Wednesday 2/3 Torch Today – ESPN & MSG “Get Well” messages for Bret Hart, Comcast reports earnings, McMahons/Trump connection explored & Linda’s political involvement, Billy Gunn addresses firing, Cryme Tyme returning to WWE?, Tye Dillinger injury update, Lucha Underground, Super 8, more

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)


TORCH TODAY – Wednesday, February 3, 2016

– Comcast, the parent company of WWE’s TV partner NBC Universal, announced their latest earnings on Wednesday. Notably, executives were optimistic about being able to maintain traditional cable TV business in an era of cord-cutting and shifting viewing habits. Of course, the big helper is a new deal with the NFL bringing Thursday Night Football to the network in 2016. (Report at Deadline.com)

– Tuesday night’s WWE segment on ESPNews “SportsCenter” consisted of Jonathan Coachman’s weekly awards given to matches/segments from Raw. There was no interview this week. The segment closed with well-wishes to Bret Hart, who announced his battle with cancer on Monday.

– Madison Square Garden in New York City issued a “Get Well Soon” message for Bret Hart on their big outdoors billboard.

From winning the @wwe Championship at Wrestlemania X to his own MSG appreciation night on September 25, 2010, and countless more memories at The Garden, Bret "The Hitman" Hart had been a hero to many. He continues to be a hero and an inspiration to fans around the world with his public fight against cancer. The World's Most Famous Arena along with the rest of the WWE universe stand by Bret in his latest battle. #GetWellHitman

A photo posted by Madison Square Garden (@madisonsquaregarden) on

– Billy Gunn talked around his WWE firing at the end of 2015 following a reported failed steroids test at a weightlifting meet. Gunn’s full quote to Chris Featherstone for Sports Illustrated:

The first thing I want to make clear is the powerlifting meet that I went to, I wasn’t on it to win that powerlifting contest because it was me against me anyway. I popped on their test, because I was over their test limit. Let’s face it: I’m 52-years-old. I have my [prescription] from the doctor, but it was the way it all came out is what they had to do. I don’t blame them at all, and I’m going to take every single bit of it because it wasn’t fair to NXT for what Hunter had done for the company. What he’s done with that brand is amazing. [WWE] had to do what they had to do. They did it, and I’m perfectly fine with it, and hopefully one day they’ll hire me back because I feel I was a pretty good coach. It’s just the way it all came out. It wasn’t anything that WWE did; they [had] to do what they did, and I feel like I let the NXT kids down. I never, ever wanted to do that. Ever. So I’ll take that.

– Cryme Tyme is looking to get back into WWE. Shad Gaspard said to TMZ that after spending time in acting, he and JTG are ready to return. “The honest truth is me and Jay would love to come back to the company,” Shad said.

– The out-of-the-ring WWE story to watch throughout 2016 is the connection between the McMahons and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The first taste of that came in the last 12 hours when the Connecticut Post reported on Linda McMahon’s quiet political involvement and the New York Times published an editorial on Trump bringing wrestling theatrics into politics.

Linda, who was unsuccessful in two U.S. Senate campaigns in Connecticut in recent years, has donated $200,000 to a PAC (political action committee) that is campaigning against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Linda is reportedly one of the top donors to the PAC. Linda was quoted by the Post that she believes people have a “disillusionment with government” as a motivating factor to indirectly get involved in the 2016 presidential race.

– NXT wrestler Tye Dillinger said he “will be back soon” after suffering an injury during last weekend’s NXT tour.

I want to thank everyone for all the get well messages I've received over the past few days. I'm in great hands with the @WWE medical…

— Dillinger (@WWEDillinger) February 3, 2016

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– Pentagon, Jr., one of the stars of Lucha Underground, was asked in a new interview whether he’s interested in joining WWE. “I’ve never been approached or met anyone that’s worked with them, but I won’t rule out the opportunity if at any point Lucha Underground stopped existing and they become interested in me. I’m here to work and face anyone I can,” Pentagon told “The Tag Rope” wrestling magazine.

Also, former WWE writer Chris DeJoseph, now with Lucha Underground, was interviewed by “Under the Mat” Radio about Rey Mysterio joining the promotion, working with Robert Rodriguez of El Rey Network vs. Vince McMahon, Seasons 2 and 3, and more topics.

– ECWA announced their Hvt. champion Sean Carr for the annual Super 8 tournament on April 23. The headliner of the tournament is Davey Richards. (ECWA Info)

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