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 August 2006, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from September of 2006. Kurt Angle goes to TNA, wrestlers meet blogs, Batista’s sadness and much more.
Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 and 2005 right here at this very link. Now enjoy September 2006.
* The #1 wrestler for this year’s PWI 500 has been revealed. The top spot came down to Samoa Joe and John Cena. The winner of the 2006 PWI 500 is John Cena. This is the first time in which he has been ranked number one in the annual special edition magazine.
* Just to add more to the previously reported return of Chris Benoit. Benoit is currently scheduled to return on 9/9 at the West Palm Beach House Show. Originally Benoit was scheduled to return and go against Mark Henry, but Henry is now also out with injuries and is not expected to return anytime in the near future. There was also talk that Benoit may have been upset with the way his match at One Night Stand II was handled. There was talks of a Benoit vs Malenko (Dean) match that was scheduled to take place, but never came about after it was decided this PPV would be the launch of an all new ECW Brand.
Benoit also need some time off to heal up some nagging injuries and he also wanted to take care of his wife who was recovering from surgery herself. It is not known when Benoit will show up on television.
* This week on RAW, a vignette aired for a new tag team headed to the RAW brand – Cryme Tyme.
Cryme Tyme members Shad Gaspard and JTG are straight out of a 50 Cent video – with iced out grills, bling and bulletproof vests. In the segment, they were training for their big RAW debut by timing how long it took for them to rob a smoothie store. After attacking the cashier, taking the money from the cash register and talking into the security monitor – the two realized they were 3 seconds over their limit. They decided to rob another store to improve on their quickness.
WWE posted the following statement on WWE.com:
“Tonight a new tag team, Cryme Tyme, will be introduced to the RAW audience. In an effort to humor and entertain our fans the tag team known as Cryme Tyme will be parodying racial stereotypes.
Shad Gaspard and JTG do outlandish, outrageous “stunts” to ready themselves for tag team action on RAW. This attempt at Saturday Night Live-like humor is bound to entertain audiences of all ethnic derivations.
We hope you enjoy the weekly adventures of Cryme Tyme.”
* Former mid-to-late 90’s WWF star Henry O. Godwin could be making a return to WWE. He defeated WWE Cruiserweight champion Gregory Helms in a non-title match at a Smackdown brand house show on Sunday night.
* The Great Khali has been suspended from his job in India as an assistant sub-inspector with Punjab Armed Police (PAP), according to IndiaENews.com. Of course this is because he hasn’t reported to work because he’s been working for WWE, but there’s no way you can’t find this humorous.
* Lots of talk behind one of the reasons that John Cena may move to Smackdown is because of the amount of time he will miss while out publicizing his upcoming film, “The Marine”. WWE may prefer a “Smackdown” guy be out of action opposed to a “RAW” guy. I think at this point, most people are preparing themselves for Cena to be moved.
* There is some heat on Triple H for taking a shot at the ECW entity on Tuesday night. Upon entering the building at the beginning of the show, he said “Bingo!” ECW’s original home, the ECW arena, held midnight bingo during its heyday. There is heat on Triple H for saying it because there was no storyline point in doing so. It is believed that he made the comment because his wife Stephanie McMahon is not a fan of the ECW project. Some in WWE say Stephanie has been politicing once again to get Paul Heyman demoted.
* There has been some talk at the WWE discussion table in regards to bringing back Kevin Nash, 47, and Scott Hall, 47 (48 next month). Should they return, the duo would come in to feud with DX once the McMahon vs. DX feud runs its course. The possibility of a “DX vs. NWO” feud seems to be much too hard to write off completely and that it should at least be considered.
As expected, there are some people within WWE who don’t want anything to do with either Kevin Nash nor Scott Hall – all for different reasons. WWE sources are denying the possibility of The Outsiders returning to WWE, but they have admitted that the idea of them returning has been proposed within various circles.
Kevin Nash’s TNA status is currently in limbo. If his contract hasn’t run out already, it probably will soon. As for Scott Hall, in an interview with a Puerto Rico wrestling site back in June, he said that he was healthy and that he was training for a possible in-ring return.
* TNA is holding a “Why I Hate Jeff Jarrett” Contest, which you can personally enter. Fans can submit videos detailing why they hate Jeff Jarrett, and the winners will be flown to 9.24.06 No Surrender PPV to take part in the Fan’s Revenge Lumberjack match featuring Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe.
* Randy Orton is the first WWE wrestler to fail a drug test under the WWE Talent Wellness Program’s new guidelines – which recently went into effect. Despite his failure in a recent drug test, he will not be pulled off the road. He will continue to appear on both TV and PPV shows, but as a general rule, he is not supposed to appear on house shows for 30 days. Orton didn’t appear at any house shows this weekend. For that matter, he hasn’t appeared at a house show in about a month.
Under the old guidelines, Orton would have been taken off the road for 30 days due to suspension. Also, he would have lost one month’s worth of salary. Under the new guidelines, he will continue to work TV and PPV shows, but he will only have his road expenses covered and receive no bonuses for the shows. The only non-change in the new guidelines is that he will have his downside guarantee docked for 30 days.
