Welcome one and all to your Friday Update, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, Seven Sirius. As information on the heavily-hyped and much-anticipated WWE Network continues to come out in drips and drabs, much of the discussion is centered around what will be and won't be a part of the initial offerings included in your monthly bill. Based on the announcement unveiling, we can expect to see PPVs, weekly television episodes, and Mean Gene Okerlund outdrinking just about everyone you know, but what else will we be getting?
A recent report indicates that initial archived content is really just the tip of the iceberg. On the 2/24 launch date, the WWE has stated that they will have over 1,500 hours of content available. To put it in perspective, that is not even 2% of WWE's library. Vince McMahon and friends have purchased the footage of nearly anybody who's anybody in North American wrestling, including AWA, World Class, and Smoky Mountain, so there is plenty of content that will be added as this experiment reaches beyond the infant stage. No word on whether the WWE is considering expanding their Monday Night Raw show to 1,500 hours.
Another bonus is that the Network will apparently feature quite a bit that has been scrubbed out of WWE DVD releases. As mentioned in FNU last week, Chris Benoit will be appearing within context and accompanied by a disclaimer, and Jesse Ventura commentary will also be making an appearance. (Good news for everyone but Chico Santana and the conspirators behind the Moon Landing/JFK Assassination/Loch Ness Monster/Teapot Dome Scandal). A bunch of promotions, most notably ECW, used plenty of mainstream tunes on their programming, and that part remains unclear. Awesomely-named executive Perkins Miller has stated those issues will be handled on a "case-by-case" basis. So don't be shocked if the Sandman comes out to a synthesized version of a Metallica tribute band. After all, Jim Johnston needs to earn his check. So Rick Derringer should await his payout. (Rajah)
If you were surprised about former Divas champion Kaitlyn leaving the company, so too, apparently, were the WWE themselves. A recent report indicates that many people within Titan Tower were surprised to learn that she was reportedly not happy with the creative direction (such as it is) that she was being given and would be granted her release. Standard procedure would indicate that top-level executives would have some idea about the comings and goings of their personnel weeks or months in advance, but remember folks, this IS the WWE we're talking about here. Most of the shirt-and-tie set is still blissfully unaware that the XFL playoffs aren't happening and that ice cream bars are no longer being sold. (Rajah)
As for the creative side, they might have their hands full figuring out how the weekly show will end during the actual weekly show. This story does have a positive ending, however, as Kaitlyn no longer has to worry about stuff like this:
All the drama of a 7th Heaven episode without the moral pretense. In other news, FNU favorite and all-around crazy talented guy Mick Foley has provided everyone an update on his contract status with the WWE. Foley posted that after meeting with management, he will be working on a case-by-case handshake deal with the WWE, presumably continuing the part-time role he has been featured in of late while not receiving a regular paycheck.
As part of the agreement, it appears that Foley's burgeoning comedy career will be taking priority over the WWE's needs, a similar deal to what Chris Jericho has worked out with Fozzy. Foley also stated that the WWE has apparently shown some interest in filming his comedy show in some form. That would be a huge win for both parties, as the shows are excellent. If you haven't gotten the chance to attend one, FNU strongly suggests you do so. Less thumbtacks, more funny. Mick also confirmed that he would like to be a part of WrestleMania in some way (I would hope that can be worked out) and pitched the idea for the WWE to allow him some limited-run show on their network. (Torch)
I'll let YouTube respond to that one:
Jeff Jarrett's departure from TNA left many fans wondering what exactly he would be doing next. The waiting might be close to over, as it was reported this week that Double J was in Los Angeles taking meetings regarding the project. Speculation, as usual, is rampant, but it seems a strong possibility that Jarrett might be starting a new promotion entirely at some point. It's also believed that the primary investor for this project would be country music performer Toby Keith, who's been linked to wrestling (including the purchase of TNA) in the past.
FNU admits to being a fan of Jarrett (and currently attending a support group due to this fact), but even if you find him completely and utterly irritating, there can be no argument that the business is in his blood and his family has made a whole lot of contacts over the years. Any competition is good competition, so we're all for it and hope it results in another viable alternative to the space that TNA has more than struggled to fill as the "anti-WWE." As for Keith, I can't profess to be a country music aficionado (with a big exception for Johnny Cash), but a quick perusal of his greatest hits features "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and "Honkytonk U," so HTM and Bob Holly are roster possibilities. Two words: Dream. Match. (Rajah)
There is plenty of grist in the rumor mill about who's going to be appearing at the seminal WrestleMania XXX, so we'd be remiss not to examine some of that speculation. To appease him, we'll of course start with Hulk Hogan. Appearing at the Affiliate Summit West marketing conference in Vegas this week (think The Hangover except way more boring, but probably still with Mike Tyson), Hogan said in response to a question that he would be working WrestleMania. Since working can mean anything from Mr. Nanny to a sex tape to a match, it didn't exactly settle the matter, but such is life. (INC)
Previous reports have indicated that Hogan has already verbally agreed to appear at the event, but his capacity is still unknown. There is also the hot rumor going around that his match with A-Team standout Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff will be inducted into the Hall of Fame (uh, okay?) but I'd much rather see this enshrined:
As for "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, he also answered the question of whether he may be in attendance at WM XXX. Answering the question on his most excellent podcast, Austin stated he would love to do some things with the talent and the Legends in support of said podcast but that nothing official had been finalized as of yet. Considering that WWE must have thrown some serious coin to get Steve to appear at the Network unveiling, one would hope they have the good sense to get Mr. 3:16 back for the big event.
A Stunner, naturally, makes anything (and anyone) better:
While on the topic of former WCW talent, Diamond Dallas Page had some interesting things to say about his former boss Eric Bischoff this week. Speaking on a podcast, DDP said that Bischoff "was a genius," "could be an asshole at times," and that the two of them had "an amazing relationship." He then went on to say that the relationship has suffered of late because Eric "sucks on the phone" and now doesn't even return a phone call, which Page called "obnoxious."
One would surmise that anyone exposed to Eric Bischoff would have obnoxious on the tip of their tongue to begin with, but still an interesting remark. DDP's Zen state achieved during his yoga sessions appears to have dampered a twinge. As far as your humble correspondent is aware, the last anyone saw of Bischoff was him tearing out of the TNA parking garage leaving behind a tattered trail of KISS Demon dolls and tales of might have been. But that's not a bad thing, that's a good thing. (Rajah)
Last but not least, Sting is reportedly in contract talks with the WWE about joining up with them at long last. Currently appearing in TNA, he will be facing Magnus in a match where he loses his contract if he does not win, so the angle is already being potentially set up for his departure. Sting has been honest in the past about wanting to do some things in the WWE before finishing up his career, so it will be interesting to see what happens there. I'm hoping for a Blade Runners reunion, baby!
All this talk of Sting has made me wistful:
That clears the news desk for your wrestling weekend. As always, I'd like to thank you for taking time to read the dirt of the day. Feel free to chime into the conversation roiling in the depths below or fire off Words With Friends strategies (blank tiles should always be S's) or completed Mad Libs to me via Twitter @DharmanRockwell or email at email@example.com. See you Tuesday!