Archive for the ‘WWE’ Category

As exciting as the prospect of WWE’s utterly ludicrous Greatest Royal Rumble set for this Friday is, it is somewhat weighed down by the Greatest Elephant in the Room – chiefly, the absolute omission of women from the card.

During a time when a WrestleMania main event headlined by female talent looks more probable than ever, it’s somewhat mystifying that the company would choose to completely undermine their so-called ‘evolution’ by hosting a major event in a country where the women’s roster are not even permitted to compete.

But money talks, and a government-funded project of global soft-diplomacy is apparently worth more to WWE than what is, it seems, a quite transparent PR exercise designed to capitalise on a social movement.

Call us cynics.

To his credit, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque has at least stepped forth to address the understandable concern surrounding the gender discrimination inherent in hosting such a show. Speaking with The Independent, Trips acknowledged complaints, but noted that “every culture is different and just because you don’t agree with a certain aspect of it, doesn’t mean it’s not relevant.”

WWE’s Executive VP went on: “You can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things, but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it.

“While right now, women are not competing at the event, we have had discussions about that and we believe and hope that, in the next few years they will be. That is a significant cultural shift in Saudi Arabia.”

It’s very difficult to argue with anything The Game says, and he is absolutely right: it’s not necessarily our place to judge the relative merits of other cultures from without. However, it’s still not entirely clear why Vince and co. did not wait for the ‘cultural shift’ to transpire before getting into bed with their Saudi partners (incidentally, something else outlawed in the Kingdom). What’s that? How many million dollars? Oh.

Advertisements

Brock Lesnar will receive a whopping $500,000 per match under the terms of his new WWE contract, according to a report in Dirty Sheets.

Instead of renewing his previous deal, the reigning Universal Champion is said to have negotiated an image rights package similar to the one he has in place with UFC. This means the company will pay him on a per appearance basis, as well as for use of his likeness in merchandise.

The report states that Lesnar will receive $100,000 for every appearance on television, and some $500,000 when he competes on pay-per-view. This is in addition to a fixed amount of $500,000 per year for image rights, which is to be paid in four instalments of $125,000 each quarter.

To boot, the Beast Incarnate is expected to rake in somewhere between $5m and $10m if, as expected, he returns to the Octagon later this year for his first MMA bout since 2016. He is apparently keen on fighting the winner of Stipe Miocic versus Daniel Cormier in December.

All of that is to say that Paul Heyman’s client probably won’t be worrying about going into overdraft any time soon.

The Rock has revealed that he was offered the opportunity to team with Ronda Rousey in her maiden WWE match at WrestleMania 34 earlier this month.

While on promotional duty for Rampage, The Great One told KISS FM UK last week that he had held discussions with the chairman of the board about competing at the event on 8 April. However, he was ultimately unable to formally commit to the idea due to scheduling conflicts.

“Vince McMahon and I were talking about two months ago trying to figure out what I was going to do if I went back to WrestleMania,” explained the eight-time WWE Champion. “He pitched me this really great idea that I’d get involved in a tag match with Ronda Rousey who is of course incredible and I’m very proud of her. We couldn’t make it work this time because I was in Shanghai. But who knows down the line?”

While Rock’s absence may have had an affect on last-minute Network subscriptions, the same can’t be said about the quality of the bout itself. Kurt Angle appeared alongside Rousey in his place, and the duo put on arguably the best match of the evening opposite Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Still, it’s good to know that he hasn’t completely closed the door on a return to the ring in the future.

 

Samoa Joe was interviewed by Busted Open before WrestleMania pay-per-view, as seen in the video above. Below are some highlights:

Missing WrestleMania for the second year in a row:

“I think anybody is always upset at that proposition. WrestleMania was a big day for us, and for our industry, and anytime the Super Bowl is on you want to be playing, so sitting on the bench, especially when you are ready to run, it is a tough go, but you deal with it the best way that I can.”

His charitable work:

“One of the things that is a big positive thing that we get to do when coming out for WrestleMania week is that we get to community visits, and we visit a lot of these organizations that are actually making big changes in this community, and Son of a Saint [charitable organization located in New Orleans] is definitely one of those organizations. It takes a young man and finds him a mentor, and father figures. Young men without fathers, in poor circumstances that you would want for a child. We met these amazing young men who are taking control of their lives and are being guided by good men, looking to help their community and looking to invest in the youth of New Orleans. To see how well mannered, appreciative and happy these young men are and to get to go out and meet with them, I can tell these kids that your future is far bigger and brighter than the street block that you live on. It’s a great opportunity for us, a tremendous honor and an amazing thing. These kids, you can tell are going to be the next leaders of New Orleans. If we are able to influence that in a positive way, I am a very fortunate individual.”

