World Wrestling Entertainment released their top Producer/Agent Dave Finlay yesterday, PWInsider.com has confirmed. The story making the rounds is that The Miz was booked to come out and interrupt the national anthem during a house show in Champaign, IL over the weekend in order to cut a promo that would set up himself vs. Randy Orton to open the card. There were a number of representatives for the national Guard, who are a HUGE partner and sponsor for WWE, in attendance. Obviously, they were not pleased with the anthem being used to get heel heat.
When word made it's way back to WWE management, the decision was made to release Finlay, who as the top Producer of the show, "had to fall on the sword", as it was described to me.
There were a lot of shocked people within the company today as word began to make the rounds among the wrestlers and staff. Finlay was well liked and more than a few people I spoke to hoped that it was a situation where he was let go only to be brought back down the line.
Finlay, a third generation wrestler, had been with the company from 2001 and was considered the top Producer backstage, with Arn Anderson directly behind him in the line of command. Finlay had long been given credit for the rise and improvement of the WWE Divas division over the last decade.
Finlay worked for several years behind the scene for the company before returning as a wrestler in a full-time role as well in 2006, mostly to help introduce the Hornswoggle character and work with younger talents that needed help in the ring. WWE had quietly retired him as a wrestler last year when the decision was made to go with younger faces on the television product.
Finlay had been wrestling since 1974. He was considered one of the top heels in Europe in the 1990s and also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. He finally made his way to the United States during the Monday Night Wars for WCW as the "Belfast Bruiser." -----------------------------------------------------------
Wow, that is just......... I don't know what to say. I honor and respect and back our troops 100%, but c'mon. How many times were the Heart Foundation (90's version), interrupeted when they were playing the Canadian Anthem? Need I say Nikolai? I really don't want to wish him well in TNA, but they'd be stupid not to sign him.
Originally posted by JimBob Skeetermore than a few people I spoke to hoped that it was a situation where he was let go only to be brought back down the line.
When I saw what the situation was, this was the first thing I thought. It really seems like one of their signature, "we're taking this seriously, see, we even fired the guy," public demonstrations, and if he lays low until the heat dies down, there might be a spot for him back with the company. At least, I hope that's what we've got here, because it does seem like a really stupid thing to fire a guy over.
I agree, this seems like Finlay will be rehired after a few months, like Danielson last year. It's also troubling to note that like the tie-choking, this is another standard pro wrestling trope that is under fire due to sponsor pressure --- as JimBob said, anthem interruption has been used for both face and heel heat for decades. (You could argue that gay slurs are a pro wrestling trope too, but that's one that should be retired.)
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Good. If WWE is going full monty with this new image of corporate sponsorship, then they need to make examples of those that should use their brains
I do not count Bryan in this as the blame was on the GUY IN THE TRUCK that focused on it. And he ain't going anywhere
Just a bad move on Fit's part. If there is military in the audience, you do not interrupt the anthem - PEOPLE ARE NOT STOPPED EVEN IF THEY SUCK. Just get to the 2nd part about Jose and let it ride. It's not that any less heat would be there, just less from those who CARE about the product (i.e. sponsors / military support)
I could seeing this being a big deal if the wrong people read about it. Good thing the Irish foreigner was in charge and not the Southern Drunk. Easier excuse
WWE house show report 3-25 Champaign, IL - Sin Cara debuts
The WWE returned to the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Illinois tonight. Considering they chose to run Champaign during Spring Break (with the vast majority of the 40,000+ college students out of town), they drew a pretty solid crowd of about 5,000 people.
The Miz opened the show by interrupting the National Anthem (which got big heat as you'd expect) and then cut a very long promo. He bragged about all of his talk show gigs & then called out Randy Orton, who he predicted would be too injured to face him.
(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 29.3.11 1558) Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high
Due to not believing IN THE LAKERS, Frosty is walking around with $20 of my money!
Not enough is said about the miracles that Finlay worked with the Divas division back in the day. Trish Stratus is a testament to the kind of trainer he was. I don't understand why he was ever taken out of that role and it's pretty glaring how much the quality has dipped in the Divas division since then. He could have worked miracles with a seemingly-talentless lunk like Eve Torres.
Wasn't it just three weeks ago that Edge came out on SmackDown while Ricardo Rodriguez was doing a reasonably legitimate version of the Mexican anthem? This was on national cable television, not a house show.
As long as the anthem got done after the angle, I don't see why anyone who goes to a wrestling event would have a problem. Which makes it likely that the bigwigs were not there to see CM Punk. (Not to mention house shows are generally done as a circuit, hard to believe this was the first time they used this particular idea.)
I tend to doubt Finlay will miss a dollar, there's always a way to make it up to someone on a payday down the road. Enjoy your vacation time, Dave!
At this point, it's only a matter of time before the WWE starts removing violence from their programming due to sponsor pressure. (Incidentally, Mattel claims that they have no say in WWE creative matters and that complaining to them is fruitless.)
There's a Wikipedia on the Friday night death slot. It does have a section specifically for Smackdown as one of the rare shows that actually increased ratings after moving to Fridays. You can find some concrete numbers on Zap2It.