Saturday, June 16, 2012

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Pro Wrestling News...

The debut of Steve Austin’s Redneck Island on CMT (in the U.S) this past Saturday scored a 0.42 rating with 665,000 viewers. It was the highest rated show for the day. Austin wrote the following about the show last night:

“It’s a damn crying shame that Canada, Australia, England, and other great countries cannot get CMT Redneck Island. A damn shame. Spreading Redneck Island around the globe is my newest task. Yes…To provide quality entertainment and content across the globe. #CMT #BSR”

- Despite what WWE says in the lawsuit from TNA, most people within WWE believe that "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair will return to the company as soon as he is legally able to and that WWE officials would love to have him back at the 1,000th RAW in July.


Wrestling companies square off in Nashville, USA court...

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers for World Wrestling Entertainment have told a Nashville judge the company has not and will not use confidential information from rival Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

The pledge came during a hearing last week over a lawsuit TNA filed last month against pro wrestling giant - WWE, claiming WWE had obtained secret contract details in an attempt to poach TNA's wrestlers.

Attorneys for WWE told Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle that the company has not contacted any of TNA's contracted personnel. The attorneys also said WWE has returned the only copies of the confidential information to TNA.

Lyle dissolved a May 24 temporary restraining order against WWE that had prohibited it from using the information to solicit TNA wrestlers, but she made no ruling on the merits of the case. Another hearing will be July 12.

TNA, based in Nashville, claimed in the suit that WWE apparently had already tried to hire away veteran wrestler Ric Flair. According to the court record, WWE lawyers said the company "has no intention of doing so."

TNA alleged that one of its former employees, Brian Wittenstein, went to work for WWE and provided his new employer with contract details. WWE said he was fired when he gave them the information.

A TNA suit against Wittenstein is still pending.

Jerry McDevitt, an attorney for Connecticut-based WWE, said Tuesday the company will file clarifying details with the court. He said the latest order "speaks for itself."

Dixie Carter, president of TNA, said in a statement Tuesday that the company "will vigorously protect TNA and its brand from damage at the hands of any and all sources, no matter who is involved." TNA was founded by wrestler Jeff Jarrett.


WWE Legal Letter To TNA Legal Counsel...

WWE Attorney Jerry McDevitt recently sent a letter to TNA legal counsel Erika Blonquist. The letter was filed with the court last week and can be read below:

First, and as I advised you orally on the phone during our recent conference call, WWE has not solicited Ric Flair to leave TNA and enter into a contract with WWE. WWE has made no offer to Flair and has no intention of doing so.

Second, as I also advised you, WWE has not solicited any other current TNA talent to repudiate their contracts and enter into a contract with WWE. WWE has no interest in current TNA talent.


The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK To Air On FX...

TUF: Australia vs. UK broadcasts on FX in Australia this fall

"The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K." will air on FX in Australia in the fall as the latest installment of the reality series from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

UFC officials announced the news yesterday.

Tryouts for the upcoming season of "TUF" are currently underway, featuring fighters from both Australia and England. The coaches for the season have not yet been named, though an official announcement is expected soon.

"We're excited to be part of the FX family in Australia," UFC managing director for international development Marshall Zelaznik stated. "When the first series of 'The Ulimate Fighter' debuted in the United States seven years ago, it brought in millions of new fans who tuned in each and every week to watch their favorite fighters. I have no doubt that 'The Smashes' will do the same in Australia."

"The Smashes" is the title given to this season, referencing a cricket rivalry ("The Ashes") between the two countries.

While the season will air in Australia, no plans have been announced for those hoping to view in the U.S. Fans could watch "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" online earlier this year as it was taping in Brazil, but the season did not broadcast on national television until FUEL TV began airing episodes just recently.

Are you ready? Are you ready? Let's get it on!


KA By Cirque du Soleil And Marvel Entertainment Bring Epic Story From Stage To Page With All-New Comic Book; KA #1 Released to Fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego 2012...

