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 September 2007, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from October 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 September 2007.
* There is talk of doing a trade that would send Mark Henry to Raw and Umaga to SmackDown. This is basically a way to provide fresh opponents for each brand’s top babyfaces.
McMahon is very interested in doing an Undertaker vs. Umaga feud. Mark Henry would likely feud with John Cena since Raw is so low on fresh heels.
* According to WWE.com, WWE Champion John Cena suffered an injury during the main event Monday night on Raw.
* WWE Champion John Cena suffered a complete right pectoral tendon tear Monday night on Raw. Surgery is required. As a result, Cena will be out of action for 6-8 months. The injury is so severe that they’re not allowing him to compete in his scheduled championship match with Randy Orton next Sunday at No Mercy. He will have no choice but to forfeit the title.
* We’ve got a major update on Ric Flair‘s WWE status and it’s not looking good.
Flair meet with Vince McMahon at WWE headquarters on September 20th to work things out. Sources say that meeting didn’t go too well. McMahon was not pleased when Ric Flair showed up to the meeting with his lawyers.
When Ric Flair began making demands about how he expects to be portrayed on television, McMahon reminded the Flair he still owes Vince a lot of money. Vince reportedly gave Flair a loan to repay money he owed the IRS.
The meeting actually resulted in the two parties being farther apart. RAW writer Brian Gewirtz is very against pushing Flair and feels it is a bad idea to put a retiring superstar over at the expense of WWE’s top young stars.
* Police in Moon Township, PA are saying that TNA wrestler Kurt Angle had pills in his mouth when officers were interviewing him in regard to his erratic driving. According to a police spokesman, Angle had anti-inflammatory meds in his mouth at the time of the interview.
* According to the most recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels may not be returning to WWE in the coming months as planned.
HBK has been out of action for several months rehabbing a knee injury. He was expected to return to the ring this fall, but the Observer reports that Shawn told Hunter that he may not return at all.
Shawn said his family is his top priority, his knees are in bad shape and he wants to devote more time to his true passion, Christianity.
Triple H has been pushing Shawn to return to RAW even before he was ready to wrestle, due to the VERY thin roster. So far, HBK isn’t into it. The key issue for Shawn is that he wants a reduced travel schedule, much like The Undertaker has.
With WWE losing its top star John Cena for at least 6 months, you can bet WWE will do everything they can to bring back Michaels in whatever capacity they can get him.
* Former WWE Champion John Cena underwent surgery this week to repair a fully-torn pectoral tendon. WWE’s official website has posted a video feature on Cena’s surgery and the long rehabilitation process ahead, which has already started in Birmingham, Alabama.
Sports injury “Surgeon to the Stars” Dr. James Andrews performed Cena’s operation and gave WWE.com an exclusive update on how the surgery went and what lies ahead for John Cena. Here’s what Dr. Andrews had to say:
– The pectoral tendon was torn when Cena’s arm was pulled behind him during the hiptoss spot with Ken Kennedy. Andrews called it a “devastating injury” and was amazed Cena even finished the match.
– Initial examinations didn’t show how severe the tear was. Once they “opened him up” during surgery, they learned it was a complete pectoral tear where the tendon attaches to the bone.
– Andrews noted that the quick turnaround for the surgery (which took place less than 24 hours after the injury) helped make the procedure an easier once, since the torn tendon hadn’t had a chance to shrivel up after the tear.
– Andrews said that Cena “should have a full recovery.”
Statements from WWE and Vince McMahon himself have placed Cena’s return timeline at somewhere between six months to a year, which at best, would be April 2008 – effectively ruling out a match for Cena at Wrestlemania XXIV in Orlando, Florida.
* Last night on RAW, former WWE Champion John Cena appeared on the Titantron via satellite. It was his first public interview since having surgery last week to repair his torn pectoral tendon.
Cena gave everyone an update on his condition. When Vince McMahon spoke on last week’s ECW TV broadcast, he said Cena could be back in 6 months. Cena told the fans last night that his surgery was successful and he is expcted to fully recover from the injury, but the latest prognosis is that he’ll be out for 7-12 months.
With WrestleMania only 6 months away, it now appears even less likely that Cena has any chance of returning in time for the show.
Cena being gone for at least 7 months will have a huge effect on the WWE roster. He has been the top star in the company for over a year and has been the model babyface champion. Men like Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin (and even Eddie Guerrero) know the tremendous amount of pressure put on babyface WWE Champions who the company builds around for extended periods of time. Cena will finally have time off to rest and will likely return in 2008 a refocused and rejuvenated man.
* We reported here last week about the on-stage incident between TNA personality Johnny Fairplay and former child star Danny Bonaduce at the FOX Reality Awards Show. To quickly recap what happened, Fairplay was a presenter at the show and got frustrated when the crowd boo’d him while he was talking. Bonnaduce came on stage and said “They’re booing because they hate you”. Fairplay playfully jumped on Bonaduce and started humping him (something Fairplay is known for). Bonaduce literally dumped Fairplay on his face, resulting in 3 broken teeth and 3 root canal surgeries.
Now, Fairplay is suing. Alleging battery and emotional distress, Fairplay has filed suit against both Bonaduce, as well as the producers of the awards show, the Fox Reality Channel.
With Fairplay “on the ground and blood and broken teeth on the stage floor, Mr. Bonaduce proceeded to parade around the stage with pride,” according to the lawsuit.
After an investigation, the district attorney’s office decided not to press charges against Bonaduce. Bonaduce did not intentionally injure Fairplay and his “actions fell within the realm of self-defense,” Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Boxer wrote last week.
* This week’s WWE RAW drew a 2.8 cable rating. Unless this is some sort of glitch and there was a problem with Nielsen’s computations, WWE is entering dangerous territory.
RAW did hourly ratings of 2.8 and 2.8. What’s even more alarming is that RAW was the day after the No Mercy PPV – where the turbulent WWE title picture came together. With the WWE Title changing hands 3 times in 1 night at the PPV, interest in the WWE product should have been at a high.
* One idea being thrown around for Survivor Series next month is to have the new Hart Foundation debut at the event, working an angle attacking Shawn Michaels. While the angle would certainly be entertaining, it carries a big risk factor considering the inexperience of the young faction on such a big stage. The new Hart Foundation currently consists of Harry Smith, T.J. Wilson, Teddy Hart, and Ted DiBiase Jr. It is unknown of who the faction will consist of when they are brought up to the main WWE roster.
* To update you guys on an earlier report, the word going around today is that Teddy Hart was let go by World Wrestling Entertainment. Details regarding his departure haven’t come out yet though.
* TNA President Dixie Carter was on Bubba The Love Sponge Friday morning to promote this weekend’s Bound For Glory PPV. Bubba is a huge fan of the wrestling industry and a close friend of Hulk Hogan’s, so he was a little more “tuned in” than the average interviewer.
Here are the highlights:
– She acknowledged the rumors of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash reuniting once again in TNA. She mentioned that Kevin Nash has “been with TNA for some time now”. (Nash’s TNA contract expired recently and both sides are negotiating a new deal)
– Dixie mentioned she would love to bring in Hulk Hogan & maybe someday it can happen.
– When asked about whether she sees WWE’s ratings collapse as an opportunity for TNA, Dixie said she worries about her own company. She said TNA has the best in ring talent and storylines in wrestling. She mentioned the Kurt Angle watching Sting‘s son play sports as an example.
– Dixie said the backstage morale in TNA is great. She said the locker room is “one big group” instead of a roster of egos.
– Bubba asked if there was a chance Vince McMahon would buy TNA. Dixie said they would not sell.
* We’ve received word that a major meeting is taking place this afternoon in Atlanta, the site of tonight’s Bound For Glory PPV.
Several of TNA’s top stars – including Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Team 3D, and Christian Cage – have banded together and are meeting with TNA President Dixie Carter to discuss “urgent” matters that they feel are threatening the company. There is tremendous frustration with TNA’s creative direction – especially the booking of TNA’s 2-hour iMPACT! debut.
TNA’s top names have had enough and are demanding change. They feel Jeff Jarrett and his booking team are leading TNA to disaster and are demanding a change. Currently, Jeff Jarrett sets the “big picture” agenda for the company while Vince Russo and Dutch Mantell write the scripts and fill in the blanks.
While Jeff Jarrett has a long standing business relationship with Dixie Carter and her father Bob, it is believed that the star power of the men who called the meeting is significant enough to make their case heard. Both Kurt and Karen Angle have also grown close to Dixie Carter and her husband in recent months.
* WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Booker T and WWE Diva Sharmell as of October 27. We wish both Booker & Sharmell he best in all their future endeavors.
* WWE has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstar Shawn Daivari. We wish Daivari the best in all his future endeavors.
* TNA is currently in talks with former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette about joining the promotion. Arquette is suddenly interested in joining TNA. He called Jonny Fairplay, who has nothing to do with TNA these days, and asked him if Fairplay could be his manager. However, Fairplay isn’t really interested in doing anything with pro wrestling these days because he has other things on the table.
* Apparently, Karen Angle “made a spectacle of herself” at the party thrown by Spike TV in celebration of the first two hour Impact taping last month. Whatever she did at the party, it removed some of the internal luster over the Angle family among many people in TNA.
* Vince McMahon has a history of singling people out backstage and embarrassing them in front of other wrestlers. Last Monday when Shawn Michaels was the target of Vince’s juvenile behavior, it blew up in Vince’s face and left even Stephanie McMahon speechless.
Despite the fact that Shawn Michaels returned to WWE a month ahead of schedule, he still has heat with Vince. Shawn made it clear before he returned that he wants more control over his schedule. He won’t be doing any overseas tours and will work a somewhat reduced schedule so he can spend more time with his family.
When Shawn showed up to RAW last Monday for the first time since his injury, Vince started “chewing him out” in front of the lockerroom. He made fun of Shawn’s attitude and his clothing, among other things. To the surprise of everybody, HBK fired back at Vince and put him in his place. Shawn made it very clear to Vince in front of everybody that he won’t be disrespected by anybody or treated like a rookie.
The wrestlers were shocked that somebody finally stood up to one of Vince’s tirades. According to our source, nobody was more shocked than Stephanie McMahon. Witnesses were reportedly amused that Shawn humbled Vince in front of everybody. The McMahons are not necessarily disliked by the roster but this definitely brought Vince down off his high horse.
Shawn and Vince have had a volatile relationship for well over a decade. There is no indication that this incident will have any ramifications on Shawn’s WWE status.
* TNA President Dixie Carter let her hair down at the Spike TV party thrown in celebration of the first two-hour Impact taping last month. She partied with the wrestlers, and eye-witnesses say, “navel shots” were being done between her and various wrestlers. Many thought her behavior was unbecoming of the TNA President, but others thought it showed that she wasn’t too uptight and that she was willing to let loose around the wrestlers.
* The primary promoter of the WrestleFanFest convention held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco this weekend, Chris Salsbury, fled away from the hotel everyone was staying at due to a confrontation with Scott Steiner. At one point, Salbury locked himself in his room. Salsbury has been hard to get an audience with all weekend according to numerous people who have had business dealings with him. At the moment, no one knows where he is and if he’ll pop up again. Furthermore, there’s concern about the checks he gave a number of the talents not clearing.
* Stephanie McMahon was said to be very upset at the No Mercy pay-per-view a few weeks ago over leaks linking Chris Jericho to the SAVE_US viral marketing campaign. Stephanie, like everyone else in the company, wanted to keep the return a surprise. She was so upset that she wanted to run all of the company cell phone records of the Creative Team as well as do a forensic check on their computers and emails.
Of course this is not the first time this has happened as it is always extremely hard to find the person responsible for leaking information. According to a report, several of the Creative Team members were making excessive phone calls from their company cell phones, and got yelled at for it. There have been added frustrations as of late amongst the writers in WWE as they had to completely re-write the No Mercy pay-per-view one week before the show due to John Cena’s severe injury. The Creative Team did not feel it was fair that they received the blame for the Jericho leak.
In reaction to the most recent leak, Stephanie McMahon is calling for tighter restrictions on Creative Team members. According to Dave Meltzer, Stephanie wants to specially state in the contract of Creative Team members that they do not possess any ownership to their ideas and are not allowed to speak out in public on them. She also wants their contracts to stipulate that they cannot share their ideas once they have left the company or talk about the impressions of talent or anyone they met while working for World Wrestling Entertainment.
* If you watched the WWE.com video of medical staff attending to Candice Michelle backstage at Monday’s RAW than you probably noticed Candice asking for some water. In the video you can clearly hear Stephanie McMahon say “let her drink” as she tries to give Candice a drink. Candice takes a sip and starts to gag and begins to panic. One doctor that I talked to said that giving a pre-hospital patient any water is a big no-no and that thirst is one of the signs and symptoms of a spinal injury. If you watched RAW on Monday you may have noticed that they tried to give Candice water in the ring as well, obviously not realizing the severity of her injury.
* Brock Lesnar took part in UFC’s big media conference call yesterday afternoon and had a lot to say. Here’s what Brock said:
– Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut will take place on February 2nd, “Superbowl Saturday”. When asked who he wants to fight first, Lesnar said he’ll leave that decision for Dana White.
– “Pro wrestling is fake .. this is the real deal”. He is thrilled to be out of WWE because “he’s still alive”. Ouch.
– He’s been considering MMA since 2000. He said he jumped at WWE’s six figure deal right out of college, but had been thinking about MMA prior to that.
– He’s very excited to be in UFC. This is a major opportunity and he will rise to the occasion.
– Brock is very excited to make a name for himself in the MMA world. This is not a joke for him – he trains daily and plans to come in at 150%. He’s not setting himself up for a defeat. That’s not in his vocabulary.
– UFC fighters better take him seriously. He has an awesome ground game obviously and guys who train with him say he’s very good. Dana White put him over as a former amateur wrestler and NFL star.
– Overall, Lesnar came off as very confident. We’ll find out on February 2nd if he’s the real deal.
* While Sting’s TNA contract is expiring at the end of the year, the chances of him ending up in WWE are not very good. Sting has had the chance to sign a deal with WWE for several years now and has never been able to agree on a contract. One of the main reasons that Sting is reluctant to sign with WWE is the fact that he does not want to have to go on the road so much and that is what has made TNA so attractive to him.
* Kelly Kelly did not get breast enhancement surgery. Her Halloween Costume was just one that accentuated her assets nicely.
* One of the reasons that may have delayed Chris Jericho’s return from WWE are issues regarding his weight. According to some people that I’ve talked to, Jericho weighed no more than 200 pounds when he agreed to his new WWE contract. WWE obviously would like to see him put on more size to protect himself from injury as well as give him a more marketable look.
– 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.