This is a pretty entertaining interview with Jim Cornette. We love Jim’s comments about Vince McMahon at 3:20…
When Freddie Prince joined the Smackdown writing team back in July, his blogs on the WWE universe were bright, insightful, intelligent and witty and Freddie seemed to be stoked. Freddie was liked backstage and seemed to be fitting right in.
Now Mike Johnson is reporting that Freddie Prince Jr. has parted ways with WWE and hasn’t been at a television taping in about two months. At the moment, we can only speculate. At the time when Freddie was hired, there was talk that Vince wasn’t interested in Freddie as a writer and was only interesting in the mainstream credibility Freddie could bring to the WWE, with the chance to have Sara Michelle Geller make an appearance.
Former WWE star Bobby lashley joined James Guttman on ClubWWI.com.
‘On the subject of professional wrestling, JG asked the question that almost everyone asks Bobby when they meet him – TNA. Any chance we could see Bobby tear it up in Total Nonstop Action? Lashley answered and was clear about his intentions.
“I’ll put it this way. I WILL be (professionally) wrestling again. So if there is anything going on with WWE and there’s people there who don’t want to see me wrestle anymore and I can’t be back in WWE, then there will be a TNA. Because I really, like I said before, I really would like to wrestle again. Whether it’s years down the line, whether it’s short stints now where I do matches here and there while still training to fight, I still want to wrestle. So whoever will take me, I’m willing to work.”
Bobby also spoke about no longer harboring any ill-will towards the company. He spoke positively about working with the McMahons both in and out of the ring, but also expressed a desire to wrestle TNA’s Kurt Angle.’
Bobby Lashley won his first mma match.
Wrestling Confidential brings you wrestling news! We have the taping results for TNA iMPACT! 11.20. Just click on more to view
When Vince McMahon isn’t riding the RAW commentators (and apparently giving Michael Cole extra attention), proclaming WWE an ‘entertainment’ company and telling everyone not to talk about the wrestling, or finding people to blame for RAW’s sliding ratings, he’s still a busy man.
Vince McMahon was inducted into the CableFax Hall of Fame at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on October 29 and Vince also made an appearance on NBC’s Today Show.
Vince appears relaxed and in a good mood on NBC’s Today Show.
Bill Posted the following article about what it’s like behind the scenes on his blog on MySpace. Sounds like too much work for us. We’ll just stay happy smarks and enjoy the end product.
A DAY INSIDE A BOOKING MEETING:
When you have a weekly show on television, you are constantly planning and strategizing what comes next. The booking for each week’s RAW happened immediately after we flew back to Connecticut from the previous RAW. On Tuesday morning, Ed Ferrara and I would drive to Vince Russo’s house in Trumbull, Connecticut, to plan out the following show. Being the “rookie”, my job was to be there at nine o’clock sharp with ideas in my hand – along with coffee. If I didn’t bring the coffee I wouldn’t hear the end of it
I always preferred the smaller bookings teams, which we had with Russo and Ferrara. They were always on the same page and disagreements were far and few between. In larger booking crews, sometimes too many chefs can ruin the recipe and makes for a long, time consuming and draining day – which we had many of with the WCW creative team.
Russo, Ferrara and I would gather in Russo’s living room. The television was always set to SportsCenter or Seinfeld, two of Russo’s favorite shows. Along with his coffee, Russo always had a giant bag of pistachios by his side.
Russo had a set system for booking the shows, as he would always start with the main storyline and what the main event needed to be based on what happened the week before. Once those two items were established, the rest of the show, elements and matches all fell into place.
Another aspect of booking that Russo excelled at was finding some way, any way, for every talent to be involved in the show. During WWF’s peak ratings period in 1999, each and every one of the talent on the roster was involved in some kind of storyline.
By the end of the first day, we usually had the basic elements for the show. Once we had a rough show in place, we would call it a day. For the rest of the week, Russo and Ferrara would meet with Vince McMahon to go over the shows at his house in Greenwich, Connecticut. According to Russo and Ferrara, the days with McMahon were always long and tedious. They would arrive at nine o’clock sharp and might stay until midnight.
