This week WWE gave something back to their European fans by taping their flagship shows overseas. (And why not? As it stands, this current continental excursion is set to be the highest grossing tour in the history of the company!) RAW & Smackdown were taped this week in Italy. England will host next week.
One of the biggest surprises this past week was moving the Intercontinental Title from Umaga to a brand new character as the opener on RAW. Santino Marella, born Anthony Corelli, has been training at OVW for at least two years. In Kentucky, his character was Boris Alexiev, a faux-MMA superstar that was pushed during Paul Heyman’s time in charge of developmental. Ironically, the reason that Heyman was booking OVW instead of Jim Cornette was incidentally due to Corelli. Back in July 2005, Cornette blew his lid after Corelli, a plant in the front row, reacted poorly and laughed at Boogeyman’s debut in OVW. Cornette, notorious for his short temper, actually began slapping Corelli repeatedly in the face when he returned backstage. In the end, when word filtered back to the office, Jim Cornette lost his job with WWE, and eventually moved on to TNA. Corelli’s new moniker is thought to be a tribute to longtime WWF employee Gorilla Monsoon, real name Robert Otto Marella. The entire scenario was literally a last minute brainstorm by Vince McMahon who basically called Alexiev, and told him to get to Milan by the next day. Reportedly, Boris was in line for an ECW/Taz push by Dusty Rhodes, but that idea is now out of the window.
Some other updates:
• Jerry Lawler vs Hulk Hogan in Memphis has been cancelled. However, the event will continue with Hogan vs Paul Wight. WWE really pressured Lawler to not do this event and in the end, they won.
• Rene Dupree is in rehab. Bob Holly is getting elbow surgery. Kane needs knee surgery. Booker T got knee surgery. Ashley needs work on her leg that she broke last year.
• TNA Lockdown PPV Results from outside St. Louis, Missouri
-Chris Sabin won an Escape the Cage match (against Chris Sabin, Shark Boy, Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt)
-Robert Roode defeated Petey Williams
-Gail Kim beat Jackie Moore
-Senshi (Low Ki) rolled up Austin Starr (Austin Aries) for the pin.
-Former Tag Partners STORM conquered HARRIS in a BLINDFOLD match that was not good.
-Christopher Daniels overcame Jerry Lynn clean.
-TEAM 3-D won something like their 20th Tag Title from L.A.X. in an electrified cage match that was seen as very hokey by the crowd.
-STING beat Abyss in the Wargames match. The rest of the main eventers were in there too.
• Great list of Wrestling Events throughout the country.