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WWE Names Next Inductee to the 2015 Hall of Fame Class on Raw

Tonight on Raw, WWE added their next entrant to the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of their 2015 class.  Her name is Alundra Blayze, also known as Madusa.

Alundra had quite the successful run in professional wrestling, winning seven championships in promotions all over the world.  She got her start in the AWA in 1986.  She claimed the AWA Women’s Title one time, before moving on to All Japan Pro Wrestling and claiming their Women’s Championship twice.  After a short run in WCW, she came over to the WWE, winning the women’s championship three times.  She famously dumped that title in a trash can on an episode of Nitro when she left WWE and had her second run in WCW.  She later said in an interview that she regrets being involved with that angle.

Today, Madusa is known for running monster trucks on the Monster Jam circuit, getting her start with the legendary Dennis Anderson and his Grave Digger team.  She has her own truck now, under the “Madusa” name, and was racing as recently as October of 2014.

Congratulations to Alundra Blayze on her induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

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Ring of Honor Announces Next Pay-Per-View Date

Last night after Ring of Honor’s 13th Anniversary pay-per-view, they announced their next live special would be airing on Friday, June 19th 2015, for Best in the World.  It will be held in New York City, with no venue yet named and tickets yet to go on sale.

As someone within driving distance of New York City, I’m very excited about another pay-per-view so close to home, but if they hold it in Terminal 5 again, I might skip this one and watch from home instead.

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Maryland Championship Wrestling “Winter Blast” Quick Results from 2/28/2015

Maryland Championship Wrestling hit the mats in Hollywood, Maryland tonight for their “Winter Blast” event.  WWE Hall of Famer Booker T appeared to be the special general manager.  Here are the quick results from the show:

The Punk Rock All Stars def. Sudden Impact

The Hell Cats (c) def. Napalm and Solo to retain the MCW Tag Team Championship

Mustafa Aziz Daniels def. Andrew Steele

Brandon Scott def. Chuck Lennox (c) to win the MCW Rage Championship

Kevin Eck’s new team, “The Ecktourage,” The Role Model Eric Chapel and Dirty Money def. Rob Lock and Joe Key

Amber Rodriguez (c) def. Shanna to retain the MCW Women’s Championship

Brandon Money Greene def. Lance Lude

Bruiser (MCW Champion) and Shane Strickland def. Drolix and King Ryan McBride

You can follow Maryland Championship Wrestling (where these results and more are posted) on Facebook at this link.

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Ring of Honor Announces That Samoa Joe Will be at the 13th Anniversary Show This Sunday

Earlier this week, we noted that Samoa Joe will be making appearances in March with Ring of Honor.  In a post on their website, Ring of Honor now has announced that Joe will appear at the 13th Anniversary show this Sunday in Las Vegas.  The post was simply this:

We have just received word that Samoa Joe will be in LIVE in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel & Casino this Sunday night.
 
He has something to say, and wants the world to hear it.

It will be interesting to see what Joe has to say, and what transpires out of this event.  We will have some sort of reaction to Sunday’s pay per view right here on Ring-Rap.com.

 

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WWE Announces Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 31

Today on WWE’s Facebook page, the company announced that Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett will defend his championship in a multi-star Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 31, coming up next month in Santa Clara, CA.  The number of participants and identity of his challengers will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Based on Monday night’s events, and what has happened on Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and R-Truth all have a claim to his championship.  Expect those three men, at a minimum, to be added to this match in the coming weeks.

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Former World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio Released from WWE

Rey Mysterio (a.k.a Oscar Gutierrez) has been off of WWE television for quite some time now.  He has dealt with injuries, but he was also at odds with WWE over his contract.  He was looking to get out of his deal, but WWE extended his deal to roll over and add some of his injury time to the deal.

Today, WWE quietly moved Rey Mysterio’s superstar profile from the active roster to the Alumni section on the company’s website.  Later, WWE made a brief announcement that simply read “Rey Mysterio is no longer under contract to WWE.”

This is a move that has been in the works for several months, and Rey has had issues with WWE relating to the roll-over of time on his contract.  He will not be out of work long, as there are rumors circulating that he will appear at the AAA show “Rey de Reyes” event on March 15.  AAA has a press conference scheduled for that week.  He also has been rumored to begin working dates for Lucha Underground as well, though nothing has been made official in that regard.

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WWE Names Three New Members to Board of Directors

In a press release on WWE’s Corporate website, three new members of the Board of Directors have been named.  Stephanie McMahon, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and Robyn Peterson have all been elected to the board.

Stephanie is the current Chief Brand Officer for the company, working with business partners, advertisers, media, investors and the public sector to enhance brand reputation.  Paul – known to wrestling fans as Triple H – is the Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events and Creative.  He continues to oversee talent development and relations, has a producer role behind the scenes, and works with NXT.  Robyn is the Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product for Mashable.  He has 15 years’ experience in web, mobile, and video product development, and has worked in the past with NBCUniversal among others.

