Monday, November 7, 2011

Wrestling News Media: WWE, Kevin Nash, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Andre The Giant, Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, UFC - 7th


Wrestling WWE Kevin Nash Hulk Hogan Vince McMahon Casinos Ric Flair Steve Austin Mick Foley The Rock John Cena UFC News Entertainment News News

Kevin Nash aka 'Diesel' returns to WWE Raw on Monday's episode from the United Kingdon. Nash is scheduled to resume his feud with an "injured" Triple H as part of the build-up to an expected singles match in the near future. Plus, more build-up for The Rock & John Cena teaming up at Survivor Series. Nash continues to run his official website, sporting gaming in the mix, but his site could do with a major update, not that ours is perfect either. Great to see Nash become relevant again and Triple H should bring out the best in him, but don't expect a Shawn Michaels 5 star classic.

WWE TV Network News Update...

During WWE's quarterly conference call with investors this past Thursday, WWE CEO Vince McMahon had some harsh words about talk show host Oprah's cable TV network and contrasted the Oprah model with WWE Network plans, which McMahon was very optimistic about during the conference call.

"I would say I suppose the one of the notorious ones (branded TV Network models) would be the Oprah Network, which is a miserable failure on all accounts because you have a brand like Oprah and it does take a genius to figure out that, 'Okay, why don’t we have Oprah do what she does best in our very own network,' and that's the one thing that doesn't happen," McMahon said. "So, in terms of the introduction of a network theory, you're saying, 'Okay, let's take Oprah, but let’s don’t use, let’s not whatever we do, we don’t use her and what she does best. Let’s just try and take an Oprah name and try and brand that in a big round about way,' which obviously from a common sense standpoint, it doesn't make sense... We know what our WWE attributes are. So, we have the opportunity to enhance all of that and bring further viewers, lapse viewers, and as well as current viewers and new viewers from a younger age set of two to 11 into the network, which will be extraordinary, because we are giving the audience what they want, not what they don't want."

Mick Foley WWE Return...

Mick Foley returned to WWE at Wednesday's Raw house show in Dublin, Ireland, which started WWE's bi-annual European Tour. Foley, who has hinted at a WWE return for several weeks, is in the U.K. for his own promotional tour.

Piper campaigning for Piper's Pit with Rock & Cena...

WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper has taken to Twitter to campaign for a Piper's Pit segment with The Rock and John Cena prior to their tag team match at Survivor Series.


Ric Flair staying put in TNA; Interesting in more business deals...

For the meantime Flair will be staying in Impact Wrestling (formally known as TNA). Flair continues to endorse Carolina's Education Lottery, and is keen to see a Ric Flair online slot game become a reality, following in the footsteps of Hulk Hogan and the late Andre The Giant, both expected to have their slots online in a number of months.

WrestleMania 28 press release; Rock vs. Cena...

STAMFORD, Conn., November 2, 2011– WWE® announced today that tickets for its annual pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania XXVIII, will go on sale this Saturday, November 5 at 10 AM ET. WrestleMania XXVIII will take place Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. The event will be headlined by the highly anticipated main event featuring “the most electrifying man in all of entertainment,” The Rock® against WWE Superstar John Cena®.

Ticket prices range from $25-$850. There will also be a limited number of “Gold Circle” VIP Packages available for $1,500. The Gold Circle packages include seating in the first four rows ringside, an exclusive Gold Circle VIP Stadium Entrance, a collectible WrestleMania XXVIII ticket holder and the commemorative WrestleMania XXVIII take-home folding chair. Tickets can be purchased through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.

Last year, a capacity crowd of 71,617 fans from all 50 states and 30 countries attended WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. WrestleMania is more than just a one day event, it’s a week long celebration, as WWE will be taking over the greater Miami area during WrestleMania Week. In addition to WrestleMania XXVIII, other activities will include: WrestleMania Axxess – WWE’s four day interactive fan festival; WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals; WrestleMania Pro-Am Golf Tournament and the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Additional information on these events will be announced in the future at

Sylvester Stallone speaks to Entertainment Tonight about his Steve Austin injury during 'The Expendables'...

Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell (one-time WWE Raw guest host) caught up with Sylvester Stallone on-set at his new movie, "Bullet to the Head," to discuss the film's progression before an April 2012 scheduled release date. Stallone noted he's still feeling the effects of neck surgery that was required after he suffered an injury at the hands of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin shooting "The Expendables" last year. Austin was required to tackle Stallone, who accidentally landed on a pile of bricks. Stallone said, "It's never really the same. "You're just able to function a little bit better."

Hogan and Diamond Dallas Page starring in new movie...

Hulk Hogan and Diamond Dallas Page are scheduled to be featured in an upcoming movie, "Black River," that is currently in production. According to a synopsis released by filmmakers Corn Bred films, the movie centers around several murders, a local town secret, and a father who lost his son and whose life "rapidly deteriorates into a storm of violence, murder, and small town intrigue."

UFC 138 Gets Fox Sports...

After more than a devade of working his arse off and telling anyone who would listen that mixed martial arts would one day surpass soccer as the world’s most popular sport, UFC president Dana White has finally gotten to the super big time in the sports media world.

