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 2007, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from May 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 May 2007!
* WWE.com is reporting that former ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley suffered a shoulder injury during his match at the Backlash pay-per-view from Atlanta, Georgia. Lashley was sent to Birmingham, Alabama today to be diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews.
* Bad news for the Deadman. After winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Batista at WrestleMania, it was widely reported that The Undertaker was in line for his first long WWE title run. Now those plans will have to change due to a bad injury he suffered this past weekend before Backlash.
The Undertaker has suffered a torn biceps that will require surgery. He suffered a complete muscle tear, with his bicep muscle being torn off the bone and rolling up to his shoulder. He was in tremendous pain Monday morning after his match with Batista the night before at Backlash.
Undertaker saw “surgeon-to-the-superstars” Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama this week and surgery will be required. Recovery time for this procedure will keep him out of action for 6 to 8 months.
This injury will require him to drop the World Heavyweight title.
* There is now an update on this situation, but it contains *SPOILERS* from this week’s SmackDown! television tapings. You’ve been warned.
At the tapings, they taped promo where the Undertaker challenged Batista to a steel cage match for the World Heavyweight title next week on Smackdown.
The plan is for Undertaker to drop the title at Tuesday’s tapings and undergo surgery shortly thereafter.
While it seems obvious that Batista will defeat Undertaker and regain the WWE title, there is also the possibility that Undertaker retains the title and then Mr. Kennedy cashes in his Money in the Bank contract. Kennedy is slated for a World Heavyweight title run this year and this unfortunate situation may have accelerated those plans.
* Total Nonstop Action Wrestling notified Ring of Honor earlier today that effective immediately, all TNA contracted talents have been removed from upcoming scheduled ROH bookings. In addition to the departure of Christopher Daniels, former ROH champions Homicide and Austin Aries will no longer be allowed to appear at future Ring of Honor events. Perhaps the most anticipated event upcoming in ROH, the return of Samoa Joe, is also off the books.
TNA officials made the call to distance themselves from the popular independent promotion following ROH’s announcement yesterday that they had signed a deal to begin airing taped PPV events on July 1st. Their first PPV event will be taped on May 12th in New York City at the Manhattan Center.
While TNA management understands the fact that this will upset ROH fans, they felt that they were left with no choice after ROH announced their upcoming pay-per-view expansion.
Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolskly refused to comment on the situation, but given the way that ROH storylines have been phasing out TNA performers, this move is not one that came unexpected.
* There has been a major update to the situation regarding Randy Orton being sent home from last month’s WWE European tour.
Originally, news broke that Randy Orton had been sent home because upwards of $50,000 in damages had been done to his hotel room. WWE.com picked up on the story and released their own statement, saying that Orton had been kicked off the tour for “undisclosed reasons” and would be disciplined appropriately.
Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch is reporting that Randy Orton’s trashed hotel room was Orton’s REACTION to being sent home – NOT the actual reason! Sources who were there in Europe say the situation still has a great deal of secrecy around it but that Orton was “unfit to perform” for a few of the shows and was simply out of control the entire week.
Despite being one of the younger stars on the roster, Orton has had a long history of bad behavior. He is said to be very distant to others backstage and many have questioned why WWE hasn’t released him already.
* The 4/27 show at the Fed Ex Forum, headlined by Hulk Hogan and Big Show, drew about 4,500 fans, but only 2,500 paid to get in.
* It is believed that Mr. Kennedy suffered a triceps injury over the weekend. No other details have come out regarding the injury, but it appears to be significant. Batista went down with a similar injury early last year and was out for about six months.
There is a feeling right now that they have to do a Batista vs. Mark Henry match because Henry “injured” Batista and Henry wound up injured before Batista could get his revenge on him. If they go through with the program, it will likely be a short-term deal because of the fear of a lengthy program unnecessarily increasing the risk of injury for Batista, whose entire career has been interrupted by one torn muscle after another.
* The Great Khali left Shawn Michaels lying unconscious in a heap of microphone cables and table rubble as the Punjabi giant powered past HBK Monday to become the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day.
Reports from medical personnel say Michaels received a concussion and is suffering from back spasms after the devastating power slam through the announcers’ table.
* The reason behind Ken Kennedy losing the Money In The Bank match last night in the manner that he did was because of a tricep tear that he suffered over the weekend. At a house show in Poughkeepsie, New York, Kennedy tore the tricep completely off the bone and it will now require surgery. It is expected that the surgery will keep Kennedy out of the ring for at least 5-7 months.
