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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wrestling News Media: WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel; The Richest Wrestlers in the World...

Wrestling News Media: WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel; The Richest Wrestlers in the World; Wrestling reality TV tie ins; U.S broadcast first, Australian Foxtel may follow lead; WWE Wrestlers in movies...

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WWE leans toward launching pay-TV channel...

Are there enough John Cena and Triple H fans to justify the launch of a WWE pay cable channel?

That's what WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and the rest of the executive team are going to be wrestling with for the next few months.

More than three years ago, McMahon unveiled plans to create a WWE cable channel that would capitalize on the company's vast library as well as feature new programming. But since then there have been lots of fits and starts and delays but no channel and little about it coming out of the WWE. Wall Street is eager to see movement because WWE has been telling investors it thinks having its own distribution platform could be a game changer for the company.

"You guys need to say more than you have," an exasperated Brad Safalow, an analyst with PAA Research, said on the WWE's second-quarter-earnings call last month. McMahon promised more clarity on the company's next earnings call. So far, WWE has spent about $40 million developing a programming service, according to its financial filings.

The reason WWE is being cagey is that it is still not sure what kind of channel it will launch. Originally, WWE wanted to build a broadly distributed commercial channel with hopes of getting a subscription fee in the neighborhood of 20 cents per month per subscriber.

However, not only is space tight on most cable and satellite systems, there were concerns about the amount of WWE content already available limiting the growth potential of a stand-alone commercial network. WWE has shows on the USA and Syfy cable channels and a new program for the ION broadcast network. It is also producing a kids show for the CW Network.

"Clearly the cable operators didn’t view what they brought to market as compelling enough," said Safalow in an interview.

Now the WWE is switching gears and focusing its efforts on creating an HBO-like pay cable channel that consumers would order on an individual basis and that would be commercial-free, people familiar with the company's thinking said.

On paper, the WWE certainly has a base to support such a venture. It produces a dozen pay-per-view events every year. In 2012, through eight events, WWE is averaging 250,000 buys in the United States. "Wrestlemania," its biggest event, had 850,000 buys. Add in international purchases and those figures grow by several hundred thousand. The price tag for WWE's pay-per-view programming is $44.95, except for "Wrestlemania," which goes for $54.95.

If WWE goes forward with a premium channel, it would likely place some or most of its pay-per-view events (which besides "Wrestlemania" includes "Summer Slam" and "Royal Rumble") on the network to entice people to sign up. That does not mean WWE would get out of its lucrative pay-per-view business. It will try to have its cake and eat it too by continuing to offer its events on pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Also, "Wrestlemania" would likely remain strictly a pay-per-view event.

The price tag WWE would seek for a premium channel would be north of $10.00 a month and perhaps as much as $15.00, which would be cheaper than buying all or even half of the pay-per-view events. Typically, the subscription fee is split 50-50 between the programmer and distributor.

Besides its pay-per-view content, WWE would also create some new shows that would complement its content on other channels and use its library fare as well.

"Subscribing to the network would be a 'no brainer' for the company's hardcore fans," Safalow wrote in a recent report. Safalow said he anticipates a price of $14.95 for the channel and that WWE should be able to get 400,000 subscribers out of the gate and almost double that in two years. In 2014 Safalow projects that a pay channel could add as much as $141.6 million in revenue to WWE.

Whether pay-TV distributors will be on board remains to be seen. The PPV revenue that WWE generates for cable and satellite operators is not insignificant. There may be fears that making the majority of that fare available on the channel too will hurt the pay-per-view business without proof that there is enough appetite to sustain a full-time network.

The WWE is still not ready to declare what type of channel it is planning. George Barrios, the WWE's chief financial officer would only say: "The WWE Network in any form is a transformative opportunity if we execute it right." As for the growing impatience on Wall Street over the network, Barrios said: "It is taking the appropriate amount of time for us to identify the best strategic and financial opportunity.”
Despite the slow pace of the channel's development, analysts such as Safalow are not ready to throw in the towel. The WWE's recently launched YouTube channel WWE FanNation has already become one of the most popular outlets on the site with more than 600,000 subscribers, an amount that Safalow feels is further proof that there is a market for a cable outlet.

"Vince is a very competitive empire builder," Safalow said. "Whether you like him or what his product is, he runs a very good business and has a very long history of building upon his success." (LA Times)


George Clooney Reportedly Splits From Stacy Keibler...

Actor George Clooney has split from former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler, The Sun reports.
Keibler reportedly told her friends her relationship with Clooney is over. A statement is expected any day announcing the couple have split amicably.

A friend of Keibler's told the publication, "She said George wants to be on his own again and has no intention of getting married. Stacy hoped they would be together long-term. It was a big breakthrough to spend time with his parents. But over the last few weeks George has pulled away from her."

The couple had been romantically linked for over a year.


CNN TV - Flair interviewed on Lawler...

Ric Flair appeared on CNN Headline News's "Evening Express" to discuss Jerry Lawler's heart attack during Raw. Flair defended Lawler, 62, wrestling at his age and WWE allowing Lawler to be physically involved in WWE shows, saying he believes Lawler is more qualified to wrestle than many other wrestlers on the roster because he has 40 years of in-ring experience and some younger wrestlers on the roster have five or fewer years of experience.

Flair added that "great medical advances" have been made to protect wrestlers and the medical care available ringside and backstage probably saved his life. Flair concluded the interview: "Nobody made Jerry get in the ring. He got in the ring because he's a great pro."


NICK HOGAN: Jerry Lawler Should Quit Wrestling After Heart Attack...

Hulk Hogan's son Nick Hogan is incredibly relieved that Jerry "The King" Lawler has stabilized since his heart attack Monday night -- but tells TMZ, it might be time Lawler considered retirement.

Nick tells us, wrestling "takes a toll" on your body -- and as a result, "most guys retire around 50ish." Lawler is 62.

According to Nick, people in the wrestling business have varied career lengths -- but when injuries come into play, it's hard to ignore the obvious ... it's time to slow down.

Nick uses his own dad as an example -- saying even his 59-year-old father has cut back drastically on wrestling because of serious back injuries.

Nick's parting words -- "Our prayers are with you, Jerry. Glad to hear you're alright."


The Richest Wrestlers in the World...

Who are the richest wrestlers in the world? For anyone whose parents say you’ll never make any money learning to take a folding chair to the face, immediately show them this list. Over the last 30 years, Vince McMahon has turned the WWE, formerly WWF, into one of most popular and profitable sports companies in the world. In the process McMahan has made dozens of wrestlers extremely rich. He also earned himself an astonishing personal fortune. Today, WWE Raw and SmackDown are consistently some of the top ten most viewed shows on cable television, attracting between four and six million viewers each week. WrestleMania XXVIII aired on April 1st 2012 and was the highest grossing event in the company’s history with nearly $70 million in pay per view revenues. But who are the richest wrestlers in the world?

***The figures contained in this list were acquired from all publicly available information including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements. The final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees, agents’ fees, and lifestyle.***

The Richest Wrestlers in the World:

#1: The Rock Net Worth – $70 Million
#2: Steve Austin Net Worth – $45 Million
#3: John Cena Net Worth – $35 Million
#4: Big Show Net Worth – $30 Million
#5: Triple H Net Worth: $25 Million
#6: Kurt Angle Net Worth – $20 million
#7: Chris Jericho Net Worth – $18 Million
#8: Shawn Michaels Net Worth – $17 Million
#9: The Undertaker Net Worth – $16 Million
#10: Mick Foley Net Worth – $15 Million
#11: Bret Hart Net Worth – $14 Million
#12: Edge Net Worth – $14 Million
#13: Sting Net Worth – $13 Million
#14: Brock Lesnar Net Worth – $12.5 Million
#15: Goldberg Net Worth – $12 Million
#16: Batista Net Worth – $10 Million
#17: JBL Net Worth – $9 Million
#18: Rey Mysterio Net Worth – $8.5 Million
#19: Kevin Nash Net Worth – $8 Million
#20: CM Punk Net Worth – $7.5 Million
#21: Jerry Lawler Net Worth – $7 Million
#22: Randy Orton Net Worth – $6 Million
#23: Alberto Del Rio Net Worth – $6 Million
#24: Hulk Hogan Net Worth – $5 Million

***Hogan lost an estimated $25 million in his divorce from ex-wife Linda Hogan. Linda was awarded 70% of the couple’s liquid assets, a 40% stake in all of Hulk’s companies, six luxury cars and millions more in property***

#25: Ric Flair Net Worth – $5 Million
#26: The Miz Net Worth – $5 Million
#27: Rowdy Roddy Piper Net Worth – $4 Million
#28: Chyna Net Worth: $1.5 Million

Other:

Vince McMahon Net Worth – $500 Million
Randy Savage Net Worth – $8 Million


Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Brings His Action-Oriented Brand to TV: New Reality Show 'The Hero' Poised to Premiere in 2013 ...

Likeable action-oriented film star, and wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brings his brand to TV in the TNT reality competition show, “The Hero.” Set to premier in the summer of 2013, “The Hero,” (a working title), pits 10 housemates against one another in missions that will “test their brains, their brawn and even their morality,” TNT says. Johnson will serve as mentor and executive producer along with Dany Garcia, his production partner. The network has ordered eight episodes from Ben Silverman’s multimedia entertainment studio, Electus and 5×5 Media, and the show plans to use social media extensively, seizing on Johnson’s 10 million fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Viewers will vote each week for the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. “The Rock is the embodiment of ‘The Hero’ and an inspirational superstar with an unwavering moral compass,” said Ben Silverman, founder and chairman of Electus. “‘The Hero’ will deliver on his brand as an incredible action-filled series that test the limits of real people in extraordinary circumstances while also activating the Rock and Turner’s audience with seamless digital and social media tie-ins. “Dany and I couldn’t be more excited to enter into our first official foray in TV production,” said Rock. “The Hero speaks to everything I believe in when it comes to challenging ourselves, to becoming better people every day and to making the right choices while growing from the wrong ones. Bridging the digital and physical world on the small screen in a way that’s never been done before will enable fans to use social media and on-screen decision making to determine the fate of the show’s contestants, and our goal is to make each TV moment impactful and exciting.” The premise of Hero is bringing together ten "ordinary people" in one house and then assigning them "various missions that will test their brains, their brawn, and even their morality." Social media will be a strong component of the show. TNT described the social media aspect. "In a unique twist on the reality-competition format, The Hero will incorporate social media into every facet of the show, from pre-production and casting to on-location shooting and live broadcasts. Through the show’s interactive digital platform, viewers will be able to vote each week for the contestant they consider to be the most heroic. The series will also leverage the power of Johnson’s enormous social-media following, which includes more than 10 million fans through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube."
Hulk Hogan to star in new reality show... Los Angeles - Hulk Hogan is to star in a new reality TV show to find the next big British wrestling star. The legendary wrestler is to be a mentor onTNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp, which will follow the company's search for a breakout star who can make it in the US. The series will air in December in the UK. Dominic Wilkins, acting Director of Challenge TV who will air the series, can't wait to see Hogan put the hopefuls through their paces. 'The series will provide entertainment content' Wilkins said: "TNA Wrestling has a huge fan base in the UK and it's great to be able to commission exclusive original content which cements Challenge TV as the UK home for TNA Wrestling. This series will provide unmissable entertainment content which resonates with our viewers." The six-part series will feature four of the best wrestlers Britain has to offer competing for a contract with TNA IMPACT Wrestling. Twins Hannah and Holly Blossom will be joined by Marty Scrull and Rockstar Spud as they seek to impress mentors Hogan and British World of Sport legend Rollerball Rocco and TNA President Dixie Carter. Winner to join company's roster The winner will earn a place on the company's roster, joining the likes of Sting and former Olympic Gold medallist Kurt Angle on the UK's most-watched wrestling programme. They will also feature on TNA's Road To Lockdown Tour of the UK and Ireland in 2013, which culminates with a TV taping at Wembley Arena, London. TNA Wrestling British Boot Camp marks the first non-game show commission from Challenge TV since their relaunch last year, and is the channel's first full commission with TNA Productions.
Former WWE star Stacy Keibler to host new Lifetime TV show... Former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler will host a new "reality competition series" centered on food products to air on Lifetime Network. Lifetime announced Friday a ten-episode order of the new "Supermarket Superstars" series, but did not announce when the show will air. According to the description, Keibler will host the show in which "aspiring food product inventors will pitch their concepts to a panel of industry experts for a once in a lifetime chance to have their creation launched nationally in a major grocery chain." Lifetime's press release focuses on Keibler's TV show resume and being a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," but does not mention her WWE background.
Edge returns to Syfy's "Haven"... Edge returns to Syfy's hit series "Haven" as a recurring guest star in the show's third season, including the U.S premiere, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Orton's movie wife revealed... The latest actress to portray Randy Orton's wife in a fictional setting is Cindy Busby, who is local to Vancouver, Canada, where WWE Studios's "12 Rounds: Reloaded" is being filmed. Cindy announced on Twitter this weekend: "Yup! Playing @RandyOrton 's wife in 12 rounds! Say what?!?!" Orton tweeted Saturday night: "Having dinner with @roelreine the Director of #12RoundsReloaded and @cindy_busby, my movie wife. Don Julio + sugar lime = 1 kick ass movie."
Miz talks change to good-guy role... In an interview with the Times Record News (Texas) promoting next weekend's WWE house show tour, The Miz talked about how he handled the transition to a good-guy role for WWE Studios's "Marine 3" movie. "I derived that character from a bunch of old movies ... a lot of Paul Newman movies. I haven't played a good guy in seven years," Miz said. Going back in time to when he was in Developmental, Miz credited Billy Kidman for keeping him going even when everyone else thought he should quit. "It was brutal just having people tell you you're not going to make it. But that was the fuel," Miz said. "One of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten was from Billy Kidman, who said, 'Stick with it.'"
WWE star films Nick show this week... Prior to joining Raw's weekend house show tour, Big Show spent the week in Pittsburgh filming scenes for a Nickelodeon TV show, according to WWE's website. Show filmed scenes for the second season of Nick's "Supah Ninjas" show, which premieres in 2013. Show plays the role of a super-sized biker and prison escapee named "Two-Ton Harley."
Edgy WWE videos are back -- after U.S Election Day... Earlier this month, WWE announced it would be taking off YouTube and other websites some of its raunchier wrestling videos, a move that was widely seen as designed to help the company's ex-CEO, Linda McMahon, spruce up her image for her U.S. Senate race. Well, the company isn't quite consigning those clips to the trashcan. In November, just after the election, WWE will be releasing an "Attitude Era" Blu-ray. WWE spokesman Brian Flinn says the Blu-ray will be rated PG and will reflect the company's family-values marketing of recent years. This is how the product is described on Amazon.com: "In the late-90s, WWE was struggling for ratings survival while a cultural shift in the viewing audience's taste was occurring. ... Enter Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mankind and the notorious crop of edgy and fearless Superstars who ushered in The Attitude Era. Now in this 3-Disc DVD set, fans can own all the infamous moments from this controversial and revolutionary era that redefined sports entertainment for an entire generation. Over 8-hours of envelope-pushing content includes all the aggression, antics and innuendos that proved to be the perfect cocktail for an explosion of popularity."
WWE legend Dave Bautista set to make mixed martial arts debut... Former WWE superstar Dave Bautista is slated to make his mixed martial arts debut on Oct. 6 against Rashid Evans, in the main event of the "Real Pain" card from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Bautista, who performed in the WWE in the early-2000s as "Batista," is making his MMA debut at age 43. Dave Bautista is set to make his MMA debut on Oct. 6. Luckily, his opponent, Evans, is also an MMA newcomer who has no pro fights under his belt. Evans is not to be confused with former UFC champion Rashad Evans. On Sept. 1, it was announced that UFC veterans David Loiseau and John Howard were added to the "Real Pain" card, adding a little credability to a card headlined by two combatants with 0-0 records. Loiseau (20-10) hasn't fought in over a year, as he battled through an elbow injury that sidelined him since Feb. of 2011. He'll be fighting 32-year-old Chris McNally (5-4). Howard's opponent is yet to be determined. He (11-7) is 3-0 since getting released from the UFC last year. The main card of "Real Pain" will air on DIRECTV per-per-view for $29.95. Bautista has also nicely timed things with the upcoming release of 'The Man With The Iron Fists' movie, where he shares the screen with movie legends such as Australia's Russell Crowe. How cool is that - 'The Animal' VS 'The Gladiator'. *Special thank you to WWE, TNA Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Inc and Google News for assistance and references in compiling this news report. Websites

