• Dirt Sheet History: August 2008

    Take a trip back to a memorable timeline in sports entertainment with the most important stories reported as fact in the journalistic world of pro wrestling dirt sheets.

    Following the timeline of the last Dirt Sheet History looking back at July 2008, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from August of 2008 as we read Dirt Sheet History.

    Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 through 2007 right here. Now enjoy August 2008.

    august

    8/1/2008

    * Brock Lesnar said he wouldn’t rule out a possible return to the pro wrestling ring one day. However, he said it would take a lot of money to entice him to return.

    8/2/2008

    * Kevin Nash walked out of the Impact taping on Wednesday night due to a booking decision he wasn’t pleased with. On next week’s Impact, TNA will be holding yet another Gauntlet “Royal Rumble” style 10-man match. Nash was scheduled to participate in the match and get eliminated during a commercial break, which he thought was stupid. He then walked out on the taping. Nonetheless, they worked things out afterwards and he’s still affiliated with the company.

    8/3/2008

    * The original storyline plan was for CM Punk to go heel, and then win the title via Money in the Bank. The suggestion for Punk to win the title in a fluke-like fashion didn’t go over too well at first, but arguments were made that since WWE decided on a youth movement and to shake things up, that Punk is the guy to push more than anyone else in the company. An argument made in Punk’s favor is that he is more popular than he should have been given his push, not to mention that he sells far more merchandise than someone in his position should. Since Vince McMahon gave the green light for Punk to win the title, everyone in creative is suddenly 100% behind him.

    On the other hand, the road agent/”producers” were very quiet about the move as many of them don’t think highly of Punk’s work. However, none of them will ever speak out against a Vince direction for fear of losing their job. Behind the scenes, Triple H, who has not been a supporter of Punk dating back to his arrival in the company, recently joked that Shawn Michaels will need to heel so Punk can have someone who can work him through a world title match.

    The directive of Punk often not looking too strong on television is from Vince. Vince believes that by making Punk cling onto the belt against “better” guys, it will cause fans to get behind him in the long run. This was the very same idea he had with Rey Mysterio, although Vince was never behind him as anything but a transitional champion.

    8/5/2008

    * According to a number of independent promoters, they were told today by representatives of Ric Flair that he has decided to part ways with World Wrestling Entertainment and that he is now available to take independent bookings.

    The split is said to be an amicable parting of the ways related to the company not allowing him to take outside offers he wanted to accept. Over the past few months, Flair has been forced to back out of a number of previously scheduled outside bookings because WWE didn’t approve of them.

    8/6/2008

    * Tammy “Sunny” Sytch wrote the following: “I got a phone call from the casting directors of Rock Of Love 3– they want me on it, but I politely turned them down..lol”.

    8/7/2008

    * SLAM! Wrestling has an article on Batista today. He said he’s less than thrilled with the buildup for his match with John Cena at SummerSlam. “It’s one of those things where, personally I like the long, drawn-out storylines,” Batista said. “The buildups to big matches where Triple H and I are the perfect example. We had such a buildup for our match. Cena and I being in such a marquee match, I really wish the buildup had been allowed.”

    He also added, “I think a match like that deserves the fan’s emotional investment. It’s way too soon. It’s just an attraction match and I think it’s more valuable than that, I think it’s been wasted a little bit. It will still be a hell of a match, I just wish some more emotional investment put into the match. Right now, I feel it’s more of an attraction, something that’s new and fresh.”

    8/8/2008

    * WWE.com has confirmed today’s reports regarding the releases of Big Daddy V, Shannon Moore, Domino, Nunzio, James Curtis, and WWE referee Nick Patrick.

    8/9/2008

    * Four-time World Heavyweight Champion Sid Vicious is telling friends that he will be returning to World Wrestling Entertainment in September.

    8/11/2008

    * The Sun out of the UK is reporting a close friend of Mick Foley has informed them that the hardcore icon is headed to TNA Wrestling when his WWE contract expires on September 1st.

    Foley’s friend told the Sun, “Mick’s body cannot handle a full time schedule, even in TNA. But he’s hell bent on doing everything he can to further his legacy and put them on the map.

    The friend added, “Mick’s plan is to wrestle select dates, like Sting currently does. He feels he will legitimately make a big difference in the way TNA Wrestling is perceived by the public!”

    8/12/2008

    * Sting did not appear at this week’s set of Impact tapings due to a contract dispute with TNA, reports ProWrestling.NET. According to multiple sources, Sting is in the midst of negotiating a new contract with the company and will not return to television until the situation is resolved.

