Sunday Update: Lesnar’s new WWE contract, Dana White reacts,WWE featuring Hogan introductory video on website, Zack Sabre Jr. coming to ROH, WWE’s next UK tour, Eli Drake tears into superkicks and flippy-flop in-ring wrestling, Wade Barrett

Eli Drake (art credit Joel Tesch © PWTorch)

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

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-Despite making racist comments on two separate occasions while he was in his 50s, and subsequent clumsy-at-best attempts at apologies, WWE.com isn’t hiding Hulk Hogan is back from what turned out to be a three year suspension, as they have put together a five minute video featuring “10 importable moment that will reintroduce you to Hulk Hogan.”

-Brock Lesnar signed a new contract extension last week, a direct response to Roman Reigns’s leukemia diagnosis changing all of WWE’s plans, reports Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. He will wrestle A.J. Styles at Survivor Series (it presumably would have been Reigns vs. Styles if not for Reigns’s leave of absence). He will also drop the title eventually, perhaps in the next match after Styles at Survivor Series. His last match was going to be at Survivor Series.

-Dana White says he doesn’t believe Vince McMahon will let Brock bring the Universal Title with him to his next UFC fight, if he’s still Universal Champion then. “I don’t think Vince would let him wear that into the Octagon, to be honest with you,” he said at the latest UFC press conference. “He can bring whatever belt he wants to bring. I could [not] care less.” The Daniel Cormier vs. Lesnar fight could be at UFC 235 in March.

-Curious about the Chris Jericho cruise – the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea? Go VIP today to listen to VIP analyst Todd Martin’s first-hand account of all four days. As incentive, we are offering a $6 discount on a VIP membership, bringing the $9.99 rate down to just $3.99 for the first month. DETAILS

-WWE has announced a tour off the U.K. and Ireland in May 2019. They will run live events May 8 through May 18 which includes Raw and Smackdown tapings in London’s O2 arena on May 13 and 14. For a full list of dates, CLICK HERE.

-Zack Sabre Jr. will be wrestling on ROH’s Final Battle 2018 event on Dec. 14 in New York City, N.Y. at Hammerstein Ballroom. A video was shown of him last night at the TV tapings in Pittsburgh (If you can send us results, please direct to pwtorch@pwtorch.com.) He’ll face Jonathan Greshem. ROH announced Sumie Sakai will defend her ROH Women’s Title in a four-corners survival match.


CHECK OUT OUR LATEST “TALKING HONOR” PODCAST COVERING ROH…

“Cruise Control.” This week Harley R. Pageot and Emily Fear discuss the Chris Jericho cruise, look at the use of New Japan guest stars in ROH, ponder who will be Flip Gordon’s proxy in the match against Silas Young next week, predict who wins this year’s Survival of the Fittest tournament, and complain that it’s now been six weeks since we’ve had a Women of Honor match on television.

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-Former WWE wrestler Wade Barrett (real name Stu Bennett) is starring in “Vengeance 2” which just wrapped up principle photography. Evolutionary Films is behind the movie, which is a London-based finance, production, international sales, and UK distribution company. Evolutionary Films also just announced that multi-award winning UK singer-songwriter Tulisa Contostavlos has boarded their next production “Diva” in the lead role of “Sista C.”

-Impact Wrestling’s Eli Drake is not a fan of wrestling that incorporates a lot of flips. “This is going to turn a lot of people on me, but that’s made me start hating the business,” he said. “The business I fell in love with was big character, big strong masculine men who looked like they were fighting and they had character. Even the worst promo guys were good. Now, holy sh–, good look at anybody being able to handle one of these things, it’s bad. But everybody relies on goddamn flips and Cirque de Soleil spots. I kind of hate what it became. Oh, man, this turned really dark. I hate it. Here’s the thing. It caters to the niche audience of – no offense – nerd wrestling fans. There’s a very small niche audience that that’s going to cater to. Let’s say there’s someone who hasn’t checked in since 2001 and they check in. They’re going to turn on today’s product and go, ‘What the f— is this?’ The casual audience was never turned on by crazy moves, they ere turned on by crazy characters. That’s why the big swell happened in the late-’90s. Character has been devoid for the last ten years… I think we got lost somewhere and it’s showing.”

He said while the Indys are bigger than ever, but it’s still a niche business. He thinks WWE is more global, but they’re having a hard time filing seats opposite the hard camera. “That is a direct response from the fans,” he said. “Because the fans want to see big characters, they want to see the big storylines. The moves are cool, but that’s a supplemental thing. That’s not the kind of thing that’s going to bring the casual audience in.” He also ranted on the multiple superkicks spot. “We are killing our own credibility,” he said. “Now what happens is you’ve got guys going out in the very first match kicking each other in the head over and over again, guys kicking out at two-and-seven-eights over and over again. What do you have left later down the line in the show. Someone is going to have to stab or shoot someone. It’s ridiculous. That’s why I’ve focused on what I’ve focused on – being good on the microphone. Anyone who’s been a draw has been good on the microphone.” He said Dean Malenko was a good wrestler, but he couldn’t talk and nobody knew who he was, so nobody cared. WATCH HERE


Please send news tips and live event results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS UPDATE: Afternoon Update: Triple H injured at Crown Jewel, negative reaction to Crown Jewel, Reigns leukemia diagnosis raises for Be A Match registry, Impact viewership, Total Divas viewership, former Impact/UFC fighter DUI, Omega and Rousey share honor, Becky & Miz contest

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