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 December 2006, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from January of 2007 as we start a brand new year of Dirt Sheet History!
Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 through 2006 right here. Now enjoy January 2007.
* The Great Khali is expected to receive a huge push as we head towards WrestleMania. His program against Tommy Dreamer has been done to build Khali as a monster heel who has to go through the ‘ECW Original’ to prove himself. It’s set at this point to lead to WrestleMania with Khali getting a monster push in the process, and culminate with Great Khali challenging Bobby Lashley for the ECW title.
* The internet rumors regarding Claudio Castagnoli‘s WWE status are indeed true as he is no longer affiliated with World Wrestling Entertainment. Castagnoli was fired before he ever even worked one day for the company.
* Regarding Shawn Michaels‘ comment on Raw where he talked about wrestling “the greatest in-ring performer of his generation,” but then paused and said he hadn’t faced that guy yet, he was actually referring to both Bret Hart and Kurt Angle. The promo was designed to be vague about who he was talking about in order to build up controversy. Although, there doesn’t seem to much point to this considering that neither of them are coming in for a match.
* Several days before the last set of Impact tapings (12/18), Simon Diamond, Jerry Lynn and Shane Douglas were given word that they were being suspended as agents for the taping. The reason given for the suspensions was that they weren’t being hard enough on the talent and that they didn’t turn in their written reports by the previous Wednesday as requested. They were all told that the suspension would only be for that taping. They get paid on a per-show basis, so it saved TNA some money. Also, Lynn was there, but to shoot his angle, not to work as an agent.
Word from backstage is the taping went a little smoother than usual, perhaps because those filling in (Taylor, Mantel, and Jarrett) wanted to send a message to the agents. Jarrett had been outspoken about the work of the agents not being up to his expectations lately. D’Amore, who is tight with Jarrett and often gets hotel rooms right next to him, was not among the agents being punished.
* Triple H is currently in Birmingham, Alabama to have his leg injury from last night’s PPV examined. Triple H did indeed tear his quadriceps, but fortunately for him it is on the opposite leg of his last injury. He is scheduled to have surgery to repair his torn quadriceps tomorrow.
Recovery time for a torn quadriceps typically takes nine months, so it looks like Triple H will be out of action until at least the fall. After surgery, he will be in a wheel chair for about a month or two, then on crutches for another two months, and then he will wear a leg immobilizer for another stretch of time, before finally moving into the rehab stage.
Triple H was tentatively scheduled to challenge John Cena for the WWE Title at WrestleMania in the main event. That’s obviously off the cards now. WWE officials will have to devise a new main event for WrestleMania. Furthermore, the DX gimmick will likely be discontinued unless Shawn Michaels “recruits” a new member to take the place of Triple H. Although, Michaels has shown signs of being very worn down by the schedule and he probably needs some time off himself.
* The Great Khali‘s move from ECW to RAW was in fact a recent decision as it was made within the last 24 hours. As a result of Triple H‘s injury on Sunday night, Khali was moved over to RAW to provide more star power for the brand, not to mention to help fill the void that Triple H leaves with his untimely injury.
Until Triple H’s injury, WWE was planning on building Khali up as a monster over the next several months to prepare him as a challenger for ECW World champion Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania. His title match with Lashley at WrestleMania looks to be off the cards now. Also, Khali’s program with Tommy Dreamer will be wrapped up tomorrow night on ECW as he will be facing him in his “farewell” appearance for the brand.
* During the Rosie vs. Trump match on RAW, some fans in attendance were chanting “TNA” and possibly “VKM” as well. According to a fan in attendance, Vince McMahon, who was sitting by Lilian Garcia, acted like he didn’t hear the chants. However, there was one fan right behind him that was repeatedly screaming “TNA, TNA, TNA” in his ear. When this happened, Vince McMahon’s smile to the match toned down considerably. Furthermore, his body language seemed to go from excited to slouched down & bored while people in the Scottrade Center chanted his competitor’s name.
