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 June 2009, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from July 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 July 2009!
During Tuesday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Live on www.f4wonline.com, it was said that WWE Diva Rosa Mendes was told by management to slim down. Reportedly, she took the comment to heart and has dropped weight in recent weeks.
JTG honored Michael Jackson on last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown by wearing a single white glove during his ring entrance.
There is some strong unhappiness among wrestlers regarding the drug testing in WWE, particularly in light of Eddie Fatu’s (a/k/a Umaga) departure from the company. While there has always been a problem with fines for smoking marijuana, the bigger issue has to do with the legitimacy of the company’s drug testing procedure.
Until recently, the belief was that the testing was legitimate and no favorites were being played. Some believed at least a few of the wrestlers are able to stay looking enhanced because they can beat the testing through HGH — which cannot be tested — or special designer drugs. Until recently, they believed the testing was not being unfairly administered, but that is not the case anymore and several wrestlers are very unhappy.
What happened is that one top WWE star is rumored to have failed a drug test for steroids, with company officials covering it up by not suspending him. The wrestler in question told someone about his drug test failure in full detail and word started to go around.
WWE officials recently told Joey Styles he is no longer permitted to make posts on his Twitter account concerning politics. There was tremendous heat on him on the part of corporate officials for fear of an advertiser backlash towards the company website, where he reigns as the Director of Digital Media Content. There was also concern that his comments could reflect badly on Linda McMahon as she is a member of the Connecticut State Board of Education, not to mention the SmackDown Your Vote! campaign as it is supposed to be nonpartisan.
Styles last made political comments on his Twitter on June 5th.
Vince McMahon was said to be enjoying Styles’ pro-Republican beliefs, which is why he was able to do them for a few weeks. Internally, it was noted that the former ECW announcer went from being a red-headed stepchild in the company to being a favorite of McMahon. Even though those close to Styles say those are his real political views, others say knocking Barack Obama gets over big with McMahon.
One person who was in the company’s “inner circle” a few years ago said employees have gotten favored status based on being outrageously outspoken towards the ultra conservative side. The person also said political discussions occur all the time on McMahon’s personal jet (which the writers also take to and from television) and in internal meetings as there are always anti-Democrat discussions.
Brock Lesnar gets a lot of heat from the MMA community about his time as a pro wrestler, but he says signing with WWE was a no brainer after Vince McMahon offered him $250,000 and a multi-year contract. “Here I was wondering how I was going to buy myself a beer and a steak after the national tournament, reaching down and pulling out lint,” Lesnar said. “It was pretty easy. Go with a sure thing. And the sure thing at the time was becoming a pro wrestler.” When Lesnar left WWE, he was midway through a contract that was netting him millions a year.
Unfortunately, life on the road was not worth the deluxe salary. With the fame and money came a self-destructive lifestyle fueled by alcohol and pain pills, namely vodka and Vicodin. “You’re in a different city every night,” he said. “You can be whoever you want to be. You can sit in your hotel room and rot to death or you can go out and … just use your imagination. And I didn’t use my imagination, I was living it. Really, I was a young man, 22 years old. Bank accounts overflowing and everything else.”
Jim Ross said Jerry Lawler will leave WWE if he wins the Memphis Mayoral race.
You have a chance to own a WWE Hall of Fame ring as WWE Hall of Famer “Superstar” Billy Graham has put his ring up on eBay. The 2004 Hall of Fame inductee was personally presented the ring by Vince McMahon last year. The winner of the auction will also receive the original letter enclosed with the ring, which was signed by McMahon.
In nepotism accusation news, there have been a few questions raised concerning Eric Young‘s role in TNA. Young, who is quite close with Jeff Jarrett, was moved into a program with Jarrett a few weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, people started asking about Young and the feeling is that the short-term program was booked to justify his position with the company.
WWE officials offered Rob Conway a contract to return to the company to help mentor some of the younger wrestlers and add some depth to the roster, but turned it down. While Conway still wrestles on the indy scene, he has another job now and did not want to give it up.
TNA referee Mark “Slick” Johnson, who’s frequently been a source a contention among some in the company, has a raised a few eyebrows in recent weeks over the number of house shows he’s worked. In fact, there was some eye rolling over the company’s recent decision to part ways with referee Shane Sewell, who was widely regarded as a better official than Johnson. Internally, the feeling is he would not be getting so many bookings if he wasn’t a close friend of Jeff Jarrett, much less a job.
A man claiming to work for TNA called into the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show Wednesday morning to say that Karen Angle and her children were presently living with Jeff Jarrett. The man noted that TNA president Dixie Carter was irate and threatening to fire Jarrett or buy his company stake out as a result of the situation. Bubba told the caller he didn’t believe the story and then left Kurt Angle a message on his cell phone telling him to call in. Angle never called the show and the claims were not talked about again during the broadcast.
