New Age Outlaws are likely done with their in-ring stint, and will return to just doing their WWE day jobs.
Sting hasn't actually signed, but he and WWE have agreed to terms.
Elimination Chamber: Cena vs Wyatt (cage), Shield vs Evolution, Big E vs tournament winner. I'm interested to see how Bryan fits in given that an Evolution vs Shield 6-man takes out Bryan's logical opponents. Lesnar would work, but he's not supposed to return for months. (edit: I missed that it looks like they'll use Kane, which is... anticlimactic at this point.)
The finish to Taker/Lesnar was kept so secret that even the ref didn't know. I think keeping Rock a secret is even more impressive.
Meltzer reports that Sting has signed with WWE.
Shield's 6-man at Mania was shortened to make time for the rest of the show. Okay, but if Shield (especially Reigns) are big long-term prospects, why give the Diva match more time?
Warrior collapsed outside his hotel and was pronounced dead, almost certainly from a heart attack. He was 54. Many reports suggest he didn't well right in public over the weekend.
Taker's concussion was severe, to the point where Lesnar had to guide/carry him through the match. An interesting mirror image to the Angle/Lesnar match at WM19 after Lesnar botched the shooting star press. There is considerable speculation that Taker is finished in the ring.
Some within WWE are already speculating about a price increase for WWE Network. Considering that the short-term goal is 1 million subscribers, I suspect it won't happen until they're well past that mark, and next year at the absolute earliest.
Devitt hasn't actually signed with WWE yet. TNA is interested. Why would he leave NJ if he didn't have a deal ready?!
Taker went to the hospital overnight due to suffering a concussion. It's thought that the injury happened after an early takedown. It didn't alter the finish, but might have impacted the pace and execution. Vince left the show to ride with Taker to the hospital. Awwwww.
WWE Network already has 667k subscribers. The fact that they aren't at a million yet caused a stock price dip.
Websites that offered long odds on Taker/Lesnar lost a ton of money. So many people bet on Lesnar that when the odds were revised to compensate he ended up as the favorite.
Mania winners: Bryan (twice), Lesnar, Cena, Shield, Usos; Cesaro won the battle royal.
Mania set a new gross ticket sale record.
Odds are now very high that Devitt will be going from NJ to WWE. NJ has brought in AJ Styles to take his place. Somewhat awkward given that Tanahashi has been using the styles clash as a setup move...
Added to Mania: Shield vs Kane & Outlaws; Usos vs Ryback & Axel.
Mania tickets aren't as hot a commodity as they were in recent years.
Rumble buyrate is down about 10% from last year. Given that last year had Rock, that isn't bad.
Sin Cara 1 (Mistico) has been released.
Added to Mania: Bryan vs HHH (winner added to the main event), Cena vs Wyatt, battle royal.
WWE's stock jumped briefly due to a rumored buyout by AMC Network. That is TNA booking levels of stupid.
Kane is easing his way out of the ring. He and his wife have started an insurance company, which he will focus on... just as soon as he thinks he's made enough in WWE.
Billy Robinson passed away in his sleep at age 74.
The McMahons are billionaires again thanks to WWE's stock being around record levels. Specifically, it has more than doubled in the last 5 months. Hmmmmm.
Meltzer reports that WWE is hesitating to re-up Mysterio due to his constant injuries and high guaranteed pay. Viewership in the hispanic demographic is down, which means WWE isn't as concerned about appealing to them.
Viscera/Big Daddy V died from a heart attack.
I love the story making the rounds about Kurt Angle being hurt, getting written off TV, and then having to fight management when asked to do something physical at a UK house show a few days later. I'm not sure if it's more an indictment of TNA's refusal to care about the well being of wrestlers, Angle's failure to look after himself to the point where TNA expects him to be up for anything, or pro wrestling in general. I'll go with TNA, because you can never go wrong in blaming them for something.
If Sting is signed, it's unlikely he would be used for Mania. They would establish him on TV before giving him an in-ring push.
Punk, whose contract ends in July, has walked away from WWE as a result of frustration with the booking and constant travel. His big remaining goal is a Mania main event, and he sees part-timers constantly coming back in that spot. This will almost certainly lead to Bryan facing HHH at Mania.
WWE has made several changes to Wellness. Among them:
-Limited-time "therapeutic use" exemptions for banned substances. The time limit would mean guys can't use it as a blank check for testosterone.
-Legal issues related to drugs can lead to being fired.
-Fines can now be levied for alcohol (I'm assuming only if someone gets legally drunk).
-A wrestler with two strikes can go through a lengthy rehab process and get the strike removed if the program is completed.
Mania set a WWE (and likely pro wrestling) record for largest gate, and was the first or second largest attendance in company history depending on if one believes the stated WM3 number.
Meltzer revealed that WWE offered Bob Sapp a big money deal to come in with a massive push and title win back when Sapp was still a star, but Sapp turned them down. Meltzer adds that the plans were essentially used for Lashley when he debuted. The prospect of Sapp being involved in the Vince vs Trump feud is mindboggling.
WWE has come to an agreement with the World Wildlife Fund about the use of WWF (words/logos) in old footage, in order to reduce the effort needed when digitizing the library.
TNA's last PPV of the year got a meager 8,000 buys. That's about 1 buy per 170-190 Impact viewers.
The spinal stenosis that ruined Steve Austin and Edge's necks is genetic, but for people who don't rattle their spine for a living it normally doesn't kick in until old age.
Meltzer printed a chart showing how many wrestling fans there are in various demographics (in the US). African-Americans are 3 times more likely to be fans than whites, which means they could be 30-40% of the total fanbase. Also, the very poorest households are far more likely to be fans than anyone else, even compared to other below-average households. Thus the low ad revenue per capita. A lot of that has to do with young, single men being a core group, and "young single person" is always by far the poorest group in society.
Meltzer notes from his bio on Savage:
-The famous match with Steamboat was originally supposed to be Steamboat vs Bret Hart, but the decision was made to keep the Hart Foundation together and they went with Savage vs Steamboat.
-The overall Wrestlemania 4 & 5 storylines produced several 'peaks' for WWF, including the two highest-rated wrestling shows in US history, the biggest non-stadium gate in US history (WM5), and the biggest pre-Austin buyrate (WM5).
-Randy was incredibly controlling of Elizabeth. During the period where she was off TV (because Randy was managed by Sherri), he didn't want her leaving the house at all. That drove her to getting the divorce.
-Randy's second wife was his childhood sweetheart. They lost touch during his career and reunited after he retired.
Meltzer detailed that Court Bauer, who ran MLW and was later on the WWE creative team, came up with the idea of a special high-flyers division to use as a vehicle for Mistico in WWE. Bauer wanted to get top athletes like Milano Collection, Ishimori, Dragon Kid, Jack Evans, etc, such that it would be enough of a different style to really get over (as opposed to having small guys work WWE style). But because he also had Super Porky on the list, Vince fixated on that and turned it into a short-lived comedy midget division. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's remarkable that someone with so many bad ideas and mindsets could end up as the #1 wrestling promoter of all time by an order of magnitude.
Archive of news posts on the Benoit tragedy.