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 July 2006, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from August of 2006. An action packed month of news featuring an infamous ECW TV taping, CM Punk’s WWE debut, returns, departures, power struggles and Triple H responding to his internet haters, this one is especially a must read.
Reminder that you can find all editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 and 2005 right here at this very link. Now enjoy August 2006!
* Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk will face one another on 9/16 in Lawton, Oklahoma in an Impact Wrestling Zone Extreme Rules match. No association with TNA or ECW.
* John Permaul sent in the following:
I just got back from ECW on SciFi from the Hammerstein Ballroom. Here’s a few notes I wanted to pass along. The fans really made tonight’s show. There were 4 dark matches:
1. Rene Dupree vs. Balls Mahoney: I was quite surprised (along with everyone else) when Dupree’s music played. The fans were solely behind Mahoney, but these two put on a really good match. Mahoney was able to get the win.
2. FBI vs. Smackdown’s Brian Kendrick and Paul London: The Smackdown champs were booed. The FBI’s Nunzio looked like he had an injury coming into the match, but this was a very solid tag match. One thing I always wondered was if WWE was going to make ECW Tag Team titles. FBI vs. Kendrick/London reminded me of FBI vs. Tajiri/Super Crazy from One Night Stand 2006…this was simply a great match. I really wish this match could have aired on television. The Smackdown champs picked up the victory.
3. Roadkill vs. Stevie Richards: Another good match. Roadkill teased the fans at one point, going to the top rope, and then when the fans started cheering, he got off the top turnbuckle. Great back and forth action. Richards was able to pick up the victory.
4. CW Anderson vs. Shannon Moore: The fans were behind CW. Many chanted for Moore to “not come back”. Anderson was able to pick up the victory, but then after the match Moore got on the microphone and stated how he was not doing it for the fans, but doing it for himself to prove he’s the best cruiserweight in the world.
Next they played a WWE Divas video, and then Tazz and Joey Styles made their way to the announcers desk.
I’m not sure how everything came across on tv, but the NYC fans never cease to amaze me. If you remember that sign that said “If Cena Wins, We Riot” hanging off the balcony at One Night Stand 2006, this time around security did not let ANYTHING be hung from the balcony. That worked against me since I wanted to hang a sign that says “Bring ECW Here Every Week”.
At the start of the Big Show/Batista match, when the ring announcer goes to introduce the two of them, there was a roll of toilet paper that was thrown into the ring, and then it bounced out and rolled outside…that was me and my bad aim. It didn’t unravel like it was supposed to.
The fans hated the main event. I believe there was a commercial break during that match. During that commercial break all Big Show did was stand outside the ring and Batista just stood inside the ring…nothing else. The fans thought that this was an extreme rules match, but when the match ended with a DQ, the fans were just happy that this match was finally over.
Post Show: After the show went off the air, Sabu stood at the entrance way, and then left. Big Show and Batista then went into the ring once more, did a faceoff, and then shook hands. Batista then went around the ring, high fiving fans and then left. Big Show did the same, but then got into a battle of words with a few fans. One fan took offense and then tried to jump the guard rail, but then security quickly moved in and took him down. It was quite a scene.
* “Former Gophers NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Brock Lesnar has been vigorously training near his home in Independence for an “ultimate fighting” match in October in Las Vegas. Former heavyweight boxer Scott LeDoux is training Lesnar, a former professional wrestler, for boxing, and Lesnar also has a mentor to help him improve his kicking skills.”
* World Wrestling Entertainment has agreed to terms for a new contract with Jeff Hardy, as he will be returning to the company. Early reports indicate that WWE is planning on reuniting Jeff with his brother Matt and reforming one of the top tag teams of the Attitude Era, The Hardy Boyz.
* Lita plans on leaving WWE very soon. Her WWE contract is expiring in the next month or two and there are currently no negotiations taking place for a new deal. There is no negativity within the company as she isn’t missing any shows, nor is she refusing to do anything on television.
* CM Punk was so overcome with emotion that he cried backstage after his first match on live WWE TV on Tuesday night. Punk impressed people backstage with his skills and passion. Vince McMahon also praised his performance. The crowd’s endorsement really helped his mood.
* Kurt Angle was happy at the ECW show on Tuesday. He really enjoys the atmosphere that only an ECW crowd can provide.
* Batista didn’t fraternize much backstage with the other ECW wrestlers on Tuesday.
