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SPECIAL PREVIEW OF THE FIRST ELITE PRO WRESTLING INSIDER WEEKLY NEWSLETTER FOR ALL PWINSIDER.COM USERS

By PWINSIDER.COM STAFF on 2004-02-08 20:00:00

WWE NEWS

STUFF

Bill Goldberg is scheduled to be in attendance at this Saturday's Ultimate Fighting Championship PPV in Las Vegas. Goldberg will be accompanying fighter Wes Sims to the Octagon for his fight with Frank Mir. MMA fighters Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman are also scheduled to walk Sims to the Octagon on Saturday.

Dave: I get asked about Goldberg’s status with WWE all the time.  As of right now, it’s 90% a done deal that he will “appear” (how is that for a non-spoiler) at No Way Out and then wrestle Brock Lesnar at Mania.  At that point, all (and I mean all) signs point to him being done with WWE.  As I said on my hotline on Wednesday, I think that the sides could, and should, save the relationship.  Going forward, Goldberg would be an asset to WWE.  He is an over, real top name and they don’t have enough of them now to let one walk away.  Goldberg makes a mint working for WWE.  But, he reportedly still harbors resentment for both how he has been pushed as well as when Linda McMahon called him a disappointment on a conference call last year.  Even though it looks like their relationship will end, from a business perspective, there is every reason that they should stay together.

Buck: I always find it humorous how Goldberg tries to portray this "shoot fighter" image to the public.  His style of dress, his whole demeanor, all comes from the MMA world.  But, Goldberg has NEVER had a shoot fight in his life, and if he did, he would probably be torn up in minutes. Hanging out with shooters doesn't make you one.  

All the talk of a pair of WWE divas doing Playboy on Raw will lead to Torrie Wilson and Sable doing the magazine in March as a promotional tool for Wrestlemania XX.

Dave: I have to be honest, I would really rather see some divas that we haven't seen before. But, they didn't ask me!

Buck: Is this the first mother-daughter combo in the history of Playboy?  Hehehe.

An article in The Newton Kansan today looked at The McPherson College Bulldogs basketball team. In the article, it noted that player Kenny Romero recently became McPherson's all-time leading scorer. The former record holder? None other than WWE announcer Jonathan Coachman! Click here to check out the story. No wonder Coachman hosted all those basketball sessions on WWE Confidential.

Buck: Good to know Coach is good at something besides annoying me during Heat and Raw.

Eddie Guerrero will be challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the No Way Out Pay-per-view on February 15th. Local and national advertising for the show began this week, with that match being specifically advertised. The "Clown Prince Of Boxing" Jorge Paez is being advertised to appear in Guerrero's corner for the match.

Dave: If this were my TV show column, I would call this a mixture of both. While I think it’s a good thing to get the lineups out as soon as possible, it hurts the TV shows when they do that. Anyone who knew Eddie would get a title shot probably knew that he was going to win the Rumble on Thursday. It’s a tough situation for WWE. They want to get the word out but they want to surprise people on TV.

Speaking of Smackdown, kudos to our own Cynical Danny for getting the “Don’t talk to the Internet” sign on TV. That was classic!

Jess: I see this going one of two ways: Guerrero wins the title after Goldberg interferes, or Lesnar retains the title after Angle interferes.  Either way, it seems like Goldberg-Lesnar and Guerrero-Angle at Mania.  I'd rather see Guerrero win the belt, simply because Goldberg-Lesnar will be big enough without the championship involved.

Dave: I agree with Jess on this. They should have Eddie go over and make yet another match at Mania "more important".

Buck: See my column later in this newsletter for my thoughts on Eddie possibly winning the WWE Championship. 

Joe Mistretta sent in the following: Bob Costas was a guest on WFAN 660AM's Mike and The Mad Dog talk show in New York City. Their show is also simulcast on the YES Network. Towards the end of the interview, Costas brought up the Vince McMahon interview that ran last year on HBO and featured Vince's heel-like character arguing with Costas.  Costas noted he was in Florida last week and was having dinner when he noticed that two tables over was Vince with Linda McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H.  Costas had to explain to the hosts who Triple H and Stephanie were. Costas went over to Vince in a jokingly kind of way and said, "Vince don't try me today" and Vince stood up and hugged him.  Triple H then stood up and told Costas that Vince brought back-up with him this time. Pretty funny story! Mike in Syracuse sent along a link to the Bob Costas segment.  You can check it out by clicking here.

Dave: This just reminds me of how bad Vince came off on the Costas show, knocking the papers out of his hands and threatening the little guy. Some day Vince will realize that you can't work the gimmick in the real world if you want mainstream success. Then again, he probably won't ever realize that since he hasn't yet.

Navdeep Ghali sent this along. ... The commentary section on Randy Orton's website, RandyOrton.com, has been removed. In his last commentary, Orton had "exposed the business," as he said, in writing that he had been legitimately knocked goofy three minutes into the Intercontinental Title Match a few weeks ago on Raw, and that RVD carried him through the remaining 17 minutes. I guess Vince McMahon's speech about leaking things to the internet had an effect on Orton. We'll see if it has any effect on other wrestler's and their websites.

Dave: Isn't it funny that Orton worked the internet with the fake fight that a lot of NEWZ sites bit on, and now he's shooting?

WWE.com has added two new articles to the site. The first is an interview with Chris Benoit about winning the Royal Rumble. Titled "Benoit goes the Distance," Benoit discusses the huge win, his training which included watching Shawn Michaels' performance in 1995, WrestleMania XX, and a whole lot more. It is a great read. Click here to check it out.
 
Also, there is an article updating the fans on the condition of William Regal. The article discusses how it has almost been a year since Regal wrestled his last match, his recovery, his training, and a lot more. The good news is that Regal believes his in-ring return is no longer an "if" but now a "when." Good to hear that the former commissioner is doing better. Click here to check it out.

Buck: I really hope Regal gets the chance to return, even if is only for a short run.  Regal has battled a lot of demons and problems in his life, and much like Eddie Guerrero, beaten them.  I've always enjoyed his ring style, since it employs a lot of logic, although I know many see it as being slow paced.  

Linda McMahon, Bradshaw, Chris Nowinski, and Shaniqua will be attending a Smackdown Your Vote press conference on Monday 2/2 in New York City to announce the release of a pamphlet detailing young adults in the age range of 18-30 year olds are concerned about. The booklet is designed to aid political candidates in focusing their attention on the age group during the upcoming election race. That's the first time Nowinski, who has been dealing with post concussion syndrome, has been mentioned in recent memory as attending any WWE-related functions.

Chris Jericho's band Fozzy will be in concert on 2/23 at The Ranch Bowl in Omaha, Nebraska.

The word going around at the Rumble was that Shawn Michaels and HHH didn’t like their match as much as the bout that they had on Raw a few weeks ago. A few people told me that both men would have liked to have had more time in the ring at the Rumble, but due to having the long main event, everyone’s matches were shorter than they would have liked. The bouts before the World Title match were really chopped short.

Dave: Believe me when I tell you, these guys didn't get any sympathy from the other wrestlers on the show. Here you had a WWE Title match that went about 6 or 7 minutes, and they weren't happy with 20 plus? Now, I want to point out that they were not complaining from what I heard, but they just didn't accomplish what they wanted to because of time. I guess it's like a guy complaining that he won the lottery but "I only got 2 million. It was 29 million last week."

Buck: I liked their Raw match better too.  Mostly because it had a finish that didn't kill the bout for me. The double knockout, after the fans had emotionally invested themselves into the match, caused them to turn on two guys who had just busted their asses for twenty minutes. 

The Rumble ended up being a legitimate sellout and cleared more than a million dollars at the gate. That is great news for WWE.

Dave: They did a million dollar gate and will have a monster house for Mania as well. This will be a good financial quarter for the company.

Thanks to Everett Will for the following: The Washington Post reports that a group of WWE wrestlers including Bradshaw joined a news briefing with U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to promote WWE's "Smackdown Your Vote!" campaign. The WWE wrestlers challenged President Bush in fun to a wrestling match but declined to make a similar offer to Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean. Bradshaw explained that "we were going to challenge Howard Dean, but once we saw the screech we wanted no part of that."   
The Washington Post blurb on the news briefing can be found here.

Buck: I imagine all this talk of wrestlers and Presidents will cause all those old rumors about Abe Lincoln being World Champion to resurface again. 

The WWE.com Raw subsite now lists Chris Benoit as an official member of the Raw roster.

Dave: I have not heard definitively if he will be sent back to Smackdown after his run with HHH is over but the early word is that he won't be.

Buck: Sadly, this means no more Benoit-Angle classics, and we will never get to see the Benoit-Lesnar match that almost headlined Wrestlemania last year. 

There is an interview with Edge in the today's edition of The Indian Times. Edge, who is scheduled to return to the ring from his neck injury this March, was in India on Wednesday for a promotional appearance for a biscuit being released in conjunction with Britannia Industries. The article touched on many of the usual questions you would expect about wrestling. Edge noted that some wrestlers call their matches before they hit the ring, while others feel their way through. He also pushed the idea that families should watch wrestling with their children as, "Parents should explain to their children that the fights are not real, that it's some kind of a movie. It is not something they should try at home or without training." To read the complete article, click here.

Dave: All signs point to Edge not coming back until after Mania. I feel really badly for him since he has worked so hard to rehab his neck with the hope being that he would return at the big show. But, on the plus side at least he can get a big post-Mania push and will be a fresh face that they can bring back at a time when they will really need one, especially if Goldberg leaves. As I wrote last week, even though he was a Smackdown talent when he was injured, the Raw brand is fighting to have him on their show and appears to be in the lead as to where he will eventually end up.

