Saturday, March 14, 2009

Andrew "Test" Martin passes away

Andrew Martin, who wrestled for World Wrestling Entertainment as Test, was found dead in his condo in Tampa, Florida earlier today. The cause of death is currently unknown. Martin was 33 years old. He was perhaps best known for an on-screen romantic storyline with Stephanie McMahon in the former WWF. Martin also competed for TNA, the new ECW, and Japan during his wrestling career. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Candice leaving WWE? Hogan/Goldberg II?

It was announced in the Tokyo Fishwrap that Japan international bankers have decided to open yet another Japanese wrestling promotion: Falcon #1 Professional Wrestling.

Falcon #1 Wrestling will have its first pay-per-view on July 19, 2009. The main event will pit Hulk Hogan against Bill Goldberg in what the event promoters have dubbed "The Rematch Of The Century." Banker Felix Yoshihima has also promised to bring in other big-name stars from the "old WWF and WCW" for the show. Current names being tossed around the rumor mill include UFC's Brock Lesnar, Bob Sapp, Kimbo Slice, Kurt Angle, and/or Kevin Nash.

More details to come as they become available.

Candice Michelle's WWE contract expires this October. Normally the company likes to re-sign talent a year before their current deal is set to expire. Michelle has admitted that she may go into acting or modeling full-time once her deal is through.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boogeyman released

World Wrestling Entertainment has released Marty 'The Boogeyman" Wright. The Boogeyman is already available for indy bookings and has already been booked to appear at Signamania IV in full gimmick.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr. T refuses WWE invitation

Mr. T has refused entrance into the WWE Hall Of Fame class of 2009. T told the UK's Mirror that the 2004 induction of fellow celebrity Pete Rose is what soured him on the WWE's Hall.

"WWE asked me to be in the Hall of Fame and I turned it down. You know why? They put Pete Rose in the wrestling Hall of Fame. This guy can't even get into his own Hall of Fame. You don't put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame before me! I ain’t going to be a part of that. They put him in and he only did one WrestleMania, and he didn't even wrestle."

Mr. T isn't the first person to be angered by Pete Rose's Legend status. Two-time WWF champion Bob Backlund also cited Rose as the reason for his refusal to join the WWE's Hall in 2004.

Pete Rose appeared at three consecutive WrestleMania pay-per-views, taking a beating from Kane each year in non-match scenarios. Mr. T was in the main event of the first WrestleMania with Hulk Hogan, and boxed "Rowdy" Roddy Piper the second year.

To read the entire Mirror article, check out:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

kayfabe exits

Does it bother anyone when a wrestler leaves a company without any kind of kayfabe explanation behind it?

We all have our favorite wrestlers. We cheer for them. We buy their merchandise. Some of us even write fan fiction about them. The point is, we care about the characters. In fact, an argument could even be made that we care more about wrestling characters than any other characters on any other television shows. After all, no other TV show convinces us to pay money to see the continuing saga of these characters on pay-per-view. We emotionally invest in a character and tune in loyally week in and week out to see them perform.

Then, one week, they're gone.

Wrestling, especially the companies at the national television level, say their product is entertainment. It's a soap opera for men. It's a sitcom. It's a drama. It's everything exciting rolled into one. Well on any other television show when a character leaves, a reason for their future absence is usually given during an episode (Judy Winslow and Chuck Cunningham being the most notable exceptions to the rule). Poochie returned to his home planet. Cody Lambert got a job in Alaska. Rosalind Shays fell down an elevator shaft and died. Etc.

I know in wrestling it can be hard to write someone out of a show. It's wrestling after all. You never know if someone may come back to work for your company one day. In fact, odds are that they probably will. Wrestling history shows us that past problems can be resolved if there's a good chance to make money together. With that in mind, a wrestling promoter wouldn't want to do something as final as, say, a "death" angle to explain a character's exit (on top of a death angle being horribly offensive to begin with of course). However, it's not impossible to do. Wrestling has often utilized the "loser leaves town" match to get rid of a character. Simply stating that a wrestler was fired has also been used in recent years thanks to the growing role of the heel authority figure.

Usually though, a wrestler is simply never mentioned again on the air when he or she leaves, and the viewers never even get a storyline reason for the character's sudden departure. The announcers tell the viewers at home that a talent is gone and quickly move to the next segment, if we're lucky.

Don't the fans who care about these characters deserve something better than their favorite performer simply vanishing into thin air?

