Ex-WWE Creative Team Writer Passes Away, Talent Reacts

Former WWE creative member Joe Franciosi passed away this morning. Franciosi, who worked on the creative team in 2010, died of a heart attack. He was best known for pitching the vignette where William Shatner performed WWE theme songs in Shatner’s famous vocal style.

Franciosi was involved with the indy scene in California for decades and was most recently producing for Championship Wrestling with Hollywood. He had also worked with Rick Bassman’s UPW, The Inoki Dojo and various NWA-branded projectss.

On behalf of everyone here on the website, we send our condolences to the friends, family and fans of Mr. Franciosi.

Several wrestling personalities who knew Franciosi reacted to the news on Twitter:

Rest in Peace Joe Franciosi. I love you brother, see you on the other side…

Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) May 15, 2015

Very sad to hear of passing of WWE Creative team member JOE FRANCIOSI. Was a straight forward no nonsense talented guy. RIP.

— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) May 15, 2015

Man. Ugh… Lost another good brother WAY to early. RIP Joe Franciosi. Thanks for the more than 15 years of friendship.

— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) May 15, 2015

Horribly sad news on the passing of Joe Franciosi. Thoughts are with his wife and kids.

— David Lagana (@Lagana) May 15, 2015

SPEECHLESS! With all my love @SchmosEyeball I will never forget you #RIP

— David Marquez (@CWFHMarquez) May 15, 2015

He was brutally honest in a business full of liars and thieves. Some faulted him for it. I admired it. RIP to a good friend, @SchmosEyeball.

Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) May 15, 2015

@SchmosEyeball RIP. My heart aches. You were always one of the most fun people I’ve met in the crazy carnival of wrestling.

— Jay Bradley (@JayBradleyPW) May 15, 2015

Wow..RIP @SchmosEyeball…I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said by others.

— Thunderkitty (@Thunderkitty82) May 15, 2015

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A Big Rumored **SPOILER** For Tonight’s NXT Live Event

Tonight, NXT returns to Philadelphia, PA for the second consecutive night. NXT star Baron Corbin challenged Joey Styles to bring an “ECW relic” for him to face at the show – and it looks like Corbin is going to get his wish.

Here’s the full exchange on Twitter between Corbin, Styles and the “relic” who could be answering the challenge in just a matter of hours. Of course, it could be Rhyno as he worked last night’s show but Bully Ray’s tweet makes things more interesting.

Look very hard & dig up the best relic you can. I am going to bury him and the memories of #ECW forever. #NXTPhilly https://t.co/bJmRzgq03u

— Baron Corbin (@BaronCorbinWWE) May 15, 2015

Took some old school inspiration. I have an #ECW Original to fight @BaronCorbinWWE tonite at #NXTPhilly! @WWENXT @WWE pic.twitter.com/PQoFflixdu

— Joey Styles (@JoeyStyles) May 15, 2015

You need it bc you’re running out of time. Make sure it’s the best #ECW original so you don’t have any excuses https://t.co/xdbf0YFdVk

— Baron Corbin (@BaronCorbinWWE) May 15, 2015

Be careful what you wish for… https://t.co/culuHBUttP

Bully Ray (@REALBully5150) May 15, 2015


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Charlotte Discusses NXT Touring, Divas Division, WWE Goals, More

Charlotte spoke with Ring Rust Radio for a new interview promoting the NXT tour. Check out the highlights:

On being one of the key stars in NXT’s tour: “Oh wow. I am honored, I could not be more proud of where NXT is today. Obviously I am solely a product of NXT, I didn’t have any prior work, and I started at OVW before the performance center was a thing. Before we were even on the network we were with UK Skysports, I am honored and it’s a big deal. NXT is going places and I couldn’t be more proud to be representing them and the female division right now. Especially with all the buzz around it it’s amazing.”

On what separates the NXT Women’s Division from the Divas Division: “I can’t speak for the Divas on the main roster, but for the women down in NXT including: Bailey, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Dana Brook, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, I have never met a bigger group of women who are so patient about what they do. We just mold and gel together so well. Triple H hired Sara Del Ray to work with us. She fights for us every single day, they trust us, they give us storylines, and time. We just run with it. With all those elements combined that’s why we are taking off right now and it’s an exciting time for women’s wrestling.”

On who has pushed her the hardest in the ring thus far: “Well first I just want to say, Natalya help put me on the map. When I had my Takeover match and I won the NXT Women’s championship, I didn’t have that much experience at the time. She brought out something in the character Charlotte that I didn’t know I had and I ran with it. I can’t say one specific girl is harder than the other. Obviously when I work Sasha Banks, she’s the baddest. She is probably one of the best heels in the company today. So how I am with her is different than how I am with Bailey. Bailey is every single persons best friend. Then you have a new comer like Becky Lynch who is the number one contender. Other girls like Alexa Bliss, Dana Brook, Carmella, for Charlotte she just tries to tell the best story with each character. Natty, Sasha, Bailey, and me have had these Takeover matches and there was the fatal four way, but I like to work with everybody so I can’t just say there is one person. When I make the main roster, I would really like one more go with Natty. I beat her at Takeover, she beat me on Raw, its 1 for 1, so that’s who I would like forward to working.”

