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 February 2007, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from March of 2007 as we read Dirt Sheet History!
Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 through 2006 right here. Now enjoy March 2007.
* Jillian Hall‘s terrible singing character isn’t based off of “American Idol”, but rather, Brooke Hogan. The company is using Jillian as retribution to Hulk Hogan for revealing the names under consideration for this year’s Hall of Fame over the radio, which infuriated Vince McMahon to say the least. She’s now being marketed as that character, so it looks like it’s permanent.
Jillian debuted the character at the February 6, 2007 SmackDown tapings in Omaha, NE, a few weeks after Hogan read the HOF candidacy list on the Bubba the Love Sponge show. Jillian had her hair styled after Brooke Hogan. She was also given accented contact lenses to make her eyes the same unusual blue color that Brooke’s eyes are.
As it turns out, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H actually came up with the character, not Vince McMahon. Vince simply okayed it because he’s currently upset with Hogan. Also, Triple H holds great disdain for Hogan, so this thing shouldn’t come off as a surprise.
* WWE currently doesn’t have any plans for Mick Foley at WrestleMania.
He was trying to get a match on the show because his book, The Hardcore Diaries, is coming out in March. The first commercial aired on TV last week and they are selling it very similarly to how they sold the Bischoff book. It would have made sense for both Foley and the company to do a return to coincide with that, and his name was thrown around to be Donald Trump‘s rep for WrestleMania, especially considering that Vince McMahon fired him in the storylines when he last appeared.
Internally, there are people trying to block Mick Foley from appearing at WrestleMania. Vince McMahon is currently on that side of the fence as well. The problem seems to be that he was too honest in his book, and he rubbed a lot of key people the wrong way with what he said in the book, as some of them have already read it. What he put in the book definitely didn’t help his cause.
In the book he expressed major disappointment with how Vince and RAW writer Brian Gerwitz treated him at one point last year during his comeback. The book is based on his 2006 comeback, starting with his program with Edge, to ECW One Night Stand, to his match with Flair at SummerSlam. He also talks about many of his meetings with the creative team in Stamford, CT. There’s nothing too controversial in the book, but some people still got hot about what was said anyways.
* From backstage reports at the 2/20 SmackDown/ECW tapings, it’s very clear that much of the ECW cast is looked down upon. The dressing room vibe at RAW was enjoyable, but on SmackDown/ECW, everyone was on edge. Although, part of that had to do with the production side as the building they were in is much smaller than most buildings they do SmackDown/ECW tapings in.
Here is a rundown of the ECW talent with heat at the 2/20 tapings:
Sabu and Sandman changed in the extras/jobbers locker room in an attempt to lessen the amount of heat they currently have.
Matt Striker has heat with JBL and thus he was hiding his bags in the extras/jobbers locker room to keep something from happening to them.
It was clear from a number of reactions that a lot of the women on roster hate Kelly Kelly. Also, most of the guys give her no respect and Joey Mercury in particular was running her down to anyone who would listen to him.
* Kelly Kelly seems to be one of the most disliked people in the locker room.
The heat seems to be due to her lack of knowledge of professional wrestling, although that is probably more of the fault of the people who hired her. They hired her because she looked good in a catalog and didn’t care if she didn’t know anything about the business. Also, she hasn’t really been taught by anybody. Some people complain about why “people like her” are in the company, but then again, it should go back to WWE’s hiring practices. This situation seems to be similar to when guys complain about another wrestler who has a favorable contract.
* Dusty Rhodes has successfully lobbied for WWE to add tag team titles to ECW. New belts have been ordered and are expected to be ready by the end of the month.
There was much opposition to this because many feel that the company already has enough championship belts. Rhodes pushed Vince McMahon hard, saying that ECW is too one-dimensional and shallow when it comes to talent. The tag team titles would give more purpose to different people on the show and allow more variety in booking.
As far as talent is concerned, La Résistance (Rene Dupree and Sylvan) were the first team brought over. Their profiles were recently removed from ECW.com for some unknown reason, but they are still considered to be aligned with ECW.
