Thursday 2/4 Torch Today – Cena gets Marvel gig, Austin on NBC’s “Today” show, new Mania Weekend show, Flair cuts promo at NSD, Rock announces “Ballers” return month, WWE chasing Texas fans for WM32, XFL anniversary, Video – Virgil’s documentary now VOD

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Steve Austin talks CM Punk


TORCH TODAY – Thursday, February 4, 2016

– C.M. Punk is not the only wrestling connection to Marvel. Marvel has revealed WWE star John Cena as one of the voice actors for a new mobile game called “Marvel Avengers Academy.” Cena is voicing the character of Hulk. (Entertainment Weekly Report)

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin has been in New York this week doing promotional work for his CMT TV shows, including the “Broken Skull Challenge.” Austin appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to see how the hosts handled a mock-up version of the challenge.

Ric Flair not only appeared at the University of Michigan’s college football signing day on Wednesday, but he cut a promo on behalf of the Wolverines team. Flair was a special guest of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who turned National Signing Day into a spectacle with appearances by Flair, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, and more big names, who were all highlighted on ESPN SportsCenter.

– On the 15-year anniversary of the XFL launch, one of the integral parts of the first & only XFL champion, the Los Angeles Xtreme, talked about that lone season. Jim Barker, who was the offensive coordinator for the Xtreme, reflected on how the football improved as the season unfolded, but the interest waned after the wrestling-inspired spectacle faded.

“In terms of pure coaching, it was perfect because there was motivation every week for players. They tried a lot of things, they weren’t afraid to take chances,” Barker, who is now an executive in the CFL, told the Hamilton Spectactor. “In the beginning I’m not sure Vince McMahon understood it couldn’t be wrestling in terms of all the storylines because football players are looked at differently than wrestlers are. But towards the end the football actually got real good. I loved the guys I worked with, I loved the players. It was truly one of the greatest years I’ve ever had coaching.” (Full Interview at

“The Rock” Dwayne Johnson revealed that Season 2 of “Ballers” will premiere on HBO in July.

Sgt. Slaughter appeared in Corpus Christi, Texas on Wednesday trying to recruit wrestling fans to travel from South Texas up to North Texas for WrestleMania. WWE is trying to reach out to wrestling fans across Texas trying to get them to buy tickets and travel to Dallas/Arlington for WM32. (Report by the local newspaper at

Slaughter then traveled to Houston on Thursday to appear on local TV and talk to local news outlets. Slaughter is also promoting the post-WM32 Smackdown TV taping in Houston on April 5.

– Another show to add to the WrestleMania Weekend mix is NWA tapping into the WCCW/Dallas history to present “Parade of Champions” on Thursday, March 31 in Ft. Worth, Texas. The advertised roster includes NWA World Hvt. champion Jax Dane, Charlie Haas, Ray Rowe, Rob Conway, Lance Hoyt, Chase Owens, NWA Women’s champion Amber Gallows, and special guest Jim Cornette. (Full Event Info at

– Finally, the documentary/drama starring Virgil (Mike Jones) titled “Bridge and Tunnel” is now available on-demand through various cable TV VOD services, as well as Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. The trailer is below.

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