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Unread 11-05-2017, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default March 2003: News and Notes

In what is a pretty huge deal for us, we've signed a yearlong deal with Televisa to air Nitro in Mexico. This is a massive jump up in network exposure from our existing deal with Canal 5. Canal 5 is also the current home for Raw and Smackdown, so this gives us a big leg up on Vince in Mexico. Clearly our recent push to national status has inspired confidence in us as a brand, because even having a meeting with a broadcaster the size of Televisa would've been a pipe dream at the start of the year. The new contract won't begin until we finish up our commitments on Canal 5 next month, but it'll be exciting to see how our reputation begins to grow in Mexico after that. We may need to consider trying to tape some TV and hold a PPV down there later in the year.

We've signed Austin Aries away from NWATNA on a two year contract. I would've been content to let him stay in TNA for the foreseeable future as I have no immediate plans for him, but despite announcing him as a roster member when the company opened last May, they've never actually booked him in a match. He's someone my scouting team is high on, and he sure wasn't going to get any better sitting on the sidelines doing absolutely nothing while Russo pushes Mantaur to the moon. He'll be starting down in Wildside on a developmental deal, and when he eventually gets called up he would seem a good fit for the Cruiserweight division.

Shinobu Kandori has signed a contract extension to stay with us for the next six months. I did have to throw her a cash bonus first though, because she was still furious about being asked to put over Kyoko Inoue on TV last October.

Two weeks in a row now, I've seen Sting giving Johnny Parisi some tips on how to draw sympathy from the fans if he ever turns babyface. No plans to turn him any time soon, but it's good that he's trying to help him prepare for any possibility.

Harry Smith broke his toe during the eight man tag on the February 24th Nitro, but that healed after just a few days. There was also a feeling that he was used too much on that show given his current position in the company, but I think sharing the ring with so many stars in a main event match was good for him.

I reached an agreement with Mexican female wrestler Mary Apache, who will be working for Renaissance under a PPA deal as a glorified enhancement talent basically.

CM Punk and Hugh Morrus both praised Tony Mamaluke's in-ring work. I've been pretty impressed as well. For a guy who was brought in on a one night jobber deal, and then was signed to a developmental contract because of chemistry between he and Johnny Parisi, he's really made the most of his chance so far.

Jason Jett, Mike Sanders and Shawn Stasiak all came up to me after the February 24th show to say they're unhappy with their booking and want to be pushed harder. It's not going to happen for any of those guys. I might just let all three walk when their contracts are up and rotate some fresh faces into the mix in those roles.

Big Vito did the same the following week. Yeah, I don't care.

Etsuko Mita has been pretty complimentary of Sonoko Kato's in-ring work, and she seems to think I should give Kato a legitimate push instead of using her as a jobber to the stars. We'll see.

The WWE have called up Leviathan from OVW. Leviathan, real name Dave Bautista, apparently isn't a great worker but he does have a great superstar look.

I'm not sure how this slipped my notice before, but reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata tore his quad in a tag match taped for TV in late January. Obviously he had to vacate the title, which is a big shame for him just one month after winning it for the first time. It's also a big blow to NJPW, who honestly can't afford it right now.

They held their 'Wave Rising Formation' PPV on February 24th. The main event of the show was Tatsumi Fujinami and Masahiro Chono battling for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight title. The match ended in a double count out though, so there's still no champion. It was a decent match, but nowhere close to the best of the night. That honor went to Koji Kanemoto over Osamu Nishimura in an absolute classic two matches earlier. Kanemoto's name seems to pop up a lot in matches of the night on these big shows, so maybe Inoki should put the title on him.

'Elements of Battle' followed on March 3rd. They still didn't crown a new heavyweight champion. Instead the main event was Manabu Nakanishi and Masahiro Chono battling Koji Kanemoto and Tatsumi Fujinami for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles (which also were vacated after Nagata's injury, as he and Fujinami held the belts.) The match was pretty good, but it ended in a double countout. So two straight PPVs main evented by matches for Nagata's vacated titles, both of which ended in double countouts. What strange booking. The show itself was just slightly below the previous one, with the best match being Taiyo Kea retaining the Junior Heavyweight title over Hiroshi Tanahashi in the third to last match.

Matt Sydal's reign as NWA World Champion came to an end on a Zero-One event on March 7th, where he was defeated by Kazushi Sakuraba. Sakuraba is a legit star in Japan from his work in MMA group PRIDE, but his name isn't very widely known anywhere else.

Florida businessman Sal Hamaoui has begun advertising his new independent promotion, Full Impact Pro, or FIP for short. Seems like he'll be aiming to build the promotion around a cult atmosphere.

If that's what he's shooting for, the decision to hire former CZW owner John Zandig as his head booker probably makes sense. I never thought much of CZW when it was around, but at least he's not Russo.

Germany's Westside Extreme Wrestling is gone. They put on some decent shows for a company of their level, but their regular touring events didn't draw well enough for them to be profitable.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Glad to see Nattie doing well after recovering from injury.
It was a fake injury, so it's not THAT impressive.

Originally Posted by kinnikuniverse View Post
God has returned! Rejoice!
I was going to embed a picture of the Guerillas of Destiny from NJPW, but I'm feeling lazy.

Holy slinky, I didn't see the booker twist coming! Though why would bischoff use a note? I mean, a stunner just stuns, for crying out loud! I guess he was just lazy.
The note was just to set up a private meeting away from the arena, so no one could spot them talking backstage.

I have to give nods to both MisterRomanini and Bluestillidie00 for their avatars. Nicolas Cage and Toni Storm are both amazing (though for very different reasons!)
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