Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WrestleMania and budget cuts

WWE has begun taping two SmackDown broadcasts on various Tuesday nights instead of the usual one. This is being done as part of WWE's plan to cut $20 million in expenses from their budget, according to the Wrestling Observer newsletter. That double-taping trend will continue at least until WrestleMania, after which time WWE will evaluate the situation again. ECW shows will continue to be taped on Monday nights along with the live Raw show until February. Eliminating one taping saves WWE almost $700,000 in production expenses. Bruce "Brother Love" Prichard and two developmental talents were released earlier this week due to budget cuts, and more firings are expected. WWE has also cut down on its usage of pyrotechnics to save money, and the referee schedules have been reduced.

Shawn Michaels has pitched the idea of wrestling The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. Michaels is expected to retire at WrestleMania 26.

More information has been released about the upcoming video game Legends Of WrestleMania. The roster features a total of 40 wrestlers and managers including Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Jerry Lawler, The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mr. Perfect and Ted Dibiase Sr. Yokozuna and The Ultimate Warrior have been rumored as appearing in the game, but that has not yet been confirmed by a reliable source. The cover art for the game also features images of Steve Austin, The Rock, Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy Hart is expected to be cut from the roster due to his involvement with CCW. He was already pulled from the non-virtual WrestleMania tour. The game is scheduled for a March, 2009 release.

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