LAS VEGAS, June 13, 2012 - KA by Cirque du Soleil, the spectacular production at MGM Grand Las Vegas, and Marvel Custom Solutions team up to tell the story of this acclaimed live production through an all-new, collectible comic book. KA #1 will debut at the Marvel booth (#2329) during Comic Con International in San Diego, July 12 – 15, 2012.

"To see our live KA performances transform from the theatre to ink on pages in a comic book is an incredible opportunity for our entire team," said Marie-Helene Gagnon, Artistic Director of KA. "By aligning ourselves with the premier brand of comic book creators, we have produced an illustration of KA that depicts the story very vividly and stays true to the plot. Marvel and its team of creators have been great to collaborate with and have embraced the story of KA and the expectations of Cirque du Soleil."

"Marvel's proud to bring the exciting, out of this world action and adventure of KA to life in this all new comic book," said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. "This is a great comic for fans of all ages, whether they're long-time fans of Marvel, KA or new to both exciting brands of storytelling."

KA fans attending Comic Con International can take home the heroic journey of Imperial Twins separated by war who encounter adventure and peril at every turn on their quest to reunite their kingdom.

"What's more jaw-dropping, the majesty of the Imperial Court...the dynamic dance of their martial arts display...the overwhelming might of the invading archer army...the desperate fight for survival in the storm-tossed seas...or the tantalizing glimpses at the future threats that await the Twins?" said Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann. "Readers can decide for themselves when they feast their eyes on the all-out spectacle that writer Bryan J.L. Glass, artist Wellinton Alves and cover artist Michael Del Mundo have crafted in this world premiere debut issue."

KA #1 will be distributed at Comic Con International in San Diego at the Marvel booth in July. A limited amount of books also will be available at comic book stores in select markets. In addition to the print copy of the comic book, fans will be able to access the KA customized comic book by utilizing Marvel's cutting-edge digital comics reader.

Fans can get an inside look at the making of the comic book by visiting www.kacomicbook.com. Featuring sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes information, including line art, storyboards and more, this site will serve as a hub for details on the collaboration. Fans will be able to receive information on how to get their own copy of the comic book. On Twitter, fans can tweet about the collaboration to @Cirque and @Marvel using the #KAComicBook hashtag.

About KA:

KA by Cirque du Soleil is a heroic journey of love and conflict set within ever-changing theatrical landscapes that conjure an entire empire on stage. Presented exclusively at MGM Grand Las Vegas, KA unfolds on a colossal, 360-degree rotating stage which forms the backdrop for this cinematic journey of aerial adventure and perpendicular acrobatics. For more information visit www.ka.com. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KA and Tweet us: @Cirque #KA.

About Marvel Entertainment:

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook. SOURCE Cirque du Soleil


Macquarie takes a stake in Echo...

Investment firm Macquarie Group has bought a five per cent stake in casinos operator Echo Entertainment Group.

Echo said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday that Macquarie had become a substantial shareholder in Echo on June 7, having acquired about 35.1 million shares, or about 5.1 per cent of Echo.

Echo announced on Tuesday that it proposed to undertake a capital raising - the amount of which was undisclosed - and its shares are currently in a trading halt.

The company last week lost its chairman John Story after Crown's James Packer launched a public campaign against him.

Crown is Echo's largest shareholder, with a 10 per cent stake.

Echo owns The Star casino in Sydney, the Jupiters casinos on the Gold Coast and in Townsville, and Treasury casino in Brisbane.

Shares in Echo last traded at $4.49 before going into a halt.


Crown Undecided on Support for Echo Capital Raising...

Crown Ltd. (CWN), the casino operator controlled by billionaire James Packer, hasn’t decided whether it will buy new stock in a planned capital raising by Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. (EGP)

Echo, based in Brisbane, will seek to raise between A$400 million ($399 million) and A$500 million in a rights offering being managed by UBS AG and Macquarie Group Ltd., according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The details may be announced as early as tomorrow, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Crown, which owns 10 percent of Echo, will wait for details of the share sale, Chief Financial Officer Ken Barton said by telephone from Melbourne today.

