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 2007, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from September 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.
* Sources are saying that at least one wrestler named in the media stories as turning up in the Internet pharmacy client list will not be suspended by WWE. That should show that everyone named by the media is innocent until proven guilty. Granted, most of them probably are guilty, but every single wrestler listed isn’t. Thus far, fourteen people under contract to WWE have been named in the media — an additional one was fired yesterday in Mike “Simon Dean” Bucci. According to WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, eleven wrestlers in all have been suspended by WWE.
As we all know, Mr. Kennedy had a lot of things to say this summer regarding his personal steroid use and that people like Marc Mero were wrong because drugs were a thing of the past in pro wrestling. According to Sports Illustrated, Kennedy received shipments of Anastrozole, Somatropin and Testosterone between October 2006 and February 2007 — well beyond when the WWE Wellness Policy was put in place. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid. Somatropin is a Growth Hormone drug. And of course, Anastrozole is the drug used to ward of developing female breast tissue.
Here are some select quotes from Kennedy regarding steroids that he made in an interview with The Sun a little over two weeks ago. The interview is called ‘WWE stopped my steroid use’ and you can read the interview in its entirety at this link:
“I never took massive amounts of steroids and do you know why I stopped taking them? Because of the WWE’s Wellness Policy.”
“Because they instituted the Wellness Policy (in February 2006) and I knew that having a job with the WWE was way more important than the 10 pounds of extra muscle that the steroids gave me.”
“I stopped taking them and I had the biggest push of my life.”
“I worked with The Undertaker for the last six, seven months. Working on top of all the house shows. I worked PPVs, I was on every PPV.”
“I didn’t take any steroids and that’s the thing, nowadays, in our business, you don’t have to take that stuff in order to get a push.”
“We’ve got thousands upon thousands upon thousands of applicants every year, that apply to have a job as a WWE superstar and Vince picks the best of the litter, he picks the guys that have very good genetics.”
* According to Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch, Randy Orton will not be suspended by WWE despite his name turning up as a client for the corrupt Signature Pharmacy online firm. Things do indeed appear to be in Orton’s favor considering that he appeared at last night’s Raw house show whereas the other wrestlers listed as being clients of Signature Pharmacy didn’t.
WWE is telling people that Orton fessed up to his dealings with Signature Pharmacy a few months ago, and somehow “already did his time.” Most of the guys in the locker room are not buying it at all and see this as WWE trying to get out of losing him right now when they need him in his high-profile storyline with John Cena.
* WWE has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstars Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and Jayson Paul) as of September 2. We wish them both the best in all future endeavors.
* This weekend, WWE released SmackDown! wrestler Eugene and RAW tag team Cryme Time.
Eugene was released by WWE because he recently violated WWE’s Wellness Policy for a third time. After a recent drug test, Eugene had a prescription drug show up in his system and he was unable to produce proof the drug was properly prescribed to him by a doctor.
As for Crime Tyme, there’s a very interesting story behind this one. Backstage, there has been heat between Crime Tyme and Cade & Murdoch for several weeks. During an altercation at a house show this weekend, shad from Crime Tyme said to Trevor Murdock, “Whatever happens out there happens”. This was seen as a direct threat and Murdoch addressed Shad’s threat in front of the rest of the locker room.
Cade & Murdoch decided to pull a rib on Crime Tyme involving the referee of their match that night and a major swerve. There is a spot in the match where JTG gets bumped out of the ring and gets back in right before getting counted out. The swerve is that the refs were going to count very fast at the end and disqualify Crime Tyme – -without them knowing hte real finish to the match. After it went down, Crime Tyme was shocked — but immediately gave the referee their finishing maneuver – took off his belt and auctioned it off in the crowd!
Although the referee was protected during the move and they stayed in character by auctioning off his belt, Crime Tyme still performed their finisher on somebody who did not expect it or was trained to take it and were seen as the real “bad guys” of the whole situation. They were released after the show.
* WWE RAW is taped this week the TV tapings took place last night. As part of the ongoing “Vince McMahon‘s Bastard” storyline, a major new development took place at the show.
Despite weeks of speculation that Mr. Kennedy would be Vince’s child — it was revealed that Ken Kennedy is NOT Vince’s bastard child!
We’re told that Ken Kennedy absolutely was booked to be Vince’s bastard, but his suspension (for his connection to a corrupt Internet pharmacy) has lead WWE to change direction on yet another Vince McMahon angle.
This is a very tough break for Mr. Kennedy. First he was scheduled to win the SmackDown! Heavyweight Title and suffered a bad injury that left him sidelined for months and those plans had to be changed. Now, just as he was about to be the center of a major storyline that would have catapulted into true main event status. Unfortunately for Kennedy, he pulled the rug out from under himself this time.
* ABC News is reporting that according to Chris Benoit’s father, Michael, tests conducted by Julian Bailes of the Sports Legacy Institute revealed that Chris’ brain was severely damaged and resembled that of an 85-year-old Alzheimer patient. Bailes said that the damage was caused by chronic concussions and head trauma suffered over Benoit’s career as a professional wrestler.
As we all know, Benoit was famous for his flying headbutt off of the top roe which puts stress on the brain every time that it is executed. This study certainly could very well give us the reasons why Chris Benoit committed the acts that he did.
* Yesterday evening, Ric Flair gave his notice to WWE because he was unhappy with the direction of his character; however, the two sides are still in talks in an attempt to patch things up.
We are now able to confirm that Flair actually gave notice that he would be leaving a few weeks ago, far before reports of the Signature Pharmacy steroid scandal broke. Flair knows that he is near the end of his legendary career, but he is still sick and tired of the way that he has been used in the company. With all of the recent suspensions (on top of the already thin roster from injuries), Flair’s bargaining position within the company has certainly improved for WWE to offer him a bigger role.
WWE is doing all that they can to get Flair back and are even working under the assumption that they will be able to patch things up. One source told us that Flair has been dealing with some personal issues involving his children lately which have affected his mood.
* It is interesting to note that Stone Cold Steve Austin is now charging $25,000 to do a three-hour autograph session. In comparison, Hulk Hogan charges $75,000. Austin’s rate has dropped as he was charging $30,000 last year.
* In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that Robert Huffman (King Booker) quit WWE when he was told that he was to be suspended for 60 days, as a punishment to the Signature Pharmacy bust. He was believed to have failed a Wellness Program test before, hence the 60 days suspension instead of 30.
While WWE is still trying to negotiate Huffman’s staying with them, they’re going on under the impression he’s done. The two sides had been having troubles recently, with a major setback being John Laurinaitis‘ call to go with Florida for a developmental territory – where WWE would start from scratch – instead of going with Booker’s already established PWA, which WWE had been loaning wrestlers to. After they made the call to stop that, Booker went to his friends at TNA and booked them for his shows instead, which didn’t sit so well with anyone backstage, but they couldn’t say much having pulled WWE talent from PWA.
Booker is pretty much set financially and has wanted out of wrestling for a while. At age 42, he’s accomplished a lot, and thanks to his hip hop store doing well in Houston, and his two wrestling schools up and running, there’s really no need for him to stick around.
* Kevin Nash continues to push TNA Wrestling to sign Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. Nash has told TNA officials that Hall has cleaned himself up and is back in wrestling shape.
* This week former world champion Bill Goldberg appeared on Richard “Big Dick” Hunter’s radio show. Goldberg is always very outspoken and this was no exception. When asked about TNA Wrestling, Goldberg had the following to say:
“TNA totally blows, man. I don’t think they have a clue as to what people want to see, I think. They’ve got a very clouded vision. Right after the Benoit death, WWE and TNA had an opportunity to ‘make it right.’ They had an opportunity, they had everyone’s attention and what does TNA do? They go out and sign ‘Pacman’ Jones. That in itself, in a nutshell, describes TNA’s mentality. That as a viable option for Goldberg? Absolutely not. Those guys don’t deserve to have me on their program.”