Jeff Jarrett did not attend last night’s Victory Road pay-per-view, nor will be attending this week’s slate of television tapings. TNA front office employees were told during a company meeting late last week that he is taking some “personal time off.”
Jarrett was previously scheduled to at least be involved in some pre-taped backstage segments at last night’s show. He was also going to continue building a program with Eric Young at this week’s Impact tapings.
As a result of his absence, the creative team and several producers ran things backstage last night at Victory Road.
It’s interesting to note that Jarrett’s sudden absence coincidentally occurs after an incident on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show last week where an “anonymous TNA employee” had their voice distorted and claimed on-air that Jarrett was now involved in a relationship with the ex-wife of Kurt Angle, Karen. The person claimed the two were living together at Jarrett’s residence.
A rumored relationship between Jarrett and Karen Angle has been bouncing around for several months, so the caller was simply repeating the oft-cited rumor. However, giving the timing of Jarrett deciding to take some personal time off, it does seem rather peculiar.
TNA’s public relations official Steve Godfrey declined to comment on the situation this morning when contacted. He said he could not “comment on personnel issues at this time.”
Jarrett’s sudden absence was a large topic of discussion among wrestlers and employees at last night’s pay-per-view. This may have been the first pay-per-view in the company’s seven-year history which he was not running and/or backstage.
There is said to be no timetable on when he will return to his duties.
Dave Meltzer wrote a brief note on the www.f4wonline.com message board to say that it was actually Dixie Carter‘s decision for Jeff Jarrett to step away from his duties in TNA, not Jarrett’s.
“It was not Jeff’s decision. It was Dixie’s decision,” Meltzer wrote. “Very complicated issue. In fact, more complicated than anyone would believe.”
It would appear that there is something to the anonymous TNA employee’s claims on last Wednesday’s episode of Bubba the Love Sponge’s satellite show that Karen Angle and her children were living together with Jeff Jarrett. It is now coming out that TNA president Dixie Carter ordered Jarrett to go home as soon as she found out about the person’s claims, which has been described publicly as him agreeing to take a leave of absence.
At Saturday night’s TNA house show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Kurt Angle was telling people that he is going to end up with the booking control of the company that Jarrett had and that he won’t sign a new contract with TNA if Jarrett remains in power. No one really know how things will transpire from this point. Angle’s contract with TNA is set to expire in September and he has not yet agreed to a new one.
For the most part, the wrestlers are more sympathetic to Kurt Angle on the matter, aside from those who have close ties with Jarrett.
TNA personnel are playing the tape from Wednesday’s episode of Bubba over and over in hopes of figuring out the person who disguised his voice and started this messy situation. Before the mystery person in question went on the air, he or she asked for Bubba to disguise his voice with some sort of distorted audio. Bubba did, so there is probably no way of telling who it was that called in.
Jason Powell wrote an open memo to TNA President Dixie Carter asking her to realize TNA’s booking is horrible, fire the creative team and bring in Paul Heyman to steer the ship. A message posted on Twitter by Paul Heyman’s Heyman Hustle account responded with, “PAUL SAYS ‘NEVER'”
Former WWE wrestler Damien Demento has posted a video rant on YouTube calling out people who smoke marijuana, specifically calling them hypocrites. Demento believes Rob Van Dam is corrupting children and wants him kicked off the Internet so he can’t spout his views.
CM Punk recently spoke to the UK Sun about whether he’d ever return to TNA Wrestling, WWE releasing Umaga and Mr. Kennedy and more. Some highlights:
His Dream Opponents: “There are four guys I’ve never even locked up with in the WWE yet, who I’d love to face, they are Undertaker, John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, so any of them from the active roster. Older guys, I’d have to say Ricky Steamboat or Harley Race in their prime are two of my favourites.”
Keeping In Touch With TNA Friends: “Not that I should shed light on my personal life, but I’ve just recently stayed at (Samoa) Joe’s house in Florida for a few nights, we just hung out, never mentioned wrestling and relaxed. He’s still my best friend. It’s awesome to just chill out and relax by the pool that way.”
Would He Return To TNA? No, I’d not jump ship, this is the place to be, nowhere comes close and I’m happy here. We don’t really have any competition and if you want to be a top class professional wrestler in the US you have to be working for the WWE.”
Shaquille O’Neal posted the following on Twitter after RAW: “wasn’t lookin, but randy orton has da sexiest white man butt ive seen next 2 steve nash”
It has been confirmed that TNA Wrestling cut tenured creative team member Dutch Mantel and road agent Savio Vega this past week.
The releases are said to be no coincidence as Mantel and Vega were both considered allies of Jeff Jarrett. While nothing official has been announced regarding Jarrett’s role with TNA, many feel he would be stripped of all power if he were brought back.
– 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.