Brock Lesnar returning to WWE?, More on Rick Flair

brock-lesnar.jpgIn an interview with the Pioneer Press, former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar revealed a small possibility that he might go back to professional wrestling. “They would have to pay me big to come back. This (Ultimate Fighting) pays good, and I’m home every night,” said the UFC heavyweight. “Pro wrestling was just brutally grinding on my body. No nights off, a different city every night, a different airplane. And if I got injured, I had to be on TV the next day.”Lesnar’s second match in the UFC will be this coming Saturday against Heath Herring in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN. For more information on Brock Lesnar’s upcoming bout and what’s going on in the world of MMA, check out our associate site, themmanews, with great interviews, videos and original content all about MMA!!!

WWE’s 24/7 video on demand service, WWE 24/7, has announced that September is Ric Flair month. Good thing everyone’s on good terms! A source tells us that the breakup stems from frustration Flair had that he was working so many dates as a WWE Ambassador, which apparently is a grinding schedule for a a non-active wrestler. Flair was apparently also disappointed WWE didn’t push the new DVD more, which Flair believes would have done better if Flair has more time on television. Flair was aparently opposed to working as a commentator or a producer/agent. Sources claim Flair had a three year contract with WWE last year at $500,000 per year.

George South is training Flair’s Son Reid, who is also training Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s son, Richard Blood Jr. Flair’s son has been signed to a developemental deal and it’s likely WWE will put Steamboat’s son under a developmental deal at some point.

Hulk and Kimbo Slice starring together?, Savio Vega happy to be with TNA

hulkslice.jpgHere’s a must see feel-good movie for the whole family! Kimbo Slice and Hulk Hogan will be starring together in Stereo Vision’s kid’s comedy “Kung Fu U” in 3D. The movie is about a bunch of nerd and misfits that are sent away by their wealthy parents to the Brentwood Academy to learn the finer arts of self-defense. The movie even has a moral: that we’re all the same, no mtter what our age, or where we came from and that we should all stick together.

Savio Vega is said to be very excited with his position within TNA. Savio joined the TNA staff as an agent this past Monday July 28th. Savio says he was well received and felt at ease and he is looking forward to a long relationship with the company. Savio is thrilled to see many of his peers that he hadn’t seen of spoken to in a while and is equally thrilled in being able to meet many of TNA’s rising stars. The dedication and brotherhood amongst all the talent is incredible.

Graffight Apparel Blog Is Excellent Read.

graffight83d.jpgFor those of you readers who want an inside track into what it takes to start-up, run, and maintain a MMA clothing company The MMA News recommends you read Gary Ibarra’s postings on Graffight Apparel’s website. It’s a compelling and accurate account of the high’s and lows involved in the business of MMA, and it provides genuine insight into how business is done, both inside and outside the confines of the MMA market. I find myself interested not just for the sake of a good read, but to gain insider information on how these business moves are made. Here’s an excerpt from Graffight Apparel’s media kit:

Graffight Apparel® is a mainstream lifestyle apparel company with a strong base in the Mixed Martial Arts Community. Started in January 2008, Graffight has slowly but surely through determination and hard work surfaced as an up and coming group of graphic artists and apparel designers in the mixed martial arts scene. Our goal is to change the way the public views not just mixed martial arts apparel, but the sport of mixed martial arts as a whole.
Attempting to counteract the public’s idea that Mixed Martial Arts is simply a blood sport full of barbarians eager to pummel each other to the screams of blood thirsty fans, Graffight, with our visually stimulating themes and art based designs, focuses on conveying a different message. We believe that Mixed Martial Arts, in its purest form, is the ultimate test of not just strength of body, but strength of mind. A sport that requires determination, strategy, athleticism, dedication and heart, an arena where the sacrifice of seemingly endless training and pure forged will are rewarded with victory and the knowledge that in a test of character, you are the victor.
Graffight’s mission is to take an active role in correcting the misconcieved idea of MMA, with our emphasis on artistic freedom, integrity, and the true essence of Mixed Martial Arts.
Thank you for taking time to become familiar with us here at Graffight and we thank you for your support.

If you are in the audience at UFC 86, you may see the Graffight crew doing some promotional work. Mention you saw this at The MMA News and they’ll toss you a free shirt!! Now that’s a deal.

(Editor’s Note: In dealing with Gary Ibarra via email correspondence I have found him to be personable, expressive, professional and extremely accessible. These are four traits that bode well for Graffight Apparel.)

