Meltzer & Avarez Back Pedal After Claims They Got Two Stories Wrong
It has not been the best week for the guys over at F4Wonline.
Wrestling Observer editor and founder Dave Meltzer found himself yet again needing to retract a story in relation to a wrestling star working for TNA Impact wrestling Thursday after ex-WWE Superstar and current TNA non-contracted personality Bully Ray publicly decried a report from Meltzer’s most recent issue of the Observer newsletter.
Meltzer on Wednesday reported that Ray lost an opportunity to appear on an NXT show back in May when he appeared for TNA prior to an NXT show in Philadelphia.
“According to one source, Bully Ray was going to be used by WWE for a one-shot surprise on the NXT show in Philadelphia for an easy pop (the spot Tommy Dreamer ended up getting), but when he showed up to referee a match for TNA before that show, WWE lost interest.”
PWInsider’s Dave Scherer wrote on Thursday that this was not the case.
Scherer, in typical fashion, refused to name Meltzer, or the fact that the story in question was originated in the Observer in an article refuting Meltzer’s Observer report.
Claiming to have received “a few emails” on the topic of a story “going around the net” Scherer first took the opportunity to set the record straight that he does not subscribe to the Wrestling Observer:
“Let me preface this by saying I have not seen the original story so I can’t comment on what was said… Apparently the online story states that WWE chose not to use Bully Ray due to him working the week before as a special referee for TNA, but I have been told that is not the case.”
He explains the story, while not citing Bully Ray as the source, from a perspective that certainly seems close to a point of view friendly to Ray’s
“[Ray] agreed [to work the NXT dates] but before the shows, he suffered an injury to his ear drum and called the office and told them he couldn’t work the events because he didn’t want have bad matches.. From what I was told, the office appreciated the heads up and understood the situation, and that was the extent of the situation.”
Ray would use this story as leverage when he took to Twitter to scold Meltzer’s reporting in the Observer.
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) July 23, 2015
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) July 23, 2015
The F4Wonline website, without Meltzer’s byline, printed a clarification Thursday afternoon:
“Bully Ray contacted us via Twitter regarding a note in the current issue of the Observer which said that he didn’t appear on the NXT shows in the Northeast due to him showing up as a referee on a TNA show, which is how it was explained to us.
He pointed to an article at PW Insider today which stated that he was booked for NXT shows on 5/15 and 5/16 in Philadelphia and Albany, NY, but said he didn’t appear due to a injury to his eardrum and contacted WWE about the injury and that is why he didn’t appear at the NXT shows. Tommy Dreamer worked those shows in his place, facing Baron Corbin.
Bully Ray was never advertised for either event, but there were hints of his appearing that week.”
Meltzer last had to publish a retraction at the behest of someone connected to TNA when Bob Ryder spent the better part of a Saturday afternoon badgering the Observer editor into taking back what he’d reported about TNA Knockouts Taryn Terrell and Awesome Kong being part of a multi-wreslter defection in a short period of time that saw more than a half-dozen wrestlers who had previously been under contract not renewing their deals when they had come up.
This was over a month before the recent reports surfaced on PWInsider that TNA was seeking to restructure the way they agree to deals with their wrestlers, in that they would no longer seek to lock wrestlers into guaranteed money contracts, but rather pay them per appearance.
TNA recently ran another set of tapings including two of the wrestlers that had reportedly finished up with TNA (James Storm and Austin Aries most notably), despite the two not having contracts.
Bob Ryder returned to familiar territory with one of his infamous passive-aggressive tweets
Long exhausting day at the tapings. At one point I thought I saw people who don't work for us anymore. Must have been hallucinating.
— Bob Ryder (@brydertna) July 23, 2015
Ryder was silent on the subject of whether these wrestlers he’d “hallucinated” seeing were MVP or Hernandez.
It’s worth noting in this case, Meltzer had been relatively clear in the idea that he supposed the wresters could, and perhaps would, continue working with TNA even though they no longer had contracts and had announced via Twitter that they were no longer technically “with” the company.
Notable, too, is that PWInsider, PW Torch and other high profile wrestling news sources had been all over the reports that Aries, Storm, Magnus, Low-Ki and other formerly contracted wrestlers were effectively done with the company.
The controversy with Meltzer reporting a story Ray publicly refuted comes just a day after Bryan Alvarez found himself in hot water with former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark Jr. for remarks made on Wednesday’s Wrestling Observer Live radio show about the recently voted off competitor.
Alvarez, during the radio show on Wednesday, took at face value a tweet from a “loyal caller” to the show, with a link to an article recapping Clark’s appearance on AfterBuzz TV talking his time on Tough Enough, and a potential future with WWE.
Alvarez’s loyal listener mistakenly took Clark’s comments out of context in relating them to Alvarez that Clark had already turned down a developmental offer from WWE because he was not financially secure enough to relocate to Florida.
What Clark actually said was more speculative, saying that IF he were offered such a deal he would probably have to decline for those reasons.
Clark would also go on Periscope to refute the claims Alvarez made on Wrestling Observer Live by making a fool of himself and outing the fact that he actually had no idea what was said, or where, with regard to the rumors of his not signing.
Clark was apparently under the impression that he’d granted an interview with the Observer, and that they’d written an article about him claiming he’d turned down and offer by WWE.
Alvarez on Thursday took to the airwaves once again when, in Wrestling Observer Live, he admitted to making a mistake, and publicly apologized for not being more thorough in his vetting of the story prior to reporting it. He also helpfully encouraged Clark by noting that WWE offers relocation packages to their new developmental signees as part of their deals.