Courtesy of Oliver Newman:
BSE: Buddy Sotello Esquire
ON: For the readers who are unfamiliar with Buddy Sotello Esquire, could you tell them a little bit of background information on yourself?
BSE: I got my start in 2000 working for the All Pro Wrestling Federation in Hayward, CA. Because of issues with that particular fed and a lot of complicated issues involving the talent and the way APW was managed, Pro Wrestling Iron was formed and I moved over there to manage wrestlers in that fed. Several years later, PWI closed because the principals all went their separate ways, but in 2006 I helped form the successful new federation known as California Championship Wrestling, which I am now an active part of both managing and running the fed.
ON: Were you a Wrestling fan growing up, and if so who were some of your favourites to watch?
BSE: Absolutely. I was so into wrestling from the very beginning. It all started with Big Time Pro Wrestling broadcast on local cable TV here in the San Francisco Bay area where I grew up. I watched a lot of Peter Maivia, Pat Patterson, Pepper Gomez, Don Muraco, Jimmy Snuka and The Valiant Brothers. There was a lot of great wrestling but then it went away for a while in the late 70's to early 80's, then it came back on TV on Channel 20. It was the early days of Hulk Hogan and the whole Rock and Wrestling connection was getting started with the then-WWF. I went with my friends to the first Wrestlemania closed circuit broadcast and gave a report on it in history class in high school the next day. Then I went to see Wrestlemania II in person in LA, from that moment my brother and I was totally hooked. I loved the incredible spectacle and the characters that the WWF had back then, even more than NWA (WCW) at the time but for me, whenever there was wrestling on TV, no matter where or when it was, I seemed to have a way of finding it and back then it wasn't as easy to always find wrestling on TV like it is now!
ON: What was it about Pro Wrestling that appealed to you?
BSE: It was those character driven stories and the fact that guys were larger than life, also I enjoyed the antics of Andy Kaufman ringside he had a genius way of moving the crowd without being overly physical. Guys like Kaufman and the Grand Wizard were role models for me early, and also Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart, because they were never wrestlers but they could annoy the crowd so well without being profane or obscene even though they were never physically imposing.
ON: Was there a defining moment or match when you said to yourself 'this is what I would like to do for a living'?
BSE: Well to be honest, I don't do this for a living, almost nobody in California that I know does, and I have had the fortune of working with the rare people who have made a full time living off of it-- for the 1-2-3 that I have known (John Morrison, Samoa Joe, Frankie Kazarian, Chris Daniels, Mark Smith, Sara Del Rey, The Ballard Brothers), I know 30-40 who don't do anything but earn $20-$50 dollars a show doing it. So if I was in this "for the money" I would have been done a long time ago, just a point of clarification here not to tear your question apart, because it's a valid one however, if anyone based their choice on becoming an indy wrestler in CA because of the $ they'd be sadly mistaken!
ON: How did you know Pro Wrestling was for you?
BSE: I knew I wanted to be involved in Pro Wrestling, when I first stepped into the ring and I didn't die! Also the first time that I held the microphone and was able to get my speech out despite all the boos and that I could interact with the crowd, as scary as they seemed, and even early on, manipulate them like putty in my hands...get them to boo or cheer almost like a light switch.
ON: Can you tell the readers more about the character Buddy Sotello Esquire?
BSE: What I love about being Buddy Sotello Esq. is that he is "me" but he's the evil opposite of me. I put into the character that is Buddy, all the things people have always assumed was part of me being a real life attorney, but I am not...people assume that I am since they want to define me by what job I have. That's how people are...trust me on this though, more people want to find out about what I do when I tell them that I am a pro wrestling manager than when I tell them that I am an attorney dealing in legal technology!
ON: How did you get your start in All Pro Wrestling?
BSE: I watched a program on a local news show talking about the APW wrestling school, and I looked online and saw that they advertised training managers. I called up Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest who thought it was a good idea for them to work with me to trade my services as a legal attorney by helping APW with contract matters, in exchange for training.
ON: Can you tell the readers what training to be a wrestling manager was like?
BSE: Well I wish it had a lot less bumps and bruises involved than it had! I can also say this; nobody should ever get involved around the wrestling ring at all unless they have had some serious training serious training...Even as a manager, I have suffered some pretty rough injuries-- ones that I never expected I would get! Before I had ever stepped into a wrestling ring, I had over 3 years of Ju Jitsu training (and I can't stress that enough) not the Brazilian stuff either which really doesn't do you much good in the ring despite its popularity. I am talking strict Okinawan Dan Zan Ryu Ju Jitsu, the whole martial arts thing.
ON: Your thoughts on Vinnie Massaro as a Trainer?
BSE: Working with Vinnie Massaro was tough because he was stiff and I think he wanted me to prove something in the ring if I was going to be there. I now realise there was a weird dynamic going on at APW at the time-- so I think everyone is different now than they were at the time. When Vinnie was training me, after about 3-4 months, we were notified that a new valet was coming in and training with us. That turned out to be Veronica, whom Vinnie would eventually fall in love with and now has his son with her. I think when he met Veronica she had a way of really helping him move towards greater maturity. When the core of all the wrestlers left APW in 2001 and formed PWI, Vinnie was not part of it for a long time and I think he felt left out and that may have sent a message to him. Since then we have made him a part of CCW from the very beginning and he has been a really great champion, even coming back early from a hand injury to regain his current title reign! Vinnie is a guy with very little patience and I think when he gets annoyed he can be very obnoxious-- but I also think he has very high standards for what goes on in the ring and he hates to see a substandard product, he is very critical about that, and in doing so, it has given CCW a really quality product when we do our shows live and on TV.
ON: How long were you training for before you managed your first wrestler?
BSE: I was told I needed a year but it really was more like about 5-6 months because they needed to move Vinnie out of his good guy character "the Gigolo" and move him towards a more sinister character with me. When he had the internet title on him, we were amongst the most hated people on the bay area wrestling scene at the time! I didn't get as much training in APW as you would think the one guy who did take the time out of his schedule to really take me aside and teach me stuff was Shane Dynasty. There weren't too many classes outside of the wrestling stuff that told me how to do stuff like cut a promo, etc. Shane would take me aside and make me think about what I was doing, why I was saying things, how to do things without over preparing them. APW was really into that especially with promos and Shane kind of "untaught" me that, and instead taught me to go more off the top of my head and gave me the encouragement and positive reinforcement to give it a try, and it's worked for 7 years now!
ON: Thoughts on Shane Dynasty as a Trainer?
BSE: I look to Shane the way a student looks at his sensei. Shane will probably forget more about wrestling than almost anyone who reads this article will ever know about it! Shane is great because of where his perspective is I have rarely met anyone in wrestling that takes storylines and character motivation (at all times), as the most important part of being a wrestler. Shane went from being a ref, to manager (where he was voted manager of the year almost every time), to wrestler in his mid 30's, very Diamond Dallas Page-esque. Shane has performed in front of 1,000's of people and crowds of 20-30 and he gives it his all every time. He'll never be in the WWE and I don't think that bothers him one little bit because of how much he loves what he does. Bringing him back into CCW was such a great honour, the way that a student inviting his sensei to come perform in his new dojo would have the same sort of martial arts honour.
ON: Thoughts on Ric Thompson?
BSE: When I was at Pro Wrestling Iron I had the fun of working with Ric Thompson who helped found the training part of APW, he really understood ring psychology better than anyone.
ON: Thoughts on your early APW career?
BSE: I started up right away with Vinnie Massaro, whom I am still working with today in CCW he wanted to transition from good guy to bad guy and become "the innovator" and I was going to help sue for gimmick infringement, a storyline we never took up on. I also worked with Mark "The Bison" Smith to put him in the role of Super Destroyer 2000 which was a big hit and something I have recreated with my wrestler Mr Massacre in CCW. My debut show was in August 2000 in Antoich CA where I was on the same card with the Honky Tonk man-- he won the Title off Frank Murdoch (whom I would work with later in PWI) and never returned it!
ON: Thoughts on working with Bison Smith?
BSE: One of the best things in APW in 2000 was working with Mark "Bison" Smith. When he was 'The Bison' he was doing all these great moves and getting no reaction from them. I thought it was such a tragedy because I saw what was an awesome guy just not getting the reaction he deserved. I have always loved the big scary masked guy, most people see masked guys and they think Lucha Libre but there was a time when masked guys meant 'The Spoiler' 'The Masked Superstar' and 'The Grappler' and with Mark, that was my idea, to transform him into one of those old school masked wrestlers. Mark totally took to it and he was perfect in the role he turned from a goofy guy that nobody cared about into a savage, scary, ominous and someone that everyone feared in the ring. He was the perfect compliment to Buddy Sotello Esq. Mark became one of my closest friends and we still keep in touch even though he's on the road wrestling full time in Europe, Japan and Puerto Rico. Mark is a man of complete and total nobility even though his background is humble from central California and Colorado. He is the kind of person they would have made into a knight back in ancient times. I have never met someone to whom the meaning of honour carried more weight, or worked harder at what he does and yet has remained as humble and down to earth now as he was when I first met him and told him I hoped I could manage him some day!
ON: Your thoughts on APW King of Indies 2001?
BSE: Well the first night which I was a part of, in fact I was part of the opening match, nobody was there, we performed in front of maybe 100 people. The second night was bigger but all the APW talent was pushed aside to make room for the outside talent which really pushed the APW guys the wrong way.
ON: Overall experience working for APW?
BSE: Well APW had some great moments, obviously in the 2000's-2001 (before 9/11), wrestling was probably at its highest point in CA in terms of indy popularity I met some of APW's most famous graduates, Sara Del Rey and Dalip Singh, right when they arrived at APW. I think I admired Sara's talent a little more than I just marvelled at Dalip's size. I felt more sorry for Dalip because he was (and is) a piece of meat that doesn't have much control in his own life or at least didn't when I saw him. I was able to manage in some great matches, including with/against Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Super Nova, and Barry Horowitz. However I never did get along that well with a couple of the production guys, and there was always a constant tension between myself and the owner. I also could see that the owner's attitude in APW changed a lot after APW held a really bad indy show in 2001 called King of the Indies which lost a lot of $$$ and alienated a lot of the talent that I was friends with after that, PWI was formed and I was more than ready to leave APW and the politics behind and go to a new fed where none of that stuff existed- and PWI was great until it closed up!
ON: The formation of Pro Wrestling Iron?
BSE: APW was experiencing a lot of problems in 2001 and going into 2002, things were really negative there... After the King of the Indies show in 2001 wrestlers were locked out for weeks and had nowhere to go and train....Morgan and Modest opened a new school in the same city to compete with APW they called me right up after they left APW and had me do some legal things for them including forming a legitimate company which APW never actually did. PWI's focus was to work with NOAH to generate students to go on trips to NOAH in Japan and get overseas work, and it did work for a number of those who worked for PWI, like Ryan Drago, Sara Del Rey and Mark "Bison" Smith.
ON: Why did you choose PWI?
BSE: I really liked the PWI locker room so much more than anything I had experienced in APW (nobody was yelling at anybody else) and nobody was trying to get leverage on anyone else so they could move up in the bookings or the card. PWI was a fed run by workers, not promoters. PWI was also another school, but this time the guys who were running it, Donovan Morgan, Mike Modest and Frank Murdock, were all wrestlers. Those 3 had total respect from the wrestlers, which I think helped them succeed longer than even the 2-3 years they were in existence. A lot of the wrestlers worked the PWI shows for free (I know I never got paid for any of those shows, but I never got paid at APW either). Still people came to PWI because it was an alternative to APW, a lot of the wrestlers in PWI had a strong following from the wrestlers performances back in APW so a lot of APW fans gravitated towards the PWI product naturally.
