Hogan v Gawker Day 3

In the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker trial today, the story that’s gotten the most mainstream attention is another oddity. This time, it came from a playback of deposition testimony (he wasn’t live on the stand) former Gawker writer and editor A.J. Daulerio, the co-defendant of Gawker Media and founder Nick Denton. Here’s the exchange:

Q. So it’s fair to say that whether he suffered emotional distress or not that played no part in your decision about whether and what to publish?

A. Correct.

Q. Is it your view that any celebrity sex tape is newsworthy?

A. No.

Q. What sort of celebrity sex tapes would not be newsworthy?

A. I couldn’t say specifically.

Q. Well, can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?

SETH BERLIN (Gawker Attorney):: Objection, cails for speculation, but you can answer.

A. If they were a child.

Q. Under what age?

A. Four.

Q. No four-year-old sex tapes, okay. [Then continues with a new question.

Like with the back and forth about how the Hulk Hogan character has different appendages from Terry Bolla, this was on the front pages of tons of mainstream news sites, including, of course, the New York Post. Gawker came off terribly here, though it seems possible that Daulerio was incredibly nervous and not realizing what he was saying. That’s at because yesterday, both he and Denton appeared to be biting their nails while watching one of the deposition playbacks.

[David Bixenspan]

Very Early WrestleMania 32 Preview

With just under a a month to go (26 days) before the grand daddy of them all, WrestleMania 32, let’s take a look at what WWE has planned to entertain 100,000 people.

Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

It seems to me that they MUST put the prop on Roman Reigns. If it fails, which all indicators suggest that it will, at least Vince will be able to say that he saw his vision through, eventually… A part of me wishes they would have just pulled the trigger on Roman Reigns last year so it could have bombed already and we could be on to something new. HHH always has great matches at WrestleMania, and I expect this to be great. The drama is if they go with Roman Reigns clean or get cold feet again. The heat will probably be off the charts in the opposite direction WWE wants, which could rattle Reigns on his biggest night, but I’m predicting that Vince sticks to his guns and Reigns wins clean.

Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell – If Shane wins, he gains control of Raw.

It’s the Undertaker in his home town, in his gimmick match. No doubt, Taker is winning. How they get there will be the interesting part, because personally, I think giving Shane control of RAW would be a great way to mix things up. This match will probably all build to one big bump by Shane, probably off or through the cage. Mark my words, Shane is taking a huge bump for the finish. I expect a ton of smoke and mirrors which will make this match will be tough to follow. 

Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) – No Holds Barred Street Fight

It makes no sense for Lesnar to lose here since he’s the most likely first opponent for Reigns. Thus, I’m predicting Ambrose because it’s going to be unexpected and they need to do one unexpected thing. Plus, if Reigns gets roundly booed, which he will, and Ambrose is cheered, it sets up a program for them down the line. I think it’s a mistake to do Reigns and Ambrose right away. That should be built up for Summer Slam.

Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Becky Lynch vs. $asha Banks – Triple Threat Match for the WWE Divas Championship

I hate three ways. It’s really just sloppy booking. It should be a gimmick that is used very sparringly, but since the women usually only have one match per show, two at the most, it’s a way to get another girl into the fray. That said, the only way to really do a quality three way with inferior workers is to choreograph it completely. Expect a highly choreographed match here, which is fine. It will probably be good, but I predict it would have been much better if Becky Lynch was not involved. If she’s just there to take the pin, fine, but if $asha pins her instead of Charlotte, that will be lame. 

[Dan Velten]


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Figure Four Weekly 2/22/2016: All the latest on the Hulk Hogan Lawsuit
All the latest details on the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit.


SUBSCRIBERS READ IT HERE:  March 7, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: TNA seeking investors, UFC 196 preview, plus tons of news


The story broken this past week by Mike Johnson regarding TNA looking for outside investors opens up a lot of questions.

While they are categorizing it as looking for money to fund new growth, the move comes at a time when Panda Energy has pulled back on funding the company and the company seems more from the outside looking that it needs new capital.

The company has made some big moves this year, including signing talent to guaranteed money contracts just months after trying to get everyone off guaranteed deals and onto per date deal which left morale really bad when the promise of regular house shows in the latter part of 2015 failed to materialize.  Current subscribers click here to continue reading.


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WWE & Pro Wrestling

Other Hogan/Gawker coverage of note:

* Former Gawker writer Max Read has an article at New York Magazine’s website about how a joke he made in a Gawker Campfire chat (same idea as Slack) became evidence in the trial.

* The former Linda Hogan chimes in, because of course she did.

* As did The Iron Sheik, who wrote anopen letter to Hulk Hogan.

El Rey officially announced taping dates for season 3 of Lucha Underground: March 19-20 and  26-27, April 9-10 and 23-24, and May 7-8
Taz will host a special three-hour edition of his show from 11 PM-2 AM EST on CBS Sports Radio following Wrestlemania, available on more than 200 affiliates and online.
New Day vs. Sheamus & Wade Barrett has been added to Roadblock.  So now that show has two matches, the other being Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt, that at one point were scheduled for WrestleMania.
WWE Total Divas appears to be dying on E! as they have lost viewers for seven straight weeks, down to 580,000 this week. Here’s our recap of episode 8.
Our Zach Dominello hosts his own podcast “Wrestling With Movies” and on this week’s show, he talks about The Game Plan featuring The Rock from 2007.
Chavo Guerrero talked Lucha Underground with Ring Rust Radio.
Here’s an Orlando Sentinel piece on Matt Riddle moving to pro wrestling.
WaleMania III will be bigger and badder with several events throughout the weekend of Thursday
March 30th – Sunday April 2nd 2017 in Orlando, Florida.  We can confirm that one of the events will be an MLW Radio LIVE session at Tier Nightclub in Orlando, FL on Thursday March 30th, 2017.  Additional events and the wrestling luminaries participating will be announced in the weeks and months to come on various MLW Radio Network podcasts.  Tickets go on sale this fall at MLW.com.  For more information on the event, visit www.MLW.com.


AXS TV announced today that Mauro Ranallo, aka The Man of 1,000 Jobs, is the new host of Inside MMA, joining longtime friend and podcast host Bas Rutten at the big desk. His new gig begins on March 25th. They said they hope to keep now former host Kenny Rice on as a special correspondent.
Similar to Showtime did after the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, Bellator has released a 360 virtual reality style video of Kimbo Slice leading into his recent fight with DADA 5000.
The MMA portion of Bellator’s upcoming MMA/kickboxing show on April 16th in Torino, Italy, will be headlined by Pitbull Freire vs. Derek Campos. Alessio Sakara vs. Brian Rogers is also on the show which will feature five MMA fights and five kickboxing matches.
UFC champion and mixed martial arts legend Georges St-Pierre will appear at Wizard World Philadelphia on Sunday, June 5.  St-Pierre also had a role in Captain America: Winter Soldier in 2014 (Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell are also attending the event).

ON THIS DATE IN PROWRESTLING HISTORY: Steiner Brothers win NWA/WCW World Tag Team Titles