Wrestlemania 33 Reportedly to Take Place in Orlando
While Minneapolis was long considered the favorite to host Wrestlemania 33, WWE has reportedly decided to go with Orlando instead. WWE has developed strong ties to the state of Florida in recent years after opening the WWE Performance Center in the state. There have long been rumors that Orlando would be the site for the physical WWE Hall of Fame if one ever were to be built. The last Wrestlemania from Orlando was Wrestlemania 24 in 2008. I would expect the official announcement next weekend at the Royal Rumble.
Report: The Rock Will Not Wrestle at Wrestlemania 32
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that The Rock will not be wrestling at Wrestlemania 32 this year. Due to insurance issues with an upcoming movie, a match is off the table.
It’s what we expected, but it’s another blow to this Wrestlemania show that could desperately use more starpower. I’d expect Rock’s role to be limited to involvement in a promo segment and then helping Reigns in his likely match against Triple H.
Brock Lesnar Announced for “March to Wrestlemania” WWE Network Event
Brock Lesnar will be part of the WWE Network special from Toronto on March 12. No confirmation on whether or not he will be wrestling. We were promised more Lesnar in 2016, and we seem to be getting it with his announced participation in the Royal Rumble and his being advertised for Fastlane in February.
Jim Ross to Replace Mauro Ranallo on “New Japan on AXS?”
MLW Radio reports that Jim Ross has agreed to be the new voice of New Japan on AXS, replacing the departed Mauro Ranallo. JR, for his part, denies on Twitter that any deal is done. Personally, I think it would be a great move for New Japan to bring JR in as he’s the only commentator who can draw people to a show.
Good and Bad News for TNA on POP TV
The good news is that TNA is apparently receiving a rights fee for airing Impact on POP TV. Previous reports had suggested that it was simply a barter deal and TNA was receiving a cut of the advertising money generated by the show. With their recent cost cutting, this would probably put TNA on its best financial ground in years.
The bad news is that Comcast is moving POP TV into a premium tier of channels, meaning fewer people will have access to it. Viewership for the second episode of Impact on POP TV rose slightly to 288,000 viewers, up from 255,000 for the first week.