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 the end of 2007, we get a glimpse into the top scoops from January of 2008 as we read Dirt Sheet History.
Reminder that you can find all past editions of Dirt Sheet History looking at 2004 through 2007 right here. Now enjoy the start of 2008.
* Howard Stern ripped on Hulk Hogan today. Stern said that Hogan gave Bubba from Bubba The Love Sponge a big, ugly glass bowl for his wedding and that it was tacky and he should have sent him money instead of a cheap gift like that. Stern claimed that Linda picked out the gift.
* In WWE’s ’15 Years of Raw’ special magazine that was released on newsstands this past Tuesday, they put out a “Bottom 15” list composed of former WWE talents who they believe overstayed their welcome in the promotion. It’s interesting to note that a number of the people listed are either individuals who spoke out on the drug issues within professional wrestling this past year or are currently employed by TNA. WWE doesn’t give any reasons for why certain people are on this dubious list, as it’s simply a list of talent. Anyway, here is who they put down:
15 Superstars Who Overstayed Their Welcomes (Raw 15th Anniversary Magazine – January/February 2008 issue)
15. Too Cool (Scotty Too Hotty and ‘Grand Master Sexay’ Brian Christopher)
14. The Patriot
13. Terri Runnels
12. Muhammad Hassan
11. Clarence Mason
10. Joey Abs
09. Joey Mercury
08. New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)
04. Tiger Ali Singh
03. Christy Hemme
02. The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher)
01. Scott Steiner
* ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky was involved in a pretty back car wreck today on the I-95 highway in Philadelphia. A truck smashed the side of Sapolsky’s car, totalling the vehicle. The ROH booker was said to be OK, although the bad wreck resulted in him suffering a head wound that took 18 stitches to close up.
* In WWE’s ’15 Years of Raw’ special magazine that was released on newsstands this past Tuesday, they put out a list on the top 15 reasons why WCW Monday Nitro failed. Here is the list:
15 Reasons Nitro Failed: Nothing compares to these shameful people and moments.
15. Tony Schiavone
14. nWo 2000
13. Anti-American Jim Duggan
12. Chavo Guerrero & Pepe
11. Vince Russo in the Pope Mobile
10. Matches in the Mall of America
09. Finger Poke of Doom (Kevin Nash drops to the mat to lose his title after Hulk Hogan pokes him on 1/4/99 Nitro)
08. The Magnificent Seven (2001 faction consisting of Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell and Road Warrior Animal)
07. “Crazy” Ric Flair
06. New Blood vs. The Millionaires
05. Steve “Mongo” McMichael
04. Disco Inferno
03. One Warrior Nation (short-lived 1998 faction consisting of Ultimate Warrior and The Disciple a.k.a. Brutus Beefcake)
02. Misfits in Action (2000 faction consisting of Hugh Morrus, Lash LeRoux, The Wall, Chavo Guerrero, Booker T, Tylene “Major Gunns” Buck and Van Hammer)
01. David Arquette
* Former TNA backstage interview Leticia Cline recently called into Howard Stern‘s radio show. She said she when she got home from her appearance on the show in which she went topless and rode some sort of vibrating apparatus, she got an e-mail from the Motocross organization she was working for telling her that she was being let go.
Cline also noted that her father is no longer speaking to her after she revealed that he was a racist on the program. Cline said she was talking with WWE about possibly joining the company, but their schedule could pose as a problem because she only wants to work a few days a week.
Cline said she’d like to go back to TNA because they’re like family to her, not to mention that she has no hard feelings over being let go from them a few weeks ago. Cline said TNA is a great company to work for.
* According to well placed source in WWE there was a backstage incident that occurred while WWE was over in Iraq. The incident involved Umaga, Randy Orton, and Shawn Michaels. Apparently the seamstress told Umaga that he could not use the colors that he wanted for his tights because they were the colors that Triple H uses. However, Umaga insisted that the seamstress fulfill his request.
