Every Monday, PWInsider.com looks back at the biggest stories of the weekend. Here's your springboard to catch up on what you may have missed over the weekend:
The Undertaker Returns to Action.
Fans at WWE's 2/23 house show in Waco, Texas received a legitimate surprise as The Undertaker returned, unannounced, to work a tag bout teaming with Sheamus against Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow in a bout obviously designed to test Taker physically. With Taker likely having met with WWE officials last week in Nashville and now working his first match since an already forgotten Raw 1000 appearance, all signs support at Wrestlemania PPV bout. If he's going to return for a major match at Wrestlemania 29, now is the time for Undertaker to be interjected into the storylines.
Les Thatcher named for Hall of Heroes.
The original jack of all trades in professional wrestling, Les Thatcher, was named the first inductee of the 2013 Hall of Heroes class as part of this August's Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte, NC. Thatcher, who has held every hat in the business from wrestler to announcer to producer to WWE developmental trainer and more, is truly a worth inductee.
Rock's new film fails to make waves.
The Rock might be able to attract fans to Raw and he might be able to carry Wrestlemania PPV buyrates, but this weekend, he was unable to conquer the box office. Rock's latest film "Snitch" a drama-action thriller that features Johnson as a father who goes undercover to help expose a drug dealer in order to help his son's own jail sentence only made an estimated $15 million on its opening weekend. While the film opened on what's considered to be a relatively low-interest weekend in the Hollywood industry against the Oscars, the opening showed that not even the WWE connection means that fans will follow Johnson to every outside venture. It also starts off Johnson's run of several films opening over the next few months on a low key note. The upside is that critically, Johnson received some very good reviews for the film.
Lockdown PPV Main Event Set.
Hulk Hogan announced on Impact Wrestling that "son-in-law" Bully Ray would challenge Jeff Hardy for the TNA title on the 3/10 Lockdown PPV. With TNA Creative having long planned to climax the last six months of their storylines with Lockdown, all signs are that a major angle, perhaps a Ray heel turn, are primed to take place. With Aces & Eights and Brooke Hogan as supporting characters, this looks to be one of the biggest TNA storyline moments in some time.
Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter push undaunted by DUI arrest.
Glenn Beck may have saved the Wrestlemania push and potentially, even the WWE career of Jack Swagger. Just days after Swagger's arrest for DUI and several other misdemeanors 90 minutes after a Smackdown taping had ended, political commentor Glenn Beck ripped on Swagger and Zeb Colter's WWE personas. This led to WWE inviting Beck to appear at Raw tonight (conveniently broadcasting from his hometown of Dallas) via new Youtube promos released by the pair, including a longer video that was later yanked. That video featured the pair with a heavy handed promo that thus far, bordered closest to crossing the line of good taste, only to then have the pair drop character, explain that they were trying to geat heel heat for their storylines, introduce themselves under their real name and break down the demographics of WWEs's audience before inviting Beck to Raw and going "back into character." Even for the 2013 sports-entertainment version of WWE, it was a startling break in characterizations for the company.
NYWC Draws Nice Crowd in NY, Lynn bids Farewell.
The New York Wrestling Connection drew a turnaway crowd in Deer Park, Long Island for their biggest show of the year, the Psycho Circus on 2/23. The show, featuring a mostly excellent card, featuring Zack Ryder disciple the Big O winning the promotion's top title in a bloody, weapons-laden Psycho Circus, only to be laid out with a chair by Tony Nese, who turned heel just moments after saving O from an attack. In a scene reminiscent of Taz's famous 1995 ECW turn, Nese cut a passionate promo about fans ignoring his hard work in favor of the less talented, muscular O because he's on Zack Ryder's Youtube series. Earlier in the night, Nese wrestled an excellent bout against former WWE star Trent Baretta, who returned to the promotion that trained him with an incredible performance. In the most emotional moment of the night, Jerry Lynn was presented with a tribute video by the promotion as he wrestled his final match on the East Coast, being pinned by Papadon in a Three Way bout that also featured ROH star Mike Mondo.
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