    Sting is working with TNA on a year-to-year basis and his current contract should be expiring at the end of the year. During last year’s contract negotiation with Sting, TNA President Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett butted heads over offering a new contract to Sting as Jarrett didn’t feel he was worth the type of money that Carter was willing to pay him.

    8/14/2008

    * The Ottawa Sun posted an interview with Triple H today. He gave his candid thoughts on the wrestling business in terms of younger wrestlers, determining the greatest wrestlers, preferring being a heel, parenthood, and more.

    “I hate to sound like an oldtimer, but sometimes I get upset about the young guys,” Triple H said. “We’ve got guys like Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat and Michael Hayes around. That’s a wealth of knowledge, and they still have to make it mandatory for guys to show up early and go into the ring with them.”

    Triple H believes there’s a disconnect between him and the younger wrestlers, saying that a number of them are more concerned about with their iPods or playing Guitar Hero than getting better in wrestling. “When I got into the business, you couldn’t get me out of the building. I had a burning desire to get better. Now, the young guys seem more interested in their I Pods or playing Guitar Hero,” Triple H told the Ottawa Sun. “I see guys complaining: ‘I’ve been here for five years and they’re not doing anything with me.’ I say to the guy: ‘Dude, you’ve been doing the same thing now that you were five years ago. What do you expect?'”

    Triple H also gives his take on determining who the best wrestler in the business is. “If you go to the internet, there’s always somebody saying ‘this guy is the best wrestler in the world’ and you’ve got somebody else saying, ‘no, this guy is the best wrestler in the world.’ But it’s not about what they like. It’s what the masses like,” Hunter said. “These guys they’re talking about are wrestling in front of 50 people, not 20,000. And that’s because the masses don’t want to see them.” Triple H then praises Hulk Hogan. He said, “The biggest name ever, if you look at Hulk Hogan, what big move did he ever do? But he knew how to tell a story, how to get fans to interact with his character and keep them entertained. It’s not about how high or how far you can jump, it’s about telling stories.”

    Triple H admits he’s rather be doing what Edge is doing by playing a heel on television. He said he watched Dark Knight and would rather play The Joker than Batman. “It’s more fun playing a heel,” Triple H said. “I look at a guy like Edge, and I mean this in the nicest way, he’s getting to do such cool things.”

    8/15/2008

    * Reader Darren Gret has come up with a petition regarding the booking on TNA programming. Here is what he sent in:

    I am writing this email in hopes of having this petition linked to your website.

    Earlier this week, i was browsing some of the usual wrestling websites. I noticed one news post about a Steven Richards fan that made a petition to help him get hired by TNA. I thought to myself, why not make one to tell them exactly how we feel about the current TNA Booking? I made this in direct response to many of the message board posts and website columns i read on a weekly basis that are critical to the Booking and writing in TNA. While there are many valid points on both sides of the debate, there is clearly an overwhelming amount of TNA fans that are dissatisfied with their current direction.

    My ultimate goal is to get someone from TNA to read this. Either online or by physically printing the petition and mailing it to them. It’s all a longshot but then again, at least anyone that signs the petition will have tried to show TNA exactly how they feel about their current product. This petition is not meant to be an open bashing of TNA. This is an area for TNA to express that you simply want a change in the direction of their booking. Swearing and inflamatory rhetoric towards bookers, agents or anyone in TNA and/or any other wrestling promotion will be promptly deleted. This is just an area to post your approval, disapproval and constructive criticism of the current booking in hopes of showing them the urgency for a change.

    I would really appreciate it if this would be posted on your news site.

    8/17/2008

    * The following news is compiled from live reports sent in from several readers regarding Summerslam:

    — Staffers were working on the “Hell in a Cell” structure as fans began entering the arena.

    — Prior to the Summerslam pay-per-view in Indianapolis, Indiana, The Big Show defeated Bam Neely in a dark match.

    Mick Foley was not at the SummerSlam PPV and it appears as though he is finishing up with WWE.

    CM Punk was busted open the hardway when JBL fell back and their heads clashed.

    Santino‘s unabrow is somewhat of a backstage rib which is why they really emphasized it at SummerSlam during the backstage segment.

    8/18/2008

    * Dark matches from RAW:
    – Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Honored Crown champ Takeshi Morishima defeated Charlie Haas in a dark match priot to RAW. Morishima was accompanied to ringside by a Pro Wrestling NOAH representative as well as Harley Race.

    William Regal defeated local wrestler Jake Hager (Jack Swagger).

    8/19/2008

    * Gail Kim apparently done with TNA.

