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 last week’s Dirt Sheet History breaking down the best inside scoops and rumors from 2004, we enter 2005. It’s Wrestlemania 21 season and things are rocky. The infamous Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita story breaks, Ultimate Warrior drops some quotes about the Hall of Fame that are interesting with today’s events and many wrestlers saying and doing crazy things. Enjoy the best of early 2005!
* In an update to what has certainly become the biggest news story in recent memory, Lance Storm updated his Q&A, shedding light on details for the upcoming ECW PPV.
On the possibility of an ECW reunion PPV: “I honestly have no idea, but I like the fact that it is being talked about as a Reunion show. It can never be a true ECW show but with it billed as a Reunion show, I think it can live up. It should just be a bunch of past ECW guys reliving it one last time for the fans.”
Who has requested a match with Storm on the PPV: “This is my most asked question. RVD and Dreamer.”
* The following is from TNAWrestling.com:
Chris Park a.k.a. “Abyss” is no longer with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. TNA Wrestling wishes him luck in his future endeavors.
As reported, this stems from a meeting Abyss had with Jerry Jarrett before a TV taping, but did not want to agree to anything before talking with WWE. So TNA management decided not to use him at all and the company is moving on as if they were done working with him. At this point his match with Jeff Hardy has been pulled from the pay-per-view, although it was also pulled two weeks ago and put back this week, until the decision was made.
* It seems as though New Jack has signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. He revealed this news at the IWA Mid South show in Highland, IN. However, according to the wrestler, his stay with WWE will be limited, and not likely to be longer than a few weeks.
WWE officials met with New Jack last week to discuss a possible deal, with the plan being to have New Jack revealed as John Cena‘s attacker. Many within the company did not expect the deal to go through, so until further confirmation is available, take New Jack’s words with a grain of salt.
* The following are highlights from an interview WWE superstar Batista did with The London Sun:
On Raw vs. Smackdown: “I don’t consider it a rivalry at all. We’re a better show, period. There’s no comparison. I feel for Smackdown, I just don’t know what’s going on over there. I try to watch the shows but, for me, they’re hard to sit through. And that really makes me sick as it should be a top show. I’ve watched their tapings live and it seems like a lot of the guys couldn’t care less. There’s a lack of passion and pride. They need the stress of a live show on them, like we have. A lot of them think: “Oh, it’s taped. If I mess up, we’ll just redo it.” They’re more worried about where they’re going after the show, which also makes me sick because it means they’re not there to work.”
On Goldberg: “I don’t think Goldberg ever really had a grasp of wrestling or got it. Goldberg is a friend of mine and I like him a lot personally, but he just didn’t have that love or passion for the business. He was a paycheck player. I hated seeing him go, but at the same time it was hard seeing a guy like that with so much potential throwing everything away when guys like us are really struggling and clawing our way to the top.”
* There are a number of theories of what the Smackdown WWE Title match will be at WrestleMania. A possible match which has been talked about is The Rock challenging JBL for the WWE Title at the event, and even winning the belt, and holding it for a short title reign.
Another scenario could see JBL defending the belt against John Cena.
An intriguing scenario is Shawn Michaels winning the Rumble and choosing to wrestle Kurt Angle, who under that scenario would win the title before WM, or wrestle JBL if he retains the title.
* The Royal Rumble finish was originally intended to go longer than it did, which figures into Batista’s display of frustration after the match. The Orton/HHH match went slightly long, which forced WWE to rush to the ending. Initially, there was set to be a longer exchange between Batista and Cena.
* John Cena will be receiving a massive push going in to WrestleMania 21. John’s overall reputation is very good; he comes across as a nice guy that gets along with everyone, and doesn’t cause any problems. However, his shortcoming remains his in-ring work, which hasn’t progressed at the pace many had hoped.
Cena was always open about his need to improve his in-ring skills, however lately he hasn’t been taking part in in-ring workouts before shows very often. “He doesn’t train hard enough to get better,” says one WWE source. “He’s been told to step it up.”