When it came to evaluating each show, McMahon was a machine. It wasn’t uncommon for Russo and Ferrara to have to drive back to McMahon’s house after they left to go over something else or spend long hours on the phone discussing details of a particular angle. McMahon seemingly never slept and always wanted to talk about the next show. Even on the flight to the TV tapings, McMahon would always want Russo and Ferrara sitting nearby to go over the show. In other words, once Russo become the head writer for the WWF, he was at McMahon’s beckoning call 24-7, 365 days a year.
I’ve always been very appreciative of Russo for never subjecting me to that side of the booking with McMahon. To the average person reading this whose dream is to be the head booker for WWF, the reality is that you give up your life to Vince McMahon. There is no free time or personal time. You live to serve the master.
Russo’s home and family life began to suffer. When Russo went to McMahon to explain he was nearing burnout and needed to spend time with his family, McMahon told him to hire a nanny instead. That is the reality of working for Vince McMahon.
One example of that will always stay with me: One week, Russo was the sickest I had ever seen someone. He was suffering from the flu and could barely get out of bed, let alone drive to the airport to catch his flight. But he knew not going to television wasn’t an option with McMahon. Russo was sick throughout the flight, sick at the hotel (spending the entire time shaking in his hotel room bathtub) and sick at the arena. I honestly don’t know how he made it through the trip.
That night as we were checking into the hotel, Russo was so exhausted that he put his head down on the front desk. In came McMahon, who walked up to Russo, slapped him on the back and said jokingly “So, did I get everything out of you today?”
That was always McMahon’s running joke with Russo, but it was starting to get to him, especially on that night. Those were the days when I first started to see the pressure getting to Russo. Not even he could outwork Vince McMahon – nobody can.
The booking meetings for WCW were among the most entertaining – and draining – days in my time in the wrestling business.
The WCW booking meetings (while Russo was still in charge) usually consisted of Russo, Ferrara and myself, with Terry Taylor, Jeremy Borash and Glenn “Disco Inferno” Gilberti later joining. The creative team was larger than ours at the WWF because that’s the way WCW management wanted it.
Our regular booking meetings were held at a local DoubleTree Hotel conference room in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a nice, cozy atmosphere, but we sometimes wore on each other. For example, I thought there were times Terry Taylor would pick up his laptop and beat Gilberti to death with it.
Glenn Gilberti was one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever worked with in wrestling. He was never in a bad mood and it was near impossible to get him angry. Part of the reason Russo wanted him in the booking meetings was to provide comic relief. Whenever we all felt brain-dead with nothing left in the tank, Gilberti would always get us laughing in some way.
Gilberti was also the master of pitching absolutely horrible ideas – most of which he was never serious about in the first place. For example, I think he spent an entire month masterminding his ultimate bad angle – the invasion of martians in WCW, which began with Mike Tenay being revealed as an alien on a live Nitro broadcast. I won’t even go into his idea for the WCW debut of the Invisible Man. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Glenn in recent years, I still wish he had a place in the business – he belongs in wrestling and can still contribute to it in many positive ways.
The WCW bookings meetings would usually take two to three days, depending on how much we accomplished and what particular talent problems we had to overcome that week.
In the WWF, there were few – if any – roadblocks to overcome when we booked the shows. Remember, Vince McMahon ran a tight ship and the talent did as they were told. If they didn’t like it, they could find employment elsewhere.
In WCW, it was an entirely different ballgame. Upper management might not like particular aspects of the show, wrestlers might balk at doing something or find creative ways to get out of it and even Standards & Practices would have their say. For those of you who may not know, Standards & Practices were a division established by Turner Entertainment to review content of their shows and take out anything they might find offensive (more on them later). So as you can imagine, we had many more hurdles to go over to write a show in WCW than in the WWF.
After we broke from the WCW creative meetings, Russo would type up the format for Nitro while Ferrara would handle Thunder. From there, I would get copies of the written formats. At that point, my job was to break down the show into scripts for each individual talent.
Each star would have their own script that I would pass out to them at the arena. It would have the details of their matches and interviews and which segment each would air. It was also my job to write out the promos and interviews for each talent. Some I would only provide bullet points for, while for others I would type up a entire generic interview that they were free to put into their own words. It all depended on the star and their particular strengths and weaknesses with interviews.
