The Midnight News 8.09.01
Posted By Hyatte on 08.09.01
Teasers, MECW X 3, HHH, Russo, A Taste of the Road, Ryder, Honky, and Me.
Well, judging from all the e-mails I've received, the verdict is IN...
Mongo is now a BALLOON.
I'm wiped, and there's a LOT of news tonight, so let's hustle.
ARE YOU GONNA WATCH THIS CRAP?
Smackdown's coming from the Staples Center in Anaheim tomorrow... Ah-nuld, David Arquette, Billy Corgan were all shown on camera... of course, given that everyone and their momma is pegging Rocky as the next big Hollywood action star, it's a safe bet that there were TONS of agents, producers, directors, publicists, and porn stars there too.
Anyway, I'll tease some spoilers, just for you to decide if this show is what you want to spend your hard earned time watching...
-Test gets some revenge on the Acolytes.
-RVD vs the Edge
-Spike Dudley returns to action
-The Rock rips on Mark Madden (well, really JIM SULLIVAN) during a promo against Booker T.
-The main event is Austin & the Dudleys against Angle & the Hardyz.
-Oh, and we have TWO new champions... (or four, really)
-Basically, the line-up for SummerSlam is set up tonight.
You know, I cannot REMEMBER a time when so much commotion, controversy, and drama came out of a wrestling promotion BEFORE THEY EVEN RAN THEIR FIRST SHOW!!!
This John Collins... owner of MECW... is already a fascinating man.... he makes for not good, but AWESOME copy...
Yesterday, Bob Ryder laid a rough, but honest editorial on MECW's chances. Turns out, he was being nice.
Today, three sites- three different reporters dedicated some considerable space to Collins and MECW. I'll do what I can to present all three commentaries on this subject, and let YOU see for yourself.
First up, RF Video, who spoke to Collins directly and allowed him to clear up some Internet rumors (rumors that HE started, by the way)
I had a chance to speak at length for the first time with MECW owner John Collins today. He acknowledged that a lot of information leaked and was reported on the Internet before it should have been. Someone was fired over this.
He said there was no TV deal now, but they were working on one and nothing would be announced until everything was finalized.
He also said that plans of running two separate territories might have been too ambitious and he is going to re-evaluate those plans.
He did say that he loves working with independent groups and he hopes to work with many of them in the future. He sees Barry Windham and Curt Henning as leaders in his locker room. He said working with Buff Bagwell has been great and that he treats all the indy wrestlers like his best friends.
He did state that there is a zero tolerance policy and if anyone shows up under the influence of anything or is disruptive in the locker room, they will be immediately fired no matter how big of a star they are.
MECW will feature violence, but not a lot of mic work and little or no bad language. It also won’t have the sexual content of WWF. Collins, who has four kids, said you can bring your family to an MECW event. He said MECW will feature everything from the violence and hardcore wrestling of Sabu, Sandman and Public Enemy to classic wrestling from people like Windham to the star power of wrestlers like Buff Bagwell to high-flying talent and upcoming wrestlers.
There will be a strong emphasis on actual in ring wrestling. This Saturday should be very interesting.
Okay... now we move on to Jason Powell and The Torch, who offers supplemental and follow-up news from a recent Newsletter interview with John Collins:
In a Torch Newsletter interview conducted last week, MECW promoter John Collins claimed to have signed Tracey Smothers to a contract as wrestler and a promoter.
Smothers told friends today that he was never signed to a deal and quit because he was concerned that his reputation would be damaged by working for MECW. He also did not believe in Collins's plan to run separate territories under the MECW banner.
After announcing his plan to run three territories in the newsletter interview, Collins has since stated that he is only planning to run two territories. Today, sources report that he has decided to run only one territory.
Sources are also under the impression that no one involved in MECW has been signed to a deal. Also in the newsletter interview, Collins claimed to have signed Hennig, Sandman, Public Enemy, and Doug Gilbert. Collins once claimed to have signed Bagwell, which Bagwell has reportedly denied.
Mike Samples, a former business associate of Collins, boldly told PWTorch.com: "If he (Collins) has signed anyone, the contracts are worthless. (The wrestlers) can wipe their asses with them."
One key industry source estimates that MECW will lose between $50,000 and $100,000 at Saturday's show that is scheduled for Viking Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.
Originally, Collins was planning to sell $20 tickets at the door of the Viking Hall event, but has since announced that there will not be an admission fee. Collins has cited the area's heat wave as the main reason behind making the show free to the public.
In recent weeks, sources have said that at one time or another, Collins "promised the book" to Smothers, Sandman, Terry Taylor, and Vince Russo. The newest booker is apparently Barry Windham. "Barry was paid a couple of grand to stand around with a notebook" at one recent event, one source told PWTorch.com.
Finally, Dave Scherer posted a little article from someone high up in the business, but who wants his identity concealed. This guy tears up Collins but GOOD.
MECW is doomed. It is flawed in it's conception and execution. Forget about all of the allegations about John Collin's credibility and past. Look at the logistics.
