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 the end of 2008, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from January of 2009 as we read Dirt Sheet History.
Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 through 2008 right here. Now enjoy the start of 2009!
* Jim Ross on what TNA or ROH Stars he’d like to see in WWE:
“Bryan Danielson comes to mind of the guys that are still young and healthy enough to contribute immediately. Sting is just barely in that group as he is nearing the end of his active wrestling days I have to guess. Dr. Death (Steve Williams) young and healthy with a manager, could have been a viable opponent for Stone Cold (Steve Austin) before the ill conceived Brawl for it All ended those potential plans. Today I think manager Jim Mitchell, perhaps with a more contemporary make over/look, has the skills to really contribute as a mouthpiece for key talents as well.
Samoa Joe has the skills and body type that remind me of Mick Foley way back in the day as far as being different and having a unique body type. Plus I like his physicality. These are not WWE opinions just my personal thoughts in trying to answer your question.
* Kurt Angle is currently dating TNA Knockout Rhaka Khan.
* Paul Heyman has a new column on The Sun revealing his “Paulie Awards” for the year in professional wrestling, MMA and boxing. Heyman gave “The Impact Player” Paulie Award to Brock Lesnar; the “Time Capsule Moment Of The Year” Paulie Award to Shawn Michaels‘ sweet chin music to Ric Flair at Wrestlemania; the “It’s My Turn” Paulie Award to Edge and Manny Pacquiao in a tie; and the “Industry Snapshot” Paulie Award to TNA, labeling them as an asterisk.
Heyman then goes on a rant on TNA, praising their roster and basically saying they need to go beyond being “WWE Lite.” “TNA is so hell bent on trying to present a WWE-style product that it loses its own audience, which just aches to be given a reason to brag “we’re better,” or “we’re cooler,” or simply “we’re different,” Heyman wrote. “Until Dixie Carter and TNA management wake up and play to the potential audience that’s out there, their big claim to fame will be “we’re number two.”
* While the TNA iMPACT! video game has sold 450,000 copies thus far, publisher Midway Games lost approximately $10 million on it. Despite the heavy losses, a sequel is expected to be released this year due to the significant decrease in developmental costs. Theoretically, the game’s sequel could come close to breaking even if it sold the same number of units. However, the first game largely received negative reviews, which would likely have an effect on the same number of copies being moved again.
* International wrestling standout Low-Ki has signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.
* Champion Michelle McCool has posted another blog on the WWE Universe aimed at people criticizing her.
She starts off by talking about people criticizing her for “stealing” moves. McCool wrote: “..just think about the following moves, who “created” them and who has used them and who might use them now. Then, take a sec and determine who you choose to get mad at for using them and who you choose to love for using them? (Oh the decisions you have to make…. – insert sarcasm here)” She then lists the flying crossbody, the spinning heel kick, power bomb, sit out slam, snap suplex, monkey flip, and moonsault. McCool added, “Ok, I am officially leaving that topic alone. So, consider your future comments completely out of my mind and most likely deleted….if read at all!”
* As previously reported, Christian Cage‘s TNA contract has expired and his profile was removed this week from TNA’s website. While he hasn’t told anyone in TNA that he’s leaving, the general feeling is that he made the decision to leave the company months ago.
Sources say that Cage lost interest with the product and was hard to deal with since October. During a meeting with Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett, Cage said he had another offer and was considering taking it but hadn’t made up his mind.
* Eric Bischoff ripped Matt Hardy (as well as his brother Jeff) over his recent review of The Wrestler. “Matt, you are a friggin goof,” Bischoff wrote. “Lets set aside the fact that your brother is walking a ‘three strikes and you’re out” tight rope as a result of his drug abuse, and if internet “news” was accurate, suffered the loss of his home and property due to a fire because he was too irresponsible to insure it. Your recent recap of your “lifestyle” frames you as a candidate to the Jake Roberts Hall of Fame. Your suggestion that you and your generation are “smarter and more responsible” than previous generations of wrestlers makes me sick. You are a mid-card talent that should be grateful to even get a check every other week. Enjoy it while it lasts. And rather than looking down your nose at previous generations of professional wrestlers, donate a portion of your check to one of them and ask them to point out all the parallels between your current career path/lifestyle and theirs. It would be the smartest and most responsible thing you could do.”
* According to a source in Florida Championship Wrestling, Harry “DH” Smith” is set to be called back up to the Raw roster any week now and become the newest member of Randy Orton‘s “Legacy” faction.
* Scott Steiner is said to be in pretty rough shape and his days in the ring could be numbered. Steiner is said to be pretty hard on himself about his condition, and most of the locker room feels bad for him at times despite his reputation as an absolute lunatic who has threatened people’s lives over booking decisions. In WCW, Jeff Jarrett was always known as the guy who could keep Scott under control and calm him down.
* TMZcaught up with Hulk Hogan today at the Ft. Lauderdale airport and as always, the Hulkster had a bunch of memorable soundbytes. Hogan claims the TMZ cameras just missed him making out with Pamela Anderson. Hulk says Mickey Rourke stole his “brother” catch phrase in “The Wrestler” and now uses it in media interviews, but says he loves Mickey and the movie.
