Friday Afternoon Newsdump: 11/11/11

– Colt Cabana is done with ROH for now, as the sides could not come to terms on a deal.

– Triple H was doing a radio interview Friday and when asked if he ever questioned a storyline, he noted that the one time he said “What are we doing?” was the Katie Vick angle with Kane. He also noted that at this point in his career, he sometimes just wants to entertain himself. “There have been times where I’ll say something get crickets from the crowd but I got Shawn to crack so it was worth it,” he noted.

– Dixie Carter answered questions from fans on TNA’s website:

On the show name change: “The show has always been called Impact. But as we grew the TNA corporate brand beyond Impact, we felt it was important (and the time) to let Impact stand on its own. It’s still under the TNA banner, it’s still the TNA World Heavyweight Title, but the show name is Impact Wrestling.”

On taking Impact live: “I would love Impact to be live each week, but it’s a matter of economics. As far as wrestling news sites are concerned, if you want to be surprised then people should not read them. If people choose to, they certainly shouldn’t judge anything based upon one person’s opinion, good or bad. The few times I have seen a spoiler, they always tell a limited, one-dimensional side of a story, and usually a very biased one at that.”

On letting the younger talent do media work: “We work very hard to get as many of the younger talent doing media as possible. If I had to guess, Hulk Hogan has done tens of thousands of interviews and of course, everyone in the media always wants to talk to him. It is a top priority to expose the younger talent in mainstream media and in outside film/tv projects. The more they do, the bigger their profile.”

On taking Impact on the road: “It is our top priority to take the show on the road on a permanent basis. Hopefully we will announce more live event Impact taping dates soon.”

On the six-sided ring: “I liked us using the 6-sided ring for our X Division Pay-Per-View, Destination X, this year. We should do that every year, but at this time, there are no plans to bring it back as our permanent ring.”

On dealing with heat: “I think you meant haters. If so, you grow tough skin and know you will never please everyone all the time. You work to please the most people as much of the time as you can.”

On the X-Division: “I am a huge X Division fan. In the beginning, we had great talent representing that division, but those top guys have moved on to other opportunities on the roster. Today, we have the best crop of new and upcoming X Division stars and we are going to give them time on the show each week.”

On having a slogan of ‘Wrestling Matters’ yet only having seven minutes of wrestling on a recent show: “Very rarely does Impact have that little wrestling, but on occasion, there is a need for that. It was necessary for the 10/20 show to have the focus it did and to bring forward our wrestling stories, and I’m happy to say it was our most viewed Impact Wrestling episode to-date.”

On the direction of the company: “I’ve never felt better about every aspect of the company. I think Impact Wrestling is better than it has ever been. So many of the younger talent have stepped up and are earning the spotlight. We are having tremendous international success, and are growing the corporation in many new areas, which are critical to our overall growth. I’m very excited about the upcoming year.”

– WWE has registered WWE Livewire, which will likely be the name of their ESPN SportsCenter style show on the WWE Network.

– Evan Bourne posted the following yesterday on his Twitter:

“I wonder if WWE ’13 will have our twitter handles, random tweet pop ups and Cole talking tweets? Might make gameplay as annoying as viewing.”

“My guess is WWE 13: “The Network”. You are Vince and control the WWE with a WWE “Univers(e)al” Remote. Create history and earn money!”

– The LAW recently welcomed former WWE performer Harry Smith to the show to chat about a variety of topics.

The WWE not giving him enough of a chance: The big complaint that I had with WWE was just that they never gave me a fair chance, ever. We had a good deal with the tag team title run and everything, but guys like Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, they’re obviously very good talents and big guys and everything, but if they had given me the rocket like they had given those two guys, I’m sure that with my family’s lineage and going over to Canada and the UK, they could have done some really good business. For whatever reason, they didn’t. I’m not gonna point any fingers at anybody, but I think that there’s people up there that probably didn’t like my family, or maybe my Dad ribbed too many of the guys that are up top now. That’s basically the way that it happened, and I’m glad to be gone really. I don’t want to be wasting my time at a place that doesn’t appreciate me, or doesn’t want to do anything with me. There were other interests that I had, and so when John (Laurinaitis) called and gave me the release, I was relieved. We had a good talk, and he said that the doors are open to come back.

– At Saturday’s ROH TV taping in Louisville, KY they ran an angle to reinstate Kevin Steen, who has been banned from the promotion since 2010.

At Final Battle 2011 on December 23rd in New York, NY, Steen will wrestle Steve Corino with Jimmy Jacobs as the referee and Jim Cornette at ringside.

– Chris Park, who portrays Abyss for TNA Wrestling, says he is always looking for ways to keep his character fresh and exciting. However, he acknowledges that it can be difficult since Abyss has regularly featured throughout the organization’s history, and has just about done it all. Park says he’s open to Abyss losing his trademark mask, a direction he would not have been comfortable with years ago.