ON: Thoughts on PWI's No Manager policy when it started?
BSE: It was difficult for me to become a spectator again when all my friends were involved in the show, even my brother was there as an announcer, but it didn't take long for them to work Buddy into the show.
ON: The policy was waved and you were back managing again………….
BSE: I started working with Bart Blaxton, and soon we added Frank Murdock and even Big Time Wrestling's Hawkeye Shane Kody as a bunch of rough-and-tumble bad boy cowboys. Now my typical NY Persona was not going to work with a bunch of cowboy types, so I had to come up with something new I grabbed an old cowboy hat that I found at a Goodwill store, put a hay straw in my teeth and started calling myself "Good Ol' Cousin Buddy", and started pretending I was a hick, still dressed in my suit!
ON: It wasn't all plain sailing in PWI though………..
BSE: Unfortunately not, PWI made a big strategic mistake. With it being hard to have two promotions running in the same geographic area PWI thought that it would be a good idea to go to the outreaches of California as a place to generate interest so they picked Lathrop, Riverbank and Angel's Camp as places to perform. They did a bunch of shows in Lathrop, a tiny freeway town in the middle of CA but PWI was located over an hour away in Hayward, so they had no local connections PWI did work with a guy named Chicano Flame who lived in the area and for the first 2-3 shows he helped promote it so the crowds were ok but shortly after he stopped performing (and presumably inviting a ton of his own friends) the Lathrop crowds dropped off significantly.
ON: How and why did PWI close?
BSE: Morgan and Modest were too busy working NOAH shows in Japan, and Modest was even getting some attention from WCW before it went out of business (and did a couple of matches against Christopher Daniels) which was great for Modest but his lack of presence eroded the popularity of PWI as well. Murdoch was somewhat overwhelmed by trying to keep the fed running by himself with Morgan and Modest travelling so much and although I really respect Murdock as a wrestler and as a person, I don't think he was good at all at being a promoter. After a certain point, I think he lost the ability to care whether or not PWI would continue to be a success and how to utilize what PWI had to keep it afloat. However, I was having a great time when I was performing for PWI, we had some amazing people come through those doors and perform for us including Christopher Daniels, Nigel McGuiness, BJ Whitmer, Tony Kozina and the Tomaselli's. However as Modest and Morgan stepped back, Murdock also had a problem. He was in the ring with Modest and Morgan in a tag match and Modest dropped him on the back of his head with a powerbomb, causing Murdoch to break his sternum and get a concussion. He was never the same after that, he told me he suffered from dizzy spells for at least 3 months after the incident so he really retreated from the day-to-day management of PWI and PWI became somewhat rudderless.
ON: Mike Veloza…………….
BSE: The rudder completely fell off when Murdock turned to maybe one of the feeblest minds in the history of bay area wrestling in the 2000's, a mental midget by the name of Mike Veloza...He literally ran PWI into the ground in the space of 6 months! He was some sort of super fan that endeared himself to Morgan and Murdock when Modest was in Japan and WCW he started doing "story line" work for PWI but his stories were the worst pieces of dung ever written. I suddenly lost any sort of story lines. It was Veloza who decided to hold the Angels Camp and Riverbank shows which I mercifully missed, but they generated a total of 30-50 fans each show, even though they had the Ballard Brothers and Christopher Daniels on them! The final straw came when there was a show at a local high school which was looking like a promotional disaster, we knew that we weren't going to generate a good crowd that night and we should have just cancelled but Veloza was too filled with his own self worth as a promoter to cancel a show so he wrote a $900 check on a show that generated about $500 in tickets that combined with the costs for gas, ring truck and other related expenses meant he overdrew the PWI account by at least $1,000 and that was it for PWI. I think in the end PWI had about $10,000 in debt which Veloza was responsible for and even at the very end of PWI, even the last night of PWI, Veloza was promising to take over PWI, to keep it going, to pay off all of PWI's debts and start the school back up where he was going to become a major deal in the bay area wrestling's future, well that was 4-5 years ago and he hasn't been heard from since.
ON: The Malachi title win…….
BSE: One of my favourite memories, I was involved in a great storyline where I was managing every outside talent that came in to challenge Mark Smith for his championship for about 4-5 months in a row which finally culminated in me managing my first federation heavyweight champion, in Malachi, when we won the title in 2003 in Swiss Park against Mark Smith. Unfortunately, I was never even able to give a proper title defence back to Mark Smith as he decided to no longer work for PWI because of the terrible shows that PWI was putting on. Mark Smith now almost exclusively works full time in Puerto Rico, Japan and Europe-- I haven't seen the big guy now in years because he's been so busy!
ON: How did the idea of California Championship Wrestling come about?
BSE: One of the announcers, JJ Purdom, and I were friends from PWI and we were both bummed out that PWI failed without ever having a chance to give our own creative input on what could have been done with the wrestlers at PWI and the story lines and giving better characters with real motivations, but nobody ever asked us what we thought or how we could improve the PWI product, in fact Veloza went out of his way not to listen to any other constructive criticism on the PWI product. JJ managed to talk to a guy who was a former mayor of a tiny town in the middle of CA called Newman and we decided to create a new fed trying to throw back to the old days of Mid South, World Class and Georgia Championship Wrestling. JJ said he thought it would be great to make me the "center of evil" in this particular fed. In September of 2005, I met with JJ and the owner of CCW over in Sacramento at the Mel's Diner on Howe avenue...and history was made as we decided to make it work! Unfortunately only 6 weeks after we had this meeting I wound up in the hospital and almost died due to a rare onset of adult Type 1 diabetes, when my pancreas stopped making insulin and almost killed me. While I was in the hospital JJ called me every single day and my brother brought tapes of my wrestling performances from APW and PWI which I watched over and over again. I made it my mission that CCW was going to be a success.
ON: Thoughts on being a CCW promoter?
BSE: Being on the promoter side for the first time, I now understand how incredibly hard it is to put on a show. In CCW we even had a guy who was booked for a title shot, who had won a royal rumble the month before to become the 1 contender, tell us he couldn't make it the morning of the show! Injuries I can understand, we have had Vinnie Massaro break his hand the week before a show training, that sort of thing happens especially here in North California when guys work 2-3 shows on a weekend. A lot of times we have had wrestlers for CCW work another show at the beginning of a card, and then drive 1- 1 1/2 hours to our show to work the later part of the card! You have to live with that when you deal with the indies, where some wrestlers have so little invested in your promotion and even if you have a storyline worked with them that has taken months to form there is nothing to keep them from just blowing you off at the last minute. In the 1 year existence of CCW we have had to change every single card we have ever had because of this sort of thing fortunately we always have "spare wrestlers" show up in the back who are willing to step in, in order to get in the ring and work.
ON: The Alameda County Fairgrounds affair…………..
BSE: CCW almost didn't get off the ground, (even with me nearly dying) because of a screw-job by the Alameda County Fairgrounds we had to cancel our first show the day of the event! The incompetents at the Fairgrounds had told us we could use the Fairgrounds insurance, which we paid for prior to the event. Then the week of the event they tell us that their insurance carrier decided not to honour our payment and that we needed to get our own insurance. They said we could do it if I wrote a disclaimer which said we wouldn't sue them no matter what happened so we got all ready to perform and then they said the disclaimer wasn't enough, we had to have insurance and so our first set of matches had to be cancelled and I spent the rest of the night in front of the fairgrounds telling people to turn around and go home! We just looked at this as a temporary setback. Two months later we put together our first matches in July and we got a crowd of about 220, which was totally outdrawing any of the other established indies except for maybe BTW which still was only getting 350 with people like Kamala, Mick Foley and Rob Van Dam appearing for autograph sessions! We were getting good crowds at the Fairgrounds and being in Pleasanton was actually like being in a major city. After that first event, the guy at the Fairgrounds apologized and they actually treated us really well but that guy didn't stay there and when he left to manage a gym in the area.
ON: All's well that ends well……
BSE: Not quite, a new guy came in and was the biggest jerk in the universe he said "you guys are making too much money" and decided, again the week before we were going to have our matches, to charge us double everything we were getting "for free". Even though we had a contract, there were a number of items that were not covered by the contract that we were never being charged for. This guy wanted to charge for parking, for the benches (which were already in the building when we got there) and even for the porta potties which were in the area! He figured that by forcing us to pay right before a show we would never cancel again like we did before but we weren't going to play that game! The owner decided during the week to change venues and we moved out to Newman, the tiny town that he was the mayor for. As this was a home base for JJ Purdom and the owner so they could promote locally unlike what happened with PWI in Lathrop. That was the greatest thing for the future of CCW, moving to Newman, sure it's a tiny town on the freeway (nobody has heard of it) but the people there, they are dying for live entertainment. For them, to get to a major city like San Francisco or San Jose is a major effort and going to a WWE show will set back a family of 4 perhaps $200-$300 when all is said and done. Here we bring big city style live wrestling entertainment to them for $10 adults and $5 for kids. A family of 4 can go see us perform for 2 hours less expensively than a movie and we really have made our focus family style entertainment there is no sex, we have had a "little" blood as it's not a major focus of what we do. We have had no garbage matches; no lightbulbs, thumbtacks, barbed wire matches and our wrestlers aren't allowed to swear ringside. We have had a continuing story line between my Sotello Syndicate and the good guys of CCW since I came in a year ago. My situation with Vinnie, first facing him as my opponent for a year and now I am managing him as the heavyweight champion. After he lost his title due to the hand injury I mentioned earlier, his best friend Big Ugly won the title then Vinnie betrayed him. Is a story we've been working almost a year to accomplish! Tell me another indy out there that has a story line that goes a whole year to culminate?
ON: Managing your 1st tag team to CCW tag title glory………..
BSE: The current CCW tag team champions (they won it in the debut title tournament) are the twins DD and T-Rent, known as the Bad Apple Associates. CCW had a 4 team 1 night tournament for the newly created tag belts the tournament featured R-Cayde & Hammerhead Drake vs Reno Scum ("Rock Legend Scum" Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend managed by "Showtime" Shane Dynasty) and my Sotello Syndicate (The Bad Apple Associates, DD & Trent Badapple) vs The McTwists, Jason & Johnny from Portland, OR. The Bad Apple Associates and the Reno Scum (featuring wrestlers that I used to manage-- all 3 of them!) faced each other in the final round of the title tournament. Thanks to my interference, (I distracted Luster the Legend outside the ring to give an advantage to DD & Trent who double teamed Adam for he title victory!) It was the first tag championship that I have ever managed and really a lifelong accomplishment, as much as managing two feds heavyweight single's titles meant tag team action is the best.
ON: Can you tell the readers a little about the creative process involved in CCW?
BSE: Well JJ and I love doing this, creating a complicated story line and telling it over a number of shows, and letting it develop and having to change it sometimes because of talent restrictions or guys blowing us off.. Vinnie also helps a lot in the locker room in match-to-match booking and inner-match storylines, and all the workers respect the things he brings to the table. I work with JJ on coming up with new characters, "macro" story lines (not in match blow-by-blow booking), and I do all the "write-ups" for CCW (can you guess why that is?). Our ultra popular Hacksaw Jim Duggan type character, Mother Truckin Otis, actually came to me as an idea with all the driving I do back and forth to the shows and all the truck drivers I pass on my way. The mysterious masked man of mayhem, Mr. Massacre, was a character I developed while I was in high school for a wrestling game I wrote (it's awesome when you have these ideas as a kid and as an adult you can actually make them come to life!)