Jake Roberts looking best in years, Hulk Hogan’s Wrestling with The Stars, The Rock turns 36, Tough schedule for wrestlers up North

jakethesnakeroberts.jpgJake Roberts was part of IWC Night of Legends in Franklin, PA, with Jimmy Hart, and Marty Jannetty. Word is, Jake “the snake” Roberts, who recently completed a rehab stint, looked the best he’s looked in more than a decade.

Word is Hulk Hogan’s got a new reality show, in which he will be training celebrities to wrestle. ‘Hulk Hogan’s Wrestling with The Stars’ is being produced by Eric Bischoff. The show will be in production 5/5, wrap up on 7/11 and will debut in the fall on Country Music Television.

Apparently Brook Hogan and The Rock have something in comon: their birthday. Brook turned 20 yesterday and The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, turned 36.

Jim Ross will be speaking soon to WWE developmental talent in Tampa, FL.

UFC is bringing both Brock Lesnar and Mark Coleman to Las Vegas, NV for its 5/24 show.

RAW, Smackdown! And ECW Superstars, along with the WWE crew have a brutal performance schedule up in Canada, putting on eight shows in just five days. These shows will be the first time WWE returns up North since the Chris Benoit double-murder suicide tragedy. All Canadian events scheduled to take place last year were canned to avoid any problems but with nearly a year gone by the company is back to entertain its Canadian fans. The tour will be having stops in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario with one show Friday, two shows today (Saturday), three shows tomorrow on Sunday and then RAW tapings in Toronto and Smackdown!/ECW in London.

For an interview with Jericho & Edge, check out an article by Tim Baines from the Ottawa Sun. In “Jericho & Edge talk cheers & jeers, eh?” Chris Jericho talks about how pumped he gets when stepping into a ring in Canada. Edge, another Canadian wrestler and one of WWE’s top heel, is concerned about the reception he’s going to get.

Highlights include:

Chris: “The thing about the Canadian fans that’s really cool … if you’re from Wisconsin and you’re working in California, nobody cares … but when you’re working anywhere between Moncton and Vancouver, you get that, ‘Hey, you’re Canadian!’
“It’s Chris Jericho the Canadian, not Chris Jericho from Winnipeg. It’s always a blast to wrestle in Canada.
Edge: “Rather than come out and say: ‘I hate Canada and Canadians …’ we don’t force that on our audiences anymore.
“Everywhere else, the fans hate me, but it’s different here. This is home. It’s like my home town is the whole country.
“If it goes the same as it’s gone in Toronto, I could be cheered. The gauge will be this weekend in Moncton.”
For the complete article, go to slam.canoe.ca

Interesting “Ask Bob” Article from The Washington City Paper – The Future of Wrestling

This week: The future of wrestling

By Bob Mould
Posted: June 7, 2007

Is there any hope for professional wrestling in 2007 and beyond? I just don’t know what it would take to get me watching again.
—David Hintz, Chinatown

There’s little hope for the fans who grew up watching in the ’80s. WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has become the dominant organization, purchasing the competing United States-based brands. There are independent groups, but without media exposure, they’re invisible to the public.

Mixed martial arts (MMA), specifically Ultimate Fighting Championship, now draws a considerable portion of the wrestling audience. Annual WWE events like Wrestlemania get mainstream attention, but when people gather at bars to watch a fight on TV, it’s UFC or boxing. The MMA movement runs the risk of becoming diluted, though. It’s a delicate balance between much-needed weekly exposure and overexposure—which can foster a feeling that no fight is particularly special.

UFC was wise to create its reality show/infomercial, The Ultimate Fighter, in which two teams of fighters compete for a UFC contract while being coached by two star fighters who dislike each other. It’s an effective way to create new characters and enhance long-term storylines. In that sense, it’s the same premise as pro wrestling: creating and highlighting conflict, and selling tickets to see the resolution. The main difference is WWE is scripted from top to bottom, while UFC works with what it’s dealt.

Pro wrestling will survive but not as it once was. Even in the “old days,” when the legitimacy of pro wrestling was suspect, there were always two guys who “really hated” each other, who could make people believe (and buy tickets). These days, fans turn to UFC for that fix.
—Bob Mould

Bob Mould, a former scriptwriter for World Championship Wrestling, DJs at Blowoff, June 9 at the 9:30 Club. Send questions to askbob@washingtoncitypaper.com.