After Nitro and Thunder were finished and we flew back to Atlanta, the creative process would start all over again.
The numbers are in and Last night’s Raw scored hours of 3.27 and 3.34, for a 3.31 cable rating, with an average of 5.2 million viewers (thanks Gerweck.net), up from 3.0 last week. Reviews on Monday’s Raw are generally more positive for the quality of the show and collectively negative on the Givaway Segments.
Vince McMahon has announced another week of Mania, promising to give away money throughout the Draft. Expect the ratings to be stronger next week because of the Draft, not the million dollar givaway.
So, what value does McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania have for WWE? Does McMahon just enjoy tormenting the die hard fans who just want more wrestling and less cheese? Maybe, the cost of this givaway for the return for WWE isn’t that bad. A thiry second spot for the superbowl was 2.6 million dollars last year. We wouldn’t remember a WWE ad at the superbowl past the next ad. A million fans registered on WWE.com before the contest even started. WWE.com’s main page now features the WWE Fan Nation (we think to encourage fans who registered for the Mania to register for Fan Nation). One of the strengths of the internet is the ability to create one on one relationships with customers. If part of WWE’s new marketing approach is use Fan Nation blogs to help shape their product, then this promotion actually makes sense.
There doesn’t seem to be an good argument that explains how McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania is going to bring new fans to wrestling. Since Vince has sold this sweepstake as a way to thank the fans who already watch WWE, maybe it never was about new fans. Maybe this isn’t the ill-considered ‘quick’ fix we shuddered to think it was.
That being said, we can’t wait until it’s over.
Interviews with the first winners of McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania giveaway revealed that RAW called them before the show to let them know they have been selected and to tune in to the show and wait for the call. The segments were largely considered boring to watch on television and Vince himself has been reported as disappointed by his performance.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon did some interviews this morning appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and the Today Show. Vince also appeared with Triple H, John Cena and Maria at the Noon press conference in Times Square at the Hard Rock Cafe to promote the McMahon Million Dollar Mania giveaway.
While Vince McMahon has been busy pushing the giveaway, WWE’s Creative Team has been getting pretty frustrated from Vince’s lack of input. The draft is coming up and the writers still haven’t figured out who’s going where. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Creative was given no advance notice and no explanation for the Undertaker’s take of leave until the added stipulation the week before One Night Stand PPV. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter also reported on a meeting last week between WWE’s creative team and road agents. It’s believed that that the road agents are angry on how much time is put into skits on RAW that doesn’t build the storylines, and not enough time is devoted to the matches. What this creates to us is the impression that there’s a missing link in Vince’s chain of command over in Creative. We at wrestlingconfidential suspect that missing link is Michael Hayes.
Michael Hayes has been serving a 60-day suspension related to using racial slurs and is supposed to return full-time to WWE at the 6/23 Draft episode of Raw from San Antonio, Texas. PWInsider.com reported that Michael is already back to work. Hayes spoke to WWE developmental wrestlers on Monday and then attended the Florida Championship Wrestling house show on Tuesday night.
It looks like WWE and Vince McMahon, having given Michael Hayes a lesson, is happy to see Hayes back on the job. Something else we see the difference Michael Hayes made as head creative writer.
The opening video aired and fireworks lit up the stage. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Triple H’s music hit and he came to the ring. They showed the sick bump of Orton breaking his clavicle last night; both announcers made reference that Orton is indeed hurt. Triple H finally spoke five minutes into the show. He proclaimed The Age of Orton broken, done, finished, and over, as if it never existed. H said Orton was watching from a hospital bed. He said he was hurt too but it was easier because he was still WWE Champion. H said Orton is out of the way and whomever…John Cena’s music hit and he quickly made his way to the ring.
