Posts Tagged ‘Vince McMahon’

Big Cass was unceremoniously dumped by WWE at the start of last week, with various reports emerging in the aftermath attributing the superstar’s sudden termination to a number of attitude problems, chief amongst them a European tour allegedly spent drinking excessively.

However, WrestlingNews.co have now reported that the final straw instigating the seven-footer’s release was a backstage commotion with ex-girlfriend Carmella.

According to the website’s sources, Cass was said to have caused a scene after asking his former partner’s forgiveness. Witnesses say Carmella rebuffed the pleas, turning to walk away, before Cass allegedly grabbed her arm to stop her. A disturbance broke out, as the The Usos and Erick Rowan supposedly got involved in separating the pair.

Once management were made aware of the incident, it was decided Cass was one liability too many. The big man was called into Vince McMahon’s office just hours before the SmackDown Live event in Toledo, OH, where he was given his marching orders.

Assuming the veracity of this version of events, Cass’ earned his last strike this past Monday, which explains why his defeat at Sunday’s Money in the Bank to Daniel Bryan wasn’t as comprehensive as one might expect of a guy being ‘jobbed out the territory’, as it were.

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On the one year anniversary episode 52 of his Triple Threat Podcast, Shane Douglas was joined by his former “head-cheerleader” and valet, Francine.Francine and The Franchise reminisced about the glory days of ECW and their pairing which lasted from July 1996 all the way though Shane’s ECW departure in 1999. However, when discussing her brief WWE-ECW run in 2006 for the first time ever with Douglas, “The Queen of Extreme” revealed a strong desire to not just merely compete in swimsuit competitions as she attempted to express to management her desire to work. In the following excerpt, Francine recalls having a conversation with Vince McMahon regarding the lack of creative direction for her while working for WWE. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.

 

On asking for her release shortly after joining WWE:

“I can tell you something, when I was hired and I was in line to get a draw one evening and he (Vince McMahon) pulled me from line because earlier in the night I was talking to Johnny Ace in his office and I was crying and I was begging for my release. Johnny said they weren’t giving me my release and I was like Johnny please {because} you are not using me and I am not happy so he must have went to Vince. He pulled me from line and we start walking and he says, “You are a beautiful girl and beautiful girls are a dime a dozen, I have no idea what you can do.” I looked at Vince and I am not lying when I say this but I looked at Vince and I said, “Didn’t you buy our tape library?” He just looked at me as to say I didn’t watch it or I don’t watch it and I am then like well okay he has his crew that watch stuff and they report back and I was told that Shane McMahon was the big ECW (I don’t want to say mark) but fan and he loved ECW and that was Shane’s thing. He told his Dad who to hire and I know Tommy had a part in it too but for Vince to tell me, someone that he has hired that he has never saw my work? He didn’t know what I could do? I am thinking to myself just how on earth can I be standing under contract in this building right now? Period. It blew my mind.”

“I kept saying that I am willing to work but they had me doing bikini contests and I said I just want to work, I just want to work. I was told that I could do what I did for Paul (Heyman) so let me do what I did for Paul.”

WWE not using the ECW Originals under contract:

“I didn’t get it because everyone of us was willing to work just as hard as we did for Paul and everyone was just dumbfounded. We would literally just sit in catering and stare at each other and say that we wonder when we are getting released. That is what we said every week. It was brutal.”

“It’s traumatizing because you are thinking what am I doing wrong? Why aren’t they using me? I was never too {political} and I don’t politic behind the scenes and I never had to and you know as well as I do that Paul was so one-one-one and open and you could call him and he was easy to talk to and he was there for us. Vince was just totally different and not really approachable.”

Kenny Omega recently completed his years-long quest to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Title and dethrone Kazuchika Okada in the process. Omega’s monumental achievement at the Dominion show not only caused Dave Meltzer to create another star to give their two-out-of-three falls encounter a seven-star rating but it also marked the second Winnipegger to capture a title that night.

Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega share the hometown of Winnipeg and with Y2J’s IWGP Intercontinental Title win at Dominion, he gave their Canadian hometown something major to be proud of. Now both top singles titles in New Japan Pro Wrestling belong to Winnipeg natives.

