Sat. Torch Today – Huge night of wrestling, Storm to WWE?, Angle Q&A – Benoit & HBK & Brock’s SSP, disappearing PPV odds, new Rumble favorite, DiBiase speaking at church, TV Ratings shift, NJPW kicks off World Tag, AJPW star leaving, Dick the Bruiser, more
PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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TORCH TODAY – Saturday, November 21
– The countdown to Survivor Series is one day away. Oddly-enough, there are no betting lines for the PPV. Perhaps because of the tournament, unknown opponents for Undertaker & Kane, and mystery traditional five-on-five match. However, the Royal Rumble market is moving. Brock Lesnar is now the favorite to win the Rumble at -125. Kevin Owens and John Cena are the next closest. (Thanks to correspondent David Taylor)
– Before Sunday, there is another huge night of pro wrestling on Saturday. NXT wraps in Florida, the Hardys have OMEGA in N.C. with Trevor Lee vs. Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Hardy for the OMEGA Title, Ric Flair & Ricky Steamboat are scheduled for Big Time Wrestling in Virginia, the NWA Title is on the line at NWA Smoky Mountain, WSU and CZW have a double-header in New Jersey, OVW has a huge card at Louisville Slugger Field with The Wolves, World’s Greatest Tag Team, and more stars. Plus, more indies running before Thanksgiving. (Full Weekend Events Center) (Reports Wanted to firstname.lastname@example.org)
– Plus, there is the case of James Storm. Storm wrestled at WWE’s NXT TV taping Thursday night in Florida. He then tweeted Friday that he was back in Nashville. No, he did not appear at the Ring of Honor show on Friday night. Storm then travels to Chatsworth, Georgia for an independent show on Saturday night. RCW is advertising the show as Storm’s “final trip to RCW before becoming full-time with the WWE.”
– Also on Saturday, New Japan kicks off their World Tag League tournament with a big main event of IWGP World Hvt. champion Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tanahashi & ROH star Michael Elgin. (Full Event Line-ups via PuroresuSpirit.net) (Tournament Viewing on New Japan World)
– WWE NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS: A new episode of “This Week in WWE” premieres at 3:00 p.m. EST. WWE is also running “Undertaker Week” content from earlier in the week.
– Notes from Kurt Angle’s “Golden Truth” Tour Friday in Cardiff, Wales: Angle once again took credit for telling Brock Lesnar to do the Shooting Star Press at WrestleMania 19. … Angle ranked his 2003 Royal Rumble match against Chris Benoit as his “greatest ever match.” … Angle described A.J. Styles as the best wrestler he’s ever faced. … Angle said his epic WM21 match against Shawn Michaels was called on the fly, as opposed to preparing an entire week beforehand. (Thanks to PWTorch reader Ali Al-Mufti)
– “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase is speaking at a local Ohio church throughout this weekend. DiBiase is sharing his testimony, talking about his wrestling sons, and appearing at a wrestling show at Newton Fire Hall in Zanesville, Ohio.
– There was an interesting development in the TV industry on Friday. Fox announced that it will no longer publicly report live+same day TV ratings and viewership for most programming. Fox believes the more accurate figure is live+3-day DVR or even live+7. TVBytheNumbers, which has tracked ratings for years, countered that live+same day is still a good indicator of performance, even as people change their viewing habits, because the bump from DVR viewing is “largely in proportion to the same-day ratings.”
– A big story in Japan is Yoshinobu Kanemaru leaving All-Japan Wrestling to become a freelance wrestler. This follows Kotaro Suzuki announcing his departure from All Japan. Kanemaru ends his AJPW run on December 15 in Tokyo. (More Japan News & Notes)
– A new wrestling comic book, “Ringside,” is scheduled for release next week. The series from Image Comics is focusing on behind-the-scenes activity set in pro wrestling. “The book is really about what happens outside of the ring,” said writer Joe Keatinge in an interview with AL.com. “It’s how this industry affects a number of lives and what people’s relationships are with it. There actually is not a lot of in-ring stuff at all throughout the whole series. It’s more about people who are affected by it – people who are wrestlers and people who are the writers and people who watch it. How all their lives interact. It’s more of a drama than anything else.”
– Finally, the Indianapolis Star published a brief biography on territory era wrestling legend Dick the Bruiser, who was from Indiana.