In-ring workouts are common among rookies in the business and veterans tutoring them, Undertaker, Kurt Angle are usually involved in helping the less experienced wrestlers. Ricky Steamboat also has been helping lately.
Cena did take part in an in-ring workout before last week’s Smackdown taping in Little Rock, but wrestlers noted how he hadn’t been doing that often enough. “Once you get to this level,” says one wrestler, “the scrutiny goes up ten-fold. He wants to improve, but he should go in there and ask for suggestions and tips. He has to be doubling his efforts to improve at this point in order to avoid criticism from others.”
However, to Cena’s credit, he does have a good reputation for studying tapes of his matches when he gets home.
* Wrestling legend Jim (the Anvil) Neidhart and a daughter of grappling icon Stu Hart have been accused of pilfering jewelry from a city businessman’s home. In a statement of claim filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, John McCann alleges almost $10,000 in property went missing during visits by Neidhart and his wife, Ellie, last year.
* Brock Lesnar has apparently filed a lawsuit against WWE. The lawsuit seems to have something to do with Lesnar claiming that WWE is preventing him from earning a living due to the no compete clause that he agreed to when WWE offered to let him out of his contract.
* It is not really known at this moment in time if Hulk Hogan will appear at WrestleMania 21, but the sides are said to be talking to each other. One plan might be to have Hogan and Steve Austin team up against the team of Daivari and Hassan in a gimmick type match.
* Sources report that Vince McMahon has stated that Paul Heyman is off the writing team and will never be back. This of course, leaves questions regarding the possible upcoming ECW PPV which is tenatively scheduled for June. It is unknown if the PPV will go forward without Heyman who was said to be at odds already with people over how the PPV would be promoted.
* There is an article up at The UK Sun where they announced the winners of their wrestling awards for 2004. Some of the winners include:
Wrestler of the year: Randy Orton (runner up – Chris Benoit)
Best entrant to the WWE: Eugene (runner up – Carlito Caribbean Cool)
Favourite feud of 2004: Triple H v Shawn Michaels v Chris Benoit (runner up – Triple H v Randy Orton)
Most memorable moment: The Undertaker returning at WrestleMania XX (runner up – Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero embracing at WrestleMania XX)
Best independent wrestler: AJ Styles (runner up – Raven)
* Both Big Show and John Cena appeared on SportsTalkCleveland.com for an interview where the Big Show talked about Brock Lesnar and his lawsuit against WWE:
SHOW: “You know what, I’m gonna tell you something. Brock, listen to me because I’m telling you the truth from the heart – I’m pissed at you. I did a lot for him when I came over to Smackdown. I worked hurt with herniated discs in my back, chewing vicodins like they were M&Ms just so I could stand up straight and get to the ring, to do my match, to take an F-5 or a belly-to-belly or whatever I had to do to get him over, because he was gonna be our man. Whatever got in his head, to turn his back, which he did, on a multi-million dollar contract, had everything he wanted, EVERYTHING HE WANTED, and he got it fast. Great work ethic, tremendous in the ring, a natural at understanding psychology, executing moves and just being a freak of nature in the ring. Brock was all that and a bag of chips, there’s no doubt about it. To see him go pull some goofball stunt and go play football, it really showed a tremendous amount of lack of respect to the guys in the locker room because when we needed him… he wasn’t here.”
* Here is list of rumored matches for Wrestlemania 21:
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
If Randy Orton does indeed take on The Undertaker, it appears as he will stay a babyface, which we’ve been told he prefers. On post-WrestleMania tours WWE has begun booking Orton & Batista vs. Triple H & Ric Flair, as well as matches between Orton and Edge. So, as it stands right now, Orton will be staying a face and a RAW brand superstar.
While Eddie and Rey are being placed up against each other for WrestleMania, there are already matches being booked with the two teaming together against the Bashams. So look for Eddie and Rey to pull off some sort of “face vs. face” program going into WrestleMania. From what we hear, Eddie has pitched this idea a number of times to management.
