for the week with its NBA playoffs coverage. USA won for the 16th consecutive week with four of the Top-10 cable programs. Mediaweek article.
- TNA issued a press release yesterday announcing their official "Cross the Line" advertising campaign encouraging wrestling fans to sample TNA and spread the word to other wrestling fans about TNA. "'Cross The Line' will encourage fans who have never watched TNA to try it, current TNA fans to recruit others, wrestling stars from around the world to cross the line and join TNA, and it’s the official launch of TNA’s revolution to call out the competition." TNA president Dixie Carter said in the company's press release that "the demand for TNA can't be silenced."
- Gamasutra published an article looking at whether Midway Games can swing a business turnaround on the strength of their new releases, including TNA's video game. The article suggests TNA could have a yearly series of video games, similar to the Smackdown vs. Raw series from WWE. "That would be a crucial way to help ensure a steady cashflow for the developer," they wrote. Article link.
- Jakks Pacific reported first quarter earnings today. They said revenues were strong internationally due to increased toy sales from WWE products.
- Collie Buddz, the reggae/dancehall artist who sings Kofi Kingston's S.O.S. entrance music, will be appearing at 'Canes tonight in San Diego. S.D. City Beat isn't sure whether the entrance theme is "awful, hilarious or awfully hilarious".
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
- The mainstream coverage of McCain, Clinton, and Obama on Raw last night will quickly die down by the end of the week, but there was still plenty of coverage on Tuesday evening. Deadspin.com wrote, "Our minds are still spinning after the Obama-Clinton 'smack down' at the WWE last night; we're not sure if this makes us love our country more, or become that much more terrified of it."
Newshounds.com reported on JBL's analysis of the candidates's speeches. JBL critiqued the speeches on FOX News today, and he - not surprisingly - endorsed McCain as having the best speech on Raw. JBL gave Obama third place because he seemed "elitist". He gave Clinton silver for acting like she wanted to be there. He gave McCain top honors for seeming likable and coming across like the kind of guy you want to share a beer with. Newshounds article.
Forbes focused on the candidates going after blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania ahead of today's primary. "Each candidate got ten seconds to introduce his or her wrestling persona to a national audience, take a stab at humor, and demonstrate a connection with the show’s blue-collar fan base," they wrote. "Call it pandering if you wish, but before the polls opened this morning, Hillary Clinton appeared to have the advantage among blue-collar voters as well as an overall lead of 6 percentage points in Pennsylvania." Forbes blog.
Over the airwaves, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern each commented on the appearances on Raw. Limbaugh said, "The WWE had two actors in the ring, one dressed up like Obama with giant ears -- it was hilarious -- and a woman who pretty much looked like Mrs. Clinton: short and dumpy with a pantsuit."
Stern was negative on the candidates appearing on Raw, calling it silly and "pretty strange". Stern played a clip of Hillary Clinton's speech and said that came across awful. He said she comes across "stiff and boring" when she tries to take a lighter tone to her candidacy. Stern called McCain's speech lame and he was bothered by McCain saying wrestling is a good example of Americans fighting for freedom. A caller called in and said it's bothersome that troops are dying in Iraq, and the candidates are appearing on a wrestling show.
- ECW TV Notes: Torch reader Rod Stetzer sent in this interesting note from tonight's ECW show. "Throughout the Tommy Dreamer & Kelly Kelly match, the closed captioner identified Mike Adamle as Joey. It was only late in the match when The Tazz, sorry, Tazz, referred to Mike that the captioner list the announcer's correct name."
- Mainstream coverage of the presidential candidates on Raw picked up this afternoon, with several publications commenting on last night's show. On SportingNews.com, Dan Shanoff said he's not sure how to feel about the candidates on Raw. "On the one hand, they are a very real constituency; on the other hand, it's WWE. I guess they all go on 'Ellen' and 'The View' -- it's all scripted entertainment."
ABC News had a brief mention of the candidates using Monday night to show their lighter side prior to getting serious on real issues on Tuesday for the PA primary voting. ... MSNBC focused on the fake Clinton vs. fake Obama match, which they said was interrupted by "an actual wrestler". They wrote: "There were lots of body slams, knee lifts and even some sneaky moves (Bill). MSNBC article with video clip of fake match.