The seamstress complied and when Umaga went through the curtain in the tights, Shawn Michaels completely flipped out. WWE Champion Randy Orton was said to be the only person that stood up for the Samoan Bulldozer and fired back at Shawn.
It has been incidents like this that have completely altered Randy Orton’s reputation backstage. The feeling is that he is now a leader and is one of the few superstars that does not take crap off of Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
* TMZ has a story on Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake being mobbed in New York City on Monday. They state that Hogan ignored fans while Beefcake did not as he signed autographs for anyone who wanted one. Beefcake even talked about Britney Spears.
* Triple H is said to be the most disliked person in WWE right now. A number of people were upset that he didn’t make a stand to put over Ric Flair last week in what will very likely be his final match in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Triple H has always had heat, but it really picked up over the summer when he basically squashed Booker T at SummerSlam. As part of his renegotiations with the company, they let Booker sit in on booking meetings. He was there to assure that nobody buried him and that he would be taken care of in his feud with Triple H. Of course, the biggest reason he ultimately quit the company was due to the 60-day suspension, but after his match with Triple H went down the way it did, there was a good chance he was leaving WWE anyway. Furthermore, a large number of people within the company believe the ordeal with Triple H is the reason why he left. Several people within WWE really like Booker T — who was one of the most respected wrestlers in the locker room — so they were very upset about how things went down.
Triple H also buried Chris Jericho before he had even arrived. In a sarcastic manner, Triple H was going around to anyone who would listen saying that the company may have had some rough stretches in the past, but they were going to be fine again because “their savior” was coming back. The feeling in the locker room was that he was especially vindictive about Jericho because his wife Stephanie was a big proponent of bringing him back. A number of people believe Triple H came off as very petty in his comments.
* Recently the IFL (International Fight League) mixed martial arts company tried to set up a fight between Kurt Angle and Ken Shamrock. After those negotiations fell through, Ken Shamrock and IFL founder Kurt Otto blasted Kurt Angle in an interview, saying that Angle got cold feet after watching fights at ringside of an IFL show.
Shamrock said, “He got scared and wanted to go back into pro wrestling. That’s okay, Kurt, I still respect you for what you did in the Olympics, but this is MMA. You don’t come in here, say you’re gonna do something, and then you don’t.”
Kurt Angle recently responded to those comments, saying, “they tried to force a fight with me and Ken in two and a half months. (It’s) not enough time to take off from TNA and train for a fight.”
* Brock Lesnar spoke on his dealings with Triple H:
Interviewer: Triple H needlessly buried you in an interview on the September 2, 2002 Raw, just moments after he had been presented with the newly-created World Title by Eric Bischoff. This came one week after you, as Undisputed Champion, were signed exclusively to SmackDown in the storyline. On that September 2 Raw broadcast, Triple H, who was a heel, said: “Brock Lesnar knows he doesn’t belong in the same ring with me. Brock Lesnar knows that he can’t with me in this ring. As a matter of fact, Brock Lesnar doesn’t even belong speaking my name. And the fact is, the second I beat The Undertaker to become the number one contender, Brock Lesnar knew his days as champion were over, so he took his belt and ran with his tail between his legs. As it turns out, ‘The Next Big Thing’ has no balls.”
Lesnar: I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s how much attention I paid to Triple H (laughs)… I didn’t even know that happened.
Interviewer: It did. You were a rising star at the time, and Triple H was the established star. His obnoxious speech did nothing to facilitate your growth.
Lesnar: Well, when you’re (with) the boss’ daughter, you can pretty much say what you want.
Interviewer: You had a few matches with Triple H on the road, but you never had a feud on TV.
Lesnar: I don’t think he wanted to put me over — so that never happened.
* John Cena is getting married. He is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Liz, who he proposed to in late September.
* Shelly Martinez‘ TNA wrestling name, Salinas, is a bit of an inside joke. TNA President Dixie Carter is married to a man named Serg Salinas, and that’s where they got the name from.