WWE recently changed their guidelines because they didn’t want to have to interrupt storylines or change PPV matches if a wrestler was to fail a drug test. WWE officials weren’t happy with how things went down for the Great American Bash PPV back in July, and with the results for drug tests for RAW talent just now coming in, they didn’t want to risk messing up their plans for the Unforgiven PPV.
* Internally, several WWE people believe that Batista‘s “star” is starting to fade. It has been said that Batista hasn’t been himself since his return to Smackdown. He is slower on his feet, not to mention more tentative and less confident. The reason Mr. Kennedy got the U.S. Title from Finlay is because they were worried that Batista was losing steam.
WWE felt as though that Finlay is best used to help get someone over, and now he will feud with Batista in an attempt to help get him back on track to carry the brand. Right now, the company stance is that Batista’s fade just proves how great Triple H is, because he got Batista over.
* At a WWE shareholders meeting held earlier today, Vince McMahon said that WWE.com “sucks.” At the meeting, a shareholder was praising the website for its frequently updated content. McMahon thanked the shareholder for his comments, but he then said that the site “sucks.” He then said, “Our people know it sucks.” McMahon just left it at that.
* At yesterday’s WWE stockholders meeting, a person asked Vince McMahon about ECW and the direction it was taking. Vince answered by talking about the old ECW show. Vince said, “ECW did not have much of a TV show.” “It was more about vignettes.” “It was like the wild wild west.” “No logic to it whatsoever.
* As reported earlier today, WWE signed Henry O. Godwinn to a contract last week. This transaction is mildly controversial because several months back, Godwinn had a tryout match before an OVW taping and the reports on his ring work were terrible. Then again, he hadn’t regularly wrestled in about eight years. John Laurinaitis decided against keeping him around in OVW and DSW, even though there was a major WWE star’s recommendation to use him. That star was Triple H.
Henry Godwinn and Triple H are good friends. Had it not been for Triple H, Godwinn probably wouldn’t have gotten all these tryout matches in the first place, let alone a WWE contract. Godwinn’s son passed away last year, he needed a job, and he missed wrestling – so after Triple H told all that to some WWE officials, Godwinn got a second chance to show his stuff
* TNA has just hired Vince Russo to join the booking committee alongside Dutch Mantel and Jeff Jarrett. TNA officials have given Russo guidelines, the biggest one being that there can be “no sleaze” on their wrestling shows. Also, Mike Tenay and Scott D’Amore have been removed from the committee. TNA is currently in a bit of a panic move due to declining ratings over the last few weeks.
Also, its being said that there will likely be a shake-up in personnel in that some wrestlers may be leaving the company eventually due to this move. There has been no indication that any of major stars will be quitting immediately over this, although some will likely not renew their contracts when they come up.
* Jim Cornette is pushing constantly for former WWE wrestler Matt Morgan to be brought into the company, but people in power in TNA aren’t sure he’s a good fit for the roster at this point due to his overwhelming size.
* Lex Luger implied on his MySpace page that not only will he and former WCW superstar Buff Bagwell be appearing at Monday’s TNA iMPACT! taping in Orlando, Florida, but could also be at appearing at tomorrow night’s No Surrender PPV.
As we have been reporting, it appears as if the major announcement is going to be a new timeslot for the company, but with Luger and Bagwell appearing as well as Vince Russo signing with TNA, things are definitely going on.
* By all indications, it appears as though that tonight’s big surprise will be a debuting star wrestler. Tonight’s surprise appearance/announcement at the No Surrender PPV is so top secret that the seven people in the know have had to sign non-disclosure confidentiality agreements to prevent the surprise from being leaked out and whomever is announcing the surprise is staying at a nearby hotel until 9:30 PM. TNA is teasing that the big announcement on tonight’s show will be delivered by a wrestler who was not previously scheduled to appear on show. Whoever this individual is, he/she is being hidden at a nearby hotel until around 9:30 PM before being brought over to Universal Studios for the PPV. The appearance of whomever this person is will close out the show. TNA is obsessed with the surprise being leaked out to the internet, which is why this individual is staying at a hotel.
Also, there is a lot of anticipation backstage over whatever is planned. The seven people in the know on the surprise are very excited about what is planned and they say it will not be a letdown. Although, a few of the wrestlers are disgruntled that they’re going to have wait to find out what the surprise is until its actually announced over live television at tonight’s pay-per-view.
* TNA promised a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” that would change the face of the wrestling industry forever. Did the actual surprise live up to the hype? After the Samoa Joe defeated Jeff Jarrett in the main event, Jim Cornette came out and showed a pre-recorded video package – showing Kurt Angle working out in a TNA ring!
That’s right – TNA’s Major Announcement is that they have signed Olympic Gold Medalist, KURT ANGLE.
Jarrett looked stunned in the ring as fans chant “Angle, Angle” as the PPV ended.
