The Pro-Wres Digest for May 21st-27th – Ed Nordholm/Broken Hardy Leaks, CMLL Firings, Big UK Indie Shows, Puro & Lucha News, Plus Much More!

The Pro-Wres Digest for May 21st27th.

@BenCarass

 

Top Stories:

 

The president of Impact Wrestling and Executive VP of Anthem, Ed Nordholm, appeared on the LAW on 22/5 and gave his side of the situation surrounding the Broken Hardys character dispute. “I think it’s unquestionable that the ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling,” Nordholm told John Pollock. “I don’t think even the Hardys would dispute that. They’ve all signed contracts. Their contracts are standard contracts. Not only in the wrestling industry, but in the entertainment industry, generally, the producer of the show owns the content and it doesn’t really matter who in the creative team came up with the idea of what the character should be.” Steady Eddie doubled-down on his contract claim and noted that the characters belonged to the person who invested and put the characters on TV. “Impact put those characters on TV, and the contracts with those people are indisputably contracts that provide their IP to Impact.” Nordholm also made some interesting remarks about the WWE and noted he would be open to talking to the Hardys about coming to an agreement that would suit all parties. “As far as I know, the WWE doesn’t want the gimmick, and indeed, from every conversation I’ve had with them, I’ve been told they have no interest in it.” Reby Hardy was soon to respond in typical Reby fashion and accused Nordholm on Twitter of taking advantage of the fact that fans do not know the details of contracts. Reby added that they had “NOT standard entertainment contracts” and said, “Only thing apparent here is the level of desperation from a person of his position doing a phone podcast re: intentions of a billion $+ co.”

 

 

Nordholm didn’t stop there though, as he questionably sent portions of email discussions with Matt Hardy and also sections of Matt’s Impact Wrestling contract to several wrestling news outlets. Shockingly, good ol’ Eddie forgot to include the CCN in his mass email to the press. Here’s everything Nordholm sent out on 23/5: You are duly warned there is a lot of useless information here.

 

“In response to on-going speculation concerning our position with respect to the “Broken Brilliance” creative, I am providing this detailed log of our communications on the subject and the contractual structure of our relationship with Matt Hardy with respect to intellectual property matters (which is standard to our roster and in the industry).

 

There has never been any argument from Impact Wrestling that the Hardy’s were key contributors to the development of the characters and story line, or that Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy executed on their roles in spectacular fashion. But the position taken by the Hardys is a massive disservice to the contributions of the rest of the creative team at Impact Wrestling, including Jeremy Borash, Dave Lagano, Matt Conway and Billy Corgan, and is totally at odds with the terms of their contracts.

 

The Hardys would have you believe that Anthem is somehow avoiding their lawyers to address this. This is the log of our communications with the Hardys and/or their lawyers. It is clear that we have not been avoiding them.

  • March 10 – EBN speaks with executives at ROH about “Broken Brilliance” being used in ROH shows. I indicated willingness to provide an arrangement that would allow the creative to be used in ROH shows and encouraged ROH to have Matt speak with me if he wanted to pursue that discussion
  • March 11 – EBN spoke at length with Matt by telephone about the structure of an amicable arrangement for use of the Broken Brilliance creative
  • March 14 – Matt sent text message to Ed Nordholm at 4:05pm:

“Tried giving you a call, it rang & went busy. I’m open to working things out amicably as we spoke about.

The lawyer who represent me is interested in seeing your offer. My lawyer’s email is {redacted} which you could send the offer to for review. Thanks.”

And I responded by text at 6:41 pm.

“Thank you Matt. I was supposed to be [flying] into NYC today and am a little twisted. I will pull something together with [our] lawyers and try to get it over to your lawyer tomorrow or Thursday at latest.”

  • March 16 – At 8:25 pm I sent an update text to Matt:

“Hi Matt. My lawyer got me a draft too late to get reviewed for today. I will look at it in the morning. Sorry for the delay.”

And he responded at 9:16 pm.

“Ok, he’s ready for it. Thanks for the update.”

  • March 17 – counsel for Anthem Wrestling delivered draft proposal to counsel for Matt Hardy
  • March 24 – counsel for Anthem Wresting followed up with Matt Hardy counsel requesting comments on the proposal
  • March 27 – counsel for Matt Hardy responds that they have been away and have not reviewed the proposal but will be back “in the next few days”
  • April 18 – counsel for Matt Hardy leaves a voice mail message for counsel for Anthem Wrestling asking to arrange a meeting
  • April 20 – EBN contacts WWE by email to determine veracity of internet rumours concerning WWE interest in Broken Brilliance
  • April 21 — WWE respond by email that there “is no interest on our end” {redacted email exchange attached}
  • April 21 – counsel for Matt Hardy sends a follow up message requesting a meeting
  • April 27 – lawyers speak to arrange a meeting
  • May 16 – lawyers meet but no agreement reached

“Finally, I am attaching a copy of the relevant provisions of Matt’s contract with Impact. The clause is virtually identical to the corresponding provisions of every wrestler under contract with Impact.

 

The facts are that we tried to accommodate the Hardys for their Ring of Honour engagements, and have tried to elicit an indication from WWE whether they have an interest in using the Broken Brilliance creative in WWE. We are not hoarding it from WWE; WWE is not interested in it.

 

We fully respect the decision of Matt and Jeff to return to WWE and appreciate all of their contributions to Impact Wrestling. We wish them every success.

 

Our focus is on the future and we will not have any further public comment on this matter.”

 

Edwardo and his merry band of owl enthusiasts once again felt the wrath of Reby on Twitter, who accused Norholm of “spamming dirt sheets,” and that WWE had turned down a sales pitch from TNA on the Broken gimmick. She also said that everything would come out in court and teased releasing phone calls as a response to Nordholm’s petty email stunt. Matt Hardy himself commented indirectly on the situation and noted on Twitter that he didn’t need to “desperately overcompensate” to prove his public credibility and that he would share his facts via the “correct venue.”

 

 

Maximo & La Mascara were fired by CMLL for their involvement in the vandalism of Ultimo Guerrero’s car on 19/5. SuperLuchas broke the story on 20/5; at first it appeared that confirmation of the news was hard to come by. Reports of Maximo being fired and La Mascara only receiving a suspension were floated, however Dave Meltzer confirmed on 22/5 that both had indeed been fired and that Bobby Villa, who was not shown in the video but was implicated, was also let go. The incident occurred as a result of the death of Brazo de Oro and the political battle about who would replace him as the head of the CMLL union. SuperLuchas noted that the CMLL union does not actually represent the wrestlers and instead represents a separate group of employees and officials. The head of the group is appointed by CMLL president Paco Alonso, unlike actual worker unions that are run by the employees. Cubsfan noted that there had always been “rumours of corruption and favouritism” while Brazo de Oro was in charge, however nobody dared speak up for fear of reprisal. Those opposed to the union reportedly believed it supported management instead of the workers, took bribes to bypass drug tests and stole from the wrestlers.

 

A meeting was held on 18/5 to discuss the future of the union and it is understood that Ultimo Guerrero spoke negatively about Brazo de Oro and questioned whether another Alvarado should be made the head of the group. The luchador Nitro was technically next in line to replace Brazo de Oro, however La Mascara felt entitled to take over his father’s role and was not pleased by the accusations Guerrero made about the Alvarado family. As a result the Alvarados took revenge by smashing up Guerrero’s car on 19/5, but unfortunately for them part of the incident was captured on camera and it became a mainstream story in Mexico. Maximo, La Mascara & Bobby Villa were all officially released by CMLL on 22/5; no reason was given publicly for their firing. The CMLL World Heavyweight, held by Maximo, and the World Lightweight title, held by La Mascara, were also delcared vacant. Cubsfan noted on 23/5 that Nitro will remain the head of the union and an election will be held in December to name a new leader. AAA have not made any statement about Psycho Clown (Maximo’s brother and La Mascara’s cousin) being involved in the incident and he continues to work all of his advertised shows. Ultimo Guerrero told the Record that he has no interest in running the union and just wants to be a “soldier,” not the guy in charge. He also hilariously claimed he had no idea why Maximo & Mascara smashed up his car. Ernesto Ocampo of SuperLuchas reported on 23/5 that Paco Alonso did actually appoint Guerrero as the head of the union on the Thursday, however after the Alvarados went rouge he undid the decision and appointed Nitro as the leader on the Saturday.

 

 

WWE announced on 26/6 they have decided to cancel the NXT house show at the Manchester Arena on June 6th. The company said the decision was made out of respect to the victims of the terrorist attack at the venue on 22/5. The NXT wrestlers will still be in Manchester on June 6th and will be visiting people affected by the bombings and WWE also noted they would make a donation to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. Anyone who had tickets for the Manchester show is being offered a full refund or free entry to the show the following night in Leeds on June 7th. WWE will be back at the Manchester Arena on November 6th & 7th for the RAW & SmackDown tapings.

 

Japan:

 

All Japan drew 1,315 fans for their big show at Korakuen Hall on 21/5. (7) Main event saw the 2017 Champion Carnival winner Shuji Ishikawa defeat Kento Miyahara in 20:38 with the Giant Slam to become the new Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion. Ishikawa said afterwards he was proud to hold the same title as his idol Jumbo Tsuruta and noted he would give Suwama a shot at the gold when he is ready. (6) Semi-main had Kengo Mashimo & KAI over Zeus & The Bodyguard in 9:43 to capture the World Tag Team Championship when Mashimo pinned Bodyguard with a Small Package. (5) Hikaru Sato retained the World Junior Heavyweight title over Black Tiger VII with an Armbar in 10:48. (4) Jun Akiyama retained the GAORA TV title over Mitsuya Nagai in 9:47 with the Wrist Clutch Exploder. (3) Jake Lee & Naoya Nomura beat Joe Doering & Atsushi Aoki in 5:48 when Lee hit a Backdrop on Doering. (2) Masanobu Fuchi & The Great Kabuki over Takao Omori & Masao Inoue in 6:15 when Fuchi pinned Inoue with a Small Package; this was the Jumbo Tsuruta memorial match. (1) Opener had Osamu Nishimura retaining the BANG! TV World title in a Battle Royal over Yohei Nakajima, Koji Iwamoto, Yuma Aoyagi, Yusuke Okada, Yutaka Yoshie, Atsushi Maruyama & Trans Am * Hiroshi in 4:07.

 

 

All Japan announced some matches for their upcoming Dynamite Series tour. The 11/6 show at Korakuen Hall will feature:

 

* Suwama vs. Kento Miyahara.

* Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship: Shuji Ishikawa (C) vs. Jake Lee.

 

The 16/6 show in Hokkaido is a special show to mark the 10th anniversary of Yohei Nakajima in the business and on the show he will challenge Hiraku Sato for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship.

 

On 21/6 also in Hokkaido, Jun Akiyama will defend the GAORA TV Championship against Yutaka Yoshie.

 

The Tokyo Gurentai show on 19/7 at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo had some more matches announced this week. So far, NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA, FUJITA, KIKUZAWA, Manabu Soya & Takuya Kai are booked for the show, but their matches have not yet been finalised. Here’s the card so far:

 

* Spotlight Mix: Kikutaro & Koharu Hinata vs. Kotaro Suzuki & Heidi Katrina.

* Power Wars ~ Episode 1: Kaz Hayashi & BxB Hulk vs. SUSHI & Chikara.

* Special Tag Match: Kazushi Sakuraba & Machine Gundan w/Shogun KY Wakamatsu vs. Hikaru Sato & Rocky Kawamura.

* Tokyo World Heavyweight Championship: Masaaki Mochizuki (C) vs. Yuko Miyamoto.

 

Atsushi Onita & Shinjiro Otani will team up in the main event of the Zero1 show in Ibaraki on 28/5 against TARU & Takuya Sugawara in a Street Fight Death Match.

 

 

The NOAH show at Korakuen Hall drew a meager 785 fans, despite the card featuring many of the top stars in big matches. Main event had Naomichi Marufuji over Masa Kitamiya in 16:22 with the Shiranui. Semi-main saw Maybach Taniguchi & Go Shiozaki go to a 15:32 draw after a double KO. Third from the top was Takashi Sugiura over Taiji Ishimori in 7:47 with the Olympic Slam. Fourth from the top saw Katsuhiko Nakajima & Daisuke Harada beat Muhammad Yone & Atsushi Kotoge in 12:58 via TKO when the referee stopped the match after Nakajima nailed Yone with a high kick. Nakajima defends the GHC Heavyweight title against Yone on 6/4 at Korakuen Hall.

 

Indies:

 

What Culture Pro Wrestling General Manager Adam Blampied announced on 22/5 that the promotion was forced to cancel their free weekly show, “Loaded,” which aired on YouTube every week. YouTube’s new monetisation settings now classify pro-wrestling as “non-advertiser friendly,” meaning users have to turn off restricted mode in order to access any wrestling content at all, including the WWE. Blampied cited the recent Alberto El Patron vs. Rey Mysterio Jr match from WCPW only receiving $43 in ad revenue, despite the video having over one million views. He also noted that the promotion will be partnering with other organisations in order to get YouTube to change the restrictions.

 

Rev Pro are teaming up with ROH to run a War of the Worlds tour in the UK, from August 17th– 20th. The first night on 17/8 will be promoted as Rev Pro’s annual summer show “Summer Sizzler” at York Hall, while the next show on 18/8 (also at York Hall) will be ROH War of the World Night One. On 19/8, War of the World Night Two will emanate from the Liverpool Olympia and Night Three takes place on 20/8 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange in Scotland. All four shows will feature talent from Rev Pro, ROH, New Japan & CMLL, making it one of the biggest joint super-show tours to ever hit the UK. Tickets are on sale from May 30th and with any luck I should be attending the two York Hall shows.

 

 

PROGRESS announced last week they will be running the famous Alexandra Palace in North London on September 10th. Last year PROGRESS drew their biggest (paid) crowd of 2,500 at the Brixton Academy in London, however they will look to do better business at “Ally Pally,” which has a capacity of 10,400.

 

PROGRESS also have their Super Strong Style 16 tournament this weekend. The tournament will be held over three days this year, with all of the shows falling under the Chapter 49 banner. The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, will be the venue and the shows take place on May 27th, 28th & 29th. Here are the announced competitors. (1) Jack Sexsmith. (2) Travis Banks. (3) Trent Seven. (4) Pastor Willam Eaver. (5) Jeff Cobb. (6) Jimmy Havoc. (7) Flamita. (8) Zack Gibson. (9) Zack Sabre Jr. (10) Tyler Bate. (11) Nathan Cruz. (12) “Flash” Morgan Webster. (13) David Starr. (14) Matt Riddle. (15) Mark Andrews, (16) Mark Haskins.

 

Here are the results from the latest EVOLVE double-shot last weekend: EVOLVE 84 was on 20/5 from the Summit Park District in Summit, IL, and by all accounts was one of the best shows the company has put on all year. (7) Main Event saw Matt Riddle retain the WWN title over Kyle O’Reilly in 16:18. (6) Semi-main had Zack Sabre Jr retaining the EVOLVE title over Ethan Page in 14:10. (5) Chris Dickenson & Jaka beat Isaias Velazquez & Matt Knicks to retain the EVOLVE Tag Team titles in 10:15. (4) Tracy Williams over Jeff Cobb in 9:52. (3) Lio Rush downed Austin Theory in 9:05. (2) Fred Yehi beat Jason Kincaid in 14:58. (1) Opener saw Keith Lee beat Donovan Dijak in 18:55.

 

EVOLVE 85 was on 21/5 at the Monaghan Knights of Columbus Hall in Livonia, MI. (8) Main event had Zack Sabre Jr over Lio Rush to retain the EVOLVE title in 19:19. (7) Semi-main was Matt Riddle over Jeff Cobb to retain the WWN title in 6:21. (6) Keith Lee downed Fred Yehi in 18:10. (5) Tracy Williams over Kyle O’Reilly in 18:22. (4) Ethan Page beat Donovan Dijak 16:06. (3) Allysin Kay downed Priscilla Kelly in 5:01. (2) Chris Dickenson & Jaka retained the EVOLVE Tag Team titles over Austin Theory & Jason Kincaid in 16:25. (1) Dominic Garrini beat Alex Daniels in 3:36.

 

Mexico:

 

CMLL’s 19/5 Arena Mexico show was overshadowed by the events surrounding the Alvarado family and Ultimo Guerrero’s car, however a big angle occurred on the show that the company had built up for months. Niebla Roja finally turned on his Los Guerreros Laguneros partners of Ultimo & Gran Guerrero during their match against Angel de Oro (Niebla’s brother), Valiente & Atlantis. Niebla argued with Los Guerreros and refused to comply with their rudo antics. He hugged his brother, Oro, and ended up costing his team the first fall by tripping Ultimo Guerrero, which allowed Atlantis to get the pin. Niebla then saved Oro from a dive and kicked Ultimo when he went for his signature dive over the barricade. Los Guerreros eventually had enough and beat down Niebla, tearing his mask in the process. The tecnicos took advantage of the rudos being distracted and won the match in two straight falls when Oro rolled up Ultimo to get the pin. Afterwards Ultimo cut a promo and fired Niebla from the stable then demanded he return the mask as it is synonymous with Los Guerreros. Niebla dared him to come take it, so Ultimo got in the ring and took the mask after a brawl.

 

Rush has two big singles match next week. At Arena Puebla on 29/5, he faces Mr Niebla in the semi-main event and the following night on 30/5 he takes on Caristico in the main event at Arena Coliseo in Guadalajara.

Toryumon Mexico are running DragonMania at Arena Mexico on 27/5. The semi-main event was scheduled to be Marco Corleone & Maximo Sexy vs. Rey Bucanero & Ultimo Guerrero, however that will obviously not be happening now. No word yet on a replacement for Maximo. Here’s the card:

 

Toryumon Mexico – DragonMania 2017, May 27th, Arena Mexico.

(*) Blood Eagle, Fidel, Labernito vs. Adrian Quest, Dicky Mayer, Eli Everfly.
(*) Mima Shimoda & Vanilla Vargas vs. India Sioux & Reina Isis.
(*) Dragon Scramble: Súper Ciudadano vs. Patán vs. Fiero vs. El Gallo vs. Silver Star vs. OT Fernandez vs. Piel Roja vs. Hijo del Signo vs. Villano III Jr. vs. Malefico.
(*) Daisuke Hanaoka & Douki vs. Bodyguard & Zeus.
(*) Black Tiger Vii, Dick Togo, Yohei Nakajima vs. Arkángel de la Muerte, Negro Navarro, Solar I.
(*) Marco Corleone & ??? vs. Rey Bucanero & Último Guerrero.
(*) Carístico, Jun Akiyama, Último Dragón vs. Joe Doering, Mephisto, Sam Adonis.

 

CMLL oddly announced Volador Jr as Maximo’s replacement on the 30/5 show at Arena Mexico. Volador is currently competing in New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, so there is literally no way he could possibly be on the show. Cubsfan noted that CMLL probably just threw Volador’s name out there because they haven’t figured out who would replace Maximo.

 

Lucha Underground is back on El Rey with the second half of season three starting next Wednesday, 31/5.

 

Ratings:

 

RAW on 22/5 did 2,608,000 viewers, down from the 2,746,000 last week, meaning that for the third show in four weeks they set the record for the lowest non-holiday/non-football viewers since 1996. 8pm did a laughable 2,661,000. 9pm did 2,759,000 and 10pm did 2,425,000.

 

SmackDown on 23/5 did 2,328,000 viewers, up slightly from last week’s 2,175,000.

 

Impact on 25/5 did 305,000 viewers, up from 272,000 last week.

 

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