* Rajah.com reader Joe Leeper just called in the following note from tonight’s SmackDown taping in Pittsburgh, PA:
Just wanted to let you know that Edge cashed in his money in the bank contract tonight and won the WWE World Heavyweight title from Undertaker. Undertaker and Batista fought to a tie when they both hit the floor at the same time. Taker was also attacked by Mark Henry.
Edge of course won the money in the bank contract from Mr. Kennedy last night on RAW.
* At one point the plan was to send Randy Orton to ECW to replace the star power the brand would lose when RVD. Plus, it would serve as punishment for Orton. Dusty Rhodes pushed hard to get him in ECW because he liked Bob Orton and he thinks he can give Orton direction. A few days later, it was just as likely he’d stay put, but now with the Undertaker going down due to an injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he moved to Smackdown.
There are a lot of people worried about him, and the belief is that he’s one more escapade away from being given the “Kurt Angle ultimatum.” Orton had to pay for all the damage he caused at the German hotel room, which was in excess of $30,000.
Management considers the company very weak when it comes to star depth. Orton is considered to be a major star, and that was a factor in him not being suspended or fired.
* Alex Shelley was actually scolded by Dutch Mantel a while back for doing “European chain wrestling crap” in one of his matches; he was instructed to stick to the highspots that the X Division is known for.
* As things currently stand, Rob Van Dam will be finished with WWE after the One Night Stand pay-per-view on June 3rd in Jacksonville, Florida. While WWE Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis was told to re-sign RVD and made an effort to do so, negotiations have ended, and RVD will be leaving the company.
Bad blood has brewing between Laurinaitis and RVD since Laurinaitis was going over the new company policy that talent could not leave the arena on TV days due to the fact that Sylvan Grenier got a speeding ticket after rushing back to the arena after leaving to go to the gym. During the meeting, RVD sarcastically asked the question if they could go to the gym in the morning before the shows.
Perhaps the breaking point in Van Dam’s relationship with WWE occurred after he learned of the re-forming of ECW and asked to get off of the RAW brand to head the resurrection of ECW and what really happened after that. Also, RVD had asked for time off after signing, citing how WWE offered Big Show a deal where he’d be paid for merchandising rights without having to work for a year. People within WWE felt that to be a dangerous precedent and refused to add that stipulation to his contract.
RVD felt that WWE had limited what he can do in the ring and refused to push him in comparison to Bobby Lashley, when Van Dam felt like he was over way more than Lashley. While RVD’s WWE finale will be before his contract actually expires, he’ll be paid until the end of his contract, but will be off of television to prevent him from working with TNA fresh off his stint with WWE.
At this point RVD is looking at working a limited schedule and make some money from special appearances and autograph signings. RVD also wants to take some time to spend with his wife, whom he has said to love to death, and hates being away from.
* Austin Starr wants a release from TNA so that he can wrestle where ever he wants; it hasn’t been granted yet. Starr is currently serving a 90-day suspension due to a bad attitude. He was probably hurt the hardest of TNA pulled contracted talent from ROH because ROH is his main source of income. His TNA contract expires this summer, but TNA has the option to renew it at its current terms. There are some people in TNA who don’t want him back, but now that ROH is on PPV, they are opposition, and it becomes handing a talented wrestler to the opposition, which they might not want to do.
* WWE was thrown into disarray this week by a rash of injuries to major stars. When the smoke cleared, Edge was the new World Heavyweight Champion representing the Smackdown brand.
Things began falling apart when Undertaker went down with a torn biceps. It was a major tear, to the point where one head of the muscle rolled up his arm and you could see it through the skin. He is scheduled to undergo surgery soon and will be out of action at least six months. Undertaker had been told that this would be the first long-term championship run of his career, and there were no imminent plans to take the belt off of him. He had trimmed down significantly and was in the best physical shape of his career, largely in preparation for working his hardest house show schedule in years.
Taker was insistent that he drop the title in the ring as opposed to vacating it due to injury. The decision was made to book a cage match between Taker and Batista for the May 8th Smackdown tapings. Batista, however, was not scheduled to win the belt. Although he had appeared on Raw the night before to announce that he was going to use his Money in the Bank title shot at WrestleMania, the plan was actually for Mr. Kennedy to cash in after the Undertaker vs. Batista match, when both were bloody and defeated, and win the title. But then Kennedy went down with a triceps tear and those plans went out the window for the time being.