Chris Benoit is being booked against Muhammad Hussan, with Daivari, so don’t be shocked to see a Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Hassan and Daivari match at WrestleMania.
Also on the horizon are programs featuring Edge vs. Kane, Jericho vs. Christian and Trish vs. Victoria, so perhaps Victoria will step up for Christy Hemme. We’ll also see The Shelton Benjamin vs. Gene Snitsky program also is going to continue as they are advertised for matches on the overseas tours, as are Tajiri-Regal vs. La Res.
On the Smackdown brand, Paul London is booked against Chavo Guerrero. Mark Jindrak will take on Luther Reigns and Booker T has a lot of matches scheduled with John Heidenreich.
* There was said to have been some sort of conflict between AJ Styles and Kid Kash before their match at the Impact! Taping. Kash cut a promo on Friday’s Impact! show, which is said to have upset Styles, who thought he was shooting. There’s no love lost between the pair and they have a history of not getting alone. That being said both settled the matter and are said to have had a PPV quality match.
* As has been rumored all over the internet lately, Matt Hardy and Lita have indeed broken up and thus, are no longer living together. The breakup apparently took place a few weeks ago and Matt has consequently removed all images of Lita from his website.
* The following was posted on Matt’s official site:
Let me get a few facts out of the way:
Matt Hardy & Amy “Lita” Dumas are no longer a couple.
Matt was forced to end the relationship.
It has come to my attention that a growing number of participants in this message board are “blaming” Matt for various “rumors” and more. I want to shed a little more light on the situation. This may be upsetting for some of you, but the truth tends to hurt.
I have known Matt Hardy for almost 10 years. He is truly my brother. He is a loving person, loyal friend, and he has always done the right thing in every aspect of his life. I had never known Matt to be more in love with someone than he was wih Amy. He would have gladly given his life for Amy.
Amy Dumas lied to Matt. Amy broke Matt’s trust. While Matt told me this story of lies and deceit, I heard so much pain and anguish in his voice that it brought me to tears. I am still shocked and saddened at the pain that Matt has been caused by all of this. What is even more heartbreaking is the other man that precipitated the lies was supposedly one of Matt’s better friends. Amy is not the only one who is guilty of lies and breaking trust.
I just wanted all of you to know that Matt Hardy is 1000% in the right in all of this, and I would have never believed that that Amy Dumas would have been capable of the doing this to Matt after all he has sacrificed for her.
Matt Hardy then replied with the following:
“Thomas, thanks for the all the love and support. Everything Thomas has said is absolutely true. I will address this appalling situation when the time is right. I greatly appreciate all of the support and encouragement all of you have given me throughout the years. May you all be well and happy. God bless…
* To update on the Edge situation from yesterdays house show, there were also numerous “You screwed Matt” chants directed toward him. It’s already been documented that Edge was involved with Lita and that could have an effect with WWE’s booking of the WrestleMania ladder match. Originally it was scheduled that both Hardy and Edge would be part of the match given their history in ladder matches. That now seems extremely unlikely due to current events and it is very doubtful they will be booked together, “unless they want a real fight to break out” says one WWE superstar.
* Rey Mysterio is said to be in for a huge push following up WrestleMania. The WWE is also becoming more and more hesitant to turn Eddie Guerrero heel, because they feel he is so over as a babyface on Smackdown.
* Matt Hardy responded to a poster on his official website forums about publically speaking about his personal relationship with Lita:
“Just for the record, I never told anyone the story in it’s entirety until news sites on the internet started breaking the story (and there’s still a ton of appalling things you guys don’t know). I took down Amy’s pictures on my site and in my house because they were sickening to look at. When the story started coming out, in no form or fashion was I going to allow myself to look like the bad guy. I couldn’t afford personally or professionally to let incorrect versions of the story stand. I just wish you guys could have experienced the truth and saw what actually happen. You can take my word for what it’s worth–in your eyes and heart. Adam Copeland is feces. As upset as I am with Amy now, I still care about her and I would hate to see her destroy her life. The feces’ track record speaks for itself. I have never ask anyone to take sides, I have only told the truth.”
