PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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TORCH TODAY – Thursday, November 5
– PWTORCH LIVECAST ALERT: Join PWTorch editor Wade Keller and former WWF/AWA wrestler Jim Brunzell on Thursday’s Livecast, taking calls at 5:00 p.m. EST at PWTorchLivecast.com.
– Sometimes pro wrestling throws a curveball when you least expect it. WWE wanted to get through Europe without any major injuries, especially when the previous tour took Daniel Bryan out of the mix indefinitely. But, the very first show produced a devastating knee injury to Seth Rollins. WWE is already missing Randy Orton due to injury, John Cena due to time off, and Brock Lesnar due to The Schedule. So, now is the chance for WWE to try a completely different direction and see if that sparks the product.
This should also be a wake-up call on the importance of depth, especially on WWE’s full-time, year-round schedule without a Talent Rotation System. WWE simply cannot book the roster 50/50 with no one really gaining momentum, creating a roster full of AFC South teams. WWE has to make guys feel special and worth the audience’s investment. This is a chance to hit the reset button with the title tournament.
– Hulk Hogan was quoted by publicity outlet Bang! Showbiz that he was approached by the producers of the U.K.’s “Celebrity Big Brother” show for several years, but he wanted $50 million to appear on the show. Of course, the market changed this year when his “caught on-tape” racist tirade was released publicly.
– Also in Hoganland, a WWE 2K16 gamer said he was banned from the online community for creating a playable Hulk Hogan character. A rep for 2K Sports replied: “That alone shouldn’t be a ban.” The ban was lifted on Wednesday, apparently after the user submitted a ticket.
– Houston’s Toyota Center sent out an email blast Wednesday morning promoting a WrestleMania 32 ticket pre-sale using the password “ROCKET.” Of course, WM32 takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington/Dallas, capturing a rare moment in time where the rival Houston and Dallas sports markets are working together. Toyota Center is also promoting a WWE house show on January 8, with tickets going on-sale November 21.
– Tonight’s WWE Smackdown features the second traditional Survivor Series match this week on WWE TV. The Wyatts face the squad of Prime Time Players & Lucha Dragons. Plus, the main event is IC champion Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose.
– WWE’s European Tour continues Thursday in Glasgow, Scotland and Cardiff, Wales. WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins is scheduled for Cardiff one night after an injury scare. It remains to be seen if he wrestles upon re-examination of his leg. … WWE’s NXT brand is in Lakeland, Florida on Thursday and Jacksonville on Friday with Samoa Joe and Apollo Crews. (Reports Wanted to firstname.lastname@example.org)
– WWE NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS: The Network is without new content today. WWE is replaying this week’s NXT, Breaking Ground, Table for 3, and “Unfiltered” with Renee Young episodes throughout the day. Plus, a “Throwback Thursday” to WCW Nitro vs. WWF Raw from November 20, 1995.
– Jerry Lawler is recovering nicely after being hit by another vehicle on Halloween Night. Lawler noted that he is still scheduled appear at Northeast Wrestling’s big Friday night show in Auburn, New York. “I’m definitely fine and I’ll be in Auburn Friday night,” Lawler told AuburnPub.com on Tuesday. “I really enjoy doing the smaller shows. I do these at least once or twice a week still.”
– PWG announced that All-Star Weekend 11 will take place December 11 and 12 in Reseda, California. Talent line-ups and matches will be announced at a later time.
– Sinclair Broadcasting typically does not reference Ring of Honor in their quarterly financial reports. However, Sinclair noted ROH’s new international and domestic distribution deals in Wednesday’s earning release:
In September, the Company’s professional wrestling promotion, Ring of Honor Wrestling (“ROH”), signed a 6-month international broadcast deal with L’Equipe 21, a free, sports-based television channel inFrance. ROH also announced additional syndicated broadcast deals in Philadelphia, Pa., Detroit, Mich., and Charlotte, N.C.
– Bobby Lashley has an important MMA fight on Friday night, but he’s already being asked to look ahead to a potential fight against Kimbo Slice in early 2016. Lashley first has to get past James Thompson at Bellator 145 on Friday. Then, he might be lined up to fight Slice on Feb. 19 in Houston.
“If they talk and the powers that be over at Bellator have a conversation and they say they wanted to do it and they talk to Kimbo and Kimbo is up for it, I’m not gonna say I would decline it. At the end of the day, we want to make as much money as possible. But I’m never gonna call him out. That’s not my style. And I like the guy,” Lashley told MMAFighting.com.
– One of the most surprising stories of the year is “Superstar” Billy Graham returning to the WWE fold. We noted last week that Graham was backstage at the Smackdown TV taping in Phoenix. Now, Great North Wrestling has confirmed with Graham that he signed a legends deal with WWE via Triple H.
– The New York Daily News published a Top 7 List of former NFL stars who “found success in other sports.” Bill Goldberg and Ron Simmons topped the list. Roman Reigns, who had a cup of coffee in the NFL after starring at Georgia Tech, was also on the list.
– Fun with ShopTNA.com. TNA announced a “Hardcore Harvest” sale that includes $5 t-shirts and DVDs, 99-cent photos, and 80 percent off Jeff Jarrett guitars.