* Ohio’s Beacon Journal newspaper is reporting that WWE SmackDown superstar Batista was pulled over by a man who claimed to be an undercover police officer, but was not really a cop. Batista reported the incident after it happened on January 5th while traveling from a WWE event in Canton, Ohio. Apparently, the fake officer used a flashing red light on his vehicle to stop the former World Heavyweight Champion. Here is the full story from Ohio.com:
Following a show in Canton on Jan. 5, WWE professional wrestler David Bautista had an encounter of a different kind.
Bautista told investigators that he was stopped on Interstate 77 by a man using a red flashing light on his vehicle and claiming to be an undercover officer.
Stark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched after Bautista phoned them to report that he had driven away from the ”officer” after stopping north of 38th Street Northwest and being asked for his driver’s license.
He told investigators he became suspicious because the man didn’t have the usual police equipment, including a badge, the man’s vehicle didn’t look like a cruiser and the man was wearing camouflage pants.
Deputies, who talked with Bautista near the Everhard Road off ramp, said the suspect wasn’t found.
* TNA Wrestling is grooming Samoa Joe for a run with the TNA World Championship. A title run for Joe has been planned for over two years but the decision has pushed back time-after-time because the company did not want to do it too soon.
Everyone in TNA understands that timing is everything and feel like that Joe doesn’t have to win the next time he gets a title shot but he needs to prevail in the program in the end. Some have speculated that the time TNA may choose to give Samoa Joe the title could be against Kurt Angle at Lockdown in April.
* Former WWE superstar Gangrel has signed with a group known as the New Porn Order to direct adult films.
* It has just been revealed that Candice Michelle appeared in a softcore pornographic movie with one of the contestants of American Gladiators. Candice appeared in a movie with Belinda Gavin, who appeared (and lost) on Monday’s show. The official American Gladiators website describes Gavin as a bull rider, originally from Australia but currently residing in Burbank, California.
A quick Google search reveals that Gavin is more well known for her career in movies, specifically “softcore” pornography of the type typically shown on HBO and Cinemax in the late evening. Anyway, a tape of the two making out in the flesh by a pool has surfaced online. They were supposed to be in a movie that never made the cut, so they were really in just two unreleased scenes. Thanks to Rob Fury for his assistance in this story.
* Several TNA Knockouts are involved with a fetish wrestling website that does “custom” wrestling matches. Basically, the customer selects the two women he wants to see wrestle, the style of the match (i.e. Pro, Competitive, Oil, Topless, Mixed, etc. according to the website), and any special instructions he or she may have (i.e. type of clothing). The website features a slew of women from the independent circuit, and the following women from TNA: Tracy Brooks, Shelly “Salinas” Martinez, Talia (Velvet Sky), Rain (Ms. Peyton Banks), and ODB.
* There are some rumblings that James Storm wants out of TNA.
* The Disney film “The Game Plan” starring “The Rock” will be released on DVD tomorrow. Disney absolutely loves working with Johnson. They were so impressed with his professionalism and willingness to promote the film (including appearances on Disney Channel series episodes as a guest star) that they immediately signed him to appear in their remake of Escape from Witch Mountain.
* In addition to WWE performers being told that they can no longer verbally call their spots in the ring and they must work stiffer because of High Definition broadcasting, they are no longer allowed to have spray tans.
Shawn Michaels and Ken Kennedy were said to be two superstars that were culprits of this lately as the spray tans can run and cause obvious distractions to viewers watching in HD.
* This morning Kurt Angle was a guest on a local radio show, via telephone, building up hype for the upcoming TNA Wrestling pay-per view here in South Carolina. After discussing the PPV for a few moments he was asked about his wife and said she was recovering nicely.
Then they asked him about Brock Lesnar and Kurt surprisingly semi-complimented him by saying he was a good in ring competitor but then stated that he was a “mental midget,” claiming Lesnar could not do well under pressure. On Lesnar’s matches in MMA, Kurt predicted Lesnar would win if there was little to no pressure on him.
* “The Sun” UK newspaper has conducted an exclusive interview with John Cena. Despite recent rumors that he is trying to return ahead of schedule in time for WrestleMania, Cena revealed that he will NOT be competing at WrestleMania 24 and that he will probably not return to WWE until shooting for his new movie wraps up at the end of May.
