According to his twitter account, former WCW Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader, who's real name was Leon White, has passed away at the age of 63. This comes after a lengthy battle with severe pneumonia.
White became famous performing in World Championship Wrestling, where he won the top title, and later in the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment. He also played professional football with the Los Angeles Rams, playing in Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers being one of his career highlights.
Along with performing with many smaller wrestling promotions over the years, Vader has also worked with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Noah.
It looks like WWE 2K19 is on track to be truly "Phenomenal."
According to reports from Pro Wrestling Sheet, 2KSports and the WWE have chose current WWE Champion AJ Styles to grace the cover of WWE 2K19. In addition to the cover star being named, the pre-order DLC is said to be none other than Rowdy Ronda Rousey.
Apparently, both Styles and Rousey were part of a cover reveal commercial shoot this past week in Memphis. You may recall that the WWE did the same thing last year with cover star Seth Rollins and DLC superstar Kurt Angle.
In addition to those names being revealed, it was also reported that WCW/WWE legend Rey Mysterio was also present for the shoot. Mysterio most recently has wrestled for New Japan, but he did take part in both the Royal Rumble and the Greatest Royal Rumble this year.
An official announcement with more game details is expected this coming Monday (June 18).
WWE has released the following statement regarding this month's UK Tournament:
CM Punk and Colt Cabana have won in their court battle with Dr. Chris Amann. They will not have to pay any damages after a judge ruled in their favor in Cook County Court today.
Punk and Cabana have been cleared of all counts (Defamation, False Light Defamation, Distribution) against them in the lawsuit brought against them by the WWE doctor.
Amann had been seeking $3,989,000 in damages for each stream of the podcast in addition to punitive damages for Punk and Cabana’s comments on the November 2014 episode of The Art Of Wrestling.
In a major from ESPN, it is being reported that the WWE has agreed to air SmackDown Live on Fox starting in October of 2019. The deal is reportedly for 5 years and $1.025 Billion ($205 Million/year). The will also reportedly move the air date to Friday night. This amount is three times what NBCUniversal pays to air SmackDown Live on the USA network.
The move for now will only affect SmackDown Live. The WWE reportedly reached a deal with NBCUniversal last week to continue airing Monday Night Raw on USA network. There's no word yet on how this will affect shows like NXT or 205 Live, which currently both air on the WWE Network.
With WWE’s Money In The Bank (MiTB) PPV just under five weeks away, the card is just starting to take shape. We already know four of the eight participants in the men’s MITB match, and two of the eight women. Now we are starting to get an idea of the rest of the card.
While the WWE is touring Europe, two major title matches have been announced. The first one was a no-brainer as SmackDown Live commissioner announce a rematch between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship. While no stipulations have been announced yet, I am sure one will be added to ensure a clear winner.
The second match added may come as a bit of a shocker as Nia Jax will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Ronda Rousey. The match came about after Jax issued a challenge to Rousey because she wants to prove herself against the best.
Patrick and Kevin talk with Australian wrestling star and former Heart of Shimmer Champion, Shazza McKenzie following her tumultuous Shimmer weekend. On her 10th trip to America, Shazza is sticking around for an extended period to get extra matches in, which are all covered during this chat, along with talks about what's NXT... I mean next for her in the future.
Just ahead of a huge weekend of wrestling in New Orleans, Progress Wrestling co-owner Jim Smallman talks to Going Broadway. We discuss his two events in the Big Easy, Mardi Graps and Bourbon is also a Biscuit, as well as how his company's wrestlers have transition well to the WWE.
The WWE COO unveils NXT's newest championship days before six Superstars battle in a Ladder Match to become the first NXT North American Champion at TakeOver: New Orleans.
By Kevin Gray
A few years ago, if you were to tell me that the name Hulk Hogan would be taboo in the WWE, I would have said you're nuts. Hogan was and should still be a bigger than the industry icon and the WWE is the main reason why. Whether he was telling kids in the 80's to "Say your prayers, take your vitamins, and you'll never go wrong," or telling adults in the 90's that he was bringing in the "New World Order of Wrestling, Brother," the name Hogan was just always going to be around. Hogan even found away to sneak back in after WWE bought WCW, and he had a decent run then too. Hogan was destined to be an ambassador of the WWE 4 Life, but one word uttered during a night full of bad decisions caught on tape has proven to be his downfall. Some have said he would never recover from it, but the reality is, everyone is ready to welcome him back but Hogan himself continues to push himself away.
If you can't remember, or just choose to forget, what led to Hogan's latest fall from grace, and he has had quite a few over the years, it all stems from a sex tape that was obtained by Gawker and shown to the world. The tape, which was shared on the internet illegally, violating Hogan's right to privacy, triggered a huge lawsuit that Hogan would eventually win. The cost to Gawker was over $110 million, the cost to Hogan was far greater. During the trial, it was leaked that the fact that Hogan was recorded having sex with his best friend's wife wasn't the worse thing about the tape. As he and the woman involved had a conversation, Hogan explained his frustration over who is daughter chose to date. Below is what Hogan said, according to transcripts of the tape:
“I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,” Hulk raved, the sources add.
“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.” ...
According to sources, he said: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!
“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.”
Shortly after that transcript was released, Hogan was too, as the WWE terminated his contract. They even went as far as removing him from their Hall of Fame. It made sense at the time, still does today, but time usually heals all wounds. Over the past few months, the WWE has teased us with Hogan mentions and sayings, video footage and more. The WWE clearly wants him back, the wrestlers seem to want him back, and I believe fans want him back. So why isn't he back? Simply put, Hogan hasn't learned his lesson, and until he does, he will never truly be welcomed back.
Some may say he has learned from his mistakes, but if Hogan has, why does he continue to make the same one over and over again.
Recently, soon to be Hall-of-Famer Mark Henry said Hulk Hogan needs to apologize to the black wrestlers for his use of such a hurtful term. How did Hogan take this easy offer from one of WWE's most influential voices, he spit right in Henry's face. Hogan responded to Henry through TMZ saying he knows he must apologize, but not just to the black wrestlers, to all wrestlers. Hogan had a chance to do something good to kick off his road to redemption, but he instead decided that when someone essentially said "Black Wrestlers Matter", Hogan couldn't wait to reply with "No, All Wrestlers Matter." Within all of this, after almost three years, the one thing we still haven't got is a formal apology, to anyone.
When it's all said and done, I hope Hulk Hogan is once again a member of the WWE family. Hogan is the reason why my love of wrestling started, and for that I am forever grateful. He was an essential part of my childhood, just like many other fans out there, and missing him being around is ok. As much as we may want the WWE to embrace the Red & Yellow again, we have to understand that at this point, it may never happen. The WWE is a publicly traded company and does not want to align themselves with unapologetic racist. At the end of the day, no mater what he tries to say, Hogan is just that, he's unapologetic (it shouldn't take three years to say sorry) and he's a racist (by his own words). The WWE just doesn't have room for that in today's world.
Maybe things will change, maybe Hogan will see the light, but the ball is in his court. Only he can take the next step on this road to redemption. So I ask you, Mr. Hogan, What you gonna do, Brother!