ON: Overall thoughts on California Championship Wrestling?
BSE: CCW is everything I had ever hoped for and dreamed for in a federation even with the hardships, tough times, and hard work, it's been the greatest experience of my life without a doubt! CCW really reflects the ultimate culmination of my creative efforts and what I have always thought I could do for a federation when we did our first TV program for Comcast On Demand and I got to do the commentary with JJ, it was the greatest thing of all (other than managing the tag champs and heavyweight champ!!!) he is the Gorilla Monsoon to my Bobby Heenan and we just ad lib it and it comes off like water off a ducks back people say it's entertaining but it's the easiest job I've ever had!
ON: Who would be a dream person to manage for Buddy Sotello Esquire?
BSE: I am not going to be glib here but I am managing my dream right now! The Sotello Syndicate is exactly the type of team I want to manage they remind me of this generations' Devastation Inc (one of the big influences on me). I have a masked giant in Mr Massacre, based on a character I created years ago, the "California Crippler" Ryan Drago, the CCW Tag Champions the Bad Apple Associates and the CCW Heavyweight Champion, my once mortal enemy, Vinnie "The Innovator" Massaro.
ON: Are there any websites where the readers can find out more about you?
BSE: Yes please visit my myspace page at www.myspace.com/buddysotelloesq or the CCW web page www.californiachampionshipwrestling.com!
ON: Any final words for the readers?
BSE: For every show, whether it has 50 people show up or 10,000 people show up, so few of the fans in the audience understand the thousands of hours that go into every production and how much of a contribution has to be made on every level to make even a poor indy fed show happen. The amount of work that goes into setting a ring up, the hours of street teaming and promoting, the late nights working on web pages and photo uploading and flyers and posters, sometimes I think the fans and the public in general takes that for granted and doesn't recognize that even on a small level what an amazing amount of work goes on to make those shows happen. I always stay late after every match and hang with the crews as they take everything apart and let them know how important it is that they gave a contribution to us with their labour because without that there wouldn't be a show for anyone to see! As for me, if what I do never goes beyond what I have done, I couldn't have been happier doing what I did the way I did it. I don't have any regrets about my time in wrestling yet I have seen stuff that I thought I would never see, both good and bad, from people in this industry. It's changed my life forever but I don't regret a single moment of it, and I will be in this business until CCW goes away, we get bought out by Vince (ha-ha) or until I shuffle off this mortal coil.
ON: Thanks once again for taking the time out for this interview Buddy!
Overall Thoughts: Buddy provided me with my most informative interview thus far! I want to thank him for that, his insight into the California independent scene was fascinating and I wish him and California Championship Wrestling the best of luck in the future.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Courtesy of Oliver Newman:
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In today's edition of Lewiston, Maine's Sun Journal, there's mention of this Saturday's World Body Building Guild's Hall of Fame, which will be inducting Tony Atlas as a member.
Atlas presently works as a personal trainer at an area gym, and actually looks good (considering what he's been through) for sixty-three.
To read the article, click here.
@ 8:58 AM ET
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The lowdown from South Carolina's Colonial Center:
- Jesus, another new theme for this show?!
- Armando Estrada "surprised" all of us with tonight's 'Extreme-Rules Match.' Doesn't anyone visit WWE's website?
- Big-Daddy-V (accompanied by Matt Striker) defeated Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer didn't take near the legit punishment I thought he would (and that's a good thing), before taking a Samoan drop through a table and being pinned. BDV, of course, didn't bump or sell for a thing
- Speaking of punishment, Mr. McMahon and Jonathan Coachman have arrived.
- CM Punk got his own video segment.
- McMahon and Coachman are back to looking for McMahon's illegitimate son. They made up for cutting Balls Mahoney out of 'Saturday Night's Main Event.'
- Mahoney defeated Elijah Burke. I have no idea what was going on in the crowd, but it didn't have a thing to do with the match. Burke gave his towel to the ref, which was supposed to serve as a distraction, but the ref was back in time to see Burke wrap Mahoney's leg around the post (which isn't even grounds for a disqualification). Okay?... I really used to dig Burke, you know, but they split up the New Breed and don't do shit with him (case in point), so now he's officially entered the "I don't care" stage. Burke missed a charge into the corner, allowing Mahoney to score with a schoolboy and pin.
- John Morrison also got a video segment.
- The Miz and Extreme Exposé ran into Mahoney and were extremely (pardon the pun) irritating to me. Kelly Kelly winked at Mahoney. She musta had something in her eye.
- Kevin Thorn was jumped by Stevie Richards, but it didn't last long, as they were broken up by a bunch of old, fat guys.
- Pink can't be McMahon's son, because he's straightedged. Punk nearly talked himself into a beating, but luckily for Punk, Coachman was in the room to save his goofy ass.
- Punk & The Boogeyman defeated Morrison & Miz (accompanied by EE). Kelly sure looked happy to be with the people who won't stop insulting her crush. Must be a multilayered technique of acting, with which I am not yet familiar. This went on too long for my taste, although did solidify my belief Morrison is better off (even with the world's shittiest partner) in a tag team, as he's more creative and interesting to watch. More weird chants from the crowd. Morrison came in on a blind tag, hit Punk with whatever he's calling his neckbreaker, then scored the pin (which, for business, was definitely the right finish). Shave off the first ten or twelve minutes, and this would've actually been a good match.
An awesome show (must've been airing somewhere, but this sure wasn't it)!
@ 11:07 PM ET
Courtesy of Adam Samons:
Between The Ropes
Friday, August 17, 2007
Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com
This week Between The Ropes host Brian Fritz was able to talk with WWE Superstar Matt Hardy about his boxing match with Evander Holyfield, the direction of his singles career, and much more in an interview posted exclusively on BetweenTheRopes.com
The interview started with some discussion of Matt’s boxing match against Evander Holyfield. Matt discussed how he wound up in the fight and said that it was “the most intimidating situation he’s been in.”
Regarding the series of challenges that he and MVP have done before their match at Summerslam Matt joke that he would like a horseshoes showdown against MVP. He then said “come hell or high water I’m going to leave (Summerslam) with the U.S. Title.”
The discussion then turned to how Matt see the direction of his career. “I feel like I’m at a great place. Smackdown has really been plagued by injuries over the course of the summer and I feel like it has given me an opportunity to step up. Almost every week I’ve been in a 20 minute match, and while I am working against MVP a lot of people have perceived me as the MVP of Smackdown recently…I’m excited to have that chance and have tried to make the most of it.”
Asked about the great reaction that he and his brother Jeff get from the fans Matt said “I think the people respect us. Wrestling fans are really loyal, they remember all the ladder matches, table matches, the TLC matches, and all the things we’ve put our bodies through. We’ve given them everything from our bodies and souls to entertain them and they remember that and respect that.” Matt also said he is able to connect with the fans since he a blue collar kind of guy that has had to work to get where he is.
On whether he would have liked to continue tagging with his brother as he had earlier in the year Matt said he would “rather continue down the singles path. As a tag team we’ve been seven time world tag team champs, we’ve been in every type of tag match you can do, and it’s always something I’ll want to come back to, but we’ve done it all there. As a singles competitor I haven’t done it all and that’s what I want to do.
Looking back at the Edge and Lita situation from a couple of years ago Matt said that he is “way past that.” He said that it was a tough situation losing a relationship, a friend, and a job, but he didn’t let it hang him up and he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward anyone. Matt also admitted that he was “very close” to not returning to the WWE, but that in the end things turned out well.
The interview concluded with Matt being asked about his thoughts on the current tag team division. “It’s tough, just because tag team wrestling isn’t something that is a priority in the WWE. One thing that I tell the guys they should…do is for each member to find their own identity…They should really try and single out personality traits within the persona and still have something for the team.” Matt also concluded that “a lot of the guys are newer and don’t have a lot of experience, so they’re learning on the job and that’s what I think slows a lot of the newer tag teams down.”
To listen to the entire Matt Hardy interview, including how he feels about having his brother back with the company and his thoughts on an upcoming documentary on his OMEGA wrestling promotion visit the show online at www.BetweenTheRopes.com.
@ 8:59 PM ET
Jens Pulver has been forced to withdraw from his fight on September 5 (he was to meet Cub Swanson), due to a knee injury, which he had received while training for the bout.
Zuffa is currently searching for a substitute replacement to face Swanson.
Pulver, meanwhile, has scheduled an MRI to determine how seriously he's injured.
@ 8:18 PM ET
Funk's Corner - Second Generation Legend And WWE Producer, Dean Malenko Is Coming To The Funking Conservatory
Courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.:
"You have the most beautiful country I have ever seen. The people are wonderful. The beaches are the best in the world and nature in your country is untouched."
"There is only one thing you don't have here in Australia. You have no heroes. No role models for your children and young people to look up to."
"I, The Great Malenko will fill the emptiness you all have here in Australia. I will be your hero."
As I listened to Boris Malenko do the interview for network television out of Sydney, Australia, I thought, "What a great way to get the heat as a heel and not have to put the country or the people down."
Boris Malenko was one of the greatest heels on interviews I have seen. He was also a box office attraction for Eddie Graham in the Florida Territory. Boris Malenko was the originator of the Russian Chain match.
Boris Malenko's chain used in a match in Florida with Eddie Graham was actually shipped from Florida to the Amarillo Territory and used in the first ever Russian Chain Match in the Amarillo Territory between Dory Funk Sr. and Iron Mike Dibiase.
Boris Malenko (Larry Simon) had two sons who followed his footsteps in professional wrestling, Dean and Joe Malenko.
Here at the Funking Conservatory, we are proud to announce that second generation wrestler, Wrestling Legend and WWE Producer, Dean Malenko will be at the Funking Conservatory Tuesday September 4th to scout wrestling talent.
Support the Troops 19, "Hard Labor" comes to the Funking Conservatory Sunday September 2nd. For more information on tickets, training schedules and Dean Malenko's appearance at the Funking Conservatory, call 352-895-4658 or visit our website at www.dory-funk.com.
@ 6:30 PM ET
Courtesy of the International Fight League:
Episode Visits All Four Camps As Teams Prepare For Playoffs
NEW YORK, August 21, 2007- The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts league, goes behind the scenes at the training camps of each of the semifinal teams in the next episode of “IFL Battleground” on Monday, August 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT/MT). MyNetworkTV cameras follow Renzo Gracie’s New York Pitbulls, Ken Yasuda’s Tokyo Sabres, Pat Miletich’s Quad Cities Silverbacks and Shawn Tompkins’ Los Angeles Anacondas as they prepare for their IFL World Championship playoff competition. “IFL Battleground” airs every Monday night, with a replay on Saturday, on MyNetworkTV.
The trip to the training camps includes a look at each team’s stars and coaches analyzing video of their upcoming opponents. The episode also revisits some of the highlights from each team’s season in the ring.
Among those featured in the episode include:
Ben Rothwell (Milwaukee, Wis.) of the Silverbacks, who will battle his Anacondas counterpart Krzysztof Soszynski (Winnipeg, Manitoba) in a rematch of heavyweights.
Savant Young (Pasadena, Calif.) of the Sabres, who won two of three matches in his first IFL season.
