Archive for the ‘WWE’ Category

Comments made by Stephanie McMahon – seemingly relating to a possible sale of WWE – have caught the headlines this week.

The company’s Chief Brand Officer is quoted as saying in Bloomberg Businessweek that her family – who have dominated the wrestling industry for decades – have “certainly thought about” interest from media giants like Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox and Verizon.

Several outlets have taken her remarks as a sign her father, the current Chief Executive Officer, is now open to offers. The 72-year-old has recently began diversifying his own business interests with the proposed relaunch of XFL, a football league whose original run ended in 2001.

But it seems more likely that Stephanie was referring to the potential for collaboration with different content providers. WWE has been slowly moving away from traditional platforms over recent years, having scrapped one-off pay-per-views in favour of a subscription-based online streaming service.

And the company is clearly eager to explore new ways to reach its fanbase, a large (though dwindling) section of whom are drawn from the tech-savvy 18 to 34 demographic. Last month, for example, saw the launch of the intergender tag team tournament Mixed Match Challenge, an event streamed exclusively on Facebook.

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As noted earlier via Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Dolph Ziggler recently signed a new two-year deal with WWE that is worth a $1.5 million downside guarantee per year.

Barrasso reported this week that Ziggler’s previous WWE contract was worth a downside guarantee of $1 million per year. WWE sees the extra half million dollars as money well-spent as it keeps the 13-year veteran with the company and happy.

There had been rumors of the 37 year old looking to leave WWE but he always planned on re-signing with the company. Ziggler made the decision to stay with WWE as his brand is best served there. WWE overpaying Ziggler indicates that they consider him a necessary piece of their machine.

Ziggler will face Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and WWE Champion AJ Styles in the Fatal 5 Way main event of the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view on March 11th. No word yet on what WWE has planned for him at WrestleMania 34.

Source: SI.com

One of the most memorable matches from Shawn Michaels’ storied career was Ric Flair’s retirement match at WrestleMania 24. As a recent guest on the In This Corner podcast, Michaels discussed the match and said he choreographed the match himself to pay homage to his childhood hero.

“Truth be told, when it came to that kind of stuff, I am a bit of a control freak. Emotionally, I just knew where I wanted–especially with that match, that might quite honestly it was my ‘love letter’ to Ric Flair,” Michaels said. “My way of trying to show him, not only the friendship that we have, but also the impact that he had on a 15 year old me, and trying to convey that to him through a wrestling match, and knowing that I couldn’t be the only guy that he had that effect on. You hope that the other 80,000 fans out there get that; clearly everyone did, and the millions at home did.”

Michaels said it was important to him to take creative control on that match because it was more than just a match to him. He had a lot of feelings and emotions about sending Flair into retirement and he wanted to make sure that those emotions were conveyed in the match.

“It’s sort of making that decision as a performer to say, look, this is something I want to do, please let me do it. It’s not because you don’t want them to do anything to mess it up, it’s your feelings and emotion, so you have to be the one that is driving that match if it makes any sense,” he said. “That is why I was so adamant about that match. Honestly, that is how most of my matches were. I probably wrestled only one way too much from my heart than to my head, but honestly for me that is what made the difference in those matches, which was for me to do it in more from a 15 year old fan in me.”

Michaels has been working with NXT superstars in an advisory role. He said the biggest advice he can give them is to enjoy the pro-wrestling business. There is nothing easy about the business, especially early in their careers, so he wants them to find a way to enjoy the hardships as well. Michaels wants them to learn to appreciate the business, because when their careers are over they will miss it greatly.

“Believe it or not, I want to pass on to them about whenever everything is set and done, even if they are mentioned in the conversation, take that and be happy with it; be content and have peace with that. Enjoy this job; do it, and enjoy it,” he said. “It’s hard enough already as it is, you don’t need to make it harder by complaining about this and that, I don’t mean to make it sound bad, but everything is social media now, and my goodness, whenever everything is set and done, and when you are in your casket, do you know how many people from social media are going to be there? Not many. So, take the important things in life, make the most of those, enjoy the job, and have the opportunity to live out your dream. This is what I want to do with these guys; I want to instill in them and appreciate the opportunity that they have to be paid to travel the world and perform around people doing what we love to do. That is a great gig; just let the chips fall where they may because ultimately, if it’s between you, LeBron James, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan; does it really matter?”