The UFC, the major league of MMA, will debut on network television on Saturday when Fox Sports airs the heavyweight title bout between champion Cain Velasquez and No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The seven-year deal between the UFC and Fox, which runs through 2018, is an affirmation of the brilliant work done in the last decade by White and UFC co-founders Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta (casino, gaming and entertainment entrepreneurs from Station Casinos) in building a sport from the ground up.

The Velasquez-dos Santos match up is an interesting clash of styles, pitting Velasquez’s top line wrestling and awesome conditioning against dos Santos’ terrific boxing and underrated jiu jitsu.

The match up would have been a huge pay-per-view main eventer, but when he finally landed the network deal, White didn't hesitated to offer it as the first Fox main event. The show will essentially serve as a one-hour promo for the UFC, and there could be no better way to showcase the sport at its best than by putting the two top fighters in the sport’s marquee division on network television in front of the largest possible audience.

“This is a throwback to the old days of boxing,” White said. “We are putting a big fight – a huge fight – on free TV to expose this thing to a new audience. Our goal has always been to bring big fights back to network television. We are thinking long-term for the future of this sport. It is an investment in the future of the UFC. Fans that have never seen the UFC before will see this show, and that’s why we decided to put Cain and Junior in this position.

“I know for a fact this is going to be an awesome fight. I know it is going to be great. That’s why it was these two [fighters] in this position. I have no worries at all this is going to be a great fight.”

As its popularity has grown, the UFC has added a vast array of businesses. There is now a UFC video game, a UFC magazine and UFC-branded gyms. There are DVDs, trading cards, action figures, fan festivals and tons of clothing.

The turnaround that White and the Fertittas engineered with the UFC, which they bought for $2 million in Jan. 2001, is every bit as impressive as what Vince McMahon did with the old WWWE -Titan Sports, bringing it to WrestleMania and sports entertainment level.

White and the Fertitta brothers engineered a similar turnaround with the UFC. Less than five years into their ownership, they were $44 million in debt and on the verge of selling the company.

White, though, believed deeply in the sport and in putting on the best, most evenly matched fights he could. Then, he encouraged his fighters to compete in a fan-friendly style, awarding cash bonuses for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night. In addition, White often pays fighters locker-room bonuses, which are above and beyond what fighters are contracted to earn, if he likes their matches. Those bonuses have gone in excess of $1 million at times.

Making the best fights he could and rewarding the fighters who delivered entertaining bouts are key reasons for the UFC’s skyrocketing popularity and is largely what made the Fox deal possible.

The UFC flourished on cable. Its deal with Spike saved the company and helped it to get to the point where every major broadcast network had some degree of interest.

It’s still got a long way to go however. UFC fighters aren’t nearly as well known as stars in other sports or sports entertainment. No UFC fighter is close to WWE's The Rock, John Cena, Steve Austin or Impact Wrestling's Hulk Hogan.

White is banking on the Fox deal to help bring the UFC into the mainstream. Lightweight contender Joe Lauzon, who fought on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show on Spike, is convinced Fox will propel the sport to the next level.

“This is just the beginning,” Lauzon said. “The UFC took a huge jump when they got on TV with ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ [though] no one really understood how big of a deal it was until after the fact. Look how far the UFC has come with just Spike, basically.

“Now that they have Fox, and it’s going to take another tremendous jump. I think that Lorenzo Fertitta was saying it’s a commercial for the UFC. They’re going to use these Fox shows to get attention and funnel people into the pay-per-view.”

Prior to this deal, Velasquez would be preparing to defend his belt on pay-per-view. But White, 42, grew up in an era when there was still plenty of live boxing on television. He religiously watched fights on the weekends on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” and during the week on USA Network’s “Tuesday Night Fights.”

The biggest stars in the sport competed in those fights. But when pay-per-view came along, boxing promoters took their stars off network television and put them on PPV, where they were fighting in front of a significantly smaller audience.

White never forgot that, and when he took over the UFC, he vowed that he would honor the “Wide World of Sports” tradition and put big fights on free television when he got the opportunity.

There are few bigger bouts than a heavyweight championship match. Velasquez, who defeated former WWE megastar Brock Lesnar 13 months ago to win the belt, is an unlikely star in many ways.

A two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, he is soft-spoken and polite and not the kind of person to draw attention to himself. But he’s a fierce fighter who has become a fan favorite because of his aggressive, entertaining style.

He was on the set of Fox’s NFL pre-game show and has made dozens of appearances as he’s prepared to face dos Santos. Seeing the growth of the sport up-close has been mind-boggling to him.

“I saw it growing because it’s a very fun sport to watch, and it appeals to a young audience,” Velasquez said. “I never saw this, though. This is well beyond what I thought would ever be possible.”

And it’s only going to get bigger. The Fox contract will expose the sport to many who haven’t given it a chance and will help White cultivate an entirely new segment of fans.

The UFC may never become bigger worldwide than soccer, as White predicts, but that’s hardly a problem.

The combination of a network TV deal and White’s firm commitment to putting first-rate fights consistently on Fox will guarantee that the UFC’s growth spurt is nowhere close to being finished.

Make no mistake, UFC is right up their with WWE and most say its already far surpassed professional boxing (while taking away legions of fans from the sweet science).

White and his UFC are on top of the world, right next to WWE's Vince McMahon, who he has deep respect for.

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