Because the decision had been made internally not to put the belt back on Batista at this point, someone was needed to take Kennedy’s place. Edge was chosen because of the feeling that there is no one else on the heel side that can draw at this point (Orton is out of the question for all the reasons written about each week, plus he’ll be fed to Hunter upon Hunter’s return), and Vince McMahon doesn’t want any other babyface champions at the moment outside of Cena.
* The Voice of RAW Jim Ross has posted yet another blog entry on his official website. Below are some interesting highlights.
On Bruno Sammartino not being in the WWE Hall of Fame: “I don’t know all the details of why Bruno Sammartino is perpetually angry at the WWE but it seems as if he is. That’s too bad, as Bruno deserves his day in the WWE sun at the Hall of Fame. It is hard for me to fathom that I am in the WWE HOF and Bruno isn’t. I find it very unhealthy for anyone to carry such angst with them for prolonged periods of time. Plus, Bruno’s fans deserve to enjoy the moment at the WWE HOF if Bruno would accept entry. And no, I don’t think he should go in without his blessing and support. I suggest to the legendary Sammartino, and I mean that in all seriousness, to “let it go.”
Regarding His Dislike of YouTube: “I don’t think YouTube, or any one else, has the right to make money off of products they do not own. I enjoy YouTube from time to time also, but why should someone be able to profit off of another’s property? Also, any company HAS to protect their copyrights by law, in order to continue ownership.”
On Women vs. Men wrestling matches: “I am totally against women competing against men in a wrestling ring. Call me old fashioned, but it makes no sense to me. I never liked Chyna competing against men either.”
* Sabu has indeed been let go by WWE.
The plan for last night’s ECW on Sci Fi television taping was for Sabu to work a job match against Kevin Thorn. Apparently Sabu did not want to work the match due to a neck injury and showed up late to the taping. One source is reporting that Sabu has been voicing his unhappiness with the company for quite some time and may have even purposely showed up late last night, expecting to be sent home.
Sabu has had a string of incidents as of late that involve him arriving late and showing up without his gear. There was an incident a few weeks back where he showed up late for a television appearance and ended up wearing Davari’s boots and tights.
* The reason why WWE has been airing Snitsky promos on RAW is because there are tentative plans for him to challenge John Cena for the WWE Heavyweight Championship at some point. One source said that it is almost as if WWE is making John Cena the new age Hulk Hogan, accepting several monster challenges.
* Spike TV came down on TNA due to several incidents of men beating up women on their programming. The breaking point was the angle two weeks ago where Ms. Brooks took both a powerbomb and guitar shot from Jeff Jarrett in the same segment. This move won’t affect PPV booking, but right now there looks to be a moratorium on men beating up women on Spike TV.
* A funny Shawn Michaels and his hair story. After Raw went off the air Monday night in Hampton, VA and he was being helped back, one of the guys helping him flipped his hair forward. Another said, “What’s the problem?” And another said, “He wanted his hair flipped forward.” This could be picked up/heard in the arena.
* Regarding the Chris Harris vs. James Storm TNA Lockdown PPV last month, when they got to the building, they had blindfolds like you would give a kid hitting a pinata. They weren’t satisfied with that so they ended up buying material just a few hours before match time. TNA didn’t have a seamstress on hand like in the case of WWE, but luckily for them, Johnny Devine knew how to sew. He made the makeshift hoods, but obviously not well enough as they kept falling of during the match.
* Dave Meltzer is reporting that Shawn Michaels has blown out his knee. Michaels’ injury is considered serious. He missed last night’s Raw brand show due to the injury. Despite the injury, he is going to try and gut it out and work tomorrow night’s PPV.
* Raw head writer Brian Gewirtz was credited, or blamed, depending on your point of view, for booking Shawn Michaels to pin World Heavyweight champion Edge on his last night on Raw. Gerwitz’s explanation was that guy leaving the territory, or brand in this case, has to job on the way out.
Triple H was the power behind the move because when it was questioned, he supported it, which made it close to a done deal. There is a belief backstage that Triple H doesn’t want Edge to succeed, noting that he tried to block all previous plans of him to moving to SmackDown and winning the title until Mr. Kennedy went down with an injury, and at this point he couldn’t reasonably block it anymore. There was vocal opposition to Edge being pinned, saying that it makes the SmackDown title and champion look secondary. Triple H’s argument was that HBK is the biggest tenured star on the brand, and he had just put over Khali, and he needs a big win because he’ll be wrestling Cena on PPV again within the next few shows. On the other hand, Michaels suggested doing a non-finish, since from his perspective, the key point of the match was for him to be beat down by Randy Orton to promote their match for tonight at Judgment Day. Michaels said he didn’t want to bury the SmackDown title but was told it was Vince McMahon‘s decision and he wasn’t changing it.
As you might imagine, Edge wasn’t pleased with the booking decision and he wasn’t hiding his dissatisfaction backstage that night. Edge is said to be happy to move over to Smackdown because internally it’s considered less political, not to mention that he doesn’t have to deal with a certain wrestler as much anymore.
* The Condemned starring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin continues to plummet in the box office.
* WWE has signed Drew Galloway from the U.K. to a developmental contract after he did a tryout while WWE was overseas last month. He will be reporting to Ohio Valley Wrestling in a few months. He’s 21 years old (soon to be 22), 6 foot 6 and 250 pounds.
Sheamus O’Shaunessy and Hade Vansen from the U.K. were also given developmental deals after recent tryouts. O’Shaunessy has the kind of bodybuilder look that WWE likes as he is 6 foot 6 and 280 pounds. WWE is still looking to open a full-time European territory, so they have told the U.K. wrestlers they are interested in to get ready for that. A half-dozen other names have come up, but their signings haven’t been confirmed.
* Several undercard TNA wrestlers are upset about the ban of them working for ROH, PWG, UWA (because those companies release commercial DVDs & ROH now puts on PPVs). Unlike the guys on top, the guys on the bottom need to work for these indy feds to help supplement their income because they don’t really make that much money from TNA. The undercard wrestlers only make a few hundred dollars per television appearance. Morale really took a turn for the worst a few months ago when TNA stopped paying for their hotel rooms and ground transportation as well.
Furthermore, the company recently cut down on flight expenses, so they are booking flights on cheaper airlines such as Southwest. There is also the frustration that no matter how well they perform, there is very limited upward mobility in TNA and the guys losing the indie dates are the ones who are always stuck in the same position. There are also complaints regarding Bob Backlund because no one understands why they have to make him the focal point of the matches, put him over, and then run away from him because he’s 58 years old.
* Shawn Michaels underwent knee surgery yesterday afternoon. Recovering from the surgery, the Heart Break Kid will be unable to put any weight on the knee for one to two months. Rehabilitation will begin after that so it is possible that he could return late this summer, although that is if everything goes as good as possible.
Michaels has been working through knee problems for well over a year when it became too much to handle when he landed awkwardly at ringside during a commercial break two weeks ago on RAW. He still tried working through the pain, but it reached a point where he had to break down and have the surgery. The good news is, once he is fully rehabilitated, his knee will be stronger and he will be in a lot less pain.
* John Cena made a rare indy appearance last night with Chaotic Wrestling. Here is a fan account of Cena’s appearance: In the Main Event, Cena got hit over the head by the Chaotic Champ’s belt and was out cold on the mat. While Cena was out, none one other than Vincent Kennedy McMahon came to the ring and helped the heel champ beat down the challenger. Cena finally came to, got up and FU’d Vince and then the Chaotic Champ. The place was going bonkers and it was almost 11 PM and we had been there since 3 PM. Vince slipped out the back door and Cena DQ’d the champ.
* Due to the incredible lack of depth on the heel side of Raw’s women division, it kind of forces Melina to be focused on because they don’t really have any other options. Also, Melina has a better personality and gets more heat from the audience than Victoria, which explains why she gets the nod over her. Melina is kind of like the female version of Randy Orton in a way because the depth issue forces her to be focused on.
* Angel Williams had been in WWE’s developmental system for about two and half years and just wasn’t able to make it to the main roster for one reason or another. She was really close to being called up on at least two occasions, but it seems like something would always come up at the last minute to prevent her from finally breaking through into the big leagues.
