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 April 2006, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from May of 2006. We dive into the news getting ready for ECW One Night Stand 2, start to see the signs of Kurt Angle’s body breaking down and get all the juicy gossip on the Batista vs. Booker T fight.
Reminder that you can find all editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 and 2005 right here at this very link. Now enjoy May 2006!
* Kurt Angle is said to be showing more and more signs of wear and tear from the business. He has cut back dramatically on prescription pain killers, but he has been feeling the effects from it. He lives with constant pains, but is looking to tough it out.
* SLAM! Wrestling reports that JBL will challenge Rey Mysterio at Judgment Day for the WWE Championship.
In a related story, more reports indicate that JBL will face Rob Van Dam at the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view. While not confirmed, look for RVD to cash in his money in the bank contract for a chance to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
* The overall reaction amongst WWE employees on Joey Styles’ promo from last night was one of absolute shock. Apparently, many people in the company share the same views as Styles voiced in his promo on RAW last night, but would never speak out against Vince McMahon. Everyone was surprised that Vince and Stephanie would allow material of that nature to air live on RAW.
* According to Dave Meltzer, the decision is final and John Cena will be Rob Van Dam’s opponent in the main event match at the ECW One Night Stand PPV this June.
Apparently WWE will be using this opportunity to officially turn John Cena heel after being booed by fans for months. It also appears that this will be when RVD will cash in his “Money In The Bank” title shot, thus indicating that Cena will continue to retain the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
* New Jack cut a promo at an independent show in Pittsburgh, PA Thursday night that he had signed a contact with WWE for their ECW project. According to sources within the WWE locker room, there is no truth to those claims.
* TNA has agreed to terms with legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette. Formerly the head man of Ohio Valley Wrestling, Cornette is best known for cutting outstanding promos. His character in TNA will be some type of “authority figure” role.
Many critics are raving about the acquisition, given Cornette’s promo abilities; he’s definitely a huge asset for TNA.
* WWE has pulled Kurt Angle off the road and off any scheduled shows for the time being. WWE wants to give Angle some time to recover. Angle is in constant pain from neck problems, something he may need to deal with for the rest of his career. Sources close to Angle say that his injuries are considered to be worse than Steve Austin’s. Austin retired from wrestling due to neck problems and even now is hesitant to return for even one match in risk of damaging his neck further or paralysis.
Recently during the European tour, Angle was spotted having trouble lifting his luggage. He then openly admitted that he is in debilitating pain. Despite that, he never gave any inclination of “wanting” time off. He knows he’s a big draw on the WWE cards, so he wanted to finish all scheduled matches before asking for some vacation time. Management grew so worried of Angle’s situation they insisted he be sent home for rest and relaxation.
* No word on if the following was shoot or if its a work.
SmackDown Superstars Batista and Booker T got into a knockdown, drag-out fight Monday afternoon on the set of World Wrestling Entertainment’s SummerSlam commercial shoot in Encino, California. Director of WWE Television Promotions, John Gaburick, tells WWE.com the fight broke out during the filming of a scene in the commercial which will be used to promote SummerSlam later this year. “The fight lasted at least five minutes, it was a brutal, bloody, vicious affair,” says Gaburick. “It took JBL, Mark Henry, Chris Benoit, Finlay and road agent Ricky Steamboat to finally break things up.”
Gaburick says, “Both men were banged up pretty good, both men were bloodied up.” After the fight, Booker T and Batista went behind closed doors to try and clear the air. Gaburick says both Booker T and Batista finished their required work on the commercial before leaving the set. When asked what the fight was about, Gaburick would only say “it’s a personal issue between two men.”
* Henry reported here at Rajah that according to another WWE.com article, the fight between Booker T and Batista at a SummerSlam commercial shoot in Anaheim, CA was in fact legitimate. Through various backstage sources we can now confirm that that is correct. The reason that it was originally thought to be a work was because of the “new direction” taken by WWE.com, making the official site an extremely unreliable news source.
Heat has been building between Booker and Batista for quite awhile, largely because Batista rubbed a lot of people the wrong way during his championship run. Critics of Batista backstage say that he presented the “I have carried the company on my back” attitude and that he was the big draw. This along with Batista feeling like that he did not get the proper respect that he deserved.