Cody Rhodes was interviewed by FOX Sports to discuss his success in Japan and WWE tenure. Rhodes ended his WWE career in 2016, after the conclusion of his tenure having a run as Stardust. The Stardust character was formed following Cody and Goldust experiencing a losing streak after a successful tag team run, and Cody admonishing his brother to find another tag team partner. Goldust would team with a list of people, but would eventually team with his brother again under the Stardust character.

The two turned heel against the Usos, and won the WWE Tag Team Championships again. After dissension between the two, Stardust turned on his brother and commenced a singles career. While Stardust had moments such as teaming with The Ascension as the Cosmic Wasteland, competing in the ladder match at WrestleMania 31 for the Intercontinental Championship, competing against John Cena for the United States Championship, and feuding with Stephen Amell, he never peaked past a midcard level.

Regarding never reaching a main event status, Cody defended WWE by admitting that an opportunity was presented.

“In WWE, you’re always given the opportunity,” said Cody. “They have such a large brand — you’re on the (WWE) Network, you’re on YouTube, you’re on USA Network, you’re on so many platforms. I just think it didn’t feel right. I don’t know what specifically.”

Rhodes expressed to FOX Sports how the Stardust character affected his departure from WWE.

“Maybe I just wasn’t meant to do Stardust as long as I had done it, so it didn’t feel right. I remember putting some concept art together for what I would look like as just Cody Rhodes, as just Cody, the wrestler,” said Cody. “And it really just appealed to me in such a way that if I couldn’t do it in WWE, I thought well, I’ve saved my money, I know a little bit about the game, I’m going to go and do it on my own and see how I do. And it ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Now, Cody has spent his time competing in the independent circuit, as well as Ring of Honor, New Japan, and briefly Impact Wrestling. He won the Ring of Honor World Championship and held it for six months before losing it to Dalton Castle last December. He explained that he is experiencing a significant level of freedom being able to compete in different promotions.

“It’s total freedom. And I don’t think it’s fear. I don’t think that New Japan and Ring of Honor are afraid of the Bullet Club, they’re aware,” said Rhodes. “Particularly Being the Elite — they’re aware that it’s only a good thing, because it’s a platform for talent to succeed.”

Cody revealed to FOX Sports that the popular “Being the Elite” YouTube series is currently in discussions with a number of companies interested in purchasing the show’s streaming rights. He also explained why the rift in Bullet Club occurred between him and Kenny Omega.

“I’m not capable of being in a group where I’m not the leader. I did it once earlier in my career with Legacy, and that was cool because I was young and green and a rookie in the industry, but now no more,” expressed Cody. “After a world title run you can’t really call someone else your leader. And I think that is this natural tension, that very really exists, because here [Omega] is with this reputation of being the best wrestler in the world and here I am with that mainstream appeal that helped gain a bunch of new fans for the Bullet Club. And the fact that I think Matt likes me more, and Nick likes Kenny, it’s all real. So why not have a match? Why not make it real?”

Cody will be facing Kenny Omega at Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor pay-per-view on April 7th in New Orleans.

The WWE is attempting to sign Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to a contract, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports.

Meltzer claims WWE “is willing to offer a similar style deal to Gronkowski that they offered to Ronda Rousey.”

Rousey made her debut at the Royal Rumble in January and announced that she signed a full-time contract with the wrestling promotion. Her contract does appear to be flexible, as she has not appeared on WWE television since the Rumble. She is, however, scheduled to appear during the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event on Feb. 25.

The news comes with Gronkowski’s NFL future up in the air. He would not commit to returning to the league in 2018 after New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is not the first time the former Super Bowl champion’s name has appeared in rumors related to the franchise. Mojo Rawley, a current WWE superstar, recently told TMZ, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” the Patriots superstar would consider a career in professional wrestling.

