Ring of Honor Done Airing at 8pm ET on Destination America?

In a much ballyhooed move that many thought signaled the end of TNA’s relationship with Destination America, Ring of Honor was brought in to re-air the company’s Sinclair broadcasting show at 8pm on Wednesdays, leading into Impact.

After only eight weeks, that will no longer be the case.

According to Destination America’s TV lineup (via Cageside Seats) Ring of Honor Wrestling will be replaced by Bigfoot in America, at least for the next two weeks. ROH will still air in its regular 11pm ET slot, except this will be the first run on Destination America.

Ratings for the 8pm ET showing of ROH on Destination America rose through June after a 163,000 viewer debut, then sharply declined through the first three weeks of July, landing only 80,000 viewers on July 15th.

GFW Announces ‘Amped’ Broadcast Team, Releases Ring Photo

Global Force Wrestling is getting set for the company’s first set of “Amped” television tapings tonight at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. GFW released the above image of the ring for the show and also has announced the broadcast duo.

Kickboxing announcer Cyrus Fees will handle play-by-play, while the previously announced Chael Sonnen will be the color analyst. Fees does have experience broadcasting wrestling, previously working for NWA Smoky Mountain. While Sonnen has plenty of television and broadcasting experience in the world of MMA, this will be his first shot at announcing pro wrestling.

While tonight is the first night of tapings for the new company, GFW has yet to find and/or announce a television broadcasting partner.

Ringside Reads: Hulk Hogan Edition

You have undoubtedly heard by now that Hulk Hogan’s WWE contract has been terminated after audio from his sex tape leaked which included Hogan making very racist comments. Here are some writings from around the wrestling interwebs about the story:

– The original report came from the National Enquirer and describes the leaked audio. In it, Hogan uses the n-word several times in reference to his daughter Brooke’s dating life.

– Before the story was published by the Enquirer, WWE had already issued a statement saying Hogan was no longer with the company and alluded to racism playing a part. The full statement reads, “WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”

Hogan issued his own statement to People Magazine owning up to the comments, which are from several years ago. His statement reads, “Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise. I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”

– Obviously WWE does not have a stellar track record when it comes to the portrayal of various cultures on its programming but the company clearly needed to distance itself from Hogan and did so quickly, removing all mentions of him from WWE.com before issuing a statement. Some have viewed this as WWE hypocritically taking the moral high-ground but what else could the company do in this situation?

– Booker T – forever linked to Hogan thanks to his infamous “We comin’ for you” promo – has weighed in on the situation.

More Names Confirmed for WWE 2K16 Roster

2k16Gamestop in Italy (via WrestleZone.com) has confirmed some additional names for WWE 2K16.

The complete list of confirmed characters so far: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, Finn Balor, Eva Marie, Alexa Bliss, Paige, and Bad News Barrett.

2K has promised 120 playable characters in the game, which has still yet to confirm the likes of Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and more that will definitely be a part of the roster. Steve Austin’s role as the cover star – along with the presence of Hogan and Andre the Giant – most likely mean we’re getting a lot of old school guys in the game, which is fine by me.

WWE 2K16 is available October 27th in North America and October 30th in Europe.

7.20.15 Raw Highlights: Brock & Taker Brawl, Two Long Women’s Matches, Cena/Orton/Cesaro v. Rusev/Owens/Sheamus

Last night’s episode of Raw was a solid show. There were some notable moments, the main event was set for SummerSlam, and the show kept my attention for three whole hours, which is a saying a lot these days. Below are some video highlights and what you missed from the 7.20.15 airing.

The show opened with Undertaker’s explanation of his actions at Battleground, where he “rose from the ashes” and cost Brock Lesnar a WWE World Heavyweight Championship victory. I thought WWE missed an opportunity to be logical by excluding Lesnar’s attack on Kane as a reason for Undertaker seeking vengeance.

Charlotte and Brie Bella had a lengthy match, with Charlotte picking up the victory. WWE is going all-in on the new women’s movement and while we haven’t seen an NXT-level classic yet, the call-ups are doing a wonderful job so far.

After Paul Heyman spoke negatively of the Undertaker on behalf of Brock Lesnar, the Dead Man appeared in the ring and was ready to take it to the advocate. Then Brock Lesnar showed up and all hell broke loose. The in-ring brawl was really good, helped by the announcers high-tailing it out of there and letting the action speak for itself. Lesnar yelling, “I’ll kill you!” and Taker respinding with, “You’re going to have to!” was a great moment.

The brawl spilled backstage before “authorities” were finally able to pull Brock Lesnar away and zip-tie his hands. Triple H was then shown saying no charges would be pressed but Lesnar was cooling off.

With Undertaker and Brock Lesnar out of the building, Seth Rollins came to the ring to cut a promo. John Cena interrupted and was very angry that Rollins didn’t win all his matches fairly, because John Cena is the most noble man in wrestling history and hates evil doers. My guess is this leads to a match between the two at SummerSlam and I wouldn’t be shocked if Rollins loses the strap to SuperCena.

Our second lengthy women’s match of the night was a tag team bout featuring call-ups Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Banks continues to carry herself like an absolute star and her Bank Statement finisher if one of the best there is right now. It looks very believable and she actually locks it in, unlike another notable submission performed by a guy mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The final match of the show was a six-man tag featuring John Cena, Cesaro and Randy Orton v. Rusev, Sheamus and Kevin Owens. owens and Sheamus both abandoned Rusev midway through the contest.The crowd was really hot for this match and popped huge for the finish, which saw Cena hit an AA on Rusev into a Cesaro swing, who then did a slingshot setup for Randy Orton to hit an RKO. The sequence was really good and it felt like a dark match or house show ending.

