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TNA Has a Second Surprise Return in Glasgow, Scotland With Return of Former Knockout

There was more than just the surprise of Drew Galloway showing up tonight in Scotland for TNA.

Mickie James, who left the company in 2013, also showed up tonight at the Glasgow, Scotland event.  Dixie Carter posted about the moment to her Twitter account (shown below), which links to a page on the Impact Wrestling website.  Like with Drew Galloway’s return, it simply added to “stay tuned for more information.”

Mickie had been working independent bookings, and gave birth to a son in September of 2014.  She is engaged to Magnus.

Interesting.  Sources said that Mickie was not happy in TNA and was hoping to get one more WWE run, so to see her return is a bit of a surprise.  We shall see if this is a one-time deal, or a longer run. 

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Former WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre Makes Appearance with TNA on European Tour

TNA is on their European tour right now, doing tapings and shows overseas.  In a surprise moment, Drew Galloway (f/k/a Drew McIntyre) appeared at the TNA tapings that took place in his home town of Glasgow, Scotland on Thursday.

There were a lot of rumors swirling that we would see Galloway at the initial New York City tapings when TNA joined Destination America.  It’s clear that didn’t play out then, but it did in his native Scotland.  It’s a great surprise for those fans, but horrible marketing that he wasn’t advertised for the show.

I’m not certain if it’s a long term arrangement or a one-off appearance.  One thing is for sure, Dixie Carter has been sure to post to social media, saying that more information “will be available as we have it.”  You can follow her tweet below to see a video of Drew’s return in Glasgow tonight.

 

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READER POLL: Rate WWE Smackdown 01/29/15

Did you watch the LIVE edition of WWE Smackdown for Thursday, January 29th, 2015?  If so, please let us know what you thought of the show!

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Interview Highlights: Jim Cornette Talks about Heat with The Young Bucks, High Spots in Wrestling, and More.

Jim Cornette appeared on the In Your Head Radio show, and spoke about possible heat he has with The Young Bucks, and also pointed out some of the problems he sees with high spots in tag matches.  Below are some of the highlights. Continue reading

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WWE Issues Formal Press Release Offering WWE Network Free for the Month of February

This morning, WWE issued a press release via their corporate website stating that they will give fans the opportunity to access WWE Network for free in the month of February.  The release is as follows:

STAMFORD, Conn., January 29, 2015 – Due to the tremendous response from fans to the free November promotion, WWE (NYSE: WWE) will again offer a free month of WWE Network to new subscribers during February in advance of its biggest event of the year, WrestleMania® 31 on Sunday, March 29. During the month of February, subscribers will have access to all of WWE Network’s programming including a live podcast hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin® this Monday, February 2 featuring Triple H® and the all-new, live pay-per-view event WWE FAST LANE™ on Sunday, February 22.

“Last November we offered a free month of WWE Network to new subscribers with great success, helping us reach the 1 million subscriber milestone,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “We are excited to extend the same opportunity in February to those who have not yet subscribed so they can experience all that WWE Network offers right before WrestleMania.”

This past Tuesday, WWE announced that WWE Network had surpassed 1 million subscribers just 11 months after launch, making it the fastest-growing digital subscription service. These results were driven primarily by the successful free November promotion, the launch of the service in the UK and significant additions for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event.

Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up for WWE Network online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TVs through connected devices such as Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices as well as Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is available direct to consumers in more than 170 countries and territories and recently launched in the UK and Ireland.

WWE Network’s one-of-a-kind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more than 2,000 titles in its video-on-demand library.

For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.

Think about what all you’re going to get in February on the Network as a new subscriber for free.  Steve Austin interviewing Triple H.  Fast Lane pay per view event.  NXT Special on February 11.  Then, if you stick around, you get Wrestlemania 31 and the Hall of Fame special for just $9.99.  I might have my misgivings about the Network and its lack of “now” content and such, but this is one hell of a bargain.  If you’re on the fence, I would strongly consider grabbing the free month if just for the test drive to decide if you want to keep it.

Site News and Updates 01/29/15

300x300_logoGood morning everyone!

  • WWE Smackdown is airing LIVE this evening in Hartford, CT.  Because it is a live show, Bill Wentz will have coverage of the event starting at 8pm EST.
  • If you are attending the show, we would love to hear about your experience!  Attendance figures, dark matches, biggest pop, and just an overall reaction of the show – these are all things that we want to know about.  If you’re interested in contributing to the site, please send me an email to dkoscelek@ring-rap.com, and we will publish your report on the site.
  • Be sure to download the latest episode of Ring Rap Audio.  Episode 147 discusses The Royal Rumble, WWE Raw, TNA Impact Viewership rising, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, Justin Gabriel’s departure from WWE, and lots more.  You can download it on iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn, or subscribe to the RSS feed using your favorite podcast program.
  • In case you missed it, I posted my NXT Report very early this morning.  It featured The Lucha Dragons defending their NXT Tag Titles against Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy, plus Tyson Kidd vs Adrian Neville in a very good 1st round match in the #1 Contenders Tournament for the NXT Championship.  Also, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch tagged against Charlotte and Bayley, Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey in a Tournament match, and the long-awaited contract signing for Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens at NXT Takeover on February 11th.
  • Bill Wentz was able to catch the recent episode of Lucha Underground. It features Prince Puma defending his championship against Cage, plus Mil Muertes vs. Fenix, and Mr. Cisco & Cortez Castro & Bael vs. Argenis & Super Fly & Aerostar.
  • MMA fans can check out Bill’s UFC news, including UFC releasing five fighters, and Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp supporting any attempts from UFC to sign Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
  • Finally, Bill whipped up a great blog looking at the potential top matches at Wrestlemania 31.

As always, if you have any news tips, you can send me an email to dkoscelek@ring-rap.com, or let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

–   Drew Koscelek, Editor in Chief

 

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UFC Trims Fight Roster, Releases Five Fighters Including Former Ultimate Fighter: Brazil Alumni

Yesterday, UFC made some changes to their fight roster, cutting ties with five fighters.

Igor Pokrajac, a twelve-time Octagon veteran was cut.  He has been on a four fight losing streak, having dropped bouts to Vinny Magalhaes, Ryan Jimmo, Rafael Cavalcante, and Marcos Rogerio de Lima.  The Croatian lightweight posted notable wins in his UFC tenure, picking up victories over Fabio Maldonado, Krzysztof Soszynski and James Irvin.  His losing streak almost went to five when he lost to Joey Beltran at UFC on FX 6, but that decision was overturned when Beltran failed a post-fight drug test.

Rodrigo Damm participated in “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.”  Damm debuted strong in UFC, winning three of his first four bouts.  That streak didn’t continue, however and Damm lost his last three fights.  His most recent outing at UFC 182 ended in a unanimous decision loss to Evan Dunham.

Tom Niinimaki was impressive when he debuted in the promotion.  He picked up a split decision over a strong grappler in Rani Yahya on the “TUF 18″ finale.  However, Niinimaki lost three straight fights against Niklas Backstrom, Chas Skelly and Renato Carneiro, losing all of them by rear-naked choke submission.

Mike Rhodes came to UFC as a heralded prospect out of the Roufusport camp.  He made three appearances in UFC, losing all three.  He dropped decisions to George Sullivan and Robert Whittaker, then earned his pink slip by bowing out after the first round against Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night “Machida vs. Dollaway.”

Sean Soriano, the final cut, also went 0-3 in the Octagon.  His last appearance was at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Siver,” where he tapped out to Charles Rosa via brabo choke approximately 4 minutes into the third round.

Source: Sherdog.com

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Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp Says She Supports UFC Signing Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino

Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp gave an interview with MMAJunkie.com recently.  In the interview, she said that she would not stand in the way of UFC signing one of her most prized assets, the current featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.  Justino has a 12-1 record, and has been at the center of long-rumored talks about fighting UFC’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey.

Knapp said, “If it makes sense and that’s what an athlete wants, I’m going to support it.  I think that ‘Cyborg’ is one of the best in the world, and I think that fight between her and Ronda Rousey is a fight I want to see.”