Here are the highlights:
— John Cena will “definitely NOT” be competing at WrestleMania 24
— Regarding an appearance at WrestleMania: “I most likely will be at WrestleMania in some capacity, but you probably won’t see me on camera.
* Vince McMahon has given his approval for a storyline involving incest. The angle would involve Ohio Valley Wrestling wrestlers Katie Lea and Paul Burchill. The angle would likely take place on either ECW or Raw, because there is some concern that it would get the wrong kind of heat if it were to take place on SmackDown — which is on network television.
McMahon has wanted to do an incest angle for years. He once suggested that he be the father of his daughter Stephanie’s baby. As revealed on the McMahon DVD, Stephanie turned down the angle. According to her, Vince was to reveal himself as the father of her baby; when she said no, he pushed for Shane to be the father, but he turned that idea down as well.
* The morale backstage in TNA is said to be up because they held a number of house shows over the last month and so a number of guys got to work. One of the reasons for the low morale — particularly for the younger wrestlers — is that in TNA, you only work a few days per month and the matches are often brief due to television time constraints.
A number of wrestlers enjoy working house shows more because everyone is allowed to go out there and do what they do best, which is wrestle. One wrestler said that the house shows were better than any pay-per-view TNA has ever done. On the flipside, the downside to TNA house shows is that attendance has largely been dismal and the wrestlers don’t earn much money from them.
* The two favorites to win tonight’s Royal Rumble match are Undertaker — the original pick — and Triple H.
* John Cena made a surprise return and won the Royal Rumble to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania.
* When John Cena had surgery four months ago to repair his torn pectoral muscle, WWE reported that the recovery time would be 6-9 months. Recent interviews by Cena confirmed that he was still on that same recovery schedule, which made last night’s return at the Royal Rumble a huge surprise.
When John Cena and WWE received word that he was physically cleared to wrestle, they immediately decided to keep it a secret to mislead people as to his true health status.
News about Cena starring in the new WWE Films project “12 Rounds” is true. What wasn’t true is the time it will take to film the movie. Cena told the UK Sun newspaper last week that it would take 5 months to film. In reality, this was greatly exaggerated. WWE has applied for permits to film in New Orleans, which will take 4-6 weeks.
* With the 2008 Royal Rumble now in the history books, we are now officially on the road to WrestleMania 24. John Cena returned last night to win the Rumble and earn himself a title shot of his choice at WrestleMania.
— Cena is expected to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania.
— Another amtch that has been rumored since last year’s WrestleMania is Edge defending the World Heavyweight title against The Undertaker. Aside from the title being up for grabs, another dimension to the match is that both men have WrestleMania winning streaks on the line.
— As we saw last night, Chris Jericho‘s war with JBL is far from over and those two will likely square off at WrestleMania.
— With WWE Diva Maria‘s Playboy spread coming out in March, she will likely get a women’s title shot against Beth Phoenix.
— No word on who Ric Flair will face, but there has been talk of culminating his “retirement” storyline at WrestleMania. There has been talk of Triple H vs. Ric Flair, although Triple H vs. Batista has also been discussed.
* As we’ve been reporting, TNA started drug testing their wrestlers at this week’s iMPACT! tapings. Wrestlers were told that they will be fined $200 if they test positivie for marijuana. There is still no word what the punishment will be for performance enhancing drugs or how often they will be tested.
* The January edition of Power Slam Magazine out of the U.K. is saying in their monthly newsline report that Michelle McCool is dating a “powerful member of the WWE empire.” Here is what they wrote to be exact: “Rumour has it that Michelle McCool is going out with a powerful member of the WWE empire, who happens to be married…”
– Tune back in next time for more Dirt Sheet History as we continue 2008.
Stories are credited from Rajah, PWTorch, PWInsider and The Wrestling Observer. Month name photo art is by Phillip Martin.
All past editions of Dirt Sheet History are found here.