As long as this plan does not end up being derailed between now and 2014, it looks like William Moody AKA Paul Bearer will be take his place into the WWE Hall of Fame.
According to a report from PWInsider in the Elite Audio section, Paul Bearer is a “lock” as the first name to be inducted in the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class. A follow-up report by PWInsider says Bearer is indeed “confirmed” to enter the Hall. This was reportedly a piece of discussion backstage at last night’s WWE RAW. One of the big reasons for inducting Bearer is that it is relatively close to his passing and that WrestleMania 30 will be in New Orleans, LA – an area with Bearer frequented much of his career.
The major discussion going on behind-the-scenes is whether or not the WWE can go through with allowing The Undertaker to be the one who inducts him. As many of you know, the Undertaker tends to stay away from events like that in order to not compromise his character. The belief is that now that the Undertaker’s career is just about over, that having him induct his long-time manager won’t do any damage.
If the Undertaker can’t do it, another person being discussed is Bearer’s long-time friend, Michael Hayes.
- MichelleMcCool.net passed along the following highlights of Michelle McCool talking about working with Mickie James:
Stomping Grounds: “Piggie James was the storyline that brought LayCool to fruition and really started and helped develop our characters. It was a main storyline that, at the time, started giving Divas more screen time and longer matches — we even had a huge celebration. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I give every single ounce of credit for that storyline to Mickie.”
Keeping It Professional: “It was tough on everybody, but obviously tough on Mickie, to say the least. She was the utmost professional in that situation. She never complained about the material that was being written. She never bitched, moaned, or tried to change it or get it shut down. She knew it was business — she knew it was going to help us.”
Working with The Best: “She was already an incredibly over babyface, she was a great wrestler — people loved her. She was one of those people who came in as a heel during the whole ‘psycho/Trish’ thing, but the fans loved her so much that WWE ended up turning her babyface. I don’t think we could have done that storyline with anybody else.”
Fan Reaction: “We got so much hate from that storyline from fans. People would send stuff in and we’d just be like: ‘holy moly, we’re getting genuine hate — but on the other hand, I feel horrible! What kind of message is this sending out?’ You just have to kind of remember that it’s just a character on TV. A lot of times people just forgot that and it’s easy to do.”
The Birth of Piggie James: “It literally got started out of the clear-blue air. I remember being overseas, and that’s when they told me at the arena that day that I was going to be singing the ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’ little vignette, and I didn’t know what to think. Honestly? I thought they were joking at first, a rib on me because my singing is so horrible — so I was already nervous about that. I hid all day; ‘I can’t believe they’re making me do this — where is this going?’ I had no idea where the storyline was going to go after that. During rehearsal that day, I’m literally sitting on the ground by the ring, like hiding… I felt awful.”
Advance Apology: “There were so many times, time after time, where we would go up to Mickie and apologize in advance. We’d be like: ‘this sucks and I’m sorry. Obviously, we didn’t write this. I’m just sorry… we don’t know what else to say.’ Like I said: she was always completely cool with it. I’m sure it hurt; things like that do. Obviously she’s not big — she’s one of the smallest people. There’s no way anybody thought she was really overweight or ‘Piggie James.’ Again, that was just our stupid, silly LayCool characters that we had. Like I said: all credit to her. It would have not progressed, gone as far, or had gotten over like it did if it weren’t for her. I don’t think any other babyface could have pulled that off.”
What Goes Around..: “I don’t feel like LayCool ever got our butts handed to us by her enough. I never understood that… it was like: ‘why isn’t she killing us here? Doing this or doing that?’ I think the story could have even gone further because the fans, week after week, wanted her to just embarrass us. At the Rumble we ended up with birthday cake in our face, and everybody loved that. Here we were embarrassed by her — that was great!”
A Night To Remember: “During the Piggie James send-off, LayCool was cutting a promo. Then Maria came, she came, and then she cut a promo. I remember that she almost made me break character. We were talking about how dumb Maria was, or something like that, and Mickie flew off the cuff and said something about: ‘oh, really? We all saw ‘Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?,’ mmmhmm!’ — I’m looking at her like: oh, gosh! I wanted to break character so bad! As soon as we got backstage I told her that she almost got me — almost busted out laughing!”
Vince’s Angels: “Vince ended up loving the LayCool character as a result of that storyline. That’s kind of how things kind of kept happening for us. But, like I said: I give credit to Mickie James. She was fighting with us to get TV time, to get pay-per-view matches, to raise the bar… not many people will always do that. But she did, and I will forever be grateful for that.”
