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FIRST INDEPENDENT COMPANY TO RUN WRESTLEMANIA WEEKEND, KAITLYN, WWE CHANGING NAMES AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2018-02-22 10:00:00

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I was wonder, what was the first company to take the chance to run Wrestlemania weekend?

The first company that I recall doing it was a Canadian promotion titled Blood Sweat N’ Ears which ran the night before Wrestlemania 18 in Toronto.   ROH then ran Elizabeth, NJ the night before Wrestlemania 20 in New York City, which I suggested to company management after seeing the WWE Hall of Fame that night sold out immediately and that the site was receiving countless emails asking for suggestions as to what else fans from out of town could do that night.  The following year, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla ran a pair of events before Wrestlemania 21 in Los Angeles. Over the ensuing years, we saw the explosion of events that we now see over Mania week.

How long before you think WWE starts to change the names of wrestlers they sign again?

I don’t think the practice has changed, except the company has backed off on not using the names of wrestlers who have created a name for themselves on the independent scene.  At some point, the company will change names – as seen by Aleister Black’s name being created to replace his independent name, Tommy End.  There’s no science to it – it’s just whether WWE wants to continue to trade off the talent’s independent name.

Since Kaitlyn has returned to the ring, has there been any sign of WWE signing her?

As of this writing, not yet, but one would think that if she’s returned to the ring after years of being inactive, she has a larger goal in mind than just wrestling on the independents.

How come WWE doesn’t have any animals as part of their wrestlers’ entrances anymore?  I loved seeing the Bulldogs with Mathilda back in the day.

My guess is that while the usage of animals back in the ‘80s fell under the radar, using animals on the road, especially in a touring environment like WWE would be extremely frowned upon, as it should be, because it’s not fair to the animals to place them in that sort of travel situation.

I was watching an old WCW PPV and I was curious, as dumb as this is, how the hell did WCW get the rights to OZ for a character played by Kevin Nash?

At the time, WCW was owned by Turner Broadcasting, which had the rights to The Wizard of Oz.  There was a decision made to try and use the rights within the promotion, hence that short-lived gimmick.

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