Here is your dose of wrestling news for 5/19/2006. Of course, it is peppered with my opinions. I just have to have my say about some things.
SAMOA JOE INJURED
In what could have been a disaster for TNA, their fastest rising star, Samoa Joe, injured his knee on May 16 in a match against David Young. He had injured the knee weeks ago and was taking it easy but it locked up when he delivered a kick to Young. Tests showed that he had torn and strained some ligaments but surgery is not necessary at this time. He will be rehabbing the knee for three months and laying off the indy bookings but is not expected to miss any ring time in TNA. He may end up having surgery if rehab doesn't fully take care of the tears. TNA would have been hurting more than Joe would if they lost him for any length of time. He is the hottest commodity they have. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope that rehab completely heals the tears and strain.
Jackie Gayda, former WWE diva and current TNA diva, is pregnant with her first child. She is married to WWE's Charlie Haas. TNA did a storyline incorporating her pregnancy into the show and she is expected to stay on with TNA - but not at ringside - for as long she can. Congratulations to Jackie and Charlie!
BOOKER T AND BATISTA UPDATE
In my last column, I told you about the big fist fight that Booker T. and Batista supposedly got into while shooting a commercial for SummerSlam. Well, it looks like all is peachy keen now between the two. WWE.com has a story up about the two having breakfast together recently. Said Booker, "We had a good talk, and we’ll have no problem working together and being professional. We’re going to do what’s right for each other’s careers and the future of the company.”
Great, but why did we even have to know about their differences? If WWE hadn't rushed to the text messages and website to exploit the tension between the two, the entire thing would have obviously blown over without further incident.
You can read the story that WWE.com has up (and they actually have Booker and Batista's picture up on the front page of their website) at this link: Booker T. and Batista Update. I think the whole thing was blown wildly out of proportion and not by the "dirt sheets" or news sites but by WWE themselves.
BISCHOFF PENNING AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Eric Bischoff, controversial president of World Championship Wrestling and former WWE Raw General Manager, is writing a book. While I wish I could say it should be a great read, WWE is publishing it which means it will be a sanitized version of Bischoff's true thoughts and feelings. The promotional material says, "In this no-holds-barred look at his career and life, Eric Bischoff will discuss the things that he did right and all that he did wrong as he helped shape the sports entertainment industry into the billion dollar business it is today."
The book is available for presale on Amazon.com. You can click below to check it out. It should be a good read but not an entirely honest one. I sure wish he would spill all the beans. Maybe someday…
WHO'S THAT GIRL?
WWE's Trish's new friend and Mickie James' enemy is Beth Phoenix, who has been training in Ohio Valley Wrestling for quite some time. I have heard she is a good worker. Time will tell. I wonder if she replaces Ashley as Trish's buddy? It has been hinted in some circles that Ashley will actually go to Smackdown upon her return from her leg injury because she is dating Matt Hardy and would like to be on the same travel schedule. Ashley recently made an appearance with Batista who is a Smackdown worker so we'll see what happens. Ashley makes no mention of a brand switch directly in her MySpace blog but did drop a very subtle hint at one point.
ECW TO AIR ON SCI FI CHANNEL
While this is not 100% confirmed, Dave Meltzer of www.wrestlingobserver.com is reporting that WWE's version of Extreme Championship Wrestling will be airing on the Sci Fi channel weekly. According to Meltzer, the show will start in mid to late June. Others are reporting that there are negotiations between WWE and Sci Fi but nothing has been secured.
Sci Fi channel? What a weird place for ECW. And where the heck is that channel on my cable system? I must do some searching. A press release could be released within a week if everything is secured. One way or the other, it looks like ECW will have a TV time slot somewhere in June.
FLAIR HAS HIS DAY IN COURT
Ric Flair was cleared of all charges in connection with his "road rage" case due to the fact that the other party did not show up in court. Flair is totally exonerated and can get back to his life without that black mark on his record and reputation. He was accused of roughing up a fellow motorist and the motorist's vehicle while stuck in traffic a few months ago.
BIG YEAR FOR WRESTLING DVD's
This year is going to be a big one for WWE wrestling DVDs. For starters, Hulk Hogan's Anthology DVD set is scheduled to be released on October 17. That will be a huge seller. Scheduled for this year as well are DVD's on Vince McMahon, Brian Pillman, Superstar Billy Graham, Dusty Rhodes, The Managers Collection, ECW's One Night Stand, and others. Hopefully, I will be able to secure some of those DVDs for a giveaway on the forums like I did with the WrestleMania giveaway. Why pay when you can win them?
MORE DVD NEWS
Hardcore Homecoming 2: November Reign is now available nationwide. This two DVD set has some killer matches on it from the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA, including three main events, plus a bonus disc with hours of rare, early, and classic matches.
HH2: November Reign features stars such as Jerry Lynn, Spike Dudley, Ian and Axl Rotten, The Blue Meanie, Shane Douglas, Justin Credible, Terry Funk, a very pregnant Dawn Marie, and many others taped this past November. The second disc has some very classic high flying and hardcore matches and promos on it. The set is available at most major DVD outlets including Best Buy. This one should be a keeper since there likely won't be another Hardcore Homecoming show since WWE is hiring most of the guys who worked the shows to be in their version of ECW.
Also, at last, the long awaited Von Erich documentary and the rise and fall of World Class Wrestling DVD which chronicles the tragic Von Erich family as well as World Class Wrestling, will be released on June 15. Old school fans will definitely want to pick this one up. The Von Erichs were a huge force in wrestling yet such a tragic family with so many deaths in a short amount of time. Only one Von Erich remains, Kevin. His four brothers all died by committing suicide or by other untimely means. This is a riveting story about a wrestling family gone terribly wrong.
The DVD, entitled Heroes of World Class will be sold on this website: www.therightpictures.com. You can sign up for email updates and read about the DVD there.
As usual, I went long again. I will be back real soon with news, views, and yes, those MySpace addresses I promised. I never knew going in that trying to sort the real wrestlers from the fakes would cause so much drama! However, I have what I believe to be a very solid list. I have several more names to investigate but I need a breather. Some of the fakes are GOOD (making it hard to verify they are fake without a lot of investigating) and it takes a bit to confirm the real wrestlers. I will post my list in a new column, hopefully this weekend. If you are a wrestler, manager, diva, or any type of wrestling personality and have a MySpace site, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the URL ASAP.
I am off!
Have a great weekend.
Bischoff's book may not be 100% honest, but it will still be a good read. Plus, both Hardcore Homecoming DVDs are well worth checking out!