~~~~~THE TBL NEWSLETTER~~~~~
Volume 4, Issue 1
*The Official Newsletter of:*
*”An Internet Original Since 1996″*
“Giving You What You Want!”*
Letter from the Editor:
The TBL Newsletter is back in business! This newsletter has a history that
dates back to the late 1990’s and with our newly expanding subscriber base,
we will attempt to send out a regular edition of the newsletter again. This
newsletter will include news and columns that you can find on
TBLWrestling.com and XHeadlines.com. In addition, we will attempt to access
and celebrate the vast online history of The Balrog’s Lair and The TBL
Newsletter. You can see the beginning of this celebration at the end of the
newsletter as an opinion column that originally appeared in the very first
TBL Newsletter has been included!
Please bear with us as we restart this process as it will take us some time
to get back into the swing of things. And as always, we are at the mercy of
our fans. If there is something that you would like to see covered in this
newsletter or included, please let me know. Thank you all for your loyalty
throughout the many years and welcome back to The TBL Newsletter!
News & Rumors:
WrestleMania 23 on DVD
– Andy Steven
The Blockbuster exclusive WWE WrestleMania 23 2 Disk DVD set, (not the
Ultimate 3 Disk DVD) is not an extra bonus DVD, the DVD features several
exclusive extras including the ECW Originals vs. New Breed 8 Man Extreme
Rules match from ECW on SciFi after WrestleMania and the Vince
McMahon/Donald Trump contract signing from RAW.
News on the Big 3-Hour RAW
– Ryan Gray
The three-hour RAW special on June 11th will be a major event. WWE asked the
USA Network for the timeslot and will require all superstars on the entire
roster be at the event. This is why the SmackDown house show in Ocean City,
Maryland was canceled yesterday. The special will be titled “Night of
Champions” with each match being a championship bout. Vince McMahon briefly
mentioned the idea during the annual WWE Stock Shareholders meeting a few
2 Cold Scorpio Making an Appearance
– Andy Steven
Recently released WWE superstar, 2 Cold Scorpio is scheduled to return to
Pro Wrestling Unplugged in Philadelphia on June 16th. He will be taking part
in the promotion’s signature Crazy 8 match, featuring scaffolds and swinging
John Cena to Appear in New ABC Reality Series
On TV, John Cena comes across as a ferocious wrestler, filled with fire and
top-heavy with intimidation. On the track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, taking
part in Gillette’s “Fast Cars & Superstars” reality show sponsored in part
by Cars . com, he showed he’s also a competitor outside the ring, not to
mention a car fan looking to find success on a NASCAR track.
Read the entire article by clicking
Hardcore Holly on His Way back
– Ryan Gray
ECW Superstar Bob “Hardcore” Holly should be returning within the next
month. Holly underwent surgery April 16th to release a nerve entrapment in
TNT Beats Out USA Network in the Ratings
Basketball, NASCAR, and wrestling topped the cable ratings for the week
ending May 20. TNT took top honors with its May 16 Spurs/Suns game
averaging 4.97 million total viewers between 10:40 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.,
according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox Cable’s Speed Channel ranked second
with its coverage of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup pulling in 3.79 million viewers
from 7 p.m. to 11:14 p.m. May 19. USA came in third with Monday-night WWE
wrestling averaging 4.72 million viewers from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. May 14.
(Speed ranks second, despite the fact that it drew fewer viewers because
Nielsen adjusts for the fact that it is in fewer homes than its
fully-distributed competitors – 63% of the country vs. USA Network’s 84%).
Joanie “Chyna Doll” Laurer on The Howard Stern Show
– Ryan Gray
Yesterday on the Howard Stern radio show, former WWE Diva Joanie “Chyna”
Laurer said it’s time to get rid of the “porno” boobs and get “normal”
boobs. The former diva is doing a television commercial where she gets money
per sign-up and says the money she makes will buy her “new” set. Laurer was
said to be in a good frame of mind, happy, and laughing.
The Steiner Brothers Taking on Team 3D
A tag team dream match was made official for “Slammiversary” as it will be
TNA World Tag Team Champions Team 3D battling the legendary Steiner Brothers
for the first time in TNA Wrestling history! During the face-off between the
teams, Brother Ray and Brother Devon tried to pay respect to The Steiners,
but “Big Poppa Pump” ripped into Team 3D unmercifully, claiming they didn’t
deserve to call themselves one of the greatest ever until they beat The
Steiner Brothers. As a result, Scott Steiner made the challenge for the two
legendary teams to battle on Sunday, June 17 live on Pay-Per-View in a bout
fans everywhere will be looking forward to!
More news and rumors are available at The TBL
joe1897 at gmail.com
A Reasonable Brand Extension Strategy
It seems that the month of May is my prime “writing” season in terms of
producing new “Balrog Babblings” columns for TBL. To that end, I recommend
checking out the Balrog Babblings archive for some of the May columns that
I’ve written. Topics include the Death of Owen Hart, 4 straight hours of
wrestling one Monday night, and a look at splitting the writers.
