Posts Tagged ‘Vince McMahon’

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Paul Heyman has been causing “controversy” backstage by changing Brock Lesnar’s segments to meet his own tastes, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The Beast Incarnate’s “advocate” is said to have enough sway with Vince McMahon that he is able to change the direction of promos in which his client is involved without being challenged.

Despite the support of the chairman, Heyman’s decisions are supposedly causing tension with WWE writers, who believe that Lesnar would be more open to different ideas without his friend in his ear.

Heyman – who has previously worked as a booker – does not officially hold any creative privileges in his current capacity with WWE, although Lesnar has made no secret of how much he values his opinion.

Former UFC star Lesnar returned to the company in 2012 after an eight-year absence, and has been working a part-time schedule ever since.

It has been reported that the 40-year-old is stalling over new contract negotiations, amid speculation that he could make a permanent return to MMA when his current deal expires after WrestleMania 34.

Lesnar allegedly met UFC officials in the summer to discuss a potential return, although he has not commented publicly on the rumours.

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Source: The Other Guys Podcast

Chris Jericho’s partnership with Kevin Owens was one of the most entertaining acts in the WWE last year and it all dissolved when Owens attacked Jericho during “The Festival of Friendship.” Jericho spoke to Baby Huey and Bimbo Jimbo on The Other Guys Podcast about how the whole thing came together.

“I had that idea months earlier, to do a big spectacle with dancing girls and the whole thing, and then it was constantly being changed,” Jericho said. “Even the day of the show it was changed and I didn’t like it and I knew my way was better. I stood up for it, even to the point of calling Vince when he was on a plane in the middle of the air and pitching my case, not taking no for an answer, not allowing my vision to be changed.”

Jericho said he really loved the story he and Owens were able to tell during the segment. It started with an incredibly happy sequence of Jericho presenting gifts to Owens, and then ended with the slow reveal of Owens’ impending attack.

“The ‘Red Wedding’ from Game Of Thrones was something that was really resonating, where you have this brilliant, beautiful and fun moment and then it just goes south in such a quick fashion where you can’t believe it,” Jericho said. “That, to me, was the brilliance of it.”

Jericho enjoyed the segment so much that he thinks it ranks as his favorite moment in his entire WWE career.

“It was definitely one of my favorite things that I’ve done, maybe even the crowning jewel of what I’ve done in all these years being in the WWE,” he said.

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Source: Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast

Recently on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, professional broadcaster and pro wrestling enthusiast Sam Roberts recently spoke with one-half of the WWE RAW Tag Team Champions, Seth ‘Freakin” Rollins. Among other things, Rollins discussed his new entrance music, why he had to stop using The Curbstomp as a finish, and who he would select as a tag team partner if The Shield needed a female member.

On the subject of his new entrance music, Rollins shared that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon did not like the long pause in the song and finally decided to do something about it. ‘The Kingslayer’ explained that he had a handful of variant versions of his existing theme from which to choose and went with the “best option available”.

“I heard it before the show two or three weeks ago the first time it debuted, yeah. It was a weird thing where I got to RAW that day, [Rollins is told] ‘we need to do something with your music.’ ‘What do you mean? I’ve been using the same song for like three years. Well, what’s the problem?’ ‘Vince doesn’t like that pause.’ He has been hearing the same music for three years! What are we talking about? So they played five different entrances and three of them were just soundbytes, like, [imitates artificial sound effects and guitar riff from entrance song]. And one of them said, ‘Kingslayer’ and it was very seductive almost, like, [whispers ‘Kingslayer’], so, like, the ‘burn it down’ was the best option available, so I was like, ‘okay, do it.’ But it actually worked out well and last week, they put the fire in my entrance video, so I was like, ‘alright, whatever.'”

According to Rollins, he was “very sad” when he was told he could no longer do The Curbstomp and divulged that the move will “never come back”. ‘CrossFit Jesus’ says McMahon did not think the finish was a good way for Rollins to represent the company.