Benji Radach (Coconut Creek, Fla.), who looks to extend his unbeaten mark for the Anacondas this year after a two-plus-year absence from the sport.
Bryan Vetell (Jamaica, N.Y.), the Pitbulls’ gentle giant who faces a tough test in powerful Wayne Cole (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
Viewers can find their local MyNetworkTV affiliate at www.mynetworktv.com/local_stations.html.
About the IFL
International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s first professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.
@ 6:26 PM ET
Courtesy of the Mohegan Sun:
Top Four Athletes in Each Weight Class to Compete for Individual Championship Belts
Uncasville, CT (August 21, 2007) – International Fight League’s 2007 World Grand Prix, the individual all-star competition for the world’s number one MMA league, holds the finals of this year’s tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday, December 29th at 7:30pm.
Tickets are priced at $250.00, $150.00, $95.00 and $65.00 and are on sale now at the Mohegan Sun Box Office and through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to ticketmaster.com; call any Ticketmaster Charge by Phone number; or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.
Dubbed “The Battle for the Belts,” the IFL World Grand Prix pits the top four athletes in each weight class in a two-event competition. IFL events leading up to the World Grand Prix tournament are currently taking place. Ten athletes who win the semifinal matches will advance to the finals, with the Champions earning the first-ever Championship Belts for their respective weight class.
For more information on IFL World Grand Prix Tournament visit mohegansun.com or www.ifl.tv. For information on this week’s schedule, call the Entertainment and Special Events hotline at 1.888.226.7711, ext. 27163, or visit mohegansun.com.
@ 6:04 PM ET
Host: Columbia, South Carolina's Colonial Center
What to expect?: Nothing out of the ordinary.
- 'Extreme Rules': Tommy Dreamer loses to Big-Daddy-V. This will open the program.
- Mr. McMahon will make an appearance, and hilarity will ensue, I'm sure.
- They're teasing more in the ongoing saga of CM Pink and John Morrison, and are also acting as if Armando Estrada will have something to add for 'SummerSlam.' Oh, I'm sure it will be quite a winner.
If you don't hear more from me before the start of the show (and you almost assuredly won't) look for my review, which should be posted at about 11:10 PM ET.
@ 5:39 PM ET
According to fast-national data supplied by Nielsen Media Research, the show finished with a 2.5, which probably isn't much better than a repeat of 'Saturday Night Live' woulda fared.
Final numbers still to come.
@ 5:27 PM ET
According to data released by Nielsen Media Research, Mr. McMahon (and his stupid "illegitimate child" segments) has propelled the program to its third 3.8, in as many episodes.
@ 5:19 PM ET
Not sure how long this will be allowed to stay up, but Lacey Von Erich has posted the following on her MySpace page:
"I was signed by WWE and so far my wrestling experience has been amazing, I really feel like I was born for it.... BUT all they want the girls to do is dress like trashy and pull hair... I would rather wrestle like daddy and do back flips off the ropes! I feel like a lot of the girls have talent but we can't show it as much... So if I don't represent the Von Erich family like I should its not my fault.... I will do MY BEST to bring back how it was... Love everyone who supports our family!!!"
Just in case it gets pulled, here's where you can find Lacey's blog.
@ 5:06 PM ET
Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:
ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP®
HEADS TO CINCINNATI FOR UFC 77: HOSTILE TERRITORY
UFC® MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ANDERSON “THE SPIDER” SILVA vs. RICH “ACE” FRANKLIN
TIM “THE MAINE-IAC” SYLVIA vs. BRANDON “THE TRUTH” VERA
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 LIVE FROM U.S. BANK ARENA
Tickets Go on Sale Sunday, Aug. 26 at 10am ET
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – 08/21/2007 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization today announced that UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva will travel to the hometown of the man he took the title from, Rich “Ace” Franklin, to defend his crown against the popular former titlist in a highly anticipated rematch entitled UFC 77: HOSTILE TERRITORY. This event will take place at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, October 20. UFC 77 marks the UFC’s second fight in Ohio this year, and its first fight ever in Cincinnati.
“Anderson Silva has shown he is probably one of the most deadly 185 pounders we’ve ever seen,” said Dana White, UFC President, “and he has shown no signs of slowing down in his two fights since beating Rich Franklin last year. But Rich told me that he has never trained harder for a fight than he is for this one, and he is determined to not only win his title back, but to do so in front of his hometown fans on October 20th.”
Tickets for UFC 77: HOSTILE TERRITORY go on sale Sunday, August 26 at 10am ET with prices starting at $50. The fastest and most convenient way to purchase tickets is by visiting the Ticketmaster Web site at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets may be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets including select Kroger stores, or by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 513-562-4949. Tickets are also available at the U.S. Bank Arena Arena Box Office, and online through www.usbankarena.com and www.ufc.com.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Wed., Aug. 22 at 10am ET via the website www.ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, August 24 starting at 10:00am ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through www.ufc.com.
UFC 77: HOSTILE TERRITORY is available live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95 ($39.99 CAD) and $49.95 for HD where available.
After a devastating first round loss to Silva in their Middleweight title bout in October of 2006, Franklin has spent the last year training, fighting hard, and winning in order to get back to the number one contender’s spot. Meanwhile, Silva, the reigning and defending champion, has fought and won twice since taking the belt from Franklin, and his plans for UFC 77 involve defending his title and spoiling his challenger’s homecoming.
Silva (19-4), fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, is an extremely well-rounded fighter with phenomenal striking skills as well as a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After defeating Chris Leben and Franklin in the first round in his first two UFC fights, “The Spider” took on Travis Lutter in February in what was supposed to be his first title defense, but Lutter fell short of making weight by a half-pound. As a result, their fight was altered to a three-round non-championship bout, but Silva still finished Lutter by submission at 2:11 of the second round. Silva then took on Nathan Marquardt at UFC 73 in July and finally got his first successful title defense under his belt with an impressive first round TKO win.
Franklin (24-2) fought a good portion of his career as a light heavyweight before moving to the middleweight division. At UFC 53, he stopped UFC champion Evan Tanner to capture the middleweight crown. He made his first title defense against Nate Quarry at UFC 56, winning by first round KO, and his second defense against Canadian David Loiseau at UFC 58 showed his championship heart as he won a five round decision despite fighting much of the fight with a broken hand. Franklin faced Anderson Silva in his third UFC title defense, but was stopped by the Brazilian in the first round. At UFC 68 in March, he returned to the Octagon™, and in front of his home state crowd, stopped Jason MacDonald at the start of the second round. At UFC 72, Franklin defeated Yushin Okami by unanimous decision to earn a rematch with Silva and a shot at redemption.
Also on the UFC 77 card will be a heavyweight matchup between former UFC Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia and unbeaten Brandon “The Truth” Vera. This fight will mark the first fight for Vera since a contract dispute with former management sidelined him for almost a year. The dynamic Vera (8-0) is excited to get back in the Octagon, and he expects to pick up where he left off last year by defeating Sylvia and every opponent afterward until he becomes the UFC heavyweight champion. The 6 foot 8 Sylvia (25-3), only the second man in UFC history to win the heavyweight title twice, would like to eventually join the man he lost the crown to in March, Randy Couture, as the only fighters in history to win the title three times. A win over Vera will push him firmly in that positive direction.
For more information about UFC 77 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.
About The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the UFC® organization produces approximately twelve to fourteen live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution, UFC fight programs are distributed throughout the world including broadcast on MAIN EVENT in Australia, Globosat in Brazil and Bravo and Setanta PPV in the United Kingdom. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or www.ufcespanol.com.
Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa™, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.
@ 4:57 PM ET
According to data supplied by Nielsen Media Research, the show finished with a 2.4/4.0, so the trend continues.
@ 11:17 AM ET
Prior to last night's 'RAW' taping, Johnny Jeter defeated (a much-smaller) Matt Anoai. Yay, Fat March!
After cameras stopped rolling, John Cena defeated Randy Orton.
Building wasn't sold-out, but with it having been more than a year between visits, attendance was said to be strong.
@ 11:05 AM ET
According to what Stacy Caiazzo (estranged wife of the late John Kronus) has told Laconia, New Hampshire's Citizen, she didn't know her husband to take steroids or have a serious drug problem.
If that last part is a direct quote, I find it to be a bit troubling, because it's not as if there are mild drug problems (which is what I take exception with when listening to Kevin Von Erich talk about Kerry, but that's for another time).
Mrs. Caiazzo believes, and I support this (for reasons I've already explained), her husband (who was already battling heart and weight issues) may have had a bad reaction to a mixture of prescriptions drugs, which he was given in the wake of two recent knee surgeries.
If you'd like to read more, click here.
@ 10:40 AM ET
Imperia Entertainment To Film Mixed Martial Arts Movie 'Never Submit' At 'Art Of War Live' Event September 1st
Courtesy of Imperia Entertainment, Inc.:
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21 -- The action and excitement of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) will meet Hollywood on September 1st when Imperia Entertainment (Pink Sheets: IPEI) begins filming in Dallas, Texas at SUN Sports and Entertainment's (Pink Sheets: SSPE) Pay-Per-View world championship MMA Event for "Art of War3", (http://www.artofwarlive.com/) sanctioned by the International Fighters Association (IFA). Celebrities, and the "Never Submit" Ring Girls, will be on hand, giving out free "Never Submit" fight wear, and several lucky patrons admitted to the VIP box during the fight will have a chance to be in the Movie.
Kenneth G. Eade, Chairman of Imperia Entertainment, Inc. stated. "This is an incredible fight card and one that MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Fans from around the world is going to want to watch or purchase on Pay-Per-View. We are looking forward to getting some great footage for our upcoming film and looking for more strategic sponsorship and branding opportunities with the members of Team SUN." Eade added, "There are many people that want to claim a role in this sport and very few as pro as SUN and their brand, 'Art of War' and 'UNDERGROUND Cage Fighting'."
"The Art of War 3" will feature a World Championship fight; and for first time ever, the U.S. National Team vs. the Brazilian National Team. Headlining the ten-bout card will be the Heavyweight Championship Fight for the IFA Belt between Jeff "the Snowman" Monson who will face defending and current IFA Champion Pedro "the Rock" Rizzo. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/.
ABOUT "NEVER SUBMIT"
"Never Submit," directed by Don Dunn and starring Corey Sevier (North Shore) Ernie Hudson (Desperate Housewives), legendary star fighter Ken Shamrock, and star fighters Josh Koscheck, Michael McDonald, Mauricio Shogun Rua, Mike Swick and Nate Quarry, is a movie set in the world of MMA, or mixed martial arts, the fastest growing sport in the world. "Never Submit" is an inspirational tale similar to "Rocky," but the lead character is an intelligent young man (as are most fighters competing in this sport) rather than a beaten-down punch-drunk fighter.
Imperia Entertainment, Inc. (http://www.imperiaentertainment.com/) is a company that has emerged as a player in the area of independent film production and distribution. The company engages in investing in and producing full-length feature films. Imperia's film properties include its feature film, "Say It In Russian" (http://www.sayitinrussianmovie.com/), starring Faye Dunaway, "Never Submit," and the award-winning "Autograph" television series.
SUN is a Professional Sports & Entertainment Production Company. SUN is a Certified and Licensed Combat Sports Promoter and produces World Class Mixed Martial Arts Events. The properties of SUN Sports & Entertainment (http://www.sunorganization.com/), Art of War LIVE (http://www.artofwarlive.com/) International Fighters Association (http://www.ifapro.com/), USA National Team -- Team USA MMA (http://www.teamusamma.com/) and UNDERGROUND Cage Fighting (http://www.undergroundcagefighting.com/), are pending trademarks.