* All week, we’ve been hearing about the “Major Announcement” that would change the face of wrestling. By now you’ve heard that Kurt Angle was the big surprise, however Jim Cornette actually dropped another bombshell that will certainly change the face of TNA as well.
Starting Thursday night, November 16th, TNA iMPACT! is moving into prime time and will air each week at 9PM. The 11/16 episode of the show will be a 2-hour special running from 9PM-11PM.
* It seems as though that Kurt Angle‘s recent MMA aspirations were actually a smokescreen to swerve people into thinking that he wouldn’t be joining TNA. The video clips of him that aired at the end of the No Surrender PPV were shot a few days ago in a Nashville, TN area warehouse. Local wrestlers were used and they had to sign a nondisclosure form to prevent the news of the signing of Kurt Angle from leaking out before the PPV. Also, TNA employees were not informed of the Angle signing until about 15 minutes before it was announced on the PPV.
Due to the enormous amount of buzz created by last night’s announcements, an excess amount of web traffic caused the official TNA website to go down a few times. In an effort to combat this, they put up a mere picture of Kurt Angle with no link to the main page to reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed – at least until the traffic died down. The site is currently fine and you access the main page again.
* The USA Network has decided not to pass on the pilot of “Ebaum’s World” which was a show based on the EBaumsWorld.com website, which features extreme video clips, prank calls, amongst other types of behaviors hosted by former WWE Champion Chris Jericho. It was originally planned for the show to be paired with RAW in order to keep the WWE audience on the USA Network after RAW went off the air; however, all of those plans have been nixed. The show had been in development since the beginning of 2006. This comes after Jericho was first eliminated on Celebrity Duets, a reality show that bombed last month.
* There has been some talk of putting Elix Skipper, Monty Brown and Ron Killings together as a faction called BET. This is Terry Taylor‘s idea, not Vince Russo‘s.
* Lex Luger wrote a blog on his official MySpace blog taking aim at Eric Bischoff:
“Eric Bisholff and his new book
I was recentley let in on a portion of good old eric bishoffs new book. again as usual eric does nothing but run his mouth to make a few bucks.
Eric went as far as saying kevin nash was lazy. questioned paul heyman. and said i can not draw a dime.
Eric says he didnt have a open checkbook. BULLSHIT. Instead of blaming wcws demise on wwe and vince mcmann maybe eric should look in the mirror.
Everyone remembers how shitty wcw was when vince ruesso took over. eric stop blaming wcw,s problems on the wrestlers creative control so on. remember bash at the beach 2000? it was a god damn sham and ratings fell 30% after that stupid idea.
Jbl you have nothing to say about this. your a god damn pissant in wwe that does nothing but pick on smaller guys backstage. and you have the balls to put me down? give me a damn break.
Well eric. on some points of this book might just be true. but come on you will do anything to keep fame going your way. i can let the spoiler out that your just doing this and publishing this book so you can have a angle to bring the nwo in vs dx. woops sorry about that spoiler.”
* The Matt Hardy vs. Gregory Helms match on Smackdown on 9/15 got a 0.8 rating, thus making it the lowest rated segment in the history of the show.
* Jim Ross posted a blog entry on his official website yesterday. People can reply with their comments on the blog.
Former WWE and WCW wrestler Chris Kanyon decided to chime in with his comments and air out some grievances that had been bothering him. Here is what he posted:
“Chris Kanyon Says:
September 28th, 2006 at 10:29 pm
JR, I no longer have respect for you like I once did, I even found you to be a little cute, but the way I was fired and miss-treated while in WWE was wrong and straight out discriminatory. You claim vince is not racist? What about the gay people such as myself and Orlando Jordan that were released? OJ was made to look like a fool infront of the fans and had a even more racist gimmick suggestion from creative team, he said he didn’t feel comfortable making fun of what he was and for that he was fired! So tell me J.R why would vince fire OJ other than those reasons? he was skilled in the ring, did what managment asked… No, it was not that he was a bad worker that got him fired, it was that he was a Homosexual!!!!! I was fired for the same reason. Remember when I was told to look like a bad gay person on national TV and then let the Undertaker beat the s**t out of me because you claimed America hates gays and will eat it up? Well f**k you j.r! your a lieing piece of garbage and your a gay hater!
Kanyon recently made wrestling headlines by making an unscheduled appearance at a WWE house show. He went to the front row and made a scene when DX was in the ring, holding one sign that said, “Ask Vince why he fired me” and another that was directed at HBK that read “Pray for my gay soul.” He was then escorted out of the building by security.
* Batista is said to be “miserable” being on Smackdown and he really wants to be brought back to Raw. It doesn’t seem likely that WWE will grant Batista his wish as Smackdown is lacking headline talent as it is and Smackdown can’t afford to be dealt yet another blow, especially considering that Rey Mysterio will be taking several months off to heal some injuries after No Mercy.
– Tune back in next time for the October edition of Dirt Sheet History.
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.