Packer agreed to cease a campaign against Echo after Chairman John Story stepped down June 8, Acting Chairman John O’Neill said yesterday. Crown is seeking regulatory approval to increase its holding in the operator of the only casino in Sydney above the current 10 percent limit as Genting Singapore Plc (GENS) built a stake of 4.9 percent.

“We’ll wait to see what they’re proposing,” Barton said.

Trading in Echo shares was halted yesterday, ahead of the capital raising. Spokeswomen for UBS and Macquarie in Sydney declined to comment.

Brad Schmitt, a Sydney-based spokesman for Echo, declined to comment on the fundraising plan in an e-mailed statement. The Australian Financial Review reported that Echo is planning to raise A$400 million earlier today, without saying where it got the information.

Genting’s stake may make it harder for Crown to take control of Echo and increases the chances of a bidding war, according to Gary Pinge, Macquarie Group Ltd.’s regional head of gaming and consumer research. Though a joint bid by the two companies is possible, Crown won’t want to see Genting “entering its backyard,” he said.

Story resigned after Crown, which owns casinos in Melbourne and Perth, called a meeting to vote on his removal and ran advertisements in local newspapers criticizing the company’s “underperformance” under his leadership. Packer has now withdrawn his request for a shareholder meeting.

Echo owns the Star in Sydney as well as three casinos in the state of Queensland.


Hot Body of 2012...

ELLE MACPHERSON


Admit it: 48 never looked this good! The Aussie model, known around the world as "The Body," ignited bikini envy from a whole new generation of beachgoers when she flaunted her fit form in the pages of PEOPLE. "I do get jitters," says Macpherson of donning a two-piece 20-plus years after gracing four Sports Illustrated covers. "I was comfortable [at the shoot]. But I had to get my self-conscious 'maybe I don't look my best' head out of the way and go with, 'Let's celebrate where I'm at.'"


James Bond turns 50...

James Bond turns 50 this year but you'd never know it by looking at him. Despite hundreds of skirmishes with the world's scariest villains, not to mention a diet heavy on shaken-not-stirred martinis, the man in the Aston Martin still cuts a dashing figure.

In October, it will have been five decades since 007 -- in the form of Sean Connery -- first sauntered onto movie screens in "Dr. No." And he's still going strong. The Bond movies are not only the longest continuously running series in cinema history but also the most successful, with more than $5 billion in box-office receipts. Take that, George Lucas.

Daniel Craig, the sixth actor to play the world-saving spy, will step into Bond's shoes once again on Oct. 26 with "Skyfall," the 23rd film in the series. Also this October, MGM will celebrate 007's birthday with a 22-disc Blu-ray set that finally makes all of the movies available in high definition.

The movies, which will be presented in 35 mm prints, include "Goldfinger" (June 17), "GoldenEye" (June 26), "The Spy Who Loved Me" (July 2), "Dr. No" (July 10), "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (July 16), "Live and Let Die" (July 24) and "From Russia With Love" (July 30).

The Bond film franchise began in 1962 with "Dr. No." It was not only a worldwide smash but also turned out to be a big influence on popular culture. Think "The Man From U.N.C.L.E," "Our Man Flint," "Get Smart" and "Mission: Impossible."

So where did the idea come from? Ian Fleming, of course. A former journalist and British Naval intelligence officer, he conceived of the book series in 1952 while vacationing in Jamaica in a holiday home he called Goldeneye.

James Bond made his first appearance in "Casino Royale," which was published in 1953. Thirteen more Bond books by Fleming followed.

Since the release of "Dr. No," we have never gone more than five or six years without a new Bond flick. Connery played him five times 1962-1967 and then again in 1971 and 1983. In between, there was a one-off appearance by George Lazenby. In 1973, Roger Moore took over for seven outings.

Next came Timothy Dalton for two films beginning in 1987. Pierce Brosnan got the job in 1995 for four features. The latest Bond is Craig, who has played him in series re-boot "Casino Royale," "Quantum of Solace" and the upcoming "Skyfall."

Did we mention that Bond also enjoys a good game of poker and baccarat and often the stakes have been life or death. Would you like to play with Bond? That's what we thought.

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