This press release contains statements, which may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Imperia Entertainment, Inc. and members of its management as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors currently known to management that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-statements include fluctuation of operating results, the ability to compete successfully and the ability to complete before-mentioned transactions. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results.
Murray Weissman & Associates
Imperia Entertainment, Inc.
Kenneth Eade: 310-275-0089 or
@ 10:18 AM ET
As something of a mood-breaker, wanted to make note of today's edition of The Charlotte Observer, which features a look at Ric Flair's visit with DeShawn Cherry, a ten-year-old lukemia patient at Palmetto Health Richland’s Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
I don't normally say this about children, but this kid seems cool as fuck.
PS: According to Flair, he will not be wrestling on tonight's 'SmackDown' taping.
Wanna read read the article? Click here.
@ 8:54 AM ET
Fight Company, An Emerging Leader In Mixed Marshal Arts (MMA), Announces Mergers & Acquisitions Strategy
Courtesy of CORE Resources Limited:
AMES, IA--Aug 21, 2007 -- The Fight Company LLC, an operating division of Core Resources, LTD (Other OTC:CRLJ.PK - News), announced today that the company is launching an aggressive mergers & acquisitions program focused on consolidating the fragmented Mixed Marshal Arts (MMA) industry. President Brett Stevens commented, "Modern fighting, in its many forms, is fragmented, and lacks a publicly traded flagship. Many of the promising fight companies are private, and would benefit from joining forces with The Fight Company LLC. We are hoping to shake things up in the industry by providing a vehicle for promising MMA companies to access the public markets in addition to superior management capabilities. The industry is currently comprised of a few major players and many successful small companies. These small companies would benefit immensely by joining forces with the Fight Company by utilizing the power of a public vehicle to bring their fighters into the mainstream using our strong financial resources; managerial talent and our state-of-the-art gymnasiums. Additionally, companies involved in media production, merchandising, event promotion and endorsements of the athletes will all be part of the Fight Company network providing a streamlined approach to rapidly and profitably bring our team to the forefront of the MMA industry."
Companies who are interested in joining Fight Co. are encouraged to contact the company through their email firstname.lastname@example.org. Leads, which will be considered, include any profitable & sustainable businesses in the MMA, cage, etc. fighting industry, which are interested in "going public," and can provide value to the shareholders.
For More Information please visit www.FightCompanyOnline.com
ABOUT "FIGHT CO."
Based in Ames, Iowa, Fight Co. currently has hundreds of fighters in its database. Fight Co. matches fighters for events and acts as the management agent. Additionally, the company plans to expand its business by staging events, producing DVDs, expanding the Fight Co. apparel line and becoming an all-inclusive MMA entertainment firm competing with the industry leaders.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Corporation, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "potential," "estimate," "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
PMR and Associates, LLC
Note from Ric: Interesting approach. Good luck to them.
@ 8:42 AM ET
According to attorney Manny Aurora, Chris Benoit had a hormone disorder (although he wouldn't go into specifics), which justified the amount of steroids prescribed to him, and has a judge consulted a specialist (instead of issuing search warrants), there may not even be a case against Dr. Phil Astin.
Interesting, if expected, defense.
More to come, I'm sure.
@ 8:33 AM ET
Monday, August 20, 2007
The lowdown from Fayetteville, North Carolina's Crown Coliseum:
- Tazz was brought in to substitute for a "still-injured" Jerry Lawler. That would normally bother me, but since we're kicking off the show with Randy Orton, I've yet to even give it a second thought.
- Orton, nearly as proud of himself as I am of him, gave John Cena an opportunity to save himself some embarrassment by forfeiting the WWE title. Cena was a no-show (coward), but Mr. McMahon wasn't. McMahon's illegitimate child is apparently a boy, which, by my count, would be McMahon's first. McMahon seems to think his son's identity will be revealed on tonight's show. Sure, buddy. As McMahon had some choice words for Cena, Cena suddenly made his way to the ring. Orton decided to make an exit. Cena and McMahon don't seem to like one another. Cena, the fool, thinks he can beat Orton. McMahon thinks he may have "done" Cena's Mom. Cena slapped the piss out of McMahon, so McMahon joined Orton on the floor. McMahon told Cena he'd be facing Snitsky in tonight's main event. And here I thought McMahon was pissed. A little repetitive, at times, but still far better than any of McMahon's recent segments.
- Beth Phoenix & Melina defeated Candice Michelle & Mickie James. James is now wearing pants, which must really piss off Melina. Michelle has a new theme, if you care. Before the bout, William Regal announced, for 'SummerSlam', a tri-branded-women's-battle-royal (featuring Phoenix, Extreme Exposé, Cherry, Hall, Kristal Marshall, Maria, Maryse, Melina, Michelle McCool, James, Torrie Wilson and Victoria). Later in the evening, the winner goes on to challenge for Michelle's Women's title (although they never said when this was taking place). This didn't last long, and since I wasn't paying attention, I missed exactly what happened, but Melina appeared to end up with a bloody mouth and was pinned by Michelle's cradle. After the bout, James tossed the champ, Melina tossed James, then Phoenix tossed Melina. Sure seems as if Melina's in for another run as champ.
- Santino Marella barged into Regal's office and vowed to stop Maria's date with Ron Simmons. Regal ordered Marella not to get involved. Yeah, that'll work.
- King Booker and Queen Sharmell invited Triple H, saying they knew he was in the building, to get a close-up look at tonight's official crowning.
- McMahon rambled and Jonathan Coachman listened. They ran into Val Venis, Daivari and Mr. Kennedy, all of whom, were being paid to just stand around. McMahon's disappointed in Shane. Isn't everyone?
- This week, Cody Rhodes got to defeat Shelton Benjamin, and even Benjamin couldn't carry this doufus. It's nice to be the son of a (fat) booker. It was sold as another upset, with Rhodes using a victory roll to score the pin. Well, at least Rhodes got a (deserved) post-match ass-kicking.
- Next Monday: 'RAW' airs live (9 PM ET) on Sci Fi.
- Non-title: Paul London & Brian Kendrick defeated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. No one cared (I personally blame Cade & Murdoch), until Cryme Tyme appeared (right after London & Kendrick hit a pair of killer planchas, almost literally in Kendrick's case) and auctioned off Murdoch's cap for only two-dollars. The distraction allowed Kendrick to catch Cade in a crucifix and score the pin.
- Our King and Queen were seen heading to the ring.
- Simmons and Maria were "coincidentally" joined on their date by Marella and Jillian Hall. There's an Italian saying, which perfectly fits this scenario: Oy, vey.
- Booker and Sharmell had "HHH" (it was actually Chris Hamrick in disguise, and the audience, which already didn't care about much else, pretty much completely gave up after the tease) crown the true king, then quickly dismissed him and Tazz, so they could humiliate Jim Ross. Now, that last part, that's some good TV, folks!
- Hall's signing, and a "waiter" read from a prepared statement, which went on about Marella's large genitalia. Kill me.
- Carlito invited Umaga to join him in his 'Cabana.' Carlito wanted a 'SummerSlam' shot at the Intercontinental title, but Kennedy had other ideas. Umaga destroyed Kennedy, then the set. Regal made Carlito and Kennedy wrestle, with the winner getting "Umanga" on Sunday.
- Carlito and Kennedy battled to a draw, based off of both men's shoulders being pinned to the mat. This was not pretty on so many levels. They weren't overwhelming, but throughout the match, there were various versions of "boring" chants. As much as I luv Carlito, neither of these guys had a clue on how to get the people into their match, causing time to practically stand still. Inexperience and having to carry the semifinal position does not make for a winning combination. The finish only made matters that much worse. Regal decided Umaga, Carlito and Kennedy would face each other in a 'Triple-Threat Match.' How convenient (and stupid).
- Simmons tipped the "waiter," causing food to go all over Marella. My board-game pun sucked, but was way better than this segment.
- McMahon tried to make nice with Melina, but Snitksy's appearance ruined the mood.
- Non-title: Cena defeated Snitsky (so, he's still "undefeated") - DQ. Orton's interference caused the decision. Cena took a couple of 'RKOs' and Orton closed the show by staring at what had better be in his immediate future (the WWE title).
At best, boring and flat At worst, ugh and then some. This product desperately needs a shot in the arm, and this "illegitimate child" shit ain't doin' it for me.
@ 11:07 PM ET
Vicksburg Convention Center
Saturday, August 25
Main card (airs live on Showtime - 11 PM-1 AM ET)
* Charles Bennett vs. Victor Valenzuela
* Seth Kleinbeck vs. Jaime Jara
* Tony Bonello vs. Jon Murphy
* Ray Lazama vs. Hector Urbina
* Omar Luv vs. Brendan Tierney
Undercard (airs live on proelite.com)
* Jeremy Bryant vs. Tale Faulkner
* Brian Albin vs. Jason Gaskin
* Chris Wright vs. Richard Reinwalt
* Patrick Jones vs. ???
* Wes Shivers vs. ???
Notes: Not sure if more bouts (presently in the order of last-to-first) will be added, but it wouldn't surprise me ... Remaining dates for this program in 2007: Friday, October 26 (11 PM ET) & Friday, December 7 (11 PM ET).
@ 7:12 PM ET
Brian Adams will be laid to rest in a private ceremony (handled by Gonzalez Funeral Home), which will take place at an undisclosed location later in the week.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to something called the Brian Adams Memorial and Family Fund (in care of Bank of America, 4918 Anniston Circle, Tampa, FL 33647).
@ 6:27 PM ET
Host: Fayetteville, North Carolina's Crown Coliseum (for the first time in more than one-year, so attendance should be solid).
What to expect?: Another one of those shows.
- Mr. McMahon will reveal the sex of his mystery child. I don't even know where to begin telling you what's wrong with that.
- They're teasing more in the ongoing saga of John Cena and Randy Orton (unfortunately, I think it's nearing payback time for the champ), and Triple H (not that he'll be present) and King Booker. Speaking of Cena and Orton, they're set to meet in tonight's post-taping bout.
- Oh, and let's not forget about the date between Ron Simmons and Maria. Look for lots of "comedy" and involvement from "superstar" Santino Marella.
If you don't hear more from me before the start of the show, look for my review, which should be posted at about 11:10 PM ET.
@ 6:00 PM ET
Karlene Boutwell's lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and Jim Fullington is now set to go in front of a Nashville jury on November 4, 2008.
Boutwell has, since May, claimed she was injured by The Sandman at a television taping in August 2006, and is asking for one-hundred-thousand-dollars in damages.
WWE has tried to absolve themselves from any responsibility by claiming Fullington is an independent contractor, but that strategy has yet to get them anywhere with the courts.
Stay tuned for further updates. I'm sure they'll be a ton.
@ 4:03 PM ET
IFL, Alfred Haber Announce First European TV Sale And Addition Of Philippines, Israel For "IFL Battleground" And "IFL Fight Night"
Courtesy of the International Fight League:
TV4/Sweden is first European network on board;
EGO Israel, ABS-CBN Philippines also added
NEW YORK, August 20, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, and Alfred Haber Distribution (AHDI) today announced the addition of another three territories to their fast-growing international television network. “IFL Battleground” and “IFL Fight Night” will be carried by EGO in Israel and TV4 in Sweden and licensed by ABS-CBN in the Philippines, starting in September. These additions come after AHDI and the IFL announced their first Asian television deal with STAR on August 6.
