Thursday’s Torch Today (Evening Update) – WWE promotes EVOLVE, Khali commercial, Ziggler, WWE/ESPN, more

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

Torch Today – Thursday, October 15

EVENING UPDATE

– WWE’s website is currently running a story on the EVOLVE talent roster. The angle is WWNLive producing the next wave of NXT (and potentially main roster) stars. This is all new territory when WWE rarely acknowledges any promotion outside of their “universe.”

WWE’s teaser reads: “Have you ever wondered where NXT talent scouts look for the Superstars of Tomorrow? One place is EVOLVE, a N.Y.-and Fla.-based independent promotion. Take a look at five of EVOLVE’s hottest prospects, who just might be the next breakout NXT Superstars!”

– WWE’s YouTube page remained #1 on Tubefilter’s tracking list for the Week of October 1.

– The bizarre story of the day goes to Great Khali doing an advert for a cement company in India. Included are a few Shockmaster moments centered on Khali crashing through walls to note how weak other cement companies are.

– #HeelZiggler posted one of his cryptic messages about life & wrestling. Ziggler, who likes to express himself in code on Twitter, made it sound like he’s frustrated that his work is not appreciated.

AFTERNOON UPDATE

– WWE’s partnership/alliance with ESPN is getting mainstream attention this week. From a business standpoint, the conversation is about “brand awareness” and cross-promotion – WWE hopes putting their stars and TV highlights on ESPNews exposes a new audience to WWE, while ESPN hopes that WWE viewers will check out SportsCenter.

The financial perspective is ESPN wants to drive more eyeballs to ESPN TV and mobile content to address sagging viewership, hurting ad revenue. The same could be said for Raw losing viewers by the week and hour on Monday nights. The strange coincidence of this is ESPN and WWE have both gotten away from their core – ESPN has turned off “old-school SportsCenter viewers” who just want sports highlights, while WWE has turned off wrestling fans with their “we try to cater to everyone” variety show approach. Instead of addressing their core, both ESPN and WWE have turned to each other to try to make up for lost viewers.

– WWE’s other interesting partnership/alliance is with WWNLive. Gabe Sapolsky addressed their relationship status in an email blast on Thursday.

You want to know what’s going on with WWE and The WWN Family. This is the absolute truth. There are no answers. Yes, there is obviously a growing relationship. What direction it will take is unknown. There are rumors and speculation, but this relationship changes and develops almost weekly. This is a road that has never been traveled before. There is no precedent. We don’t know what to expect nor what is possible. All this means is that anything can happen. There are infinite possibilities. The only sure thing is that this will be a wild, unpredictable and thrilling ride. We will all find out where this road goes together. There is no telling what will happen next.

– WWE has changed the cover art for the upcoming “Hart of Gold” Owen Hart DVD release. WrestlingDVDNetwork.com reports that Owen’s likeness has now been added to the cover after “resolving outstanding legalities.”

– Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts has been announced as the moderator for a Tool concert in Arizona on October 30. (Details at Loudwire.com)

– The Team Vision Dojo in Orlando has wrestling training openings. Scott Hall and Larry Zbsyzko are currently advisors, plus Glacier and other wrestlers have stopped by for training sessions. The school says they have a “few projects going on” and some current wrestling students with strong upsides.

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