Posts Tagged ‘WWE’

UFC fighter Paige VanZant believes there’s an opportunity for crossover with the WWE and is still interested in working there, according to MMANews.com.

VanZant, who competes in the women’s flyweight division, is one of the most popular females in MMA to have never held a belt, and has already shown mainstream appeal after finishing second on Dancing with the Stars in 2016.

Currently in Portugal attending the global tech conference Web Summit, where WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon is one of the main speakers, VanZant said:-

“I’m not ready to leave the UFC just yet…I also think the WWE is an amazing organisation and it’s a very athletic entertainment industry which would suit me. There’s probably huge potential for a crossover down the line and of course I’m a big fan of what they do, so it would be great to be a part of.”

Perhaps seeking a deal similar to Brock Lesnar’s which would allow her to compete in both organisations, and of course following in the footsteps of current RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, VanZant apparently spoke to McMahon at the conference regarding a potential deal.

Holding a UFC record of 4-3, VanZant is currently ranked 15th in the women’s flyweight division, and many have called for her to make the transition into professional wrestling.

Nevertheless, for now she is focused on her return to the Octagon after a year away, where she faces Rachael Ostovich on 19th January in Brooklyn for UFC’s ESPN+ debut.

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A former football player, the pro wrestling ring has become Mojo Rawley’s current home. The WWE star had the opportunity to speak to Lilian Garcia on her Chasing Glory podcast.

While not as seasoned as regular stars, Mojo is learning new things about the sport every day. He believes he is progressing, while appreciating the little things about the business.

“I have a long way to go. I have a lot of catching up to do with where I want to be, but even despite all of that I am still happy to be here and still love what I do,” Mojo stated. “I am very happy to be able to run down that ramp and to come out of the curtain and perform in front of a global syndicate; to be able to see the expression on children’s faces you have heard all of that, but that’s kind of how it is for me. It is a little less about the titles, and more about making the impression on people watching. Making an impact behind the scenes with ‘Be-A-Star’ and ‘Make-A-Wish,’ how cool is it to do those things? In football you are wearing a helmet, they don’t see your faces. Very few personalities stand out outside of your pads, here we all do.”

When he first started in WWE, Mojo was the guy who was always getting hyped. Now he’s more serious about what he wants in the ring. Just like football, there is a lot he needs to ingest in order to be successful. When it comes to life, the pro wrestling world can be unpredictable.

“It’s a little harder here to be in control of your situation. I am not using that as a cop out at all because when I look around and look for someone to blame as to why I have not achieved more than I have I only look at myself,” Rawley continued. “I don’t make excuses. I am not one of these guys that looks to the locker room and points fingers. That has never been my MO. Hanging in there and becoming a smarter entertainer rather than opposed to maybe one that just hangs his hat on work ethic. Using my brain rather than my body a little more. I do all of this hard training, well maybe I need to sit back and evaluate myself from a mental standpoint. I watch a lot of tape. Anytime I have a match on TV, I watch it back, 10-20 times alone. Let alone the rest of the week. I am nit picking everything I can.

“It is coming together. I feel like we are making some strides; I can see it in my work, and I think good things are on the horizon,” Mojo continued. “You work your a** off praying for those opportunities because you only might get one; when you get that opportunity you don’t know when it is going to come. The day before you may think you won’t be on the next day, or before the show starts there is your opportunity, and are you going to make an excuse as to whether you weren’t prepared?”

While he hasn’t been used on WWE programming as frequently as he would like, Mojo is making any opportunity count. During the podcast he also discussed his life before pro wrestling and the journey that brought him to the squared circle.

WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin recently participated in a fan Q&A session on The Steve Austin Show. During the podcast, Austin discussed his relationship with fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross and the tremendous impact that Ross has had on Austin’s legendary professional wrestling career.

On the subject of Ross, Austin said he grew up a fan of ‘Good Ol’ JR’ from watching Mid-South Wrestling and NWA. Interestingly, Austin shared that Ross helped the former ‘Stunning’ Steve get signed to WCW and that the pair always got along famously.

