Friday 2/26 Torch Today – UPDATE on Tampa Sportatorium sold, ROH PPV & exclusive Daniels interview, Events Center, Mick Foley launching RAINN WM32 contest, Pres candidate calls debate “like WWF,” Impact launching on big cable outlet, GFW/Jarrett to announce TV deal?, J-Mo talks seasons in pro wrestling, NWA Wildside DVD sale, The Elite vs. New Day t-shirt battle, Elgin & X-Pac, Video – Barrett vs. Scott Hall
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 – Friday, February 26, 2016
– Ring of Honor is back on PPV tonight with their 14th Anniversary Show from Las Vegas. I would be surprised to see all champions retain their titles tonight. For an in-depth look at the line-up, read Pat McNeill’s PPV Preview column. Also, listen to Christopher Daniels on the Wednesday Livecast with McNeill. I’ll have live coverage tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST.
– EVENTS CENTER: WWE’s main roster headlined by A.J. Styles is in Denver … NXT is home in Florida … Daniel Bryan returns to New Orleans for a personal appearance … Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III for the TNA Hvt. Title takes place at a Big Time Wrestling independent show … CWE continues their Colt Cabana tour across Canada. (Full Events Center) (REPORTS WANTED to firstname.lastname@example.org)
– At PWPodcasts.com: Recap of Colt Cabana talking to ROH Champ Jay Lethal on the latest “Art of Wrestling.” Interestingly, there was more past TNA talk than current ROH talk.
– At PWTorchLivecast.com: Call in for Travis Bryant hosting tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST. Plus, on-demand access to 147 free minutes of Jim Ross talking live to Wade Keller on Thursday’s Livecast.
– At MMATorch.com: Full Preview of the next UFC Fight Night.
– Mick Foley is launching his annual WrestleMania Dream Vacation Sweepstakes on Monday (February 29). The contest benefiting the RAINN organization will run Feb. 29 through March 15. The winner will receive a trip to WrestleMania in Texas. (Entry Details HERE) (Foley’s Video Message)
– Thursday’s WWE Smackdown did not rank in Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings for the third consecutive week. Smackdown has been squeezed out of the Top 5 rankings due to increasing TV competition drawing more social interest, such as last night’s one-off CNN Debate. Reacting to the debate, presidential candidate Ben Carson said in a TV interview that it was “like WWF” on the stage.
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– Next week’s TNA Impact viewership will be very interesting. After falling hard this week, Impact is going against Super Tuesday coverage next week, but TNA president Dixie Carter announced that Pop TV will be added to AT&T U-verse systems on Tuesday (March 1).
So excited that starting TUESDAY AT&T U-Verse will get @IMPACTWRESTLING! @PopTV pic.twitter.com/jrb6YMmxKb
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) February 26, 2016
– GFW co-founder Jeff Jarrett is back on the interview circuit talking about a potential U.S. TV deal. Jarrett claimed to have a deal for the “Amped” TV series that is a “game-changer” to be announced in the next week. “On the international front we are going to continue to work the contracts. Amped is coming to your television sets to your home very very soon,” Jarrett told The Rack radio show.
– Eva Marie was not on the Fast Lane PPV, but she still made it onto the DVD cover as the flag-bearer for the race-themed marketing. Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Dean Ambrose are more prominently featured on the cover of the DVD, which is due out March 29 and priced at $9.99. (WrestlingDVDNetwork.com)
– Lucha Underground star John Morrison (Johnny Mundo) talked about whether pro wrestling TV should shift to a seasonal-format, like L. Underground on El Rey Network. “I don’t know. I always felt that live wrestling is one of the coolest things about wrestling. There are pros and there are cons to everything. The look of Lucha Underground requires post-production and you can’t have a live wrestling show in that way that Lucha does,” Morrison said on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast.
“As far as the evolution of wrestling from my standpoint as a pro wrestler, the seasons are great. If there is a season that means there gets to be an off season to recover and have a little bit of a personal life which you don’t get if you are working year round. It also presents the option of both who will become champion storylines or who screwed who to become number one contender. The options with the seasons of Lucha Underground open up and have become like a TV show where we can have much more personal history for each wrestler and between wrestlers and much much more back story that can be developed and that is something that I feel people watching Lucha Underground are really identifying with.”
– The Sportatorium in Tampa, Fla. is going on the auction block Saturday morning, reports the Tampa Tribune. Nicole Alonso, the granddaughter of Eddie Graham and daughter of Mike Graham, is selling properties in her family, including the Sportatorium. Another is her childhood home where pro wrestlers visited on a regular basis.
Dory Funk, Jr. talked about the simple formula of using TV broadcasts from the Sportatorium to sell tickets to the live shows. “They would give me someone to guzzle in the ring to show how good I was,” Funk said. “They’d give Brisco someone to guzzle to show how good he was. Then people would want to pay to see us wrestle each other. You didn’t give that match away on free television.”
UPDATE: The Sportatorium was sold for $695,000 on Saturday, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The building will reportedly be turned into a piano conservatory.
– The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega, known as “The Elite” group within the Bullet Club faction, have a new parody t-shirt mocking WWE tag champions New Day after challenging them to a match.
– NWA Smoky Mountain has added Michael Elgin to their big “Collision Course” show on May 7 in Kingsport, Tennessee. “X-Pac” Sean Waltman is already on the card. (Event Info)
– DVDs from the NWA Wildside promotion (1999-2005) are now available for purchase. A.J. Styles made his name in Wildside, plus WCW utilized Wildside as a developmental territory at the end of WCW’s run. Shows are available at NWAWildside.com.
– 2K Sports released video of King Barrett challenging Scott Hall to a video game battle as part of the new “Hall of Fame Showcase” downloadable content pack released this week for the “WWE 2K16” video game.