WWE also plans on calling Vito back up to the main roster so that he could go back to his old gimmick; teaming with Little Guido Maritato to reform the FBI. Also, they would be managed by Trinity. However, they are trying to come up with a logical explanation because of how they were broken up, not to mention the emphasis on Vito wearing a dress. He won’t be wearing a dress when he returns though.
Rhodes is also pushing for Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch to move over to ECW after WrestleMania. Dusty Rhodes likes both guys a lot.
Lastly, there are no plans at the moment as far as a time or place to crown the new champions is concerned. Although, the timing means that something should be going down right after WrestleMania.
* According to several sources in contact with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, CM Punk has earned himself even more heat backstage.
After learning that he was booked to lose on a house show card two weeks ago, Punk reportedly asked one of the road agents if the reports of him being in WWE’s doghouse were true. The agent denied the idea that there was heat on Punk. However, the road agent did an about-face by telling his colleagues about the conversation he had with Punk, giving them the idea that Punk was complaining about doing the job. He now has more heat than ever.
If he did jobs and didn’t react like Carlito, Rob Van Dam and Shelton Benjamin, the story would be that he doesn’t care or he doesn’t have any passion for wrestling. So well, Punk is currently in a tough spot to say the least.
* Kurt Angle is trying to talk Paul “Big Show” Wight into joining TNA. Should he end up going to TNA, he wouldn’t be able to use the Big Show monicker because WWE owns it, nor the name The Giant because WWE also owns WCW’s intellectual property. However, Wight is currently aligned with Hulk Hogan. Whatever Hogan ends up doing in the wrestling world, he wants to do it with him. On Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show, Hogan teased that he would be starting his own wrestling company and it would feature Big Show, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Well actually, Hogan only mentioned Big Show’s name, and Bubba brought up Nash and Hall’s name. Hogan then said that Nash had better keep Hall under control.
In Hall’s last public appearance, he told Nash he wanted to get together for one last run. However, Nash told Hall, “Scott, I’ve got no more last runs left in me, and you’re in worse shape than me.”
Back to Paul Wight, he would only consider going to TNA if Hogan doesn’t get something going. Then again, he’s getting some major non-wrestling offers, and he’d probably consider them before TNA.
* Brother Ray upset a lot of fans at the previous Impact tapings and so they really let him have it at the next one, which took place on 2/22. A lot of fans were really on his case that night as they chanted “fat pig” at him, not to mention that some of the fans made pig noises in reference to him. There was also a sign with a picture/drawing of a pig and Brother Ray’s face was attached to it.
* TNA’s current contract with Spike TV will expire this fall, so look for negotiations to begin heating up regarding a new deal.
While TNA will be looking to expand Impact to two hours, the general feeling is that Spike TV will not give them the second hour due to programming conflicts with the shows they usually scheduled with Impact such as Pros vs. Joes and of course the popular UFC shows.
Nonetheless, Spike TV officials remain pleased with Impact and the ratings that it has been doing, and should work out a new deal for TNA rather quickly. If negotiations stall, TNA could look to move elsewhere as they have an attractive product with Impact doing 1.0+ primetime ratings that draws a strong male demographic.
Speculation is that if Spike would agree to expand Impact to two hours they would want to move the show to Wednesday nights to avoid disrupting UFC programming on Thursday nights. While TNA’s eventual hope is to move to Mondays and compete with RAW, don’t look for Spike TV to make such a bold move as of yet, as Impact scored its lowest rating ever earlier this year when head-to-head with a special Thursday night edition of RAW.
* Vince McMahon has been telling people that he sees John Cena and Bobby Lashley as the two top long-term stars in the company and because of that, the two of them are to be carefully protected and booked.
* WWE 24/7 now has 35,000 average monthly subscribers in North America. That number has to be considered a major disappointment considering that it is pretty much the same as last year, even after several cable systems picked it up, most notably Comcast. The price tag is only $6.95, thus meaning that WWE 24/7 only makes a little over $240,000 in gross revenue per month.
* Former Undisputed World Champion Chris Jericho is planning to return to the world of professional wrestling in 2007. However, the company Jericho will sign with is still up in the air.
WWE officials are currently in negotiations Jericho. If a deal is reached it is likely he will return to the company after the summer (likely in September) with the RAW brand.
TNA president Dixie Carter is also said to have a strong interest in signing Jericho. Jericho’s band Fozzy has been featured on several TNA shows since he left WWE, adding to the speculation that he’ll be jumping ship to TNA when he returns.
* A DX vs. Rated RKO match is not scheduled to take place at SummerSlam. The reason for this is that Vince McMahon doesn’t know what he can with the team to keep them hot until SummerSlam. As things stand now, an Edge vs. Randy Orton feud is scheduled to take place well before SummerSlam. No word yet on who will be the babyface and who will be the heel in the program.
On the otherhand, when Triple H comes back, which should be at SummerSlam, he wants to have a natural feud. Which is why he wants to continue his feud with Rated RKO. However, Edge is politicking to not work against Triple H when he recovers.
* It’s being said that everyone under 30 hates life backstage at TNA, and everyone over 30 (mostly the guys making big money) are fine. People were complaining that the promos they were asked to cut made absolutely no sense, and there is a feeling that the writing is dated because it’s being written by old guys who have no idea what’s cool in 2007. People were also rolling their eyes at the introduction of Abyss‘s mom character at this week’s Impact tapings.
People were also rolling their eyes Sunday when Vince Russo refused to tell anyone early in the day who the mystery team was going to be for Christy Hemme. Well, anyone besides the creative team. Hemme’s tag team turned out to be former WWE tag team The Heart Throbs.
* Candice Michelle appeared on the Monday Night Mayhem radio show on 3/15 and she had some things to say regarding fellow RAW Diva Melina Perez.
Candice and Melina had recently engaged in a “blog battle” on WWE.com. It all started last month when Candice accused Melina of stealing one of her trademark moves in a recent match. Candice called the Inverted STF maneuver the ‘Candy Clutch’ whereas Melina called it ‘The California Dream’. In Melina’s next blog, she started off by saying, “I read Candice’s blog, and I have to say I laughed so hard! Now that I’m officially on top, the jealousy is going to come out of the woodwork at full speed.” In response to Candice’s accusations, Melina said that she had been using the move for several years on the indy circuit before she signed with WWE in late 2003. At the time, the move was called the Kyrapractor after her character Kyra, which was one of the names she used on the independent circuit. Melina even made it a point to have a photo of her performing the maneuver while on the indy circuit posted alongside the blog. Melina then went on a long rant on how hard it was for her to make into WWE. Melina then switched the focus back to Candice by saying, “Candice Michelle, what wrestling school have you gone to? How did you get your job here with WWE? Candice, do you actually think in that pathetic pea brain of yours that I want to be you? All you are known for is GoDaddy.com. Big whoop! That’s all you got! I’m living my dream! I’m The Most Dominant Diva in wrestling, Manager of Champions and the Women’s Champion! Yeah, as if I’d trade spots with you. I’m an athlete, what are you?”
Considering that the posts were made on WWE.com, one would think that things being said were to help build conflict for a future storyline between the two WWE Divas. However, Melina is currently occupied in a WrestleMania program with Ashley Massaro. Also, Melina and Candice have yet to have a match or altercation on television since the blogs were made. And to further prove that what was being said was not part of a storyline, Candice noted in her interview that WWE refused to post her last blog on the company’s website in which she responds to Melina’s rant on her. In the unpublished blog, Candice said that she responded to Melina by saying that she’s not in WWE just to be on television, but because she actually wants to be a wrestler. In the interview, Candice also added, “I would not stay in the cheapest hotels like the Red Roof Hotel and, and, deal with her bull***t backstage if I just wanted to be on TV. I live in Hollywood. I’ve been in Hollywood. I’ve been in numerous movies, commercials, you name it. I’m there because I want to learn to wrestle.”
* There is a good deal of internal frustration and disappointment that the Trump/McMahon angle hasn’t gotten much mainstream publicity. McMahon was expecting a second wave of mainstream publicity due to Stone Cold Steve Austin‘s involvement in the angle, but they haven’t really gotten any extra attention for it. The only thing out was a business wire story that WWE wrote, and nobody picked up except for a local Detroit-area newspaper.
* There is currently a “big nine” in WWE, who are as seen as the top tier of superstars: John Cena, Triple H, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker, Batista, Lashley.
* The ECW Originals vs. New Breed storyline will be blown off at WrestleMania. The ECW Originals are expected to lose the eight-man match. There are going to be no plans for the group after WrestleMania and some of them could be phased out of ECW all together.
With the exception of Rob Van Dam, since the ball is in his court in regards to whether he stays or goes, it’s unlikely that any of the ECW Originals will have a TV role by the end of the summer. However, Dreamer will likely be kept on as a talent providing that he doesn’t get his old office job back since Mike Bucci isn’t in good standing with a number of people. He’s the one who took over Dreamer’s job as talent relations liason to developmental. Bucci was also the office fall guy for the mess at the Arnold Classic convention a few weeks ago. Dreamer is also good friends with Shane McMahon so the feeling is he’s going to have a spot. As far as Sabu and Sandman are concerned, they are currently on the bubble.
The feeling right now is negative to anyone with an ECW background because the brand flopped and the justification is that those guys weren’t big enough stars. There are currently no plans for ECW-only house shows.
* Adam “Edge” Copeland responded to the SI.com report of his receiving Human Growth Hormone today on his MySpace.com page (www.myspace.com/therealratedrsuperstar):
Dear Blogees (did I just create a word?)
If you are reading this blog and it sees the light of day, than that means that an article has been written by a Sports Illustrated writer that states I received HGH from a pharmacy in 2003. So, I’ll cut right to the chase like I always do. It’s true. However, it’s not exactly breaking, earth shattering news. It’s actually old news. I admitted to this on national television in Canada in 2004 on Off The Record. When host Michael Lansberg asked me if I’d ever taken steroids, without consulting me before the show, I was perturbed, but answered without hesitation, “Yes, I have.”
In hindsight, I’m glad he asked the question. It got it out in the open and anyone who follows my career or supports me already knows this information about me. I won’t try to defend my actions. I took them when coming back from my spinal fusion neck surgery when I was told by doctors that it would help the bones grow back around the screws and plate that were now inserted in my neck. I’m not glorifying. I’m not condoning. Just telling you why I decided to take them. I took blood tests, consulted doctors, read up, studied them, got prescriptions, and decided to do it. That’s pretty much it folks, but I wanted you to get my response straight from me and not through the words of another write. Now as I’m sure most you can tell, I don’t take steroids and haven’t in a very long time, long before the WWE drug testing wellness policy was implemented. Hell, I barely see the inside of a gym anymore, let alone take performance enhancing substances!
So, in closing, to the columnist (not the Sports Illustrated columnist, but actually another one) who said a “roided up thing called Edge” was at the NHL ALL Star Game a few weeks ago, in 2003, this may have been true. Now, not in the least, as my random urine tests, which have always been negative will attest. I guess I’ll take the fact that he thought I was as somewhat of a compliment. To the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to have been gifted with a 6 foot 5, 240lb body naturally. And finally made it to the top of my industry last year on my own, clean as a whistle. To those, like that columnist and any other naysayers that will hold my past against me? I’ve made mistakes. Will do so again in the future I’m sure. But I won’t hide from them. If you’re reading this, you know that’s not my style.
Until next time, from everybody’s favorite, clean urine,
* Jeff Jarrett was opposing the offer for Sting‘s new contract, which is rumored to be around $500,000 a year. TNA President Dixie Carter, however, rejected Jarrett’s pleas and personally delivered the contract to Sting for him to sign.
* Chris Harris has upset TNA management by complaining a lot. Management is sending him a message by keeping him from competing in the ring as well as selling his damaged eye storyline. Several wrestlers believe that Harris and Storm are, both, still working under guaranteed contracts, which means that Harris is getting paid the same amount whether he wrestles or not.
* Much of Eric Young‘s character as far as insecurity aspects are concerned is based on the real-life Chris Park, the man behind Abyss.
* There will be no Ric Flair vs. Carlito match at WrestleMania.
When they had the idea of putting the two together, it was for an eventual split and feud, but they wanted a longer playing storyline so the idea was that the split would come after Mania. However, after Flair cut a great promo on Carlito to start the storyline, there was a movement to speed up the angle for Mania. Flair was told by one of the writers that the match for Mania was on. Then two weeks ago, he was told that the match was officially off.
Flair & Carlito will probably still involved at WrestleMania, but in a scheduled Tag Team Battle Royal for wrestlers not booked on the card. No word yet if this match will be taking place during the PPV or as a “dark match” to be shown on the WrestleMania DVD. It will likely be the latter scenerio.
Flair is said to be extremely disappointed by the news, especially considering that he was planning on making this WrestleMania as the next to last Mania of his career, at least as he stands mentally now.
* WWE.com has learned that today in Chicago, WWE officials have agreed on the immediate release of Joey Mercury.
* Apparently, Candice Michelle now has as much backstage heat as Melina does these days. No reasons were given, but she does have some at the moment.
* In a backstage segment for 3/15 Impact show, Bob Backlund did the Harvard step test. When they told Backlund the idea of the segment, with the visual of Backlund doing step-ups covered in sweat in the background for a scene, Backlund, who now does three hours step-ups consecutively in every step-up workout, of course had no problem with the segment. For the segment, they told him that they’d spray him down with a water bottle to show him sweating, but he refused to allow it. Instead, he insisted on doing two hours of step-ups so that his sweat would be authentic for the segment. He actually wanted to do three hours worth of step-ups, but because they didn’t have the right kind of mat to step up and down like he has at home, his knee was starting to bother him and he stopped.
* Fans were all over Brother Ray at the 3/12 Impact tapings as a number of them brought “pig-face” signs and chanted “Smells like bacon” towards him.
* One WWE source said that most of the writers treat the wrestlers like toys; they impulsively fall in love with certain acts, go crazy over them, then they find a new toy and throw the old one to the wayside. Both Cryme Tyme and Deuce & Domino fall into the “toy box” category. At least in the case of Cryme Tyme, the writers have simply lost interest in doing stuff for them and have moved on. Cryme Tyme still has yet to use the World Tag Team Title shot they won on television a few months.
* One guy who was really upset about being left off of Wrestlemania is Carlito. At the WWE THQ Superstar Challenge, Carlito won one of his matches and was reportedly overheard saying, and this is not a direct quote, “Great, I can win here and can’t at Wrestlemania.” He wasn’t in the best of spirits. To add to that, his feelings have been confirmed in an article today in the Ottawa Sun.
“I’m out of Wrestlemania,” he says. Carlito then takes a subtle shot at some of the people who will be wrestling at WrestleMania by saying, “Apparently, they had to make space for Kane vs. Khali and Melina vs. Ashley. How can I be at Wrestlemania? If I politic and kiss ass, I should make it.”
Carlito also added, “I’m not going to cry or be bitter, there’s always next year … and I don’t want to get fired. But they’re showing disrespect by not having Ric Flair at Wrestlemania and even more disrespect by not having Carlito there.”
He also admits to hating his current role in WWE as a babyface. “I absolutely hate being a babyface more than anything else,” he says.
* It has been confirmed that Cena vs. HBK will be the last match taking place at WrestleMania on Sunday. In an article on SI.com, Batista said that he and Undertaker will steal the show like Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage did in 1987 at WrestleMania 3. “We’re going to give them a match they’re going to remember. I guarantee it. We’re going to tear the house down.” Also, Batista and Undertaker were reportedly mad that they weren’t going to be in the main event for the show.
– 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.