Working With Mickie: “We’ve pulled off some really good matches together. We always kinda clicked; worked well together. That always makes it fun inside the ring when you know you can work with somebody. You can fly off the cuff while you’re in there; you can improvise. We had some fun. Plus, her finisher was always one of my most fun ones to take! It was hard and trying at times, but was fun. She was a true professional and always wanted to do business — what was best for the business.”
Stealing The Show: “Something to add: the night we smashed cake in Mickie’s face, during her send-off… she was just brilliant on her response! That was the point where LayCool finally got to Mickie James, she just looked humiliated as she ran off in tears. Nobody else could have done that the way she did it. As we all came backstage — and very, very rarely does this happen — Vince, Michael Hayes, and everybody in the gorilla position were standing up and clapping saying: ‘the girls just stole the show.’ That was a very, very special moment. I give her all the props in the world. So, thanks Mickie if you hear this — I really, really appreciate you!”
Former WWE and TNA Knockout/Diva Kristal Marshall recently tweeted the following to Bobby Lashley:
@fightbobby Taking pictures with ur kids and posting them doesn’t make u a good dad. Pay child support. Would be a good start.
The former real-life couple had a son named Myles in July 2008. Lashley also has a daughter, Kyra, who was born in 2005. Kristal is not the “baby mama” of Kyra.
One of the rumored reasons Bobby Lashley left WWE years ago was because his girlfriend at the time (Kristal Marshall) didn’t want to take part in an angle on SmackDown where she would become Edge’s girlfriend. WWE then de-pushed and wound up releasing her several months later and that upset Bobby.
There was also an issue with Michael Hayes and a racist comment he made that eventually got back to Lashley. There were a lot of reasons he wanted out but those were two of the main reasons at the time.
Credit – F4WOnline
After Monday’s big creative shake-up at RAW, one source told F4Wonline.com that the stress of RAW being three hours has finally hit Vince McMahon. The entire weekend built up and imploded on the WWE flight to the West Coast for this week’s TV tapings. Vince had been in a bad mood for several weeks and something happened on that flight that pushed him over the edge. We noted before that a major blow-up with a top WWE star backstage was a major factor.
Brian Gewirtz, who has been demoted to a consultant role, was the Senior Vice President of Creative and had been reporting directly to Vince and Stephanie McMahon. He was recently demoted to the “home team” that stays at WWE headquarters and works on scripts. It’s said he had only showed up to the Stamford offices three or four days a week for the past year. This got him major heat with others.
The head writer for RAW is currently Dave Kapoor, the former Ranjin Singh. Ed Koskey is likely still the head SmackDown writer for now while Eric Pankowski is the overall head writer. Many others have creative input including Michael Hayes.
One source put some of the blame on Stephanie McMahon. He told F4Wonline.com: “The reality is Brian isn’t the real issue or even a band-aid. Stephanie has run this dysfunctionally toxic division for the entire duration of its ratings decline. Her horrendous structure from the committee dynamic to who she fast-tracks and how rigidly the shows are structured are why this product isn’t gangbusters. Plus, three hours is a [disaster].”
Credit – F4WOnline
Michael Hayes has been pushing hard to keep WrestleMania Season “simple” with The Rock defeating WWE Champion CM Punk at the Royal Rumble and the losing the title to John Cena at WrestleMania 29. At this point, nothing is set in stone.
At least one person on the WWE creative team has suggested that they not do Rock vs. Cena II at all. The argument is that there are no more one-time-only dream matches, there haven’t been any in years and there aren’t really any that can be done anytime in the near future, except maybe CM Punk vs Steve Austin – at least dream matches of the magnitude of Cena vs. Rock.
With that said, chances are slim that Rock-Cena II won’t happen because they want WrestleMania and the Royal Rumble to be huge this year.
Former WWE, WCW and ECW star Raven spoke with Inside The Ropes Radio this past Thursday night. Below are some highlights. The full interview can be heard here.
Thoughts on the Johnny Polo gimmick:
“I’d been in the business like 4 years. They made me an Associate Producer of raw. They were grooming me to be on the booking committee. I used to write the second rate shows like All American. He also made me a manager because he thought I was too small, at the time the guys were bigger, all the smaller guys were in the tag team. I didn’t like the Johnny Polo moniker. If anything the way I talk didn’t fit me. I didn’t feel I was the character. I wanted to wrestle. Shane McMahon should’ve been Johnny Polo, with the silver spoon in his mouth.”
