NEWS, HISTORY AND ANALYSIS THAT MATTER TO THE SERIOUS WRESTLING FAN



NOVEMBER 12th - TOP STORIES


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In a regular feature at The Pro-Wrestling Chronicle, we examine the top stories making their way around the wrestling world. We will print news only from reliable sources, and attempt to present it free of bias, speculation and negativity. Appropriate credit will always be given to the source of the news.

TOP NEWS STORIES
for Thursday November 12, 2005

Brock Lesnar has not wrestled since winning the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on October 8, 2005, and likely will not step into the ring again until he defends the title on January 4, 2006 against Kazuyuki Fujita. The New Japan Pro-Wrestling Tokyo Dome show from October 8th will air on pay-per-view in the near future in the United States. While nothing is certain because those involved in the case aren't permitted to speak about it, it is highly believed that Brock Lesnar won his court case against World Wrestling Entertainment if New Japan is permitted to air the main event in the United States. Brian Alvarez, editor of the Figure Four Weekly Newsletter, believes that Brock Lesnar is free to wrestle anywhere, including TNA. He believes that when Brock Lesnar went to World Wrestling Entertainment in attempt to re-sign with the company, he gave the impression that he was groveling for a job, hoping WWE would give him a lowball offer. When Lesnar received the low offer, he presented it to his lawyers, who used it to suggest that WWE didn't think that their client, Brock Lesnar, was valuable to WWE. The no compete clause was as a result thrown out in court and Brock Lesnar became a free agent. This series of events isn't certain, but Alvarez speculates that all signs point strongly in this direction.

World Wrestling Entertainment has released a Bret Hart tribute magazine which arrives at newsstands over the course of the next several days detailing the career of the Hart to coincide with the upcoming release of his DVD Bret Hart: The Best There Was, The Best There Is, and The Best There Ever Will Be which hits store shelves this coming Tuesday on November 15th. Early information on Bret Hart's DVD has the main feature coming in at just over two hours, with an introduction done by Vince McMahon himself. In the introduction, Vince McMahon thanks Bret Hart on putting aside their differences in order to create the very best DVD possible for Bret Hart's fans. Bret Hart appears in the introduction for the extras, explaining that he picked all of them personally. Those who speak on the documentary portion of the DVD included Roddy Piper, Vince McMahon, Christian, Eric Bischoff, Jim Ross, Animal, Steve Austin, Jimmy Hart, Gene Okerlund, Bruce Prichard, Chris Benoit, and of course Hart himself. The documentary is said to cover Hart's entire life and feature a good deal of footage from Stampede. Early fears were that the raw footage would not be able to be cleaned up and converted in time to make the DVD, but those fears appear unfounded. Bret Hart speaks on Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, his brother Owen, Ric Flair and others. An emotional segment of the DVD is said to involve Bret Hart paying tribute to all of his friends in the wrestling business who have since passed, with Bret's tribute to Rick Rude said to stand out. Extras include Bret Hart telling a story about Owen prank calling his father Stu, a story about learning the Sharpshooter from Konnan, and his thoughts on the death of his brother Dean. The DVD is said to be an inspiring and positive look at the career of Bret Hart. It hits stores nationally this Tuesday.

Though Hart is back in what he describes as "good standing" with WWE, he is not limiting his options. According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, Bret Hart recently met with TNA officials Jeremy Borash and Scott D'Amore while in New York City for the RingsideFest event, where Hart answered questions in a Q&A session that we covered earlier this week. While nothing concrete was planned, both sides discussed the possibility of doing something together in the future according to Mike Johnson. Bret Hart also met Kurt Angle during the event. While the two had exchanged phone calls in the past, they had yet to meet face to face.

WWE Smackdown commentators Michael Cole and Tazz crashed the set of WWE's weekly internet broadcast ByteThis! this Wednesday and vented about what they felt to be secondary treatment that the Smackdown brand receives from World Wrestling Entertainment. Michael Cole pointed out the lack of focus WWE.com gives Smackdown. While WWE.com features pre-Raw photos as well as the live video broadcast Unlimited --which The USA Network no longer allows WWE to promote on RAW-- Smackdown receives neither. Cole went on to state that two Smackdown employees, Josh Matthews and Steve Romero, were fired from their roles hosting ByteThis! to make room for Todd Grisham, a Raw talent. Cole continued, stating that while Jonathan Coachman and Jim Ross were both given columns in Raw magazine, he or Tazz still haven't been offered a spot in Smackdown's monthly publication. Cole mentioned that a Raw wrestler that "hasn't even been featured on television" is given weekly video segments on WWE.com, implying Matt Striker, and claimed Smackdown talent aside from JBL isn't given such opportunities. Taz and Cole voiced their opinions that they were tired of hearing both on Raw television and from WWE in general that Smackdown was the inferior brand. The two men closed by saying that what they did was not an angle, and left a flustered Todd Grisham to continue the broadcast. This section of the ByteThis! broadcast was edited out of the show and can no longer be accessed on WWE.com. With WWE working harder than ever to build an inter-brand rivalry and to appeal to wrestling fans on the internet, there is no word on the scripted or unscripted nature of this segment. Michael Cole and Tazz are long time broadcast partners on Smackdown as well as close friends and travel partners with fellow WWE Smackdown voice Josh Matthews. As noted earlier in the week in our daily news coverage, Michael Cole and Tazz have lower salaries than Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman and will likely also wind up being paid significantly less than Joey Styles should he and WWE come to terms. Michael Cole in particular has been vocal in the past about being seen as the "B" level announcer and being shunned in favor of Jim Ross when calling inter-brand matches on pay-per-view events.

Joey Styles appeared this week on Jonathan Coachman's Coachcast, now available on WWE.com, and argued with The Coach for several minutes about a variety of topics. Joey Styles promoted this appearance on the insider website that he owns 50% controlling interest in, 1Wrestling.com. This presents an enormous conflict of interest, as Styles website is what has always been viewed as an enemy presence to WWE, as well as competition to WWE.com. To make matters worse, Bob Ryder --a tenured behind the scenes employee of TNA wrestling-- also claims partial ownership of 1Wrestling. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter believes that Joey Styles will be forced to sell his interest in 1Wrestling.com if he signs with World Wrestling Entertainment.


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