It appears Gronk may have more than one important decision to make this summer.

Tyler Breeze was recently interviewed by Planeta Wrestling, via WWENEWS.eu. They sent us these highlights:

You’ve had some amazing matches as a solo competitor in NXT, like the one Jushin “Thunder” Liger or Apollo Crews. What happened when you got called to the main roster? Why do you think you didn’t have that amazing run in singles competition?

“It’s all about timing. It was one of those things when I was ready to get out of NXT. I proved my point there and there really wasn’t much more for me to do and it was time to go. Whether it’s coming up here and for doing what I was doing, you have to adapt. It’s a new environment and basically that is what I was doing the first little while. I was kind of comfortable in my NXT role and up here is not like that. You can’t make the quick transition over, you have to adapt to new opponents, new environment, new TV shows and I was kind of minding my footing. Even getting paired with Fandango for the first little while, we where struggling to find where our chemistry was and we finally clicked. Being paired with Fandango really helps out. I help him out, he helps me out, and I think we’ve really done something special with that.”

Who came up with the idea of the Fashion Files and how do you create your weekly segments? What is the process of putting all the pieces together?

“It was kind of a mix of opinions. It was one of those thing when we were trying to find where our chemistry was and we just started to throw ideas out there and one of them was to be the Fashion Police. We just started with little ideas, little videos and all of the sudden it took off. We were having fun with it and other people were enjoying it and all of the sudden it became a thing. It was on Smackdown every week for about eight months and we are still doing it now, but we are trying to find the transition and try to focus on other stuff. But it was very important to get some momentum behind us.”

How does it feel to be one of the most entertaining duos in WWE and not been able to perform in one of the most funnest [Royal] Rumbles in the last decade?

“Ha ha! It’s one of those things… Everybody has their time, it’s all about patience. I know that is very easy to get frustrated and seated at home asking, ‘Why me?’ It’s all about patience. We have a extremely talented roster and everybody eventually get the chance and you just have to be positive and enjoy the ride.”

WWE Superstar Elias joined E & C’s Pod of Awesomeness this week to talk with Edge and Christian about a number of pro wrestling topics, including how he came up with the “Walk with Elias” catchphrase and how he connected it to “WWE.”

“The ‘walk with Elias” thing– it all started with The Drifter in NXT,” Elias said. “So, it’s all kind of evolved, right? The Drifter was this guy where I’d put a guitar on my shoulder and walk from town to town, find my way however I can, whether it’s hitchhiking, on a bus, walking, whatever I’ve gotta do. So it just became a question, ‘Who wants to walk with The Drifter? Who wants to go with me on this journey?'”

With groundwork already there, once Elias hit the main roster, Vince McMahon made the name switch to simply Elias. While backstage with John Cena, Elias said he kept hearing Cena talk about the WWE and it just clicked with his catchphrase.

“When I got to the main roster, Vince [McMahon] said ‘Let’s drop The Drifter stuff. You’re gonna be Elias and that’s it,'” Elias recalled. “So, ‘walk with Elias’ was the next question, right? And it just so happened to perfectly work out, ‘WWE’ and ‘walk with Elias’ are right in line there. I remember I said it backstage to John Cena. He was going off about the WWE Universe and the WWE this and that, and I said ‘Hey John, do you know WWE stands for? It stands for walk with Elias.’ He said, ‘My head just exploded in ten different ways, man. That is great!’ He said, ‘You got to make a thing out of that.'”

It didn’t take long for Elias to give it a try out in front of a live audience and it worked immediately with the crowd.

“So, sure enough, the next week or whatever I said it against John [Cena], I believe in a promo on Christmas Day, no less,” Elias said. “It seemed like right away the fans really reacted to it and the next week I started asking them, ‘What does WWE stand for?’ and they’ll fire back.”

You check out Elias’ full interview by clicking here. You can also find it on iTunes here.