Continue reading

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Ring of Honor Announces Alberto El Patron’s Opponent for their Thirteenth Anniversary Pay Per View

Today, Ring of Honor issued a press release to announce that they have set a Television Championship match for their 13th Anniversary Show.  The match will feature Alberto El Patron (f/k/a Alberto Del Rio) taking on the current champion, Jay Lethal.  The show will be broadcast on pay per view on March 1, 2015 from Las Vegas, NV.

The press release is as follows:

Rumors of a dream match have swirled on social media but now it is official. The legendary, 2nd generation Mexican wrestling star, Alberto El Patrón, will challenge Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor World Television Championship live on Pay Per View at our 13th Anniversary event.

Upon his arrival in ROH, Alberto El Patrón wanted an opportunity to speak with his fans on ROH Television. Alberto proclaimed that he was finally among the best wrestlers on the planet and he wanted a shot at the most important title in professional wrestling, the ROH World Championship. Lethal and his manager, Truth Martini took major offense to this and Lethal interrupted Alberto, telling him he should have done his homework before coming to class. Lethal made it known that he is the measuring stick for the best professional wrestler on the planet and that his championship was the most important.

This meeting of two very different athletes in the prime of their careers is something that does not happen very often. This rivalry has taken on a personal twist as Lethal feels Alberto overlooked him as a champion. El Patrón believes Lethal has challenged his manhood, something for which Alberto will not stand.

Can Lethal add Alberto El Patrón to the record list of contenders he has defeated? Can Alberto El Patrón make history by ending the historic reign of Lethal? To find out you will either need to be live in Las Vegas or on Pay per View!

I think this is a great hook for the upcoming pay per view, and it should be a great match that we will have some form of coverage for come March 1.  I do eventually want to see El Patron eventually challenge for ROH’s top title, but for now this should be a fun match with some championship implications.

 

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WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s Scheduled Appearances on the Road to Wrestlemania

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s schedule has been under fire from some wrestling fans during the fall.  He made no appearances from Night of Champions until the latter part of December, 2014.  At present, by reviewing the WWE website schedule of shows and the various arena web sites, these are the dates that Lesnar is slated to appear as we embark on the Road to Wrestlemania 31 in Santa Clara, CA.  As we now know, Lesnar will defend his title against Roman Reigns at that event.

  • January 29, 2015, XL Center, Hartford, CT – Lesnar is still scheduled for the re-scheduled Raw/Smackdown event.  Reports Monday said he flew home after the decision to cancel Raw was made.
  • February 2, 2015, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO – Lesnar is not listed to appear at Raw in Denver.
  • February 9, 2015, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH – Lesnar is scheduled to appear for Raw.
  • February 16, 2015, Amway Center, Orlando, FL – Lesnar is not scheduled to appear (this is the go-home show for the Fast Lane pay per view).
  • February 22, 2015, Fed Ex Forum, Memphis, TN – Lesnar is not advertised to appear on the WWE website, however he was visually in advertising for the event during the Royal Rumble pay per view.
  • February 23, 2015, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN – Lesnar is advertised to appear for Raw.
  • March 2, 2015, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ – Lesnar is not advertised to appear.
  • March 9, 2015, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA – Lesnar is not advertised to appear on the WWE website, but Consol Energy Center has posted both to their Facebook page and their website that Lesnar is going to appear.
  • March 16, 2015, Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA – Lesnar is not scheduled to appear
  • March 23, 2015, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA – Lesnar is advertised to appear (this is the go-home show for Wrestlemania 31).
  • March 29, 2015, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA – Wrestlemania 31, where Lesnar is scheduled to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns
  • March 30, 2015, SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, CA – Lesnar is advertised to appear for Raw the night after Wrestlemania.

It appears that Lesnar will be at approximately half of the live Raw events leading up to Wrestlemania.  This is encouraging, given his status from Night of Champions until the build to the Royal Rumble event.   Of course as always, all cards are subject to change.