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 March 2006, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from April of 2006. Featuring Wrestlemania 22, the Hall of Fame, ECW returning, suspensions and many more tidbits, it was a quite memorable month in wrestling. Reminder that you can find all editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 and 2005 right here at this very link. Now enjoy April 2006!
* Bret Hart is staying in a different hotel from the WWE wrestlers and crew in Chicago upon his request. Hart was said to be unhappy about WWE continuously trying to get him to sign a contract for his Hall of Fame appearance tonight. WWE is apparently doing so because the contract includes a no-compete clause that would keep him from working with TNA or any other wrestling company.
According to at least one source, Hart just wants to get through the Hall of Fame ceremony and get out of Chicago.
* Shawn Michaels and his wife left the Hall Of Fame ceremony prior to Bret Hart‘s induction. Michaels left to a mixed reaction from the crowd, with half of the crowd chanted “You screwed Bret” and the other half of the crowd chanting “HBK.”
* WWE.com posted a “WrestleMania Post Game Show” hosted by Todd Grisham that took place directly after last night’s WrestleMania 22 PPV. The most intriguing interview came from John Cena.
Cena addressed the negative crowd reactions, essentially cutting a promo saying that he would not try to please everyone and that he appreciates everyone that supports him. The WWE Champ continued to say that those that don’t support him better “get used to it” because he is taking the WWE Title to “another level.”
* WWE issued a text message to their mobile service subscribers today confirming that Randy Orton has been suspended from WWE for “unprofessional conduct.” Although the length of the suspension has not been confirmed, current rumors going around say that it is for 60 days. Rumor has it now that Randy Orton was possibly suspended after results came in on his drug test. No confirmation to this story as of this report, but that is the word making the rounds.
* Probably one of the biggest stories coming off of WrestleMania weekend was the supposed heat between Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Word has it that Hogan wants to face Austin at next year’s WrestleMania 23. A couple months ago, Vince McMahon approached Austin with the idea and Austin shot it down. At the Hall of Fame ceremony Austin heard that Hogan wanted to “drop a leg” on Austin at this year’s WrestleMania, but Austin “backed out”. So to get back at Hogan, Austin commented during the ceremony, “I was looking through my (luggage) in the back and found a can of whoop ass with Hulk Hogan’s name on it.”
Now, some thought Hogan would take this totally the wrong way and confront Austin or even McMahon. However, sources close to this situation have informed us that Hogan loved it. The reason? Hogan is trying to build as much heat as possible for this match, in hopes that Austin will see the potential money maker in such a match and sign on to do it.
Austin doesn’t care for Hogan. Friends close to Austin say that he despises him in some ways. Austin doesn’t want to bump around in a ring with Hogan, simply because he doesn’t “trust” him. Hogan on the other hand wants this match more than anything right now. Because of that, Austin will not grant it. One source went as far as to say, “If it didn’t happen this year, I don’t think it will ever happen.”
* The Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter reports that Chris Benoit has signed a new multi-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. There has been some speculation over the past several months as to Benoit’s future, be it in WWE, TNA or outside of the industry entirely.
The nature of the contract is for him to wrestle for several more years. When his in-ring days are over, a job as a road agent or talent trainer alongside the likes of Ted DiBiase, Dean Malenko and Fit Finlay awaits him. The feeling backstage is that the company sees Benoit as a “lifer”.
* Randy Orton’s 60-day suspension is an indefinite suspension. There are reports circulating around that he will not make a return to the company.
WWE is planning to keep him under contract until his deal expires to keep TNA from signing him. They would pay him the smallest amount of money as possible, and he will not be able to work for any other company.
* John Cena is not affected by the poor crowd reactions in recent months. It is being reported that he is willing to continue with the current flow and WWE’s plans. One source says that management is planning to turn Cena heel in the near future. A lot of people were surprised that the turn did not happen at WrestleMania 22.
* Mike Johnson is reporting that tickets for WWE’s ECW One Night Stand PPV at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City slated for this June sold out this morning after going on sale at 10 AM. Tickets were priced from $250 ringside all the way down to $50 for standing room. Last year’s lack of a sellout was probably due to higher ticket prices.
* Keith Oldermann (NOTE: Name is misspelled by Rajah, not us) ripped Vince McMahon the other night in his “Worst Person in the World” segment on his show Countdown on MSNBC. It is interesting to note that MSNBC and the USA Network (the home of RAW) are under the same ownership. Olbermann commented on McMahon by said.
“Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, the man who actually somehow worsened the reputation of pro-wrestling, has done it again, claiming that a week from Sunday his organization will televise a tag-team match featuring McMahon and his son Shane versus wrestler Shawn Michaels and God. Yes, all-mighty.”
* More and more reports begin to indicate a heel turn for John Cena. Inside sources say that Cena may tease turn for a couple weeks and finally pull it off at an upcoming pay-per-view. Perhaps Backlash next week.
* Palmer Cannon has given word to World Wrestling Entertainment that he is quitting, effective immediately.
Cannon recently fell victim to backstage hazing. The incident nearly led to a face off between Cannon and JBL, so Cannon decided to fly himself home from the Smackdown European tour and immediately gave notice to the company.
* Dave Scherer is reporting that WWE has made the decision to bring back Extreme Championship Wrestling as a full time entity. While all of the details remain sketchy, WWE has already sent contracts out to several former ECW talents in order to bring them in for the return of the promotion. Early reports indicate that WWE is targeting September as the date to bring ECW back full time.
There is a possibility that it will take over current OVW territory and would get matches on RAW and/or SmackDown in some manner. Former ECW owner Paul Heyman and hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer will be booking ECW.
As mentioned, the contracts that WWE have sent out are three year deals consisting of a series of one year contracts, with rollover clauses. Names that we can confirm that have been offered deals include The Sandman, Francine, and Balls Mahoney. All three of them should receive their contracts this week.
* There have been a lot of murmurs of reforming Degeneration-X. However, but we have learned that it’s not a definite lock. Word has it that writers want to re-introduce the stable as babyfaces and a part of Triple H’s turn. But no word on Shawn Michaels being any part of the group, what with his strong religious beliefs now, HBK just wouldn’t be too thrilled about re-surfacing the old “degenerate-Shawn”.
Of course B.G. James (Road Dogg) and Kip James (Billy Gunn) wouldn’t be brought back into WWE for the reformation, as they both have strong commitments with TNA. Sean “X-Pac” Waltman on the other hand would be strongly considered to sign on and be a part of the reunion with Triple H.
* Vince McMahon made the decision to bring back the ECW brand after he seen how quickly the high priced tickets were selling for this year’s ECW PPV. Tommy Dreamer reached out to a lot of the former ECW talent to put together a roster.
It is being said that WWE does not have any real current plans for ECW yet, and are unsure what they will do with the brand as far as TV or storylines go.
* The current plan for the upcoming ECW PPV in June is for Rob Van Dam to cash in his Money in the Bank contract against John Bradshaw Layfield for the World Heavyweight championship. This scenario requires Rey Mysterio to drop the title to JBL before the show. RVD has yet to announce who he will face for their title and would not do so until after the title change. Challenging JBL for his title would require RVD to jump to SmackDown.
There had been previous talk about having RVD face the winner of Sunday’s Backlash main event. However, there is an issue with Van Dam facing each of the three possible opponents. Triple H is on the verge of turning face and getting such major negative heat on him conflicts with that. John Cena also doesn’t need that negativity while he’s already fighting on a weekly basis for the fans approval. Edge has little history with RVD and minimal history with ECW. Edge’s only history with ECW was appearing at last year’s One Night Stand PPV as part of the anti-ECW crusaders. The leader of that pack was John Bradshaw Layfield. He was the most outspoken about ECW last year and it is expected that his tirade will pick up once again very shortly, making him the perfect target for RVD.
* Bill Goldberg was very close to a deal with TNA Wrestling a few weeks ago. Several ideas were being discussed, one being that he join Sting’s team against Jeff Jarrett’s Warriors at TNA’s Lockdown PPV, with his sole motivation to joining the company to “stick it to Vince.” However, as we saw, Goldberg was unable to come to terms with TNA because he did not want to lower his value for coming in for a lower dollar amount then he felt that he is worth. Several critics say that Goldberg fails to realize that the economics of wrestling have changed since his days in World Championship Wrestling.
* Former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar appeared at the K-1 show in Las Vegas, Nevada on yesterday and announced that he will participate in Mixed Matrial Arts. Lesnar is the current IWGP Champion in New Japan. He entered the ring and announced that he plans to fight in the mixed martial arts company HERO’S. No date has been announced.
– Tune back in next time for the May edition of Dirt Sheet History as we see what happens as we get closer to ECW One Night Stand 2.
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.