“Now, as I am trying to recall the first time I met Jim Ross, I almost can’t remember, but you have to understand I was a huge Bill Watts Mid-South Wrestling fan, so, man, I grew up with JR.” Austin remembered, “and he’s not very much older than me, but JR was the man. And then, when he went to NWA, that’s when I was watching Jim Ross. He was the man. And all-of-a-sudden, I get a chance to be called up to WCW. He’s one of the guys that lobbied for me and we hit it off. Jim loves football. He knew that I played college football. I wasn’t at Ron Simmons’ level. I wasn’t major college good. I was just good enough to get a scholarship and be on the team. That’s as good as I was. But Jim being in Oklahoma and that Texas/Oklahoma kind of bond, relationship, rivalry, whatever it is, Jim respected and liked football players. He liked guys that were athletic, salty, easy to work with, not people that are toxic or that are trainwrecks, or divas, or hard to work with. So, man, me and Jim always hit it off and we became the best of friends.”

Austin divulged that he and Ross would travel together, drinking wine and fantasy booking the territory.

“Me and Jim would ride down the road and we’d have a bottle of wine.” Austin recalled, “I don’t know how we started drinking wine. I used to drink wine like a son of a b—h way back in the day, but we’d drink a bottle of red wine between the towns. It’s only about 120 miles. We’d book the territory, tell stories… If I ever went to a football game I would go stay with him and Jan when she was still with us. And Jim’s out doing his own thing now, but, man, nothing but respect for him.”

According to Austin, Ross is the best commentator of all time and the two are still close today. Moreover, Austin suggested that JR was important to the success of the ‘Stone Cold’ character.

“Jim Ross, to me, with his range, with his storytelling… he paid his dues. I mean, he learned from the ground up. And his inflection and his ability to watch a match, tell a story, get the talent over with the credibility that he had, he was the shining diamond on top of everyone, so always a good experience with Jim. We continue, to this day, to be the best of friends. We don’t talk as much as we used to because we’re going and blowing in different directions. But he was a key, key part of my entire [pro] wrestling career like so many people were, but as far as the recruitment to WCW, the recruitment to WWF [as WWE was known] at the time, so there’s a lot of history there.

“Again, if ‘Stone Cold’ would’ve took off like it did and Jim Ross had not been on commentary, I do believe I still would have been successful; however, I think I had the success that I did because of the work that we put into it. This is on the [WWE] end, my end, the synergy, the chemistry, the writing, Vince [McMahon] was a huge part of it, especially when we were going up against each other, but without Jim Ross calling that with the emotion and just yelling, that passion driven style that he had, I don’t think it would have been the same. He was the voice of that ‘Attitude Era’.” Austin added, “I can’t imagine my career because it is so far removed now, but I cannot imagine my career without the iconic voice of the one and only Jim Ross.”

CM Punk’s next move in mixed martial arts is assuredly safer than stepping inside the cage.

Punk, who made the ballyhooed move from WWE straight to UFC in 2014 , is set to turn in headlocks for a headset when he takes the microphone for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships card next month in New Jersey .

Punk with a live mic?

This is the wrestler that made ”pipe bomb ” part of the WWE lexicon when he crossed his legs on stage and cut a scathing promo about the state of his career and the industry that left even insiders curious about the legitimacy of the stunt.

But the straight-edge superstar is set to play it straight when he helps call the action on the CFFC card on Dec. 14 at the Borgata in Atlantic city. Punk will provide color commentary with play-by-play broadcaster Mike Gill and analyst Brian Palakow for the show scheduled to air on UFC Fight Pass. Cesar Balmaceda will fight for the CFFC interim lightweight title, one of three championship bouts on the card.

Punk would rather pack a punch with viewers for a night than take one in a fight.

”Somebody at home is probably thinking, ‘Hmm, that’s barbaric, I can’t relate to that, I’ve never been punched in the face,”’ Punk said. ”I kind of want to humanize everybody, get to the bottom of their story, who they are and why they do what they do.”

The 40-year-old Punk’s story is that he’s still an MMA fighter, though he faces an uncertain future in the sport after two decisive losses in UFC. Punk, the stage name of Phil Brooks, brought a wave of publicity to the sport when he made the jump with just a dash of true MMA skills. Punk never threw a punch in a loss to Mickey Gall in 2016 and was pounded in a unanimous decision defeat to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in June. UFC President Dana White said Punk should ”call it a day” and was likely finished with the promotion.

Punk realized the clock is ticking on his fighting career.

”Since my last fight, I’ve been juggling a half-dozen things,” Punk said. ”I kind of gave myself a deadline of the beginning of the new year to find out what is coming next. I don’t rule anything out, absolutely not.”

