WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT
4/22 Superstar TV results: Shad Gaspard over Goldust; Yoshi Tatsu over Zack Ryder; and John Morrison over Carlito.
4/23 Smackdown TV results from Uncasville, Connecticut: John Morrison over Jack Swagger; Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre over R-Truth & Matt Hardy; JTG over Mike Knox; Michelle McCool & Layla over Mickie James & Beth Phoenix; and CM Punk & Luke Gallows over Kane & Rey Mysterio.
Well, you knew this was coming. The Hartford Courant reported that Vince McMahon joined Linda McMahon on her Senate campaign for the first time ever last Wednesday night. He accompanied her to a charity gala hosted by Sacred Heart University. Linda's main Democratic opponent, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, also attended. The Courant reports that after MC (local weatherman Dave Price) acknowledged Blumenthal's presence, Vince jumped onto the dias, took control of the microphone and introduced himself to the audience. He said, "My name is Vince McMahon and my wife is the one who's going to beat you this fall." The incident was reportedly videotaped but footage is yet to surface. Vince was also introduced to Blumenthal face-to-face and as they shook hands, he pulled Blumenthal in and said that Linda was going to "whoop" him in the election. Blumenthal reportedly laughed off Vince's comments and said he's heard it all before.
Mark Henry received a police caution last week in Belfast, Northern Ireland after throwing a drink on a British wrestling fan who was collecting autographs. The Derry Journal reports that the fan, James McClay and his finance Tanya, were staying at the Belfast Hilton, the same hotel as the stranded Raw crew last weekend, when Henry threw the drink. McClay told the newspaper: "I was trying to get as many signatures as possible (for) my collectors book. Mark Henry was abusive and ignorant but I got his signature and walked away. Suddenly he threw a drink (at) me from behind. I turned around to see him stand and square up to me, suddenly John Cena and Randy Orton grabbed his arms and held him back. I honestly thought I was in one of the plot lines back stage. I felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Suddenly Chavo Guerrero piped up egging Mark Henry on, that really annoyed me as I am a fan of his. I thought this is going to get really bad as all these wrestlers were on their feet." The one-sided Journal story is at http://tinyurl.com/34qhrns. We did hear about this altercation from someone who was there. Henry lost his temper and threw the drink after being called an "asshole" but McClay's claims that Chavo Guerrero was egging Henry on are not accurate. Apparently it was Guerrero who fetched security to calm the situation. The police were called and they decided to caution Henry at the hotel as he was too large to fit into the squad car and take back to the station.
The releases of Shelton Benjamin, Kung Fu Naki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Slam Master J, Mike Knox, Mickie James, and Katie Lea were announced on 4/22. None of these cuts came as a real shock and most were told they were being cut for budget reasons... Shelton Benjamin, 34, had been under WWE contract for around a decade. He was well-liked but much like former tag partner Charlie Haas he was grinded down to the point he was comfortable being there just collecting a pay check. Those close to him say he saved his money and has made some smart investments over the years. The chances of him going to TNA are 50/50. He's been talking for years about wanting to work for Disney, specifically doing voice over work on animated films. Benjamin being let go is a good indication of how much of a threat the company feels TNA is right now as when Haas asked for his release last year John Laurinaitis offered him a raise to stop him jumping ship... Kung Fu Naki (Shoichi Funaki, 41) was one of the longest tenured talents on the payroll. It's a surprise that he’s survived so many rounds of cuts over the years. That's probably more a testament to how well regarded he was within the company. He started here in 1998 in the heel Japanese stable Kai En Tai with Taka Michinoku, Dick Togo, Teioh and Shiryu. His best run came between 2004-2007 in the defunct Cruiserweight division that featured the likes of Kidman, Noble, Guerrero Jr., Mysterio, Tajiri, and Ultimo Dragon. His rep took a hit in 2007 when his name came up as purchasing HGH from an online pharmacy in a Sports Illustrated investigative report on steroid use among pro athletes... Jimmy Wang Yang (James Yun, 28) was one of those signed with the purchase of WCW in 2001. He was assigned to developmental but released less than a year later. He had other runs 2003-2005 and 2006-present but was never going to be anything more than enhancement. His release is believed to be a third strike of the Wellness Program but WWE has not released any information on that publicly. Yun wrote on his Twitter the day of his release: "Three strikes and you're out. I hear Florida is a nice place to visit." ... Slam Master J (Ray Gordy, 31) is the son of the late Terry Gordy of Fabulous Freebirds fame. He was signed to developmental in 2005 where he developed a white rapper gimmick, Ray