Hey there! Hope you’re having a good weekend! Anyway, Eddie here with your weekly edition of the News and Rumors. There’s some things to update you on since Mike’s Wednesday report. Big shot-out to Michael by the way. Is that guy great or what?! Watch your back Martin!
The WWE presented that one show they like to call SmackDown! on Thursday night. As usual, it was one solid block of 2 hours of entertainment mixed with some great in-ring action, as Edge and Mysterio captured the WWE Tag Team Champinoships in a 2 out of 3 falls match, and this was definitely the highlight of the night. Elsewhere on the program, Brock Lesnar defeated Eddie Guerrero and continued his feud with The Big Show, where now Paul Heyman is definitely playing a bigger and more interesting role. In all it was another great show for the SmackDown! brand and they should be happy with their work, as Survivor Series is next Sunday.
Speaking of SmackDown!, the show scored a 3.6 rating with a 4.6 overnight score. While this is somewhat below what the show is used to making it’s up from last week’s score which came short due to the fact SmackDown! aired on Halloween.
WWE.com has announced 2 matches for Monday’s RAW:
— Booker T vs. Triple H
— Christian and Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kane and Rob Van Dam — World Tag Teams Championship Match
— We’ll hear from Shawn “HBK” Michaels
To get it over with the TV Part of this report, here’s a rumored match for Survivor Series:
— Bill DeMott and Christopher Nowinski vs. Al Snow and Maven
There are plenty of newsworthy notes to update you on, as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter stuff got around on the ‘net come Thursday night. So without further a do, here are plenty of interesting news updates from there:
* I consider this probably the most important tidbit of them all, but then again that’s just me — Kurt Angle will reduce his WWE schedule for the year 2003, as Kurt and wife Karen are expecting their first child. Angle will be on the road for 4 days and then spend 3 days at home which will allow him to be close to his wife. The bigger issue here is that many now expect Angle to definitely make up his mind and stay with the WWE instead of trying out for the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece. Not only will Kurt be busy at home, but he’s expected to be one of the company’s top stars in the year 2003. All I have to say to hat is “AMEN!” because Kurt Angle is the BEST wrestler the company currently has under contract in my opinion.
* There still is no official word on what is Scott Steiner’s deal with the WWE. However, it’s believed (and it’s pretty sure) that his downside guarantee is like the ones of Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan when they were brought in with the nWo. As far as how many days per month he will be working, the word as of right now is that his contract is for 14 days a month, meaning all TVs, the monthly PPV, but one weekend in the month off. The Undertaker is the other WWE wrestler with the same working days clause.
* In another important update on Scott Steiner, wrestlingobserver.com states that the WWA (World Wrestling All-Stars) and the WWE have reached an agreement on Steiner’s obligation to work the upcoming WWA tour in the Europe. This may come out funny, but the WWA has agreed to let Steiner stay in the US and work for the WWE, but the compromise is that the WWE will allow The Godfather and Perry Saturn to work the tour instead of Steiner, taking his place. Reminder: Tonight’s edition of WWE Confidential will have an interview with Scott Steiner.
* There is still a chance that Hollywood Hulk Hogan might return to WWE TV around the date of his book release, as a way to hype it up and to get the Hulkster back. The financial troubles and all the other issues between Hogan and McMahon, however, make this a small chance, so don’t get your hopes up too much. A rumor which will make sense is that the WWE is holding back on the announcement of the “trade” that got Show on SmackDown!, as they haven’t announced who’s jumping to RAW yet. Hogan might end up being one of the people, if not THE person, as this will definitely be an effective way to get him back on RAW.
* In another Hulk Hogan update, when his book was finished, it was sent to Vince and Linda McMahon, as well as Jim Ross. Linda McMahon found the book boring as she wanted Hogan to talk about drugs, his marriage, etc., “soap opera” kind of things that always make for a great book. Linda also felt Hogan didn’t give Vince McMahon enough credit for making him what he’s today. Interesting.