So, after initial pause when he was offered the job, Punk took the leap into broadcasting for a promotion that was founded in 2006 and helped launch the career of Kimbo Slice and current UFC fighters Paul Felder and Jim Miller. Led by President Rob Haydak, CFFC has become one of the more prominent developmental MMA organizations in the industry. It’s the type of organization that perhaps Punk would have benefited from had he become an MMA pro earlier in his career.

”I did things backward,” Punk said, with a laugh. ”I jumped in the deep end. But everybody’s path is different. I do think there needs to be a feeder system where people can get their feet wet.”

With a third UFC fight out of reach, Punk said he had no regrets about the gutsy transition from wrestling to fighting.

”I was presented with an opportunity that, if I was talking to you today and didn’t do, I’d regret,” Punk said. ”I absolutely do not regret my decision one bit.”

Punk, who held the WWE championship for 434 days before an acrimonious split with the company, could be funny and ferocious on the mic. His promos helped him rise on the card and soar in popularity with fans as much as his ”best in the world” talent. He dabbled in commentary on WWE shows (“look at her jumping around !” he said of future wife AJ Lee) and his comfort in front of the camera helped with his transition into acting.

Punk found bliss as a comic book author and co-hosted the Netflix obstacle course competition show ”Ultimate Beastmaster.”

Yet, five years – and one nasty, victorious lawsuit – later, Punk is still remembered by wrestling fans who chant his name at WWE live events.

”You stop it and five years later people still talk about you? Fans still chant your name? That’s powerful to me,” Punk said.

He waded back into the sports entertainment world when he made a rare autograph signing in September before a major independent wrestling show that sparked rumors he would lace up the boots one more time. Punk continued to rule out a wrestling comeback.

”I don’t pay attention,” Punk said. ”People seem to get upset when I say that.”

But they can still catch him in combat sports, where he’s prepping to scrutinize fights, and at Roufusport MMA Academy where he continues to train should another fight arise.

”Y’all can’t get rid of me,” he said.

WWE and John Bel Edwards (the governor of Louisiana) have revealed that WrestleMania 34 generated $175m for New Orleans, according to Figure Four Online.

Ahead of the anticipated announcement of Minneapolis, Minnesota as host city for WrestleMania 36, WWE have been touting the economic benefits of ‘The Show of Shows’.

A report conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation has concluded that the 34th iteration of the infamous pay-per-view produced $175 million in “direct, indirect and induced” economic impact for the greater New Orleans region derived from spending by those visiting for the event.

Furthermore, it also generated “approximately $23.7 million in federal, state, and local taxes.”

Apparently 77% of those who attended WrestleMania 34 were from outside the region and stayed for an average of just under four nights, $22 million was spent on hotels and accommodation, whilst $9 million was spent by visitors at restaurants in the area.

WrestleMania has proved to be incredibly lucrative for it’s hosts over previous years, with an economic impact of over $181 million for Orlando, Florida for WrestleMania 33, and $142m for New Orleans for WrestleMania 30.

WWE’s second Mixed Match Challenge season has been quietly plodding along on Tuesday nights, with the fun, throwaway Facebook Watch competition offering light relief from Raw and SmackDown’s serious business.

Its tone and general lack of attention often make the MMC feel inconsequential, but WWE have just found a way to make it matter.

Per their official announcement, the winner’s of this year’s tournament will not only receive an all-expenses-paid holiday to a country of their choice, but they’ll also enter their respective Royal Rumbles at number 30.

As things currently stand, Ember Moon and Braun Strowman, Mickie James and Bobby Lashley, Asuka and The Miz, and Charlotte Flair and AJ Styles’ perfect 3-0 records make them the current favourites to win. Naomi and Jimmy Uso and Bayley and Finn Balor are behind them at 2-2, while Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal, Natalya and Bobby Roode, Carmella and R-Truth, and Rusev and Lana are all winless.

This year’s Mixed Match Challenge will conclude with one final match at the upcoming TLC pay-per-view (16 December). As WWE’s last major show of the year, it’ll likely be the point at which they begin building to the Rumble, with the MMC victories sitting pretty.

Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles in the main event of tonight’s WWE SmackDown to become the new WWE Champion.

The finish of the match saw Bryan hit a low blow on Styles. Bryan then turned heel and attacked Styles after the match, laughing at him while the beatdown continued.

Bryan is now a four-time WWE Champion. Styles won the title back on November 7, 2017 by defeating Jinder Mahal on a SmackDown episode.

Bryan will now go on to Sunday’s Survivor Series pay-per-view to face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar because of the title change.