Actually, the idea of splitting the writers, browsing through Jim Ross’
blog, and a great conversation with my friend and TBL Webmaster, Eddie, that
prompted me to write this particular column. You see, I’m not satisfied with
RAW, Smackdown!, and ECW. I’m just not. I wish TNA was the answer to my
dilemma, but they have to redesign their business model from the ground up
in order to make it work correctly (a column for a later time). I won’t
discuss the root of my problem with World Wrestling Entertainment (the
previous Jean Paul Levesque-ization of the company that lingers as a bad
taste in my mouth, Stephanie being just horrible at her job, and Vince
losing touch), but I will attempt to address the branding of WWE.
I hate WWE’s branding. Simple enough? They once tried to have a different
feel on each show and that tanked. Then they did this recurring draft
lottery that most people accepted, but never understood the reasoning behind
after the first one. Now we have guys that are constants on both of the main
“brands” (Matt Hardy, Mr. McMahon, Bobby Lashley – to a degree) and I’m not
entirely opposed to that, but in the end – it’s all WWE.
Read the entire column by clicking
This column appeared in the very first TBL Newsletter!
By: Captain Gelf
Been away all weekend for Passover. My favorite holiday of the year!!
Friends, family, home-cooked meals, the whole bit. Nothing like a little
matzoh and haroseth and horseradish to cheer you up. Anyway, on to wrestling
matters. WCW really screwed up this week with the whole Flair fiasco.
Confirm that the guy’s gonna be their before you announce he’s gonna be on!
Anyway, I wanna talk about loyalty. People are always saying how Vinnie Mac
screwed Bret Hart and how it was so terrible because Bret had been so loyal
to the company. Now Bret is in WCW with Saint Bischoff who never screws any
of his talent. Yeah, right. Let’s explore WCW’s stance on loyalty. To start
off, we have the afforementioned Ric Flair. In my opinion, and many others
seem to agree with me, WCW is the house that Ric built. How does Bischoff
reward him? By having him job to Hennig like 18 times and then pull him off
TV when “there is no angle for him”. Right. A promotion with 100 wrestlers
and supposedly the biggest talent pool in history and they can’t find an
opponent for Ric Flair. The fact is, Ric Flair and Hogan don’t get along,
and Hogan doesn’t want a more talented entertainer stealing his thunder.
Just ask Kevin Nash about that.
Next, we have Syxx. Here is a wrestler that WCW legitimately made into a
star. He was a good worker for them, and up until the end, his merchandise
outsold everything, but Sting’s. And Bischoff simply fires him. Because he
did something wrong? Because he was hurting the company? No. Because Eric
Bischoff was on a power trip and wanted to show the Outsiders who was boss.
He wasn’t willing to deal with Syxx’s injury, which reminds me of the
situation with Steve Austin. Bischoff fired Austin OVER THE PHONE because of
Austin’s injuries. Now, I hear rumblings that Rick Martel is on the way out.
These guys injured themselves working their butts off for the company and
WCW shows how much compassion they have by firing them. It’s not like the
money is such a drain that Turner can’t afford it. Come on!!
Let’s compare this to the WWF’s situation. Brian Pillman was injured for a
year. Shawn Michaels was injured for six months. Mark Henry was out for a
year. Rocky Maivia was out for six months. HBK is even now taking more time
off to convalesce. Did the WWF give up on these guys? Hell no! And let’s not
forget about the whole situation with Austin after Summerslam. The fact of
the matter is, the WWF treats it’s injured talent better than WCW treats
theirs. I am starting to think that the only reason Arn Anderson wasn’t cut
loose is because it would have been a public relations nightmare. So tell
me, now? Who really rewards loyalty?
Folks, also, always remember this. At least Vince McMahon took the punch.
Eric Bischoff fired Austin over the phone, he fired Syxx via fed ex. He
didn’t have the balls to face up to the consequences of his actions. Vince
McMahon walked into Bret Hart’s locker room and confronted him. And the
bottom line is, the firing of Bret Hart has worked out for the WWF whether
Hitman fans want to admit it or not. Despite being at the top of WWF’s
payroll, Bret Hart was not the WWF’s top draw. For some reason, Bret’s
appearances on Raw made fans (myself not included) switch over to Nitro.
Fans wanted to see Shawn Michaels, not Bret Hart. It’s no coincedence that
ratings skyrocketed after the Hitman’s departure. Now that WCW has him, they
are struggling to stay ahead of WWF. The Hitman is not worth 2.5 million a
year from a business standpoint. Thus, even though I highly condemn Vince
McMahon’s actions and decisions, I do see where he’s coming from.
On top of that, Bret Hart refused to do the job. This whole Canadian hero
thing, as I’ve said before, is a bunch of crap. Bret complained when Hogan
refused to “pass the torch” to him in 1993, yet now Bret is doing the same
thing to Shawn Michaels. Bret Hart may be the best worker in the biz, but
he’s a hypocrite, and that’s undeniable.
Rumors of the Pitbulls and Abdullah the Butcher tomorrow on Raw. I hope so.
I really want Raw to win this week, if for no other reason than to see how
Bischoff is gonna rationalize it.
That’s All, Folks!
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