Ronda Rousey is looking to have Paul Heyman represent her in the WWE storylines, according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

It was noted that Rousey will likely not become a Paul Heyman Girl due to internal company politics as the pairing would not fit the big picture narrative on why Rousey was signed. The idea is for Rousey to be the babyface antagonist to Stephanie McMahon and Heyman’s role is seen as more of a heel, even though WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar ended up being a babyface with Heyman representing him, which was not how they intended for things to turn out. Some do feel that the WWE fan base will eventually turn on Rousey.

Rousey is also in WWE because the outside world will see her as the biggest star in the company, and because she’s had strong drawing power with female fans. The Observer noted that the limited data they have shows RAW viewership with men is way up when Rousey is on but female viewership is not.

Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble special is scheduled to air on April 27 at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In addition to the battle royal, every major title is scheduled to be on the line, with the exception of the women’s championships. Undertaker is also scheduled to compete against Rusev in a Casket Match, and John Cena is scheduled to compete against Triple H. The winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble will receive a trophy.

The tickets were originally scheduled to go on sale a month ago, but were delayed. According to the The Wrestling Observer, the process of ticket sales and seating has been a disaster.

In an attempt to sell out the stadium, which has reportedly never been done before with other sports, WWE is selling tickets between $2.70-$5.30 USD. There is also a VIP low-level seating area that is selling at about $80 USD, but these seats are only allowed for Saudi General Sports Authority President Turki Al-Asheikh and his colleagues.

In addition, there are only two ticket options: one for bachelor men, and another for families. For the family option, it must include a female attending. The bachelor tickets are at the top of the stadium and are sold out, leaving only the family option. As a result, irate fans have emailed WWE with their frustrations. There is a possibility for more singles tickets to be released before the event occurs.

A fan on Twitter recently vented his frustration on the seating arrangement. He stated that he booked single tickets, but there was a rearrangement in the seating positions. Now, his old seats are in the families section, which he is not allowed to enter. He did not receive any email to clarify what happened to his booking, or where his new seats are going to be.

The Greatest Royal Rumble event is scheduled to air live at 7:00 pm in Saudi Arabia on April 27, which is 12:00 noon US Eastern Time. As always, we will have live coverage of the event.

Source: F4WOnline

 

One of the most instrumental figures in the history of the wrestling industry, Bruno Sammartino, has sadly passed away at the age of 82.

According to PWInsider, the legendary WWE champion died this morning in Pittsburgh, PA, after recently being hospitalised.

Triple H was amongst the first within the company to express their public condolences, lauding Sammartino as a “true icon”.

Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man…A true friend…and one of the toughest people I’ve ever met.My thoughts are with his entire family. #RIPBrunoSammartino#AmericanDream

— Triple H (@TripleH) 18 April 2018

Sammartino’s importance to the business simply cannot be understated. Vince McMahon Sr.’s budding WWWF was built around the Italian import, who held the company’s top title for an astonishing 2,803 days. The real-life superhero sold out Madison Square Garden 187 times during his eight-year stint, helping lay the foundations for the North East territory to become first a national, and then a global juggernaut.

Bruno was born 6 October 1935 in Abruzzo, Italy, and his childhood was enough to rival any pro-wrestling storyline. Throughout the ’40s, Sammartino’s family was forced to hide from the Nazis as the war came to a close, before he eventually migrated to Pittsburgh to join his father. The new emigre spoke not a word of English on his arrival, and his sickly disposition made him a frequent target of abuse in his first years in the States. These experiences moulded the man; he took up weightlifting to bolster his physique, achieving so much success that he inevitably caught the eye of a wrestling promoter.

As an ethnic strongmen during his nascent spell in the business, Sammartino was a hero to thousands of Italian migrants in the country. As Vince Sr.’s definitive babyface, he was a hero to millions. When he finally dropped the WWF strap to Ivan Koloff at MSG in 1971, members of the crowd broke down in tears of utter disbelief at the fall of their idol.

Sammartino continued to wrestle until 1988, but became a forgotten figure within WWE, as a long-standing feud with Vince McMahon kept his legacy quiet on their programming until differences were finally resolved in 2013. He received a long overdue induction into the company’s Hall of Fame, to go alongside the other four he’d previously been honoured by.


%d bloggers like this: