New Promotion with major backing giving written contracts:
A lot of buzz is being generated around a new independent promotion called “Crossfire Entertainment” which has managed to get backing from Viacom’s Paramount Pictures division. The Nashville, Tennessee, based company is reportedly signing Indy wrestlers to $30,000 per year written contracts and telling them that they will be taking part in TV tapings that will get national TV exposure. The idea is to be the first 3D-TV wrestling show.
So far one set of 3D tapings have already been taped from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena, with a turn out of 757 fans. ECW original Shane Douglas is the storyline authority figure and former WWE Diva Maria plays the head of the women’s division. The roster is a mix of established stars and local Indy wrestlers. Roddy Piper, Carlito, Matt Hardy, Colt Cabana, Maria Kanellis, Kid Kash, Jerry Lynn, Shane Helms, Chris Masters, Reby Sky, and Jillian Hall have been booked for the second tapings on January 5th.
Of course many new promotions have sprung up over the years claiming to have the finances and a decent TV slot, only to have a couple of episodes and drop off the radar. The success of Crossfire will probably rest on which network Paramount promotes them on. There’s no way they can succeed financially with $30,000 contracts if they don’t quickly get a TV audience, which translates in to live attendance.
It’s not yet known who is writing and booking the shows.
WWE Holding meetings to book UK Stadium show:
Summerslam 1992 was WWE’s last major global PPV held in the UK. The enormous Stadium event drew a legit 80,355 fans and was headlined by the British Bulldog defeating Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title. A decade later the company are looking to recreate a show of similar spectacle and have been holding meetings with potential Stadiums during the European tour.
British-Native Wade Barrett commented:
“[The Bulldog] was from just down the road from me, near Wigan. I’m from Preston, very close. He was my idol as a kid, so this was a great moment and great to have a pay-per-view like SummerSlam in the U.K. I hope we get that again one day.”
So far WWE officials have met with representatives of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, which holds 75,000 fans (possibly more for a wrestling event with floor space), as well as the famous Manchester United Soccer Stadium, which can hold a similar amount.
The feeling is that although the recent tour has drawn lower than expected (often half the arena capacity), a strongly built mega-event pulling in fans from all across Europe could be a massive success. While Wrestlemania is off the cards, another SummerSlam is a possibility. There are also talks of branding the event with a completely new title, and holding it every couple of years. However it’s still all in the early planning stages.
Here are some recent WWE attendance figures from the UK tour:
* RAW on October 31st in Strasbourg, France drew 4,000 fans for $250,000
* RAW on November 1st in Nantes, France drew 3,200 fans for $200,000
* SmackDown on November 1st in Lyon, France drew 3,800 fans for $270,000
* RAW on November 2nd in Newcastle, England drew 8,000 fans for $440,000
* SmackDown on November 2nd in Hamburg, Germany drew 6,500 fans for $460,000
* RAW on November 3rd in Manchester, England drew 14,000 fans for $800,000
* SmackDown on November 3rd in Leipzig, Germany drew 4,700 fans for $365,000
* RAW on November 4th in Nottingham, England drew 6,800 fans for $375,000
* SmackDown on November 4th from London at Wembley Arena drew 9,700 fans for $600,000
* RAW on November 5th in Birmingham, England drew a sellout of 10,000 fans
* RAW on November 6th in Glasgow, Scotland drew a sellout of 4,600 fans
Despite some of the poor figures, Europe remains WWE’s second biggest market in terms of TV viewer’s and live event attendance. It’s a surprise another mega-event has been done sooner.
WWE ratings news:
It has been an up and down week for the WWE TV ratings. Obviously due to the presidential coverage on Tuesday, the Super SmackDown special drew poorly, getting a mere 1.52 rating on Syfy. This was the lowest rating for SmackDown this year.
On the flip-side the company are extremely happy with the Saturday Morning Slam numbers, which are averaging 0.7 on the CW Network, with 1.10 million viewers each week. This is very solid for a weekend show on a kid themed block of programming.
The Halloween episode of WWE Main Event drew a 0.7 cable rating on ION, with 1.21 million viewers. Ion usually averages a 0.6 in primetime, so this is considered a good number. It is however likely to tail off as fans give-up on the novelty of having a new show to watch. Moving the main event match to the end of the card may keep more viewers around who tune in specifically for that marquee match, rather than keeping it at the beginning of the show, allowing fans to tune out from the filler.
Will Steve Austin have one more match against CM Punk?:
It’s a question that has been on fans minds for the last year. Will Steve Austin come out of retirement for one more match and will it be against CM Punk? A feud is already on the table as the pair have been warring on Twitter and were recently given a Paul Heyman written angle on a WWE ’13 promotional video that teased such a match. It all rests on whether Austin himself feels healthy enough to give the fans the quality they expect of the legend.
“I’d be surprised if Austin ever threw the trunks on again. You get to a certain point in your life where your mind thinks you can do a lot of things that you maybe can’t. I’d be surprised but I’ve learned in this business to never say never so you never know.”
Earlier this year Stone Cold spoke with ZooToday.com and also didn’t rule it out:
“If the right situation, the right opponent and the right circumstances came up for the WWE, then it would certainly be something worth considering. Could I have another match or two? Yeah. Physically I am in really good shape right now. People seem to think I am half-dead! In my movies, I do some pretty hellacious fight scenes that, maybe, a normal person couldn’t do. So my physicality is fine, my neck is fine after having it all fused-up. I am not pitching for another match but if it was a win-win situation for everybody, then absolutely, I would consider it.”
Something that may throw a spanner in the works is that Austin has only just completed rehab after another round of knee surgery.
There’s no doubt that CM Punk would jump at wrestling the Attitude Era star who he grew up watching, but he recently scolded fans on Twitter for continually looking to the past and blaming Linda McMahon for the PG Era:
“Enough about the PG era and Linda McMahon. Nothing to do with one another. Stop living in the past. Eyes front, one foot in front of the other…”
Will we see Austin and Punk at Wrestlemania? Only time will tell.
Dwayne Johnson starring in Hercules movie:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been confirmed for the starring role in a new movie about the ancient Hercules story, based on the Radical Comics version of the tale. The film is being directed by Brett Ratner of “Rush Hour” fame and is scheduled to begin shooting in the first quarter of 2013 from New Zealand, which could impact The Rock’s ability to build up his appearance at Wrestlemania.
Like the Graphic novel, the movie aims to play down many of the character’s mythological traits to present a more human figure.
Category: Wrestling News |