Come to think of it, that WOULD be a way to explain the Undertaker's retirement.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

WWE suit dismissed; The Rock still not coming back

New Haven, CT federal judge Peter Dorsey dismissed the lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment filed by former wrestlers Scott "Raven" Levy, Chris "Kanyon" Klucsaritis and "Above Average" Mike Sanders.

In the suit, the wrestlers said the level of control exerted over them by WWE qualified them as full-time employees of the company and not independent contractors as their contracts stipulated they were. The contracts dictated compensation, physical training regimens, dates and sites of matches, costumes, and storylines for performers' wrestling personas. WWE also reserved the right to use their images and submitted them to drug screenings. The suit claims WWE avoided withholding federal taxes from the performers' paychecks by not classifying them as full-time employees. The company also didn't pay Social Security or Medicare taxes, nor did it pay for benefits such as health care or vacation time.

The suit was originally filed in July in state Superior Court but was later moved to U.S. District Court of Connecticut. The plaintiffs also sought class-action status. WWE's request for dismissal was granted on Tuesday. Attorney David Golub said the losing wrestlers are considering an appeal.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson turned down an offer to appear at WrestleMania 25 in Houston, Texas. WWE is already allegedly attempting to acquire Johnson's services for WrestleMania 26 in Arizona.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Manu released; PPV name changed

Manu has been released from World Wrestling Entertainment.

WWE/ECW's "One Night Stand" pay-per-view has been renamed to make it more kid-friendly. The new title of the show will be "Extreme Rules." Originally the event was slated to be called "One Night Only." No word was given on the reason for the second name change.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

two WWE releases

Scotty "Colt Cabana" Goldman and Freddie Prinze, Jr. have left World Wrestling Entertainment. Goldman was released, while Prinze's departure is said to be mutual.

Prinze had been working for the SmackDown creative team since July. He is said to have been responsible for the Jeff Hardy tweener character. Goldman had recently been reduced to an online-exclusive web show, which had previously helped The In Crowd gain popularity. Internally, Prinze's departure from the company is not being seen as much of a surprise. He had attended very few television tapings in recent weeks. He was said to be well-liked by the wrestlers since he is legitimately a fan of the wrestling industry. However, the novelty of being a WWE writer is said to have worn out quickly for Prinze.

Goldman is expected to return to the indy circuit as Colt Cabana, while Prinze will likely re-join Hollywood.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

three new WWE books

World Wrestling Entertainment has announced three new book titles due out in time for Christmas. Rey Mysterio, Degeneration X, and the Iron Sheik will all have autobiographies released between September and November of 2009. Mysterio's book will be the only of the three available in hardcover format. All three books will be ghost-written.

Verne Gagne under investigation

Wrestling legend Verne Gagne is under investigation in the death of his care facility roommate, Helmut Gutmann.

Gutmann and Gagne were roommates of the Friendship Village hospital's memory loss unit in Bloomington, Minnesota. Gagne allegedly threw Gutmann to the floor on January 26th, breaking his hip and injuring his head. Gutmann was treated for the injuries and later rehospitalized. He died this past Saturday.

Ruth Hennig, Gutmann's daughter, told the Pioneer Press the two men had a previous altercation which ended with Gagne shoving Gutmann. "I know that my father would still be alive today if they hadn't had this altercation. I'm more sad than I am angry," she said. Greg Gagne, Verne Gagne's son, described the incident as an accident and referred all other questions to the Gagne family attorney.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gutmann family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

John Cena on steroids, movies, and getting married

Credit: Newsletter

John Cena continues to insist that he is a steroid-free wrestler. Last week it was revealed that over 100 professional baseball players failed steroid tests in the past few years. The WWE star has very strong opinions about the fate of the violators.

"They should send the guys to jail," Cena said in an interview with Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I'm not only a guy who will say I'm clean, but I'll beat my chest to the world that I'm clean."

Cena, who is getting married by the end of the year, says that unlike other prominent celebrities, he wants to be a strong leader and role model. "I don't know when it happened, but nowadays it seems like nobody cares (about the lack of role models in society). Our main figures are collapsing around us. People don't seem to know that other people are watching them."

Cena also hopes to spread his reach to the general public through his developmental as an action star. He hopes to fill a void in the movie industry for the next big action hero. "That's a giant void in cinema. Everywhere I go, the question is always: 'Who's the next guy?' I think I'm damn near the closest thing to come around the pike," Cena said.

In the past, Cena has criticized Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for leaving World Wrestling Entertainment to persue a movie career.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Way Out results

Triple H beat Jeff Hardy, Edge, The Undertaker, Kozlov and The Big Show in an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE title. Triple H is now a thirteen-time World champion.

Randy Orton beat Shane McMahon in a No Holds Barred match.

Jack Swagger beat Finlay to retain the ECW title.

Shawn Michaels beat JBL to "win" all the money he was owed.

Edge (taking the place of an attacked Kofi Kingston) beat John Cena, Kane, Mike Knox, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho in an Elimination Chamber match to win the World title.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chris Jericho fan assault update

Last night following a WWE house show, Chris Jericho punched a group of wrestling fans outside the arena.

Fan reports from the incident suggest Jericho was physically provoked by the first member of the group, who was not stopped by any type of security or police, leaving Jericho no choice but to defend himself against the individual. Reports go on to state that Jericho was then confronted by the friends of the punched fan, most of whom were said to only aggrivate the situation by shoving and attempting to hit the WWE wrestler. Others argue that Jericho stepped over the line. In one instance, he was the first to throw a punch against the female of the fan group. He was also heard threatening to "fucking kill" a member of the party.

Camera phone videos of the incident have made their way across the internet, but the majority of them only show Jericho hitting a fan or two out of context. The fans in question have already pressed charges with police.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Royal Rumble Results

Jack Swagger beat Matt Hardy to retain the ECW title.

Melina beat Beth Phoenix to win the Women's title.

John Cena beat JBL to retain the World title. Shawn Michaels attacked both men during the match.

Edge beat Jeff Hardy to win the WWE title after Matt Hardy turned on Jeff.

Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Triple H.

Royal Rumble Spoiler

Various Web sites are reporting that Rob Van Dam is backstage at the Royal Rumble in Detroit, Michigan, RVD's hometown. He is expected to be used as a surprise entrant in the Rumble match.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

bob holly released

Bob "Hardcore" Holly has been released by World Wrestling Entertainment.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WWE hirings and firings

Sgt. Slaughter, Ron Simmons, developmental talent Matt Cappotelli and referee Mickie Henson have been released from World Wrestling Entertainment. They join a growing list of both on-screen and backstage talents released as part of a cost-cutting measure. Other releases this year included Bam Neely, Val Venis, D-Lo Brown, referees Tim White, Keenan Quinn, Mike Kruel and Jimmy Korderas, Gavin Spears, Bruce "Brother Love" Prichard, and Kevin Thorn. Victoria and Tommy Dreamer are also expected to retire soon, and Shawn Michaels is expected to retire next year.

WWE has come to terms with Rey Mysterio on a three-year WWE contract, with an option for another two years after that. Randy Orton has been offered a ten-year deal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

ECW spoilers

Here are the ECW spoilers for 1/13/09. If you want to be surprised, skip this post.

DJ Gabriel and Alicia Fox beat Paul Burchill and Katie Lea

Tommy Dreamer cuts a promo about wanting to win the ECW Championship.

Boogeyman beats a local talent in a squash match.

Jack Swagger beats Matt Hardy to win the ECW Championship. Following the match, Tommy Dreamer says that if he doesn't win the ECW Championship by June, he'll retire.

Dreamer pitched a similar angle last year through his column on, but Ric Flair was in the middle of his own retirement storyline at the time. It looks like WWE will finally pull the trigger on the idea this year, which should result in some great ECW television.

new WWE DVD releases

Jim Ross noted in his blog at that he was consulting with World Wrestling Entertainment on a planned Greatest Tag Teams DVD project that would be released later this year. WWE is also in the process of editing a DVD set devoted to the "Greatest Stars of the 90s" - a sequel to their 1980s stars DVD. That DVD is set for an April release as of press time.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Years Greetings review: Iron Sheik - polite heel?

Wrestling fans from around the world gathered in Carteret, New Jersey last Saturday for K&S Promotions' New Years Greetings, the latest in a growing line of professional wrestling conventions. The WFB staff got our hands on one of the coveted VIP Super Tickets, which allow advanced placement in line to meet and greet the stars for those of you who aren't familiar. We'd like to say it went smoothly, but our head writer Don Bishop's personal review of the event is mixed to say the least. Read on as Don tells the world what he thinks are the pros and cons of the New Years Greetings fanfest, interspersed with his colorful recollection of personal experiences at the show.


1. Steve and Ken, the event promoters: Despite a very busy all-day schedule, they were extremely fan-friendly. While running back and forth, both men answered questions from fans (no matter how many times they asked the same thing). Perhaps best of all, Steve and Ken even managed to keep the Super Ticket lines in numerical, single-file order for the majority of the day's events; an accomplishment that isn't easy and didn't occur at the last Legends Of The Ring or Signamania conventions. If Ken and Steve keep this up, they could easily become the next big convention for wrestling autograph hounds.

