Several wrestlers are unhappy with WWE management's apparent lack of communication. Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, Jim Ross and Batista have all claimed that no one informed them of their moves to other brands before Raw's live airing. Jeff Hardy and Triple H say they were informed ahead of time. Reportedly there was even an argument between Jim Ross and Vince McMahon after Raw went off the air. McMahon allegedly told Ross that he (Vince) risked his life on Raw and ruined his son-in-law's life for the sake of the company. Many WWE talents found that remark amusing, since Triple H's move to SmackDown is actually greatly beneficial to his personal life. Ross reported in his WWE blog that he contemplated quitting the company, but decided against it. Rey Mysterio is particularly unhappy with his brand switch altogether, because he feels the SmackDown brand caters better to the Latino market.
In an interview with Slam Wrestling, Santino Marella said that he's going to be given a new on-screen Canadian girlfriend from one of WWE's developmental territories.
Here is an interesting ratings report for the 6/16 episode of Raw. Take from these figures whatever you'd like. The first Triple H versus Chris Jericho match in several years managed to lose a good portion of television viewers. The match was the main event and lost 205,000 viewers to do a 3.13 overrun. The main event almost never loses viewers, especially a main event that hasn't been repeated in several years. However, the John Cena versus Umaga match-which has been repeated more recently-gained 174,000 viewers. The bikini contest gained 63,000 viewers, which is less than recent TNA Knockout matches have done. Vince McMahon's phone call segment with Hacksaw Jim Duggan lost 16,000 viewers. The events that followed it (Jeff Hardy versus Carlito and part of the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho and the return of Ric Flair) gained back 95,000 viewers. Flair's backstage segment with Jericho and Triple H, plus the brief Holly and Rhodes versus Cryme Tyme match, lost 174,000 viewers. Paul Burchill and Katie Lea versus Mickie James and Mister Kennedy lost 111,000 viewers.
In a related note, writer Brian Gewirtz has been pressured to devote more screen time to the top stars of Raw due to the show's continually declining ratings. Internally, WWE officials have a pecking order list of the people they consider to be the top five stars in the company. In no particular order, Triple H, Undertaker and John Cena are regarded as the company's three biggest stars. Batista and Shawn Michaels fall in the second tier level right behind them.
The WWE creative team has big plans for Lance Cade. They are having discussions on how to repackage him. They hope to make him a main-event level heel, and his partnership with Chris Jericho is expected to continue.
JBL's in-ring future may be short. His back is reportedly still in pain, and he is frustrated that he cannot wrestle at the level he would like.
Nu Wrestling Evolution's show at the Pavello Olimpoico of Badalona in Spain drew over 14,000 fans (many of them children). The show was headlined by the returning Ultimate Warrior. As expected, Warrior won his match against Orlando Jordan and immediately vacated the NWE title afterward. Perhaps the bigger story though is what didn't happen during the event. An Anti-Warrior group recently surfaced on MySpace, threatening to ruin the Warrior's comeback match by jumping the railing and entering the ring. The Warrior's official Web site provided links to the group's Myspace page as well as their video on Youtube, prompting talk that the group was merely a hoax created to further promote the Warrior's match. Warrior's agent, Bernie J. Gernay, shot down such speculation on UltimateWarriorTV.com. He wrote: "Furthermore, we have received thousands of emails asking if this is some type of a work generated by Ultimate Warrior TV to create hype and continued subscriptions for the Pay-Per-View. This is unequivocally false. It would not only be childish but deceptive. A simple Google search of the individuals name (which he has offered numerous times) who is behind this effort will prove he is a real person that does indeed exist." Gernay later asked Warrior for his take on the situation. Warrior said: "Bring it on. With all of the frustration and mishaps that happened in Spain, that will give me an excuse to kill someone and get away with it." The OJ/Warrior match went off without a hitch. The vacated title will be defended in a future tournament.
Brooke Hogan told USWeekly.com this week that she doesn't understand why the public became so uncomfortable over the pictures that have surfaced of her father, Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea, placing suntan oil on her bottom. Brooke said: "I know I'm a grown woman, but it's like he's touching an old car. He used to change my diaper."
The Online World of Wrestling Web site has an interview up with Bruno Lauer, better known to wrestling fans as Harvey Wippleman. In it, Lauer talks about a number of wrestling talents, his current duties in WWE, his new book, his career, how Giant Gonzalez is doing, why you never see him on TV anymore, and more. Lauer also pulls no punches when discussing the late Rhonda Singh, who portrayed Wippleman's love interest Bertha Faye in the WWF. Lauer stated "The Bertha Faye deal was (Vince Russo's) idea. No, I was not having fun; don't get me wrong, I didn't mind pretending to be in love with a hideous creature-that's business. I minded babysitting a smelly, alcoholic, argumentative, know-it-all person with no appreciation from her for anything."
The Sun has published an interview with Chris Jericho. Jericho talks about working with Shawn Michaels, his recent heel turn, the end of Ric Flair's career, his love for the wrestling industry, up and coming stars like Lance Cade, this weekend's Night of Champions pay-per-view and more. I've provided a link to the full interview below in my list of sources. Sadly, I've yet to find the full Bruno Lauer interview.
WARNING: SMACKDOWN SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven't yet seen SmackDown and want to be surprised, do NOT read ahead.
Tommy Dreamer beat Kevin Thorn in a dark match.
SmackDown opens with Vickie Guerrero talking about Vince McMahon's "accident" on Raw. She wishes Vince well and says she hopes he's not in a wheelchair. She introduces new SmackDown color commentator, Jim Ross.
Triple H comes out to cut a promo. He gets a huge pop. Triple H welcomes Jim Ross, then talks about Night of Champions. Edge comes out to interrupt him. Batista comes out soon after. Hunter pushes Edge and Batista hits him. They both hold the title up while Edge is on the ground.
Big Show and Kane beat MVP and Mark Henry.
Finlay and Hornswoggle beat The Edgeheads-Zack Ryder and Kurt Hawkins. The Miz and John Morrison stand on the entrance ramp with their belts during the match.
Edge beat Matt Hardy.
Maryse, Victoria and Natalya beat Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool and Cherry.
It is announced that Kennedy won't be on SmackDown until next week.
Vladimir Kozlov beat Domino.
Rey Mysterio comes out wearing street clothes and his mask to make his final SmackDown appearance. He explains to the fans that he has been drafted to Raw and he hopes everyone will tune in weekly to watch him. He goes on to say that hopefully he can fulfill more of his dreams. Batista then comes out and says he will back Rey wherever he goes.
Batista versus Umaga ended in a draw when La Familia interfered, attacking both men. Triple H made the save, helping Batista clear the ring.
SOURCES FOR THIS ENTRY: