Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Wrestling in 2017. Today, Craig talks about the return of Jeff Jarrett to TNA, disappointing viewership figures for ‘World of Sport’, a former mainstay of British wrestling, while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
Jeff Jarrett Returns to TNA
This week it was announced that Anthem had purchased the rights to be the TNA majority shareholder. As well as signalling the end of Dixie Carter in a front-facing role, certainly a good thing, the news followed 24-hours later that Jeff Jarrett was returning to the company.
Jarrett, a six-time former WWE Intercontinental Champion, four-time WCW Champion and six-time NWA TNA champion, was one of the founders of TNA back in 2002. He would eventually sell his stock to Dixie Carter in 2013 before returning the following year, promoting Global Force Wrestling (GFW) and entering the TNA Hall of Fame.
It is also being suggested that as well as bringing Jarrett in as a consultant at TNA, they will also assist in getting GFW a TV deal.
According to some, the return of Jarrett indicates just how out of the picture Carter now is at TNA. Dixie’s new role with Anthem will, no doubt, soon see her pushed out of the company for good.
The reaction to the return of Jarrett has been interesting. Wrestling fans on Reddit have broadly welcomed it, Jim Ross, on his blog, stated “Jeff Jarrett to the new ownership group of Impact Wrestling is good news IMO (in my opinion)“, while Jarrett himself said: “This is a great opportunity for myself and GFW. And, I feel it’s great for the wrestling business.”
For me, the return of Dutch Mantell is an inspired one. I was surprised that he was let go by WWE and have heard multiple sources refer to him as a man that Vince McMahon trusts a great deal. He is also credited with Knockout division in TNA and it will be very interesting to see what the coming weeks and months mean for TNA.
Perhaps a fresh start under new leadership is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Tesco Weigh in on Okada vs. Omega
Shelton Benjamin Gives Injury and Royal Rumble update
Disappointing Viewer Numbers for World of Sport
As I wrote about in last week’s edition, I was greatly looking forward to the return of ‘World of Sport’ wrestling on ITV in the UK, a return after a 30-year hiatus.
The run-up to the show, recorded in October but broadcast in November, unsurprisingly saw a PR offensive which resulted in coverage in mainstream media outlets including The Sun, The Metro as well as on TV.
With the cream of British wrestlers in action, more bums on seats at shows run by organisations this side of the pond, a 5pm evening slot and unparalleled media coverage, expectations were understandably high for a good viewer turnout of around 3m.
It was, therefore, disappointing that less than half of that tuned in, with a viewer rating of around 1.25m. What that means for the potential of a series of ‘World of Sport’ is entirely up in the air. But the revival of the show was enough to prompt the WWE to react with the creation of the UK Championship.
On the back of a relatively disappointing viewership and WWE snapping up a host of top talent to contracts that prevent them working TV, perhaps the future isn’t too bright for British wrestling on prime-time TV. That woud be a shame.
One of the most breathtaking pro wrestling murals you’ll ever see. The artist’s name is Leon Juven and is tremendously talented as you can plainly see.
That kid’s face…
The many face paints of Sting!
Not quite sure what Madusa is doing here but I don’t mind…
So, apparently, Braun Strowman is on Tinder. Swipe left, I dare you!
Either Jinder Mahal really committed himself to a much healthier lifestyle or he’s soon to be a target of the WWE’s Wellness program…
Shawn Michaels getting himself stuck on the entrance ramp…
I may be wrong, but the man sitting on the dude’s chest in this Tylenol commercial looks a lot like Dutch Mantell aka Zeb Colter.
Last Week on the Blog
Last week’s Sunday Sermon we shared our hopes for 2017; a 2016 year in review; we started off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week; on Tuesday we had part 97 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; on Wednesday we looked at the history of the Royal Rumble in numbers; Thursday’s piece looked at the historic link between wrestling and politics; and we rounded off the week by looking at performers who have said no to the WWE.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.