“Our television business has now grown steadily thanks to the combination of quality programming that tells the stories and shows our events to a mainstream audience, and the diligent work of AHDI,” said Gareb Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO. “This additional Middle Eastern exposure, as well as the growth into Europe and the Philippines, is another sure sign that the IFL business model is growing soundly and that there is more good news to come for our television partners, our business partners and the growing number of MMA fans around the world.”
ABS-CBN is the largest television channel in The Philippines, while EGO is one of the fastest growing private channels in Israel and TV4 is a top network in Sweden. The addition of these partners adds to an IFL TV platform that also includes all of the Middle East and parts of northern Africa on MBC, the leading free-to-air Pan-Arab news and entertainment channel in the region and CanWest Global in Canada, who is distributing the shows on their Global X-Treme Sports Channel. Those are in addition to STAR and almost 60 countries in Asia, and the IFL’s United States deals with “IFL Battleground,” hosted by Tiffany Fallon and Bas Rutten on MyNetwork TV (Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific/7 p.m. Central) and “Fight Night” (Fridays at 11 p.m. on FSN). IFL programming is also seen worldwide on Armed Forces Network.
About Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc.
ALFRED HABER, INC. and ALFRED HABER DISTRIBUTION, INC., established 40 years ago, together form the world's largest distributor of U.S. Network (CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX) reality, music and event specials, and are major independent distributors of reality and documentary series, mini-series and made-for-television motion pictures for the U.S. and the international television marketplace. More information is available at www.alfredhaber.com.
About the IFL
International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv.
@ 9:47 AM ET
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The lowdown from (the sold-out) Madison Square Garden:
- Mr. McMahon and Jonathan Coachman are still going on about this illegitimate kid shit. Coach thinks he'll have an answer by night's end. Yeah, right. Oh, and even Coach could be McMahon's son.
- Ring announcers were Justin Roberts ('SmackDown' & 'ECW') and Lilian Garcia ('RAW'). Broadcast team was Michael Cole and JBL, Jim Ross, and (for the final match) Tazz. Sound-sweetening was so eighties. They did, however, do one hell of a job with the set, as far as differentiating it from that of 'RAW.'
- Batista & Kane defeated The Great Khali (accompanied by translator dude) & Finlay. Finlay was in most of the way, and was bumping his ass off, so it was fine. Hornswoggle tried getting involved, but ended up being used as a battering ram on both heels. Khali took a double-chokeslam, which he sold for all of five-seconds. Finlay fell victim to a 'Batista Bomb' and was pinned.
- McMahon saw himself in a mirror, only the visage was twenty-plus-years-old, when McMahon wore those cheesy powder-blue suits and had an even cheesier haircut. McMahon and Coachman left, allowing Ron Simmons to saunter by, look in the mirror, and say something. Do people really enjoy this crap?
- Evander Holyfield and MVP exchanged pleasantries.
- Despite what Coachman thought, Eugene, Melina, and Steve Austin cannot be McMahon's offspring. Oh, and McMahon nailed Melina. God, will this shit ever end?! The segment surprisingly ended with 'Stunners' on McMahon and Coach, and plenty of beer. Austin has the best job in the world.
- Holyfield was seen sparring.
- Non-title: John Cena defeated Carlito. My, how quickly they "cleaned up" that beer. 'STFU,' submission, no apple. That sux. Randy Orton made a post-match appearance to give Cena a chair-busting 'RKO' (and we got to see plenty of replays). That didn't suck.
- Todd Grisham caught up to Orton, who should've given that nerd a fucking 'RKO,' too. Instead, Orton just promised to win the WWE title.
- Boxing match: Matt Hardy and Holyfield (I guess) battled to a no-contest. Ring announcer was Michael Buffer. Ring girls were Torrie Wilson, Kristal Marshall and Michelle McCool. Head gear was on Hardy's head (for some reason, which was never explained). Holyfield was never put in the position of a heel and dominated the only round of action (for obvious reasons). Hardy came into the second round as if he'd been in a twelve-round war, so Holyfield didn't see the need to continue. MVP got pissed at, then "knocked out" by, Holyfield. Hardy and Holyfield embraced, as doctors tended to MVP. Holyfield was good in his role, but the booking was sloppy (not overwhelmingly so), and this sure made pro wrestlers look like pussies.
- CM Punk & The Boogeyman defeated John Morrison & Big-Daddy-V (accompanied by Matt Striker). Not much to it, with Punk using a small-package to pin Morrison. What a shitty choice for a main event (made even worse by the abrupt ending, which occurred immediately after the bell)! If Striker had been humiliated in some way (because that's always a good time), I might have actually cared.
Nothing could touch Finlay's match on SmackDown, but as an overall effort, this, to me, was probably WWE's best TV of the week (for whatever that's worth). 1 AM is too fucking late for my old ass to be up though (especially for this).
@ 1:04 AM ET
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Kevin Randleman posted a bond and was released from jail on Friday. More to come, I'm sure.
@ 2:43 PM ET
According to fast-national data supplied by Nielsen Media Research, the show finished with a 2.4/4.0, its lowest set of numbers in some time. I'd say it's probably a combo of whatever was (and, to a degree, still is) happening with RAW and ECW finally catching up to this show, a few preemptions (Chattanooga, Rochester, New York, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), and the return of football.
@ 2:07 PM ET
Courtesy of Wacko Bob:
In the months since Wrestlemania 23 we have seen a major fall in wrestling. From the drop in ratings, to the list of injuries, to the deaths to do drugs alot, and media exposer of it all. You wonder if wrestling could be running on life support in the next year when you see some of the things going on on all the shows on TV and to what you read and hear about in the news as well. And with the success with MMA is wrestlings time rapidly running out.
When we were nearing the end of 2006 and going into 2007. It was thought that wrestling would make an impact once again as the future was looking promising then anything else. Going into Wrestlemania 23 interest looked like it could be up everywhere in wrestling. But with everything selling on Donald Trump and Vince McMahon and nothing else really stealing the show there it really was the start of the down fall in wrestling once again. And with TNA not doing anything themselves to shake things up during that time TNA also missed the boat on this as well too. The fact to the matter is that creative for both TNA and WWE has not dazzled th fans like they think they can and want to with only what they think is good story telling now. From a Draft Lottery that was also over shadowed by Vince McMahon and an angle involving his death that was put into a story line. On top of that he had it done in a fashion that you would hear about on the news all the time in The Middle East. Most of all this angle did not work as no one in the news recognized his death a being real at all. It was looked down upon and listed as just plan stupid.
When news broke out about Chris Benoit killing himself after murdering of his Wife Nancy and there Child. And it looked as if Chris Benoit did it all and killed himself. Vince McMahon immediately dropped the story line about his death. Because of the media attention that was gonna come out of all of this now. And the issue of Roid Rage became an issue once again in wrestling. With Fox, MSNBC and CNN coming out with all the reports and reviews on it wrestling suffered yet another black eye. With Vince McMahon refusing to go on with anymore special tributes to Benoit to ultimately hope it will all go away. Well a year and a half earlier after Eddie's death there was also a wellness program put in place by Vince McMahon. And this was done by Vince McMahon so that he would not go through what he's going through now with WWE now having Congress on his back now. Should Congress been looking into this after Eddie's death? Probably! But should Vince McMahon and the WWE be singled out? If so! Why? Because he's also the one who's the most to police drug out in wrestling too! And drugs and steroids are used rite across the board in sports. But its killing the wrestlers more then it is football players and baseball players. And TNA, ROH and Indy Promoters need to be looked at as well too. Because Its not just wrestlers in WWE dying. The last point here is that the list of wrestlers dead now are into the sixties. But a lot of those deaths are not wrestling related deaths with these wrestlers that have passed away too and not all of them can be pinned on Vince McMahon as well. But the media is gonna look at wrestling for all the causes of death. And Vince McMahon will be the target as well.
But has that stopped Vince McMahon from letting his writers write bad story lines? The answer we all know is what we all know it to be. Because from his Vince being murdered story line. Its now a Vince McMahon with a bastard child now. And this person who's is his son or daughter is a wwe superstar. Another story line that just does not make people want to watch wrestling once again with Vince McMahon at the center of attention once again. And in TNA we saw something just as pathetic in Kurt Angle and his wife doing a story line that had him defacing her and Samoa Joe taking her side. Only to have her turn on him just to fool him into helping Kurt Angle holding all the titles in TNA. Another bad storyline buy TNA making them just as bad as the WWE. And TNA's rating has only stayed the same with a low 1.1 average rating even with named talent showing up there. And if you look at the drop in ratings for RAW, Smackdown, ECW and TNA too. You gotta wonder if wrestling will be around in another 5 years.
When you look at wrestling now with everything going on now and you see the interest in fans going down as well. And you see The UFC and MMA getting more and more attention has wrestling and Boxing too been replaced now. Well it has been said on my show The Dark Match "more people seem to care about Tito Ortiz in UFC then they care for John Cena in wrestling and Oscar De La Hoya in boxing' And speaking for wrestling its not looking like its gonna get any better any time soon for wrestling. Unless lives can be saved and logic is brought back into wrestling. And when you see whats going on with WWE with Summerslam coming up and the interest not being there now too. It looks more like wrestling is gonna fall more now then it did after wrestlemania 23. Theres not enough positive in wrestling rite now and wrestlings future has gone from promising, back to status quo after wrestlemania, to Cloudy now.
Will wrestling ever recover from all this?
@ 1:53 PM ET
According to today's edition of (Rochester, Minnesota's) Post-Bulletin, Logan Clark (whose non-televised battle with Eric Schambari, on August 5, earned both men "fight-of-the-night" honors and bonus money) hopes to have his next fight in October.
The article, which focuses mostly on Clark's life as a local college student and gym owner, can be read here.
@ 12:41 PM ET
Courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.:
Congressman Cliff Stearns was the recipient of the Funking Conservatory Fighting Heart Award on !BANG! TV on Friday August 17th.
Congressman Stearns also was presented with a pair of wrestling shoes signed by all members of the Funking Conservatory wrestling team. Congressman Stearns was an outstanding athlete, specializing in basketball in high school and college.
After finishing his education at George Washington University in 1963 and UCLA in 1965, Congressman Stearns served as a Captain in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1967. Congressman Stearns was elected to the One Hundred First and to the nine succeeding Congresses, January 3, 1989 to the present.
Congressman Stearns appearance on !BANG! TV can be seen now at www.dory-funk.com.
Our next !BANG! TV Taping, Support the Troops 19, "Hard Labor," comes to the Funking Conservatory Sunday September 2nd. For ticket information and training schedules call 352-895-4658.
@ 11:40 AM ET
I only mention this because I think it will be made into a bigger deal than it really is, but, on Friday, October 12 (10 PM ET), Xtreme Entertainment (most famous for their "Backyard Wrestling" series) and iN DEMAND will be offering a one-hour version of XE's 'Road To Glory' releasee (issued on DVD in 2005), which features footage from Rick Bassman's UPW.