The press release can be read on WWE’s corporate website, and is also shown below:

STAMFORD, Conn., February 26, 2015 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul Levesque and Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product for Mashable Robyn Peterson have been elected to its Board of Directors.

“The appointments of Stephanie, Paul and Robyn to WWE’s Board of Directors will be invaluable to the company as we continue to transform our business and look toward a new era of unprecedented growth,” said WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Vince McMahon. “I am confident that our Board of Directors and senior management team is stronger than ever and well-positioned for future success.”

Stephanie McMahon, WWE’s Chief Brand Officer, is responsible for leading the company’s efforts to further enhance its global brand reputation among key constituencies including business partners, advertisers, media, investors and the public sector. She serves as the company’s brand ambassador and works with WWE’s business units to support key growth initiatives. McMahon is the primary spokesperson for WWE’s corporate social responsibility initiatives and is participating in the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, an international leadership exchange program for outstanding professionals. She began her career with WWE in 1998 as an Account Executive for WWE’s sales office in New York City, in addition to being a TV personality, and she has overseen multiple business areas including WWE’s Creative, Talent Relations, Talent Brand Management, Live Events, Digital, Social and Mobile businesses.

Paul Levesque has more than 20 years of experience at WWE as an executive and performer. Well known as WWE Superstar Triple H®, Levesque is also WWE’s Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative, leading the talent development and talent relations departments responsible for recruiting and training the company’s Superstars and Divas. He recently oversaw the development and launch of the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, which serves as the home to WWE’s talent developmental system, NXT. Levesque also oversees all business operations for the more than 320 annual live events, including scheduling, ticket pricing strategy and promotion, and continues to play an integral role behind-the-scenes as a director and producer shaping the storylines in WWE’s programming.

Robyn Peterson, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product for Mashable, is a seasoned technology executive with more than 15 years of experience in web, mobile and video product development. Peterson is a member of Mashable’s Operating Committee, where he directs product strategy and development and manages the product, design and engineering teams. Peterson led the redesign of Mashable.com in 2012 which ushered in a 100 percent increase in mobile page views, pages-per-visit and ad engagement, and oversees the development of Mashable’s Velocity platform, a technology that predicts and tracks the viral life cycle of digital media content. Prior to Mashable, Peterson was the head of product at Next Issue Media, the magazine and newspaper consortium funded by News Corp., Conde Nast, Time Inc., Meredith and Hearst. Earlier in his career, Peterson served as Vice President for Technology and Product for NBCUniversal.

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The WWE NXT Report: 02/25/15 – Brian Kendrick Returns, Itami vs. Dempsey, Bayley vs. Lynch, plus more!

The WWE Network brings us another week of NXT action, and it’s looking like a good one!  Brian Kendrick makes a surprise return to the NXT Arena, challenging Finn Bálor.  Plus, Bayley will face Becky Lynch, and Bull Dempsey challenges Hideo Itami.  Let’s get started!

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Philadelphia and Minneapolis Express Their Interest in Hosting Wrestlemania 33

In a report that came out today in The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is throwing their hat in the ring to host WWE’s biggest event, Wrestlemania 33 in 2017.

Officials of Meet Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Sports Facilities Authority are working together to bring Wrestlemania to the Twin Cities region.  The event would be hosted in the new Minnesota Vikings’ stadium that will open for the Vikings’ season in 2016.  The stadium is already booked to host the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in 2019, and the 2018 NFL Super Bowl.

Philadelphia, PA though doesn’t plan to go quietly.  In a report on philly.com, Philadelphia Sports Congress executive director Larry Needle said that Philadelphia is still very interested in hosting a Wrestlemania event, and they are also working on a bid for the 2017 event.   Due to scheduling conflicts with the Wells Fargo Arena and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the city has not been able to put together a bid to this point.

Needle says that the city has a good relationship with WWE, and will be waiting for them to send the official request for proposal to determine if they have the means to submit a bid.  Minneapolis may have an inside edge though, as the new general manager for their stadium is Patrick Talty, who formerly worked for WWE as an executive in charge of live events.

Wrestlemania events are usually set around December or January, so time will tell who ultimately gets the award of the next Wrestlemania.  This year the event will take place in Santa Clara, CA at Levi’s Stadium, and Wrestlemania 32 will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

 

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Interview Highlights: Samoa Joe Talks About Returning to ROH, the Styles Clash, Tweeting with CM Punk, and NXT

Samoa Joe, who has returned to ROH for a series of events in March, made an appearance on the Chad Dukes Wrestling Show to talk about a number of topics.  You can get the whole interview at this link, but below are some highlights.

On Returning to ROH:

“I think certain times in your career you reexamine things and a change of scenery is nice. It’s good for the fans, it’s good for me, and I think it’s healthy all around. I’m excited about some new matches for me, there’s some guys out there I haven’t had a chance to work with especially some younger guys, up and comers, that I think have tremendous promise and talent and I get to get in there and mix it up with them. It kinda was a culmination over the past few months of various factors, various reasons. You kind of come to these big decisions and I kind of looked around saw the landscape of things and thought it was the time.”

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