On her WWE goals: “The skies the limit. I want to main event a PPV, be the Divas champion, I mean gosh when I started, I didn’t know I would be where I am today. I want to see where my hard work takes me, but I want to main event Raw, I want to main event a PPV, and be the Divas champion. I want to see the entire female NXT roster on Raw at one point.”

On if being Flair’s daughter influenced her in-ring style: “Well, when I first started, I was just learning how to lock up and hit the ropes. I really stayed away from what my Dad did, like the figure four, the chops, the woo. When I had my match with Natty though, that’s when I started to incorporate some of my Dad’s signature move set. Shout out to Simon Gotch of the Vaudevillians, helped me come up with the figure eight. He said, ‘Hey its twice as good as your Dad’s.’ We were just playing around with it, and it came from a combination of everyone at school helping me. Its kinds like the figure four headlock I do. Sara Del Ray was the one that helped me do the snap mare where I flip over the person. I just want to take his move set and add my own twist to it. Its gradually coming along thanks to my coaches and co-workers.”

On if it’s been difficult working in the business as Ric Flair’s daughter: “It was very hard in the beginning. Any generation kid has a hard time, but because I didn’t come from a wrestling background I felt the pressure right away. “She isn’t any good, she has no personality, she’s this, she’s just Flair’s daughter”. I knew if they would just be patient and give me time they would see. I have literally been in sports since I could walk so I knew once I could figure out the psychology, understand what’s important within the match, my character, and got comfortable within Charlotte I could show people how athletic I really am. That is what gravitates them to me now. Obviously its cool that I am Ric Flair’s daughter. I think my athleticism adds a lot to Charlotte instead of just being the daughter of the Nature Boy. Now that I am comfortable within my own skin, I have no problem going out there and wooing 75 times. My Dad is the best wrestler of all time in my eyes, but he wasn’t known for his leap frogs or being the dirtiest player in the game. So it’s been a journey figuring out who Charlotte is while not just being his daughter.”

On how it feels to be on the verge of making her main roster debut: “When I do debut, I just want to run with it. I don’t want anything to hold me back and I just want to shine and not be timid or scared. NXT is getting bigger and bigger but it still doesn’t have the fan base of the WWE Universe has. I want to take my NXT fan base with me to the main roster and show what I can do on a larger scale. That is what I am most excited about.”

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): Stephanie McMahon Through The Years! WHOAAAA – **MUST-SEE**!!!!

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Divas Match Added To WWE’s Payback PPV – The Updated Lineup

The Bella Twins vs. Naomi and Tamina Snuka has been officially added to this Sunday night’s WWE Payback pay-per-view event. Here is the updated card:

Fatal Four-Way WWE World Heavyweight Title Match:
Champion Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose (If Rollins loses, Kane is fired)

US Title I Quit Match:
Champion John Cena vs. Rusev

2/3 Falls WWE Tag Team Title Match:
Champions The New Day vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

Neville vs. King Barrett

Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt

The Bella Twins vs. Naomi and Tamina Snuka

Kickoff Match:
Curtis Axel & Macho Mandow vs. The Ascension

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): Stacy Keibler In Very *HOT & TINY* Pink Bikini!! **YOU HAVE TO SEE THESE RIGHT NOW**!!!

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Backstage ROH News – Injury Updates, VISA Issues?, TV Tapings

Partial Source: Pwinsider

– Roderick Strong and Tetsuya Naito both needed stitches are the ROH event in Philadelphia on Wednesday. They were both busted open hard way during their matches.

– Both ROH and NJPW wrestlers made into Canada without any problems for tonight’s iPPV.

– Here’s the card for tomorrow’s ROH TV tapings:

*AJ Styles & Young Bucks vs. Kazuchida Okada & Roppongi Vice.
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong.
*IWGP Tag Team champions The Kingdom vs. Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson.
*ACH & Matt Sydal vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tetsuya Naito.
*Jushin Liger vs. Dalton Castle.
*Michael Elgin vs. Gedo.
*Will Ferrara vs. KUSHIDA.

100% DIRECT LINK (**BRAND NEW PHOTOS**): Hot Lingerie Shots Of Kelly Kelly! **OMFG**!!

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Titus O’Neil Wins Celebrity Dad Of The Year Award – Details

WWE.com reports that Titus O’Neil has been named Celebrity Dad of the Year by everythingfordads.com. He was against Stephen Amell, Ashton Kutcher, David Beckham, Kaka and Vin Diesel. The second annual MEGA Dad Awards 2015 “honor the amazing work we see dads carry out that often goes unacknowledged. These awards are given to dads who are determined to change the landscape of fatherhood for the better and for the good of all.” The ceremony happens on June 13 in Winter Park, Florida at the Winter Park Community Center.