Geezy, that never took off. He had a decent two-year run as Jesse Dalton with Festus but his career had largely gone no where after that gimmick was dropped... Mike Knox (Michael Hettinga, 31) got his break in 2006 on ECW as Kelly Kelly's jealous boyfriend. When that program ended he was sent back to developmental (Deep South in Georgia) and was later assigned to FCW in Tampa. Hettinga found himself a subject of controversy in April 2008. A family in Georgia found viles of HGH hidden in the attic of the home which he used to occupy. He gave a statement to the police to the effect that the drugs were not his. Also found was a WWE talent contract, and a memorandum to WWE wrestlers about a dress code, both with Hettinga's name on them. He was moved to Raw in 2008 for a program with Mysterio that never really got started. He was drafted to Smackdown the following year but creative rarely used him and he ended up as a job guy... Mickie James, 30, had been on the endangered list for some time and was on the wrong side of powerful people after a relationship with a Raw wrestler went sour. She was moved to Smackdown last fall where they did the Piggy James storyline which was a supposed attitude adjustment as it was felt her attitude had been atrocious during recent months. The straw that likely broke the camel's back was that she twice showed up late to the tour bus in Europe last week which held up the crew. Almost everyone buried her for it. She has been planning for life after wrestling for some time with her country music and other projects. The feeling was she wasn't fully committed to WWE any more so they felt it was the right time to let her go. Dixie Carter is apparently a fan of hers and with the music connection (Dixie has a lot of contacts in Nashville) she's considered a shoe-in with TNA if she wanted to go there. The sad part of her release is that she got the call while she was running around her home town of Richmond, VA promoting Monday's Draft edition of Raw... Finally, Katie Lea (Kat Walters, 29) was well-liked, considered a good worker, a good promo, but not WWE's idea of a Diva. She was given very little opportunity to shine and of late had been making sporadic appearances in comedy segments on Raw. Her best role was with Paul Burchill as his storyline sister on ECW but when he was cut in February she was probably on borrowed time. She has just started looking at acting roles but hasn't ruled out working for other wrestling companies.
Ted DiBiase came down with food poisoning upon returning from Europe last week.
Maryse wrote on her Twitter yesterday that she was attacked by a stalker in the middle of the street near her West Hollywood apartment. She said she had security escort her back home, was very scared, but is OK now.
Rob Zombie has been offered the guest host spot for the 6/28 Raw from Philadelphia.
WWE will be releasing a book titled WWE Championships on 11/30, according to Amazon. The book is written by Kevin Sullivan, obviously not the former WCW star, who also worked on the WWE Encyclopedia.
Jim Ross has been approached about doing a non-wrestling reality show.
Fan House has a Q&A with Jack Swagger talking about his Oklahoman roots at http://tinyurl.com/3x7yl9n. He noted that Ross and Gerald Brisco recruited him out of college and he turned down a job with a finance firm to sign with WWE. He also put over Danny Hodge: "He still lives two blocks from my parents in Perry, Oklahoma. I've known Danny for a long time. I grew up with his grandsons. They were in my grade. We wrestled together and Danny would be at all the events, all the tournaments. Every year, we come back to OU and play in the fundraising golf tournament for the Oklahoma wrestling team. What a great guy and the advice he has given me stands for itself. Hopefully, it shows in my work."
Chris Jericho is signing autographs on Monday afternoon at FYE in Henrico, VA at the Virginia Center.
TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION WRESTLING
4/22 house show results from Macon, GA: Abyss over James Storm; Desmond Wolfe over Jay Lethal; Tara over ODB; Jeff Jarrett over Mr. Anderson; Matt Morgan & Shark Boy over The Machine Guns; and Rob Van Dam over AJ Styles.
The 4/23 show in Albany had the same matches except Anderson over Jarrett before roughly 400 paid. A few dozen future soldiers were brought to the show as TNA partnered with the Albany US Army Recruit station.
Shannon Moore via Twitter on the recent WWE cuts: "It sucks to hear that people lost jobs today. From what I hear that place is a black hole anyway. A lot of peeps are miserable going to work. They don't understand what talent is. They would rather hire a jackass that don't know nothing about the biz rather than someone that loves it and pay pennies on the dollar to get someone to sign their life away. I think that the talent should think about making the jump. I thank god everyday for my chance to be family with TNA. From the office to talent in TNA it's nothing but fun. All I can say is Dixie Carter thank you for bringing me into the family. I love going to work. Hogan F'N rocks. I wear TNA colors with pride and will bust my ass to better the company.TNA TNA TNA TNA." This probably isn't the smartest thing to say publicly when your wife works for WWE.