* At the 7/31 TV tapings, Ron Killings threatened to quit TNA on the spot when he found out that he was going to lose to Alastair “A-1” Ralphs on TNA Xplosion no less. Killings was said to be furious, but he eventually calmed down and did the job. Also, there is major underlying heat between Killings and Jeff Jarrett. Sean Waltman was also at the tapings and he was trying to recruit Killings for the MTV project, Wrestle Society X.
* The 12/3 ECW PPV was originally scheduled to take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom, however, the crowd reactions at the 8/1 TV taping caused WWE management to change their minds. The PPV will likely take place in another city now.
There was a lot of unhappiness with the crowd reactions at the 8/1 show, particularly regarding the swearing chants. The WWE production team had to turn the crowd audio really low at certain times because Sci-Fi doesn’t want that kind of language on the air. Internally, the feeling is that the fan base was smart enough to know that, but they still did the dirty language chants anyways.
* What with Stephanie McMahon being out of the picture due to the birth of her child, Paul Heyman had free reign as far as scripting is concerned. Last week’s ECW show was largely put together by Heyman, although the undercard matches not shown on television didn’t come from him (i.e. Kendrick and London being put over The Full Blooded Italians).
Also, Heyman is expected to gain some power over the ECW house shows. Considering that the ECW show on Sci-Fi performs well in the ratings, house show business has been considered to be a flop. Attendance figures thus far have been disappointing. One change Heyman has been pushing for is for the house shows to be longer than two hours.
Heyman is also pushing for some changes in ECW creative. He wants Tommy Dreamer to be a part of the ECW creative team. Vince McMahon is considering it.
* CM Punk has been a controversial character since his original call-up to WWE last year. Triple H, Shawn Michaels and even Arn Anderson buried his wrestling ability when they saw his first TV match on the backstage monitor one year ago. He was supposed to make his WWE debut on an episode of Sunday Night Heat with Mickie James as his manager, but it was not shown on television – likely due to the negative comments Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Arn Anderson made.
Fortunately, Paul Heyman was high on him and he was pushed as one of the top guys in OVW. He also handpicked him for ECW. Debuting in a city where most of the crowd knew him and approved of him, made him seem like a big deal. Because his debut match with Justin Credible got over so well, Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman and the agents were impressed to say the least. It also sealed the deal in regards to CM Punk getting a push in ECW. Heyman had been wanting to push him, but there were a number of skeptics preventing that from happening at first.
* As Justin Credible was driving away from the building after the 8/1 ECW show, he saw some fans and yelled “Target rules!” He usually gets chants regarding his past work at the department store. Credible started working at a New Jersey area Target store after he was released from WWE back in 2003.
* Batista piefaced a fan after his match with Big Show at the 8/1 ECW show. Although, the fan in question supposedly threw something at him. When the show was over, Big Show seemed to take it all in stride, but Batista didn’t seem to get over the derogatory chants.
* At the 8/1 ECW show, Shannon Moore caused Vince McMahon to lose his cool. Shannon wrestled C.W. Anderson in a non-televised match and the crowd quickly turned on him. McMahon felt Moore cracked under the pressure of the crowd turning on him. After Moore debuted to a terrible response, and from most accounts, with a lackluster performance, he grabbed the mic and said, “I’m not here to impress the internet.”
Mid-match, McMahon made the call for CW Anderson to defeat Shannon Moore. He also ordered the two wrestlers to switch roles – Anderson was ordered to wrestle as a babyface and Moore was ordered to wrestle as a heel. Also, the original finish called for Moore to pin Anderson.
After several weeks of taped vignettes, Shannon Moore was in line for a push under his “Reject” gimmick. The vignettes came to a halt at last Tuesday’s show as a vignette was not shown for the first time in several weeks not to mention that his name was not even mentioned during the show. Although, they put this week’s vignette up on ECW.com a few days later. Nonetheless, his planned push may be in jeopardy.
* Kevin Nash suffered a neck injury at his home yesterday and now he will not be able to wrestle at tonight’s TNA PPV. Despite the neck injury, Nash will be at tonight’s show in Orlando. Alex Shelley was not originally scheduled to wrestle on the main card but due to the injury he will be wrestling in Nash’s place against Chris Sabin. Some are skeptical considering plans were for Nash to put Sabin over.