Origins of the Raven character:
“I was talking to DDP one day, I was saying I was having trouble getting booked anywhere. Page goes “it’s because you’re a chicken shit heel” He said “you should be more of a bad ass” I didn’t wanna be a bad ass because everyone wants to be a tough guy. Page had mentioned the Point break movie and said I looked like one of the red hot chilli pepper guys. He said I should do something alternative, so I drew on all the emotional baggage from my childhood and I created the Raven character. It annoys me when Page says he created it, which is ridiculous because I had to create the character, the promos, the concept. I came up with the idea that Dreamer and I went to summer camp and Beulah was the fat chick.”
His WWF return in 2000:
“I get hired by JR. He says he can’t give me a big downside because I’d just got clean. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon hated me. Michael Hayes told me Vince had said “Who the fuck hired Johnny Polo?” I still had heat for walking away. Who would dare walk away from the 4th floor office?! Then I was in the hardcore thing and got it over.”
Thoughts on working with CM Punk back in TNA:
“He had a very inflated sense of self importance at the time. He thought he was so much better than he was. Not that he was bad, he just wasn’t as good as he thought he was. I don’t watch wrestling anymore, because it’s too disappointing but I was doing a personal appearance where they show PPVs and you’re watching the show. Wow, watching him, he became phenomenal. The two pay per views I seen, he was the best thing on them. I have nothing but respect for him. It was just back then, he had an inflated sense of self importance.”
As seen yesterday, Michael Hayes paid tribute to the late Terry Gordy of The Fabulous Freebirds and WWE’s website did a feature on the group. There has been talk of inducting The Freebirds into the WWE Hall of Fame.
A licensing inquiry by THQ led one songwriter to file a federal lawsuit against WWE, WWE-owned company Stephanie Music Publishing, Inc., WWE employee Michael Seitz (a/k/a Michael “P.S.” Hayes) and WWE employee James Alan Johnston (a/k/a Jim Johnston). According to a lawsuit filed by songwriter James D. Papa, the sports entertainment organization redirected royalty payments to several wrestling related songs he either wrote or co-wrote by securing the rights to music unlawfully.
The songs in question are featured in the 1992 WCW compilation album Slam Jam 1 and were used as entrance themes by wrestlers. The songs include “Badstreet USA” (The Fabulous Freebirds), “Don’t Step To Ron” (Ron Simmons), “Man Called Sting” (Sting), “Mr. Bang Bang” (Cactus Jack), “Master of the DDT” (Jake “The Snake” Roberts), “Freebird Forever” (The Fabulous Freebirds), “Simply Ravishing” (“Ravishing” Rick Rude), “Johnny B Badd,” “The Natural (“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes) “The Dragon” (Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat), “He’s Smokin” (Barry Windham) and “Steinerized” (The Steiner Brothers).
Papa says he was contacted by video-game company THQ for permission to license “Badstreet USA.” for its Legends of WrestleMania title that was released in March 2009. The lawsuit alleges, “THQ’s records showed the song to be owned by World Wrestling Entertainment.” The suit continues:
“As a result of the confusion, Papa contacted BMI to ensure that ‘Badstreet USA’ was properly registered to him and his companies. Upon his investigation, Papa learned that ‘Badstreet USA’ had been improperly and erroneously reregistered by Defendants and been given a new registration number, resulting in the royalties being redirected to Defendants. Eventually, through working with BMI, Papa was able to correct the registration to properly reflect his ownership in the work. However, by the time the registration was corrected, THQ had decided not to use the song.”
The suit says, “His investigation revealed a systematic pattern of errors and omissions by WWE personnel that effectively misappropriated Papa’s musical works and deprived the Plaintiffs of royalty payments that would have been paid but for these errors and omissions.” According to BMI.com, “Mr. Bang Bang” has two separate registration numbers: one for Papa, another that credits James Alan Johnston as songwriter and Stephanie Music Publishing as publisher. Johnston is WWE’s longtime music composer while Stephanie Music Publishing is a company owned by Vince McMahon that was named after his daughter, Stephanie.
Papa says his songs have appeared on myriad places including numerous video releases, broadcasts of cable television shows and on-demand programming, without his permission and without receiving financial compensation. He is seeking royalties paid (plus pre- and post- judgment interest) on the sale of videos, computer games, the sale or licensing of ring tones, and the broadcasts of cable television shows and on-demand programming; a preliminary and permanent injunction to halt the use of the copyrighted materials; an order directing the named defendants to file a report detailing how they have complied with the injunction; reimbursement for legal fees; and a trial by jury where the court will determine damages. He also wants the court to certify that he owns the rights to the music.
