SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TORCH TODAY – Thursday, April 28, 2016
– Tonight’s WWE NXT TV taping at Full Sail University will be fascinating following last Thursday’s events when Samoa Joe captured the NXT Title from Finn Balor at a live show. Will WWE drop clues about Balor’s main roster status? What’s next for Shinsuke Nakamura on the NXT roster? Plus, Bayley is due a Women’s Title re-match against Asuka at some point. Lots to sort out from the first TV taping since WrestleMania Weekend.
– WWE is looking to bring back lapsed Network subscribers with new marketing for Sunday’s Payback PPV. WWE sent out an email blast Thursday calling Payback the “First Pay-Per-View of a New Era.” The email notes the PPV is free with a first trial month. The promotional graphic features the Wyatt Family, who are not on the PPV line-up.
– Karl Anderson is trying to sell Payback by predicting a crowning achievement for A.J. Styles challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE World Title.
— Karl Anderson (@Machinegunka) April 28, 2016
– WWE is also targeting similar fans by releasing commemorative Samoa Joe merchandise and memorabilia surrounding his NXT Title win. WWE announced Thursday a replica NXT title belt, new Samoa Joe t-shirt, and commemorative plaque. Plus, new A.J. Styles merchandise including a t-shirt, zip-up jacket, wristbands, and P1 gloves. For a dissimilar fanbase, WWE promoted new Roman Reigns merchandise in the same email blast, including a commemorative plaque from WM32.
– Chris Jericho vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is going to happen at some time. Will it be in Japan in July? On the main roster? Will Jericho “invade” NXT? In heel mode, Jericho regularly tweets dismissive comments to followers asking him about Nakamura, indicating they’re setting up for something down the road by Jericho acknowledging him.
– Donald Nemeth, the brother of WWE star Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth) and former NXT wrestler Ryan Nemeth, is reportedly wanted on a murder charge. Donald is accused of robbing and murdering a man at a hotel in the Cleveland area. (Report at CleveScene.com. Thanks to Craig)
– Ric Flair has ended his “Whoo! Nation” podcast on Play.it according to co-host Conrad Thompson. Thompson initially said the show was on hiatus, then said Flair terminated the contract. Flair’s last episode was a WrestleMania Weekend special. He’s been on tour with WWE and other promotions for a month since then, making it difficult for Flair to find time to record the show. (Thanks to VIP’er David)
@KEVINHOLSOMBACK Ric terminated the contract. That's all I will say
— Conrad Thompson (@HeyHeyItsConrad) April 28, 2016
– WWE’s chief TV partner, USA Network, is going through another phase of NBCU’s cable reorganization trying to better position the network as the TV landscape changes. Although not directly affecting Raw and Smackdown, WWE’s programming would benefit from USA recovering from a significant downturn in its TV presence last year. (Deadline.com Report)
– WWE is considering 21 different DVD titles for 2017. Ideas presented in a fan council survey include titles on Sid, the Anoi’a Family, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Black History Month, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Goldust, Rhodes Family, 30 Years of Survivor Series, another Undertaker release, Rich Rude, WWE Health & Fitness, mid-carders, Hart Foundation, Rick Rude, Rising Stars, Ultimate Warrior, HBK, specific cities, Tag Titles, Kurt Angle, and Iron Man matches. Some are too narrow to make the cut and others might be too repetitive. (WrestlingDVDNetwork.com Report)
– Global Force Wrestling’s Jeff Jarrett is back on the interview circuit with GFW set to ramp up their live event schedule. Jarrett talked to Under the Mat Radio about what’s next for GFW, reconciling with his dad Jerry Jarrett, TNA departures, and the deaths of Chyna and Balls Mahoney.
– Video: The latest edition of WXW’s “Shotgun” YouTube series features Zack Sabre, Jr.