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Media Man Entertainment News: Casino, War and Royal Edition - Royal Family, Las Vegas, WWE...

Media wars hit royal family; Las Vegas, Australia, France, Afghanistan...; WWE's Military support, Sgt Slaughter, Randy Orton or The Miz in Marine 3?

Profiles

Las Vegas Entertainment Events WWE Wrestling Gaming Sports Promotions Publicity World Directory


Hey fans. Wrestling and gaming nuts, and patriots from Australia and the United States. Have we got a gun ho news report for you today. From WWE rings to the battle field in Afghanistan, to the south of France where royals were relaxing before being interrupted by paparazzi...Prince Harry runs amok on the Las Vegas strip - we've got it all for you today. Then there's the Andre The Giant slot game to check out at Virgin Games and plenty more scoops by the Media Man network at the official websites and blogs. What else to say but good hunting and good luck.

AFL player offered drugs before Las Vegas casino fatality - 12th September 2012...

AFL footballer John McCarthy was drinking heavily and offered drugs before probably jumping from the third storey of a Las Vegas casino to a palm tree and falling to an accidental death. Warning - drugs can make people do stupid things.

McCarthy died within minutes of telling a Port Adelaide teammate in Vegas he was okay and was on his way back to his hotel, about four kilometres from where his body was found.

McCarthy was with 10 other Port players on an end of season trip but became separated from his teammates at a nightclub where the sportsmen were offered drugs.

"A couple of the guys have said that the drugs were freely available in these casinos," Port Adelaide chief executive officer Keith Thomas told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.

" ... They said they were really mindful of it - they had been drinking - but they were surprised at the sort of stuff that was going on."

McCarthy's Port teammates returned to Adelaide earlier on Wednesday feeling guilty about what happened, Thomas said.

"I don't want the impression out there that these lads just left one of their mates to just roam around," he said.

"As soon as they became aware, they made contact with him. And unfortunately an accident happened."

Thomas declined to name the Port player telephoned by McCarthy's girlfriend in Adelaide, just moments after she'd spoken to the Victorian-born 22-year-old.

"Whilst she was concerned that he was on his own and he seemed a little bit disorientated and perhaps lost, he probably was (lost), she was comfortable with the call, she felt as if it went okay," Thomas said.

"She was, however, concerned enough because he was on his own to make contact with one of our other players to try and get him (McCarthy) back into the group.

"She did that. She made contact and that player made contact with John who suggested that he was on his way back to the hotel.

"And so at that point, the group felt as if he was okay and he's coming back."

Thomas believed McCarthy "shortly thereafter" fell nine metres to his death at the Flamingo casino and hotel complex, where his body was found about 5.40am on Sunday, Las Vegas time.

A group of Western Bulldogs AFL players were also in Las Vegas, chaperoned by club runner and Victorian policeman Stuart Bailey, believed to be the first Australian to view McCarthy's body.

"Everything is leading towards an accident at this point of time," Bailey told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday (Wednesday, Australian time).

Investigators believed McCarthy walked into the Flamingo casino and took a lift before arriving on a third-storey roof.

"He then walked to the edge," Bailey said.

"The evidence is suggesting that he has jumped off that wall to a palm tree, maybe been disorientated at how much the fall was, slipped and has fallen to the ground."

Port officials were awaiting clearance from the local coroner to repatriate McCarthy's body within two to three days, Thomas said.

An autopsy has been performed but toxicology results could take up to 12 weeks, after which McCarthy's family will decide whether or not to publicly release them.


Harry 'should stay in Afghanistan'...

Prince Harry should not be withdrawn from his military role in Afghanistan despite an attack on the Camp Bastion military compound, defence experts have said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday night's attack, saying it was carried out because Harry was on the base, and also as revenge for an anti-Islamic film.

The Prince was unharmed, but two US Marines were killed and several more wounded.

Harry, an Army captain, is based at Camp Bastion for his second tour of duty, due to last four months. The Prince was about two kilometres away with other crew members of the Apache attack helicopters, of which he is a co-pilot gunner, when the attack took place, sources said.

US officials said the attack on Camp Bastion was by heavily-armed insurgents and involved a range of weaponry, including mortars, rockets or rocket-propelled grenades, as well as small arms fire.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The Associated Press: "We attacked that base because Prince Harry was also on it and so they can know our anger." He added: "Thousands more suicide attackers are ready to give up their lives for the sake of the Prophet."

Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British troops in Bosnia, said he did not think the Prince should be pulled out of Afghanistan because of the attack by the Taliban. "To hell with them," he said. "Harry wants to go there and our soldiers want him there. He should stay." But Col Stewart added: "Capturing, killing or hurting Prince Harry would be a huge propaganda coup for the Taliban."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The threat to all our service personnel is continually assessed and all measures taken to mitigate it. As we stated last week, the deployment of Captain Wales has been long planned and the threat to him and others around him thoroughly assessed. We stated that any risk posed by his deployment, based on the capability, opportunity and intent of the insurgency, is continually reviewed."

Harry, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday, arrived in Afghanistan on September 7. He has been undergoing training to fly operations in Apache attack helicopters and is expected to start flying missions this week as a co-pilot gunner.

Camp Bastion is a huge base in the middle of the desert and is shared with US, Estonian, Danish and Afghan troops. It is the logistics hub for operations in Helmand, with supply convoys and armoured patrols regularly leaving its heavily-defended gates, to support the military forward operating bases, patrol bases and checkpoints spread across the province.


Prince Harry unharmed in deadly Afghan attack - 14th September 2012...

Troops injured at Camp Bastion, Helmand

WASHINGTON — Heavily armed insurgents staged a deadly attack Friday on the British airbase in southern Afghanistan where Prince Harry is stationed.

Two U.S. Marines were killed, and several other troops were injured, U.S. officials said, adding that the attack at Camp Bastion in Helmand province involved a range of weaponry, possibly including mortars, rockets or rocket-propelled grenades, as well as small arms fire.

A spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said Harry was on the base at the time of the attack but was unharmed.

“Prince Harry was never in any danger,” spokesman Martyn Crighton said, adding that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.

Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, a spokesman at Camp Leatherneck, a U.S. Marine based adjacent to the airbase, confirmed the attack and said two coalition service members had been killed.

Upton said coalition forces were assessing the extent of the damage and would provide more details later.

Camp Bastion is a British airbase and is used by the Marines at Leatherneck.

Crighton said the attack took place between 9 p.m. and midnight on Friday and that NATO-led forces were still securing the area in and around Camp Bastion.

A number of aircraft at the base also were hit by insurgent fire, a U.S. official said.

Capt. Harry Wales, as the prince is known in the military, is serving a four-month combat deployment as a gunner on an Apache helicopter. Harry, who turns 28 on Saturday, is expected to start flying Apache missions this week. This is his second tour in Afghanistan.

It also was not clear Friday whether the attack was connected at all to the protests and violence across the Muslim world this week that has been linked to an anti-Islamic film. Afghanistan’s southern region has been a hotbed of the insurgency and frequent attacks.

Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen Elizabeth’s grandson in what they dubbed their “Harry Operations.”

Crighton said ISAF would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.

Prince Harry had been in the news recently after nude pictures of him at a private party in a Vegas hotel room were published.


Friend of Princess Diana fears 'history repeating itself' with Kate...

'I saw what it did to Diana and it’s absolutely horrendous,' Rosa Monckton says about press intrusion following the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge

Rosa Monckton, a friend of the late Princess Diana, has told the U.K.’s ITV News of her fear that the press will hound the Duchess of Cambridge in the same way following the publication of photographs showing her topless.

“I think it’s history repeating itself,” Monckton told ITV News, which is a partner of NBC News. “It’s very damaging if you as an individual feel that you can never properly relax wherever you are. It gets to you in the end.”

She said she had decided to speak out in an attempt to dissuade the press from treating Kate the same way as Diana.

Monckton was on a private vacation with Diana in Greece shortly before Diana died and told about how they were constantly hunted by an army of about 250 journalists using boats and helicopters.
“I do not want that to happen to the Duchess of Cambridge. I saw what it did to Diana and it’s absolutely horrendous,” Monckton added.

Many blamed paparazzi photographers for following Diana’s car on the night she died in a crash in Paris in August 1997.

Kate and William have filed a lawsuit against French magazine Closer for printing photos of what appears to be Kate, sunbathing topless.

The suit alleges that Closer breached the couple's right to privacy, though the magazine insists it did not.

St. James Palace confirmed Friday that "legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France," reports the Associated Press.

Blurry, long-lens shots of Kate, taken while she and William were on vacation in Provence, in the south of France last week, were printed in the gossip magazine on Friday.

A statement from the palace said the pair were "hugely saddened" by the publication, adding that William and Kate "had every expectation of privacy in the remote house" where they were sunbathing at the time the pictures were taken.

According to a report in Reuters, Closer's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau defended the "beautiful series" of photos.

"There's been an over-reaction to these photos. What we see is a young couple, who just got married, who are very much in love, who are splendid," Pieau told French BFM television, adding that the magazine had more "intimate" shots from the same series that it chose not to publish.

The news comes as the couple makes an official tour of Southeast Asia. Kate has been basking in the glow of rave reviews for her performing during her second overseas tour as a duchess — and just 24 hours after her heralded first public speech on the international stage.


Taliban Uses Former WWE Diva's Photos To Lure Aussie Troops Into Giving Away Military Secrets...

Taliban insurgents are posing as "attractive women" on Facebook to befriend Australian soldiers and gather intelligence about operations. There is a wrestling tie as one of the accounts the militant group created features photos of former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis.

PCWorld.com has posted an article on the matter, which features a screenshot of a phony Facebook profile with an image of Kanellis displayed.

The tech-savvy Taliban are using these fake profiles to befriend Australian soldiers and gather information based on their Facebook updates. The social networking website features a geo-tagging function, which logs the location from which posts are made. If a soldier posts something while they're in the field, their location is revealed.

Three Australian soldiers were murdered inside their base month, allegedly by an Afghan Army trainee.

Many soldiers did not realize that people using fake profiles can capture information and movements, according to the Australian Government's review of social media and defense. The review found an "overt reliance" on privacy settings had led to "a false sense of security" among troops.

Australian soldiers are being given pre-deployment briefings on the matter and the Australian Department of Defence is currently working on new social media guidelines.


WWE Military Outreach profile via WWE official website...

WWE Superstars and Divas regularly visit military bases and hospitals, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center (prior to closing its doors in 2011) and Bethesda Naval Hospital, to bolster the morale of our troops. Since 2002, WWE has produced WWE’s Holiday “Tribute to the Troops” with WWE Superstars and Divas performing before troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States. In addition, WWE offers all U.S. military personnel free tickets to all its live events in the United States.