Supposedly there will be at least two rosters of about 40 people. They will make a minimum of $200 per show from what I understand. Of course, the bigger names will make much more (it's rumored Buff Bagwell will get about a grand a night), but for the sake of argument let's just say everyone from top to bottom makes $200 a night. Each house show will have, oh, 5 singles matches and a couple of tag-team bouts. Also, there would be more matches at the TV tapings. Throw in some valets, managers, and a couple of refs. In talent, without figuring in any transportation costs, you are looking at about $4,400 per house show. The building will cost at least $1,000 in most cases. Tack on insurance, athletic commission fees, security, a bond etc. We haven't even started with any advertising. To run shows of the magnitude MECW is discussing they probably need a minimum of 1,000 tickets sold per night to break even.
Breaking even, if it can happen, doesn't even allow for such pie in the sky dreams as health insurance and pension plans. Now double all the expenses to account for the extra crew. He's talking about selling 8,000 tickets per week to watch independent wrestling. 12,000 tickets if we add in the third territory. ECW, at the height of it's popularity, with all of the "names" Vince McMahon has now acquired, probably never sold anywhere close to 12,000 tickets in a week.
I almost forgot- he's going to have to pay for TV production and then pay to air it.
Then there is the matter of the talent. Newsflash, people. With the exception of Hogan, Savage, Flair, Goldberg, Hall, Nash, and Scott Steiner, there is no more marquee level talent available. Vince has it all tied up. Given WCW's poor attendance in the last year, the aforementioned names may even be questionable as bonafide draws. Vince picked over the bones of ECW and grabbed anybody he saw real money in before it went kaput. Ditto with his WCW purchase. As painful a realization as this may be for everyone else, myself included, the fact is that the remaining performers are seen as throwaways. Some may be stars in a few years, assuming they can be seen by the WWF. Most either blew their chances in the big-time or never will be more than weekend warriors. The truth hurts but it doesn't make it any less true.
Buff Bagwell caused immediate, by the minute, ratings drops whenever he appeared on screen in WCW. The numbers don't lie. The only fans that like Buff are chubby redneck girls who think he's cute. He will not draw anything other than ridicule.
Curt Hennig, one of the greatest performers of the nineties in my opinion, never achieved more than mid-card status in WCW and has basically blown his wad. Nobody cares.
Sandman is actually worth more money to a start-up company than either Hennig or Bagwell in terms of merchandising and drawing power but no more so than he was in ECW, which means cult status level.
Public Enemy and the Road Warriors are worth about as much as the Sheepherders would be, which is to say nothing.
I won't even get started on drawing power of the talent in the Doug Gilbert-Tracy Smothers territory.
Oh, and by the way, I think Dave Penzer is a great guy, but for what goddamned reason would you fly him in, have him picked up by a limo and given the red carpet treatment? Ring announcers can be had locally in each market for $75 dollars per night or less.
The reality of the situation is that everyone in the wrestling business not employed by the WWF is desperate. We have had the rug pulled out from under us and it's been rough on everybody. That's still no reason to swallow the BS being served up by MECW. All of the public ass-kissing some of the boys are doing will make them look like even bigger losers to McMahon and company. Nobody looks good wearing brown lipstick, but on a 250 pound wrestler it looks absolutely ridiculous.
John Collins tells a few hungry guys what they want to hear and he gets their undivided attention. At least one of the wrestlers sincerely believes him. The others are probably just playing along with yet another money mark. They've seen it a hundred times and it's worth a couple of paydays. No sense in rocking the boat, right? Collins gets to take his new "friends" out to clubs and show off. Of course, he picks up the tab and will continue to do so until the credit cards get maxed out.
Why am I writing this? Am I bitter? No, not at all. I'm a realist. I'm also someone that hates to see many people he cares about in an industry he cares about behaving as if MECW is manna from Heaven. There is no Tooth Fairy, no Easter Bunny, and no magical wrestling promotion that will save the day in the immediate future. Even if Bill Gates wanted to back a company and incur the losses the current marketplace wouldn't support it.
There is a condition known as "cognitive dissonance" which seems to be afflicting many of the wrestlers supposedly working for MECW. Cognitive dissonance occurs when true believers are presented with proof and logic which shatters their most deeply held beliefs but it only results in them clinging to their illogical beliefs even more feverishly. In other words, they don't just drink the Kool-Aid, they swim in it and shout "hallelujah!"
If you think Paul Heyman serves up a mean glass of Kool-Aid be sure to try John Collins' recipe. It's 500 proof.
Man... all this, and they haven't even debuted yet. Scary.
THERE ARE THREE "H"S IN "SUMMERSLAM"
Bad headline, but oh well.
PWBTS.com reports that Triple H may make the SummerSlam PPV in one form or another. He probably won't be working or anything, but he might make an on-air appearance.
Incidentally, HHH's rehab is going outstanding and he is WAAAAY ahead of schedule. His Doctor's have told him to chill out on the traveling though. They want him to stay in Alabama and let the leg heal.
