SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TORCH TODAY – Monday, March 7, 2016
– Shane McMahon returns to Raw tonight as WWE still tries to sort out the Shane vs. Undertaker story heading into WrestleMania. If Taker’s character was not going to decline the match last week, there wasn’t much he could have said to address gaping holes in the story. So, WWE scripted Taker for an appearance shorter than his ring entrance. Now, WWE shifts the focus back to Shane this week. The big question is whether WWE will attempt to address storyline issues as the next month of TV rolls out, or simply focus on the Shane-Vince/Stephanie/Hunter dynamic, with Taker being a background player.
– WWE top star John Cena is teasing “very big news” to be announced this week. Cena left his comment open to interpretation on whether it’s WWE or non-wrestling related.
Very exciting week this week. Honored to be part of some VERY BIG news!
— John Cena (@JohnCena) March 7, 2016
– ECW Press is continuing their relationship with WWE as an official book publisher by planning two upcoming releases. Pat Patterson’s autobiography, “Accepted,” is scheduled for release in August 2016. Plus, a book on the start of NXT is scheduled for release on April 1, 2017 (around the time of WrestleMania 33).
– IC champion Kevin Owens professionally deflected a question about whether he’s going to face A.J. Styles at WrestleMania. Asked in a new interview about Owens-Styles being a match that many fans want to see at WM32, Owens avoided talking about Mania plans by heelishly saying Styles is not at his level since he’s a “rookie” in WWE. He also deflected a question on whether he will face Big Show after recently starting a new feud. (Full Interview with The Mirror in the U.K.)
– WWE’s website talked to TV actress Candice Cameron Bure about her surprising wrestling moves on a wrestling-themed episode of the new “Fuller House” series on Netflix. CCB said even the TV crew thought it was a stuntwoman performing the moves, but she confirmed she did her own wrestling stunts. She also said she’s not ruling out something else in the ring down the road.
“I had so much fun doing all that stuff. If there were some other opportunities, I would totally be down. And thanks to all the wrestling fans who were enjoying it! I’m so glad. Thanks for the props,” CCB said. (Full Interview on WWE’s website)
– Kenny Omega talked about Bullet Club’s open challenge to WWE tag champions New Day looking to do something between top tag teams. “People want to see these dream matches, let them see it. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to challenge New Day,” Omega told CBS Radio/106.7 The Fan DC radio’s “Chad Dukes Wrestling Show.”
“Did we have New Japan’s blessing? Of course not. Are we going to get in trouble? Maybe. I don’t know. We haven’t heard yet. But we’re just trying to make a statement. We’re trying to for lack of a better term, bait these guys out into changing, helping us change pro wrestling. At the end of the day, if this match does happen, I don’t want to be the guy to take credit for it, I just want to be a guy that said, ‘I was part of something special,’ but myself and the Young Bucks we’re being the guys to instigate it. We’re the ones that are showing that we first have no fear, we’ll put ourselves out there, we’re not afraid to get in trouble, we’re not afraid to take a chance on something that would otherwise be a huge faux pas. So call it a challenge, call it an extension of an olive branch, it is what it is. We want to wrestle the best and we want to give the fans the best.”
– Before the start of the 2016 MLB season, the Kansas City Royals received the official WWE Title belt commemorating their 2015 World Series Championship. Star player Eric Hosmer posted a photo with the belt, complete with custom KC titleplates on the sides of the belt. (KansasCity.com)
– On Friday night, WWE did not book Brock Lesnar for a house show in his home market of Minneapolis at Target Center. On Saturday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves used Lesnar’s music as part of a gag for their mascot Crunch’s birthday. During time-outs, various mascots were introduced for Crunch’s birthday party. All were presented as babyfaces until the opposing team’s mascot from the Nets was introduced as a heel, complete with Lesnar’s entrance theme. (Keller, Wade)
– International tag team TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste) continued their NOAH farewell tour Monday in Osaka. TMDK wraps up their run on Thursday before heading to WWE’s NXT brand. (NOAH Results via PuroresuSpirit.net) (Full Card for New Japan’s New Japan Cup Finals)
– Top independent women’s wrestler Tessa Blanchard has relocated to Orlando from Charlotte. Tessa can be booked through Bill Behrens at SBIBookings.com.
– The FBI of Nunzio & Tony Mamaluke are taking independent bookings through Bill Behrens. They are based out of New York. Another tag team, Los Ben Dejos, are also available for bookings out of Orlando.
– NXT Women’s champion Bayley is the subject of the latest painting from wrestling artist Rob Schamberger.