Angelina Love is expected to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks and won't require any surgery after she tore her ulnar collateral ligament and partially tore her bicep last Tuesday at the TV tapings.
Daffney's latest blog entry on her website www.daffneyshouse.com discusses her recent injuries and how they happened. As well as a stinger and sternum bruise she also suffered a minor concussion. She wrote regarding Tuesday's dark match, "Thankfully the hit to the head was nowhere near as bad last October when I decided jumping in barbed wire looked like fun. I sunset flipped my opponent but she stayed standing then she sat down which caused the bruised sternum. Honestly, after that, I went into auto-pilot mode. I do not remember the rest of the match--even the finishing move (sitdown spinebuster) and the 1-2-3. You can ask any wrestler if they have finished a match while they were unconscious, and almost everyone of them will tell you they have." She added that she was going to be OK but doesn't have much recollection of what happened. "A stinger is just VERY scary at first... your neck tightens up and is sore so I have already begun some stretching. The sternum is a deep bruise. So that will just take a little while... But ya'll know me...I'm a fighter!"
The Pope vs. Mr. Anderson is scheduled for Sacrifice if Pope can go. TNA pulled him from the house show loop this past weekend due to the shoulder injury he suffered at Lockdown.
There is at least talk that ring announcer Dave Penzar may be leaving soon. Not sure there is anything to that but people are talking about it.
The Impact replay on Thursday night did a 0.7 rating. During the show before they aired RVD winning the TNA title they ran promos mentioning that next Monday would be RVD's first week as champion.
Alex Marvez at http://tinyurl.com/39habdy has a story on Frankie Kazarian about breaking away from his Suicide character. He says he wants to be a top guy and feels he has only just scratched the surface on what he could achieve. On his recent marriage to Traci Brooks: "I know a lot of guys currently and all throughout the history of wrestling who have had issues because their wife doesn't understand the business and they hate them being gone so much. She understands everything I go through because she has gone through the same things. The travel for both of us makes things tough sometimes, but we have a couple days together during the week that we take advantage of."
The Daily Star has a story on Rob Van Dam at http://tinyurl.com/3x84no2. He puts over working for Dixie Carter and says it's a good vibe working here. "Every job has its baggage! It’s a good vibe. Some of the younger guys may feel like they’re getting pushed out right now, but they don’t really have an argument."
Bill Goldberg on Twitter when asked if he read Vince Russo's book: "Russo's a moron... I wouldn't waste my time reading it."
OTHER WRESTLING NEWS
Brock Lesnar has officially signed to face Shane Carwin at UFC 116 on 7/3 in Las Vegas.
The former Rodney Mack and Jazz are currently working on a joint autobiography about their time working in the wrestling business.
The autobiographies of Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes have been picked up by a new publisher and will be reprinted soon.
The Slam Wrestling website has an update on Scott Garland, the former Scotty 2 Hotty at http://tinyurl.com/3aylmgn. He says he's in a great place right now and his focus since leaving WWE has been on being a good husband and father. He said: "Most of all, it's just adjusting back into the real world. It's different. It's a lot, I don't want to say harder, but it is an adjustment. You go from being on the road 250, 300 days of the year for 10 years, for the most part, unless I was out with an injury, to being home a lot. Then just trying to readjust -- it's a good thing, don't get me wrong. I have a five year old and an eight year old. I'm just enjoying being a dad. And just trying to figure out what's next. I do know that I don't want to work the schedule that I was working. I have no desire to do that 250, 300 days anymore."
Jim Cornette is scheduled for Ring Roasts in Monroe, NJ on 10/15. More info soon at www.ringroasts.com.
Mike Mooneyham has a great story on Gene Kiniski at http://tinyurl.com/3yr33z9.
The Sports Legacy Institute (the group founded by former WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski) was given a $1 million donation by the NFL. It's expected the money will be used to further the Institutes studies on brain damage caused by contact sports at Boston University’s school of medicine. The New York Times has a story at http://tinyurl.com/338ufar.
Stacy Keibler talks about being one of the sexiest women alive for Esquire magazine at http://tinyurl.com/37lopxg.
Today's Knockout of the Day is Daffney at http://www.thewrestlingpress.com/DailyDiva.