Of all things, we have an update on AROLUCHA in 2019.
Fightful spoke to three names that were under contract to AroLucha, all of whom had different contract status'. One was under a two-year deal on a per appearance basis, and asked for and was granted their release from the contract. Shane Helms told us that he was on a one-year deal that simply expired, while James Storm clarified that he'd never signed a contract with AroLucha, and was only on a handshake deal.
A bunch of AroLucha employees were hoping to get an update on the company or something earlier in the year, but instead ended up getting a CBD shill e-mail.
When I contacted Sammy Guevara about AroLucha he just said "Lol AroLucha. I didn’t get the email but I heard about that (with a facepalm emoji). Where’d everyone’s money go?"
AroLucha's Jason Brown got back to me and said that they are focused on setting up TV and getting it produced and that it "may take a bit." He says they're not going anywhere, but they're taking their time and being strategic. They don't plan any live events any time soon.
I trolled Zack Ryder a little bit about a painted LJN Sgt. Slaughter prototype that he wasn't able to buy in Ohio, which was later purchased by Fightful Founder Jimmy Van. He would tear Jimmy Van to shreds, saying he was glad that he wasn't able to buy the figure, and noting that Jimmy Van paid way too much for it and got ripped off.
We also talked about Ryder's podcast, and said that because he's doing it as Matt Cardona instead of Zack Ryder, he has a lot more freedom and can put out merchandise accordingly. We've seen this change a lot with WWE, with Shane Helms, Renee Young, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff all allowed to keep or start podcasts.
I talked to SMASH Wrestling's Sebastian Suave about bringing in a bunch of promotions for Summerslam week. He said they wanted to provide something different to the North American market, and they wanted to give people a reason to check out that week's shows because they couldn't check it out anywhere else or any time else, and provide people with an opportunity they may never get again. While there are a lot of hurdles and travel costs, he says there's a lot of excitement associated. They had wrestlers contracted to IMPACT, WWE, and AEW on those show. Wrestlers getting signed has caused problem for them doing one offs.
Suave says he's pessimistic a lot of times about the restrictions that Canadian promotions face in wrestling, noting that they can't really cross borders into the States, but U.S. promotions pretty freely come to Canada. He sees IMPACT as a good thing for Canadian wrestling with all of the Canadian influence, contingency and ownership. He spoke about how WWE can pillage entire areas and if they hit on two of those guys hit, they get a return on on their investment. As good as wrestling has been for talent the last couple of years, it's been tough on independent promoters.
Balancing between talent and promoter has been hard, and he used to try to go of it 50/50, but now he has the promoter aspect of it the priority and says that not burning himself out has provided himself a more efficient and fruitful return. He says that he put way too many hours into both in the past. He said there is some loyalty among talents in the area and he has to reward that as a promoter, because that's an aspect of the show that he can promote because it's someone that they get above everyone else and it makes that talent a unique asset.
He put over the SMASH team and says that in a regional promotion you have to be a little more forgiving of mistakes and use them as learning experiences.
This interview will run whenever we regain access to our company Youtube account.
Shazza says that she isn't signed with All Elite Wrestling, but she's open to seeing where things go before joking that AEW is her favorite place to work and she wants a job there. When Fightful's Jeremy Lambert asked about intergender wrestling, she said she understands why major companies don't want to do it, but when she didn't have a lot of opponents to work, it helped her out.
She's enjoyed working for women's promotions that show that they can put on a show just as good as one with men's matches on them. She noted that small companies are a lot more intimate and a backstage feel, while a lot of big companies aren't the well oiled machines they appear to be. In AEW, she says she feels like she has a lot in common with a lot of people in the locker room. As far as Starrcast, she liked the Baltimore setup more because in previous incarnations the crowd would disappear when the stage shows started and this time, it stayed together more.
Sonny told Fightful's Jeremy Lambert that teaming with Dustin Rhodes "iconic," and thought they had great chemistry together, but didn't know if it would become a full-time team. He called teaming with Dustin a "dream come true," as he also called learning from Billy Gunn amazing.
The cheerleader entrance idea at Fight For The Fallen was Sonny's idea, and he choreographed the dance. It got approved about four days ahead of the show, and Sonny said that everyone was on and professional about it. Sonny has an extensive background in dance, including hip hop, Jazz and cheerleading and did some camps with the Jets and Ravens.
Sonny spoke openly about his love for Limp Bizkit.
- Former ROH World TV Champion Shane Taylor was at this week's AEW Dynamite in Corpus Christi. Taylor told Fightful just last week that he'd not re-signed with ROH, and leaked messages from Joey Mercury to ROH's Greg Gilleland indicated the sides would be parting ways. Taylor worked last Friday's Final Battle, dropping the ROH TV title, then worked an MCW/Future of Honor show the next night, winning. Taylor was not booked on Sunday's ROH Final Battle Fallout show.
- El Cuervo's manager tells Jeremy Lambert of Fightful that he was feeling very well after his match Saturday, but was just a little short of air. You may remember Cuervo being attacked with a cinder block recently.
- WWE is encouraging members of the Performance Center to consider more digital content.
- WWE took down a fake twitter account under the name Sue Aitchison this week, which is also connected to fake Earl Hebner and Mya Lesnar accounts. They had a similar issue weeks ago with someone claiming to be in the company.
- Tracey Smothers noted that he was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer on November 14. He was actually set for a show Fightful was at on November 16, but had to withdraw due to the illness. Chris Michaels filled in for him in a seminar he was to teach.