* Mary Blinstrubas, Stephanie McMahon‘s executive assistant who had been with the company since November of 2006, was let go amidst last week’s layoffs.
Blinstrubas was said to be incompetent. For instance, she’d constantly send out creative scripts via e-mail to random departments within the company, putting random people in the loop on creative plans before Vince McMahon himself even had a chance to review the shows. She’d also slip up and call Michael Hayes ‘Virgil’ and refer to Dusty Rhodes as ‘Brian’ (after Gerwirtz).
Blinstrubas’ other duties included grocery-shopping for Stephanie, buying her clothes, relaying messages to her nanny, etc.
* Perhaps the main reason World Wrestling Entertainment laid off a number of employees this month is because Vince McMahon himself believes the economy is going to take a turn for the worst this year, mainly due to his negative reaction to Barack Obama winning the United States presidential election.
McMahon has been telling people he expects unemployment to hit 10% by the end of the year. While the economic woes haven’t greatly impacted his company thus far, the cuts were made in preparation for what he expects to happen.
* The UK’s Sun has an interview with MVP today, which took place during his media blitz of the country last week. In the interview, MVP admits being overly confrontational backstage may have cost him his spot in WWE, but noted he has learned from his mistakes and will come back stronger.
“I tend to be extremely passionate and very vocal. I’ve had experiences in my life that cause me to be a little more confrontational than the average person,” MVP said regarding issues backstage. “Sometimes if I’m confronted with an issue, rather than say ‘this isn’t worth it’, I’ll get a little hot headed and speak up and say something that I probably shouldn’t say. Although I’m not saying that’s why I’m going through what I’m going through – because in the end it’s a storyline.”
* CM Punk and Maria, who used to be involved in a relationship, apparently launched some subtle digs towards each other during recent radio interviews.
Maria was recently asked about her past relationship with Punk. She said the two broke up because of the wrestling business and that she is now dating someone outside of it. On the kind of man Maria’s looking for, she said, “Looking for someone who’s going to treat me like a lady and not like one of the boys.”
In a separate recent interview when discussing Playboy Playmates, Punk said, “Playboy playmates are so overrated. I also like women with brains.”
* After winning 2 Golden Globe awards earlier this month, Darren Aronofsky’s film “The Wrestler” is now in contention for the most prestigeous prize in Hollywood – the Academy Award. The Wrestler garnered two Oscar nominations on Thursday morning for its lead actor and actress.
* On SmackDown, they were doing a storyline where Vickie Guerrero was going to have Triple H enter the Royal Rumble match as the number one entrant, but the angle has been dropped. The Rumble match has been re-booked in recent days and his originally scheduled role and storyline in the match has changed.
* Following Hardcore Holly‘s release from WWE on January 16, reaching him proved to be quite difficult for a number of indie wrestling promoters looking to offer him work. The promoters were calling people in WWE trying to get his phone number, but almost nobody in the company had any idea what it is. Holly wasn’t particularly liked during his time in WWE and said to have almost no friends. His one close friend was Billy Gunn, who left the company years ago.
* Julie Hart, the ex-wife of Bret Hart, appeared on the Unholy Matrimony radio show on Sunday night talking about her depiction in Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. After reading the rough draft stories on Bret’s numerous affairs over the years, Julie said, “Holy s**t, man, who are you?” She knew about some of his affairs, but was unaware he had so many. She also wasn’t fond of being portrayed as angry throughout the book. On the flipside, she still thinks it’s a “fantastic book about wrestling.”
She also sides with Vince McMahon regarding the “Montreal Screwjob” at the 1997 Survivor Series. “I think he had a business to run,” Julie said. “I understand Bret’s side too… Please don’t hate me, wrestling fans.”
* Ring of Honor has announced a weekly TV deal with HDNet.
* TNA Wrestling was named “Worst Promotion of the Year” in the 29th annual Wrestling Observer Newsletter readership awards announced this past week.
* By a landslide, TNA Wrestling’s flagship television program “iMPACT!” was named 2008’s “Worst Television Show” in the 29th annual Wrestling Observer Newsletter readership awards announced this past week.
* Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair are two of the biggest names in pro wrestling history. With their children making their way into the entertainment business, you knew it was only a matter of time before the second generation squared off in the ring.
According to TampaBay.com, Brooke Hogan and her VH1 handlers are shooting an episode of Brooke Knows Best at the Florida State Fair on February 6th. A deal for Brooke to wrestle at the event is “90 percent done” and her opponent will be none other than Reid Flair. The match will take place in a circus tent after the last show of the day by Circus Hollywood.
* As reported yesterday, Ric Flair will be inducting Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in this year’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had his sights set on Flair inducting him, but when word got out regarding his request, Vince McMahon got upset and shot the plan down. No word yet on who will be inducting Austin.
– Tune back in next time for more Dirt Sheet History as we continue looking at 2009.
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.