Welcome to the Friday headlines, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, Nero Wolfe.
With Night of Champions on the horizon, Survivor Series rumors lead the way today. Advertisements floating around the Boston area (where this year's Series will be held on November 24) have focused on the continuation of two major WWE storylines right now, those being WWE Champion Randy "One, Two, Three Strikes You're Out" Orton vs. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk versus former manager and running buddy Paul Heyman.
While these sort of advertisements certainly can't be taken at face value, it makes sense that WWE would continue both of these feuds for quite some time. Orton/Bryan will be milked as long as possible, as the company continues to mount challenges to the upstart fan favorite in his quest to overcome the latest iteration of The Corporation. I doubt anyone thinks it will be just that easy for Bryan to capture the belt in a few weeks with everything that's going against him right now. As to the Punk/Heyman feud, the ability of these two gentlemen to keep this feud simmering on a slow boil has been second to none. Everything involved in this has been well done, from the ring work to the backstage segments. Even if Punk should manage to get his hands on the shifty Heyman, that doesn't necessarily mean these two are done with each other. That outcome appears highly unlikely, given their chemistry.
WWE has had issues with feuds that go on for far too long, but these two are fresh and strong enough to keep the excitement ratcheted up. As I mentioned on Monday, Orton is the curtain that the great Oz is hiding behind, so there's plenty of places to go with that. It remains to be seen what will happen, but the smart money would be on both of these matchups dominating the cards all the way until Rumble time. (Rajah)
If you're looking for Kassius Ohno's appearance on the WWE's main roster, you may be waiting quite a while. The former Chris Hero has been previously rumored to be in the dreaded hot water with WWE management over his appearance and apparent failure to fully embrace the conditioning program. WWE has always cultivated a certain look, and while they have eased that somewhat in recent years, they clearly do not intend to allow anyone on their main roster who doesn't meet their approval. Ohno's stock has fallen far enough that he is jobbing to other talents on NXT and has been removed from the show intro. As much as I'd love to see Ohno on Raw or Smackdown, your Friday reporter feels he needs to do what he is required to get to the next level. Simply showing up and saying "Hey, I'm the other guy from Kings of Wrestling!" isn't going to cut it. WWE has shown under the "Triple H" era that they are more willing to roll the dice with outside talent, so get into the weight room already. This is coming from a guy eating a Krispy Kreme, mind you, but I don't have a wrestling contract. (NoDQ)
Occasionally, something comes along in wrestling that words do absolutely no justice to. If you've managed to avoid it, allow your friends at Friday headlines to fill your mind with images that should not be seen by any living being. Do not say that you haven't been warned:
If one item on your bucket list was seeing one of the best managers of all time in his underwear, you're quite welcome. I personally was waiting for Alex Wright to show up and dance. I would also add that this commercial made more sense that much of what TNA has been doing lately. (WrestlingINC)
Speaking of TNA, you may be wondering what became of Jeff Jarrett's much-heralded meeting with The Great Muta, head of the new Wrestle-1 promotion. Following his departure from All Japan Pro Wrestling, Muta took quite a bit of that promotion's roster with him, forming Wrestle-1. Considering that their roster contains fighters from diverse backgrounds, one would think this would be a natural partnership for TNA, who have dipped into other genres quite heavily as of late. According to Muta himself, however, there are no immediate plans for the two promotions to share talent. Perhaps he watched that Jimmy Hart promo. (Rajah)
As to the situation with AJ Styles, previously reported here on the Friday headlines, it hasn't gotten much better. Styles has reportedly signed a three-month extension at about the same pay he was receiving on his old deal, with TNA apparently shooting down any talk of raises. As TNA can't really afford to play hardball here, you get the feeling that Styles is trying to allow his current employer a bit of a "hometown discount." If nothing changes, don't be surprised to see him walk at year's end.
From an overall standpoint, TNA's financial situation is apparently being compared to ECW's at the end of its existence prior to the WWE buyout. Having seen that mess firsthand, I can only say I hope it's not that bad. Paying the wrestlers and staff for their hard work is something any company should do, and the more that comes out regarding these issues the worse the future seems for this company. The next check written should be made out to reality. (WrestlingINC)
If you're doing some early holiday shopping for your local wrestling enthusiast, you'll be delighted to learn that WWE is reaching into its vast archives to deliver a massive Raw collection on DVD and Blu-Ray. It's called "Raw 20th Anniversary Collection: The 20 Greatest Episodes Uncut & Unedited," and the title pretty much indicates what you're going to get. Included in these 20 episodes will be the ECW Invasion episode, the Raw/Nitro simulcast, the first episode of Raw, Bret Hart's return, and Mankind winning the title on the infamous taped episode that made plenty of folks turn off live Nitro.
While all of these are worthy entrants, I can't help but feel they are missing on a couple of perennial classics. There is no mention of the episode where we discovered that the irritating computer delivering anonymous general manager e-mails to Michael Cole was being used by Hornswoggle. There is also no mention of one of the modern day classics, that being John Cena taking on Michael Cole in a match that featured the three B's: boxer shorts, BBQ sauce, and boredom. There was the overwrought, underthought limousine explosion episode, which featured the best work done by Paul London in WWE. And where, oh where, is Katie Vick? That episode was scary enough to make Bray Wyatt cry like a baby.
And then, of course, the most classic Raw moment of all time:
So you'd better buy the box set, or you too will be banned from SummerFest. (NoDQ)
Finally, late word has come that The Rock may be teaming up with WWE Studios to make a movie based on the 1980s classic TV series "The Fall Guy." That show starred Lee Majors (who also sang the theme) and one of the coolest vehicles in television history. No word yet on who will play the truck. Watch the footage yourself and picture The Rock strumming along on his guitar:
I don't remember too much of the actual show, but I certainly do remember Heather Thomas. And now you will too. (Torch)
That clears the news desk for your Friday, ladies and gents. Thanks for taking the time to check out the dirt of the day. Make sure to get involved in the conversation using the space blow or fire off praise for Jimmy Hart's latest promo to my Twitter feed @coffeyfan77. I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday.