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 April 2008, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from May 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 May 2008.
* Mark Henry & Bobby Lashley aren’t the only black wrestlers Michael Hayes has had racial incidents with. One source says Hayes has made similar comments to former WWE wrestler & current TNA star Booker T as well. In Lashley’s case, it was one of the reasons he decided to leave the company.
* BostonHerald.com has a story on Roger Clemens making a pass at the wife of former WWE star Brutus “The Barber Beefcake 18 years ago. Barbara Leslie was working as a waitress (and hadn’t met her husband yet), and Clemens was married at the time. Clemens followed her into her off-limits dressing room and said, “What would you do if I tried to kiss you?” Barbara Leslie replied, “What would your wife say if you tried to kiss me?”
* The new issue of Rolling Stone Magazine with the girls from “The Hills” on the cover features an article about a high-end escort service in Los Angeles, California. The escort service is run by a woman named “Nici” who would set up beautiful women (Playboy Playmates, Maxim and FHM models, porn stars) with rich clients who would pay up to $25,000 a night for their “services”.
The escort service was busted by the FBI, and the Rolling Stone article lists the names of several of Nici’s escorts – one of whom is WWE Diva Ashley Massaro. There is a picture of Ashley in the article and she’s listed as a WWE star and Playboy cover girl.
It’s important to note that there was no explicit implication that Ashley ever had sex for money. We are simply stating the facts – that she was among the women involved in the high-priced escort service.
* To expound on the story of WWE Diva Ashley Massaro being linked to a Los Angeles based escort service that was recently busted by the FBI, it’s not just the ring leader making that claim (Michelle Braun a.k.a. “Nici”), but rather, the FBI as well. According to the article, the FBI tracked down e-mails in which the escort service made travel arrangements for clients, including Ashley Massaro. The article cited FBI search warrant information that turned up e-mails listing travel arrangements made by the escort company for Massaro and others.
In the escort service’s defense, Braun the ring leader said, “All I do is make the introductions between famous girls and rich guys who want to meet them. I think the rates I charge are justified just to meet these women, even if nothing happens.” According to the article, “prominent athletes, TV stars, and Fortune 500 CEOs” were among Braun’s clientele. FBI papers omit the names of the men who allegedly paid for the services, yet list the names of Massaro, other Playboy models, a Maxim model, and a few adult film stars. Also, some of the e-mails discuss whether the women allow “fetish” or “GFE” (girlfriend experience). You can see a photo of Massaro on page 52 in the May 15 issue of Rolling Stone featuring the girls from The Hills reality show.
* Dave Meltzer‘s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports Mark Henry is telling people backstage that he went to Vince McMahon and said, “Either he goes or I go,” in reference to Michael Hayes.
Right now there is a real weird feeling backstage because people in the company can’t see how Hayes can be brought back, yet everyone figures that he will be. The McMahons are said to be very high up on Hayes as he was able to get away with getting drunk and singing at Stephanie and Hunter’s wedding.
Despite being suspended, he is still receiving company emails.
* The Miami Herald has an interview with SmackDown Superstar Fit Finlay. In the interview he talks about his lengthy journey in professional wrestling, the WWE Hall of Fame, how hard it is to be away from family when on the road, the WWE Divas, seeing himself in video games and more.
On Ric Flair, Finlay said, “I would love to go out on a higher note than Ric Flair because I think Ric held on too long. My opinion.”
* TNA headliner Scott Steiner tore Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Triple H apart in an interview. On wrestlers showing respect to Ric Flair on his farewell night on Raw, Steiner said it’s written in the show. “It’s written in the show. They have to show up. It’s just like if they tell you to go out there and do a match. They had to go out there and pretend like they respect the guy. The only guys that do are Triple H and Shawn Michaels. They’re three peas in a pod – three guys who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. They’re three of the biggest [wusses] that have ever been in the sport. And they’re all friends – imagine that. They all come from the same mold. They were never athletes and the way they got things done was behind closed doors and backstabbing people.”
* WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Diva Torrie Wilson as of today, May 8, 2008. We wish Torrie the best in all her future endeavors.
* Torrie herself actually asked for her release from World Wrestling Entertainment.
* While testifying in court this week on behalf of his son Nick, Hulk Hogan wore his trademark bandana. Typically, hats or caps are not allowed in court.
* The Daizee Haze vs. Cheerleader Melissa (also known as Raisha Saaed) match from the 5/1 Impact managed to draw more viewers than the show’s main event match, which featured all three headliners for tomorrow night’s Sacrifice pay-per-view no less. The Haze vs. Melissa match drew a 1.10 rating. The main event later in the show featuring Joe & Angle vs. Steiner & Williams drew a 0.99 rating. The match also lost 154,000 viewers, the biggest tune out during the show.
* TNA plans on doing a Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Nash world title program later in the year. However, it won’t happen right away as it’s going to get a slow build. Also, Vince Russo wrote an interesting little one-liner for a recent Joe/Nash training segment that didn’t make the air due to an apparent sound problem. Nash said to Joe, “Hey Joe, show me how you get out of that sleeper.”
* Triple H is said to be in the running for the lead role in Marvel’s upcoming movie Thor, which is scheduled to be released in late spring 2010. The other lead candidate for the role is Kevin McKidd of HBO’s Rome series.
* Jim Ross, who is doing a bunch of media today promoting WWE’s upcoming show in Oklahome, spoke out on a few things in a radio interview with rock station 100.5FM KATT out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this morning. Ross talked about Hulk Hogan only receiving a $250,000 paycheck for a match at SummerSlam and then making the comment about his limo driver getting paid better. Ross said he confronted Hogan about it and Hogan replied, “It’s not the money, I have more money than God.” Ross added that “he was going to need it” after all the recent problems Hogan’s had.
Ross also said that Hogan Knows Best is “not real, kind of like wrestling.” Ross said that Hogan didn’t want to be shown in a negative light, and points out Hogan “having a urination contest with his wife.” He also said Hogan wearing his bandana in court last week was an indication that he was “in character.” Talk turned to Hulk’s daughter Brooke Hogan‘s upcoming television show and Ross said, “They need to muzzle that girl” and that she “wasn’t the valedictorian of her class.” Ross said that Brooke was living off of Hogan’s success, but that her show might be entertaining because you never know what will come out of her mouth.
* In Dave Meltzer’s most recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter he notes that head SmackDown writer Michael Hayes made racist comments towards Presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
According to Meltzer Hayes said, “How can we have a President that can’t read the constitution?” and “If that boy gets elected, I’m moving to Canada.” Many within WWE questioned McMahon’s skit mocking Obama after Obama agreed to do Raw, despite knowing there was a risk of backfire if the Hayes story and his comments got out that week.
* Bobby Lashley spoke out against Hayes last week in an audio interview saying that he personally did not like him. Hayes is currently serving a 60-day suspension for making racist comments towards Mark Henry. According to a WWE spokesperson Hayes will have to undergo further evaluation before he returns to work.
* Paul Heyman‘s latest column for the UK Sun is now online. This week, Heyman lists the top five talents he feels are the most underrated and underutilized in professional wrestling.
5. Tito Ortiz: “Tito is finishing up his UFC contract this weekend. What does he do next? Wear out his name in MMA, or capitalize on his love for pro wrestling and exploit his larger than life personality by joining WWE or TNA? And remember, where Tito goes, so goes Jenna Jameson, the best self-promoter in show business today. ”
4. Beth Phoenix: “It doesn’t matter that she’s already been WWE women’s champion, the audience hasn’t even had a taste of what this phenomenal athlete is capable of.”
3. James Mitchell: “The best backstage promo artist in the business, bar none. A brilliant spokesman who can articulate the merits of the opponent without selling his own act short.”
2. The entire TNA roster: “No long term concepts + bad television writing + zero marketing strategy = hard working talents whose efforts are wasted on a show that has not grown the audience whatsoever despite the tens of millions of dollars sunken into it.”
1. Randy Orton: “When does Orton get to make you hate him so badly, you’re willing to pay to see him get beat, or at least beaten up?”
* Regarding William Regal’s reaction to his second Wellness Policy violation, he is said to be “understandably deflated,” reports prowrestling.NET. Regal was in the midst of the biggest push of his wrestling career and it is quite obvious to him that the timing of the suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Regal, who has been battling addiction problems for a number of years, was not showing any signs of a relapse according to several witnesses. World Wrestling Entertainment never releases specific details regarding drug testing violations, so there’s no way of knowing what he did to trigger the suspension.
* On eBay, there is an auction for a fan (and up to 8 guests of his or her choosing) to have dinner with TNA wrestler Kevin Nash near his home in Daytona Beach, Florida. Perks include a five-hour visit with Nash, “a full skirt steak dinner,” Nash telling stories and answering your questions, “smoke one cigar with Kevin Nash,” and a picture taken with Nash which he will sign there. The starting bid of the auction is only $2,300 and it ends this Monday. Thus far, there are no bids.
* As noted earlier, The Washington Post did a big story on the frenzy The Great Khali has caused in his native India. In case you missed it, Khali made the following quote in the article: “I play to bring honor to India’s name abroad, and I feel very proud when I am beating up white wrestlers.”
* On this week’s Impact, the Kip James vs. Matt Morgan match lasted a total of three minutes yet managed to lose 262,000 viewers in the process.
The vignette of Eric Young looking for Elvis and Sting talking about his past with Ultimate Warrior drew Impact’s lowest rated quarter hour of the year with a 0.78 rating.
The only segments to not lose any viewers were matches featuring the women. The Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong match following the marriage proposal segment stopped the bleeding and gained 25,000 viewers. However, the biggest gain of the show was reserved for surprise, surprise, Velvet Sky & Angelina Love.
The Beautiful People have been the biggest ratings draw for TNA.
* Triple H has some major competition for the lead role in Marvel Comics’ upcoming Thor movie. According to some entertainment websites, Brad Pitt is apparently being considered for the lead role. No offer has been made to Pitt yet, but he is high on the list of potential candidates to play the part. Another lead candidate for the role is actor Kevin McKidd of HBO’s Rome series.
Furthermore, according to the latest issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, the deal with Triple H and Thor is that Marvel officials are interested in his services, but scheduled director Matthew Vaughn is greatly opposed to the idea of casting him in the movie. Vaughn has informed the studio about his displeasure with possibly using Triple H in the movie.
* TNA is planning for the possibility of Sting retiring when his current contract expires at the end of the year. Company officials want to give him a proper sendoff after watching what WWE did for Ric Flair.
* An alleged Kevin Nash eBay auction where you could travel to Daytona Beach, Florida to meet Nash and spend time with him is a fake. The auction expired over the weekend and there were no takers for the $2,300 minimum bid.
* The Sun has an interview with TNA wrestler Homicide and he is quite critical of Internet wrestling fans, calling them “idiots” & “dorks” and that they deserve to be “shanked.” “America is a joke when it comes to wrestling fans,” Homicide said. “I’m going to say it out loud. We got good wrestling fans and we got smart marks who are a bunch of idiots and dorks sitting at a computer and thinking they are better than a wrestler or a booker.”
The interviewer points out that the U.K. also has its share of “smart marks.” Homicide replies, “But not like the ones in the United States. Over here they deserve to get shanked. The UK fans are really great, they’re respectful. If you are a smart mark, be respectful.”
* The Baltimore Sun has an interview with Santino Marella today. He calls Jim Cornette “a loser” and “an insecure person.” Marella said: “Jim Cornette is a loser. Jim Cornette is an insecure person. And controversy creates cash, so maybe one day, Jim Cornette, I’m going to wrap that cheap tennis racquet around you neck. I’d like to have a cage match with Jim Cornette. I’ll put that out on the Worldwide Web right now. Jim Cornette is a misunderstanding person. Look, I’m watching wrestling in the audience – make it very clear – just in the audience. My daughter is sitting in front of me. Boogeyman turns to us, [and] I think, “OK, he’s going to do me a favor because maybe he knows I’m a student in this OVW school, so he’s going to scare my daughter for me, and treat my daughter to an experience.” So I’m happy. If your daughter is going to get an experience like this, you’re going to be happy as a father, right?”
Marella also says that Randy Orton is his friend.
Bonus: September 1993
* John Hawk (JBL) on the 9/17 show for GWF in Texas had the tasteless line of the week saying, “The Freebirds are gone and all of The Von Erichs are dead so I’m taking over.” It wouldn’t have been so bad had Kerry Von Erich‘s two daughters not been in attendance.”
– 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.