* While it could still be several years away, the feeling within WWE is that once Vince McMahon decides to step down from his position in WWE, Stephanie McMahon will run the corporate end, Shane McMahon will head up global media and licensing, and Triple H and Shawn Michaels will be in charge of developmental. As we reported late last week, both Michaels and Triple H were in Louisville, Kentucky giving a pep talk to developmental talents.
* Behind the scenes, Christian Cage is well-liked by his peers. He is not particularly involved with the backstage politics. Out of anyone in a top position in TNA, he’s probably the least involved in the backstage politics. Instead, he focuses most of his energy backstage on preparing his promos. Sometimes he’ll work on his content for hours on end like a politician getting ready for a big speech.
* Back in the summer, Andy Douglas (the dark-haired one) of the former TNA tag team The Naturals posted a message on his MySpace page saying that they were getting a tryout match with WWE at the September 17th Raw in Nashville, TN. They were going to work in Nashville specifically because that’s their hometown.
However, people from within WWE do indeed troll the internet wrestling websites and they quickly found out that he had announced his tryout in public on his MySpace page. When WWE found out about this, they reportedly called off the tryout. Chase Stevens, his blonde-haired tag team partner, was said to be really angry about this. The post was removed from Douglas’ MySpace rather quickly as well, so there was definitely something to the story at the time.
* Well known wrestling journalist and author of the book “Wrestling Babylon”, Irv Muchnick claimed today in a blog post on his web site that well-placed sources within WWE have told him that Randy Orton recently attempted suicide.
Below is an excerpt from his web site:
A rumor is swirling that World Wrestling Entertainment star Randy Orton attempted suicide within the last year. Very well-placed wrestling sources tell me that the rumor is true. In the wake of the June murder-suicide of Chris Benoit and the scandal involving scads of WWE performers who ordered steroids and human growth hormone from the Internet gray-market dealer Signature Pharmacy, this is serious stuff.
* Bill Goldberg recently appeared on Joe McDonnell’s radio show in Los Angeles. He said he wanted to kill Michael Vick.
* Chris Jericho‘s complete book signing schedule is up on his website, ChrisJericho.com. He’s doing a book signing next Sunday in Atlanta. His book signing schedule is free until the last week of October, which will then kick into full gear until the middle of November. Also, he has all of his Mondays free during the month of October.
* To follow up an earlier item, two readers have sent word to say that Chris Jericho has recently said he doesn’t have a MySpace page, which would mean anything posted on the page claiming to be his isn’t true. Honestly, I hate MySpace and don’t know who is and isn’t legit there so take the whole thing for what it’s worth. (ProWrestlingInsider)
* John Morrison will return to WWE television on the ECW brand next week. The biggest question surrounding his return will be whether or not he will get the ECW Championship back from CM Punk. Before his suspension, original plans called for Morrison to have a long-term title reign, however, Punk was given the title when there was no other option. Paul Heyman had suggested that the company put the strap on CM Punk before last year’s December to Dismember pay-per-view; however, Vince McMahon referred to Punk as a “string bean” and said that no one would believe it.
* There has been a lot of talk about the cryptic “SAVE_US.222” video that aired after RAW on Monday. While the exact meaning of the video remains unknown, we do have an interesting story regarding the mysterious promotional piece. Back in June, before the Benoit tragedy, former WWE creative writer Court Bauer suggested to the rest of the WWE Creative Team a different idea to introduce the new Hart Foundation or the return of Chris Jericho.
The idea was to run a viral marketing campaign, something like an updated version of the Y2J countdown clock in which he debuted in WWE with back in 1999. Ideas included setting up web sites developed by third parties, doing things on YouTube, and mystery ads on WWE.com (one example for the Hart Foundation idea was to have a “public service announcement” on heart attacks that would take you to a Calgary-related web site). The underlying idea was to develop an interactive campaign where fans would have to try to “crack the code.”