* The Ultimate Warrior recently did an interview where he talked about possibly accepting an invite to the WWE Hall of Fame. He had the following to say concerning that situation:
“NO. Many speak of Ultimate Warrior’s place in the Hall of Fame as a tribute. Some even use it as a plea that I should make nice with WWE, let bygones be bygones. That being inducted into the Hall of Fame would be a tribute to all I accomplished with the character in sports-entertainment and a way to preserve its legacy, and an appreciative gesture to all of Ultimate Warrior’s fans. I disagree. The greater tribute, the one showing greater honor and reverence, for the character and the fans, is to stand by my principles and refuse to participate in the charade. Ultimate Warrior fans, even more than persona, are better than any honor today’s WWE could bestow. Frankly, I can’t think of an easier way to disrespect the character, the fans or myself. Ultimate Warrior is a Hall-of-Famer because HE IS. There is nothing else to add or do to make it so that he is one. He is, pure and simple. End of story. A phony ceremony isn’t what makes him one. My own legacy, as the creator and performer of Ultimate Warrior, is to the people who have stood by me and drawn strength and inspiration from the integrity of my word. That my word is my bond and there is value in my promises. Going back to the WWE for the sake of one emotional moment would have me lose much more than I could ever gain. What I am, where I’ve come and what I stand for is worth much more than a shiny WWE plaque on my wall. That’s how I see it, and that is my tribute to the career of the Ultimate Warrior and to all those people who loved and supported him, and who continue to do so. It is my testimony to the fans, and to stand in a WWE ring and wave to them would be nothing more than cheap and superficial. It would do nothing more than denigrate his memory. A memory that, it’s funny, yet so true, will outlast every other one that has ever stepped into a wrestling ring. And will, just as much because of what I stand for now, as what Ultimate Warrior stood for in the ring all those years some time ago.”
* According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Marty Jannetty will be teaming up with Shawn Michaels on a regular basis following WrestleMania. So look for the Rockers to make a more long term run.
* In a recent interview with the Daily News, Steve “Sting” Borden confirms he has been in talks with WWE. “It is true that we have spoken recently,” Borden tells the Daily News. But he also shoots down possibilities of signing by saying,” What kind of message does that send to the 5-6-7-8-9-10-year-old tuning in to see the Stinger and he has to see stuff like that?” While there is chance of Sting signing as long as he’s in a role that’s more family friendly, don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
* Some highlights from a recent John Cena interview plugging Wrestlemania 21:
-John puts over Samoa Joe. And how Joe helped develop “Thuganomics” with him when John would eat at Joe’s house and afterwards they would freestyle in his backyard.
-John puts over young stars like CM Punk and comments on them possibly getting a WWE deal.
* Ric Flair recently spoke with The Ottawa Sun. The following are a few of the interesting topics which came up:
On a new Four Horsemen: “It would have to be Kurt Angle, Hunter (Triple H), Shawn Michaels and myself. The four best talkers they have.”
On Bret Hart: “Bret Hart never drew a dime,” says Flair. “He’s taken the opportunity to knock everyone. But how can you knock a business that’s made you $7 million? Bret’s got a cult following, but he’s losing that. Losing that because he just goes on and on. It’s funny (that he knocks me) because I’m the only guy that would put him over.”
On Hulk Hogan: “I always said the difference between me and Hogan was I said yes and he said no. (Hogan wouldn’t put anybody over). I’ll concede the fact that Hogan was a bigger star than me. But in terms of overall product, he’d wrestle a five-minute match and be back at the hotel by 9. I’d wrestle for an hour … and I’d give it everything I had.”
Reminder: Join us next time as we see what stories break during Wrestlemania 21 and how things unfold heading into the first ECW One Night Stand reunion PPV.
Stories are credited from Rajah, PWTorch and The Wrestling Observer.