“Five or six years ago, I would have been more resistant to it,” he said about the idea. “But now I’d be open to it. The character has had a great run — both TNA and I have gotten an awful lot out of it. Losing (the mask) would let me create a new presentation of the Abyss character, give me an opportunity to do different things that I haven’t done over the years, put a little more of Chris Park in it.”

– Shawn Michaels and Triple H appeared on CBS Miami’s morning show Friday promoting the on-sale date for Wrestlemania XXVIII tickets. The Heartbreak Kid was asked if he’s coming out of retirement for event, to which he jokingly replied, “No. All right, next question!”

He continued, “In this line of work, everyone says, ‘Never say never,’ so I’m not saying never, but never. My home will always be with WWE and I always tell everyone all they need to do is shine the bat signal and I’ll be there.”

– James Storm continues to wrestle after stating Monday that he would be sidelined six to eight weeks due to a concussion he suffered at the October 26 Impact Wrestling taping in Macon, Georgia. He defeated Gunner in a quick singles match on Thursday, and Magnus in quick singles matches Friday and Saturday. The Tennessee Cowboy, however, wrestled two lengthy matches prior to being diagnosed with the concussion.

Regarding the severity of his health, he tweeted Friday, “Thanks to all the fans that came out last night to mt pleasant. The concussion has me side lined by dr’s orders and Tna is taking it very serious. Doesn’t stop me from doing a little “last call” action. Another check up Monday afternoon at the hospital if fans want to come by and drive the nurses crazy.”

– TNA Wrestling’s official website, ImpactWrestling.com, was hacked Sunday evening. Visitors to the site were greeted with a black screen and a message reading “I LOVE YOU MINDY.” The statement was accompanied by a graphic of an eagle drapped in the flag of Algeria.

ImpactWrestling.com was restored but subsequently hacked a second time with a slightly different mark. The website has since been taken offline with the accompanying message posted:

“THE SITE IS UNDER MAINTENANCE. PLEASE CHECK BACK SHORTLY….”

– Friday’s episode of SmackDown saw Ted DiBiase put Tyson Kidd away via Dream Street. Prior to the match, the third generation wrestler had not garnered a singles victory on United States television since the May 20 episode of SmackDown.

– TNA sent out the following Monday…

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM AT OVW
Focus On Development Key To TNA

NASHVILLE, TN (November 7, 2011)– TNA IMPACT WRESTLING announces that they are entering into an exclusive relationship with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), effective immediately, as the official training and developmental facility for TNA’s current and future stars of TNA IMPACT WRESLTING. Former wrestling star and OVW owner Danny Davis will work closely with TNA SVP of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard in the development of the talent through training, live events, and weekly television production allowing talent to explore every aspect of the business.

“OVW is the best of the best as far as training and nurturing potential superstars. Their track record speaks for itself. Whether looking to develop brand new talent or to fine tune existing talent, OVW has the talent and program to fit our needs.” says TNA’s Prichard. “TNA is providing developmental talent the opportunity to hone their craft in an environment that will allow them to grow and prosper.”

TNA talent will be arriving soon at the facility to begin an extensive training program with the industry’s leading experts. The program is akin to a college scholarship program where talent is provided a scholarship style agreement with TNA to learn the craft. The talent to attend the program is selected by TNA’s Prichard and TNA officials who will be monitoring the progress of each wrestler at camp and the live events.

– Sean Waltman recently tweeted about whether he will be on WWE TV any time soon, saying that Vince isn’t ready to put him back on television due to his health issues:

“I would love to one day return home to WWE. I still need more time doing well. Not long ago I attempted suicide. I understand Vince’s fear. You can thank WWE’s Wellness Policy for me being here tweeting with you. They spent almost as much on me as they have on Scott.”

– Word is that Delirious was pulled from wrestling over the weekend is because he is working for Sinclair Broadcasting as an employee (the current ROH booker). With that being the case, it has been said that he couldn’t be in the ring with the independent contracts (wrestlers) due to some corporate loophole.

– Shelly Martinez (a/k/a Ariel) stated on Twitter that she received closure with Batista, who she met for the first time since her departure from WWE over four years ago Monday night at the film premiere for Immortals (held at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE. in Los Angeles, California).
In May 2007, Martinez took exception to Batista verbally abusing Melina, her close friend, and let him know about him. The two engaged in a heated verbal exchange backstage at a WWE live event, which Martinez has said led to her departure from the organization.

