I hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend! Or, for those who don't observe, any weekend is a reason to have fun.
But I'm here for ya! I stayed in and caught up on the news so you could be better informed so let's get to it.
ORLANDO JORDAN FIRED
WWE abruptly fired Orlando Jordan on Friday afternoon (5/26). According to PWInsider, "The word going around at the taping was that Jordan had extremely upset WWE officials, including Vince McMahon, for having an unauthorized person on the road with him and backstage at events."
Jordan was slated to start a bisexual love triangle storyline involving former TNA star Trinity and his real life friend Eric but that was pushed back. His name had been bandied about in relation to the revival of the ECW brand as late as just a few days ago. Apparently this was not a planned firing and happened quite unexpectedly.
The WWE website acknowledged Jordan's release and wished him well in the future.
BENOIT OUT OF ACTION
WWE's Chris Benoit will be out of action for a while due to wear and tear on his shoulder and pain he has been experiencing for quite some time. There was a storyline injury angle on Smackdown with Mark Henry "injuring" Benoit to give a reason for his absence but he wasn't really injured in that match. He has been in pain for months and finally decided to take some time off to deal with it. Benoit is slated to wrestle on the ECW One Night Stand 2 pay per view on June 11 but that is now up in the air. There is no timeframe for Benoit's return but many sources are estimating that he will be out of action at least two to three months. I certainly wish Chris well and hope he rests and relaxes and comes back at 100%.
Rey Mysterio was slated to take time off to heal a number of accumulated injuries but, with the Smackdown roster so depleted, it looks like he will delay his break for a while. JBL will also be out of action for a while due to his storyline firing. Kurt Angle returned sooner than was expected because of the loss of Smackdown stars. Batista and Randy Orton are desperately needed back ASAP to help save Smackdown from slipping even further in the ratings. Last week they garnered their second lowest rating ever!
SHAWN MICHAELS IN NEED OF SURGERY
WWE's Shawn Michaels needs knee surgery. He has been working in pain for a long time and finally underwent testing to determine the extent of his knee damage. The diagnosis was that only surgery could repair the problem. WWE thought ahead and did an injury angle for Michaels during a match with the Spirit Squad on Raw to explain any absence or a knee brace that Michaels may need to wear. As we all know, the slow reformation of Degeneration X (DX) is building up and Michaels missing a length of time from TV could totally blow the build up. There has been no set date for the surgery and no timeframe set for rehabbing the knee after. It is my suspicion that Michaels will delay surgery until after the DX reformation slated for the Vengeance pay per view on June 25.
I will know more about the status of Shawn Michaels shortly. Obviously, next week's Raw will address his injury as it pertains to the storyline and will let us know if Shawn is going to tough it out for a while or have surgery immediately. Again, I wish Shawn a very speedy and full recovery.
AT LAST! A NEW RAW GM TO BE NAMED
Watch Raw on Monday, May 29 to find out who Vince McMahon chooses as new Raw General Manager. After enduring way too much Vince McMahon on TV, a General Manager is finally going to be named. Some names people have been talking about are Shane McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, and even Eric Bischoff. For the record, although Eric was unceremoniously tossed out of WWE, he remains very connected to them and they are publishing his upcoming book. He was at the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony and has been working on other projects unrelated to wrestling since his "firing". But that doesn't mean he isn't in the running for GM. The timing would be perfect considering the large role he played in last year's ECW One Night Stand pay per view drawing off his real life heat with ECW and Paul Heyman. Bischoff could be a good addition to the show as the anti ECW spokesman. Then again, anyone from WWE would make a good ECW detractor if they can cut a decent promo. Who knows, maybe Mick Foley will get the spot which would elevate his anti ECW storyline going into his match with Edge against Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer at the ECW pay per view.
The Coach is another possibility as he is no longer announcing and Vince loves him as a character. JBL, who was storyline fire from Smackdown after losing a stipulation match to Rey Mysterio, is probably not in the running as he is having back problems and will be out of wrestling action for two to three months. He could, conceivably have an on air GM role and let his back heal but there would have to be very strong explanation as to why he was named GM. Then again, we still don't know why Jim Ross was rehired after being storyline beat up and fired by the McMahons.
Some fans are speculating that Stephanie McMahon will snag the GM spot but she is due to have her baby ether in either late June or early July and I am fairly certain she has other things on her mind at the moment so don't expect her to replace Vince at this time.
MNM SPLIT, MELINA AND NITRO "FIRED"
Arguably one of the best-gimmicked tag teams in a long time, MNM, has split up. There were many reasons for this but the main reason was that Mercury apparently needed time off to deal with unspecified personal problems. Adding to that are rumors of Melina and Batista having some sort of relationship - while she is dating Johnny Nitro and he (Batista) is married. Smackdown's Teddy Long fired Melina and Nitro but don't worry, they are still very much a part of WWE. They will show up on Raw soon. Mercury should be already gone to deal with whatever issues are plaguing him. One more time, I wish Mercury luck in whatever he is dealing with and hope he returns soon. I also hope MNM reunite at that time because they are a heck of a good tag team and WWE needs more teams like them on the roster.
Added May 28: This comes from several sources: "Joey Mercury, according to the Wrestling Observer this week, is being sent to drug rehab, and that's why MNM was broken up."
STACY KEIBLER SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Any speculation that WWE's Stacy Keibler will return to WWE has been laid to rest by Stacy herself. In an interview with "The Loose Cannons" on AM 570 in Los Angeles, Stacy said about a WWE return, "They (WWE) hadn't written anything for me before 'Stars'...so why should I think they'll do it now? I don't see myself going back. Financially...we have to pay for most of our stuff....so it's a really tough existence. It's time for a new chapter in my life."
It looks like Stacy has moved on and isn't sad about it at all. I wish her luck in her future endeavors as well as good health after that scare with the seizure she recently had.
ECW AND DX MEDIA TO BE RELEASED
WWE.com is advertising a "Rise and Fall of ECW" book as well as a new DX DVD, both scheduled to be released on June 6. The ECW book is written by Thom Loverro, who has written books on a number of different sports in the past and should be a very interesting read especially for those not too familiar with ECW and how it all came about.
The DX DVD listing on WWE.com states that eight complete matches will be included on the DVD including:
*Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind from RAW 8/11/97
*Triple H vs. Bret "Hit Man" Hart from RAW 10/6/97
*Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind & Undertaker from RAW 8/18/97
I am going long so I will end this here. My next column will have more info on the ECW vs. WWE TV special coming up, more on ECW's future, and TNA news.
Until then, talk about everything on the forum where we are having many discussions about pertinent - and not so pertinent- wrestling topics. Come on over and join in!
Let us all remember DX...