PWTorch Livecast with Chris DeJoseph (a/k/a Big Dick Johnson)
Host: Wade Keller
Audio available at BlogtalkRadio.com
DeJoseph on what it’s like behind the scenes when Vince McMahon decides to appear on TV after an absence: “I think there were numerous times where that could be brought up in totally different ways,” DeJoseph, also known on air as Big Dick Johnson, says. “Sometimes it could be a request from the writing team. For the most part Vince didn’t like to be on TV if he didn’t have to be. I’m just using my own judgment here; I think this might have something to do with – usually it’s like the McMahon Million Dollar Mania, or now the three hour Raws – I’m wondering if it’s some kind of play to make some kind crazy announcement to get ratings.”
Did the writing team usually collaborate with him or did he just say “this is what I’m doing”? “There were lots of time where it was, ‘We have this idea, we’d like to do it.’ And he would be, like, ‘Okay, that’s great.’ There were other times, for instance the Million Dollar thing, where he came to us with the idea and [that meant] we were doing it. (laughs)”
Does Vince care about storyline consistency?: “It would always be brought up. Logic would always be brought up, but sometimes it’d just be thrown right out the window. He’d sometimes say he couldn’t even remember what happened three weeks ago, so how is the audience going to remember it? I think sometimes that was his thought…”
DeJoseph says the blame should be on Vince himself, and not the writing team, for the big gaps in logic, dropped storylines, and stream of aggravating contradictions: “I’m sure they’re going to try or at least they’ve been pitching all week or they’re going to try to explain something. I’m sure they have something in mind to explain it logically. If they don’t that’ll be interesting, too… It’s a big promotional thing that’s going to get eyeballs on this TV show and I think that’s what he thinks [matters].”
Does it chip away at fans investing in the product? “Yeah, it sucks. [Fans have to be thinking,] ‘Why should I invest my time and everything into this storyline when they’re just going to sh– on it without explanation.’ I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they will on Monday. I don’t know what they’re going to do on Monday.”
DeJoseph says the writing team cares even when Vince doesn’t: “At least when I was there, and I’m sure it’s still the same way, we would try to present every logical thing. We’d say we need to explain that, and whether it was ignored or we were told ‘No, we f—in’ don’t,’ that’s the way it was… If not for Vince, the writers such as Michael Hayes, Ed Koskie, and Brian Gewirtz would try to make sense of their ideas, but with Vince “you’re constantly dealing with switching and changing things.
“Sometimes it’s even hard for yourself to keep up on everything. I think they would try for sure. I’m sure when they knew that Vince was coming back, it was probably one of the first things that came up – how in the hell are we going to explain why he’s back. And then it was probably, like, ‘Don’t f—in’ worry about it.’ And they go, ‘Okay.’ I think the writing team wants what most fans want because, for the most part, they’re all fans.”
Another major Vince McMahon storyline was abandoned five years ago this month, when he appeared to die inside of his limousine when it exploded. Chris DeJoseph was part of the team who wrote that storyline. He reveals who came up the storyline, why it was created, and where it was headed before the Chris Benoit Family Tragedy caused the limo storyline to be immediately abandoned.
WWE’s latest “Bring It Back” feature on their website looks at wrestling cruises from years ago – WWE’s Wrestle Vessels and WCW’s Bruise Cruise. WWE creative head Michael Hayes thinks the Wrestle Vessel would do good today for WWE. He said:
“I think it would do very well. It’s an opportunity for the people of the WWE Universe to share a cruise with WWE Superstars in a real exotic location. The performers all get to let their hair down a little bit, so you get a different side of us. I think that’s what a lot of our audience is looking for.”
Bill Goldberg wrote the following on Twitter:
“WWE or TNA ……anytime fans would chant my name years after I’ve retired ….it’s an honor. Glass half-full.”
Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Pat Patterson, “Road Dogg” BG James and Gene Okerlund filmed new Legends Roundtables last night at WWE HQ in Stamford, CT. JR revealed on Twitter that the RAW Roundtable will air in July and the Hardcore Roundtable will air in October.
Goldust wrote on Twitter that he will be getting married soon. After being released from WWE, he is taking independent bookings and says Japan may be an option for the future. He also says he won’t be doing interviews unless it’s to promote a show or merchandise and says he’s not interested in doing radio appearances:
“Listen i dont have any interest in doing any radio.. Im not bitter so go ask someone else”
Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Pat Patterson, “Road Dogg” BG James and Gene Okerlund will be filming new Roundtables segments in Stamford, CT tonight. The topics will be History of Monday Night RAW and Hardcore Wrestling.
Morale is said to be low among some of the WWE writers after some were not invited to the post-WrestleMania 28 party. The main writers like Brian Gewirtz, Ed Koskey and Michael Hayes were there.