NEWS ANALYSIS: Women to headline NXT Takeover, Hogan’s latest moves, Hall’s latest advice

-Sorry I missed posting here yesterday. I hope that doesn’t happen too often, but I was preoccupied much of the day getting the new website ready to officially launch today. If you haven’t yet, check out the new site which features in-depth reports on top pro wrestling podcasts. So many big names and influential voices are talking at length every week on their podcasts, I wanted to create a place to document their opinions and their interviews, both to record it for history and to guide people with limited time through the array of options out there for your listening time. I’m proud of what the first batch of reports from more than two dozen reporters who have volunteered to cover the pro wrestling podcast world. I think the format of the reports will accommodate a wide array of wrestling fans who are interested in podcasts – either as a guide of which shows to prioritize this week, where to jump to in a particular podcast to hear specific subjects of interest, or just keep up by reading about them if you don’t have time to listen to many or any of them. Check it out!

-I was thrilled to read there will be a Sasha Banks vs. Bailey rematch at the NXT Takeover special, intrigued by the 30 minute Iron Woman stip, and especially encouraged by the decision to put it on last. So much of the Divas Revolution has been hijacked by Stephanie McMahon to slide into the middle of it and take credit for it, all the while Vince McMahon pays lip service to it on Raw while undercutting the very aspects of it that have made it work so well in NXT. So at least there is still a place where it’s being done right, even if we’ll probably have to put up with the Brand Ambassador interjecting herself into the special yet again as she touts the brilliant idea to headline NXT Takeover with a women’s match. The 30 minute Iron Woman concept has plusses and minuses. The biggest downside of that type of match is it takes away the idea that the match can end with any near fall or submission. That drama is replaced by multiple falls and submissions that each count as they add up the score for the end of the 30 minute period. I do, however, look forward to the NXT team – Sara Del Rey, Triple H, William Regal, Ryan Ward, Adam Pearce, etc. – addressing all the pros and cons of the Iron Woman format and maximizing it’s effectiveness and drama. Putting the match on last is a key to the NXT Women’s Title being perceived as a main event level title. They can talk about how important the NXT Women’s Title and division is, but until they show enough belief in it to put it on last, it would always feel like a supplementary title and division. This is an awesome step toward maximizing the revenue potential of women’s wrestling.

-Hulk Hogan getting an endorsement deal with an online sports betting company is hardly a high-profile return and vindication for him. It is a sign that he’s not such damaged goods that he can’t at a relatively low level work his way back into some portrayal of a celebrity who isn’t completely shunned from proper society. The TMZ story that doubled as a virtual plug for the site made me wonder how much the endorsement deal was about Hogan compared to the tawdry publicity the partnership Hogan could promise them it would receive. I do think news of Hogan doing a one-man show in the UK in November is a good next step for him. I’m curious how he handles the topic of his shameful racial language and anti-gay language that got him ousted from WWE and other business deals. Will he show any introspection or just feed the fans attending the show some of the same stuff he’s given so far to “Good Morning America” and on Twitter?

-I had a chance to interview Scott Hall yesterday for a few minutes at the start of the Thursday PWTorch Livecast. He added to what he told Jim Ross in an article for Fox Sports recently about how he wants people who are suffering from emotional traumas in their lives to get the right kind of professional help. I had heard from many friends of his over the years how the shooting incident haunted him and prompted him to go down the path of chemical abuse over the years, and until he dealt with that, no traditional alcohol treatment would likely work. His words of encouragement to others to seek psychiatric help could help some fans of his to look at what might be buried deep in their past and seek help that otherwise they would have been too ashamed to ask for.  Scott also talked briefly about “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake.” He talked about whether he had any involvement in the editing of the movie. He was a big part of Jake’s journey, living in “DDP’s Crib” with Jake for a long time as they both tried to change some things in their lives for the better. I look forward to screening the movie this weekend and commenting on it, plus interviewing Jake himself at length on next Thursday’s PWTorch Livecast.

-Tonight Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant are hosting the PWTorch Livecast at 7 ET. Listen live and join them with a phone call (646-721-9828) or email a topic or question to Disco Inferno was on Wednesday’s Livecast with Pat McNeill. You can read a summary of the show and get a link to download or stream the show at this link:

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