She tweeted an image of herself with the former WWE Champion at the event. The caption reads: “Omg this is called peace & closure.” You can check it out below:

– Arda Ocal of theScore Television Network spoke with former WWE Superstar Tatanka while he was in Toronto to promote his upcoming appearances for CWI Wrestling. Here are some highlights:

Looking back on the two-year undefeated streak and why it didn’t lead to something bigger than it did: “It did lead to a big thing, it lead up to Yokozuna, lead up to Ludvig Borga. Ludvig Borga was the one who actually defeated me. But Ludvig Borga, (WWE) had big plans for him, they really wanted to push him to the sky. They really wanted to do some real big things with Ludvig Borga, but it just never caught with him.”

On the WWE Hall of Fame, and whom he would like to induct him: “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat would be awesome, and the reason for that is because when I started the business, I was in the North Carolinas and we just hit it off. I’m one of those guys that believe that you never become successful by yourself.”

– Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas of Aftermath Radio on The Score recently spoke with former WWE Superstar Tonga Fifita, best known as Haku in WWE and Meng in WCW. Here are some highlights:

Being “King” of the WWE in 1988 and beating Harley Race at the 1989 Royal Rumble: “When they gave me the opportunity to take the title as ‘King’ from Harley Race, wow. I know his work, I know his wrestling, but I know my respect for this man. I sat back and took a few deep breaths. That was something in my heart… it was an honor to be the next ‘King.'”

His reputation of being the toughest man in the locker room: “(Wrestlers) just wanna throw my name out for the heck of it. I think we were all tough. You had to make the people believe that in wrestling for us to make some money and have all those angles on TV. Everybody was tough in those days to make money and protect the business.”
Thoughts on his tag team match at Wrestlemania VI in Toronto, Ontario where he teamed with Andre The Giant against Demolition, and why he spent most the time in the match: “That’s how smart Andre was. All he wanted me to do was to go out there and look strong, because obviously I was still young then and my career was still going… not that he was finishing up, but he was past his prime. He told me ‘Boss, go out there, do your thing, and whenever I wanna come in, I’ll call you’ (laughs).”

An incident with Jimmy Jack Funk in 1987 and allegedly almost taking out his eye: “I didn’t take his eyeballs off… I was ready to, my hands were in there, ready to take his eye off, but then I realized how stupid we were. Here we are, brothers on the road together. I told Jim after all these things, he was fired over it… I feel bad for him. It was something that happened at that moment.”

– Gregory Iron, who wrestles with Cerebral Palsy and was put over by CM Punk this past summer after Punk had “left” WWE, is trying to secure a spot in the 2012 Royal Rumble. You can check out his petition below, and you can catch him in action at CHIKARA’s “High Noon” iPPV on Sunday, Nov 13th.

– Sheamus was at MTV’s European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland on Sunday. “The Celtic Warrior” presented the award for Best Male to Justin Bieber. “It was a great experience,” Sheamus told WWE.com. “It was great fun. There were a lot of huge pop stars — Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and I gave the Best Male award to Bieber. It was a great honor to present this. I watched MTV ever since I was a teenager. I was delighted to get an opportunity to do it.”

– The Examiner has an interview with Gail Kim where she discusses, amongst other topics, her return to TNA. “It’s definitely home for me,” said Kim. “I’m so happy to be a part of a company that’s based on wrestling. Yes, there is still a Sports Entertainment aspect, but the main focus is wrestling. I consider myself more of a wrestler than a sports entertainer. I feel that my talent is in the ring. I want to contribute the best I can to TNA and the Knockouts division. I want to be a part of taking the Knockouts division to another level.”

– NVDaily.com has an article about Kurt Angle being fined $1,500 and pleading ‘No Contest’ on a charge of reckless driving. As noted earlier, Angle was originally charged on September 3rd with a DUI based on a field test that recorded a 0.091 blood alcohol level, but that charge was dropped to reckless driving after he later blew a 0.06.

– At Wednesday’s Smackdown event in Brussels, Belgium, Christian appeared to have injured his knee during a match with Sheamus.

About four or five minutes into their match, Sheamus threw Christian into the ropes. As Christian came off the ropes, he attempted to slide under Sheamus’ legs and instantly grabbed his knee. When he tried to get up, he limped. As the referee came to check on him, it was apparent that he was hurt. The referee said something to Sheamus, who proceeded to quickly hit Christian with the Brogue kick to end the match.

After the match, the referee gave the X sign as Christian rolled out of the ring. The referee and a member of security helped him to the back. It appeared to be Christian’s right knee or ankle that was injured, and it looked pretty serious.

– The brand new WWE Network logo was unveiled during a commercial on today’s episode of WWE NXT. It is displayed at the 23:52 mark, you can check it out below:

– WWE is sending a camera crew with Hornswoggle to attend this weekend’s official premiere of the new Muppets movie.