“No more blonde and The Curbstomp is gone, guys. It’s not my fault. Trust me. It’s not like I was [saying], ‘oh yes, I want a new finisher.’ No, they snatched it from me. They took it from me. No, so this is what happened, okay? After WrestleMania, I had won the [WWE] title, and I flew across the country to do the Today Show. For the Today Show, they put together a package of all of Seth Rollins’ awesome maneuvers. At the time, my finish was The Curbstomp.

“So Vince McMahon is sitting wherever Vince McMahon sits on a Monday morning and he’s seeing me on the Today Show and I look good in a suit. I’m representing the company. I look good in a suit. And I’m wearing the title and then he sees this package of me stomping another man’s head into the ground and it being called The Curbstomp on national television. And he thought to himself, ‘well, that’s not a good representation of what I want my top guy to do,’ so he just had a meeting with some of his people, and they decided, ‘well, we don’t need it – we can figure out another finish for you’ and the rest is history. I get it. I hate it. I think it’s silly, but it is what it is and it’s not my company. I’m doing the best I can with it.”

Rollins added, “I get it from a marketing standpoint. I totally understand it. I hate it because it was such a great finish. It was easy and could do it to everybody, but, hey, so it my cool knee now, so let’s start liking that.”

When asked what female talent he would pick to replace Roman Reigns in The Shield, Rollins went with former WWE RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks.

“Why am I replacing Roman? Alright. Well, she’s in the back. ‘The Boss,’ back there, would make a hell of a tag team partner. I think we’d be alright. So yeah, I’ll go with her for now because she’s here.”

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John Cena’s move to Monday Night Raw reportedly has WWE officials salivating over potential marquee matches against the new era.

This week “The Franchise” made his first appearance on Raw in over a year, and many viewed the move as a business decision to draw bigger ratings for WWE’s flagship show. But Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso reports that the move was made with an eye to the future as Cena will be counted on to elevate the up-and-coming superstars, namely Roman Reigns.

“Vince McMahon wants Cena to elevate and give the rub to Roman Reigns,” Barasso wrote. “The prevailing factor behind Cena’s move to Raw is all about his opponents. The decision was not made solely because Cena is going to draw ratings, but rather because of who Cena is going to draw ratings with.”

McMahon is ready to pull the trigger on a Cena-Reigns matchup, as Monday’s show already laid the groundwork for a showdown in the near future. By far the most polarizing figure in WWE since “Super Cena” himself, Reigns will benefit greatly from a program with the leader of Cenation.

Cena’s move to Raw also presents the opportunity for the new crop of talent to get a shot at the company’s top star. Cena vs. Samoa Joe has been a dream matchup since before Joe was even in the WWE. Young stars like Braun Stowman, Finn Balor and Elias can all create some magic with Cena in the ring.

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Wrestling fans concerned about WWE’s association with US President Donald Trump have been protesting outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre ahead of SummerSlam weekend, according to Gothamist.

The company will host its second-biggest show of the year from the New York borough on Sunday night, 24 hours after the annual NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn show.

And whilst it has been making local headlines for Triple H’s cameo appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night show, a group of NY residents have organised a rally after a controversial week for the White House.

The President provoked strong criticism from sections of the press when he was said to have hinted at similarities between Neo-Nazis and counter-protesters following scenes of violence in Charlottesville last weekend.

Noting that WWE has effectively cut its ties with Hulk Hogan after a tape of its former poster-boy using a racial epithet emerged two years ago, the protesters have suggested that Trump should accordingly be removed from the Hall of Fame.

John Stevens, among those leading the calls, told Gothamist: “What Trump has done is remarkably worse than what Hogan did, since he’s dividing the country by siding with neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”

He went on to suggest that, by having Trump remain a part of its Hall of Fame, WWE is – in effect – endorsing his brand of politics.

Another fan, Stephen Miller, is quoted as saying: If they choose to leave him in the HOF I will question whether or not I’ll continue to watch their product.”

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Tammy “Sunny” Sytch was recently a guest on The Ross Report podcast with Jim Ross where she spoke on a number of interesting topics, including getting hired by the WWF at age 21.

