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JR's Latest Blog,Vince's Reaction To "The Wrestler" & More
by Coma (comadrug235)
at December 24th, 2008 (09:33 am)

BoxOfficeMojo.com notes that “The Wrestler” grossed $46,928 for it’s first day of screening the other night in New York City with an average of $11, 732 over four screens at two theaters in Manhattan, one in Lincoln Center and the other, the great Landmark Sunshine theater in the Lower East Side.

According to data compiled by Neilson Media Research, this past Monday's RAW drew a 3.16 overall rating, down almost 5% from last week's 3.33. The show drew an averagae audience of 4.77 million viewers, down from last week's 4.99 million. The most telling data was a drop in the adults 18-49. This week's show was down almost almost 9% from last week in that key demographic.

Jim Ross has posted another blog, which can be read in its entirety at JrsBarBQ.com . Some highlights:

Trish Stratus' WWE Return :"It was great Monday getting a few moments to visit with Trish Stratus who still looks awesome, her husband HAS to be the luckiest man in Canada, and the hometown fans in TO really loved seeing the former 7 time WWE Womens Champion. Trish really strengthened the competition within the Divas when she was wrestling full time and is arguably the greatest female performer of the modern era. She would get my vote. I don't think that Trish is interested in getting back on the road full time but perhaps she could be convinced to make a few more special appearances. I would love to see more of her....that didn't come out just right...as she adds "star power" to any event in which she is involved."

What Fans Want :

"It might just be my old school opinion but I still steadfastly believe that most wrestling fans today would still rather see actual in ring wrestling than well intended verbalizing by those that can't pull off that particular phase of the business. Monday Night Raw was really fun to watch and I credit much of that enjoyment to the fact that there was several meaningful bouts on the show. It was one of the better Raws of the year even though I still don't fully understand the outcome of the JBL-Rey bout that included HBK's interference. "

Signs Crossing the Line :

"As I have said many times, I am all for freedom of speech unless it crosses the line in the form of signs that essentially profanely scream, "please look at me." The "Cuck Fena" sign that was wisely confiscated in Toronto is a good example of crossing the line. It's akin to the "Tuck Fexas" shirt some here in Oklahoma wear. Bad taste...not cool. There was a time when that sort of material was actually encouraged and marketed in the WWE but that attitudinal ship has sailed."

Paul Heyman has posted his latest blog entry at The UK Sun website, which can be read here.While Heyman has been very critical of WWE recently, this week he raves about last night's Raw, who he sees as the future of WWE and more. Heyman writes, "One of the greatest things about pro wrestling — or sports entertainment, if you insist — is that when it clicks, when it's done correctly, and when the audience is "into it", there is nothing like it in the world. World Wrestling Entertainment presented Monday Night Raw from Toronto, Canada this week, and it was just one of those nights when, if you're a fan, this is everything you could ask for."

Director Darren Aronofsky's new film "The Wrestler" starring Mickey Rourke has been getting rave reviews and winning awards left and right. The recent movie premiere brought out a number of pro wrestling legends, including Ric Flair, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Gret Valentine, Brutus Beefcake and others. With all the attention the film is receiving, WWE chairman Vince McMahon contacted Darren Aronofsky and requested a private screening of "The Wrestler". So, what did Vince think about it?
Whatever Vince told the director to his face remains a mystery, however a source close to the WWE boss says, "the word negative isn't strong enough to describe Vince's reaction.

[This is] no surprise because Vince's vision of the 2008 image of wrestling and even fading stars directly contradicts what The Wrestler accurately portrays." Others in Vince's close circle knew going into the screening that this was the kind of movie he was going to despise.

Recently released ECW backstage announcer Lena Yada has a blog thanking WWE for her time in the company. Here is what she wrote:

Thank you to everybody for all your support and love throughout my time with WWE. Even all of you who were my non-fans, because that still meant you noticed me

This has been such a wonderful experience and I would not trade it for the world. Thank you to everyone at WWE for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their company/family. For almost a year I traveled to cities across America and even London to entertain audiences that only WWE could bring in. I said it before and I’ll say it again: WWE has the best fans in the world!

Special thanks to all of the people that worked behind the scenes to make all of this happen: writers, agents, travel, PR, Vince (of course), wardrobe, camera crew. And a very special thanks to all the wrestlers and divas that I became close with. Because of all these people, going to work every week didn’t seem like work. This is the first job I can honestly say that I looked forward to going to every week.

Thank you WWE, and thank you fans for the time of my life!

Much Love, Lena Yada

The Wall Street Journal has an article looking at indy wrestling in light of the “The Wrestler” movie debuting in the U.S. this month. The WSJ reporter went to a Jersey All-Pro Wrestling show and captured independent wrestling with the following paragraph: “Independent events provide a training ground for young wrestlers hoping to get someplace bigger and a home for older wrestlers on their way out to pasture.” Independent wrestler B-Boy commented on how addictive wrestling can be.