* The original plans for Survivor Series were to have Brock Lesnar defend against either Hulk Hogan in a rematch or Chris Benoit. The plan with Hogan, however, got scratched since Hulk Hogan refused to job to Lesnar. The WWE then had to choose between Benoit and Big Show, but due to Show’s size and way to put over, they went with The Big Show. Rey Mysterio and Edge were thought of as a back-up plan, but neither one was considered seriously. Honestly, this is disappointing to hear to me, because Edge has defeated Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero in singles matches over on SmackDown!.
* Speaking of Survivor Series, there are no plans as of this writing to have the Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show feud continue beyond the PPV. This, however, could change at any time and with Paul Heyman’s involvement a possible turn could happen, resulting in a somewhat prolonged feud. Stay tuned.
* Despite what many Internet sites have already reported, as of earlier this week, Terry Taylor still hasn’t signed a WWE contract. If you’re not sure who I am talking about, the WWE called back Terry Taylor to work as an agent, and in the past several weeks he’s been behind the scenes helping out. He even came up with the idea that the Undertaker/Lesnar match at No Mercy be a Hell In A Cell. It’s expected for Taylor to sign sooner or later, but I’d say rather sooner.
* Many feel that Eric Bischoff could be slowly gaining backstage power within the WWE. That is based on the fact that couple of his close friends have recently gotten a tryout with the WWE. An example would be the very-well known to WCW fans, Ernest “The Cat” Miller who wrestled for the company in a dark match recently.
* Something which I found very interesting — there has been discussion among management in the WWE to pull Triple H and William Regal out of production meetings. According to management, the two being there causes more heat among the wrestlers backstage. What?! You mean to tell me H and Regal cause heat backstage?! Who the hell wrote that?! What’s wrong with you people?! Everybody loves Triple H and his actions backstage! Psh! (Ah the irony!)
* There are rumors going around that the WWE might try and turn Billy Kidman heel. Ever since coming to the WWE, Kidman hasn’t really hit it big, and as of lately especially he has no interaction with the fans, and the pops he get are nothing compared to his WCW years, or even his wCw years upon entering the company. This was tested out at a recent house show, where the WWE had Kidman turn on Rey Mysterio. However, it’s important to note that as of this writing, the company hasn’t decided yet on where to go with Kidman’s character. Remember that this is the guy who was one feuding and defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan in the old WCW.
* Jim Ross also touched on this in his Ross Report, but Nathan Jones, the Australian star who I believe is above 7 feet tall will be getting a ten-day “look” by the WWE where he will work several dark matches and house shows. He will be then examined one more time and the WWE will go from there on whether or not they’ll sign him to a deal. I think they will, unless he’s really green.
In other news, Jim Ross has updated his Ross Report over at WWE.com. Honestly, nothing huge to report this week as J.R. kept it low. In some of the bigger things to point out, J.R. once again picked on “the Internet” for false reports on Scott Steiner and Terry Taylor. Many people find this interesting (and I am one of them) as nobody really has given any false information here or there. In fact, sites like 1wrestling.com had informed its readers that Steiner and the WWE were in the midst of a contract talk while Ross was lying to the WWE fans saying that there is nothing to update on the situation. I think J.R. needs to pick it up a notch. In another “negative” note towards J.R., he once again spoke of “the Internet” as he referred to the smarks and some of the rumors that have been going around. I honestly don’t get this man. Why in the world does he care what the Internet have to say about the WWE? Jim Ross is there to speak to the WWE fans, and to update them on the situations within the company which aren’t talked of on their TV shows. He’s not there to read what the Internet has to say and whether it’s right or not. Even if it wrong, just don’t pay attention to it, Mr. Ross. I’m not trying to be a smark here, but in my opinion, Jim Ross shouldn’t care what the Internet has to say, but the Internet should care what Jim Ross has to say.
Well, to wrap it up on J.R., he said that Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar are both working through some knee troubles. Angle needs to have his knee ‘scoped whereas Lesnar is still rehabbing to get to 100% after a PCL tear. Ross says that more Survivor Series matches will be announced this next week on TV and he asks the now famous question of when will the trade that got Big Show on SmackDown! be finalized, meaning are we ever going to find out who went to RAW? This question with the rumor that Hogan might be going to RAW (see the Wrestling Observer Newsletter updates above) will definitely leave some people wondering what’s cooking…
Wow, the day has come — the domain name WWF.com no longer exists.
The following release made it on many sites, and I suggest you check it out. The former General Manager of WWE’s “The World” in Times Square was arrested in an investigation for “suspicious” transactions. Here’s more:
STAMFORD (Reuters) – World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:WWE – News), home to pro-wrestling stars such as “The Undertaker,” said it has uncovered “suspicious” fiscal transaction related to an affiliated New York complex.
The Stamford, Connecticut-company said that, in September, it identified several “suspicious financial transactions” in connection with the operations of The World, its entertainment complex in Times Square in Manhattan.
Kenton Jenkins, former General Manager of The World, on Friday was arrested in New York, in conjunction with an investigation by local law enforcement, the company said. A WWE news release did not identify the charges against Jenkins.
The company said it does not believe that these matters will have a material effect on its operations.
In an update of this story, the WWE released the following yesterday:
Statement Concerning Arrest of Kenton Jenkins, Former General Manager of The World
STAMFORD, Conn., November 8, 2002 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) today issued the following statement:
As part of its customary business operations reviews, on September 23, 2002, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., identified a series of suspicious financial transactions in connection with the operations of The World, the company’s entertainment complex in Times Square, New York City.
WWE engaged KPMG Forensic, a premier provider of investigative and forensic accounting services, which conducted a preliminary review of the suspicious transactions.
On September 25, 2002, WWE executives and the team from KPMG first met with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and turned over the findings of their investigation.
WWE is appreciative of the efforts of the office of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau for its diligent investigation, which today resulted in the arrest of Kenton Jenkins, former General Manager of The World.
WWE and the investigators at KPMG are continuing to cooperate with the District Attorney’s office regarding the current case. The company does not believe that these matters will have a material effect on its operations.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the arrest of KENTON JENKINS for embezzling $437,000 from World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., (“WWE”).
JENKINS was the former General Manager of WWE’s theme restaurant, “The World”, in Times Square, which was formerly the Paramount Theater. From September, 2001 to July, 2002, during a period of construction and renovation on “The World”, JENKINS wrote checks totaling $437,000 to a non-existent construction company (“CSG Construction”) and created paperwork describing work that was never undertaken.
The defendant, who is 39 years old and lives in Demarest, New Jersey, has been charged with 3 counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and 1 count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is a class C felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison; Grand Larceny in the Third Degree is a class D felony that is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Mr. Morgenthau thanked WWE and its auditors, KPMG, and the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice for their assistance in the investigation. Assistant District Attorney Paul Mahoney of the Frauds Bureau will handle the prosecution. Assistant District Attorney Owen Heimer is chief of the Frauds Bureau.
TheBalrogsLair.com was proud to have the famous Mr. Tito as guest on our site here, as Tito sat down for a special edition of PTR with Adam. If you still haven’t checked that out, I definitely urge you to do so, because I went through it and it was a good one. It’s worth reading! Go check it out at Pardon The Ring.
Well, folks, that is it from me for this edition of the News and Rumors. It’s raining like crazy here in Los Angeles, and if the Lakers keep losing like that, maybe Jay Leno will be right in saying it’s not rain, it’s just the tears of the Laker fans out there. Sigh. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this report and make sure to keep checking on the main page for updates. Have a nice weekend everyone!
– Writer of The Prime Cut, and Michael Blaszkowski’s biggest fan.