Tuesday, September 09, 2008

WWE SmackDown, WrestleMania on MyNetwork - The Miami Herald - 9th September 2008

World Wrestling Entertainment on MyNetworkTV will kick off a night early with a first ever broadcast presentation of WrestleMania at 8 p.m. EST/PST Thursday, Oct. 2, said the network's president, Greg Meidel, in a release.

This special presentation featuring the best moments of WrestleMania XXIV in March from the Citrus Bowl in Orlando including boxer Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show will be followed by the premiere of WWE SmackDown! at 8 p.m. EST/PST Friday, Oct. 3.

WWE SmackDown! moved to MyNetworkTV from the CW Network, formerly UPN which housed WWE SmackDown! from 1999-2006, after CW and WWE opted not to renew their contract. MyNetworkTV, an offshoot of stations dropped when CW took some of UPN's affiliates, quickly snatched the television ratings' grabber.

WWE SmackDown!'s prime-time wrestling show boasts 474 episodes and counting. It has been one of the highest-rated shows on the networks, even drawing millions of viewers when it moved from Thursday to Friday nights, television's death wish.

Meidel said, ``We're thrilled to bring fans even more of their favorite WWE action on MyNetworkTV. These side-by-side primetime events are sure to deliver two nights of edge-of-your-seat, action-packed entertainment.''

WWE SmackDown! will be presented on MyNetworkTV weekly on Fridays and showcase a star-studded cast of WWE stars including Triple H, Edge, Jeff Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Shelton Benjamin, Big Show, Carlito, Mr. Kennedy, Great Khali, Umaga, Undertaker, Michelle McCool, Victoria, Natalya, Thee Brian Kendrick, Vladimir Kozlov and Miami's own MVP.

It will feature the action, excitement, drama and athleticism that have made it for nine years one of the most popular programs among males on broadcast television and one of the Top 10 English language prime-time programs among Hispanic households.

• WrestleMania is one of the biggest annual sports entertainment events. In addition to the Mayweather/Big Show match, this year's lineup featured the retirement of the legendary Ric Flair following an emotional loss to Shawn Michaels, as well as the crowning of the Undertaker as the new World champ and Kane as the new WWE/ECW champ.

Celebrity appearances included a performance of America the Beautiful by John Legend along with special guest hostess Kim Kardashian and BunnyMania Lumberjack Match Master of Ceremonies Snoop Dogg. Raven-Symon helped entertain 50 children honored by WWE in its largest ever Make-A-Wish event.

WrestleMania XXIV was the highest grossing live event for WWE and the Citrus Bowl.

• About MyNetworkTV

MyNetworkTV is a primetime general entertainment broadcast television network. Reaching more than 97 percent of the country and targeted to Adults 18-49, MyNetworkTV provides its affiliates 12 hours of diverse programming Monday through Saturday. Visit mynetworktv.com.

• About World Wrestling Entertainment

WWE produces original weekly programming, 52 weeks per year, distributed domestically, internationally and via WWE.com. WWE programs reach more than 16 million total viewers during the average week.

Its domestic cable and broadcast programs include Monday Night RAW and A.M. RAW on USA Network and WWE's ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling on the Sci Fi Channel. WWE's television programming can also be seen in more than 130 countries around the world on broadcast partners including BSkyB in the UK and Foxtel in Australia.

Visit wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com and wwe.com/worldwide.

• Wrestlers Rescue, a very worthy cause, is Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Radisson in Piscataway, N.J.

Meet Torrie Wilson, Terri Runnels, Mick Foley, Dawn Marie, Tammy Sytch, Missy Hyatt, Iron Sheik, Superfly Snuka, Greg Valentine, Lou Albano, Balls Mahoney, Nikolai Volkoff, Lanny Poffo, Brutus Beefcake, JJ Dillon, Sandman, Manny Fernandez, Baywatch's Traci Bingham, boxing legend Emile Griffith and others.

There will be a wrestling convention/autograph session and a semi-formal dinner with the stars. For up-to-date information on the star-studded celebrity guests, schedule, prices, super tickets, auction, charity, etc. visit WrestlersRescue.Org.

Questions about the event, e-mail Michele at wrestlersrescue@aol.com.

• Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling television series debuts 8 p.m. EST Oct. 18 on cable channel CMT.

The celebrities are Dustin Diamond from Saved by the Bell, Tiffany, Todd Bridges from Different Strokes, Trishelle from Real World, boxer Butterbean, Nikki Ziering from Playboy, Sylvester Stallone's acting/singing brother Frank, Erin Murphy from Bewitched, Danny Bonaduce and former NBA player Dennis Rodman. They will be learning to wrestle.

The reality-type television show, under the direction of Eric Bischoff (AWA/WCW/WWE), Jason Hervey (Wonder Years) and Hogan, was filmed in a converted warehouse in California.

Jimmy Hart, Bischoff and Hogan will be the judges. Rodman previously worked with Bischoff and Hogan in WCW. Sylvester Stallone inducted Hogan into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Bischoff and Hervey run their own production company, co-produced a reality show on television sitcom star Scott Baio for VH-1 and actor/singer Billy Ray Cyrus for CMT as well as I Want To Be a Hilton for NBC. Hogan starred in Hogan Knows Best on VH-1.

• The Killer Kowalski Memorial Wrestling Show is 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26 at the Irish-American Club in Malden, Mass. Proceeds will benefit the Walter Killer Kowalski Memorial Fund. See Tito Santana, Nikolai Volkoff and more. Visit superstarprowrestling.com.

• WWE's Monday Night Raw is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Oct. 4. Prices $70, $50, $40, $30 and $20.

WWE Raw has a house show 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 at the Bank Atlantic Center in (South Florida) Sunrise. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Aug. 30. Prices $60, $45, $35, $25 and $20.

WWE SmackDown/ECW has a house show 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee. Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 24. Prices $40, $30, $25 and $20.

• Florida Championship Wrestling, the feeder group to WWE, is Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Lee County Civic Center in Fort Myers, Fla. See talent signed to WWE developmental contracts. Go to fcwwrestling.com.

• Between The Ropes wrestling radio is 6-8 p.m. EST Tuesdays on ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060. Brian Fritz, Vito DeNucci and Dickerman host the show which is simulcast worldwide online at BetweenTheRopes.com

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