“Wrestling is like an addictive drug - the adrenaline and everything that comes with wrestling inside and out,” he said. “It’s like smoking cigarettes. It’s like nicotine.” The issue of health insurance, or lack thereof, is also detailed in the article. “The wrestlers know better than to expect insurance - the best they get on this night is a registered nurse on staff,” according to the reporter. “Me along with a lot of wrestlers do not have health insurance,” B-Boy said, “so unless you’re in the media of TV like WWE, you don’t have health insurance unless you’re in a 9-to-5 job.”

Regarding recently released WWE star Gene Snitsky’s future prospects in wrestling, they don’t look too good. Snitsky probably would have gotten regular in Japan in another era due to his tremendous size, or perhaps even in Mexico, but the foreign groups are employing few Americans these days, so his odds aren’t good. As Tyson Tomko can attest to, he returned to the states because he was having trouble finding regular work in Japan. For foreigners to get work in Mexico these days, they either have to be particularly talented or have some really good connections as the regulars don’t like them coming in and taking their jobs.

Regarding TNA, there doesn’t appear to be much interest him there unless someone influential in the company such as Jeff Jarrett or Kurt Angle strongly pitches for him. Snitsky will probably just wind up on the U.S. indy circuit and doing appearances at various wrestling conventions.

It was announced that former WWE Superstar Big Daddy V is coming to World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico on the first weekend of next year.

Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro has a new blog talking about what she’s been up to lately. She talks about her dog (who was recently killed after running on to the road), the holiday season, music, and more.

In a passing note, she said might work out at a wrestling ring this coming week, as she hasn’t been in one in quite a while. Massaro wrote: “So I think this week I might head down to the ring here and work out some, just for fun for now, havent been in one in a while and I feel like messin around.”

WWE Diva Kelly Kelly tells the new WWE Magazine that she wants to follow the career of Trish Stratus. Kelly says she's watched a lot of old Trish matches and picked up on some of her in-ring mannerisms. When asked about being named most improved Diva of 2008, Kelly noted that she's watched tapes of Trish and Stacy Keibler.

WWE Superstar Evan Bourne is recovering from his ankle injury well and is now walking a bit without wearing the protective boot he was given. Bourne has wrestled with his ankle feeling worse than it does now and he's hoping to get back in the ring within the next month. Bourne is still doing daily therapy on the ankle. On a related note, Bourne is living in Tampa, FL so when he's ready to start training at FCW, it's right there. Bourne shares a home in Tampa with WWE's Scotty Goldman and ROH's Roderick Strong.

JBL was recently featured in Forbes Magazine in a story about the Top 15 Richest Fictional Characters. JBL ranked in there with names like Mr. Monopoly, Uncle Sam and Thurston Howell III. The author asked if JBL should be included on the list based on his WWE character turning up the volume on the real John Layfield.

The following matches are now being advertised for WWE’s 12/28 show at Madison Square Garden: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho in a Steel Cage, Shawn Michaels vs. Kane, CM Punk vs. William Regal for the IC Title, Matt Hardy vs. Jack Swagger for the ECW Title and a six-man match with Batista, Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston taking on Randy Orton, Manu and Cody Rhodes.

Attorneys representing Jamal Grinnage and Eric Murray, two members of the hip hop act The M.O.P. informed the United States District Court of New York on 12/3 that on behalf of their clients, they were voluntarily dismissing their clients’ lawsuot against John Cena, World Wrestling Entertainment, Sony Music, Stephanie Music (WWE’s music publishing company) and several other entities. Judge Leonard B. Sand signed off on the dismissal on 12/8, noting it was without prejudice against the defendants.

The M.O.P. members were upset that a sample of their song “Ante Up” was used in the “My Time is Now (John Cena Theme)” track on Cena’s hip hop CD from a few years back and later subsequently used by WWE for Cena’s ring entrance theme, on DVDs, CDs, PPV, and ringtones. Two members of the group, Jamal Grinnage and Eric Murray claimed in the initial lawsuit filing that they had turned down WWE’s request to sample the song and then someone working for Next Level Publishing, a company owned by the third member of M.O.P, Daryl Pittman, later gave clearance for sampling. The lawsuit alleged the person in question (who identified himself to the defendants as the President of Next Level) was actually just an office worker for Pittman and did not have the rights to do so.

Grinnage and Murray filed suit last October, requesting damages, that they be ruled the owners of the song in question and that all DVDs, CDs, etc. using the sampled music be recalled and destroyed based on the grounds that as 66.9% owners of the original “Ante Up” sing, it couldn’t be licensed without their approval, which they never gave. There was no indication regarding why the lawsuit was dropped and there was no mention of a settlement agreement between the two sides in any court documents before the Judge closed the case.