Internally, Monday night’s edition of RAW was seen as an utter disaster and embarrassment. It was likely due to the Rosie vs. Trump match as it failed to a monumental degree in the building and had the fans loudly chanting “TNA!”
The “Rosie” vs. “Trump” match hasn’t gotten as much mainstream publicity as WWE probably hoped for. Thus far, I have only been able to find a single article on TMZ.com on the stunt. I have yet to hear word of the match being mentioned on television. Furthermore, Rosie O’Donnell didn’t acknowledge the impersonation on “The View” yesterday.
* With Big Show looking less and less likely to be able to go at WrestleMania, Khali is now the leading candidate to face Hulk Hogan at the event. Vince McMahon really wants to play off of WrestleMania 3 with Hogan vs. a giant, and now Khali appears to be that man.
* Vince McMahon has brought up the names of Mick Foley and Chris Jericho in recent discussions, but at least as far as Jericho goes (and perhaps Foley), nothing close to a deal has been negotiated for a special appearance at WrestleMania 23. Foley vs. McMahon was assumed to be a match at one point, but talk of that has died down. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, though.
* As reported earlier, World Wrestling Entertainment has chosen to discontinue the pay-per-view press conferences effective immediately. One source said that the reason for this was that too many people would come to the events to chant “TNA”, not to mention “VKM”, during the conferences. This problem was especially evident at the New Year’s Revolution press conference last week as there were several loud, audible “TNA” chants during the event. To make matters worse, Jonathan Coachman acknowledged the chants by saying, “that like Kansas City, TNA is inferior.” All of this was audible on the live webcast on WWE.com, but it was edited out of the subsequent post of the video.
Anyways, the chants at the New Year’s Revolution press conference irritated Vince McMahon so much that he decided to cancel all future pay-per-view press conferences effective immediately.
* Matt Striker continues to have backstage heat in the locker room. The heat is so heavy that as of late he has been changing by himself. Apparently, he just seems to rub people the wrong way. In early November 2005, he received some heat after openly telling some of the road agents that the RAW locker room was better than SmackDown’s. When word got back to Chris Benoit, JBL, and Hardcore Holly, the trio were angry to say the least.
Also, the late Eddie Guerrero thought he was disrespectful when talking to him once, which infuriated Chris Benoit, who threw Striker’s bags out of the locker room and told him to change elsewhere. Even though he was a RAW wrestler at the time, he wrestled in a dark match prior to Smackdown for one show, which was the show in which all of this went down.
* In regards to how Stephanie McMahon reacted when Triple H‘s injury occurred at last Sunday’s pay-per-view, she “freaked out” to say the least. While it was expected that she would upset under the circumstances, it was described as far worse. Stephanie’s reaction was described as being as if someone had been killed and not as if someone had simply torn a muscle. She was so unnerved that nobody was allowed to approach her. However, an office employee did and was subsequently chewed out for it.
* CM Punk‘s loss to Hardcore Holly at the 1/9 ECW show was of course, the end of his undefeated streak. Punk is currently in the doghouse and this was punishment for it. However, it is currently unknown at the moment in regards to what Punk did to deserve to be in the doghouse in the first place.
It was well known backstage that Punk disagreed with the layout for the Extreme Elimination Chamber match the Dec. To Dismember. Arn Anderson, who was the co-producer of the match along with Michael Hayes, made the following remark: “After 14 years of being on WWE television, Holly is the bigger star.”
ECW writer Dave Lagana‘s original plan for the 1/9 match was for Punk to be on the verge of beating Holly with the Vise, but Holly would to struggle to the ropes and win with the feet on the ropes finish for a fluke pin. However, at the agent meeting before the show, the whole room turned on Punk. Anderson said that Holly should make Punk pay his dues. Also, some of the agents believe that he’s “Heyman’s guy”, and that’s he’s not really very good and his being over is a fluke that was created by Heyman. Once again, Anderson said that Punk should pay his dues before they push him and there was no need for Holly to have to cheat to beat him because he’s ‘the real WWE Superstar’. The idea for the clean finish in the match came from Finlay.