New York Magazine said the fantasies of all Americans was carried out on Raw during the fake match. Of course, they missed the Big Show vs. Mayweather mainstream coverage, but NY Magazine wrote about the fake match, "It's surprisingly funny and relevant for the wrestling organization, whose last effort at widespread notoriety included trying to get Donald Trump to shave his head." The magazine also commented on the pre-taped speeches from the candidates. "All three submitted awkward, pretaped appearances which were either awesome or awesomely depressing, depending on how you look at it." Article link.
Washington Times posted a recap of the fake match, focusing on the appearance of the imposters. They guessed right on Umaga's name (they wrote: "sorry, we don't know ALL their names"), and included some of Clinton's running commentary in their piece. Article link.
- Not too much new or first-run mainstream coverage of last night's Raw featuring the presidential candidates. Most of the articles covering the show simply printed quotes from McCain, Obama, and Clinton's pre-taped promos. It's probably safe to say the media was preparing for today's Pennsylvania primary and didn't want to bother with watching the show last night.
- Here's some background on JBL's promo on Raw last night where he held up the New York Times business section with the article on his Mamajuana energy drink. In the article, a professor at New York University called the product "marketing hocus pocus" and said the product is a bogus promise. New York Times article.
JBL responded on WWE.com that the NYU professor is talking about the original mamajuana that JBL claimed their product has nothing to do with. "We never claimed to be a drug. We never claimed to cure a disease. We never claimed to cure erectile dysfunction," said JBL. He added that the product is simply to raise a user's libido and give the user a "great sex life". JBL's response on WWE.com.
Now, for the third part of this. On last night's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" show on MSNBC, Olbermann awarded JBL with his "World's worst person" award. Olbermann made no reference to JBL as a wrestler, but instead focused on him being a financial analyst for FOX News. Olbermann read the NYU prof's quote, then said, "If you ever suspected the FOX people were snake oil salesman, well, there's your answer." Video clip link.
- Motley Fool published an article on JAKKS Pacific, which currently has WWE's toy licensing deal, but will be switching to TNA in 2010. Fool's article claims WWE and JAKKS have settled their long-standing lawsuit. We'll see when WWE releases financial earnings in two weeks. Article link.
- Hulk Hogan is back in the news, as he's featured in a new Mobile video game by Gameloft. "Hulkamania Mobile" offers a Mobile wrestling video game starring Hogan and some other people not from WWE, as THQ has the WWE license. Product is due out in September. Hogan gave a canned comment on the game: "Hulkamania is alive and well and I'm excited to give my fans a mobile game that is true to my experiences in wrestling. I'm confident that Gameloft will inject their signature style to produce the ultimate wrestling game for all my fans to enjoy on the go." Pocketgamer.com article.
- ROH Notes: Instead of stripping the Briscoes of the ROH Tag Title following Mark's long-term injury, ROH will allow Jay Briscoe to defend the belts with a partner of his choosing while Mark recovers. The partner will come from the ROH roster. Their first title defense will be May 10 in New York City against Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black.
- Celebrity Baby Blog published a photo of Charlie Haas and Jackie Gayda holding their new baby on the beach. Article link.
Monday, April 21, 2008
- After the AP reported on the McCain, Obama, and Clinton appearances on Raw, many news sources commented on the appearances prior to Raw airing. WWE got the press it wanted, even if the commentary was not positive before the show.
Boston Globe said the candidates won't come across well: "And in trying to attract voters who happen to be wrasslin fans, the candidates come off tonight looking a little, well, silly." ... Entertainment Weekly asked if there's a way to lose votes, with this being the possible option. ... TMZ posed the question of what's "faker", wrestling or politics? TMZ article link.
New York Times took a more objective approach to the appearances, focusing on the candidates reaching the 5.0 million viewers who tune into Raw each week. In a separate article, they touched on the motives for the candidates: "None of the presidential candidates want to be seen as snooty or overeducated, which must be why on Monday, all three provided taped greetings to wrestling fans watching 'WWE Raw' on the USA network."