WWE also is a proud supporter of the National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe Program, which assists youths in obtaining their G.E.D. or becoming educated in technical trades. WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston serves as spokesperson for the program. (Credit: WWE)
http://corporate.wwe.com/community/troops.jsp


WWE The USA Guy...

- WWE's official Twitter account continues to promote The USA Guy - a character made up by WWE Superstar Derrick Bateman.

WWE tweeted a new video promo for “USA Guy,” which shows Derrick Bateman re-packaged as a pro-American wrestler fighting foreign and domestic heels. The promo concludes: “Hold on to your flag poles … America is coming.

YouTube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkP5ibG9p7o&feature=player_embedded


Sgt Slaughter bio (credit: WWE)...

“Ten-hut!”

Boasting one of most recognizable names (and jaw lines) ever, Sgt. Slaughter is an instantly recognizable American icon to WWE fans and general pop culture enthusiasts alike. A former U.S. Marine who proudly served his country, “Sarge” burst onto the wrestling scene in 1974 using his real name, Robert Remus in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), working for and trained by WWE Hall of Famer Verne Gagne.

Four years later, Remus donned a mask as Super Destroyer Mark II, teaming with Super Destroyer Mark III managed by Lord Alfred Hayes. After a falling out with his partner, Super Destroyer Mark II took on WWE Hall of Famer, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as his manager and began a series of ring wars with his former partner and Hayes.

It was not until six years after his professional debut that Remus decided to incorporate his status as a United States Marine Corps veteran and debut in WWE in 1980 as the brutal bullying drill instructor, Sgt. Slaughter who referred to his outmatched opponents as scum, slime and maggots. In less than one year with WWE, Slaughter was doing battle with legends like Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Pat Patterson and even Andre The Giant.

In 1981, Sgt Slaughter took his penchant for punishment to the NWA where he defeated Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the United States Championship. Sarge also proved he could still dominate tag team wrestling as well, teaming with Don Kernoodle to become NWA World Tag Team Champions.

Slaughter returned to WWE in 1983 and, still reviled by its fans, instantly main-evented against WWE Champion Bob Backlund but was unable to take the title from the All-American standard bearer. Almost a decade after his professional debut, Sgt. Slaughter had still not attained every competitor’s dream of being a World Champion.

In 1984, Sgt. Slaughter had heard enough of anti-America rhetoric from for WWE Champion, The Iron Sheik and decided to defend the honor of his country, instantly making him a fan favorite with the WWE Universe. For an entire year, Sgt. Slaughter battled The Iron Sheik in almost all of the 50 states in bloody Steel Cage Matches and Boot Camp Matches. Sgt. Slaughter finally silenced the Iranian aggressor and was second only to Hulk Hogan in terms of popularity with the WWE Universe. However, Slaughter was about to leave WWE right before the birth of WrestleMania in 1985 because of a dispute over action figures. Toy company Hasbro approached Sgt. Slaughter about becoming a character in their G.I. Joe franchise which included action figures. However, at the time, WWE had an exclusive agreement with rival toy company LJN, Sarge had to choose between WWE and G.I. Joe and chose to battle Cobra Commander and his evil forces as an action figure, a comic book hero and even on the G.I. Joe animated series.

In order to continue his wildly successful wrestling career while being G.I. Joe’s best selling action figure, Slaughter returned to the promotion where he began his career, Verne Gagne’s AWA where he defended America ideals against the Soviet Union’s Boris Zhukov and South Africa’s Colonel DeBeers and even The Iron Sheik who followed Sarge to the AWA looking for vengeance. While all of his opponents had the advantage of having Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey in their corner, Slaughter delighted wrestling fans by besting his opponents in bloody Boot Camp Matches. Sarge earned AWA World Title matches against Stan Hansen and then against Larry Zbyszko on ESPN but was still unable to win his first World Title.

In 1990 the AWA’s demise was imminent and Sgt. Slaughter returned to WWE and was part of one of the most infamous chapters in WWE history. Slaughter claimed America had gone soft as a result of the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and did the unthinkable by becoming an Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War. Despite the distractions of death threats with enraged Americans, Slaughter finally won his first and only World Title when he defeated The Ultimate Warrior at Royal Rumble 1991 with the help of “Macho King” Randy Savage. At WrestleMania VII, Slaughter was defeated for The WWE Championship by the red, white and blue clad Hulk Hogan. Slaughter then found a way to sink even lower than he had by flanking himself with fellow Iraqi sympathizers General Adnan (formerly known as his nemesis, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey) and Colonel Mustafa (formerly known his most despised opponent, The Iron Sheik). At SummerSlam 1991, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior defeated the trio now known as The Triangle of Terror, Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa.

After The United States soundly defeated Iraq in the Gulf War and months of soul searching, Sgt. Slaughter pleaded with the WWE Universe to accept his apology and welcome him back as a champion for the American way pleading “I want my country back.” Cautiously, WWE fans gave Sarge a chance to prove himself and he did, teaming with the American flag waving “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to take on all aggressors, foreign and domestic. Almost two decades after his professional debut, Sgt. Slaughter retired from full time competition in 1992 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by former foe turned long time friend, Pat Patterson in 1994.

In 1997, Slaughter returned as WWE Commissioner and did his best to control the chaos created by newly formed D-Generation X, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chyna. After a stint as one of Mr. McMahon’s evil lackeys in his war against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Slaughter largely disappeared from television and assumed a behind the scenes role with World Wrestling Entertainment. The beloved Sarge is now an Ambassador for WWE and busy as ever appearing at charity events all over America and as the only legend who is part The National Guard’s WWE “Big Guns” Team alongside the likes of John Cena, Beth Phoenix and others . Sgt. Slaughter remains one of the most recognizable WWE personalities of all time and recently appeared on Comedy Central’s top rated program Tosh.0, NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and most importantly, WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops.

Looking as fit as he did when he first laced up his boots in 1974, Sgt. Slaughter always travels with his tights and boots and at a moment’s notice, will fight for truth, justice and the American way.

“Dismissed!”
(Credit: WWE)


Sgt Slaughter VS The Iron Sheik - 23rd April 1984 - Multimedia...

One of the most famous matches ever at Madison Square Garden

http://www.wwe.com/videos/sgt-slaughter-vs-the-iron-sheik-april-23-1984-25057299


The Iron Sheik bio...

Real Name: Hossein Khosrow Vaziri
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Current Home: Atlanta, GA
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 265lbs.
Birthday: March 15th
Pro Debut: 1973
Finishing Move: The Camel Clutch
Signature Moves: The master of the suplexe
Names Used: Great Ali Hussein Arab, Hussein Arab, Col. Mustafa and The Iron Sheik

Championships Held:

WWF World Heavyweight Champion
WWF World Tag Team Champion (with Nikolai Volkoff)
NWA Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
NWA Canadian Tag Team Champion (with Texas Outlaw)
NWA PNW Tag Team Champion (with Bull Ramos)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion
NWA Canadian Heavyweight Champion
CWA Heavyweight Champion
NWA National Television Champion
NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion\
Twin Wrestling Entertainment Champion

In The Beginning

- Khosrow Vaziri started out as an amature wrestler and even won a medel at the 1968 Olympic Games, representing Iran..
- Years later, this was proven to be a complete "work" just to enhance his gimmick wrestling in America..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri defected to the United States and became an assistant wrestling coach for the United States..
- Khosrow Vaziri was a two-time AAU Champion and also a United States Olympic Greco Wrestling Coach..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri caught the eye of Minnesota legend Verne Gagne at the Olympic Training sessions..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri began training with Verne Gagne and debuted in the AWA at the end of that year..
- 1979: Khosrow Vaziri signed with the World Wide Wrestling Federation, wrestling as "Hussein Arab", managed by Fred Blassie..
- June 4, 1979 - MSG: Hussein Arab won a Battle Royal to earn a title shot at WWF Champion Bob Backlund, in the main event..
- Hussein Arab departed the WWWF and toured the Southern territories..

Mid-South Wrestling

- Kosraw Vaziri went to work for Bill Watts' Mid South Wrestling promotion and became known as The "Iron Sheik"..
- November 26, 1981--Superdome Extravaganza: The Iron Sheik defeated King Cobra..

World Wrestling Federation

- 1983: The Iron Sheik signed with the World Wrestling Federation when it was becoming a national promotion..
- The Iron Sheik gained a reputation of being the "master of the suplex" using many versions of the suplex..
- December 26, 1983 - MSG: The Iron Sheik beat Bob Backlund for the WWF World title when Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel..
- The Iron Sheik had title defenses against Chief Jay Strongbow, Pat Patterson, Bob Backlund, Salvatore Bellomo and Tito Santana..
- January 23, 1984 - MSG: Hulk Hogan defeated Iron Sheik for the WWF World title in one of the most famous matches of all time..
- Rumor has it, AWA promoter Verne Gagne offered Sheik $100,000 to break Hogans leg during the match..
- Luckily, Iron Sheik is a smart man, and did the job, and informed Hogan & McMahon of the offer after the match..
- July 23, 1984 - Brawl to End It All: The Iron Sheik defeated Tony Garea..
- 1984: The Iron Sheik & Sgt Slaughter engaged in a bloody and violent feud that spread throughout the entire country..
- June 16, 1984 - MSG: Sgt Slaughter defeated The Iron Sheik in a famous Boot Camp match..

World Wrestling Federation - The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

- 1984: The Iron Sheik formed a successful tag team with Nikolai Volkoff, managed by Fred Blassie..
- March 31, 1985 - WrestleMania: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff beat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the Tag Team titles..
- May 11, 1985 - SNME: The US Express & Ricky Steamboat defeated Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele..
- July 8, 1985 - King of the Ring: The Iron Sheik made it all the way to the finals where he lost to Don Muraco..
- Iron Sheik b Jim Brunzell | Iron Sheik b Ricky Steamboat | Iron Sheik b Tito Santana | Don Muraco b Iron Sheik..
- November 7, 1985 - Wrestling Classic: The Junk Yard Dog defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
- April 2, 1986 - Wrestlemania 2: The Iron Sheik participated in the Invitational Battle Royal - won by Andre The Giant..
- May 3, 1986 - SNME: The British Bulldogs defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff in 2/3 Falls to retain the Tag Team titles..
- July 14, 1986 - King of the Ring: Billy Jack Haynes defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
- March 14, 1987 - SNME: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeated The Iron Sheik..
- March 27, 1987 - WrestleMania III: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeated the Killer Bees by DQ when Jim Duggan interfered..
- May 26, 1987: The Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan were arrested by New Jersey State Police..
- Duggan was charged with possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving..
- Sheik was charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine..
- Duggan received a conditional discharge and Sheik received one year probation..
- What was so shocking about this was that they were feuding at the time, and the incident exposed the business..
- 1987: The Iron Sheik left the WWF soon after this incident..

World Class Championship Wrestling

- November 26, 1987 - Star Wars: Chris Adams & Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik & The Thing by DQ..
- December 25, 1987 - Star Wars: Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the Texas Heavyweight title..

American Wrestling Association

- Dec 13, 1988 - Superclash III: The Iron Sheik made a surprise appearance when he attacks Sgt Slaughter during a match vs Col. DeBeers..

National Wrestling Alliance

- May 7, 1989 - WrestleWar: Sting defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the NWA Television title..

World Wrestling Federation - Col Mustafa

- 1991: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, but this time wrestling as "Col Mustafa"..
- Col Mustafa aligned himself with Iraqi sympathizers Sgt Slaughter & General Adnan as the "Triangle of Terror"..
- SummerSlam 1991: Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior defeated the Triangle of Terror in a handicap match..
- After the match, Adnan & Mustafa turned on Sgt Slaughter, who became a born again american patriot..

World Wrestling Federation - Manager

- February 1997: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, as the co-manager for "The Sultan". (Credit: Sheik Show official website)


Where Are They Now? Corporal Kirchner...(Credit: WWE)

He’s remembered as a patriot, an all-American good guy who defended his country’s honor against loathed Russian villain Nikolai Volkoff at WrestleMania 2. But there’s a dark side to the career of the man known as Corporal Kirchner that many WWE fans don’t know — a decade spent in the vicious world of Japanese hardcore wrestling under the name Leatherface, brawling his way through the most brutal matches ever witnessed.

From a truck stop in Tennessee, Mike Kirchner reflected on each of his personas as if they were long lost friends.

“I loved both of them,” Kirchner told WWE.com during a lengthy phone conversation. “[Corporal Kirchner] was so much fun, because you’d learn from so many guys. But Leatherface was just hardcore joy.”

Different as they may be, Kirchner’s alter egos had one thing in common — toughness. It was a reputation he carried with him throughout his career and something that was ingrained in him since his schoolyard days. By his own account a rebellious kid, the Chicago native grew up a scrapper — the result of a childhood spent moving from town to town. His no-nonsense attitude could have sent him down a bad road, but at 17 he joined the military and learned discipline.

*Credit and full article at WWE official website http://www.wwe.com/classics/wherearetheynow/where-are-they-now-kirchner


The Iron Sheik On WWE Hall Of Fame website...

Website
http://www.wwe.com/superstars/theironsheik


WWE's Randy Orton to star in The Marine 3...

WWE are giving 'The Apex Preditor' another shot at the movie business, confirming Orton will star in 'The Marine 3'. This clearly shows commitment to sticking with the volatile pro wrestler.


Eve wins NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes"...

Congratulations are in order for former Divas Champion Eve, who won the season finale of NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" and the USO a total of $150,000!

Eve joined four-time undefeated world boxing champion Laila Ali, actor Dean Cain (“Out of Time,” “Five Days of War”), actor and former National Football League player Terry Crews (“The Expendables 2,” “The Newsroom”), multi-platinum recording artist, actor, producer and television personality Nick Lachey (NBC's “The Sing-Off”), Alaska businessman Todd Palin, Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street and “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince in the competition.

