Vince wants his own cable network

What else do you want, Vince? A big blue balloon? An expensive haircut?

What else do you want, Vince? A big blue balloon? An expensive haircut?

Peep this, mother truckers, from the LA Times (which can be read here http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/08/wwes-vince-mcmahon-wants-to-launch-cable-network.html but I’m just going to quote it anyway):

Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., wants to start its own cable network.

In an interview with Company Town, McMahon said he wants to launch the channel within the next two years and that he will pitch it as a network for the basic tier, which is the hardest one to get carriage on.

Launching a cable network is just the latest push in McMahon’s effort to remake the WWE. For years, WWE programming was a tough sell to advertisers and families because of its raunchy nature and sexual innuendo. Now he’s pushing a softer, gentler WWE. For more on his strategy, please read our story in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Although this may not seem like the most ideal time to try to get a network off the ground, McMahon’s WWE has a pretty strong track record that cable and satellite operators will find hard to ignore. Whatever one thinks of WWE content, it does attract a big audience. USA Network’s “Raw,” for example, averages 5.5 million viewers and all of the WWE’s shows on broadcast and cable combined average 16 million viewers per week. WWE is also starting bringing in more blue chip advertisers, including AT&T, Pepisco and Procter & Gamble.

McMahon is also a force on pay-per-view. WWE does about 14 pay-per-view events annually that attract anywhere from 500,000 to 1.4 million buys. In other words, he has some juice with distributors. With a library of over 100,000 hours of programming, he’s not lacking for content.

“We have a lot of clout that most people don’t,” McMahon said. While WWE wants its own network, McMahon said he has no plans to take “Raw” off of USA or move any of his other properties.

“It won’t be a threat, it’ll be an integration,” he said, adding, “it’s good for `RAW’ to be on USA.” Of course, McMahon also knows it will also help him in negotiations with his partners. “Having your own network allows you a lot of leverage.”

Having worked for a cable company, I saw firsthand how difficult it was for Big Ten Network to get on the basic tier. That was tied up for months and years and decades before finally getting done. Wrestling is just a touch more taboo than college sports, so this is not going to be a walk through Central Park on a sunny, purse snatcherless day.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how every time Vince tries to do something other than promoting wrestling (XFL is one example, WWE Films is another, there’s more but you get it, you get it), it’s a monumental failure and he always loses money on the venture. You would think the greatest wrestling promoter of all time would be happy to just promote wrestling by day and dive into his Uncle Scrooge money bin by night, but he is a restless soul. They call him Restless Ronny, they do. – Dusty

“It was all her fault!”

We're running out of Kurt Angle pictures to use here.

We're running out of Kurt Angle pictures to use here.

From a write-up of an interview Kurt Angle gave to a local Pittsburgh station:

In case anyone missed it, Kurt Angle discussed his arrest Wednesday in an interview with the ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh. Angle, who broke down several times during the nearly 20-minute interview, said that he “didn’t do anything wrong” and he is confident that all the charges brought against him will be dropped. He also said that he plans to file a defamation of character lawsuit against his accuser, Trenesha Biggers (Rhaka Khan).

Angle claimed that Biggers filed the protection from abuse order against him last Saturday because “she wanted to get married” and he did not. He said that they had been dating for “about nine or 10 months,” but that he had just broken up with her “for about the 10th time” and has asked her to move out of his house “50 or 60 times.”

After Biggers filed the PFA, Angle said that he voluntarily left his residence. Angle claimed that – unbeknownst to him – Biggers followed him to a Starbucks, and then called police and said that he was stalking her and violating the PFA order.

In other news, Personal Responsibility’s funeral is scheduled for this Tuesday at 4 p.m. – Dusty

Bryan Danielson to WWE

Smile while you can.

Smile while you can.

This came in last night during Summerslam and it is kind of a shocker. Bryan Danielson of ROH is has signed up for the wacky WWE train according to Prowrestling.net and various other places. Danielson has been a mainstay in ROH for years and is considered to be the best wrestler in the world. So, WWE signing him is both an obvious move and a confusing one.

It’s possible he will turn out to be the next CM Punk but Punk can talk it up while Danielson has struggled with promos his entire career. The word has also gotten around that a certain WWE Raw main- eventer that likes games, ha subtle, doesn’t care for him which makes the move even stranger. It is totally possible that this is all an elaborate plan to fuck Brian over. Before you say it, yes, I am that paranoid when it comes to certain wrestlers.

Best case scenario here is that Danielson goes down to Florida for the rest of the year. Then, come January he can arrive on ECW and stay there for the better part of a year. Give him the slow build and allow him to figure out not only the WWE style and the WWE political game.

