In this edition of the Roundup, we'll look at the big announcement from the USA Network regarding WWE, The Scott Steiner/Hulk Hogan situation, as well as the release of the future WWE schedule, which includes a couple of Baltimore dates.
-Due to a lawsuit and restraining order the WWE filed against counterfeit merchandisers, their future schedule was released through March of 2016. What does that mean for Baltimore?
Besides Payback, which already was announced, RAW will once again come to Baltimore at the beginning of September, on Labor Day this year.
Royal Farms Arena will also host a house show on Dec. 30.
-The big, nonlocal news of the week on the television side came from the USA Network, which announced not only the return of Tough Enough, which was expected, but that Smackdown would be moving to USA at the beginning of 2016.
When Smackdown moved back to Thursday nights, there was a hope that Smackdown would become more relevant in the wrestling landscape. That hasn't been the case, though a move to USA would certainly provide the WWE incentive to give Smackdown that boost.
Combine that with the fact that it seems like the Intercontinental title is going to have a focus on Smackdown, it certainly could get that boost.
As far as Tough Enough, there are still a lot of questions about the formatting of this year's seasons. Tough Enough has gone through many variations over the years, from the original on MTV that featured 12 very inexperienced wrestlers, to the version that was exclusively on RAW and Smackdown, to the latest season, with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the host and a mix of experienced and inexperienced wrestlers, we've seen a lot of differnet things.
The one thing that hasn't changed is that the winners haven't done much. Now, that's not to say that it's been worthless, as talent like The Miz and Ryback have been found in Tough Enough, but they didn't win. The only winner with any real success in the WWE was John Morrison. This is partially a result of the format, where less experienced wrestlers make for a more entertaining show.
I think after the bust that was Andy Leavine, there will be some pressure to get a winner that does something on the main roster. So we'll see exactly how they go about doing it, and if they'll sacrifice drama on the show to get a good wrestler.
-In the odd news of the week, TMZ reported that Scott Steiner is under a police investigation for allegedly threatening Hulk Hogan's wife at the San Jose airport. The report alleges that Steiner came up to Hogan's wife in an airport, and said that he'd kill Hogan when he landed.
The threats were allegedly due to the fact that Steiner did not like that Hogan was inducting Randy Savage into the WWE Hall of Fame. This led to Steiner being banned from WWE events, with his picture left at the security stations.
It's hard to make much commentary on this one. Obviously this is a sad situation, if it's true. While Steiner is still popular in some corners, stuff like this is going to erode that good will, and it's already started to cost him bookings. I hope for him that he gets everything together.