There has been a lot of media interest this week in Rod Smart of The Carolina Panthers as he is playing this weekend in the Super Bowl. Of course, Smart was the most famous player for the short-lived Vince McMahon owned XFL, where Smart was known as "He Hate Me." To check out a great article on Smart and his history, click here. There's actually a great book about the rise and fall of the XFL titled The Long Bomb by Brett Forrest which is well worth checking out if you are so inclined.

Dave: The pain of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles losing their third NFC Championship game in a row really doesn't need to invade my workplace does it?

Buck: Shut up, Dave.  At least your Eagles made it to the dance.  My New York Giants have been playing golf for over a month now. 

WWE has posted the cards for this weekend's Raw brand house shows in Ohio on its website. Here are some notes from the cards:

Chris Benoit and "Nova" Mike Bucci begin working Raw brand house shows on January 31st in Dayton. Bucci and Jon Heidenreich will work as heels at the Dayton show and as faces at the February 1st show in Youngstown. Chris Jericho, Spike Dudley and Christian will be at the show in Dayton, but not at the Youngstown show. Booker T, The Dudley Boyz, Ric Flair, Mark Henry, Theodore Long, Garrison Cade, Mark Jindrak and La Resistance will be at the show in Youngstown, but not at the show in Dayton.

Dave: Bucci is an interesting guy. There was talk that he would get called up last March, but it never happened. He has been around a while and I think that he is getting to the point where they either need to call him up or he needs to move on to Japan and the indies. He has a lot of talent, but if WWE is going to keep him buried at OVW, he should move on. He deserves better. Let's hope this they is the start of a call up.

Buck: Jon Heidenreich.  Now, there's a push that ended in a hurry. 

Thanks to Navdeep Ghali for the following: Lance Storm has updated his commentary on his website. It's another Q and A commentary, with Storm answering questions about Bret Hart, ECW, WCW, the Nitro Girls, and many others. Click here to check it out.

Dave: I don't like that Lance has once again become a forgotten man in WWE. He was starting to get over a bit in his "Mr. Fun" character and they up and stopped it.

Our own Scrap Dog sent word that CNBC will be airing a story on World Wrestling Entertainment this Wednesday 2/4 on American Family Business at 10 PM Eastern.

DefenseLINK, a military website ran a feature on the different entertainment acts that have gone overseas to entertain the American troops stationed in the Middle East. The article mentions WWE's visit to Iraq and features a photo of the Baghdad Smackdown show (which I firmly believe should be released on DVD). To check out the article, click here.

Buck: I will second that nomination.  WWE and the USO should release the Baghdad Smackdown, along with interviews, the Confidential pieces and whatever other footage from the trip they can put together, and release it.  They can then take the proceeds and give it to the USO or the Veterans hospital or another worthy cause. 

Ivory will be wrestling UPW Ladies champion Erica Porter on the UPW Fifth Anniversary show on 2/20 in California. This is the show that will feature the reunion of the Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.

Dave: Isn't there something sad about Nash and Hall, as the Outsiders no less, wrestling on an indy show in the year 2004? Isn't it even sadder that when they did the gimmick in the early 90s, there were actually competing companies so that the gimmick made sense? I do give Rick Bassman credit for laying out the coin for these guys though.

Ric Flair and Triple H will be signing autographs on 3/10 at the Toys R Us in Times Square, New York as part of the Wrestlemania XX festivities. There will be a number of signings in NYC that weekend, which are scheduled to be announced on 3/7.

The Rock revealed during an interview with Jim Rome that he only planned to make one WWE appearance this year, at Wrestlemania. Initially, the plan had been for Rock to work some shots in January, as well as March, in leading up to a WrestleMania match where he would team up with Mick Foley against Randy Orton and a partner.  Rock even did an interview where he said he would be doing so, but something obviously changed since then.  Last I heard, he was still scheduled to be Foley's partner.  As far as I know, his role in that match is still on. 

Jess: I guess if you did Foley vs. Orton, there wouldn't be anything for Rock. But sticking Batista into that tag slot would be a real downer. I'd prefer Flair, or somebody else in need of a push up the ranks.

Dave: Like Jess, I am really curious to see where they go with Rock. No one really either knew what was up with Rock or would comment on it if they did. Just weeks ago, he was saying he would do shots in January and March leading up to Mania. Now, he's coming in for one shot. It's an interesting story, for sure.

As I said on No Name this week, my take is that WWE has relied on their old stars for too long. If they don't push the new guys, the old guys keep getting less and less over, and more stale. I love Rock and I love seeing him on Raw, but having him do isolated shots here and there and working part time only helps the company that day. It doesn't do anything for the long-term prospects of the company and as much as I love Rock, long-term is where they need to be focusing.

Buck: I might be in the minority here, but after hearing that kickass promo from Foley, I don't want Rock coming in with his catchphrases and making Mick his "second banana" again.  I like Foley when he is serious, with some twisted humor thrown in.  Let Rock come in and do a job to John Cena to help elevate him.  Oh, that's right, Mr. Hollywood already refused to do that. 


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