As far as ROH goes, well, knock knock, this may be the beginning of something terrible.  -Jeremy

Dusty’s blog: Top 15 WWE Summerslam matches

Ring the bell! Where's the guy that rings the bell? I gotta know where he is at all times!

Ring the bell! Where's the guy that rings the bell? I gotta know where he is at all times!

So here is my list of the best Summerslam matches ever. This list is, obviously, not meant to be definitive in any way. When compiling my list, I came upon approximately 25-30 matches that could lay claim to having rights of being on this list. Narrowing it down was a difficult task. I find myself leaning towards the matches of my childhood, as opposed to those from my young adulthood, when in doubt. Which I suppose makes sense. Those memories are the fondest for me. In any event, here is my list.

1.) Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect, 1991
I think Eric put this one best in an MSN Messenger conversation. This one closely parallels the Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels match from WrestleMania 14. Perfect went into the match with a bad back. You can see him noticeably wincing at times. This, however, did not prevent him from taking bump after bump, going about things in typical business as usual fashion. Perfect’s bump taking obviously influenced Shawn Michaels’ bumping later in his career. Meanwhile, this match in effect served as the launching pad for Bret Hart’s career. From this point on, Bret is a credible singles act, a future World Heavyweight Champion. A simple but effective story told, which, when you think about it, is what wrestling should be all about.

2.) Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels, 1995
This one moved up my list upon second and third viewing in the process of compiling this list. I almost like this one better than their first ladder match, from WrestleMania 10. The crowd heat might be better, and they employ better psychology than in the first. As it will stand in the history books, this one is just slightly worse than the original, but being slightly worse than the best is nothing to sneeze at. And to think, this match almost didn’t take place at all. Thank God it did. (Or at least, thank Bill Watts.)

3.) Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog, 1992
I can definitely see where a person would have this ranked at number one on their list. It’s certainly a stellar match-up that is impossible to leave off any best of SummerSlam list. What downgrades it slightly for me is that for much of the match, it’s a one man dance. Thankfully that one man is the best dancer of the ’90s. Hart was able to carry Davey Boy to what was an awesome match that lived up to the spectacle of being in front of the largest crowd ever for a WWF show, even in spite of Bulldog’s steady summer diet of television watching and frying his brain cells.

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Eric’s blog: Top 20 WWE Summerslam matches

I still got it, baby!

"I think my smile's under there!"

During the recording of our Best of WWE Summerslam audio, I suggested the Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H match from Summerslam 2002 was the greatest match in Summerslam history. Dusty immediately said, “Well, one of them.” I immediately thought of three other great matches off the top of my head and many more that could qualify for top 10 matches of Summerslam past. So many, in fact, that I’ve stretched my list out to a top 20. Well, 18; I’m only throwing two of them a bone because some people seem to love them for reasons not to be explained by me. So here we go, in reverse order (with the two “honorable mentions” tacked on right away, and five personal favorites to follow), my top 20 matches in Summerslam history.

(20) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Summerslam 1994. If you want to watch two grown men slowly climb a cage and slowly pull each other down for 30 straight minutes with practically no drama attached, watch this match. The best part is the end, when Jim Neidhart and a returning Davey Boy Smith get involved. Otherwise, yawn the night away.

(19) Rock vs. Triple H, ladder match, Summerslam 1998. If Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon revolutionized the ladder match in 1994 and topped themselves in 1995, this one sent the ladder match back to the Middle Ages. In their defense, both men were still coming into their own as workers. But while doing so, they cost me about 28 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

(18) Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan, Summerslam 2005. Oh, come on, this was funny. OJ looked like a punk bitch, and Benoit drank his coffee all the way to the bank. And eventually Hell.

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Summerslam Preview Audio

End of Summer bash mother truckers.

End of Summer bash mother truckers.

Check it out people, it’s the Stunt Granny Summerslam Preview hosted by Kevin and Jeremy. The guys cover the WWE’s third biggest show of the year in the same fashion you have come to expect. They gush about the prospects and actual intrigue of the CM Punk/ Jeff hardy TLC match. They throw out different scenarios for a match that seems to have in inevitable outcome and how it will shape Smackdown for the foreseeable future. They discuss how the Legacy/DX match can be a positive if executed correctly. They somehow during the show they break down in to a discussion of Mike Knox and Finlay. Not only that, Kevin channels 1999 and goes man crush on K-Qwick.  So if that doesn’t get you to listen, other than so much more, well, I give up.
So listen.

Summerslam 2009 preview

Courtney Taylor Topless

Would you like to see more of this?

Would you like to see more of this?

You may recognize this beauty from ECW as Courtney Taylor. Her real name is Beverly Mullins and she was once a Hooters Girl. So, I tracked her down and found a topless pic of her for all of you to enjoy. I will not waste anyone’s time with sly jokes. Just click below. -Jeremy

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It Was Good Knowing You Chris

You and your Slammy had a great second run.