Also, since everyone enjoyed working with the Muppets on RAW, there is already talk of having some of the Muppets do a cameo for the company down the line, similar to the Pee Wee Herman cameo at last year’s WrestleMania.

– AJ Styles was on Busted Open with Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca on Sirius XM Radio. Here are some highlights from the interview, you can listen to the show every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2-4 ET on Sirius 94, XM 208.

On Hulk Hogan: “If you want to see my take my hair and dye it all blonde, slick it back, and hang out with girls all the time, and you know, do that whole thing, and just totally not be AJ at all, then you would’ve went with Hogan’s idea. To me, that was the same thing they did in WCW with the referee. I don’t know if you guys remember that, but that’s exactly what popped in my mind. I was like, I’m not that guy, and I am AJ Styles. I’m not Ric Flair. I am who I am. I mean, just because he hasn’t been watching, doesn’t mean that a lot of people haven’t. They know who AJ Styles is. I got to be honest man; I don’t think that I need to ride Ric Flair’s coat-tails to be the next great thing in wrestling. I mean, you gotta’ have storylines. You gotta’ have em’ or you can’t build up for the next big match. So, we all agree that you gotta’ have those storylines, but you gotta’ pick and choose which ones you’re gonna’ go after because people still want to see that wrestling. I know in Canada, they cut out most of the talking because they only have, I think they only have an hour of TV? I’m not sure exactly on that, but I know they cut out on a lot of the promos, but they’re watching all wrestling. You know, the Canadian fans are some of the hottest fans that we’ve got. So, we must be doing something right in that ring. I think that our guys are more than capable of telling great stories in that right; more than capable if given the opportunity, and the time in the ring. That’s what some guys think, that championship titles are props; that the ring is just a prop. I know that I enjoy personally the wrestling part, I really do. I love the physical atmosphere of what’s going on in a wrestling ring. I always say to people, “If you haven’t seen it live, see it live, and you can see how hard-hitting this really can be, and I take pride in that ring.”

On Jeff Hardy: “Listen, I hope Jeff really comes back strong. I think that so far, so good. I think he’s doing great. He looks better. I mean, he just looks physically better. I think maybe having a baby girl has changed some things for him. I think the time that he had off was a good time to be off, but he’s still got a lot to prove in some fans’ eyes, and I think he’s more than capable of doing that, but time will tell. You know I said times have changed before, and they really have. I mean, we’re not the same kind of guys that were working in the 80’s; in the 90’s even.”

Doing minimal interviews: “You know what, man? That’s not even a question for me (Laughs). That’s a question for Impact Wrestling. I don’t know why that is. I busted my butt for how many years now, but I’m not going to be a guy that’s gonna’ complain about every little thing. Yeah, sure, you know, there’s some stuff that I could say and mention, but that’s not who I am. That’s not what I do. I support my company, and whatever they think is best is…well, what we’ll do. I’m behind em’.”

On the direction of the company: “Don’t get me wrong, we’re growing. There’s no doubt about that. We are growing, but… we want to grow more. I want us to have household names. I want us to be a household company that people say, “Oh, yeah, Impact Wrestling! I know exactly what that is.” You know, not when we go through security at the airport or immigration or whatnot where you hear, “Oh, oh like WWE?” I don’t want to hear that. I want them to know exactly who we are. And the thing about us is we have our core crowd. It’s how do we get our core crowd, our core fans… giving them something to talk about. That’s what we’ve got to give em’ like, “You’ve got to see this!” You know, that’s what we need. We’ll then get more fans. It’s not gonna’ work that way.

“We just need to make something more interesting to watch. It’s night and day. It’s great you know, going to The Impact Zone, but it’s phenomenal going outside of that, man, and really seeing what the crowd really thinks about you because that’s how you tell. I mean we’ve got a lot of fans that come, but we got a lotta’ tourists that come to The Impact Zone too where they really haven’t followed the story; they really don’t know what’s going on. They just know that there’s wrestling, but when you get out of that Impact Zone, you really get to see these fans who’ve watched weekly. They will tell you what they wanna’ see. They’ll tell you who they wanna’ see. They’ll tell you who they want them to be. You know what I’m sayin’? That’s what it’s all about! That’s who we have to listen to!”

– The Sun has excerpts from an interview that Sheamus did with Fighting Spirit Magazine. During the interview, Sheamus admits that he would love to wrestle The Undertaker. “I’ve mixed it up with a lot of people — Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels — but a match with Undertaker would be fantastic,” said Sheamus. “It would be two gingers knocking lumps out of each other. He tries to hide it, but he’s a ginger… He’s someone who’s never faltered and is stronger now than he ever was.”

Credits: PWTorch.com, ProWrestling.NET, WrestlingINC.com, F4WOnline.com, PWInsider, Wrestlezone.com

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