Dirt Sheet Digest – Monday, April 18, 2016

No, you haven’t stumbled into a dream… this is actually an article update on SheetSandwich.com, if you can believe it. Here is your wrestling news recap for Monday, going over some of the major stories and happenings from today that caught my eye. Enjoy!

TNA’s Investors Revealed

Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez jumped online with a roughly 12:00 Breaking News audio clip wherein Dave elaborated on his vague, beating around the bush appearance on Live Audio Wrestling last night.

Word was getting out all over Twitter earlier today with people parsing Meltzer’s report and correctly identifying Ron and Don Harris as being involved on the investor side. The social site erupted over the news given the Harris Twins background as having white supremacist / neo-nazi leanings. I pretty much have images of their matching SS tattoos etched in my brain now.

SS tattoos fully covered, the Harris twins look to broker deal for TNA?
SS tattoos fully covered, the Harris twins look to broker deal for TNA?

Interesting to note that Mike Johnson here isn’t reporting anything by way of negotiation, and is instead making it seem like money is owed Aroluxe and if they are not paid by some point this week, they could have a vialid claim to majority ownership in the company as part of their deal with TNA.

“The word that has made the way around TNA performers in the past week is that a payment to Aroluxe is due imminently (one version of the story is that the payment is due today, another is that it is due Wednesday) and that based on TNA’s contract with Aroluxe, if the payment is not made, Aroluxe would then be able to claim majority ownership of TNA Wrestling, leaving Dixie Carter a minority owner.”

Paul Fontaine also has a nice little “the saga ’til now” article here

And here’s a great article on TNA’s identity and how much worth the brand even is at this point:

TNA’s Identity Crisis: Is TNA Worth Fighting For?

Meltzer’s Rubbish Raw News Gets Repeated

I was intrigued early Monday afternoon when the same two reports came across my Twitter feed, first from WrestleZone and and then PWMania regarding plans for Raw featuring Shane vs The Authority kicking off the show, and Finn Balor debuting. Both stories credit F4WOnline, but didn’t link to any articles, nor relay to the reader where that site was reporting this. (Was it in audio perhaps, buried in a Daily Update?)

Here’s the thing I’d like to see… blindly crediting “F4Wonline” should to stop, for everyone’s sake, as it’s not a helpful thing.

So knock it off, cut and paste sites. “Credit: F4Wonline” could mean the news item comes from Dave Meltzer, in which case one might feel compelled to take a closer look. Conversly, it could be a blind item credited to “Wrestling Observer Staff” in which case there is no way for the reader to discern who may have reported this, and “Staff” reports and articles are wildly inconsistent there. Lastly, and worst of all, it could mean that Bryan Alvarez is back in the speculation game, in which case any educated reader could just dismiss the report out of hand understanding it is likely to be 100% garbage.

In this case, it happened to be a report by Dave Meltzer covering the advanced Raw spoilers for Monday’s show, which aired tonight in the United States on tape delay after being recorded live in London, England several hours earlier.

Dave reported:

“There is talk that the feud between HHH and Stephanie McMahon vs. Shane McMahon will kick off on tonight’s Raw show from London’s O2 Arena.

Even though Shane McMahon lost the match, he is now official as in charge for the third straight week. HHH and Stephanie were scheduled to return to Raw this week as well and a feud between the two sides was on the books.

There has been talk the past few days that Finn Balor will debut, which given the location, makes sense for a debut. This has not been officially confirmed.”

Finn Balor: Still not on Raw despite a half-dozen Meltzer reports that his debut is imminent
Finn Balor: Still not on Raw despite a half-dozen Meltzer reports that his debut is imminent

Unfortunately, by the time Meltzer was done with his report, he was forced to report the obvious to anyone who has been tracking his reporting on this issue for the last several months.

“So no Authority and no Finn Balor this week, no big feud, no big anything.”


So Dave basically joins Justin LaBar (see below) in getting peoples’ hopes up for Raw based on wild, unsubstantiated hearsay and rumor.

Pro move!

Wild, Wacky Alvarez Speculation

Speaking of Bryan Alvarez and wild, unsubstantiated hearsay and rumor, Alvarez took to his radio show for a healthy dose of speculation regarding whatever is going on between Vince McMahon and the Undertaker that has led to the post-WrestleMania creative proceeding as though Shane McMahon actually WON his Hell in a Cell match agains the Undertaker. We can tell this is speculation on Alvarez’s part because he repeats that it is more than a dozen times while talking about it for about three minutes.

According to Bryan Alvarez, "Something" is up between Undertaker and Vince McMahon
According to Bryan Alvarez, “Something” is up between Undertaker and Vince McMahon

His speculation is, perhaps, that Undertaker refused to lose to Shane McMahon, which perhaps has led to a falling out between Vince McMahon and the 50+ Phenom, leading the Undertaker being off the European tour, and creative for Raw the last few weeks presenting Shane McMahon as the man in charge.

Alvarez’s speculation didn’t end there, however, as he also reported that Raw would kick off the Shane McMahon vs. Triple H feud for the company. He was likely parroting site parter Meltzer’s earlier, erroneous report on this topic on the site, but failed to note that.

Kayfabe News Backs Up Inspector Ringside

Alvarez’s reporting on the Undertaker mystery was also picked up in a way by Kayfabenews.com earlier today with this outlandish report.

“According to a press release issued today by World Wrestling Entertainment, heir-apparent Shane McMahon definitively defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania, thereby earning the right to control Monday Night Raw.”

So, for the record, Kayfabe News and Bryan Alvarez were the loudest voices pushing the Undertaker v. Shane WrestleMania win narrative today.

Sounds about right.

LaBar’s RAW Pre-Hype Falls Flat

Meltzer and Alvarez weren’t the only ones befuddled by how much big news would break on Raw.

TribLive personality and ersatz wrestling newsbreaker Justin LaBar ended his Sunday night with a Tweet that ended up making him look a little foolish when Raw was over.

He compounded matters by reacting to critics of the tweet by using the tried and true deflection method proven so handy by the likes of Mike Johnson, Dave Scherer and, increasingly, Bryan Alvarez.

Recommended RAW Reports

If you missed Raw, or tapped out halfway through, and are looking for a good recap of the show, I’d recommend James Caldwell’s work here over at PWTorch as well as Larry Czonka’s review from 411Mania here:

Csonka’s WWE Raw Review 4.18.16

Csonka has a bit more editorializing in his recap (which is titled a “Review,” I presume, for that very reason), so if that sort of thing bugs you and you’re looking for a straight, by the numbers, in-detail recap, Caldwell might be more for you.

Bella Twins Spinoff

This report over on Cage Side Seats caught my eye earlier today, as E! and WWE announced that the Bella twins would be getting their own Total Divas spinoff show called Total Bellas.

Bill Hanstock from Cage Side had this to say:

The Bella Twins are breaking out on their own in a new spinoff
The Bella Twins are breaking out on their own in a new spinoff

“The new series will debut this fall, which is great news for Total Divas fans, since the Season 5 finale will be airing on Tuesday night, so we won’t have to wait a full year to catch up on more reality show goodness from the WWE women”


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