You and your Slammy had a great second run.

Evidently Jeff Hardy may not be the only big name leaving the company this weekend.  (Was that a spoiler?  Tough cookies.) Chris Jericho decided to open his mouth a little too wide when he did this interview with the Baltimore Sun (Thanks to Prowrestling.net). The whole interview itself is a good read but there is a small part that may land Chris on the “Future Endeavors” list –

When you were in WCW, it seemed as if the guys at the top were reluctant to work with and elevate guys who had potential such as yourself. Now that you are in the position of being a top guy, did what you experienced in WCW influence how you approach working with younger guys?

It wasn’t reluctance; it was just denial. They just wouldn’t do it and it [ticked] me off so much because there was a lot of money left on the table. It’s something that I said that I would never do. We’re in a crisis period in WWE and we need to build new guys. When Shawn Michaels came back to Raw, he said, “Whose been built since I left?” On Smackdown we’ve built [John] Morrison and [Dolph] Ziggler and Cryme Tyme. The Intercontinetal title has been rebuilt now with Rey Mysterio. But I can’t tell you on Raw who has been built over the last six months. They better do it soon, because when this generation of performers is gone, who will replace them?

I think he’s absolutely right but the idea that Vince McMahon can tolerate dissension makes me laugh. Vince and USA view the increased ratings on Raw as proof that guest GM role is working well. If they came around to Jericho’s thinking, the ratings would be even higher because the new fans would get to latch on to young stars and follow them for a long time. It’s a laughable thought though that this blunt assessment of the state of Raw would be a catalyst for change. If Shawn Michaels and HHH are so mesmerized by the writing that they actually participated in those awful skits last week, we can all be pretty sure that Jericho will be pushed out like so many others for voicing his negative opinion. At least he has VH1 and a new Fozzy album to fall back on. -Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – The Color Of Money

I haven't seen enough skull and snake designs quite yet.

I haven't seen enough skull and snake designs quite yet.

Kevin Nash has been yapping at Mick Foley that the only reasons he wrestles is because of the money. It’s a wonder then why it took him and TNA this long to come out with another shirt. The last t-shirt he had was the “Big Sexy World Tour” shirt which came out in 2008. Waiting at least a year (pretty sure I saw some last year at Wrestlemania so I’d say it’s been longer) isn’t exactly a good way to bring in more money.  Get cracking on new designs Big Sexy. Come out with one every pay per view like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin used to do.

The new shirt is called “Tattoo” which is shown as well as possible in the initial picture. I complimented the WWE for taking one of Edge’s tattoos and using for his merchandising. I liked that transition more because the tattoo was simple and fit the “Rated R Superstar” persona. Kevin Nash may like his skull and snake tattoo but it doesn’t exactly scream “Main Event Mafia who is only in it for the money” guy. So with that understanding, let’s move on to the shirt itself. TNA added color to the design which gives it more pop, but makes it look even more cartoony than it already is. They assigned the normal colors to each item (white skull, green snake, pink tongue, etc.) but they would have better served to stay simple.  One idea would be to reverse the actual tattoo and go white design on a black shirt.

There is a cascade of water at the tongue and apparently fish tails near the body of the snake which makes me think that it’s more a leviathan than a snake. It’s tough to tell what the design is meant to be unless I got to ask Nash personally.

No, I wasn't refering Leviathan as in Batista's old gimmick.

No, I wasn't refering Leviathan as in Batista's old gimmick.

Above the tattoo design is Nash’s nickname “Big Sexy” which has a font that matches the design. I would have preferred if they had used colors in the tattoo design rather than coming up with a new color scheme.

On the back, they did very little. TNA shrunk the tattoo and then just put “Nash” in block lettering. I’ve mentioned this before but the lettering should have stayed the same as the front. Why they copied the front design and not the lettering is a mystery to me. They also decided to go all white with the lettering which wsa a bad idea too.

The shirt is far from hideous but it isn’t for me. Let’s hope that the money man gets one of his bimbos to design his shirt the next time so that Big Sexy can pull in more of that all important merchandise money. -Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio: The worst of WWE Summerslam!

Yep, impossible to tell.

Yep, impossible to tell.

Dusty, Eric and Jordan are back to discuss the flipside, the opposite of their previous show, the not-so-best… that’s right, the worst of WWE Summerslam, as voted on by the Stunt Galaxy! (Eric made a horrible error, though, and forgot to include 1991 in the “best” category, so the guys gush over that one, too.) Man, the 1990s weren’t pretty. Which ones were the ugliest of the bunch? And which stinkeroo from the ’00s made it, as well? You’ll just have to click and listen! (Each part surprisingly under 50 minutes.)

Worst of WWE Summerslam (Part 1)

Worst of WWE Summerslam (Part 2)

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