A number of SmackDown talents that we have heard from have said that they are happy with what Booker T did and that several of them hugged and high-fived him after hearing of the incident.
* WWE has already sent DX commercials to cable systems around the country and abroad. Shawn Michaels and Triple H are expected to reunite live on TV within the next three weeks. This is expected to be a short reunion during Triple H’s hunt for the title and Shawn Michaels feud against McMahon.
* John Cena is said to be having fun with the crowd boos. He has been patted on the back for staying persistent and even “regaining” fans during the current program with Triple H. Cena got a good reaction from fans during the tour of California, which worked out great with merchandise sales.
Vince McMahon is said to be the most impress with sales of John Cena Merchandise. Most insiders say that this is the reason why Vince is so hesitant in turning Cena heel. McMahon wants to do nothing dramatic that could affect Cena and his current “workaholic” work ethic in the long run. Plus he doesn’t want to see those sales dwindle.
* In the locker room, Booker T is looked at as a good guy. Batista is known to be a Triple H “suck up” and some what aloof after his big title push. There was said to be problems even before he made a name for himself in WWE. Stemming before the Evolution days, Batista was known to be a bit cocky. While training in Ohio Valley Wrestling, he was often vocal about certain training techniques. Arguing that due to his age and level of development, most techniques didn’t apply to him.
Booker T is known as a stand up guy backstage. He is a down to earth guy and of course is respected with so much seniority in the business over most of the wrestlers backstage. He is often spotted with small groups of friends after events or just hanging out with the boys back in his hotel room.
Booker and Batista wrote about the incident on WWE.com. They used both real and unreal aspects of the story, as mandated, so that writers can later spin this into an actual angle on WWE TV. Booker’s real life wife and current WWE valet, Sharmell, was said to have gotten involved in the incident as well, verbally, at the end of the scuffle.
Other close sources in WWE say that Batista hadn’t been seen in a while since he’s recovering from an injury and he isn’t quite the draw many let on he is. So for Batista this may have been a “respect” issue, while for Booker it was more of a “respect where respect is due” issue.
* During Saturday’s WWE house show in El Paso, Texas, Booker T‘s wife Sharmell and Melina were involved in a backstage fight. The fight came about due to Melina’s recent relationship with Batista. She has received major heat backstage in recent months for her relationship with Batista and her attitude. JBL was the one who broke up the fight between Sharmell and Melina.
* Booker T‘s victory in the fight with Batista has earn him extra lockerroom respect. One source stated that Booker T dominated Batista due to having more street fighting experience.
Booker T did take a very personal verbal shot at Batista, however, one source said that it did not come until the situation became very heated. No one blames Booker T for what he did, as the general feeling backstage is that Batista has become very arrogant since wining the World Title.
Batista does not carry himself backstage like Triple H or The Undertaker, but he does act superior to midcard veterans who have yet to receive a main-event opportunity as he did.
* The card for ECW One Night Stand is beginning to take some shape. Here are some matches in the making so far. RVD vs. John Cena, Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer vs. Mick Foley & Edge (w/Lita), Sabu vs. Justin Credible, and possibly Sandman vs. JBL. Sandman, however, has told some people that he has no idea who his opponent at the show will be. Sandman worked some indy shows recently and is said to be a good shape leading into the show.
* During a face-to-face confrontation with WWE Champion John Cena tonight on RAW, Rob Van Dam announced that he will cash in his “Money In The Bank” contract for a shot at Cena and the Title at ECW One Night Stand on June 11 in New York City.
* There’s an interview with Vince McMahon over on WWE.com talking about the relaunch of Extreme Championship Wrestling. In it, McMahon discusses his high hopes for the upcoming third brand of the company and sounds like he has very high expectations.
* Mr. McMahon gave Paul Heyman two draft picks for ECW – one from RAW and one from SmackDown. With his RAW pick, Heyman took RVD. And with his pick from SmackDown, Heyman chose a Superstar that embodies the new vision of ECW – Kurt Angle. The general feeling is that ECW could be a very successful brand and a great television show if Paul Heyman is given full creative control.
– Tune back in next time for the June edition of Dirt Sheet History as we see what happens as ECW One Night Stand 2 takes place and the rebirth of ECW begins.
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.