Also, there were people backstage getting off on Holly chopping CM Punk hard during the match.
* Hulk Hogan appeared on Bubba The Love Sponge show on Sirius Radio the other day when he allegedly received a phone call from Vince McMahon‘s secretary discussing the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame. Anyways, Hogan placed her on speaker phone while she read off the names in contention:
The Von Erichs
The Original Sheik
Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Honky Tonk Man
Dick Ebersol (NBC Executive responsible for creation of Saturday Night’s Main Event)
The Wild Samoans
Big Boss Man
The Brooklyn Brawler
Afterwards she seemed a bit shocked when Hogan informed her she was on the air. Anyways, that could very well be the rough list for possible inductees this year. Of course it will be dwindled down quite a bit beforehand.
* WWE.com has learned that former WWE Superstar Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow was found dead in his home early this morning in Pasco County, Fla. Here is the official message regarding his passing from WWE.com:
Bam Bam Bigelow passes away
WWE.com has learned that former WWE Superstar Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow has passed away in Florida.
Kevin Doll, the Public Information Director for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Bigelow was found dead early this morning in his home in Hudson, Fla.
“We can confirm that Scott Bigelow was found in his home this morning. At this time the cause of death is unknown,” Doll told WWE.com.
Doll also confirmed that the Pasco-Pinellas Counties medical examiner has taken the body and an autopsy will be performed.
Bigelow, 45, worked for WWE, ECW and WCW extensively throughout his 20-year sports-entertainment career. A former ECW Champion, ECW Television Champion and WCW Tag Team Champion, he is perhaps best known for his rivalry with Lawrence Taylor that culminated in the main event of WrestleMania XI in 1995.
* There has been talk of doing a Hulk Hogan vs. Great Khali match at WrestleMania. Khali would basically be replacing Big Show, who will not be at Mania. One source is saying that Show is about as close to being done as a person can be in this business where nobody ever retires. WWE has approached Hogan with two matches, one being against Khali and the other being against Shane McMahon. They’re waiting to hear back from Hogan.
* As of late, Hulk Hogan has been asked about three potential matches for WrestleMania.
Besides a singles match with The Great Khali, a match between Hogan and Umaga has been proposed as well.
However, the possibility WWE is pushing the hardest to Hogan is a match between him and Shane McMahon. Hogan would be managed by Donald Trump and Shane would be managed by Vince McMahon. Also, The Great Khali would be the McMahon family bodyguard.
* TNA’s X Division could very well be something of a legit sport’s division. The booking team is looking to do a new concept that would differentiate itself from WWE. Their current idea would be a “shoot” style X Division which would feature a time limit in all the X Division Matches. The outcome of the match would be in the hands of real judges as they’d decide the outcome as a shoot on who was legitimately the best performer in the match.
* Kevin Nash is claiming that he’s the reason Jeremy Borash is back handling the bulk of the backstage interviews instead of Letisha (Leticia Cline). Apparently, they were having to redo segments over and over because Letisha is somewhat green at interviewing. Nash also made a remark saying that if she was pretty enough to justify them having to work until 1 a.m. doing promos because they have to do so many takes with her. So’s that why Letisha hasn’t been seen much on television as of late. Also, Nash and Borash have been friends dating back to WCW.
* There were some politics involved in the release of Deep South Wrestling trainer Bill DeMott, who was soon replaced by Tom Prichard. Mike Bucci (Simon Dean), the current WWE Head of Developmental, had been trying to get rid of DeMott since before DeMott even started as head trainer of Deep South.
Although, sources are saying that unlike some political moves in WWE, this one was probably for the best as DeMott’s training consisted largely of drills designed to get guys to puke, and that as an actual trainer of pro wrestlers, Prichard is worlds better. Also, Bucci has been close with Prichard for some time. It is believed that Prichard had been quietly working in WWE developmental for awhile now. Problems with John Laurinaitis after he took over as Head of Talent Relations from Jim Ross led to Prichard originally being removed from his trainer position back in 2004.
* CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd was at Wednesday night’s NHL All-Star Game. He was there to blog his observations from the game for the SportsLine.com website. The cable channel ‘Versus’ (formerly known as the Outdoor Life Network), which was broadcasting the game, showed a shot of WWE Superstar Adam “Edge” Copeland (and his wife) during the airing. Upon seeing Edge, he didn’t know what to make of him other than to call him a ‘roided-up freak’ and a ‘cartoon character’. Here is what the sportswriter exactly said in his blog:
OK, now I get it. Versus is treating this like Fox treats the World Series, as a vehicle for their other shows. Something named “Edge” just made an appearance. Not “The Edge” of U2 fame. This roided-up freak apparently wrestles in the WWE which is really important to know on the night of hockey’s All-Star Game. And you wonder why this league suffers from underexposure. It attaches itself to cartoon characters.
* Kip James walked into the studio. Here are the highlights:
– Kip commented on John Cena using the Fame-Asser on the Rumble PPV. Kip said Cena steals a lot of stuff but it is okay since Cena “is limited.”
– Most of the VKM material is from BG James and Kip themselves. Vince Russo, who is writing at TNA basically lets VKM do their own thing without getting too involved.
– Kip made some bold statements. Kip said “When you’ve seen one X Division match you have seen them all.”
– Kip says he is a huge General Hospital fan and that [WWE] wrestling has gotten away from the cliffhangers that make people want to watch week to week. The hosts take WWE’s side and say TNA drags their angles out too long. Kip says TNA has a much smaller fan base so it takes longer for the mass of fans to grasp the storyline. Because of this, it is important for TNA not to move their angles as fast as WWE.
– Kip says Vince McMahon‘s ego will not allow himself to comment on VKM on WWE TV. Kip says Vince probably “loves” the angle since it was Vince’s own original ideas being reversed on him.
– Kip puts over LAX.
– Kip says TNA gives the fans too much in one hour and they are not leaving the fans wanting more the following week.
– Kip says TNA is wasting Bobby Roode. Kip says Roode is going to be a HUGE star and it WON’T be from TNA because “they don’t know how” [to push a guy]. Kip jokes that he is probably going to get fired tomorrow at the TNA tapings for what he says in this interview.
– Kip says he has heat with Rico (former WWE wrestler).
– Kip says he would “leave TNA in a heartbeat” if WWE offers him enough money. Kip says he actually left WWE on good terms and was just victim of WWE wanting to refresh the locker room. Kip said he was in WWE for 13 years.
– Kip said he won a lot of things in WWE but it didn’t mean shit. Kip talks about his feud with The Rock and jokes about being mad at him because he didn’t get his copy of Gridiron Games in the mail yet.
– Kip says women have no place in the wrestling ring. Kip said Miss Texas and Luna are the only two that could wrestle like guys. Kip said he didn’t like Lita after the hosts put her over. Kip says adding the “ugly ass” girls of TNA to a new women’s division would be a big waste of TNA’s already limited time.
* Wrestling promotion Ring of Honor features a weekly “Video Wire” on their site which breaks news, previews upcoming shows and more. This week’s Video Wire features a statement by Samoa Joe announcing his forthcoming departure from the company.
Former ROH Champion Samoa Joe announced that he will be leaving ROH after the March 4 event in Liverpool, UK. Joe talked about how he loved ROH because they allowed him to go out and be himself.
Joe announced that “The Samoa Joe Farewell Tour” would begin on Feb. 16 and end of March 4. Joe said he would put on his best performances during his final run in ROH. He closed by saying he was forced to say farewell to ROH.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider reports Joe is leaving to focus more on TNA bookings. It’s no secret that Joe is line for an NWA title run, there’s a very strong possibility TNA told Joe he’d get the title once he was a “full time” TNA talent and no longer being one of the top stars in a rival promotion.
– Tune back in next time for more Dirt Sheet History as we continue 2007.
Stories are credited from Rajah, PWTorch, PWInsider and The Wrestling Observer. Month name photo art is by Phillip Martin.
Past editions of Dirt Sheet History are found here.