If you're interested (and you're probably the only one), here's a description of said program:
"Professional Wrestling's Hottest Stars - before they were stars! Now like you've never seen them before!!! For over 15 years, Rick Bassman's Ultimate University & Ultimate Pro Wrestling (TM) has shaped the careers of the world's elite pro wrestlers beginning with Sting and The Warrior and carrying through to today's superstars!!! Now, for the first time go inside this secret training camp and witness what they were like before they were famous -- and experience why their incredible talent, heart and determination landed them on the "ROAD TO GLORY"!!! This action packed event features the biggest, best and most brutal of them all, including: John Cena, The Road Warriors, Rob Van Dam, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Tommy Dreamer, DDP, Ken Shamrock, plus many more!!! Special "ROAD TO GLORY" bonus footage includes an eye-popping 22-Man Battle Royal! You won't believe your eyes!!"
@ 10:53 AM ET
Friday, August 17, 2007
Fast Company (whatever that is) looks at Amp'd Mobile's bankruptcy, and claims they repeatedly tried, but failed, to get a comment from someone with the UFC.
Must be the UFC's idea of a "lifetime" commitment (to go along with the "lifetime" of cellphone service Amp'd was once providing to 'The Ultimate Fighter' finalists).
@ 10:48 PM ET
nor, do I recognize a lot of the names, but it's right on the money.
@ 10:33 PM ET
Well, he didn't really say that, but read between the lines.
@ 10:05 PM ET
The lowdown from Uncasville, Connecticut's (sold-out, or so it was claimed) Mohegan Sun Arena:
- If you care, Justin Roberts (returning Tony Chimel's recent favor) served as ring announcer.
- MVP hosted the first edition of his 'VIP Lounge.' Guest, if you can believe this, was Matt Hardy. MVP "officially" announced how, because of his "serious heart condition," Evander Holyfield will be taking his place (against Hardy) on 'Saturday Night's Main Event.' Hardy went on about how much better he is at everything than MVP. Hardy accepted MVP's dare to take the 'Masterlock Challenge,' which, of course, was nothing more than a chance for MVP and Masters to double-team Hardy.
- Jonathan Coachman seems to believe Big-Daddy-V could be Mr. McMahon's son, but the search continues.
- Jesse seems to believe Festus could be a McMahon. Well, the drooling does somewhat remind me of Shane.
- Non-title: Deuce & Domino defeated The Major Brothers. No one cared, including me. Well, the crowd tried to care. I didn't even do that. In fact, I didn't even care enough to take note of what happened. Big future for the Majors, I see. PS: Cherry was better looking before the surgery(s) and dye job.
- McMahon was meeting with Theodore Long, Vickie Guerrero and Kristal Marshall, when The Great Khali and translator entered the room to voice displeasure with Khali having to face Kane in tonight's main event. Coachman believed Khali could also be McMahon's son.
- Chuck Palumbo actually wrestles on next week's show. Michael Cole and JBL remember him from Japan. Oh, and they also think Rey Mysterio hasn't wrestled since last year, and Khali can use his bare hands to pop "inflated" basketballs.
- In the highlight of the night (although that isn't saying much), Finlay defeated Jamie Noble - DQ. Finlay was attacked by Kane, prompting the decision. Kane (sporting bandaged ribs, but not so much as a mark on his face, even though both were equally worked over by Finlay on last week's show) was about to chokeslam Finlay, but Hornswoggle pushed Noble into Kane, then disappeared, so Kane took out his frustration on Noble. Before Kane could get back to the task at hand, Finlay made his escape.
- Chavo defeated Shannon Moore. Moore put up a fight, but eventually fell victim to a brainbuster and was pinned. After the bout, Guerrero put a Mysterio mask on Moore, then gave him a 'Frogsplash.'
- Batista rambled, then Khali interrupted Batista and rambled. If you ask me, Khali's rambling was a lot cooler.
- According to Coachman, Batista could also be McMahon's son. So could "Big" Dick Johnson, who suddenly appeared (sporting a bonnet, bib, pacifier and diaper) to "dance" with Coach. Cole and JBL, continuing on their role, seemed to enjoy this.
- Mark Henry fustigated Greg Cardona. The usual, right down to the scary video and druids, which disappeared and turned to dust. Seen it.
- Michelle McCool and Torrie Wilson agreed to be Marshall's bridesmaids. Kenny Dykstra and Victoria entered the room, and to make a long story short, Dykstra was slapped by McCool (the best part), and McCool and Victoria went at it. Long ordered the latter two (already scheduled to wrestle) to the ring.
- McMahon and Coachman ran into more possible McMahon children, including Jimmy Wang Yang, Funaki and Kane. Something was clearly and hastily edited out of this segment. Too bad it wasn't the entire thing.
- McCool defeated Victoria (accompanied by Dykstra). McCool not only has the personality of driftwood, she moves about as well. Speaking of edited, parts of two matches were spliced together, making it appear as if Dykstra's interference (he passed Victoria's spit-bucket to her) failed, much like his career is. Anyway, after first losing by pinfall, McCool was then given a retake and somehow won.
- McMahon and Coachman are still hunting. Even Howard Finkel could be the one. That was enough to make McMahon leave. I didn't blame him.
- Non-title: Khali (accompanied by translator dude) defeated Kane. This was a rematch from something or other. Khali was making McCool look like Ric Flair in his prime. Flair, though, could never cut a promo like Khali. Claw, pin. After the bout, Finlay went back after Kane's ribs. Batista made the save, but eventually fell victim to Khali squeezing his head.
For the second time in as many episodes, Finlay was involved in the only thing I gave a fuck about. Right now, he's the real MVP of this brand, as far as I'm concerned.
@ 10:02 PM ET
Randy Couture was right, and I may not be the only one with an erection. Dana White's also extremely excited (you can't see it down there, but then again, not all men can be me), and he's graciously provided me with the footage (minus the commercial for Rob Zombie's 'Halloween,' unlike at ufc.com) to prove it:
@ 9:46 PM ET
Courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment Canada, Inc.:
Special WWE(R) Presentation Taking Over SNL Timeslot Saturday, August 18 to Also Reveal Update in McMahon Paternity Suit
TORONTO, Aug. 16 - World Wrestling Entertainment(R) (WWE) rocks Madison Square Garden this weekend when "Saturday Night's Main Event" returns for a special presentation on Saturday, August 18th, from 11:30 p.m. - 1:00amET/PT. In an interesting turn of events, United States Champion MVP(TM) taps boxing legend Evander Holyfield as his replacement to go head-to-head against WWE Superstar Matt Hardy(TM) in a special boxing match.
Additionally, more news about the Mr. McMahon paternity suit will be revealed in Saturday's broadcast and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin(TM) will make a special appearance.
Other key matches include:
- WWE Champion John Cena(R) against Carlito(TM)
- SmackDown(R) tag-team match with Batista(R) and Kane(R) against The
Great Khali(TM) and Finlay(TM)
- ECW(R) tag-team match with C.M. Punk(TM) and Boogeyman(TM) against
Big Daddy V(TM) and John Morrison(TM)
With a career record of 42-8-2, Holyfield, known all over the world as "The Real Deal," is vying to win boxing's Heavyweight Championship for an unprecedented fifth time on October 13 in Moscow (available on PPV) when he fights Sultan Ibragimov for the WBO Heavyweight Title.
"Saturday Night's Main Event" debuted on NBC in late night as a replacement for "Saturday Night Live" repeats in 1985, and originally ran through 1992. The groundbreaking program brought professional wrestling to broadcast television for the first time and set off two decades of success on broadcast and cable, including ratings titan "Monday Night RAW(R)" on USA Network. The televised wrestling rumbles also launched a galaxy of multi-talented Superstars that crossed over from the ring to countless areas of American entertainment, such as Hulk Hogan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, The Honky Tonk Man and King Kong Bundy.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
Trademarks: All World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ECW is a trademark of WWE Libraries, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marc Liepis (NBC), (212) 664-5424, Marc.Liepis@nbcuni.com; Brad Bernstein (USA Network), (212) 664-4401, Brad.Bernstein@nbcuni.com; Jennifer McIntosh (WWE), (203) 352-8657, Jennifer.McIntosh@wwecorp.com; George Cabico (WWE), (203) 359-5177, George.Cabico@wwecorp.com
@ 3:52 PM ET
Hulk Hogan's Miami Beach home was allegedly burglarized, with roughly one-hundred-thousand-dollars worth of jewelry taken, on Thursday evening.
Gee, now their insurance will just have to replace it. What a shame.
@ 3:21 PM ET
On Thursday, Kevin Randleman was arrested in Goodsprings, Nevada, and is presently incarcerated.
The immediate fate of Randleman, who is facing charges of DUI, driving without a license, and destruction of public property (among others), depends on the results of today's bond hearing. I'll try to keep you abreast of the results.
@ 10:08 AM ET
Making Gigantic Waves In Hawaii: EliteXC And Icon Sport/ROTR To Present Biggest MMA Event In State History Saturday, Sept. 15
Courtesy of Pro Elite, Inc.:
“Ninja” Defends Versus Lawler; Nick Diaz Returns Against Aina; EliteXC Stars Shields, Carano Also Featured On “Uprising” Fight Card In Oahu Shown On SHOWTIME At 11 P.M. ET/PT
HONOLULU (Aug. 16, 2007) – In less than seven months, ProElite's respected live fight division, EliteXC, has gained the reputation for delivering consistently competitive, thrilling and memorable live Mixed Martial Arts events that showcase the world's top fighters.
Under the watchful eye of Live Events President, Gary Shaw, EliteXC already has produced many remarkable accomplishments and has made MMA history on a couple of occasions; the most noteworthy perhaps being it was the first MMA organization to bring the sport to premium television.
EliteXC will achieve another first when it presents a fantastic cage fight card Saturday, Sept. 15, at Blaisdell Arena in Oahu, Hawaii. It will represent the initial collaboration between EliteXC and Hawaii-based promoters, ICON Sport and ROTR (Rumble On The Rock), which will co-promote the event locally.
Talk about making a huge splash! The sensational 10-fight show will be the most significant MMA event in the history of the 50th state.
“We are very excited about EliteXC working together with Icon and Rumble On The Rock to bring this type of tremendous fight card to the islands on Sept. 15,’’ Shaw said. “Working together works and we are going to prove that with a card aptly titled ‘Uprising.’
“We are thrilled to have Icon Sport and ROTR as co-promoters. There will definitely be an ‘Uprising’ on the islands on Saturday, Sept. 15. ‘Ninja’ defending his EliteXC middleweight title against Robbie Lawler is a fabulously exciting matchup. So are all the other fights on the card.
“This cage fight card from top to bottom could easily be a pay-per-view event. But EliteXC was committed to bringing its first fight card to the islands at no additional cost.’’
“ICON was the originator of this sport in Hawaii, but there is no question that ROTR were the innovators,’’ ICON president Patrick Freitas said. “ROTR came in and definitely raised the bar. Now the two us of, Hawaii’s two largest arena organizations by far, are coming together.
“The collaboration of these two juggernauts has been a long time coming. At one point, for the longest time, we were our biggest rivals. But now, we are working together with EliteXC to put on what will be Hawaii’s biggest MMA extravaganza ever. Fans are in for a great fight night on Sept. 15.’’
Offered JD Penn, who heads up ROTR: “This is a natural step up in the process of ROTR. We have always had our eyes on the biggest prize. And for now, this is it. With the expertise from both our groups, ROTR and ICON Sport, along of course with EliteXC, we have all the making of becoming an unstoppable force in MMA.
“I am really looking forward to the first of our many collaborations, and I know fans on the island and viewers on SHOWTIME are, too.’’