“After six and a half years, I was working at Smoky Mountain and I was in the apartment with Chris [Candido]; the phone rings and I pick it up, and I hear, ‘Hi, this is Bruce Prichard from the WWF.’ I went and called Chris because I assumed it was for him,” Sytch explained to JR.

“He said to me that he was calling for me, not for Chris; so I asked him, for what, because this wasn’t something I was striving to do or wanting to do; it was just something that fell on my lap, and then that was how I was hired by the WWF at the time,” recalled Sytch. “It was such a crazy rollercoaster over the years, so by the time I turned 21 years old on December 7th, and December 15th I had started working for them. It was crazy.”

The year was 1994 when Sytch originally started appeared on WWF television shows as a commentator for their “Live Event News” segments. Her on-screen name was Tamara Murphy. Sytch went on to have a WWE Hall of Fame career where she was the original Diva. She spoke to Jim Ross about breaking into the business:

“Smoky Mountain Wrestling was my first full time job, but not my first job,” said Sytch. “I worked with a couple of indie promotions before that, when ECW was Eastern Championship Wrestling with Eddie Gilbert being in charge, before Paul Heyman, I worked there for the time being, but Smoky Mountain was my first full time job.”

Sytch explained that she broke in with her high school sweetheart Chris Candido, who went on to have a successful career in mainstream professional wrestling. Candido held titles for the NWA, WWF, ECW and WCW. He died suddenly in 2005 at age 33.

“Chris Candido and I dated from senior year on, we were high school sweethearts. At that time I started doing a little indies as his valet, or manager or whatever. When Chris Candido got the job with Smoky Mountain Wrestling I said to myself, well, I’m not going to let him move there by himself, I’m just going to transfer for college and move down there,” said Sytch. “We were down there for a few months and Chris was part of a few TV shows, then Jim Cornette asked us to go out to dinner with him, and we were all excited, thinking, okay, he’s going to talk to Chris about his career, and what he is going to do with him, so we were thrilled to death.”

“I was back in school full time at the University of Tennessee. So, we go down to Calhoun’s By the River in Knoxville, Tennessee. We go, and as soon as we sit down and order he goes, ‘Alright; I need a girl.’ I was like, wait a minute, what do you mean you need a girl? His wife was there; it was just the four of us. He goes on to explain that this character that he needs for this TV show, this character named Brian Lee needs a Manager, etc. I was like, JC, I appreciate it, but this isn’t my thing. I’m full time in school, I’m in pre-med, I want to be a Doctor, this is [Chris’] thing.

“He said, take six months off of school, that is all that I would need you for. I said, that is not going to happen. I am not going to take six months off of school, I said that I would adjust my classes to make it work out. I said, alright, my dad was fully supporting me, I am a full time student. I was daddy’s little girl; had his credit cards, putting money in my bank account and paying my rent. I said, you know what, it would be nice to have a few of my own money by working on the weekends instead of having my Dad pay for everything. I started and we were doing some backstage promos; he gives me a sheet of 12 promos to cut for all those towns that are coming up in the coming months. I looked at it and asked him if he wanted word for word, and he asked me if I can do it word for word and I told him that I had a photographic memory, which was how I did so well in school, so he told me to take a look at it.”

“I was in a room for about half an hour looking it over, and he said, wait a minute; you’ve only been in there for a half an hour, but I told him that I was ready to go and he said, okay, let’s try this,” recalled Sytch. “He put me in front of a camera, which I had never been before, and then he counted three, two, one and boom, I spit out the first promos in one take, and his jaw dropped on the floor. He asked me how I did it and I asked him if it was supposed to be hard. Basically, the six month mark came and went, but I was having so much heat than Cornette in the company, and two and a half years later, it was insanity how it happened, but through it all I was still in school working my butt off.”

Sytch worked a total of three years for Smoky Mountain Wrestling from 1992 to 1995, before getting hired by the World Wrestling Federation. During her time there, she recalled turning down an offer to pose in Playboy Magazine.

