SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TORCH TODAY – Sunday, April 3, 2016
– WrestleMania Sunday is finally here after all of the, ahem, “roadblocks” WWE created for itself with the booking leading up to Sunday’s event. For weeks, it felt like WWE was just trying to get to WrestleMania. Now, Mania is here and they can set themselves up for the rest of the year with a strong event. As Vince McMahon said on the last quarterly conference call, they have to “get creative” to pull of a successful WrestleMania with a line-up that hasn’t exactly moved the needle. It feels like Mania is going to depend a lot on the sizzle over the steak tonight. We’ll see if that will satisfy the live and viewing audience.
– At PWPodcasts.com: On-demand access to Jim Valley’s “Saturday Morning Wrestling” with B. Brian Blair and radio host Steve Migs on-location in Dallas.
– The New York Post interestingly timed a story late Saturday night wondering if TV mogul John de Mol is interested in buying WWE if Vince McMahon ever decides to sell. De Mol’s name has popped up from time-to-time after his company acquired a six percent interest in WWE stock.
A WWE spokesperson replied to an inquiry from the Post: “WWE, controlled by founder and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon through Class B shares, isn’t in any discussions about a potential sale.” A spokesperson for de Mol replied: “We do not comment or give explanations on the investments of John de Mol and therefore also not with respect to his investment in WWE.”
– Paul Heyman’s latest Yahoo Sports blog focuses on Brock Lesnar’s opponent at WrestleMania – Dean Ambrose. Heyman hyped Lesnar as the expected winner, but said Ambrose will benefit from sharing the ring with Lesnar at WrestleMania.
“I will say that Dean Ambrose will emerge from WrestleMania a far bigger superstar than he is at this moment, and he’s already one of the most popular WWE superstars in the entire world,” Heyman opined.
– Ahead of the WrestleMania main event, Bret Hart told Total Wrestling Magazine that he thinks WWE did an “awful job trying to get Roman Reigns over for WrestleMania.” Hart went back to the Royal Rumble for what he sees as the first mistake in the WM32 build-up when Reigns took the long mid-match break before returning at the end to fight Triple H.
– TV actor Stephen Amell is scheduled to attend WrestleMania. Whether he factors into Stardust’s IC Title ladder match remains to be seen. Amell’s tag partner at Summerslam, Neville, talked to Zap2It.com about Amell’s regular involvement in WWE.
“Stephen was awesome and I certainly have very, very fond memories of that night,” Neville said. “If in the future I ever get to do anything similar, affiliate myself with Stephen again, I’d love to do that.”
– WWE’s website published a story on the importance of the Intercontinental Title that included quotes from past titleholders Shawn Michaels, Pat Patterson, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, Randy Orton, Edge, Chris Jericho, and Goldust.
– Beth Phoenix announced to WWE’s website that she is pregnant with her second child with Edge. Phoenix, who was at the Hall of Fame on Saturday, said she hasn’t been able to attend past ceremonies since she was caring for their first child.
– Former WWE star Terri Runnels talked to WWE’s website in a Q&A interview about being at the WWE Hall of Fame to support Big Boss Man, who she called one of her best friends in the wrestling business since they started their careers in WCW and became traveling partners.
– Rob Van Dam talked on-camera to WWE’s website after his surprise appearance at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday. RVD said he was there to support The Godfather. He said he is working on several movie projects after his recent WWE run.
– Saturday on Twitter, Dave Bautista teased some “really exciting news” to share. Based on a picture attached to the tweet, entertainment publications believe it is related to a rumored role in the “Blade Runner 2” movie.
– Former WWE/TNA star MVP says he is joining the Lucha Underground promotion as an agent. He said whether he works the shows in a wrestling role “remains to be seen.”
– The latest Rob Schamberger painting video features a drawing of the WrestleMania 32 line-up.