Bill Goldberg Interview Recap

Bill Goldberg was a guest on this week’s edition of Carnage Bloodsport Banter. The show is now archived on www.AudioWrestling.com. Here’s a summary of the interview:

– Goldberg said there is a good chance his show Bull Run will be picked up for a second season.

– Said despite his time in WWE being a crappy experience, his time with WCW still helps him keep a good taste in his mouth when he thinks about his time in the ring. Bill said he misses being a “super hero” type character that kids could look up to.

– Said he has spoken recently with Brock Lesnar and he is a big fan of him despite having some past differences. Bill thinks Brock is capable of taking down anyone in the MMA world.

– Said he had become good friends with The Rock because of their football experiences.

– Got involved in MMA as a fan by attending many of the original UFC events. Bill said he tried to pattern his wrestling career with an MMA style to go along with his football credentials. Bill is now an MMA announcer. Says he realizes he is not the greatest announcer ever but he feels he brings a colorful side to the broadcast with a fresh perspective.

– Goldberg said Dana White (UFC owner) reminds him a lot of Vince McMahon. The Carnage hosts joke that UFC is becoming the WWE of MMA.

– Bill was asked which of all of his projects he is enjoying the most and he narrowed it down to his TV show and MMA commentary.

Lesnar Makes MMA Debut, Bill Goldberg Commentates

Source: Wade Kellar/PWTorch

Below is my match report for Brock Lesnar’s long-awaited, much-anticipated MMA debut in Los Angeles, Calif. tonight. The full report on the show, which included Royce Gracie, Kazushi Sakuraba, and former NFL player Jonnie Morton, plus two really good mid-card fights, check out my detailed full-PPV report at MMATorch.com.

BROCK LESNAR (29, 6-2, 262) vs. MIN SOO KIM (32, 6-1, 255)

PRE-MATCH: The announcers acknowledged Lesnar’s strong showing at Vikings training camp as Lesnar made his way to the ring. Goldberg provided great perspective. He really did an excellent job on commentary throughout, but was invaluable here providing perspective on Lesnar. He noted that Lesnar’s last match in pro wrestling was against him at MSG. He took a small shot at WWE without going overboard. He also said he gets asked a lot about fighting Lesnar, but he said he’s 40 years old and it’s not going to happen. He said had he chosen a difference career path 10 or 15 years ago, no one could have kept him out of MMA, but it’s a young man’s sport – at least if you’re just starting. Kim has a 2-5 MMA record, but was a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in judo. His two MMA wins were by submission. Lesnar was introduced with his NCAA and WWE title credentials noted, an interesting choice. In the staredown, they went nose to forehead and had a little laugh. Lesnar seemed loose, but that was probably a side-effect of being very nervous. Glazier predicted that Kim is being fed to a shark.

ROUND ONE: Lesnar moved right in, avoiding an pre-match hand slap offer from Kim. He tackled him to the mat and within a minute had shifted to a full mount. He just smothered Kim and threw a barrage of punches from very tight in. Kim surprisingly tapped out before seemed to take much punishment, which means (a) he no heart or (b) Lesnar’s power completely intimidated him and the punches were extremely powerful even from very tight in. Goldberg said Brock is in his element in there. Goldberg added: “He tapped out from repeated punches from a guy who just so happens to be a former professional wrestler. All you naysayers, take that.” Kim was standing a minute after the fight and appeared relatively fine. The replays showed his head was bouncing hard off of Lesnar’s stiff punches.

RESULT: Lesnar via tapout at 1:09.

STAR RATING (*+): A historical fight for a number of reasons, including Lesnar’s potential future in MMA, but not much to it.

POST-FIGHT: Glazier interviewed Lesnar, asking him how it was different from other competition he’s been in. Lesnar said his base is wrestling. He thanked his trainers by name who were in the ring with him. Fireworks shot off and Lesnar let out a smile. The fireworks were so loud, he couldn’t hear Glazier’s question. Glazier loudly asked if it was fun and if he want to continue. Lesnar said absolutely. He said he was disappointed he couldn’t fight “the big-headed guy.” He said he has no idea what’s next. “We’ll see what promoter wants to step up and hand out some money and let’s get some heavyweight titles on the line.” If Lesnar always seemed a little bit miserable in WWE, he seemed to feel totally at home in that MMA atmosphere.