WHY ISN'T HE WRITING HOLLYWOOD SCRIPTS?
Vince Russo, the man who CONTINUALLY SWORE that after he was done with WCW, he would never work in the business ever again, is working in the business again.
Russo is the head writer for an ambitious Australian tour coming soon. Featuring the usual line-up of workers who the WWF do not want... or can't get. Whichever.
Anyway, one of Russo's brilliant ideas for the tour, and the PPV as well, is to book Disco Inferno in a match with a Kangaroo. A Boxing Kangaroo. It may or may NOT be the main event for the PPV.
Kind'a makes you appreciate last Monday's Raw just a little bit more, doesn't it?
YOU BETTER STICK WITH THOSE E-FEDS, MARK BOYS!
I picked this up from Scherer's column last night.
The following is the line-up of the WWF's current tour...
August 11: Uniondale, NY for a House Show
August 12: Rockford, Illinois for a House Show
August 13: Chicago, Illinois for Raw
August 14: Off day to travel home
August 15: Day Off
August 16: Live Smackdown in Salt Lake City, Utah
August 17: Las Vegas, Nevada for a House Show
August 18: Fresno, California for a House Show
August 19: SummerSlam PPV in San Jose, California
August 20: Sacramento, California for Raw
August 21: Day Off (Travel Home)
August 22: Day Off
August 23: Denver, Colorado for a Live Smackdown
August 24: Wichita, Kansas for a House Show
August 25: Des Moines, Iowa for a House Show
August 26: Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a House Show
August 27: Grand Rapids, Michigan for Raw
August 28: Detroit, Michigan for a Smackdown taping
They do this ALL THE TIME... only when Smackdown is pre-taped, then the boys get to fly home on Tuesday or Wednesday morning... get a day or if lucky a half a day off, then it's back to the road on Friday morning.
Man, that's dedication. I couldn't do that.
SIX DEGREES OF RYDER FAKIN
Not sure if you noticed...
The return of The Rock to WWF television has, as everyone predicted, sparked an increase in the months long stagnant Nielsen ratings.
One of The Rock's more popular catch phrases is : "Finally THE ROCK has come back to (insert city here)".
The reaction of the crowd to this will no doubt be at its loudest level when The Rock returns to his hometown of Miami, Florida.
Miami, Florida was also one of the central points during the 2000 Presidential election as many of the surrounding counties in South Florida went back and forth for months to determine who actually voted for who, which ballots were correct and which, if any, voting machines were outdated.
When the final votes were tallied, all votes were placed in boxes, loaded into a truck and delivered by police escort to the state capitol of Florida, Tallahassee.
The method of transportation, as mentioned above, was by truck, provided by...
Six Degrees of Ryder Fakin
Wow, 411 bringing a little LATINO flavor to yo' whitebread asses!
Because Widro wants to bring love to ALL the races, not just the superior AMERICAN audience and the mooseblowers, he has brought in Carlos Mahuad to recap a little MEXICAN TV!
Yes, 411's AAA/CMLL Mexican TV Report will give you hardcore snot eaters a weekly recap of what's going on South of the Border! I scanned through it already and caught a glimpse of the VILLANOS!! My God, it may be time bring THAT old joke back.
I hope Carlos is nice to AAA... they towed my car after it broke down once and saved my ass!
Not only that, but Widro also brought in Matt Presson to do a weekly Video review. For his first outing, Matt looks at ECW's Hardcore Revolution.
I should just note that I gave NO authorization for all these new writers.... I should also not that Widro never pays attention to anything I say anyway.
What time is it anyway? Well, if you pay attention to Joe Rivett, then you know that right this very second, it's Time For A Take! This week, Joe examines the true meaning of the word "suck" and asks what qualifications one must take to "suck".
Finally, keep an eye on the 411 Newsboard. I scanned through it a few hours ago, they have TONS of nifty little tidbits up there.
TAKE US HOME, HONKY
One good thing about theHonky Tonk Man site is if you stay away for a few days, you come back to a pile of commentary...
On Kevin Nash and Jimmy Hart:
Just saw an interview with Nash and one with Jimmy Hart. They must have had a double knock out kissing up to Vince's ass. Man, how many of these guys are going to call Vince a genius. Vince is laughing his ass off with this sh**. He is not a genius you idiots, Lanny Poffo was the "Genius."
On Hogan's new promotion:
The Internet is full of rumors as we all know or you should know. I can tell you this and I have said it all along, the Hogan promotion is dead in the water. It is not happening and it is not going to happen. So whatever you are reading from these "other" newsboards, remember you got it here first-- Not Happening, end of story.
And on Randy Savage:
Macho Man Savage is having a Blow Out Sale on E-Bay. There must be 100 items for sale. Can't believe the old boy is dumping all his stuff. I can say that I did party with his last old lady (George) at the Juggalo Gathering a few weeks back and we have some fun at his expense, if you know what I mean!! Oooooh Yeahhhhhhh
You gotta love him.
Well, I'm done.
No, really... I am.
This is Hyatte