In an excellent five, 5-minute round, pick ‘em main event on a cage card nationally co-promoted by EliteXC and SHOWTIME, the first EliteXC champion, Murilo “Ninja” Rua (murilorua.proelite.com), will make his initial middleweight title defense against always-dangerous ICON Sport titlist, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (Robbielawler.proelite.com).
One of the top fighters pound for pound in MMA, the well-regarded Nick Diaz (nickdiaz.proelite.com) will make his anxiously awaited EliteXC debut and first start in six months when he faces Hawaiian star Mike Aina in the Sept. 15 semi-main event.
Diaz trains with Cesar Gracie’s camp in California (cesargracie.proelite.com). Aina is a member of BJ “The Prodigy’’ Penn’s camp in Hawaii (bjpenn.proelite.com). Their match will be the second of two Gracie vs. Penn matchups on a stellar five-bout card that will be televised on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, tape delayed on the West Coast).
The other Gracie vs. Penn matchup will pit streaking top-10 welterweight Gracie’s Jake Shields (jakeshields.proelite.com) against Penn’s Renato “Charuto” Verissimo (renatoverissimo.proelite.com).
The Golden Girl of MMA, sexy Gina Carano (ginacarano.proelite.com), will face Tonya Evinger (tonyaevinger.proelite.com) in a 140- pound fight and Joey Villasenor (joeyvillesenor.proelite.com) will meet fellow tough guy Riki Fukuda (rikifukuda.proelite.com) at 185 pounds in the other televised bouts.
With the exception of “Ninja”-Lawler, the televised bouts are slated for three, 5-minute rounds.
The popular Ninja (14-7-1), who’s aggressive style makes for scintillating scraps, rallied from a first-round knockdown to capture the vacant EliteXC 185-pound crown with a second-round TKO over Villasenor on June 22, 2007, at San Jose, Calif.
After getting dropped in the opening round, Ninja rallied in the second. He landed a flurry of punches before decking Villasenor with a right hand counter. Rua rushed in on his downed opponent and landed several more unanswered blows before the referee halted matters at the 1:05 mark.
“I am really looking forward to fighting again and fighting for the second time with EliteXC,’’ said the crowd-pleasing ‘Ninja,’ who’s strategy will be to try and take the fight to the ground. Ninja possesses power and a good all around game, but he is weakest as a standup, which is Lawler’s strength.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,’’ said ‘Ninja.’ “This will be a great fight.’’
Ninja is a jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai black belt. He and his brother, Mauricio (“Shogun’’), are members of the Brazilian Hall of Fame.
Long regarded as one of the world’s top middleweights, Lawler (14-4, 3-1 in ICON sport) is known for utterly destroying opponents with an aggressive, unbashful, swing-for-the-fences, almost reckless style of serving up a fistful of enormous power punches and ramming them down your head.
In an excellent performance, Lawler, of Davenport, Iowa, registered a fourth-round knockout over UFC and Pride veteran Frank Trigg to earn the ICON Sport middleweight belt on March 31, 2007.
A fan favorite who puts as much heart and bad intentions behind his punches and lethal flying knee attacks as anyone could expect, Lawler was supposed to defend on June 30, 2007, but he separated a shoulder and the fight was cancelled. This is his first fight since. “I am ready now,’’ he said. “Let’s go.’’
Highly revered by MMA fans, Diaz owns a win over Lawler and has challenged Frank Shamrock (frankshamrock.proelite.com). “I watched his last fight and no disrespect intended, but I think I would whoop his butt,” Diaz said.
Diaz, of Stockton, Calif., will be making his EliteXC debut after fighting some of the sport's biggest names during a three-year stretch (2003-2006).
“We've kept our word about signing fighters and letting them fight in other organizations,’’ Shaw said. “I think this a great move for Nick. He wasn’t happy or doing well in the UFC; now he can be one of the top dogs. As everyone knows, EliteXC is getting better and better. Nick’s still young and a great fighter.’’
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Diaz will be entering the cage for the first time since an impressive gogoplata submission victory over Takanori Gomi in a Fight of the Year candidate that wound up going into the books as a no contest.
For his return, Diaz will compete as a lightweight. When he submitted Gomi in February 2007, he fought as a welterweight.
Aina (8-5-1) specializes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. He may not have a lot of name recognition, but he is better than his record indicates and owns victories over Rick Screeton, Rosco McClellan, Albert Rios and Kaleo Kwan.
Like Diaz, Aina has never turned down a fight and wants to brawl. “I’m tough," he said. “Standup is my strength, but over the years, I've become pretty well-rounded. I can do pretty much everything well, so I'm comfortable anywhere.’’
The Hawaiian trains at Penn's gym in the former oven room of a cracker factory, which has produced a multitude of up-and-coming fighters hoping to emulate the proprietor.
“It's opened things up for me," said Aina, a mechanical technician by trade. “My skills have improved by leaps and bounds. I came here a few years ago, and I'm continuing to learn. Over the years, I've stayed pretty consistent and I'm looking to just keep going.’’
Shields, of San Francisco, recently called out the veteran Trigg. If triumphant against “Charuto,’’ Shields, who is undefeated since December 2004, may get a shot at the first EliteXC welterweight championship in his next outing. In a division that sport-wide is top-heavy in talent, Shields is considered one of the best at 170 pounds.
“Charuto is a veteran tough guy who I've been looking forward to fighting,’’ said Shields, who has upended the likes of Yushin Okami, Hayato “Mach’’ Sakurai and current WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit. “We were supposed to fight about a year ago so I'm happy it's finally going to happen.
“This is the kind of fight true fans of ground fighting should really appreciate. We are two good grapplers. But I have been working on my stand up and I’m sure he’s been doing the same.”
A jiu-jitsu black belt expert and still considered one of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors in the world, Verissimo, whose nickname “Charuto’’ means cigar in Portuguese, is hoping to smoke Shields.
A former world title contender, Verissimo has been in against the best, including Carlos Newton, Matt Hughes and Trigg. This will be his first start since March 2007 when he defeated Lars Haven by TKO. That fight was his first since returning from a self-imposed nine-month retirement.
“It was too important to me to stay away from fighting, especially in Hawaii,’’ said Verissimo, who is known for accepting bouts only against top-ranked opponents, but had lost two in a row in January and April 2006. “I wanted to come back in a good way and show everybody that I could still compete.’’
“Charuto’’ was raised in Rio de Janiero, but moved to Hawaii 10 years ago to become a blackbelt instructor. One of his students was BJ Penn. When Penn started competing in the Octagon, Renato also became involved in MMA. Ironically, Penn trained Verissimo during the latter stages of his retirement.
“I just kept training hard with BJ and then I felt like I wanted to compete again,’’ he said.
One would be hard pressed to find an athlete in any sport whose star has risen as far and as fast as the incredibly popular Carano (4-0), who is signed to a multi-year contact with EliteXC.
Since a breakthrough performance during EliteXC’s debut event on SHOWTIME in February – her epic victory over Julie Kedzie came in the first women’s bout shown on premium television, Carano has spent the following months pursuing various outside the ring ventures, including doing fight commentary, interviews, photo shoots and starring in Oxygen’s “Fight Girls” reality television series.
It is apparent the moment you meet the popular, personable Carano, of Las Vegas, that she is the epitome of strength; a strong, young woman by any measure you elect to use: mentally, spiritually and physically. Yes, she is more than a pretty face.
Carano was supposed to fight June 2, but she got sick during an MMA event she was attending after getting an intestinal virus while shooting the Oxygen reality show in Thailand. She was hospitalized a week for dehydration.
“I’m healthy now and feeling great,’’ said Carano, who trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. “I was feeling better a week before the June 2 fight, but that wasn’t enough time so I had to withdraw.’’
Carano, who got national notoriety for her quote -- “We're not hitting tennis balls. We're hitting people. Isn't that more exciting?” -- knows better than to underestimate the rugged Evinger.
“I don’t take anyone lightly,’’ Gina said. “I know I’ve got a big target on me, so I don’t care what a person’s record is, I’m going to train hard and be completely healthy for it.’’ Gina had better be fit.
Evinger (4-2, 4 KOs), of Oak Grove, Mo., is regarded as one of the meanest, roughest, toughest athletes in MMA. Her family owns a racetrack, but she doesn’t horse around in a cage.
The confident, fast-taking Evinger, a slammer and banger in the truest sense, doesn’t come to merely win, but to dominate and destroy. A nationally recognized former grappling champion, she has been wrestling 13 years, training in jiu-jitsu for four years and kick-boxing for three.
“Carano had better take a good look in the mirror before the fight,” said Evinger, a construction worker who currently works at a cement factory, “because she won’t be able to recognize her face when I am done with her.’’
A dedicated athlete, Villasenor lives, breathes and eats MMA. He is never in a dull fight, but will be looking to regain his winning ways against the oft-avoided Fukuda.
“Fukuda is a guy nobody wants to fight, but this is a fight I want and I am looking forward to,’’ said Villasenor, of Albuquerque, N.M., who impressively defeated outpointed David Loiseau on Feb. 10, 2007, on SHOWTIME, but lost to “Ninja” by TKO in his last start. “I am ready to prove that the result of my last EliteXC battle was a fluke.’’
A five-time King of the Cage champion and former IFC light heavyweight champion, Villasenor established a record for fastest knockout in an MMA fight, a four-second victory over Hank Weis in 2004. “On Sept. 15, I will prove I am back and show what I am really all about,’’ Villasenor said.
Fukuda does not speak English but his talent and skills speak volumes. Some feel, while still untested, he is legitimate championship material.
Up to now, a guy with a solid wrestling background has been his own worst enemy. Fukuda may be too good for his own good. The talented yet still unknown is too strong for the up and comers, and too risky a proposition for the established guys.
“All I can do is wait for the fights and beat the guys they put in front of me,’’ said Fukuda, who trains at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose. “Eventually, my time will come and the top guys will have to fight me.’’
In his EliteXC and SHOWTIME debut last Feb. 10, Fukuda looked like a future star en route to dominating Chris Gates en route to a first-round submission due to strikes.
To kick start the amazing night of fights, the premier mixed martial arts social networking and entertainment site, ProElite.com, will once again be live streaming the undercard bouts, including six scheduled three, 3-minute round fights: Kala Kolohe (3-1) vs. Jeff “Pee Wee’’ Fox (1-0-1) at 195 pounds; Mark Kurano (0-0) vs. Jose “The Bomber” Diaz (1-0) at 185 pounds; Mark Oshiro (10-1) vs. Nui Wheeler (2-0) at 135 pounds; Brandon Wolffe (5-2) vs. Jae Sok Lim (4-2); Albert (“Always Bad’’ Manners (7-6) vs. Tyson Nam (3-1) at 135 and Kolo Koka (1-1) vs. Justin Buchholz (6-1) at 165 pounds.
With ProElite.com starting the event and SHOWTIME broadcasting the main bouts, you won’t miss a single round of action!
For more information on EliteXC, ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series and other MMA-related stories, including bios, videos, photos, stats and more, please visit EliteXC.com.
About Pro Elite, Inc.
ProElite Inc. [PELE.PK] delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight Community TM
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND™ and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV.
Showtime Networks Inc.
Chris DeBlasio / Ivy Moon
(212) 708-1633 / (212) 708-7319
EliteXC (Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.)
Dan Clavadetscher / John Beyrooty
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ProElite, Inc. (The Rose Group)
@ 9:42 AM ET