2. Price gouging? Only with a fork!: Astonishingly, only one of the many talents brought in for New Years Greetings charged extra money at the last minute. Abdulah the Butcher charged $10.00 extra for his trademark "fork to the skull" photo op, but not before informing fans that they had to supply their own fork for the picture! This begs the two-part question: How many always-prepared scouts are wrestling fans, and will they also supply me with cookies? In fairness, it should be noted that Abby's failure to have a fork on him wouldn't have been so bad except that he had been advertised "with fork" beforehand. This left many fans out of luck for their preferred picture. Again, though, this is not a complaint. With the exception of Abdulah, every other wrestler charged what was advertised and everyone else who was advertised as having their gimmick on them for this show did. That, in my book, is a huge pro for the fans attending.

Speaking of gimmicks....


1. The Iron Sheik: Yes, the same Iron Sheik that slapped longtime rival and political homophobe B. Brian Blair last October. I considered him a friend of the blog for that. Unfortunately, New Years Greetings may have changed my mind.

Paul Orndorff was one of the stars on hand. He willingly heard me out about conducting a possible interview (which is more than a lot of others did, and I'd like to thank Mister Wonderful for being open-minded whether we hear from him or not). While speaking with Orndorff, the Sheik came over to our table with his camera crew close behind him. He politely but firmly asked me not to "bother" Orndorff with "that gimmick." I could see him thinking this was a "gimmick" if I were a wrestler, but I'm not. I'm a reporter. A reporter writing about any and every aspect of pro wrestling. Did "Iron Sheik" really think in all honesty that I was at this show to prance around in sequenced-pink tights and clock people with a rainbow-colored folding chair for a camera crew to film? Now that would be a gimmick! Not a "good" gimmick, but it'd sure be one hell of a gimmick. Maybe then I'd finally make it into WrestleCrap.

The point is, I was unobtrusively distributing WFB contact information to talent during a time when they weren't with other fans. I was told to leave by someone who wasn't security, a promoter, Paul Orndorff himself, or a direct neighbor of Orndorff's. Rather than push the issue and cause a scene, I chose to respect Sheik's wish and left the area as requested. I didn't want to help Sheiky baby make his next YouTube highlight reel.

Perhaps I'm just bitter. After all, the Iron Sheik's a wrestling legend. He's gotten himself a ton of publicity the last few years and made a ton of money doing it. He made so much, he even generously gave $10.00 of his take from this show to Robbie McAllister after the Highlanders' line slowed down (he could've gotten a fork to the skull picture for that!). I'm not nearly as famous, well-known or rich. I'm just a weak, non-wrestler writer trying to get his name and the name of his group out there. I understand the Sheik not wanting to speak with me or anyone else from WFB, but why the sudden interest in who Paul Orndorff gives an interview to? Coincidentally, this is also right around the time when convention security started watching me very closely. Which brings us to....

2. Convention Security: I've never been reverse-profiled, but according to security, I can't leave my business card with a potential interviewee for an interview that would happen at a later date, not on the convention promoters' dime. When I asked why, the only response given was that the talents have representatives I should go through. When I asked for the name and/or contact information of such a rep in order to go through the so-called proper channels, I was told to "check MySpace."

I could understand security following me around if I was stealing from the vendors or if I was giving the wrestlers raunchy limericks, but I leave the dirty poetry around here to our good friend Lanny Poffo. "Some wrestlers might be offended by the nature of the blog" one could argue. That's a fair point, except that New Years Greetings also featured appearances by Chris Kanyon and Big Vito, who was dressed in drag. If Vito in a dress is less offensive to someone than receiving our contact information, then someone needs to get their homophobic priorities straight.


1. Fork you: Abdulah the Butcher conveniently "forgot" to return my acquaintances' prop fork to him until asked to do so several $10.00 poses later. After a brief discussion back at the WFB newsroom, we decided the poor guy probably should have charged Abdulah a rental fee. Or at least presented him with the fork by jabbing it into him wrestling-style and running like hell.

2. Better Class of Losers: Longtime enhancement talent Barry Horowitz revealed to me that he's a fan of Alan Jackson music. Over the years the country star won more awards than Horowitz did matches. Maybe Jackson's song I'll Try inspired Barry that fateful match against Skip?

All in all I had a great time. As you can see, most of my gripes weren't with the event itself or the promoters. I'd highly recommend this convention to everyone next year if K&S Promotions continues to consistently put on such a high-quality show.

-Don Bishop