Warrior's death among Mania's biggest stories
Coverage and fallout from WrestleMania available from an unprecedented variety of sources, updates on the Ultimate Warrrior death and the overlooked crowning of a new TNA heavyweight champion are among our topics this week In This Corner.
Never before has there been such a variety of places for wrestling fans to go to find out more information about the sport of kings. Besides numerous reputable Internet websites that focus specifically on professional wrestling, it seems as if everybody is getting involved with podcasts-downloadable broadcasts increasingly popular with the computer generation.
Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Roddy Piper are now each doing weekly shows that can easily be located on the world wide web by going to podcastone.com or by googling their names. In the past couple of weeks they have been talking about WrestleMania, interviewing guests such as Hall of Fame inductees or ESPN anchors, and discussing their views in their own style.
Ross also works with Fox Sports and did insightful reviews of previous WrestleManias in the days leading up to WM XXX. Obviously, a leading place to get saturation coverage of the event and during the week after it was the WWE Network. Their video compilation crew is second to none and the second special on the Ultimate Warrior that debuted Thursday is another fine example of their extraordinary work.
WrestleMania XXX drew more than 75,000 fans to the Superdome in New Orleans and reportedly garnered over $11 million dollars in live gate receipts. WWE announced more than 400,000 traditional domestic pay per view buys to go with more than 670,000 who purchased the new network, bringing the total to more than one million fans purchasing the extravaganza. Of course, most of those who bought the show in either format probably did not watch it alone.
WWE announced their Fan Axxess drew 30,000 over four sessions and the Hall of Fame ceremonies were attended by 13,000 fans. Clearly, the entire WM brand was a financial success for the company, its employees, the city of New Orleans and a number of ancillary promotions which took advantage of the spectacle to lure wrestling fans to their events in various venues in the region.
Coming out of the show, Daniel Bryan topped off his big victory by getting married to Brie Bella of the Bella twins. Footage will undoubtedly turn up on the Diva's reality show. Bryan did get to skip Raw this past Monday to go on a honeymoon, but it looks like things are set in motion to have him battle with Kane at the next ppv - Extreme Rules. The John Cena-Bray Wyatt feud will continue with a cage match between the two at ER and it clearly looks as if there will be an Evolution confrontation with the Shield at the same event.
The coroner's report on the cause of death for the Ultimate Warrior was that it was the result of cardiovascular disease, with no drugs or alcohol found in his system. He succumbed to a heart attack. While the timing was shocking to most everyone, coming just days after his HOF induction and less than 24 hours after his prophetic promo on Raw, given his admitted steroid use during his bodybuilding and wrestling days, it probably would not have been such a great surprise had it occurred any time during the previous decade.
Seeing Warrior with his two young daughters, his wife and his mother at the HOF and listening to his induction speech and Raw promo, humanized an often controversial guy who played such a larger than life character to such an extent that it made his death a heavy blow to the hearts of many. WWE officials were so rocked by the death that they reportedly sent a couple of company employees to assist Warrior's widow and allow her to focus on her children.
Warrior's wife, Dana, sent an articulate and appreciative letter to WWE thanking the company and all wrestling fans for their support. She indicated the family watched the Raw tribute to Warrior and expressed appreciation for what it meant to them.
Lost in all of the news surrounding WrestleMania and its fallout was the fact that TNA crowned a new heavyweight champion in Eric Young. The versatile performer who has a strong in-ring wrestling reputation, but has been asked to be more of a comedic character during much of his decade with the company, is being given the opportunity to carry the ball after defeating Magnus with a piledriver in a televised title match.
Legends House debuted on the WWE Network this past Thursday. The show was filmed a couple of years back and has been fermenting in the can while the company was waiting to roll out the network. It probably has to be seen to be understood and even then, that would be a longshot at best. Think some of the goofiest bits from Tuesday Night Titans were tacky? Think again.
(Shamokin's Bill Gilger arranges the
interview each week with The Insider)