Over the course of the show, Eve had already won the USO $50,000, utilizing the skillset from her WWE and MMA training and engineering degree from the University Southern California, USC. She impressed millions of fans across the world with her target shooting, physical prowess and dedication and respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces.

" 'Stars Earn Stripes' was one of the best experiences of my life," Eve told WWE.com in an exclusive interview. "I went in assuming I was the underdog because I didn't have the military experience. The USO is a really important organization, and I know that this win is really important to the troops."

But Eve said there was something she didn't expect about the competition.

"It was much more mental than I had expected," Eve said about the dangerous military missions she took part in. "So while I was trained physically for it — jumping out of helicopters — I wasn't fully prepared for the emotional and mental part; that focus," Eve explained. "It just taught me so much about what our military men and women go through."

On "Stars Earn Stripes," eight competitors gathered at a remote training facility where they tackled complicated and difficult missions inspired by real military exercises. Each was paired with an “operative” who is a member or a former member of our Armed Forces or law enforcement agencies. The operative coached and guided their celebrity teammate on their training and each of their missions and competed alongside them. From helicopter drops to long range weapons fire — the competitors were tested physically and emotionally as they played to win and to earn a cash prize for military, veterans and first-responder based charities. Each week, one of the teams was eliminated.

The Diva also noted that WWE played a large role in getting ready for the competition. Even before "Stars Earned Stripes," she had a deep-rooted dedication and respect for the military from WWE's Tribute to the Troops.

"WWE is a huge supporter of our troops," she said. "Part of my love and admiration for our men and women in the military has come from the tours we have done. That really opened up my eyes to what they go through."

And how did being a WWE Diva in the ring help prepare her for her big "Stars Earn Stripes" win?

"I think being a WWE Diva is a tough job; there's lots we do that's not seen on television, constantly working and trying to better ourselves," Eve said. "And I really think that hard work and dedication from being a WWE Diva is probably what set me apart from the other competitors."

Congratulations, Eve! (Credit: WWE)


JBL to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next week...

UPDATE: Sept. 14, 2012

JBL is one week away from beginning his Mount Kilimanjaro climb in Africa!

"I really believe unless I get altitude sickness (which I didn't have any problem last time) or I have an accident where I fall and break an ankle or something, I should make this mountain at 19,334 feet," he wrote.

Read more on JBL's Facebook blog. http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Layfield/194176253533

Credit:
http://www.wwe.com/inside/overtheropes/wweinyourcorner/jbl-seven-summits-kilimanjaro-aconcagua-26043451


2012 Sydney Islamic Riots...

The 2012 Sydney Islamic protest occurred on 15 September 2012 in response to the video Innocence of Muslims. Protestors had objected to the video's portrayal of Muhammad as a man who encouraged violence, and who had people who ridiculed him killed. The protest started at about midday when about 100 people - including women and babies - gathered at Town Hall, marched through Hyde Park and along to Phillip Street, chanting, "Down, down USA" for almost three hours.

As the crowd swelled to over 300 they started to leave Hyde Park towards St James station, riot police armed with batons and shields were waiting for them at the park exit. The crowd soon became agitated and began attacking police as they tried to storm the US Consulate. Islamist protestors continued to throw sticks and bottles at the police. Riot and mounted police pursued protesters down William Street towards Kings Cross as one protester was seen throwing a milk crate at a police car. The already splintered crowd then broke up further, running through the back streets of Darlinghurst where smaller fights occurred.

Protesters, including children, held signs saying, "Behead all those who insult the prophet" and "Obama Obama, we love Osama", and threw objects from construction sites and water bottles at police officers. Police responded by spraying capsicum spray into the crowd.

Several CBD streets, including the intersection of Martin Place and Castlereagh Street, parts of George Street and Market Street were shut down while protestors moved through the city, causing damage and traffic chaos. (Credit: Wikipedia)


Topless Kate pix published in Ireland, Italy next...

ROME (AP) — The British royal family faced a multinational battle to contain the spread of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate, as an Irish tabloid published them Saturday and an Italian gossip magazine planned to do the same despite the threat of legal action.

The royal couple's St. James's Palace office condemned the moves as unjustifiable and evidence of pure greed, and said it was considering "all proportionate responses."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sued French magazine Closer on Friday after it ran the photos, taken while Kate and William were on vacation at a relative's private estate in southern France last month.

The publication has been roundly condemned by British newspapers, which refrained from publishing them out of respect for the young couple's privacy, even though tabloids like The Sun run topless women every day on page 3 and ran pictures of Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas last month.

The British media, wary about an ongoing media ethics inquiry triggered by revelations of illegal phone hacking and other intrusive newspaper behavior, has generally respected palace guidelines stressing that William and Kate should not be photographed when they are not in public.

But across the Irish Sea, the Dublin-based Irish Daily Star ran a blurry reproduction of the pages from Closer over two inside pages Saturday.

Editor Mike O'Kane told the BBC the photos weren't included in the edition distributed in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. And the newspaper's website came up as "temporarily unavailable" Saturday.

O'Kane defended his newspaper, saying that Ireland did not view the royal family the same way as the British.

"She's not our future queen," he told the BBC. "The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga."

Northern and Shell, the British company that co-owns the Irish Daily Star — and publishes its British sister tabloid, the Daily Star — said it was "profoundly dismayed" the Dublin newspaper had run the pictures. It said it had had no control over the decision.

Northern and Shell's chairman, Richard Desmond, said he was "taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture" that runs the tabloid.

In Italy, gossip magazine Chi, which is owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, said it planned to publish a 26-page spread with the photos on Monday, although it wasn't clear if the content was any different from what Closer ran.

Chi is part of Berlusconi's publishing empire Mondadori, which also owns Closer.

The Chi cover, featuring three pictures of a topless princess, was unveiled Saturday in Italian newspapers and television under the headline "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude!"

In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, Chi editor Alfonso Signorini said he didn't fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer's publication.

"Closer's position is different, they were the first ones to publish," he said.

He defended the decision to publish them in Italy, saying the photos are tasteful and respect Kate's dignity.

"I don't see anything morbid or damaging in them," he said. "Chi pays attention to respecting people's dignity. I don't think they hurt Kate's image."

He added in a statement that the pictures actually were in line "with the modern concept of the monarchy."

"It shows in its total naturalness the daily life of a young, famous, modern couple in love," he said.

Citing that argument, Mondadori said Saturday it respected the editorial decisions of both Chi and Closer, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

A spokeswoman at St. James's Palace said royal officials were reviewing "all proportionate responses" to Chi's planned publication.

The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace policy, said publication of the photos served no purpose "other than to cause further, entirely unjustifiable upset to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were enjoying time alone together in the privacy of a relative's home."

The blurry photos, called a "grotesque" abuse of privacy by royal officials after they were published Friday by Closer, show Kate - the Duchess of Cambridge - wearing only a skimpy bikini bottom and sunglasses.

In one of the three on Chi's cover, she appears to be rubbing suntan lotion on William's shoulder.

Palace officials compared the intrusion on the young couple's privacy to the tragic paparazzi pursuit of William's mother Princess Diana, which many believe was a contributing factor to her early death in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

That two magazines in Berlusconi's media empire were responsible for the distribution of the images of a topless Kate is remarkable, given the former premier's own problems with paparazzi and his privacy.

In 2009, he threatened legal action against the Spanish newspaper El Pais after it published photos of topless women and a naked man lounging at his Sardinian estate. Italian prosecutors seized the photos and placed the photographer under investigation for alleged violation of privacy.

The photos came to light at the start of Berlusconi's downfall: They were published amid a scandal involving Berlusconi and a Naples model, whose 18th birthday party the then-premier attended.

Berlusconi, who was forced from office in November after financial markets lost faith in his ability to steer Italy out of its debt crisis, is currently on trial in Milan on charges he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan girl and then used his office to try to cover it up. He denies wrongdoing, and both he and the girl say they didn't have sex.

Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.


Crown raises $532m in notes offer...

James Packer's Crown Casino has raised $532 million through its subordinated notes offer.

The amount exceeded the $400 million Crown in August said it was seeking to raise.

Crown said it had issued 5.3 million notes at an issue price of $100 each.

The notes are expected to commence trading on a deferred-settlement basis on Monday.

Crown has been undertaking a range of capital expenditure projects at its Crown Melbourne and Burswood hotel and casino complexes.


Banned punters from Crown casino turn to illegal gambling in Melbourne...

Some punters banned from Crown casino are among gamblers involved in illegal high-stakes games in Melbourne.

The secret table games - some run in the Chinatown precinct - attract punters unwilling to visit Crown and other legal outlets.


Wrestling Fans Slot Games: Sumo slot at PartyCasino; Andre The Giant slot at Virgin Casino...

Wrestling fans - if you didn't check them out already, check out Sumo at PartyCasino and Andre The Giant at Virgin Casino. You can play for free or play for money. Read the reviews on the Media Man website network. Not into wrestling? Perhaps Army is your thing? Check out the 'Call of Duty' online slot at both PartyCasino and Virgin Games. As always, bet with your head - not over it. Bombs away champions.

Websites

Casino News Media

Crown Melbourne

The Star

Sgt Slaughter official website

The Iron Sheik official website

Hulk Hogan official website

John Layfield official website - The Layfield Report

The USA Guy YouTube

Australian Army official website

United States Army official website

Stars Earn Stripes - NBC official website

WWE Studios

Media Man Int

Casino News Media

Australian Sports Entertainment

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Media Man Entertainment

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WWE Studios 'The Day' positive movie reviews; Wrestling News Media, Hollywood News

Entertainment news, WWE, Hollywood, Australia, Sin City, Las Vegas, gaming and more...

Profiles

Movies Hollywood WWE Wrestling Entertainment Marvel Entertainment The Wolverine The Avengers Marvel Games James Bond Casinos Affiliate Programs Advertising


What an exciting time for entertainment, movies, gaming and wrestling fans. WWE just completed its Australian RAW live world tour, Aussie Russell Crowe just got rescued in New York while boating (publicity stunt)?, Bwin.Party has just released a new game, and you must check out the new Marvel Heroes online game. We've also got Hollywood box office reports, pro wrestling scoops, celebrity news and lots more. The Media Man agency with the latest...

Profiles

Movies Hollywood WWE Wrestling Entertainment Marvel Entertainment The Wolverine The Avengers Marvel Games James Bond Casinos Affiliate Programs Advertising

WWE Studios 'The Day' positive movie reviews...

"The Day" hit theaters this week and the positive reviews are in on WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films' chilling horror film about a day in the lives of a group of people living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Variety by Marc Graser

" 'The Day' is one of the most effective horror movies made in years, successfully delivering a feeling of dread that so many films in the genre lack these days, along with a unique story and captivating characters. Douglas Aarniokoski doesn’t take the easy out in his direction and never relies on camp or amps up the gore quotient to thrill audiences. He’s an impressive filmmaker who is worth keeping an eye on."

HollywoodLife.com by Russ Weakland

"WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films have always delivered films all over the spectrum and with 'The Day' they continue to entertain us with a story of humanity torn by war, destroying civilizations and most of all life on earth, which makes those that are the survivors realize they must do whatever it takes to stay alive." ...

"So if you want to go out and see a film that will make you think and give you some jumps and chills 'The Day' is your movie. You will not be disappointed!"

The Los Angeles Times by Mark Olsen

"Luke Passmore's screenplay is stingy with his explanations about who these people are or how the world came to be in this state, and that turns out to be one of the film's greatest strengths." ...

"As Mary, the most recent enlistee to the tribe, [Ashley] Bell has a secretive reserve and steely resolve."


The Rock 'foils would-be burglars in London'...

The Rock has apparently foiled an attempted burglary in London.

The actor - also known as Dwayne Johnson - was working on his new movie Fast and Furious 6 in Hackney when he spotted the group of would-be thieves as they attempted to break into vans.

Johnson, who was dressed as an FBI agent for filming, was said to have abandoned a fight scene mid-take in order to confront the group.

"It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand," an insider recalled to The Sun. "All of a sudden, there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down. The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace.

"It was like the Only Fools [and Horses] 'Batman' sequence - they must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie."

The source also quipped that the crew have suggested that actor - wrestler Johnson should be single-handedly responsible for security on the Fast and Furious 6 set.

The source said: “It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand. All of a sudden there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down. The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace.

“It was like the Only Fools Batman sequence — they must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie.

“Now the crew are joking that they should drop security and just have The Rock do it.”


Dwayne Johnson wards off burglars...

London - Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson scared off a gang of would-be thieves on the set of his latest film.

The 40-year-old actor spotted a group of youths breaking into a warehouse in Hackney, East London while filming The Fast and the Furious 6 and stormed off the set mid-scene - dressed in full FBI agent costume - to chase the burglars away.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand.

Quick thinking

"All of a sudden there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down.

"The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace. They must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie.

"Now the crew are joking that they should drop security and just have The Rock do it."

The former wrestler managed to prevent the theft of expensive equipment thanks to his quick thinking and his impressive 6'5" frame.

The Fast and the Furious 6 also stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and singer Rihanna, who is set to play a villain in the popular film franchise.


Box Office results for new WWE movie...

WWE Studios's latest movie, "The Day," drew an estimated $10,100 in its first full weekend in theaters. The movie, which was shown in 12 theaters, ranked 52 out of 54 movies tracked over the weekend, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. (Pro Wrestling Torch) - U.S news report


No Holds Barred star facing prison time...

Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who was back in the spotlight this summer when WWE re-released "No Holds Barred" on DVD, faces up to five years of prison time for alleged mortgage fraud. Lister, who played Zeus in the WWE movie, pled guilty to "conspiring to commit mortgage fraud" in federal court on Friday, according to a TMZ report.

According to the plea agreement, Lister and other individuals conspired to obtain mortgages worth $5.7 million, costing lenders $2.6 million. Lister was also accused of defrauding lenders of another $1.1 million. Lister is due back in court in September for sentencing, which could be up to five years in federal prison.


David Otunga talks WWE and movies...

WWE wrestler David Otunga said in a recent interview that he hopes to eventually advance to the top of the card in WWE. "I am very goal oriented and want to see my character go to the top. I am hoping to have the creative freedom to do that and let it pan out the way I would like. It’s exciting for sure and hopefully in the next few weeks my character continues to grow," Otunga told ChicagoNow.com promoting Monday's Raw.

Otunga also discussed his recent movie role for WWE Studios's "The Hive." Otunga said, "The film was unbelievably fun because it came to me second nature. With the WWE, the acting classes, and the improv I do it was very easy to blend in. The only major difference was me having to shave. I haven’t shaved in many, many years but it had to be done and it helped me get into character."


WWE Interested In Lingerie Football Star...

The WWE NXT website has added a profile for Summer Rae and in that profile they acknowledge her past career with the Lingerie Football League. On a related note, WWE apparently has interest in another LFL star - Zipporah Chase.
Read more: http://www.WrestlingInc.com/wi/news/2012/0903/555884/#ixzz25SUAFE7B


NWA documentary news...

Charleston Post & Courier columnist Mike Mooneyham's Sunday column features a review of a new NWA documentary, "History and Tradition: The Story of the National Wrestling Alliance," which focuses heavily on the history and prestige of the NWA World Title. The story also reviews the current state of the NWA, which is being re-organized by R. Bruce Tharpe after buying the rights to the organization. Included are quotes from PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell on the history of and state of the NWA and his view on whether the organization has a place in today's wrestling era.


Batista big media tour next week...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Aug. 31, 2012) – Former six-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion Dave Bautista is coming to Providence on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 to kick off his press tour in anticipation of his professional mixed martial arts debut, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc., in association with June Entertainment and 4zero1 Entertainment Group on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Direct TV Pay Per View.

Friday’s tour will culminate with a live meet-and-greet and autograph signing in downtown Providence (time and venue to be determined) followed by a second public appearance at Vanity Restaurant & Lounge, located at 566 South Main St., Providence, at 11 p.m. (EST) Bautista’s opponent, Rashid Evans of Newburgh, N.Y., will also be attendance.

Specifics on Bautista’s appearance will be released Tuesday. Both appearances are open to the public and both fighters will be available for media interviews.

Tickets for “Real Pain,” starring Bautista, are available through www.ticketmaster.com or at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center Box Office and are priced at $20.00, $35.00, $55.00, $75.00, $125.00 and $250.00. The show features 14 bouts, including the return of John “Doomsday” Howard (17-7, 6 KOs), a Boston native and veteran of seven UFC bouts; nine-time UFC veteran David Loiseau (20-10, 13 KOs) of Montreal; Providence lightweight Mike “The Beast” Campbell (11-4, 7 KOs), a former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) contender; Woonsocket, R.I., bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath (2-1, 1 KO); and Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Todd “The Hulk” Chattelle (10-7, 8 KOs). “Real Pain” will also be available on Direct TV Pay Per View for $29.95. (U.S report)


WWE News: Jericho details WWE's lack of long-term planning & day-of-TV-changes in interview on his 2012 WWE run...

In an interview with the Busted Open satellite radio show, Chris Jericho highlighted WWE's lack of long-term planning and changes on the day of TV tapings, which has been exacerbated by Raw shifting to three hours, in a review of his 2012 WWE run.

Notably, Jericho said he did not find out about his "Contract vs. Contract" send-off match against Dolph Ziggler on the August 20 Raw the night after Summerslam until ten minutes before Raw started.

"I didn’t know until the day I showed up, actually ten minutes before Raw started in Fresno that we were doing this contract vs. contract thing. So, I didn’t even know this was going to happen. I just figured I would have a match with Dolph and that would be the end of it," Jericho said.

"So, people who think that there is some long, drawn-out, plan, it really wasn’t. It was about ten minutes before the show started and I was like 'Oh, we are doing a contract vs contract thing? Oh okay.' So there you go, a little special behind the scenes look."

Jericho also said WWE did not have a plan for his feud with Dolph Ziggler when it started after the Money in the Bank PPV in July. Jericho said he pressed for a back-story to their feud before their strong opening promo.

"I couldn’t wait to work with Dolph but I needed a story. What’s the story? They said, 'we will think of one later.' I said, 'I don’t like that.' I need to think of one now since I have a promo tonight with Dolph. We can't think about this next week," Jericho said.

Jericho added, "That’s when I came up with the concept of everyone was bitching that Jericho never won a match on PPV... I thought it would be real interesting to go with the 'you can’t win the big one' scenario. But sometimes the writers will write 'this old broken down guy who is on the last legs of his career.' I’m like, 'Wait a second, broken down? I’m in the best shape of my life, never been hurt, I’ve never missed a match...' I wanted to focus on the storyline of 'he can’t win the big one.' It gave us a great place to go."

Jericho has said in recent interviews that he wasn't supposed to feud with Ziggler in his send-off program culminating at Summerslam. Jericho expanded on his reaction to being told he wouldn't be feuding with the other candidates, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.

"Originally I was supposed to feud with Sheamus, and then it was Daniel Bryan. Then the day of Raw, they said I was doing something with Dolph. I was like, 'What happened to Daniel Bryan and Sheamus?' They said it changed and I was fine with it. I’ve been doing this long enough that I roll with the punches," Jericho said.

Regarding future stars on the roster replacing the old guard, Jericho talked about the uphill battle that wrestlers like Ziggler and Miz have in front of them not being having well-rounded wrestling experience outside of WWE. Jericho said, "When that light bulb comes on and they already have ninety percent, but that last ten percent is what makes you a great performer; some guys never figure out that last ten percent and when the guys do, that’s when they become guys you can base companies around and put in main events."

Specifically on whether Ziggler can be a future main-eventer, Jericho said, "Dolph is one of the best guys on the roster, but he is still learning as are a lot of the other guys. People say, 'Oh, Damien Sandow is the next guy or Kofi.' These guys are still learning. In time, I think these guys will be amazing, amazing performers. But, right now they are still on their way up the learning tree. So, yes, I think Dolph is going to be an amazing performer. Yes, I think the Miz is going to be a great performer. Lots of guys are getting into that zone, but they are still learning... It’s a different world out there right now than the way it used to be. There is a lot of great, great performers or potential great performers that are on the way to getting there."

[ FYI: Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman can be heard from 2:00 to 4:00 EST on Sirius 94, XM 208, and Sportszone 860 on the Internet ] (Pro Wrestling Torch)


Ric Flair Comments On 'Hangover 3' Campaign And His Daughter Working For WWE NXT...

We noted before that fans online are trying to get WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair a cameo appearance in The Hangover 3 movie. Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald spoke with Flair this weekend about the campaign and The Nature Boy is perfectly fine with it.

"Oh man, I love my fans. So cool they started this whole campaign. I could play anything, as long as I'm not the guy getting married."

Flair also says he's proud of his daughter Ashley, who is currently working as Charlotte in WWE NXT. Flair said:

"It's my hope that people see that her accomplishments aren't a result of me. She's worked extremely hard for this. It's a very physically and mentally demanding business, and I really just couldn't be more proud."

You can check out the full article by clicking here.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/01/2980014/hangover-suits-wwe-hall-of-famer.html


Ric Flair going through fourth divorce, waiting for WWE call up...

Details are scarce at the moment, but Dave Meltzer, in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, reported that Ric Flair is currently going through a divorce, his fourth one, with his current wife, Jacqueline Beems. Apparently, Flair is the one who filed for divorce and cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their break up.

The news is unsurprising as less than two months ago Flair was assaulted by Beems at his home, according to a local police report. This wasn't the first such incident during their marriage together, as Beems was arrested for simple assault on February 21st, 2010 after getting into a fight with Flair upon their return to their residence after a night out. They managed to patch things up after that highly publicised and embarrassing affair, but obviously the second fight that required police intervention was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The cause of their second fight together never came out publicly. But Ric Flair still living The Nature Boy lifestyle and their money problems worsening, what with Flair losing his job with TNA, were all likely at least partly to blame. Ric's adultery was at the heart of his divorce with second wife, Beth; while third wife, Tiffany VanDemark, quickly "had enough" of his inability to retire gracefully and lead a more normal lifestyle with her.

Expect a fifth marriage in the not too distant future for Flair, as he obviously has a psychological need to be in a serious relationship at all times, even though he clearly finds it difficult to fully commit to a partner and amend his behaviour to ensure that a marriage lasts the test of time.

Meltzer also had the latest on his status with WWE:

There was talk surfacing of Flair replacing [Vickie] Guerrero with [Dolph] Ziggler but I don't know how serious that is. Plus, even though Flair can legally start with WWE on 9/10, WWE has yet to sign anyone from TNA since the lawsuit was filed.

This may explain why Ziggler is currently in a holding pattern of putting over the likes of Randy Orton and Sheamus on a seemingly weekly basis. WWE may not want to pull the trigger on him cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase and winning the World Heavyweight Championship until TNA's lawsuit against them for contract tampering has been dealt with and Flair can return to WWE as his manager.

I have mixed feelings on Flair becoming Ziggler's new manager. Though it should help Ziggler to be taken more seriously, there is the risk that he will be overshadowed by Flair and make it more difficult for him to get heel heat. At least being managed by Vickie ensures plenty of boos. Personally, I think Flair would be much better utilised in an onscreen figurehead role - what do you think Cagesiders? (Cageside Seats)


'The Wolverine' movie wraps up in Australia; Now shooting in Japan; Jackman swaps hair for suit...

After wrapping the filming in Australia, "The Wolverine" has officially kicked off its production in Japan. Unveiling a first look at lead actor Hugh Jackman on the Tokyo set of the Marvel film, a set of photos featuring the Australian hunk as he filmed a scene at the Zojoji Temple have made their round onto the web.

Instead of sporting unkempt long hair and scruffy look just like when he was filming in Australia, Jackman was spotted rocking Wolverine's trademark haircut and beard. Looking dapper, he donned an all-black ensemble while filming a scene with a number of Japanese men at the said Buddhist temple.

Per Comic Book Movie, the scene Jackman was filming happened to be a "grand funeral." There were no further details about whose funeral the actor's character attended. It was said that the filming at the temple was wrapped on Sunday, September 2 and Jackman was expected to continue filming in Hiroshima next.

Taking its cue from the early 1980s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries, "The Wolverine" finds Logan (Jackman), the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. Serving behind the lens is James Mangold.

Jackman has stressed that the upcoming film will be a standalone one and won't be related to 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". He told Total Film, "We've deliberately not called it Wolverine 2 because we want it to be placed and feel like a standalone picture. With an all-new cast and setting in Japan, it's going to give us a whole new visual aesthetic."

"The approach to character means we won't be overloaded with mutants and teams and the like, so it'll be more character-based," he claimed, before adding, "I think in my ways it will feel like a completely different X-Men film."

The anticipated movie is scheduled to open wide in the U.S. on July 26, 2013.


Joss Whedon: 'The Avengers isn't a perfect movie'...

Joss Whedon has claimed that The Avengers isn't "a great movie".

The film has met with critical acclaim and outstanding commercial success, becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time in just a few months, but Whedon, the superhero blockbuster's writer and director, is determined to keep his feet on the ground.

In an interview with Vulture, the 48-year-old claimed that the box office numbers became, ultimately, "meaningless".

He said: "They're large, and you can't really count that high."

Describing what his goals were with The Avengers, he claimed: "I felt like I had a particular mission in making what I felt was a slightly old-fashioned movie, because I grew up wanting to make summer movies and wanting to make superhero movies, and I got to do both at once.

"I felt like summer movies haven't been what I remember them to be, so I felt like I would love to evoke something that's less hip and ironic and more heartfelt and character-driven, and apparently, other people cared about that in a large way."

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator then conceded: "I don't think it's a perfect movie. I don't even think it's a great movie. I think it's a great time, and I'm proud of it, but for me, what was exciting is that people don't go to see a movie that many times unless it's pulling on something from within, unless there's a need there. That's very gratifying."

The film is set to increase its box office even further this weekend, after being re-released in the US to take advantage of the Labour Day holiday.

Whedon will oversee a Marvel-produced SHIELD television show for ABC, before starting work on the Avengers sequel, due for a summer 2015 release.


The Avengers Crosses $1.5 Billion At Worldwide Box Office...

While the re-release of The Avengers at the U.S. box office might have failed to break into the top ten Labor Day weekend movies, it did help The Avengers reach another major milestone. The Avengers has become the third movie in history to cross the $1.5 billion mark at the worldwide box office.

While retaining its number three position on the worldwide box office list, The Avengers took in another estimated $1.7 million over Labor Day weekend, which brought The Avengers U.S. box office total to $619.5 million and The Avengers worldwide box office total to $1.501 billion.

Interestingly enough, The Dark Knight Rises also reached a milestone today, surpassing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which means that combined The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have accounted for $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office this year. If you add in The Amazing Spider-Man, which currently sits at number four on the 2012 worldwide box office list with $734.9 million, then the total rises to $3.2 billion. It’s definitely a good time to be in the superhero movie making business.


Expendables blitzes box office...

Explosions, guns and hand-to-hand fighting seem to be the flavour of the month on Australian cinema screens, with The Expendables 2 debuting at the top of the box office.

