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WHY WWE CAN'T USE BRET HART STAMPEDE FOOTAGE, LIO RUSH, HOGAN'S CARTOON, WHY MTV SPECIALS LIKELY DISAPPEARED AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2020-07-25 10:00:00

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Is Lio Rush done with wrestling?

There's been a lot of talk he intends to wrestle once more, perhaps as early as this weekend, as a surprise and then be done with the business.  He's young so there's always a chance he could change his mind on this, but if he feels he needs to walk away, he should do what he believes is best.

It's been awhile since WWE allowed Hulk Hogan to come back, so why hasn't his Saturday Morning Cartoon series return to the WWE Network?

My guess is that either they haven't thought to put it back up or feel returning it to the Network could bring them negative attention.

Why did WWE pull their old MTV specials from the Network?

Nothing has ever been confirmed by the company over this but the common belief is that MTV has/had ownership over the content in some form and WWE needed to yank it.

There's always been rumors as to why WWE can't use the Stampede Wrestling footage, but I thought they own it.  Any clarifications?

WWE owns the library, with the exception of one important piece of the puzzle, the rights to Bret Hart's matches.  After his 1997 falling out with WWF, Bret acquired those rights from his parents.  Therefore, WWE can use matches from the territory, but they cannot use Bret's matches without coming to terms with him on that material.  That is why a few of those old TV episodes popped up and then were yanked a week or so later from the WWE Network.  WWE can make a deal, but it's not likely Hart is going to turn over the rights for a small fee and WWE isn't likely to license it for a limited amount of time.

What's left from the ECW library to go up?

Lots actually.  WWE still have all the unreleased ECW Home Videos plus complete cards that were taped and edited into TV tapings, raw footage from shows that were never released in complete form that they can put together (as they did with November to Remember 1994), dark matches, Best of compilations they could put together, etc.  There is a TON to mine from ECW, if they choose to do so - and that's not even figuring in attempting to gain the rights to the old ECW Pioneer Home Video material (which WWE does not have the rights to) or the old Fan Cams, many of which were produced independently of ECW per an agreement they had with Rob Feinstein at the time.

If you could add anything to the WWE Network, what would it be?

If we are talking a territory, 1000000% Memphis Wrestling, but what I'd actually want is a permanent production team hired to go around the country and interview as many personalities from different territories as possible so the company has the footage for future documentaries, specials, etc.  When George Scott passed away, WWE lost important insight into the company's national expansion as he was one of the few people in the room with Vince McMahon, etc. working on creative.  When Lance Russell died, we lost an important piece of Memphis Wrestling history and all that insight.  As names like Jim Crockett, Bob Caudle, Les Thatcher, Bill Dundee, Terry Funk, Stan Hansen, Bill Watts, Thunderbolt Patterson, Jerry Jarrett and so many more get older, the unthinkable can always happen and when they - and many others - are gone, their first-hand knowledge and insight into different areas, different performers and the overall history of the business, which WWE is by definition, the custodian of in 2020 and beyond, is gone with it.  I'd truly love to see WWE proactively work to interview and document these personalities and those stories so they are preserved forever in WWE's archives so they can be utilized endlessly.

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