Williams was on the brink of being called up to the SmackDown roster in January 2006 to replace Jillian Hall as JBL‘s consultant, but her knee blew out at a Deep South Wrestling show a few days before her scheduled WWE debut. Also, Vince McMahon was impressed with how Jillian Hall reacted to The Boogeyman biting the cookie-like “growth” on her face on TV, so he changed his mind on replacing her. She was then close to being called with The Gymini, but the team didn’t impress management in their dark matches late last year, and they were subsequently let go about two months later.
Anyways, the reason given for Angel Williams’ firing is that well, management just didn’t feel that she was pretty enough to be a WWE Diva, and thus she was let go. PWInsider.com also reported that she had a bit of an attitude problem at times while in DSW, although it doesn’t look like she was necessarily released for that.
Furthermore, a person in the know with things down in Ohio Valley Wrestling said that Williams burst into tears upon receiving the news of her termination from Stephanie McMahon, who personally informed her that she was being let go from WWE. After her meeting with Stephanie, “she was blubbering like a baby,” the source said.
* Shelly “Ariel” Martinez‘s release was a bit of a surprise to most since she was on television weekly. The main reason given for her release was that the people making the decisions didn’t think she had “the right look,” which is kind of a nice way of saying that she wasn’t pretty enough in the eyes of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
McMahon was negative on using her from the start because she didn’t have the typical model look that he likes. However, Paul Heyman sold him on her because she did a good job playing her gimmick while she was in Ohio Valley Wresling. When Heyman left, she lost her biggest supporter, although she managed to stick around for several more months. Also, Vince doesn’t understand “goth” characters, so that didn’t help her cause. However, it looks like Kevin Thorn will be staying on the roster in his role, which kind of makes this release all the more surprising.
Stephanie McMahon‘s rise to power caused all the marginal talent to be re-evaluated, and that’s why a bunch of talent were let go in a matter of days. Also, she wasn’t warm to any idea that originally came from Paul Heyman, Stephanie’s arch nemesis. So well, that definitely didn’t help Ariel’s cause either.
There were some reports last week that Ariel’s release was due to an incident with Batista at the SmackDown tapings in Baltimore. Sources saying that they had an argument, but she wasn’t released due to the specific incident, although it probably didn’t help matters.
The deal with Batista is that he’s the “starting quarterback on the football team” and WWE consists of a bunch of people who are still living in high school. Batista is a star, gets tons of women while on the road, and is very outspoken at times, especially at some of the women on the roster. Most of the women on the roster don’t say anything back to him, but in the WWE environment, it doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong whenever a conflict may arise, all that matters is who is higher up on the totem pole. In Martinez’s case, the story goes that Batista tried to pull something on her, and she would have nothing of it. She made some comments back to Batista, which probably was a bad move politically. In the WWE environment, he’s seen as a big star, and she’s just seen as easily replaceable eye candy.
* Edge has been told that he will have a long reign as champion and that for the first time in his career, the show will be centered around him. He’s had pressure before as champion, but even when he was champion before, John Cena and Triple H were always considered the stars of the show.
* WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena and TNA star Ron Killings had a real life confrontation Monday morning at around 7 AM Eastern at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, NC.
Cena, who was leaving town to get to the RAW taping in Canada, saw Killings (who lives in Charlotte and was on his way to Orlando for the Impact tapings) and approached him over some issues from their past. Apparently Cena was upset with Killings for making negative comments about him in some TNA promos.
The two stared each other down as if one was waiting for the other to say something in person. However, no physical confrontation ended up taking place and the two went there separate ways as it turned out to be nothing more than a tense moment.
* TNA star Ron Killings spoke out about his recent “run-in” with WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena at the Charlotte airport that we reported on yesterday on his official MySpace website. Below is what he said:
“John Cena did’nt approach me “Ron Killings” about sh$%# at the airport,,infact,,this is second run in that we’ve had..First one was kind of a calling his bluff type thang….even tryin to comunicate with him to see what’s up with what i’ve been hearing,,also all the interviews he did supposely calling me out..Big Mistake,,Then he leaves voice messages on my cell talking about battleing me and about thrashing my ass,,not to mention people he’s done interviews with tell me John Cena wanted us to call you so he could battle you…..Man Please!! He did what he should’ve done,,and that’s nothing!!I wish he would try to play that battle rap sh$%# with me,,I’ll just eat his ass alive,and spit and Dsh#$% out the pieces i dont like,,Just like I told him,, He’s a Punk ass,,rap wanna be ME!”
– 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.