“It was 1996 that I was AOL’s Most Downloaded Celebrity, which was where the Playboy offer came about,” said Sytch. “We were all in Vince McMahon’s office; we were on the road for two months and then got to be home for three days, and I remember getting a phone call from Vince McMahon’s secretary, and they called and said that Vince wanted to see me in his office. I asked if he can hold it off because I only have three days off, and have to do laundry, so I needed to see my family, friends, and my pets. They said, no, they really needed to see me in the office.

“At this time I was really thinking that I was going to get fired. I went into the office and went into the conference room and it was there that the offer came about, which took me less than five minutes to turn it down. I was in my 20’s and wasn’t ready for something like that. Looking back now, was it something I should have done? Absolutely! I was just very reserved at that time. At the time I just wasn’t ready emotionally to handle something like that.”

You can listen to the entire episode of Tammy “Sunny” Sytch on The Ross Report by clicking here.

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Former WWE superstar Al Snow says Vince McMahon gives his talent creative freedom, they just misunderstand.

The comments come in a new feature piece by The UK Sun where the publication examines what turned out to be Snow’s failed gimmicks in WWE before reinventing himself in ECW. Snow explained his first gimmicks in WWE – masked wrestlers known as Avatar and Shinobi in the mid-1990s — failed because he mishandled opportunities.

“Those were opportunities that I mishandled – I didn’t have enough of an understanding or knowledge to take full advantage,” said Snow. “At that time, I made the mistake that a lot of pro wrestlers do and pointed the finger at everyone else and and never took responsibility for not succeeding.”

Snow debuted in the then-WWF on the October 23, 1995 episode of Monday Night RAW as Avatar.

“I was given a stage and platform,” said Snow. “The Avatar character was new and different and neat, but knowing what I know now, I could have made that so much more than what it was.”

Snow, 54, believes it’s a misperception that Vince McMahon is burying younger talent with gimmicks. In fact, he says Vince gives talent creative freedom and wants them to succeed.

“Vince McMahon genuinely wants every wrestler to succeed. He’s a businessman,” Snow explained. “Not to mention his ego. The more his wrestlers succeed, the more his business succeeds, the more he succeeds – and he gets to take credit.”

“Guys misunderstand – in WWE Vince gives you creative freedom. Once in you step in that ring, there’s nothing Vince can do to help you get over – and there’s nothing he can do to stop you getting over.”

In the late 1990s, Snow was sent to ECW as part of a cross-promotion with WWE to combat the rise of WCW. He believes it was an opportunity where he was able to reinvent himself.

“I had to go away and reinvent myself,” said Snow. If I stayed in WWE I was never going to be in a better spot. Chris Candido spoke to Paul Heyman on my behalf, Heyman spoke to Vince, and I was kind of put on loan to ECW.”

Snow explained that he himself created the gimmick that put him on the map and that Heyman had nothing for him.

“Paul had no plans for me, so I was free to do whatever I wanted. I was trying to demonstrate that I had suffered a nervous breakdown, and had mental illness,” said Snow. “I was reading books on abnormal psychology and read a case study about a woman who heard voices from inanimate objects. She thought they were talking to her.”

This was the beginning of Snow’s legendary “head” gimmick where he came to the ring with a mannequin head and had the words “Help Me” written backwards on his forehead. As a result, crowd chants such as “We want Head” and “Head! Head! Head!” were born.

“I picked up this mannequin head that was backstage at a show and remembered Mick Foley jerking around in the car with this Styrofoam head he kept his mask on,” said Snow. “He would pretend it was his girlfriend and I thought, ‘You know I’m going to take this to the arena and talk to it.’ It just took off.”

Snow was recalled to WWE in 1998 where he brought the “head” gimmick back with him and he was inserted in hardcore programs. Snow went on to serve as a trainer for the original episodes of WWE Tough Enough and returned to full-time wrestling in 2006 when WWE resurrected the ECW brand. He then worked as a developmental trainer for the company through their affiliation with Ohio Valley Wrestling until 2008.

Snow has since worked on the independent circuit and served as an agent for Global Force Wrestling. He founded the Al Snow Wrestling Academy with multiple locations in the United Kingdom and has a new sportswear brand called Elbow X Collar. You can read more comments he made to The UK Sun by clicking here.