Welcome to your Friday Update, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, Paddington Bear.
The weekend's wrestling rumor mill kicks off this week with some sad news concerning the passing of wrestling legend (and WWE Hall of Famer) Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon at the age of 84. Vachon, a wrestling legend (particularly north of the border in his home country of Canada), was one of the best heels in wrestling. Vachon spent the majority of his wrestling career in the AWA, where he entered a feud with clean-cut fan favorite (and head promoter) Verne Gagne that lasted multiple decades. He captured that company's top honor, the World Heavyweight Championship, five times in all. (INC)
Vachon's ring tactics were groundbreaking in their severity. He used foreign objects, bit his opponents, performed multiple piledrivers to finish them off, and ended up actually being banned in multiple US states for his behavior. He also cut one hell of a promo. "Mad Dog" would end up teaming with his brother Paul "Butcher" Vachon (the adopted father of Luna) as they took on some of the preeminent teams of the day. Vachon had a cup of coffee in the WWE during the later stages of his career, by which point he had morphed into a fan favorite despite his rulebreaking ways. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010:
Friday Update can only repeat the oft-quoted maxim that "they don't make them like that anymore." Good luck finding a tougher guy. Consider also a guy willing to work his real-life amputation at the hands of a car accident into a wrestling angle:
How much will it cost you to attend WrestleMania XXX? Well, as always, it depends where you're sitting. The first twelve rows of ringside seats are apparently sold out, which include the first few rows ($2000 a pop!) and the rest of the ringside seating ($800). Tickets do remain available for the lower-priced areas at $450 and $175, respectively. Enterprising individuals are selling their tickets through services like Stubhub, where it will cost you about twelve grand to secure that front-row seat. (Rajah)
Friday Update certainly hopes that WWE creative works some things out between now and then if you're dropping that kind of coin for the big show.
WWE executive (and on-screen authority figure) Stephanie McMahon spoke at CableFax's "Most Powerful Women" Event yesterday morning in NYC. Joined by mom (and erstwhile political also-ran) Linda, Stephanie stated that "nearly 40 percent" of the WWE's audience was female. Stephanie cited moving to PG content as a big reason why the female fan base continues to grow.
While Friday Update certainly isn't in a position to argue the point with someone that has all the pie charts and sample sizes available (though we do have lots of pie), it humbly suggests that WWE's growing popularity with the ladies might have much more to do with keeping them in the mainstream front and center rather than a few less curse words and gratuitous puppy sightings. While women have almost always had a place in the pantheon of the WWF/E, it's only recently that the mainstream success of burgeoning actresses (Stacy Keibler), wannabe burgeoning actresses (Barbie Blank), and reality programming (recently renewed Total Divas) has taken hold. Men, of course, only watch it for the articles. (Torch)
There could be another reason why women are tuning in by the bucketloads, though:
In the daily soap drama that has become "Who Will Buy TNA?" there seems to be plenty of information that leads to pretty much nothing at all. Friday Update would like to tell you that has changed, but not so much. The latest information is that one of the companies that may have been looking to purchase is out, but that another company is still very much interested depending on the asking price and whether or not they still have to pay Eric Bischoff. (Okay, we made that last part up.)
Reports have surfaced that indicate the Carter family could potentially be looking to sell only a minority stake in the company so that they could retain ownership. This interested party is apparently only on board if they take complete control. These same rumors indicate that Jeff Jarrett, who already has significant pull in the company, would actually gain more as the result of the sale, since he's been a big reason why the talks have taken place. (Rajah)
Friday Update has no idea as to the veracity of any of these nebulous reports, and hasn't seen anything more simultaneously disturbing and confusing since the Sean Waltman/Chyna sex tape (which was viewed purely for research purposes and with liberal use of the Best Western minibar). We just want someone, ANYONE, to please take hold of the dying albatross that is the current TNA product and fix it post haste for the betterment of wrestling everywhere.
We also have a favored method of settling contract terms:
Those readers who (like Friday Update) are big fans of Ring of Honor mainstays Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards will be very happy to learn there have been positive developments on that front. The "American Wolves" worked a tag match at NXT against The Ascension and were pilled as "The American Pitbulls." That match will air December 18th.
When last we heard of Messrs. Richards & Edwards, they had received a tryout match with WWE and it led to absolutely nothing. This was presumably due to Triple H's infinite wisdom, when he informed us that the WWE had enough "indie-looking" guys. No doubt you won't find The Great Khali at your local farmer's market. A source within WWE put it even more bluntly: "Triple H feels we have enough Tyson Kidds." Insert surprised-looking reaction here!
Fortunately, as he has many times before, the voice of reason stepped up and proved to be none other than William Regal. Rumor has it that the pair's reemergence in the WWE feeder system is due to the legendary Brit, who went to battle for them and convinced Triple H to give them another shot because of their in-ring work. One would think that knowledge of the product and ability to easily watch ROH matches would have allowed Trips to reach that conclusion on his own, but let's just be thankful in the moment, shall we? (INC)
And now, another entry in Regal = Awesome:
Finally, because Friday Update readers have demanded it, we bring you a huge update on the WWE/Scooby Doo movie. "Scooby Doo and the Curse of the Ghost Bear" will be released straight to DVD in March 2014. Looking for a plot explanation? No worries:
"The story will see the Mystery, Inc. gang win tickets for WrestleMania, only to find the show threatened by the appearance of well, a ghost bear."
This synopsis is actually more logical than a lot of current creative. WWE talents lending their voices to the animated feature include AJ Lee, Brodus Clay, Santino, and of course, Vince McMahon himself. Friday Update strongly suggests obtaining a copy, if only to answer the burning question of whether the ghost bear will be Vince McMahon or someone else wearing a Vince McMahon mask. (Rajah)
Scoring those tickets to WrestleMania is quite an achievement, though. We've heard they are a bit pricey.
That clears the news desk for this weekend, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to thank you for taking time to read the dirt of the day. As always, chime into the conversation roiling in the depths below or fire off Anthony Weiner aliases and Sons of Anarchy spoilers to me via Twitter @DharmanRockwell or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend and I'll see you Tuesday!