Daily Update: Hogan v Gawker got weird; UFC; NXT

Hulk Hogan v Gawker Day 2

Hulk Hogan finished his testimony today as the first live witness in the trial of his civil lawsuit against Gawker for publishing excerpts of the sex tape shot without his consent. It got very, very weird. as there ended up being a discussion (video here) between Terry Bollea/Hulk Hogan and Gawker lawyer Michael Sullivan about how the Hulk Hogan character has a bigger penis than Terry Bollea. That admission was pushed as the top story on multiple major newspaper websites, including two in New York.

As for the actual substance of his testimony, the key is Gawker pushing Hogan as an unreliable liar/con-man/worker with Hogan emphasizing his lack of consent and his emotional distress. With the latter, they did a much better job today than yesterday.

Both lawyers (Shane Vogt questioned Hogan on direct and re-direct examination) did excellent jobs with Vogt oozing gravitas and Sullivan coming off as a kindly, almost “Mr. Rogers” sort of guy who was just doing his job.

After Hogan, former TNA press/PR consultant Jules Wortman had her deposition played. TNA continues to be brutalized in the trial, with Wortman saying that  “People wanted to talk to Hulk Hogan, they didn’t care about the other talent,” though she did concede that (ex-WWE main eventers) Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy did well relative to the rest of the roster.

Also, during Hogan’s testimony, they read an email from Dixie Carter (remember, she did PR for 20 years, as amazing as it sounds) almost berating Hogan for making the issue worse with his TMZ appearance post-Gawker article/video install of quelling it.

As a reminder, you can livestream the trial every day.
[David Bixenspan]

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on tonight in Milwaukee.


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Figure Four Weekly 2/22/2016: All the latest on the Hulk Hogan Lawsuit
All the latest details on the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

SUBSCRIBERS READ IT HERE:  March 7, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: TNA seeking investors, UFC 196 preview, plus tons of news
A look at TNA’s financial situation, a preview of UFC 196, a review of Ring of Honor’s 14th Anniversary PPV, plus tons of news.

The status of TNA as they are looking for more funding is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer.  The strange situation with no announcements of future shows, the next planned TV tapings, what talent has been told, ratings, previous sales talks, what happened to the TNA fan base and where they made the wrong moves, how badly the business fell the last U.K. tour.
The build and business of UFC 196, why so many tickets are suddenly available, what is unique about the event’s promotion, Diaz vs. dos Anjos as a PPV, the value of the title, previous biggest PPV headlined by a non-title match, breaking down the McGregor vs. Diaz fight and where both would go next.

The build to WWE’s Roadblock show, a look at the attempts to build Dean Ambrose, and the state of WWE main events after WrestleMania.
The salaries of the leading corporate officers in WWE, what Vince McMahon really makes in ways that aren’t directly listed,  who owns what percentage of the company and where Shane McMahon stands corporately.  Shane McMahon’s attempts to buy sports franchises, his training for the Undertaker match.
Full coverage of Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping, how the middleweight division was hurt financially by the result, judging, 
Full coverage of ROH 14th anniversary show and NJPW’s plans for the U.S. market

A lengthy feature on the The Fabulous Freebirds, the latest inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, looking back at their heyday and the careers of Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts, Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and all the other Freebirds over the course of the years.  Why The Freebirds didn’t make it in WWF, and what broke the original group up and more!  


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WWE & Pro Wrestling

In addition to the April release of the NXT history book ECW Press announced yesterday, they also confirmed that Pat Patterson’s book — Accepted: How The First Gay Superstar Changed WWE — will be released on August 1st.
Kevin Owens did some press recently.
You can watch this past Sunday’s Premier Wrestling card featuring the promotional debut of former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler for free on YouTube.
Our JJ Williams went to Columbus, OH, this past weekend for NXT at the Arnold Classic. Here’s his field report from what sounded like a fun weekend.
Tool’s Adam Jones talked to Rolling Stone about his love of WWE, how he had to send in a demo to get the Star Spangled Banner gig at SummerSlam, and being pals with HHH.
Our Zach Dominello wrote a column on how WWE is missing the boat by not putting some more oomph in their stables.
Our Paul Fontaine continued his series of top Wrestlemania performers by the numbers, highlighting Bret Hart.


Saturday’s UFC 196 prelims did 1.863 million viewers, just below the FS 1 record set for the UFC 194 prelims in December. That show had Urijah Faber in the featured prelim and this show had almost no star power so this number is even more impressive.
Friday’s Bellator 151 on Spike TV did 768,000 viewers, well above their usual “B” show average and up 5% from last weekend’s show headlined by Cheick Kongo. It appears that the record number for the Shamrock/Gracie show three weeks ago has somewhat increased their base.
Episode 3 of Dana White’s Looking For a Fight is up now on YouTube.
UFC has put up the Mickey Gall-Mike Jackson fight that determined CM Punk’s first UFC opponent. Jackson is going to be Josh Nason’s guest on this week’s Punch-Out for Observer online subscribers.
Conor McGregor strutting in a suit got the PhotoShop treatment. Temper your expectations.
Two teens are being charged in the non-deadly shooting of former UFC fighter Mikey Burnett and his son in a botched robbery attempt.


A fan makes the case for Brad Armstrong to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Is BEAR WRESTLING legal again in Alabama? (Yes, we love that headline too.)


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