The film, packed with 1990s action stars (and Liam Hemsworth) took $2.962 million at the weekend, according to figures released by the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

The Bourne Legacy held on to its No.2 position on the box office charts while last week's top place-getter, Total Recall, fell to third place.

Feel-good Aussie movie The Sapphires fell one spot to fourth but still managed to pull in $1.146 million, while ageing rom-com Hope Springs also dropped a spot to finish fifth.

The Dark Knight Rises is still in the Top Ten after seven weeks and more than $41 million, at sixth place, while Finding Nemo 3D debuted in seventh.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom dropped one place to eighth, Will Ferrell's latest comedy The Campaign finished ninth and Step Up 4: Miami Heat rounded out the Top Ten.

Top 10 at the Australian Box Office this weekend:

1. The Expendables 2 - $2.962 million (Roadshow)

2. The Bourne Legacy - $1.273 million (Universal)

3. Total Recall - $1.166 million (Sony)

4. The Sapphires - $1.146 million (Eone/Hopscotch)

5. Hope Springs - $868,207 million (Roadshow)

6. The Dark Knight Rises - $570,846 (Warner Bros)

7. Finding Nemo 3D - $403,700 (Walt Disney)

8. Moonrise Kingdom - $393,824 (Universal)

9. The Campaign - $283,950 (Warner Bros)

10. Step Up 4: Miami Heat - $139,801 (Universal)


2012 Box Office News (U.S Report)...

The summer movie season started out with a bang, and then it…

Say, did we mention it started out with a bang?

It wasn't exactly all downhill after The Avengers kicked things off in record fashion, but it was close. Overall domestic ticket revenue this summer will top out at $4.3 billion, down 2.2 percent from last summer, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.

The Avengers' big return to theaters: a Titanic surprise?

Here are more findings from the season, which concludes this holiday weekend:

The Avengers Wasn't the Most Powerful Movie: Well, all right, it was, but it didn't make 16 times its production budget. That honor goes to Channing Tatum's Magic Mike, which cost $7 million and made $113 million domestically, per BoxOfficeMojo.com stats. Other bottom-line wonders: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which made 13 times its $10 million budget for a worldwide total of $131 million; and, hey—whaddya know?—The Avengers, which did its $220 million budget about seven times better with a worldwide gross of $1.5 billion.

Men in Black 3 Was the Most-Valuable Movie: Per a rundown of the studios' latest fiscal reports, Sony was about the only major player that saw a significant uptick in ticket revenue, and that was due to the not-especially beloved MiB sequel, which grossed $624 million worldwide.

The Dark Knight Rises Outgrossed The Dark Knight…Briefly: We've noted it before, but it's worth noting again. In the pre-Aurora world, The Dark Knight Rises scored $30.6 million from opening-day midnight screenings, and towered above its predecessor, which debuted to $18.5 million in 2008. In the post-Aurora world, the movie ran behind The Dark Knight in each and every successive major box-office period.

Avengers alternate opening revealed

Total Recall Outgrossed Total Recall…Once: The pricey Colin Farrell reboot opened to a soft $26 million, but averaged more per screen ($7,103) than a one-theater-only rerelease of the 1990 original ($5,788). And thus concludes the positive things to take away from the pricey Colin Farrell reboot.

Spider-Man Isn't British for Nothing: With Andrew Garfield behind the mask, nearly two-thirds of The Amazing Spider-Man's $705 million worldwide take came from overseas audiences, the largest percentage yet for a big-screen Spider-Man.

The Hunger Games Competed: This was a nifty trick, as The Hunger Games was not a summer movie, having opened back in March. But the blockbuster played and played and played, and from the start of the movie summer, on May 4, through Wednesday, it grossed another $33 million domestically, a total that on its own was roughly as big as Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, which, no, was not big at all.

Adam Sandler's That's My Boy Was Not an "Unfortunate, Large Miss": That precise distinction belongs to Battleship, which was branded as such by the chairman of Comcast, which runs Universal Pictures. (E! and Universal are both part of the NBCUniversal family, which is owned by Comcast.) The $200 million Battleship did make back its reported budget, grossing about $300 million worldwide. The same can't be said of Sandler's That's My Boy ($70 million budget; $50 million worldwide gross). Or Tom Cruise's Rock of Ages ($75 million budget, $50 million worldwide gross). Or Ben Stiller's The Watch ($68 million budget; $37 million worldwide).
Sequels for Prometheus, Snow White, Magic Mike, more?

What to Expect When You're Expecting Was No Prometheus: Prometheus, like a number of summer movies, including Snow White and the Huntsman, Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows and the aforementioned Battleship and Total Recall, failed to match or surpass their budgets from domestic ticket sales alone. The unheralded Jennifer Lopez-led ensemble comedy, however, grossed $41 million domestically, and $80 million worldwide, from a $40 million budget.

Ray Romano Is King of the World, Practically: Among the summer's animated films, the latest Ice Age sequel, Continental Drift, ran behind Brave and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted—domestically. Internationally, the Romano-voiced wooly mammoth stood alone, grossing a whopping $660 million-plus for a worldwide total of about $815 million. That made Continental Drift the third-biggest overall hit of the season after The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. This is par for the course for the Ice Age movies that probably have their own postage stamps in countries such as Germany, Finland and Brazil.

Here's a rundown of the summer's Top 10-grossing films heading into Labor Day weekend, per domestic stats from BoxOfficeMojo and The Numbers:

The Avengers, $617.8 million
The Dark Knight Rises, $425 million
The Amazing Spider-Man, $258.6 million
Brave, $230 million
Ted, $215.2 million
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, $213.9 million
Men in Black 3, $178.5 million
Snow White and the Huntsman, $155 million
Ice Age: Contiental Drift, $154.3 million
Prometheus, $126.3 million (E! Online)


‘Global James Bond Day’ - 3rd September 2012...

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise on the anniversary of “Dr. No,” which enjoyed its world film premiere in London on October 5, 1962, and in anticipation of the worldwide release of the 23rd James Bond adventure “Skyfall,” Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today that October 5, 2012 will be “Global James Bond Day,” a day-long series of events for Bond fans around the world.

A new feature documentary from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Passion Pictures and Red Box Films, “Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007,” will be also be unveiled, country-specific details to follow. Directed by Stevan Riley (“Fire In Babylon”), “Everything or Nothing” focuses on three men with a shared dream – Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming. It’s the thrilling and inspiring narrative behind the longest running film franchise in cinema history which began in 1962.

Further worldwide events celebrating Bond’s golden anniversary include a global online and live auction charity event of 50 lots to benefit twelve charitable institutions organized by Christie´s in London (full details at www.christies.com/bond), a global survey to discover the favorite Bond film by country, a film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a “Music of Bond” night in Los Angeles hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an exhibition, “Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style,” at TIFF in Toronto.

Leading up to “Global James Bond Day,” for the first time ever fans can own all 22 films in the franchise on Blu-ray Disc in one comprehensive collection with “BOND 50,” releasing worldwide beginning September 24. Further updates by country will be announced in due course on 007.com and facebook/JamesBond007.

Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in “Skyfall,” the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time.


Jim Carrey joins Kick-Ass 2 cast...

Jim Carrey has been offered the role of Colonel Stars in Jeff Wadlow's superhero comedy, director Jeff Wadlow has strongly hinted.

Director Jeff Wadlow and creator Mark Millar have hinted that the 50-year-old funnyman has landed the coveted role of Colonel Stars in the sequel to 2010's wacky superhero comedy.

Jeff tweeted: "6 days till we start shooting... and we officially have our Colonel. Alrighty f'n then! @ChloeGMoretz @MintzPlasse @donald_faison #kickass2. (sic)"

After Christopher Mintz-Plasse replied asking who his new co-star was going to be, the original comic book's author Mark replied: "Clue - he lives with 200 raccoons and parrots, owns the mask of Loki and named by spielberg as a genius. (sic)"

During Jim's 1994 film 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective', which sees him play the titular character, his alter-ego is a private investigator who specialises in the retrieval of captive animals.

'The Mask' star Jim is reportedly a big fan of the original 'Kick-Ass' film by Matthew Vaughn and was being courted to play the born again Christian superhero, who assembles a motley crew of superheroes to help fight evil.

The sequel will see several new additions to the cast, including 'Scrubs' actor Donald Faison as Doctor Gravity and John Leguizamo as Red Mist's bodyguard, Javier.

The comedy will begin shooting this Friday (07.08.12) and sees Aaron Johnson returning as the lead Kick-Ass, while co-stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz and Nicolas Cage are also reprising their roles from the first film.

'Kick-Ass 2' is set for release in June 2013.


US actor Michael Clarke Duncan dies - 4th September 2012...

Michael Clarke Duncan's fiancee says the Oscar nominee for The Green Mile has died while being hospitalised following a July heart attack.

Publicist Joy Fehily released a statement from Clarke's fiance, the Reverend Omarosa Manigault, saying the 54-year-old actor died on Monday morning in a Los Angeles hospital after nearly two months of treatment following the July 13 heart attack.

The 196-centimetre tall, 136 kilogram Duncan appeared in dozens of films, including such box office hits as Armageddon, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu Panda.

Duncan had a handful of minor roles before The Green Mile brought him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

The 1999 film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, starred Tom Hanks as a corrections officer at a penitentiary in the 1930s.

Duncan played John Coffey, a convicted murderer.


Russell Crowe bailed out by Coast Guard...

Russell Crowe needed some help from the U.S. Coast Guard late Saturday night during a kayaking trip that went awry off New York's Long Island.

The actor was enjoying some water recreation in Long Island, where he's filming -- irony alert! -- the Darren Aronofsky epic "Noah" (as in Ark). He took off in a kayak from Cold Spring Harbor Saturday afternoon, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Swieciki told the Associated Press. When it got dark, he and a friend apparently got lost but managed to make their way to shore, beaching their kayaks in Huntington Bay -- nearly 10 miles from where they had set out.

The coast guard was patrolling the area and heard the 48-year-old actor calling out from the shore around 10 p.m. According to Swiecki, the officer did not recognize the actor but paddled over and brought them to Huntington Harbor.

"It wasn't really a rescue," Swieciki told the AP. "Really, more of just giving someone a lift."
The two men were wearing life vests and sustained no injuries.

For his part, Crowe was grateful for the assistance, tweeting at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, "Thanks to Seth and the boys from the US Coast Guard for guiding the way ... 4 hrs 30 mins, 7m(11.2km)."

And he later expounded, writing, "We knew where exactly where we were, paddling around from csh into wind, we ran out of day. Grand adventure eh."


Aussie actors Crowe and Jackman at war...

Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman are at war!

According to various news reports, the actors having been fighting like catty tween girls while shooting the new Les Miserables movie.

“They refuse to be in the same room – trying to get them to promote a film together is a nightmare,” a source tells Star magazine.

“They’ve known each other for a decade, but during this shoot, any shred of civility was thrown aside. They can’t stand each other, each calling the other an embarrassment to the profession.

“Russell sneers at Hugh’s musical-theater background. But Hugh says Russell embarrassed his country with his bad reputation in Hollywood.”

Costar Anne Hathaway has tried to mend fences, but the actors won’t budge.

“Producers hope she can convince them to come to a truce, but it’s not looking very promising,” said the source.

Idea of the moment: Crowe VS Jackman at WWE WrestleMania (Jackman is a known massive WWE fan and has participated in a physical WWE angle in the past, so here's hoping).


Howzat: Kerry Packer's war on cricket may be missing Dennis Lillee...

Many in media and sports circles are now buzzing that the true founding father of one-day cricket was not Kerry Packer but Dennis Lillee - yet the TV smash Howzat! whitewashes him from history, one of the original World Series directors has revealed.

In an rocket on Channel 9's ratings blockbuster, World Series Cricket director Austin Robertson - who also featured as a character in the mini-series - said Australians should thank Lillee for creating the one-day game.

In response, the show's producers launched a broadside of their own, claiming they asked Lillee to contribute but the bowling superstar refused to because he wouldn't get any money.

Mr Robertson, who worked closely with the former Nine king and the rebel team, also defended "the Big Fella" and said he was not the bully he was portrayed to be. Nor was the late batting star David Hookes the simpering and indecisive vacillator depicted in the show.

Mr Robertson said Howzat! was great entertainment and brilliantly produced but riddled with inaccuracies.

"The producers made a nonsense of the way they treated the man really responsible for the whole thing - Dennis Lillee," he said.

"Dennis was visible enough but he is not given the acknowledgement for having the idea in the first place, and his contribution in putting the entire thing together. Other people have put their hands up for having the brainchild of WSC but I am here to say that, without Lillee, it would never have happened at the time.

"Though Packer was determined to get the precious television rights, they would never have been delivered at that time without having the best fast bowler in the world in his corner.

"Curiously, the producers of the show, in the curtain-call of the program, in the segment 'Where are the main players today,' DKL was again overlooked.

"I had to ask myself, why did they do that? It was Lillee who delivered the players and, while it was great to be playing on the Packer team, without Lillee it would have never got off the ground."

Southern Star producer John Edwards, who made the show, hit back at Mr Robertson. He said Lillee boycotted the show and "shut down" Mr Robertson after learning no money was on offer.: "He (Robertson) was invited. There's nothing more to say really. He was mad keen on being involved and Dennis got to him and he was shut down. Dennis wanted money.

"We tried to speak to everybody and not everybody wanted to speak. Some people had grievances and grudges.

"(Writer) Chris Lee tried to involve them as much as as possible in the story and they chose not to be involved."

Mr Robertson confirmed he and Lillee had been approached but declined to take part. He declined to comment further or say whether money was an issue.

Lillee could not be reached but he has consistently refused to comment on Howzat!.

