According to reports for this week's SmackDown, former WWE champion and tag team champion Yokozuna was announced as the newest inductee in this year's Hall of Fame. More confirmation will come once the taping of SmackDown are completely known.
Yokozuna, real name Rodney Anoa'i died at the aged of 34 from Pulmonary edema on October 23, 2000.
Monday night, an unreliable online news source published an erroneous report that WWE was shutting down operations of our developmental facility, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). In order to set the record straight, WWE.com interviewed WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Paul Levesque (also known as WWE Superstar Triple H) to address this issue.
“It is absolutely not true. FCW is not closing,” Triple H said. “I don’t know how the rumor started but I believe it’s a situation where the ‘dirt sheets’ want to believe they have the scoop on everything. If anything, we are in the process of ramping up our entire developmental system. It’s the lifeblood of our company. It’s what feeds our future and in no way are we going to close it down.”
Levesque also addressed plans to relocate training or FCW TV tapings out of its home of Tampa, Fla.
“There are plans in the works, but nothing definitive I can discuss right now,” he said. “Shortly after WrestleMania, there will be a major announcement about our developmental system.”
He continued, “WWE’s developmental system is being revamped, not shut down. If anything, it’s going to get bigger and better than ever. WWE Developmental cultivates the future talent of WWE. By no means is it going to get smaller or shut down.”
Most people within WWE did not know Shane Douglas was in the building for last night's RAW Supershow until they read it online. Douglas was trying to unmask and be seen on TV but it didn't work out that way.
Security, believing Douglas had sneaked into the show, detained Douglas as he tried to get an ECW chant going and walked from the arena out into the concourse. The people that were with Douglas exited the building and once he produced a ticket for security to see, they had to let him exit as well.
Douglas flew back home to Pittsburgh last night after RAW. The stunt was done as a way to promote his upcoming Extreme Reunion project.
Sources within WWE are stating that there are no plans to shut down WWE developmental Florida Championship Wrestling. As we wrote earlier, the TV series on Brighthouse Sports Network in Florida is coming to an end, but there have been discussions to move tapings to another location and network.
All FCW training is ongoing as scheduled today. Talents have been told there is nothing to worry about. All currently booked FCW events are still on as scheduled.
This past weekend, WWE officials were discussing a rematch between The Rock and John Cena for WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey. There is definitely interest in holding the rematch next year but it will depend on how this year's match turns out
As reported before, WWE has signed Matt "A-Train" Bloom to return after WrestleMania 28 and he is expected be a new henchman for John Laurinaitis. Despite Bloom denying the reports, several sources report that it is a done deal and the "Lord Tensai" teaser that aired on RAW this week is reportedly for his return.
A source close to Bloom report that his wife recently had a baby and with him getting ready to turn 40 years old, it made more sense to return to WWE.
WWE made no Hall of Fame announcements on RAW last night so the final name or names should come next week, unless they make the announcement online. Regarding Ric Flair appearing, word now is that Flair may not be appearing on TV but will definitely be in attendance. Apparently WWE and TNA are having negotiations for Flair to appear. It's said that TNA is not asking WWE for a lot in return
Dixie Carter comes out and announces her intentions of firing TNA champion Bobby Roode. Sting comes out and asks her not to, saying it would be the easy way out for Roode and that she needs to let James Storm take him out at Lockdown. Sting then announces he is stepping down as an authority figure as he cannot do it and wrestle. He then suggests Dixie bring back Hulk Hogan to run the company.
*James Storm cut a promo about facing Roode at Lockdown, promising to win the belt. Someone representing Roode comes out and says the champion won't be seen until the PPV as he doesn't have to contractually appear until them. This ends up with Storm being told he has to wrestle Chris Daniels and Kazarian in a handicap match. Roode lays out the rep.
*TNA Knockouts Tag Team champions Eric Young and ODB defeated Rosita and Sarita.
*X Division champ Austin Aries vs. Anthony Nese vs. Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash goes to a no contest when Bully Ray hit the ring and declared that this could happen again, anytime, any place to anyone.
*TNA Tag Team champions Samoa Joe and Magnus defeated Mexican America. Rosita and Sarita interfered in the match but Josh Lewis from SpikeTV's Repo Games ran out to the ring and stopped them and carried them out.
*Three Minute Challenge: Kurt Angle vs Garett Bischoff. Gunner attacked Bischoff towards the end of the three minutes, which brought out Jeff Hardy.
*James Storm defeated Daniels and Kazarian in a handicap match.
*They close the show with Hulk Hogan returning as Sting pleads with Dixie that Hogan is a changed man and should be placed back in charge.
There will be a hearing on 4/2 regarding the ongoing lawsuit from musician Anthony Dash against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and WWE, among others, for Mayweather allegedly using Dash's music to come to the ring without permission. The hearing will determine a WWE request for Summary Judgment Regarding Dash's claims to entitlement regarding copyright damages from their use of the song at Wrestlemania 24 and Monday Night Raw as well as a summary judgment on Dash's alleged lost profits due to the use.
Dash's lawsuit claims that in 2005, he created a musical track titled "Tony Gunz Beat." The lawsuit alleges that Mayweather, in his Wrestlemania 24 bout against The Big Show in March 2008, using theme music titled "Yep" and later used the song on a Raw broadcast.
Dash's lawsuit claimed the track, "is music that includes Plaintiff's Tony Gunz Beat track, with lyrics added to the track." The lawsuit later refers to the words as "explicit lyrics" added by the defendants. The lawsuit filing does not (to the best of my research) attempt to explain how Dash's work may have be misappropriated and turned into the theme music, but Dash claims he owns the filed copyright on the original music.
WWE has claimed they initially planned to play a 50 Cent song for Mayweather's entrance but the night before the PPV, Mayweather’s manager, Leonard Ellerbe gave WWE’s Vice President, Music, Neil Lawi a CD of the contested song and requested the company play that instead. Mayweather's reps claimed he owned the rights to the music and gave WWE express permission to reproduce it in conjunction with the Wrestlemania release.
WWE noted that Mayweather confirmed this during statements made during the legal process and that Lawi has already stated on record that the company was not aware of any copyright issues until well after the event took place as Dash did not file any claims until after they had taken place.
Dash has claimed that the defendants have made "millions of dollars" from his copyrighted work and requested an accounting of "all gains, profits and advantages from their act of infringement". Dash's suit alleged that despite numerous cease and desist orders sent to Mayweather, the usage of the track has continued via online videos and DVD sales.
Dash is asking for $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop the Defendant's "ongoing infringement of Plaintiff's copyright." The suit also calls for any and all copies of the Plaintiff's works be destroyed "or otherwise appropriately disposed of."
WWE has quietly stopped producing the Wrestlemania 24 DVD while the legal situation is ongoing.
WWE officials notified television partner Bright House Network Monday that they have opted to cease their affiliation with the Florida based sports network as they are shutting down developmental promotion Florida Championship Wrestling effective immediately. Florida Championship Wrestling programming, which was taped last Thursday in Tampa, Florida, will cease to air on the network in three weeks.
Everyone involved with Florida Championship Wrestling will relocate to WWE's homebase in Stamford, Connecticut until a further decision regarding the developmental program is made.
WWE employees were given the impression that a developmental promotion will ultimately open in Connecticut with the possibility of a second at an undetermined location.
The promotion was started by former wrestler Steve Keirn in 2007 to be WWE's second developmental promotion when they ended their relationship with the Georgia-based Deep South Wrestling in early 2007. It became their sole developmental promotion in early 2008 when they ceased affiliation with Ohio Valley Wrestling.