Bauer’s idea was very popular amongst the rest of the creative team until things were turned upside down by the Benoit tragedy. Some of the clues in the SAVE_US.222 video such as the WWE theme music clue and deliberate misdirects with the whole Jericho feel could be an indication that the video has something to do with Y2J’s return to WWE. While nothing has been confirmed, the piece seemed very similar to the initial idea that was thought up this past summer.
* Several TNA wrestlers have talked about leaving the promotion. Those wrestlers include Homicide, Hernandez, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley.
Management has asked all of them to stay until the two hour shows start (tapings are being held this Monday and Tuesday), at which point they’ll get more television time.
A few of the wrestlers in question are interested in leaving TNA for Japan.
* It looks like we are within months of seeing The New Hart Foundation debut on the main WWE roster. While nothing has been confirmed, it looks like the faction will work for the SmackDown brand as they are being advertised locally for the SmackDown/ECW taping in Bakersfield, California on November 6th.
As we reported earlier this week, the faction officially debuted at a Florida Championship Wrestling show as The Foundation comprised of Teddy Hart, Harry Smith, Nattie Neidhart, Ted DiBiase Jr., and TJ Wilson. However, it remains to be seen how many members will actually make it to the main WWE roster.
* TNA was hoping to get Chris Jericho to make a surprise debut at the first two-hour Impact show. They were in serious talks with him, but couldn’t get a deal done. Their belief is that Jericho is going to WWE.
* The Nature Boy Ric Flair was on the sidelines at the University of South Carolina football game on Saturday, decked out in team colors. The Charleston newspaper picked up on it, calling Flair “a retired professional wrestler.”
* SmackDown writer Michael Hayes was the one who pushed for the heart attack route in the Kristal & Theodore Long wedding storyline. He had been wanting to do an angle involving Viagra for quite some time. The Viagra induced heart attack on the night of the wedding had actually been scripted since June. Hayes was strong on the Viagra part of the storyline, knowing Vince would love it and that it was believable drug to trigger a heart attack.
The plan from day one was for Vickie Guerrero (and at one time Kristal, but she’s likely staying on as a babyface) to get a hold of Long’s medical records, find out about his medical issues, and orchestrate this whole thing out in the storyline. The big goal of the storyline is to turn Vickie Guerrero into a major heel. Though it was argued by some in WWE that getting major heat on Vickie would be compromised by the Viagra aspect of the storyline that made it somewhat of a comedy.
Nonetheless, as result of the outcome of the storyline, Guerrero will turn into a major heel General Manager. She would then turn her wrath against Rey Mysterio in particular, to do a Hispanic version of Vince McMahon vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. She would have also used Kristal in the ordeal, and would subsequently fire her former friend from SmackDown.
The original plan for Kristal was for her to move to Raw shortly after the storyline. She’s currently in a real-life relationship with Bobby Lashley, and since he had pull at the time, he asked Vince McMahon if she could move to Raw to be with him. Vince agreed, and she should be moving to Raw eventually. However, Lashley is going to be out of action until at least December, so her forthcoming move to Raw may be held off for a few more months.
Another idea being batted around to get Vickie even more heat from the fans is for her to start a relationship with one of the male wrestlers on SmackDown. The idea is that the wrestler would get preferential treatment from her, and it would make her even more of a heel to the fans because she’d be betraying her late husband Eddie Guerrero. The other idea being talked about is that the wrestler up for the role would actually be using Vickie in order to get preferential treatment from her, but Vickie would be trying to get the wrestler “in the sack” in exchange. The wrestler would tease the idea, but it would never actually happen in the storyline because the wrestler is not really interested in sleeping with her; he just wants to further his own career, and thus he’d be the one doing the using.
If Vickie ends up having a relationship with a wrestler, MVP appears to be the primary candidate for the role. There has also been talk of using Edge in the role, but MVP’s name has gotten more play.
– 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.