Mr Robertson praised Mr Packer and revealed the media tycoon was not as aggressive as the show portrayed: "The portrayal of Kerry as a constant bully and user of foul language is far from the truth. He could bully. I saw him on many occasions rise up like an out-of-control bull elephant and reduce a grown man to tears. I heard him swear like a storm trooper when out of control. But I never saw him chuck a plate of food.

"I thought Kerry was in the main a humble man, often revealing great compassion, a gentle giant who would talk issues out for hours before making a decision, and then following it through.

"The mini-series gave everybody the impression he was a loud, foul- mouthed bully and we saw precious little of his other side."

Channel 9 declined to comment however sources at the network said they felt the show was spot on in capturing Mr Packer.

Mr Robertson also rejected Howzat!'s portrayal of friend David Hookes, who died after an altercation with a bouncer in Melbourne in 2004.

"David was not a weak, indecisive and nervous character who 'spilled the beans' to The Age's Peter McFarline."

And as for his own portrayal Mr Robertson said: "From birth, and throughout the many years I have enjoyed on the earth I have never had a moustache."


Prince Harry; casino tycoon Steve Wynn and fun and games in Las Vegas and beyond...

As the UK's Daily Mail states it's a rare man who walks away from Las Vegas with nothing to regret.

Prince Harry counts the cost of his escapades in Sin City, he may just be coming to regret the day he ever made the acquaintance of casino tycoon Steve Wynn.

Wynn, the self-proclaimed King of Las Vegas, is the billionaire owner of the five-star Encore Wynn resort, the opulent hotel-casino in whose eight-room, £5,100-a-night suite the prince was photographed playing strip billiards.

Unsubstantiated reports this week have suggested that cocaine was snorted in the suite, and that a known prostitute was among the guests. There are even rumours of a video tape capturing the night's events. So how did the third-in-line to the throne come to meet – even befriend – a septuagenarian gambling mogul?

Steve Wynn, a flamboyant showman with a surgically-enhanced, wrinkle-free face, carefully coiffed hair, a volcanic temper and a trophy wife, is famous for befriending celebrities whose patronage would be good for business.

Last November, 70-year-old Wynn was spotted having dinner with the prince in one of his Vegas steakhouses while the Prince was enjoying a weekend break from an advanced helicopter training course in Arizona.

Waiving the bills of celebrities is common practice in Vegas, and it remains unclear who paid the estimated £30,000 bill for Harry's recent stay. According to Wynn's spokesman, the tab was not picked up by either the tycoon or his hotel.

Is the prince welcome to return? I can't see why not,' the spokesman said.

Wynn is unlikely to be perturbed by Harry's naked shenanigans, but if drugs do turn out to have been involved, he may swiftly seek to distance himself from the events. He may be Las Vegas's most revered casino owner, but he still has his gambling licence and his reputation to think about. It is a reputation that Wynn is eager to protect. He has worked hard to erase the stains of the past.

Today, he is widely credited as the man who single-handedly cleaned up' Vegas and made it into a place in which Wall Street could invest and young families could holiday (if parents don't mind their children collecting the prostitutes' calling cards which litter the pavement).

Yet for all his denials, Wynn, who is worth $2.5 billion, has never shaken off accusations that he was linked for many years to the mobsters who once ruled Las Vegas.

He has weathered successive U.S. investigations over everything from drug-dealing to money-laundering, and has never been found to have committed any wrong-doing.

In Britain, the authorities have proved harder to convince. When he tried to open a casino in London to exploit the influx of rich Arabs in the early Eighties, Scotland Yard denied him a licence. But in the desert city of Las Vegas, he remains a swaggering icon. He has a reputation for being sophisticated' but that's by Vegas standards.

This is a man who bought Impressionist masterpieces only to hang them on the walls of his casinos; who reputedly blew his finger off while playing with a gun given to him by a former Mob hitman, and who boasts that his wife Andrea has the greatest butt in the world'.

Money is no object. In 2005, Wynn sank $2.7 billion into building just one hotel the curved glass and steel Wynn Las Vegas. He then did the same again a few years later with the Encore.

So enamoured is he with the idea of himself as Sin City royalty that he arranged his wedding last year to coincide with that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Hollywood star Clint Eastwood was best man and lingerie model Caprice a bridesmaid. The reception, held in the ballroom of Wynn's Encore resort, boasted a 500-strong guest list which included Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg, Lionel Richie, Sir Philip Green and Celine Dion.

Each guest left with a five-inch high replica of the tiered wedding cake, but it's unlikely Wynn or his rake-thin new wife enjoyed much of the banquet. Both are vegans, and the youth-obsessed Wynn, who exists on a diet of vitamin pills, liquidised walnuts and the occasional indulgent dribble of olive oil, boasts that he still has a 32in waistline.

After years of hard graft and wheeler-dealing, he has earned the right to behave as he wishes. The son of an East Coast bingo parlour operator and hardened gambler, the brash and handsome Wynn Jnr expanded the family business to Las Vegas with a string of clever investments and ambitious hustling.

In the Seventies and Eighties, when Wynn was building his empire, Las Vegas was full of the mobsters who had originally built its gambling industry.

Some say it was impossible to work in the city and not come into contact with mafiosi, even unwittingly. Others have suggested that, even so, Wynn had an unusually large number of brushes with the Mob.

Wynn himself has vigorously denied any involvement with the Mob, and none of the numerous law enforcement investigations for gambling licences have ever concluded that he worked for or with organised crime.

In 1967, he was with some business associates of noted mobsters on a private yacht cruise on a lake in Nevada when a naked young woman somehow fell over the back of the boat and was chopped almost in half by the propeller blades. Her death prompted an investigation, but everyone on board denied having seen the incident.

And he had trouble with officials in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1986 after investigators discovered mobster Tony Castelbuono, a friend of Wynn, was laundering the profits of heroin trafficking at his gambling tables. Wynn almost lost his gambling licence.

Today, such tales of the Mob are just water under the bridge. Wynn has re-invented himself as the business genius who demolished seedy gambling joints along the Vegas Strip and replaced them with slick hotel-casinos such as the Mirage (the city's first 3,000-bed hotel), the Treasure Island and the Bellagio.

Part of his success has been his ability to turn on the charm with important people. But Wynn is notorious, too, for his temper. In 1991, he reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum with the former president of Wynn's Golden Nugget casino, who described Wynn as a womanising, brutal boss.

In allegations made in documents lodged at court, it was said that he would get so angry that his eyes bulged and he started screaming at the top of his lungs and banging his head on the table'. There was no admission of liability by Wynn, who denied the allegations.

His mother Zelma claims his tyrannical behaviour is the result of frustration over his failing eyesight. The tycoon suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive genetic disease which effectively gives him tunnel vision by destroying his ability to see peripheral images. In a dark room, he is completely blind.

His vision may be failing, but for years he was infamous for his roving eye, keeping keys to empty rooms at his various hotels for trysts. He was known to favour his female blackjack croupiers.

All that came to a stop when he met the beautiful Mrs Wynn. Usually described as a British socialite, 48-year-old Andrea was, in fact, born in New York but, as her proud husband likes to stress, was raised in England and France. Tres sophistique.

It all sounds rather less chic when you learn that the family moved to France because her father, a wheeler-dealer named Victor Danenza, fled there in 1976 to escape an FBI fraud investigation.

Before becoming the second Mrs Wynn, Andrea had lived in London with her first husband, Texan banker Robert Hissom, a former polo-playing friend of Prince Charles.

She met Wynn in 2008 in St Tropez, where he keeps a yacht, and the couple began a very public romance. Wynn divorced his long-suffering first wife Elaine, after 46 years of marriage, and wed Andrea last year.

Elaine made around $740 million from the settlement one of the biggest payouts in U.S. divorce history. The costly divorce appears not to have troubled Mr Wynn, who is delighted with his new wife.

It's like God made a woman for me,' he once said, before pointing out the part of his wife he most admired the greatest butt in the world'.

It all goes to show that money can buy you neither taste nor manners. Even Wynn's attempts to acquire a collection of old masterpieces have invited accusastions that he was vulgar and greedily acquisitive.

He has, since the late Nineties, spent hundreds of millions of dollars on paintings by Picasso and Degas, Caravaggio and Titian. He has several times scooped the world's great galleries at auction, only to horrify the art world by hanging his purchases in his casinos.

At 70, he shows no sign of slowing down though controversy continues to dog him. He is embroiled in a three-year court battle with Joe Francis, founder of the soft porn video empire Girls Gone Wild.

In documents lodged at court, Francis claims Wynn threatened in an email that he would kill him over a $2 million gambling debt. Wynn is alleged to have written that he would hit Francis in the back of the head with a shovel'.

Wynn denies the allegations and claims no such email exists.

In Asia, where Wynn now earns 70 per cent of his profits from the gambling mecca of Macau, a resort on the South China Sea, he is embroiled in a battle with a former business partner, Kazuo Okada.

This week, Okada sued Wynn for $140 millino for libel after each accused the other of paying bribes within the Asian gambling industry. No amount of black marble and old masters can hide the sleaziness at the heart of Las Vegas.

It is hard to believe Wynn when he claims he could just as easily have gone into family theme parks if Walt Disney hadn't done it first. Indeed, it seems about as likely as Prince Harry settling for free entry to Sleeping Beauty's Castle rather than a weekend with his colourful acquaintances in Sin City.

One ponders if the prince may be planning to visit in any casino - hotels in the near future, and little doubt that Australia's The Star or Crown Melbourne would love to have him. The smart money say's Prince Harry will no be stepping into any casino in Australia or anywhere else in the near future, perhaps more positive PR appearances will be on the cards however.


Soprano tops bill for Ten Days festival...

Internationally-renowned soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will perform at next year's Ten Days on the Island Festival in Tasmania.

The New Zealand singer is one of two top international acts secured by the organisers.

Dame Kiri will perform in Launceston, Hobart and Burnie during the festival next March.

Festival director Jo Duffy says the Tasmanian performances will give the acclaimed performer a very intimate experience.

"She's performed at the Royal Albert Hall, she's won Grammy awards, she's performed at La Scala, she's performed for the Queen and various members of the Royal Family," she said.

"But really a lot of performers, when they reach a certain stage in their career, they want to almost get back to were they began, to be able to look their audiences in the eye and really relate to them very closely."

Award-winning New York theatre company Elevator Repair Service will open the festival with a performance based on an Ernest Hemingway novel.

Ms Duffy says interest is already huge.

"We have already had people interested in coming to Tasmania specifically to see this show."

"It's only doing six performances and it's travelled around the world to many of the very large international arts festivals and it's not been to anywhere else in Australia."


Zionist casino mogul Sheldon Adelson rocks Israeli media...

The loss-making 60-year old Israeli daily Maariv plans to stop appearing as a weekday newspaper and convert to a digital-only edition unless a major new injection of investment can be found to sustain it in printed form.

But its plight also likely to cast a fresh spotlight on the runaway success—at least in circulation terms—of its newest competitor, the right-wing free paper Israel Hayom, which is financially backed by US casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson.

While the paper is likely to continue printing a weekend edition for the foreseeable future, the planned move comes amid fears by journalists at the paper of significant possible layoffs.

Nir Hefetz, Maariv’s editor-in chief told Army Radio yesterday: "We've been looking at the digital direction for a number of months and it's all just a matter of timing. If we won't have any oxygen, we will be forced to make the move quickly."

Discount Investments, which has a 62 per cent holding in the paper and is part of the financially troubled IDB conglomerate has agreed to back a £2.3m bank loan, but one which is apparently conditional on a halt to weekday printing and other cost cutting measures.

Israel Hayom, which strongly supports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is owned and funded by Mr Adelson, the American casino billionaire who is a major Republican Party benefactor, and opponent of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After supporting the unsuccessful GOP primary candidate Newt Gingrich, he indicated he could spend up to $100m on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

While Israel Hayom also has paid delivery to homes it is handed out for free by seemingly ubiquitous newsboys across the country. It says that "reaching every citizen and every venue in Israel is one of the key tenets of the paper’s mission.2

The paper survived an unsuccessful attempt in 2009 by Knesset members to block majority newspaper ownership by foreigners. An unnamed Yedhiot Ahronot executive was recently quoted in the business daily Globes saying: "Adelson has simply brought ruin to the Israeli newspaper market, and the Israeli politicians who benefit from its flattering coverage have allowed this unprecedented phenomenon to occur."

While the paper has a range of established columnists and is highly professionally produced, it was criticised over its deletion of an insulting reference to Mr Netanyahu in its report of the letter left by Moshe Silman, who set fire to himself during a social protest in Tel Aviv in July.

Like other media, Israel Hayom provided readers with an illustration of the letter written by Mr Silman, who later died of his injuries. And it said that Mr Netanyahu and his finance minister Yuval Steinitz were among those Mr Silman blamed for his financial plight. But unlike other media it displayed an image which failed to include the letter’s two lines describing the two politicians as “scumbags”—or literally “stinking dead bodies.”

According to the latest authoritative survey by the market research organisation TGI Israel Hayom, which boasts a weekday distribution of 275,000 copies, has a 38.1 per cent share of that market, compared to its closest rival, Yedhiot Ahronot, with 36.1 per cent and Maariv with 11.1 per cent. The left-leaning daily Haaretz has a market share of 7.2 per cent. (Belfast Telegraph)


Sam Razavi Wins 2012 APPT Melbourne Main Event - 03 Sep 2012

The second Main Event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) wrapped up this weekend at the famed Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia as the final nine players competed for the AUD $326,125 first prize. In the end, it was England’s Samad “Sam” Razavi who emerged triumphant for his first ever APPT title.