Cena knows Triple H is thinking about the future. He named off some psychics and Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. Nice. Cena said the future is now. He said with the draft looming, he had one question for Triple H: Are you ready? Cena spewed off every single major sporting event and compared them to a Triple H vs. John Cena encounter. Triple H told Cena, “a very big star in this industry once told me, if you want some, come get some.” Suddenly, Jeff Hardy’s music hit and he joined the mix. Hardy said all three of them won last night and both he and Cena are in line for a title shot. H said he did not care who he beat next and to beg Vince McMahon.
Hardy said two things are true about Vince McMahon. He loves to give the people want they want while making the money gesture and he loves “first time evers.” Hardy said it should be him vs. Cena to be the #1 contender. McMahon came on screen and took credit for all of Hardy’s ideas. He made Cena vs. Hardy for tonight and the winner would face Triple H for the WWE Championship at Night of Champions.
King plugged an intercontinental championship match for tonight with champion Chris Jericho defending against JBL.
A commercial for the WWE Draft aired.
1. Mr. Kennedy defeated Umaga by countout in 2:06. Paul Burchill was supposed to be his opponent, but Burchill said he needed to help prepare Katie Lea for her first match tonight, so he brought out Umaga as his replacement. Umaga hit a sick Samoan Drop at about 1:00. With Kennedy laid across the announce table, Umaga tried to headbutt him from the apron, but missed. Umaga was counted out. Paul Burchill attacked Kennedy from behind and left him laying.
Some guy brought out a glass case with presumably one million dollars in cash. Some of the wrestlers looked in awe as he walked by.
Vince McMahon’s music hit and he came out to the stage. He was wearing a purple suit jacket. He welcomed us to McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania. He then welcomed the actual million dollars. King joked that the money had its own entrance music. It sounded like a remix of Shane McMahon’s song. Vince transferred the money from one clear case to another. He pointed out his armed security. He said by next week he will have given away all of the money. Vince said to register online. He said the winner would have to be a U.S. resident, which may be a problem for some people in Bakersfield. Vince answered the question of why? He said he wanted more people to watch. He wanted to invite old fans back. He wanted to invite those who have never watched. He said some people would not be caught dead watching Raw. He called them elitist snobs. He said they do not understand wrestling fans. He said wrestling fans represented Americana and they do not understand. He said they were in their own club, no not that one, but they were not invited into the WWE club. He wished everyone luck.
They plugged Jeff Hardy vs. John Cena. A highlight video of One Night Stand played.
2. Santino Marella and Carlito defeated Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes in a non-title match in
2:16. They plugged Santino vs. Cousin Sal for Smackdown. Cody and Hardcore drooled over the money as they walked by. Cody grabbed the mic and said there was a special “time keemer,” Rowdy Roddy Piper. Rhodes springboarded from the mat to the top rope into a cross body for a two count. Santino tried the salute splash but missed. Holly came in and continued the assault on Santino. Piper distracted Santino and the referee. Carlito came in and kicked Holly, allowing Santino to roll him into a sunset flip pin for the win.
They plugged the two big single’s matches for tonight.
Back from commercial, Carlito congratulated Santino. Todd Grisham interviewed Santino and he made a bunch of incorrect assumptions of Jimmy Kimmel’s show, using bits from Letterman, Leno, and Conan O’Brien.
Hardcore Holly approached Cody Rhodes and was pissed that he was not informed of Piper going to be at ringside. Ted Dibiase Jr. approached Rhodes and said he would pick a partner in three weeks. He said after he and his partner win the titles, the look on Rhodes’ face would be like him, priceless.
Chris Jericho was interviewed. He said he respected Shawn Michaels and tried to encourage him. He said he has not been defending the IC title as much as he has wanted but that will change. JR sent the show to commercial, but Jericho then dedicated his match tonight to Michaels, throwing off the director.
Back from commercial, they showed highlights of last week’s match between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels…
3. Chris Jericho defeated JBL in an Intercontinental Championship Match by disqualification in 6:33. Jericho used an armdrag to hold onto the arm and begin working on it. JBL hit a reverse neckbreaker at 1:10, followed by three elbows. JBL locked in a full nelson. Jericho broke the hold but went down following a shoulderblock. Jericho hit a tornado DDT sitting from the top rope. Jericho tried to lock in the Walls of Jericho, but JBL powered out easily. JBL hit a fallaway slam. He missed the Closeline from Hell. Jericho dropkicked him to the floor. On the outside, JBL kicked Jericho down and grabbed a chair. The referee tried to stop him but JBL pushed him. JBL was disqualified. Jericho kicked the chair into JBL’s throat. He picked up the chair and was going to hit him with it. In a moment of déjà vu from last week, JBL looked up at Jericho non verbally asking for mercy. Jericho threw down the chair and walked away. This time, he was booed for it.