USA Today looked at the demographics the candidates are appealing to: "Wonder what kinds of voters the Democratic candidates are trying to attract tonight, on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, with appearances on WWE's Monday Night RAW on USA Network. Never mind, we'll skip the demographics and sociology." ... Bloomberg also looked at the candidates trying to reach every last voter in America with the WWE appearance.
- WWE has a three-hour free show tonight six days before the Backlash PPV. King of the Ring tournament participants have not been announced thus far. The other deal tonight is the Clinton vs. Obama invite. WWE's website has comments from an eclectic mix of people on the roster commenting on who would win. The bio pictures of the individuals are somewhat scary and entertaining. Colin Delaney: "I don’t even want to venture a guess who would come out on top, probably Hillary. She seems like a scrapper. Yeah, definitely Hillary. She’d probably kick my ass, that’s not saying much, but I’m sure she could."
- Jim Ross posted a blog over the weekend on jrsbarbq.com commenting on there being zero KOTR tournament participants confirmed, giving him little prep time for the event. Ross also addressed rumors of Mike Adamle being brought into WWE to eventually replace him. "In my mind I am far from ready to tap out and call it a career," he said. "Was Mike Adamle brought in to replace yours truly at some point? Beats me. And I don’t care. I do know that my best days are yet to come behind the mic, or at least that is how I choose to approach my work. As it relates to wrestling announcing, interesting days lie ahead." Blog link.
- Daily Mail in the U.K. published a story on WWE's recent tour stop. This is a great piece of writing, as the author includes comments from her 9-year-old nephew along with quotes from an earlier interview with Chris Jericho and a WWE P.R. person trying to explain what's happening. Said P.R. person gave Hornswoggle's official description: "His job is to trip up someone or hit them with a stick or do something silly. Then he'll run off again. It's really funny and all part of the story." When Jericho was being sat on by Umaga during his match, the nephew surmised that the wrestlers "have reinforced spines."
Jericho was asked whether steroids are an issue in pro wrestling. "They're not part of the business any more," he said. "They can't be - we've been strictly tested over the past couple of years, but they're not really necessary to wrestling. A lot of this is more about mind and personality." But, tanning, yes this is essentially part of the business. "I love spray tan, though you do get those nasty patches of orange on your hands and feet," Jericho said. "I shave my chest every day or so. It's hard work getting it right." Article link.
- DVDTalk.com published an early review of the upcoming Hardy DVD documentary, which isn't due out until next Tuesday. They give it a "Recommended" review, and provide details on each disc's features. Article link.
- ROH Notes: ROH did an injury storyline for Mark Briscoe on Saturday, with Mark requiring surgery on his arm to repair tendon damage. He is expected to miss at least three months of action. ... After this weekend's events, ROH added two more matches to their Virginia debut on May 9. Austin Aries vs. Erick Stevens and Jay Briscoe vs. Jimmy Jacobs have been added.
- PWG Notes: PWG officially announced their line-up for the DDT4 tag tournament on May 17 and 18. With Mark Briscoe's injury, the Briscoes have been pulled from the tournament, but Jay is slated for singles action. ... Briscoes have been replaced by Jagged & Shane Matthews in the tournament ... PWG Title match on May 17 will be Human Tornado defending against Austin Aries. On May 18, Jay Briscoe will face Austin Aries and Tornado faces Necro Butcher in a No DQ street fight.
- TNA video game notes: Over the weekend in Las Vegas, Midway released more information on the TNA video game during their Midway Gamers Day '08 conference. They claimed a summer release for TNA's first video game title. ... Worthplaying.com published a complete look at the video game, with an official release date in September. Who knows when this game will be out. Article link.
- TNA Notes: Tickets are on-sale now for TNA's tour of New York and Connecticut in May. Shows are May 16 in Binghamton, May 17 in Poughkeepsie, and May 18 in Wallingford, Ct. ... TNA has an article trying to explain why Matt Morgan is on the roster. Article link.
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