O’Neil and his sons were part of WWE’s “Take Time to be a Dad” PSAs last year. He’s also part of the WWE’s community events, including Reading Celebrations and BE a STAR rallies.

You can find more information here. Meanwhile, O’Neil commented on the award on Twitter:

Thank U!!!Truly Honored Thanks for all who voted @WWE @AdCouncil @VinceMcMahon @TripleH @StephMcMahon @WWECommunity https://t.co/Snc77x39Bv

— Titus O’Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) May 15, 2015

I Honestly can’t put how Blessed I feel Right Now! #Fatherhood is something that I never experienced as a Kid #GOD


— Titus O’Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) May 15, 2015

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): WWE Diva Natalya And Her Real-Life Sister! WHOA!!

The post Titus O’Neil Wins Celebrity Dad Of The Year Award – Details appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Jim Ross Discusses His Future (Audio), Top 10 SD! Moments (Video)

– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke with Comcast Sports Washington to promote his appearance at the Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore. He spoke about his announcing history, his BBQ productions, the Texas versus Oklahoma ‘Red River’ rivalry, and more:

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NOTE: If you are going to tomorrow night’s WWE NXT live event in Albany, New York and want to meet up with me for a drink or two on us …. please *EMAIL ME ASAP* at [email protected]. The plan is for Matt Boone and I (Ryan Clark) to arrive around 6PM EST. Following the event, we will likely be heading to Bombers Bar on Lark Street. It’s about three blocks away and we’ll be walking down. We can meet up before, during or after the event … and would love to see some of you guys/thank you for the support of the website. We will also have FREE WZRtv t-shirts for anyone who finds us! Hope to hear from you guys soon!

– Here are the top 10 moments from last night’s WWE SmackDown broadcast:

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): Very “Artistic” Stacy Keibler Photo!! ((MUST-SEE-NOW))!!!

The post Jim Ross Discusses His Future (Audio), Top 10 SD! Moments (Video) appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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GFW Tickets Now On Sale, TNA Xplosion Match Online (Video)

– Tickets for several Global Force Wrestling events are on sale now. They include:

* 6/12 – Jackson, TN
* 6/13 – Knoxville, TN
* 6/20- Jackson, MS
* 6/21 – Bowling Green, KY
* 7/24 – Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV (Television Taping)

You can find more information here.

– TNA released the following Xplosion match featuring Robbie E vs. Eddie Edwards:

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): ‘Sunny’ Poses In Bed With Fans!! HAHAHA – IS SHE SERIOUS?!?!

The post GFW Tickets Now On Sale, TNA Xplosion Match Online (Video) appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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BREAKING NEWS: Samoa Joe Signs With WWE

Fans who have been waiting to see Samoa Joe finally make his debut in WWE might be getting what they want sooner than they think.

According to Reddit user Falcon Arrow, who has privately proved his credentials to the moderators of the Reddit website, Joe has signed a contract with WWE that is at least a two-year deal.

The user goes on to claim that WWE currently has plans on the books for Joe to make his official debut with the company at the end of the upcoming NXT Takeover: Unstoppable live WWE Network special, which takes place on Wednesday, May 20th.

In anticipation of his upcoming WWE debut, it looks like Joe has been getting himself into better physical shape than we’re used to seeing him in, as seen in a new photo, which was submitted to us by reader “GARIUP Laurent.” If you’re interested, you can click here to view the new look photo. He’s MUCH skinnier.

Make sure to join us here on 5/20 for live NXT Takeover: Unstoppable play-by-play results coverage!

EXCLUSIVE **NEW LOOK PHOTO** – Samoa Joe’s Major Weight Loss!!

The post BREAKING NEWS: Samoa Joe Signs With WWE appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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WWE Studios Gets A $35 Million Cash Infusion – Details

Deadline reports that WWE Studios has signed a deal with Bank of American Merrill Lynch for a revolving credit facility worth $35 million. This will let WWE continue to form partnerships with studios like Warner Bros., Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox. It’s part of a new long-term growth strategy that will focus on mid-size budget film productions, similar to The Call and Oculus, as well as increase the films it acquires.

WWE Studios president Michael Luisi said: “This new relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch gives us the opportunity to be involved in higher profile films and expand talent relationships. Our audience craves larger-than-life stories, and we’re looking forward to using this new facility to bring even more of those stories to the big screen.”

It recently launched a horror label with Gene Simmons called Erebus Pictures. Upcoming WWE Studios releases include Incarnate (starring Aaron Eckhart and featuring Mark Henry, from Blumhouse Pictures) and a sequel to Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery starring Hulk Hogan.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch SVP Randy Hua said: “WWE Studios is an amazing brand with a history of creating content with fascinating characters and storylines. This new facility will provide WWE Studios the capacity to build on the momentum from the last several years by producing and acquiring more branded and genre films. The various platforms and global reach of both BofAML and WWE creates the perfect collaboration.“

100% LINK (PHOTOS): Jim Ross Debuts A SHOCKING *NEW LOOK*!

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