* Besides the likes of The Sandman, Sabu, Justin Credible and Balls Mahoney, whose ECW tenures will likely be short-term, the “ECW Original” who is most likely be to let go is Francine. Sans a five second cameo appearance a few weeks ago, Francine has gotten no television time.
When Vince McMahon personally saw Francine backstage at the One Night Stand PPV, he thought that she wasn’t of “WWE woman caliber.” McMahon immediately went to Johnny Laurinaitis and he asked him, “who hired someone that looked like that?”
* Buff Bagwell has opened up a MySpace page at myspace.com/therealbuffbagwell. The page is legit because its linked from his official website.
* At the very least, The Great Khali will be out of action for a few months. He’s getting surgery on both of his knees and he will be out for an undetermined amount of time.
* Backstage at RAW today, WWE management believe that Triple H and Shawn Michaels got the better of Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam last night. Backstage, Triple H is bragging by saying, “I got three words for you … Suck it brother.” Triple H cupped his ear to the fans and he couldn’t get as loud as a response as Hogan got when he did the crotch-chop during his match with Randy Orton last night at SummerSlam.
You could see in Triple H’s face that he wasn’t too happy about the lack of response, even after he tried to get a cheap pop by saying that they were in Boston. According to another person, Hogan got the better of them and Triple H, Shawn Michaels & the WWE brain trust don’t want to admit it.
* There has been some talk among the wrestlers that WWE will bring back Too Cool. Rikishi and Brian Christopher would return, and Ron Killings would possibly be added to the team.
* WWE has made a list of words that announcers are not allowed to say on the air. The terms “belt” and strap” have been banned on WWE television, not to mention OVW and DSW television. Vince McMahon thinks those words are linked to old-time wrestling and he wants to get away from that.
JBL has been told to tone things down and to not “take over the show” when he is announcing on Smackdown. He was much more subdued during the 8/18 show.
Aug. 25, 2006
Due to personal issues Kurt Angle has been granted an early release from his contract. WWE looks forward to establishing a new relationship with Kurt in the near future.
The only gold medalist in WWE history, Kurt Angle arrived in 1999 and quickly became one of the most decorated champions in sports-entertainment history. “The Wrestling Machine” is not only a six-time World Champion, but also held the Intercontinental Championship, Tag Team Championship and won the 2000 King of the Ring tournament. Recently joining ECW, Angle’s unmatched intensity was rivaled only by his technical and athletic in-ring prowess.
While no further updates are available as of this writing, one can’t help but believe this is a short-term deal. We will have more as it becomes available.
* WWE Magazine conducted an interview with Triple H for the the October 2006 issue. He was asked about wrestling internet sites such as this one, Hulk Hogan, losing to the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 12, old & new D-X, the “curtain call” incident, and much more. Here are a few quotes from the interview.
Q: Once and for all, say something to the wrestling websites that claim you’re nothing but a power-mad, backstage dictator?
Triple H: I haven’t read a dirt sheet in 10 years. And that’s the damn truth. Yes I’m in a top position. Yes I’m married to the boss’s daughter. Yes I sit in production meetings. But, at the end of the day, there is only one person with the stroke in this business. And that’s Vince McMahon. If he doesn’t like something , whether it’s my idea or not, it’s not going to happen. I want guys like John Cena around. I want to bring new guys up and help make them. People always accuse me of not wanting to drop the belt to a guy. That’s complete crap. I didn’t drop the belt to RVD because no one asked me to drop it to RVD. I’ve yet to see Hulk Hogan lose to anybody. He wrestles once every 6 months, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest name in active competition today, he’s not going to lose to you. There was suppose to be a Hogan/Michaels 2, and Hogan was supposed to lose. All of a sudden his knee starting “bugging” him.
Q: Since you were poised for a big break, does your embarrassing loss to the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 12 in 1996 still haunt you to this day?
Triple H: Do people really thing I thought I was going to beat the Ultimate Warrior? The fact of the matter is that he was a completely unprofessional dipsh*t. That’s what pisses me off about the match, not the fact that I lost.
Triple H comments on the internet one more time: “One more thing for the internet haters…. It all stems from people who have opinions about the business they’ve never been involved in. And they’re the same people waiting outside for my autograph after the show.”
* Chris Jericho was the first contestant voted off of his reality show Celebrity Duets.
* Believe it or not, according to at least one backstage source, Jake “The Snake” Roberts recently pitched an idea to TNA management involving him in an angle where he helps a fan recover from a drug addiction.
– Tune back in next time for the September 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.