Back from commercial, they showed the cash one more time.
4. Beth Phoenix and Katie Lea defeated Mickie James and Melina in 3:36. Katie Lea tried to do a unique pose, but it looked awkward. Melina sold her match from last night as she came down to the ring. Knowing their real life history, it is weird to see Mickie and Melina teaming. Katie worked on Mickie early. Mickie tried to tag Melina, but she just sat there in a catatonic state. Once Beth came in, Melina screamed for a tag. Beth retreated to the outside but took control with a closeline. Mickie received the hot tag and dropkicked Beth from the apron (even though she missed). Mickie went for the Tornado DDT but Beth hit her from behind. Katie covered Mickie for the win.
Paul Burchill came out to congratulate his sister, but Kennedy attacked him from behind and gained a bit of revenge.
5. Lance Cade defeated Trevor Murdoch in 2:19. Cryme Tyme came out and spent the most time around the money and security personnel. King is trying to enter the contest but no one mentioned that Vince specifically said it was closed to employees. Cade hit a sick knee into Murdoch’s head as it was up against the ring post. Murdoch hit a nice knee lift and big boot combination. Murdoch went to the top but Cade punched him on the way down. He hit a rock bottom/sit down powerbomb combination for the win.
Jeff Hardy warmed up for the match backstage. They aired a plug for The Rock DVD set.
They showed highlights of The Undertaker vs. Edge at One Night Stand.
JR and King sold Undertaker’s “banishment” as if it were real. JR said he was ineligible for the draft in three weeks.
Backstage, Mickie was icing her neck. John Cena came in and the two flirted. Cena said Mickie left something last night and handed her one of her thongs. Mickie was embarrassed and ran off. Cena took a drink.
Triple H pulled up a chair to his TV backstage in preparation for the main event.
JR finally told King he was ineligible to enter the contest. King said he quit and was entering.
6. John Cena defeated Jeff Hardy in 13:42. King said either man winning would be great. Cena and Hardy shook hands quickly. Some jackass jumped in the ring. King actually acknowledged it. Cena broke his collar and elbow tie up and laughed at the guy. Hardy laughed too and the crowd legitimately popped. Cena showed a nice display of speed and agility with two leapfrogs followed by a series of moves. Hardy hit two armdrags and a snap suplex for a two count. Cena tried to apply the STFU, but Hardy kicked him to the outside. He hit a dropkick and a high cross body over the top as the show went to commercial.
Hardy covered Cena for a nearfall as the show came back from commercial. Cena hit a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall of his own. Hardy hit a closeline and was frustrated when he did not get the pin. Cena hit a blockbuster for another nearfall. Hardy hit a front released suplex. He went to the top and missed a swanton. Cena hit all of his comeback moves. He responded to the boos by staring down the crowd. He went for the FU but Hardy fought out with closelines and a reverse mule kick. Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind for a very nearfall. Cena countered a Twist of Fate attempt into a FU. Hardy fought out. He went to the top rope and hit a high cross body but Cena rolled through. In one motion, Cena lifted Hardy up and hit the FU for the victory.
Triple H’s music hit and he came out to the stage. Cena walked up the ramp and met him. They stood face to face as Triple H held up the belt.
– The Undertaker’s profile has been taken off the SmackDown roster page. Undertaker has been added to the WWE Alumni page on WWE’s web site.
– The Associated Press is reporting that Vince McMahon’s million dollar giveaway will be part of a lengthy promotional sweepstakes. Viewers will have to pre-register on WWE.com and then watch the beginning of Raw each week to receive a special code. If Vince McMahon calls you during the broadcast and you have the code, you win some, but not all of the cash.