    8/21/2008

    * The Great Khali‘s knees are said to be shot these days. However, he has declined on getting them operated on yet again.

    8/22/2008

    * Paul Heyman has posted a commentary on The Sun website and is quite critical of Ric Flair‘s decision to leave World Wrestling Entertainment. “It’s sad to see Flair advertised for some low rent wrestling shows at this stage of his life,” Heyman writes. “He should really be above that. I don’t know what his take will be in 12 months, but unless it’s significantly above the half million dollars he was making from Vince McMahon, I just don’t understand what he’s trying to accomplish.” He also added, “I’m not saying Flair shouldn’t take advantage of his earning potential right now. And I hope he makes millions in whatever he does. But seeing him in these ads for every rinky dink out there just makes him look ancient instead of being relevant, which he still can be.”

    8/24/2008

    * Steve Austin could be receptive to putting on one final match for WWE fans and getting a Ric Flair-style send off at WrestleMania XXV, which will be taking place in his home state of Texas.

    In the past year, Jim Ross has dropped a few hints that Austin would be open to it.

    8/25/2008

    * Regarding Takeshi Morishima‘s dark matches for WWE last week, the reviews weren’t too positive. Or rather, the problem seems to be with his physical appearance.

    Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Live last night that a number of officials were put off by Morishima’s appearance, as he’s quite rotund. Some of them even thought Morishima disrespected his tryout by showing up in lackluster shape. Morishima is a big guy as he’s billed at 320 pounds.

    Meltzer also heard pretty much what Jim Ross wrote on his blog on Saturday regarding Morishima as he said he needs to hit the gym and work on his athletic conditioning. On Morishima, Ross wrote: “I haven’t heard a word about how well his matches went. I watched his match in Moline and it was o.k. Not bad, not great. It looks like Morishima might want to focus on his athletic conditioning and hit the gym more frequently. I am not being negative here only realistic. Morishima has “something” that seems like it might be worth exploring. I like his timing and there is no doubt potential with this young man.”

    In addition to this, if WWE were to bring him in, they would have to deal with a number of stringent political issues with NOAH officials because his side wants him to get some exposure in North America while still being their guy, then bring him back to Japan to carry the company after hopefully attaining stardom with the biggest wrestling company in the world. Basically, WWE can’t book him like a joke or make him look bad.

    Right now, it’s definitely not looking good for Morishima joining WWE.

    8/26/2008

    * John Cena will be out of action indefinitely due to a herniated disc in his neck, which will require surgery. The storyline reason for the injury is due to several Batista Bombs from Batista at SummerSlam.

    WWE.com has comments from John Cena regarding the neck injury that has pulled him out of the ring indefinitely. “It needs to be dealt with because I lost most of the feeling in my right arm and am having pain in my shoulder,” Cena told WWE.com. “I’m losing 20 percent of my strength per day. If I don’t do anything about it, the injury will end up rupturing and then the surgery will be more difficult. It’s not easy, because surgery never is.”

    8/27/2008

    * The primary reason Gail Kim left TNA for WWE was due to the significant discrepancy between the kind of money WWE offered her and what TNA offered her. According to multiple sources, Kim really didn’t really want to leave TNA, but she felt she had no choice but to accept WWE’s offer due to the massive difference in money.

    Despite being the most consistent TV ratings draws for the company, it appears that no matter how successful the female performers are for TNA, they’re still not going to make much money, at least in comparison to the guys.

    8/28/2008

    * The creative team is said to not be high on new WWE stars Scotty Goldman (Colt Cabana), Ryan Braddock (Jay Bradley) and Gavin Spears (Shawn Spears). That pretty much explains why it took them so long to be called up to the main roster and why they didn’t at least a get a few wins at the start. All three wrestlers have yet to win a match on WWE television.

    8/29/2008

    * Vince McMahon was said to be really upset backstage as to how R-Truth‘s debut on SmackDown last week came off. He wanted Killings to look like a top level star by looking strong in his first match and to sell nothing for Kenny Dykstra. There was some miscommunication as the road agents told R-Truth to do your standard babyface back-and-forth match by selling big at first and then doing a comeback.

    8/31/2008

    * It is believed that Shawn Michaels suffered a triceps tear at tonight’s Raw taping in St. Louis. That’s the current word going around backstage.

    – Tune back in next time for more Dirt Sheet History as we continue 2008.

    Stories are credited from Rajah, PWTorch, PWInsider and The Wrestling Observer. Month name photo art is by Phillip Martin.

    All past editions of Dirt Sheet History are found here.