Razavi entered the nine-handed final table second in chips with 1.318 million, one of four players over the million chip mark. He had a bit of a gap to make up, though, as Tom Grigg led the remaining field with 2.271 million chips.

It took Razavi about three hours to make his big move, but as they say, good things come to those who wait, right? Throughout much of the final table, he was basically just one of the crowd, not really doing much to distinguish himself aside from eliminating Brendon Rubie in 9th place, but Rubie was down to just 30,000 chips at that point, anyway. In the meantime, other players had made runs at the top, including Wayne Bentley and Keith Walker. But finally, with just four players remaining, Razavi made his move.

Bentley raised pre-flop to 60,000 and Razavi called. Razavi then check-called a 150,000 bet after the flop landed Q diamonds-6 diamonds-4 diamonds. The check-bet-call pattern was the same on the turn A hearts and river 8 clubs (but for 250,000 and 400,000 chips, respectively). Apparently, Razavi wasn’t too worried about losing the hand, quickly revealing Q spades-T clubs for just second pair (or maybe he wanted to end the pain quickly, like tearing off a bandage). If that was confidence, it was spot on, as Bentley mucked, handing the sizable pot to Razavi. That hand sent Razavi’s stack up to 2.5 million, while Bentley’s fell to 1.1 million.

Twenty minutes later, Razavi grabbed another 200,000 chips, this time from Grigg, who was seeing his fortunes decline. Just a few minutes later, though, Grigg took a large sum of chips while eliminating Wayne Bentley in 4th place. Bentley had gotten all of his chips in on the turn with a flush draw and Grigg had made the call with top pair. The flush, obviously, never came to fruition.

Going into three-handed play, it was a very close race with Razavi holding 2.74 million chips, Grigg claiming ownership to 2.6 million, and Walker clutching 2.2 million. After more than an hour, it looked like Grigg was going to run away with the tournament, as his stack was up to 5 million, while Razavi had 1.5 million and Walker had just 1.2 million.

But Razavi doubled-up with 9-9 versus Grigg’s A-K, followed by Walker winning an 800,000 chip pot from Grigg. And then, just like that, it was Sam Razavi’s tournament. In what may have been the turning point of the tournament, Grigg opened pre-flop to 105,000 and Razavi called. Grigg again bet 105,000 on the K-T-T flop and Razavi again called. They both checked the 4 on the turn and Grigg checked the 3 on the river, but Razavi bet 500,000. Grigg went deep into the tank and finally made the call, though his cards were never revealed as Razavi flipped over 3-3 for a rivered full house. That was nearly a one million chip pot for Razavi, sending him up to 2.65 million chips.

And then, after having led for much of the final table, Tom Grigg was gone. Grigg raised a hand pre-flop to 100,000 and was once again called by Razavi. Just like before, Grigg bet 105,000 on the 7-7-5 flop and Razavi called. When a Queen landed on the turn, Grigg threw down 215,000 chips and Razavi made the call. The river was a 3 and Grigg checked, only to be shocked when Razavi moved all-in. Obviously a huge decision, Grigg pondered it so long that Razavi had to call clock on him. Grigg eventually made the (crying) call and Razavi instantly showed that he had 5-5 and flopped a boat. Grigg was eliminated and Razavi took a 5.9 million to 1.8 million chip lead into heads-up play against Keith Walker.

Heads-up play was short and sweet. On one of the opening hands, Walker three-bet all-in pre-flop with pocket Jacks and Razavi called with K-T of spades. The flop presented two spades, giving Razavi a flush draw, and the turn brought third, clinching the hand and the tournament title for Sam Razavi.

The AUD $326,125 first prize is the largest cash of Razavi’s career. He has had success in the past, placing sixth in the 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event for $222,530 and winning the 2011 UK & Ireland Poker Tour – Cork Main Event for $100,628. He has now earned over $800,000 on the live tournament circuit.

2012 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Melbourne – Final Table Results (AUD$)

1. Sam Razavi – $326,125
2. Keith Walker – $205,345
3. Tom Grigg – $114,750
4. Wayne Bentley – $87,575
5. Gary Benson – $72,475
6. James Bills – $57,375
7. Kristian Lunardi – $45,300
8. Nigel Andrews – $36,240
9. Brendon Rubie – $27,175 (Poker News Daily)


Bwin.party losing its poker face...

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Online gaming titan bwin.party says revenues in the first half of 2012 grew at its casino and gaming offerings but poker has been hit by strong competitors and difficulties in southern Europe.

The group was formed last year by the merger between German outfit bwin Interactive Entertainment and British firm PartyGaming and still has co-Chief Executives Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.

On a pro forma basis (comparing the results of both companies before the merger), total revenue increased by 3% to €410.0m (2011: €398.0m). This was achieved despite an 11% increase in gaming taxes so that the pro forma “clean” earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 13% to €92.3m (2011: €81.9m). This is better than the forecast of €89m made by analysts at Peel Hunt.

Bwin.party has also had to take a nasty one-off charge of €31.5m after the Spanish authorities contacted all of the major online gaming operators making clear any online operator that had ever accepted customers from Spain had an obligation to pay Spanish taxes.

The group offers four online “experiences”: sports betting produced revenues of €128.1m in the first half, versus €125.7m in 2011; casino and games delivered €139.7m, against €124.3m in the prior year; bingo was down from €33m to €31.5m; while the weakest performance was from poker, which fell from €104.9m to €96.4m.

In a joint statement, Ryan and Teufelberger said they were "determined to return [poker] to growth through execution of a detailed plan that includes pooling our poker liquidity as well as repositioning our flagship PartyPoker brand.”

The interim dividend has been increased by 10% to 1.72p per share although the company warned that net gaming revenue since June has fallen 8% as the end of the Euro 2012 Championships and a late start to the Bundesliga hit takings.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment: PartyCasino gets new 'Under the Sea' slot game

Check out PartyCasino via the Media Man network for more on this exciting new slot game which can be played for free or played for money. Bwin.Party is one of the most financially stable gaming companies on the planet and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. They also high security and high excitment online poker, sports betting and more.


New Trailer For Marvel Heroes...

Gazillion Entertainment is proud to show off a new trailer for Marvel Heroes. The new trailer announces 3 new playable heroes in the game – Daredevil, Punisher, and Squirrel Girl. The trailer made its debut at the Marvel Heroes panel at PAX 2012. The panel featured Gazillion President David Brevik (one of the creators of Diablo!), legendary Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man! Avengers vs. X-Men! And) and Marvel’s mighty VP of Games Production TQ Jefferson. If you look closely, you’ll also see a bunch of villains were also revealed in the trailer, including Mr. Fisk the notorious crime lord.

Website:
http://www.youtube.com/marvelheroesonline

About Marvel Heroes...

Marvel Heroes is a FREE-TO-PLAY action-packed massively multiplayer online game created by David Brevik, the visionary behind Diablo and Diablo 2. Set in the iconic Marvel Universe, Marvel Heroes combines the core game-play style of Diablo and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel Superheroes (including Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine, Hulk, Spider Man, Captain America and many others). Team up with friends and try to stop Doctor Doom from devastating the world with the power of the Cosmic Cube in a story crafted by comic-book super-scribe Brian Michael Bendis.


The Main Event's top 10 best MMA fights of the rest of 2012...

This weekend has been more about the fight that didn’t happen than any that did.

UFC 151 was canceled Aug. 23 and the the finger of blame has been pointed in every which direction. The basics are that Dan Henderson partially tore his MCL and was unable to compete in the main event against Jon Jones. Jones was given a fill-in opponent in Chael Sonnen, but turned it down, causing the UFC to cancel the show altogether and inciting president Dana White to go all medievel on Jones in a media conference call.

White blames Jones and his coach Greg Jackson. Jones has blamed the UFC, himself and Henderson (or “that old man,” according to a tweet Saturday). There’s more finger pointing here than in the Republic National Convention. Just not as many empty chairs or old, senile actors.
But what’s done is done. Jones will face Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 on Sept. 22. UFC 151 will forever be known as the event that wasn’t and it’s time to move on.

There are plenty of exciting fights to look forward to before 2013. Here’s a look at our top 10 (barring injuries):

10. Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le (UFC on Fuel TV 6, Nov. 10 in Macau)
This one isn’t as much about the fight as it is about the significance of the event – the UFC’s first in China. Neither of these guys is currently in their prime, but they always give crowd-pleasing performances. Le, a native of Vietnam, should have a massive Asian following.

9. Eddie Alvarez vs. Patricky Freire (Bellator 76, Oct. 12 in Windsor, Ontario)
Alvarez might have dropped the Bellator title last year to Michael Chandler, but he’s still one of the top 15 lightweights in the world. This also could be his last Bellator fight with his contract expiring – don’t be surprised if he’s in the UFC in 2013. Explosive knockout artist Freire will be a game opponent.

8. Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson, UFC flyweight title (UFC 152, Sept. 22 in Toronto)
Don’t blink. These are two of the fastest guys in MMA and both challenged for the bantamweight title before the UFC created its flyweight division. This bout will determine the company’s first-ever flyweight champion and these are legitimately the top two guys in the world at 125.

7. Shane Carwin vs. Roy Nelson (TUF 16 finale, Dec. 15 in Las Vegas)
There’s very little chance this one leaves the first round. Carwin and Nelson love to slug it out and after coaching against one another on “The Ultimate Fighter” they probably won’t be too friendly. It’ll be nice to see Carwin, a former heavyweight top contender, back in the cage.

6. Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir (Strikeforce: Mir vs. Cormier, Oct. 27 in TBA)
This might be a Strikeforce fight, but it has UFC implications. Mir, the former UFC heavyweight champion, takes on Strikeforce champ Cormier in somewhat of a crossover matchup. But Cormier will be in the UFC right after this fight courtesy of Strikeforce's heavyweight division being disbanded and a win here puts him on path for a title shot in 2013.

5. BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald (UFC on Fox 5, Dec. 8 in Seattle)
The trash talk has already been fun between the two, but things will really heat up when they enter the Octagon. Think of this as something of a passing of the torch fight. Penn, in the twilight of his career, will put up a strong challenge against the young lion, but the multi-faceted MacDonald is nearing superstardom in the welterweight division.

4. Benson Henderson (c) vs. Nate Diaz, UFC lightweight title (UFC on Fox 5, Dec. 8 in Seattle)
This could easily be a Fight of the Year candidate if it goes how it’s supposed to. Neither of these guys gives an inch – both Henderson and Diaz are perpetually moving forward. A win here, against a superior standup fighter in Diaz, would put Henderson’s name among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

3. Jose Aldo (c) vs. Frankie Edgar, UFC featherweight title (UFC 153, Oct. 13 in Rio)
Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Aldo was supposed to defend his title against Erik Koch, but Koch had to pull out with an injury and his loss is the fans’ gain. Edgar was the UFC lightweight champion for more than a year and his last two losses were by the slimmest of margins. Aldo, meanwhile, is a buzzsaw – one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This is, indeed, a superfight.

2. Georges St. Pierre (c) vs. Carlos Condit, UFC welterweight unification (UFC 154, Nov. 17 in Montreal)
It seems like it’s been forever since St. Pierre has fought. One of the best MMA fighters of all time has not competed in more than a year and a half due to injuries, including a torn ACL. He returns to face red-hot Carlos Condit, who is coming off a win over Nick Diaz in January. St. Pierre, a dominant champ, has never faced anyone with the combination of speed, athleticism and technique that Condit has.

1. Junior dos Santos (c) vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC heavyweight title (UFC 155, Dec. 29 in Las Vegas)

This time, we’ll get the incredible battle of wills that we were promised last year. Velasquez lost his title to dos Santos last November in just over a minute via stunning knockout. To make matters worse, it was the UFC’s first show on Fox and the company took undeserved criticism for the quick, flash KO.

Who knew that dos Santos-Velasquez wouldn’t be a war? This one will make up for it, closing the year on a huge high note – the two best heavyweights in the world trading in the center of the cage. Only one will be standing at the end. (New York Post)


Captains agree it's Manly or Dogs to win - 3rd September 2012...

The NRL competition is a two-horse race between last year's premiers and this year's minor premiers, according to the eight captains taking part.

The pair, going head to head at ANZ Stadium in a qualifying final, were the overwhelming favourites in a poll of the team leaders at Monday's captains' call.

Premiership favourites the Sea Eagles were favoured by Canterbury's Michael Ennis and Cronulla's Paul Gallen as the team to beat, while North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston and Canberra's Terry Campese like the chances of this year's minor premiers.

'I can't go past Manly obviously with the side that they've got,' Gallen said.

'It's a pretty good side and they've been there and done it before.'

South Sydney's Michael Crocker summed up this year's premiership race perfectly when he admitted he couldn't pick a favourite between the two.

The Raiders only just squeezed into the finals on the back of a five-game winning streak, but they've been dubbed the dark horse of the competition, alongside the Rabbitohs, who emerged from a slump with two wins to finish the regular season.

'Souths have got a really good style of play and I reckon they're the smokies,' Thurston said.

'They've flown under the radar.

'Every team goes through a period like that (where they lose a few) but they've bounced back.'

After witnessing the Raiders pile on 36 unanswered points against last year's grand finalists the Warriors, Crocker admits he will be keeping one eye on the Green Machine.

'The way the Raiders have been playing, they're a scary prospect,' he said.

'If you look at their performance in the second half yesterday, when they were 22-6 down at halftime, to come out and score 36 points, they've got that ability and so many class players across the park.'

Ben Barba was unanimously anointed this year's Dally M Medal winner for his scintillating season with the Bulldogs, and was tied with Thurston on two votes a piece as the player most oppositions will fear these finals.

Manly's Jason King declined the opportunity to participate in the poll.

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