WWE Chooses to Ignore Kane’s Injury at the Hands of Brock Lesnar in Undertaker Revenge Storyline

After the Undertaker reappeared during the main event of Battleground to cost Brock Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the reasoning seemed obvious: Taker was seeking revenge on Lesnar for destroying his kayfabe brother Kane’s ankle just six nights earlier on Raw and it reignited his anger over Lesnar ending his WrestleMania streak.

But on this week’s Raw, it became clear that WWE wanted to strip away as much logic as they could from this angle.

The Undertaker opened the show by explaining that he had indeed come for vengeance. However, his brother had nothing to do with it. In fact, Kane wasn’t mentioned at all. Taker came back to avenge his streak, which ended nearly a year-and-a-half ago. Taker could have also sought his vengeance at WrestleMania 31 in Santa Clara, when both he and Lesnar were in the same building. He could have even cost Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that night, since he was defending the title against Roman Reigns.

But Undertaker didn’t do that. He waited. And apparently does not care about his brother Kane at all.

Sure, it’s wrestling and the storylines iron themselves out. The multiple pull-apart brawl from last night’s show certainly helped invigorate this feud and make it seem a lot more personal. But there is no reason not to include Kane in this storytelling.

For one, it solidifies Undertaker’s hatred for this man, Brock Lesnar. Without anger over Lesnar cheap-shotting Kane and severely injuring him, Taker comes off like a sore-loser who has been sitting at home for 16 months stewing over a loss. That’s not even bringing up the fact that WWE has conveniently glossed over Taker’s match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 31, which did little to help the Eater of Worlds.

Also, making Kane a big part of this story would do wonders for the Big Red Machine, who could come back as babyface, complete with the mask as so many fans desire.

WWE chose not to go that route, again brushing away whatever previous storytelling it no longer needed. What makes it so much of a head-scratcher is that there isn’t a logical reason. Maybe WWE thinks that Taker seeking vengeance for Kane would make Lesnar seem like too much of a bad guy? Not mentioning it at all, though, makes Taker seem like a whiny heel.

Either way, it’ll all get smoothed over in the weeks leading up to the main event of SummerSlam. And WWE could still add Kane to the mix. But for now, it seems like a wasted opportunity and another example of fly-by-night booking.

Daniel Bryan’s Book, “Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania,” is Available Now

yesYou may not have known this since WWE did little-to-no promotion during Monday’s episode of Raw, but Daniel Bryan’s new book, Yes! My Improbably Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania, was released today in the United States. You can purchase the hardcover version of the book at Amazon and many other fine retailers. The book is a #1 bestseller in “Japanese Biographies,” according to Amazon, so there’s that.

I have yet to get my hands on a copy but those that have offered reviews have said it’s a great book and Bryan doesn’t hold back when discussing his career and some of the decisions made by WWE management. Here’s the book description:

One of WWE’s most unlikely champions of all time and also one of its most popular, Bryan has proved to the world and to all of WWE that looks can be deceiving. Just ask anyyone who’s ever underestimated him . . . right before he went out and whipped the WWE universe into a frenzy.

This is Bryan’s behind-the-scenes story told for the first time ever by the “YES!” Man himself—from his beginnings as a child wanting to wrestle to his ten years circling the globe on the independent circuit and his remarkable climb to the upper ranks of WWE.

As the biggest week of his life unfolds, Aberdeen, Washington’s bearded son reflects in full detail on his incredible path to the top and gives his take on the events that have shaped him. With his Bryan-ized blend of modesty and surprising candor, Daniel pulls no punches (or martial arts kicks) as he reveals his true thoughts on his evolution as a performer, his various roles in WWE versus the independent years, life on the road, at home, and much more.

And of course, get the untold story surrounding the “YES!” chant that evolved to full-fledged movement, skyrocketing his career. This book chronicles all the hard work, values, influences, unique life choices, and more, leading to his watershed week at WrestleMania 30. You won’t want to miss it. Yes! We’re sure about this.

[Image via Amazon]

Brock Lesnar v. Undertaker Announced as Main Event of SummerSlam

Monday’s episode of Raw opened with the Undertaker cutting a promo discussing his motivation for interfering in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Battleground, costing Brock Lesnar to the title. While it would make much more sense for Taker to be seeking revenge on Lesnar for destroying Taker’s kayfabe brother Kane’s ankle on last week’s Raw, the Dead Man is actually seeking vengeance for Lesnar ending the streak at WrestleMania over a year and a half ago.

Even though the two were in the same building at WrestleMania 31.

Either way, Triple H announced that the Undertaker will get his rematch against Lesnar at SummerSlam and it will be the main event.

Sorry, Seth Rollins.

Ringside Rewind: HBK, Goldberg & RVD v. Batista, Randy Orton & Kane: Raw, December 2003

Ringside Rewind is an occasional feature where we take a look back at a match or moment from the “good old days.”

On the December 2, 2003 edition of Monday Night Raw we got an interesting six-man tag team match featuring a cross-section of wrestling. One team was comprised of Shawn Michaels, Goldberg and Rob Van Dam. RVD was still on the rise but was perhaps the biggest star to come out of ECW. Goldberg, whose time in WWE was certainly not as exceptional as many expected, was one of the biggest names during WCW’s run on top. And Shawn Michaels was already one of the best to ever come out of WWE and would become one of the best of all time.

The other side featured an up-and-coming Batista and Randy Orton, both of whom were on their way to multiple World Championships. Joining them was Kane, a holdover from the Attitude Era and another of the key players in WWE’s victory over Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff.