Finlay is Gone

From PWI:

WWE RELEASES TOP BACKSTAGE NAME
By Mike Johnson on 2011-03-29 12:45:38
World Wrestling Entertainment released their top Producer/Agent Dave Finlay yesterday, PWInsider.com has confirmed.
The story making the rounds is that The Miz was booked to come out an interrupt the national anthem during a house show in Champaign, IL over the weekend. There were a number of representatives for the national Guard, who are a HUGE partner and sponsor for WWE, in attendance. Obviously, they were not pleased with the anthem being used to get heel heat.

When word made it’s way back to WWE management, the decision was made to release Finlay, who as the top Producer of the show, “had to fall on the sword”, as it was described to me.

There were a lot of shocked people within the company today as word began to make the rounds among the wrestlers and staff. Finlay was well liked and more than a few people I spoke to hoped that it was a situation where he was let go only to be brought back down the line.

Finlay, a third generation wrestler, had been with the company from 2001 and was considered the top Producer backstage, with Arn Anderson directly behind him in the line of command. Finlay had long been given credit for the rise and improvement of the WWE Divas division over the last decade. He worked for several years behind the scene for the company before returning as a wrestler in a full-time role as well in 2006, mostly to help introduce the Hornswoggle character and work with younger talents that needed help in the ring. WWE had quietly retired him as a wrestler last year when the decision was made to go with younger faces on the television product.

Finlay had been wrestling since 1974. He was considered one of the top heels in Europe in the 1990s and also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. He finally made his way to the United States during the Monday Night Wars for WCW as the “Belfast Bruiser.”

I would be willing to bet he’ll be back by the end of the year. – Dusty

Monday Night TNA Impact Fails

This has nothing to do with wrestling but everything to do with awesome.

Well that was a painful way to start the Monday Night Wars part 2. TNA scored a .98 rating Monday in comparison to Monday Night Raw’s 3.4. Some sites are rounding up TNA’s rating for some inexplicable reason and showing it as a 1.0 but that is incorrect. They scored under a 1.0 rating and it should be eye opening to everyone in TNA as well as Spike TV.

TNA had weeks of promotion behind Impact moving to Monday nights and their fan base tuned out. They cannot use the excuse of their audience not knowing the show was moving after being beaten over the head with the information. Their announcers constantly plugged the move and they sacrificed all of their PPV hype for the move in advertising and signage. Spike TV didn’t help them as well as their in house promotions rarely promoted the move.

All excuses aside, TNA needs to be concerned. They should have pulled in at least a 1.1 rating Monday night. They were successful in their terms the last time they went live in Mondays.  As far as the future goes, TNA really needs to show that they can get an audience to turn over a 1.1 quickly. After giving away so much Monday anything but a 1.3 or at best a legit 1.0 should be expected. If not they have blown their wad and have nothing more to entice audiences to tune back in every Monday; especially in the face of WWE’s strongest push of the year heading in to WrestleMania. -Jeremy

Stunt Granny Audio #76: The Monday Night War (heh)

Little green army men

Eric and Kevin tackle the big news of the past two or three days this week, discussing the head-to-head battle for sports entertainment supremacy between WWE Monday Night Raw and TNA Impact. Who made a better showing, Bret Hart or Hulk Hogan with Eric Bischoff? How did the competing segments stack up? Raw’s “main event” was a promo with Hart and Vince McMahon; how did that compare with the PPV-length Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles match? And what points were really driven home successfully on both shows? Well, dang it, you’ll just have to click to listen! (70 minutes)

Stunt Granny Audio #76

Dusty’s Blog: Diary of the new Monday Night Wars

The new Monday Night Wars are so exciting, you're not going to want to turn your TV off ever!!!

So about a million years ago, back in the early ’90s, I remember reading this Sports Illustrated column where the guy did a diary type piece tracking the several college football bowl games that were on in one day. And I thought it was funny, and well written, and a good concept, and so I decided to jack it for Stunt Granny on what is being hyped as the most important night in pro wrestling in god only knows how long. Speaking of long, that’s what this is. Here is my story:

7:00 p.m. I turn on Impact. Lord help me.

7:03 p.m. TNA has the worst announce team, maybe ever. And yes, I realize that David Crockett exists. The two idiots hype Bubba the Love Sponge as a new backstage interviewer. What an embarrassing name for a new viewer to hear.

7:05 p.m. Talking to fans about their opinions is always cringe-worthy. Bad idea. They’re most likely plants anyway, so what’s the point?

7:06 p.m. The Motor City Machine Guns come out to job in the red birdcage clusterfuck match.

7:07 p.m. Jay Lethal really, really sucks.

7:09 pm. Is that cage made of plastic? It seems awfully poorly constructed.

Me: Why are there so many people in this match?

Becky: Because zebra finches need to be in a large group.

7:11 p.m. Tazz: There’s so much going on – it’s hard to follow!

Well, right.

Continue reading

TNA Announces Monday Show

Brother!

In an interview during the Ultimate Fighter 10 season finale in which I counted no fewer than ten “brothers,” (which ones were Larry, Darryl and Darryl?), Hulk Hogan announced that TNA will be starting a new Monday night show on Spike TV, starting on January 4. Alright, where do we start?

This is a company whose current show, Impact, can barely beat WWE’s number three show on its best night. What makes them think they can run head-up against WWE’s long established top show and actually make any sort of dent whatsoever in the ratings? This is putting all of your eggs in the Hogan basket, a basket so old and decrepit it cannot even pull off its finishing manuever anymore.

Hulk Hogan is the undisputed champion of putting himself over, and that’s why this is even taking place. When WCW started Nitro, they were a company on the upswing in the momentum and had a legitimate chance of making some noise against Raw. TNA is a company on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from 1995 WCW. They seem allergic to making money, they have terrible booking, terrible production values, and there is absolutely no sense that with just a few right breaks, they would be the number one wrestling company. That thought seems laughable to any intelligent wrestling fan.

But yet, Hogan marches on, collecting a paycheck from any money mark who’ll give him one. And that is why he is by far the greatest professional wrestler of all time. – Dusty

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