“For Chris and myself to win (NJPW’s) No. 1 and No. 2 belts, belts that are generally perceived by fans, critics and wrestlers themselves as the most prestigious titles in wrestling, it isn’t something that happens every day. And the fact that two foreigners, who are not only Canadian, but both from Winnipeg, is wow, just an incredible occasion,” Omega told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Omega’s epic sixty-five-minute battle with Okada might have capped off the night at Dominion with some marvelous storytelling but Chris Jericho’s brutal victory over Tetsuya Naito was a totally different kind of match. However, both Omega and Jericho see eye-to-eye on the fact that there are some very big things in New Japan’s future as the company continues to solidify their reputation and stretch their reach.

Even though Y2J stated he won’t work for New Japan in the United States out of respect for Vince McMahon, Jericho also discussed New Japan’s growing influence as a company “that’s slowly but surely increasing its worldwide popularity and basically breathing down the neck of the WWE. It’s a Japanese wrestling company, the top stars are Japanese, but there we were, two foreigners, headlining and main eventing the Tokyo Dome. It would be like two Japanese football teams in the Super Bowl. The fact it’s two guys from Winnipeg is a really huge deal.”

 

Ricky Steamboat spoke with Ring Rust Radio on training today’s wrestlers, wanting to turn heel, and his WrestleMania III match against “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Here are some of the highlights:

Since leaving your in-ring career behind, you have focused on working with younger talent. How much pride do you take in bestowing your knowledge on the next generation of wrestlers?

“Right now in my life, it’s what I do a lot of and happy to do it. I remember the first couple of years when I was coming up through the ranks, some of the old-timers would take me aside after the match and critique me. I understand today’s guys, a lot of guys when they get in the ring, they’re looking across the ring at a guy with the same amount of ring time.

Some guys six months, some guys one year, some guys two or three years, but when I was coming up, most nights I was looking across the ring at a 15- or 20-year journeyman. Every night he was taking me to school and he knew what his position was and it was to pass the torch and hopefully by doing this, he would help to keep the business going. Help bring up guys that were green and rookies and show them the way. I find out at this point in time in my life, this is what I’m doing.

I understand that wrestling now has changed as opposed to what it was when I worked, but I still think you can apply some of the things that I talk about and just put you 2018 twist on it and still make it work. It is a lot of pride for me and it’s a way for me giving back. A way I am passing the torch and hopefully some talent will look back at the day I was there teaching them, reflect on that and hopefully they will understand how it helped.”

Is there any part of you that wishes you would have had even a brief run as a heel, and how do you feel you would’ve fared in that role?

“I’ll tell you a true story. Back in ’91, I went to Vince and Pat Patterson and asked to do a turn and they both shut me down without hesitation. They said it would not work, I was the premier babyface, and I told them that I’ve been in the ring with the best feels in the business. I actually believed that I could work as a heel because I’ve been in the ring with the best of them.

They said bottom line, it would probably hurt your career and they shut it down. Now, at the time guys I was a bit turned off. I was a bit disgruntled because I wanted to be able to work as a heel. At that time, I had been in the business I was approaching around 17 years and I knew I was get into the twilight of my career and I just wanted to be able to experience working on the dark side. Being able to feel what that’s like and I was upset about not being able to do it at the time. Looking back at it now, I’m happy and pleased that they did talk me out of it and not allow it.

Like you said earlier, one of the few guys in the business that wrestled close to 20 years actively and stayed the same way as he started in the business. There’s just a few of us that have done that and I’m happy to say that I’m one of those few guys now. I reflect back and I’m happy that I was turned down.”

In regards to your WrestleMania III match against Randy Savage, is there something specific that stands out to you about that match that perhaps fans may not be aware of or you feel goes overlooked?

“A lot of Q&A’s that I do at appearances, comic-cons, or conventions, they always ask about that match and I’ll say that match was completely scripted and put together. The reason was Randy and I did not have any opportunity to work with each other leading up to WrestleMania III. A lot of main event guys are able to work with their partner and fine-tune their match before a big pay-per-view, but Vince wanted my debut to be on that day. The only thing we could do was put together something that would work just from gut feeling.

We didn’t know if it was going to work with the fans and we didn’t have a chance to try and fine-tune it. Thank God what we did put together worked. I think the biggest thing I wanted was to make it a championship match. That was my answer to Randy because he is asked, ‘What do you want to do Dragon?’ So, I told Randy that we got to make it a championship match. He told me that I should go after his throat since he came off the top rope with the bell on my throat. I said what I kind of think is everybody would expect that.

If we could have a moment in the match where I get a little payback and then let’s move on to making it a championship match. What I meant by that was we had 21 false finishes in a match that went less than 17 minutes, and I thought the story that we were trying to tell here Randy is that I’m going after your belt, and you’re trying to hold onto it. So, with all those false finishes and finally number 22 was the final 1, 2, 3. We were talking about my dive off the top I did and I think everybody again would kind of expect that so let’s catch them out of the blue. It was a simple he picked me up for slam and I hit him with a small package.”

Steamboat also discussed more about babyface work today. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on wrestling in Canada and working a match against Chris Benoit in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the May 31, 2001 edition of WWE SmackDown. Austin went on to discuss his relationship with Benoit.

According to Austin, he always enjoyed working in Canada, as the people and crowds were “great”. With that said, Austin did not enjoy crossing the border into ‘The Great White North’.

“I always dug Canada. Like I said, it’s a great wrestling place. The biggest problem was crossing over the border and Canada is very strict at the border and they should be. And they go through everything. They makes sure that the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. And when the boys start coming through, due to the fact that a lot of times back in the 80s, early 80s, probably 70s, guys were carrying a lot of stuff over there. There were always stories of The Iron Sheik and how he’d have weed on him or something like that with him and he’d put it in someone else’s bag. The precedent had already been set. A lot of times, guys came through and they’d be carrying some stuff. There was this, that, and the other. You can probably guess what it might have been.

“But that was one of the biggest pains in the ass about going to Canada because you knew you’d get pulled over and you’re going to sit in a room for an hour, two, or three. They were going to go through all of your stuff and shake everything out. And 99 times out of 100, they didn’t have s–t, but every here and there, someone would have something. That’s why they always kept checking the boys when they came into the country, so great on Customs part – they did a very thorough job. But when you’re one of the guys and you’re just passing through there, and you’ve got nothing in your bag, and you get pulled over, that’s a pain in the ass because you’re always on a schedule, trying to hit the gym, you’re trying to hit a tanning bed, you’re trying for something to eat. You might check into your hotel room. It might be one of those deals where you go straight to the building and you’ve got a long road trip after that. But that was always a pain in the ass when you had to go pass through Customs on the way there.” Austin added, “coming and going across the border was a pain in the ass. Getting the directions in French was not fun. The crowds were always great.”

During the podcast, Austin recalled working a great match with Benoit on SmackDown in Edmonton. Apparently, Austin told Benoit to disregard the go-home cue and he would take the heat for it, as ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ was left underwhelmed by the match the two had the night prior on RAW.

“I had a great match with Chris Benoit in Edmonton one night and I believe it was on the SmackDown show.” Austin continued, “and we had worked the previous night on RAW and they only gave us a certain amount of minutes and I wasn’t very happy with that match because we didn’t have enough time to build a proper story. I’ll never forget when we rolled into Edmonton that night. It was SmackDown and we were going to work together again. And I told Chris before we went out there, I said, ‘dude,’ I said, ‘I don’t care how much time they give us – we’re going to go home when it’s time to go home. And it’s all on me. I’ll take the heat, so if they give us the go home cue, disregard it.’ And we really ripped it up that night.”

In that match with Benoit, Austin took 10 punishing German suplexes in a row. Austin revealed that the spot was Austin’s idea. While ‘The Global Icon And National Treasure’ indicated that he was not in any pain from the suplexes in light of his neck surgery, Benoit targeting Austin’s perceived injured neck made sense for the story of the match.

“I said, ‘hey man, we’re going to go as long as we need to go’ and it was Chris’s hometown, I believe. I think it was Edmonton. We had worked the night before. [We] didn’t have the match I wanted to have because I knew how much Chris could go and I respected him. And so, I said, ‘hey man, I don’t see you making a traditional comeback on me. I see this being something where you just grab me from behind and let’s go 10 German suplexes, 10 in a row, because I just don’t see a regular comeback. I see 10 German suplexes and here comes Vince [McMahon] coming down and I barely escape with the belt.’ And Chris thought about that for a minute and he goes, ‘I like that.’ And so, that’s what we went out and did. So it wasn’t in the moment. It was something that I called, I planned, I ran across Chris, and he dug it. And we did it.” Austin added, “I called the suplexes and I wasn’t in any pain. And the pain in referring to is because I was returning from my neck fusion and I’d figured all the bumps that I had taken leading up to that match that I would be fine taking those bumps. And it would be a great ploy, a great strategy, for Chris to use to focus on my weakness, or perceived weakness, which could be construed as my neck because of the fusion, because of the surgery. And I was working heel at the time, so he’s giving it back to me and then some. So it made sense for that in his comeback.”

Austin claimed that one of the highest complements he ever received during his storied pro wrestling career was from Benoit after that SmackDown match telling Austin that Austin got him over that night. Austin revealed that the Chris Benoit he knew was a great worker and a cool guy.

“I’ll never forget after that match, I’ve said it on the podcast before, it was one of the highest complements I’d ever been paid by an opponent.” Austin remembered, “we always shake hands after the matches. And, man, that was Chris’s hometown, man. And we got off the headbutt off the top turnbuckle, me throwing the belt up, him getting a little bit of color from that accidentally. It was a real solid match. And he goes, ‘man, thanks.’ He goes, ‘you really got me over’ and he got it. He knew what I was trying to do and it was my job to do was to get him over. He was already over to a degree, but I got him more over than he was after the match than he was before the match, and he recognized that. And he told me that and I’ll never forget that complement. And I wish things hadn’t gone the way they had for Chris as far as down the road, but, man, the Chris Benoit that I knew was a badass worker, great dude, cool as hell, and so I remember that match vividly. Out of all the things I’ve forgotten, I remember that match.”

There are few superstars in WWE who have accomplished as much as Kane. Since his debut back in 1997, the Big Red Machine has dominated opponent after opponent, won championship after championship and reinvented his image more times than The Undertaker.

There’s no doubt Kane has become one of the wrestling industry’s most recognisable characters, so it’s surprising to learn that the character was only initially meant to be a short term fixture.

Speaking on Jerry Lawler’s Dinner With The King Podcast, Glenn Jacobs — the man behind the mask — revealed that the plan was initially for Kane to have a one-off match against The Undertaker. However, by the time the character’s debut rolled around, Vince McMahon had fallen in love with the ongoing sibling storyline between Kane and The Undertaker, prompting him to change his mind.

“Vince liked the storyline so much that he didn’t just want to do one match, he thought that he could make it a really good story out of it.”

It’s no wonder that McMahon loved the storyline. The Kane and Undertaker feud is without a doubt one of the finest narrative arcs in WWE history. With foreshadowing and character development leaps ahead of anything we’ve seen in recent years, the tragic tale of the two siblings is fondly remembered by WWE fans.

Kane was Jacobs’ third gimmick, something which he also discussed on the podcast. He had previously performed under the personas of Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel before donning the signature Kane mask. Jacobs also credits The Undertaker – and their first match together – as playing a vital part in his success.

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said Tuesday the league will make players stand for the Star Spangled Banner, reinforcing the message founder Vince McMahon conveyed in January.

“We respect individual freedoms, but we will require our players to stand for the national anthem,” Luck told Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report shortly after he was announced as the league’s new commissioner and chief operating officer.

The XFL, which existed for one season in 2001, is set to relaunch in 2020. Upon announcing the league’s revival on Jan. 25, McMahon said its employees wouldn’t be permitted to make political statements while on the job.

“People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” he said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time.”

At the time, McMahon refrained from guaranteeing players would be forced to stand for the anthem. He did, however, note that standing for the anthem “would be appropriate.”


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