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Posts Tagged ‘Headlines’

FINALLY…The Rock has come BACK to Abbottabad, PAKISTAN!

May 9th, 2011 No comments

When it comes to Twitter, The Rock tweets fast and furiously.

Time’s NewsFeed site reports on the widespread rumor that The Rock was among the first to receive and tweet the news via Twitter that American troops had killed Osama Bin Laden and dumped his body in the sea. (Talk about a burial!)

In a flurry of puns straight of Jerry Lawler’s joke book, the renowned publication cited the fact that Dwayne Johnson has a cousin in the Navy SEALS who has completed tours of Afghanistan, so it’s remotely possible that was his source.

NewsFeed writes: “In case you were, ahem, living under a rock and didn’t know, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson tweeted at 10:24 pm Eastern time on Sunday (more than an hour before Obama’s speech, which was at 11:35 pm Eastern) that he, ‘Just got word that will shock the world–LAND OF THE FREE…home of the brave. DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.’ Impressive stuff from a man whose resume contains mention of professional wrestling and appearing in Tooth Fairy. And the tooth (sorry, truth) is possibly stranger than fiction as, according to The Daily, it turns out that Johnson’s cousin is a Navy SEAL and, reportedly, couldn’t contain himself with the confidential news.”

In a related story, “former Navy SEAL” Jesse Ventura is calling Bin Laden’s death yet another hoax unleashed on an unsuspecting U.S. public and promises a full investigation. In Ventura’s forthcoming book titled I’ll Bodyslam bin Laden in Hell, the two-time AWA Southern heavyweight champion claims that bin Laden died in 2007 while playing the potentially lethal backyard game Horseshoes and Hand Grenades with Pakistani neighborhood kids.

WWE still wrestling with their image

March 23rd, 2011 No comments

The XFL successfully avoided "football" fans in favor of the niche "spring outdoor entertainment" crowd.

Just another shining example of how Vince McMahon & Co. desperately want the world to believe they aren’t in the rasslin’ business. (Must be why most former longtime pro-wrestling fans no longer watch his product.)

TVWeek blogger Chuck Ross found out the hard way from WWE publicist/corporate drone Kellie Baldyga that McMahon’s organization  is a “global entertainment company with a movie studio, international licensing deals, publisher of three magazines, consumer good distributor and more.” His recent telephone conversation with Baldyga sounds like an Abbott & Costello routine.

From Ross’ March 18 post:

I hadn’t given the WWE much thought lately when we here at TVWeek received a press release the other day that we wrote up and published as follows: Drew Carey Inducted Into Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Huh? Drew Carey??!!

Comedic actor and game show host Drew Carey is the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame. According to the WWE, “Carey established his place in WWE history as a surprise entrant in the 2001 Royal Rumble. However, Carey’s fortunes quickly turned, when the massive WWE Superstar Kane entered the ring, prompting Carey to eliminate himself from the match.”

The announcement adds, “The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony…will take place at the Philips Arena [in Atlanta] on Saturday, April 2, and the one-hour TV special will air Monday, April 4, at 8/7c on USA Network.”

Next thing I know, I’ve received an email from one Kellie Baldyga, a publicist for WWE, DEMANDING that we correct the story. She also copied our owner, Rance Crain, on the email.

What had drawn her ire was the headline. Baldyga wrote in her email, “We are no longer a wrestling company but rather a global entertainment company with a movie studio, international licensing deals, publisher of three magazines, consumer good distributor and more.”

No doubt WWE is into more things than just wrestling, which is its bread and butter, I thought, but this can’t really be a big deal. I was busy and emailed her I’d call her the next day, which was yesterday, March 17.

First thing yesterday morning I received this email from her: “Chuck, did you mean call me today (Thursday)? I apologize but I really need the correction made sooner than later if possible…”

As regular readers to this blog may recall, for most of my career as a journalist I haven’t gotten along with most publicists. Most of them don’t like me, and I don’t have patience for many publicists.

Baldyga was beginning to bother me. First, our headline was perfectly fine and accurate. Second, what was this “demand” about changing OUR headline?

I called her and introduced myself. The conversation then basically went as follows:

Me: Your release says that Carey is being recognized as being an entrant in the 2001 Royal Rumble. I believe that was a wrestling event.

Kellie: No, we don’t do wrestling events. They’re entertainments. And we don’t call them wrestlers. They’re superstars and divas.

I’m thinking to myself, is she kidding me? Is this woman mad? The company’s official name is World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Its crown jewel is an event called WrestleMania. In the best tradition of wrestling on TV since its earliest days, they put on terrific shows (and events), with athletes who are performers and they’ve got storylines that are far more elaborate than any Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie would have ever imagined. Why would they want to run away from who they are, from what’s made them wildly successful beyond most people’s dreams?

Me: Kellie, I really don’t have time for this. WWE presents wrestling events. I’m not going to change the headline or anything in the item. If you’d like, I’ll just remove it.

Kellie: Huh? What?

Me: Kellie, I don’t have time for this. What do you want me to do?

Kellie: Remove it.

So I did.

Kellie sent me a follow-up email saying “I hope nothing was contentious in our conversation…” She added, “I know the perception is that we are a wrestling company but we are actually much more than that–we are a global media company which is how our Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, positions us.”

Whatever. Take away wrestling from WWE and what do you basically have? I don’t think WWE is quite as diverse as global media companies such as News Corp. or Time Warner or Viacom, but what do I know.

Yikes. That was a rather sad exchange. Like it or not, Vince, you’ve built that company on wrestling–not your failed forays into bodybuilding federations, pro football leagues, nutritional products and, now, movies.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to this year’s Entertain-A-Mania.

UPDATE (3/24): Last night, CM Punk tweeted, “No stupid coats. No pyro. No dancers. No bells, no whistles. Never needed it. I am a wrestler.” Somebody alert Baldyga.

Outrage! My uncle Bobby Bowden reveals he was ousted at Florida State

August 26th, 2010 5 comments

Abreast of the situation: I'm still stunned that the boobs at Florida State forced out my Uncle Bobby.

Although this was common knowledge in the Bowden home, my Uncle Bobby has finally come clean to the media (just in time for the release of his new book…which I ghostwrote): the legendary Florida State coach was ushered out the door like Vince McMahon kicking Capt. Lou Albano to the curb in 1986.

ESPN.com reports: Bobby Bowden says he had always had a good relationship with former Florida State president T.K. Wetherell, but after Bowden’s ouster last season, the friendship likely is beyond repair. Bowden, who embarked on a nationwide tour Tuesday to promote his new book, “Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football,” told The Associated Press he also doesn’t want Florida State, where he was the head coach for 34 years, to “spread the story that I voluntarily, happily resigned.”

The men’s connection began 47 years ago, when Wetherell was a wide receiver under Bowden, his position coach at Florida State.

But after Wetherell, who became the university’s president in 2003 and stepped down in 2009, forced Bowden out last season, the friendship appears substantially damaged.

Frankly, I haven’t been this upset since my cousin Terry was plotted against by the Board of Trustees at the University of Auburn. (And don’t even get me started about how Cousin Tommy was railroaded out of town at Clemson.) Really, this whole thing has the same stink of Jerry Lawler unceremoniously dumping me after he lost the World Unified title to Sid Vicious. This, despite the fact that under my guidance, Lawler had a .832 winning average. During our intense practice sessions, The King also added maneuvers such as the Moonsault, Shooting Star Press and the armbar to his repertoire under my watch. Everybody loves you when you’re winning, but when you lose because of one errant toss of medicated powder to the eyes, you’re fired. But that’s the nature of coaching, I suppose.