– On Monday’s TNA iMPACT!, James Storm threw a fireball into the face of his TNA Lockdown opponent, Jeff Hardy. The two will wrestle in the opening match on the PPV and will be on opposite sides later in the night during the Team Hogan vs. Team Flair Lethal Lockdown match. TNA heavily edited the segment that aired on Monday’s iMPACT! but the uncut footage is now online. Hardy’s girlfriend Beth Brit wrote on Twitter that Jeff was burnt during the spot,j which singed near his eyes, forehead and lips. She added that she hopes Jeff is “never asked to do something like that again.” Here’s the footage:
– Brian Knobs appeared on the Monday Night Mayhem radio show this week and spoke at length about the Nasty Boys’ recent run in TNA, the recent altercation between Ric Flair and Orlando Jordan’s male companion, whether the Nasty Boys have spoken to WWE and more.
The truth behind The Nasty Boys reportedly being released from TNA Wrestling: “Right now, no one has contacted me or Saggs. No one from TNA. I have talked to Hogan, and he has not verified whether we are not. Supposedly, we are still with TNA. Nobody hasn’t told us anything yet. There’s a lot of stuff going on there as you see. They went to Monday nights, they’re trying to get ratings up, they’re throwing a lot of stuff together right now, and right now we are in ‘the limbo factor.’ Nobody has told us that we are there or not there yet. I’m not gonna speculate like everyone else is on the Internet, and I’m not gonna throw wild stories out there like ‘Brian Knobbs acted crazy to one of the executives at Spike, took his pants down, & ran naked across the pool at The Hard Rock.’ C’mon, we know better than that.”
The truth behind the alleged incident at The Hard Rock Cafe: “Let me put this into perspective. Something did happen two or three weeks ago, but I was there with Orlando Jordan’s significant other & Ric Flair. Now you don’t think that if I went crazy & we haven’t been there in over a month, even if it was in February or January, somebody would have said or put on the internet because they are a bunch of fans in front of everyone? There are no private parties like they put on the internet. There was nothing like that. Every time we were through with a match, we went out for a couple of beers, and we were professional as hell. We were at the Hard Rock Cafe, and we were with everybody. So you don’t think if we were acting like people are saying, it would have been on the internet the next day. Not when you hear The Nasty Boys are not there now, and this might have happened; that’s all speculation, and it’s a bunch of BS.”
Knobbs’ relationship with Hogan, Eric Bischoff, & Dixie Carter when The Nasty Boys came into TNA & if it changed throughout their run with the company: “Let’s face it. Me & Hulk are good buds, and we are always going to be good buds, but Hulk brought us in. Hulk asked me & Saggs, we did not ask to come to TNA. Hulk asked us to come help him out, and that’s what we were doing. We were coming to help him out. We never went against Team 3-D, and it was like a legendary match-up made in heaven, since they’re crazy, and we’re crazy. So we loved it, and said, ‘Sure we’ll come help.’ Now Dixie Carter has always been nice to us, always a real sweetheart. She’s out there doing a lot of things, and she always talked to us real nice. Eric Bischoff on the other hand…you never know. It’s 50-50 with him. He’s now running a lot of stuff again, so who knows…Between Hulk & Dixie Carter, there is no ill will, and I wouldn’t think there would be no ill will between us & Eric, but you never know.”
Was there any heat from the TNA locker room towards either Knobbs or Saggs: “Truthfully if there was, they never really showed it to me & Saggs. Everybody was great to us, and everybody showed us a lot of respect, and we do have a lot of friends down there too. Sting’s a very good friend from many years, and Kurt Angle’s a good friend. We had wars with Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) in WCW, so we have a lot of buddies down there also, so when came in, we fit right in. We never got into with anybody. We joked around…had fun. There was no ribs pulled or nothing like that. The old Nasty Boys didn’t come out…that’s for sure. As mind-bogging as it is to you guys, it’s pretty mind-boggling to us.”
Whether The Nasty Boys were contacted by the WWE prior to going to TNA or have been since their reported release: “We got contacted back in January. They called me and left a message to call them back, and they wanted to see what our status was in TNA. It was short & sweet, and they left a number, but I never did call it. I told Hogan they called us, and he said we should check it out, but I said right now, we’re down here, and our loyalty is our loyalty.”
– Ben Goessling of MASN reports that the Nationals plan to select 17-year-old C Bryce Harper in this year’s first-year player draft. There has been some speculation that the Nats would look elsewhere, since a handful of scouts are down on Harper. But Goessling hears that the Nationals see the youngster as being “head and shoulders” above the rest of the upcoming draft’s talent pool. Harper is batting .422/.516/.891 with 15 homers and 42 RBI through 39 games at the College of Southern Nevada.
– MLB.com reports that OF Jermaine Dye turned down a contract offer from the Nationals. The 2005 World Series MVP was offered a $1M deal. The Brewers are also rumoured to be interested in the 36-year-old.
– According to Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press, Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos said he hopes to make an announcement in the next day or two. Anthopoulos wouldn’t specify what the announcement is about, but it’s easy to assume it will be about 21-year-old Cuban SS Adeiny Hechevarria. Hechavarria’s visa was approved just last week, so a physical was expected to be the final hurdle in the way of finalizing a reported four-year/$10M contract with the Blue Jays. Stay tuned.
– UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar spoke to ESPN this week and had some interesting things to say about his brush with death earlier this year, how UFC President Dana White compares to WWE boss Vince McMahon and whether he’d ever return to the wrestling promotion that put his name on the map.
His Medical Illness: “I’ve put myself in this category as this confrontational person who creates controversy, but for people to grasp what was happening and to be like, “Holy s—, I might never be able to see this guy fight again!” That saddened them more than anything probably. I’m sure some of them said, ‘I hope that son of a b—- dies.’ I don’t know. I’m sure there are people out there like that, but that’s just the way it is… My hands [are my biggest weakness right now]. I’m constantly working on my hands, I’m constantly working on my ground game, and constantly trying not to get satisfied with where I’m at with my career and where I’m at as an athlete. I’m somewhat happy, but never satisfied…”
Dana White vs. Vince McMahon: “If I had to say one thing about Vince [McMahon] it would be ruthless. If I had to say something about Dana [White] it would be diligent and somewhat brilliant. Two different approaches to business.”
Guest Hosting WWE RAW:“I had a great run with WWE. WWE gave me great visibility, I met my wife there, and I got paid a lot of money, it was just my time to go. I sensed it. I was smart enough to leave. That’s the bottom line… I wouldn’t be opposed to [a one night only return to the WWE]. I’m still focused on my fighting right now, but if the opportunity arose some day, I’d never say never.”
– SmackDown will be moving to SyFy beginning October 1. It will remain on Friday nights. NXT is moving off SyFy once that happens, but it isn’t known where.
It’s a major expense as Syfy will reportedly pay $30M per year for the program, an increase from $20M. The report stated that MyNetwork was paying. That figure doesn’t sound correct since CW was paying $700,000 per episode which would have been $36.4M per year and a difference of that much money would have been evident on the annual reports. It will continue to air on Friday nights, meaning Syfy will be making the same mistake MyNetwork has with what will be the most popular show on its network. The move will cost Smackdown greatly in viewers. Syfy is in 13 million less homes than MyNetwork, which right off the top will mean a viewership drop of about 12%.”
While there was talk that the series was “cancelled,” WWE is reportedly not ready to pull the plug yet and is currently seeking a new home for the show. According to sources, WWE has had preliminary discussions with the Bravo cable network, which is also part of the NBC Universal family (along with USA Network & SyFy.) There’s also the possibility of airing the show on WWE.com.
– Appearing on Mike and Mike in the Morning Tuesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen predicted that Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended by the NFL despite avoiding charges that he sexually assaulted a girl in March. Mort made it clear that this isn’t a report, but predicted that Big Ben will, at the least, be subject to regular drug testing after allegedly supplying the 20-year-old student with enough shots to get her “highly intoxicated” before taking her into a bathroom. If Roethlisberger is suspended, Mort predicted a similar situation to Broncos’ WR Brandon Marshall’s last year, with the ban being reduced from two games to one after the player meets certain behavior standards. Roethlisberger is meeting with the commish on Tuesday.
– The Browns and Jaguars have removed WR Dez Bryant from their draft board due to character concerns.
– Sources have confirmed that 76ers coach Eddie Jordan will soon be fired. The Sixers finish a dismal season with their worst home record (12-29) since 1996-97. Team president Ed Stefanski’s job could also be in jeopardy as Philadelphia looks to get the franchise back on track.
– Blazers’ F Brandon Roy (bruised knee, torn meniscus) says the team is “pretty confident” that he won’t risk further damage if he does return for the playoffs. He will rest and ice his knee until Friday or Saturday, when he’ll work out and decide whether he can manage the pain. Roy will need surgery eventually – it’s the same procedure he had on his left knee two years ago, and he said there is a four-to-six week recovery.
– FanHouse reports that Grizzlies’ F Zach Randolph wants to sign a contract extension with the team. “I like it here. I told the owner I want to be here. If they’re going to let me be open and be a free agent or they’re going to extend me or lock me in, I’d rather take a lock in.” Randolph is supposedly looking for something similar to the contract Lakers’ F Pau Gasol got at three-years/$57M.
– Kings’ G Tyreke Evans joined Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, and LeBron James as the only rookies to average 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game on Monday. He scored 24 points on 8-of-23 shooting to go with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals, and missed 10 shots in row before securing the record in front of the home crowd at the foul line. He is the favourite to win the Rookie of the Year award.
– Wizards’ G Gilbert Arenas is now spending his nights at a Montgomery County halfway house, where he is serving his sentence for bringing guns into the team’s locker room. Arenas started his sentence Friday with two days in the county jail. Arthur Wallenstein, head of corrections in Montgomery County, says Arenas was transferred Sunday to the county’s work-release facility. Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge in January, and has been suspended until the end of the season by the NBA. Montgomery County is letting him serve his sentence there, as part of an agreement with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In addition to the 30 days, Arenas was sentenced to a $5K fine and 400 hours of community service that can’t be performed at basketball clinics.
– Thrashers’ F Slava Kozlov blamed the coaching staff for Atlanta’s inability to make the playoffs. Kozlov was forced him to spend most of the second half of the season in the press box. Kozlov will be an UFA this summer and he’s almost certain to sign elsewhere.
“To me, this was the best team in 11 years of the organization. This franchise had the best players. Right now, they can not blame [Ilya] Kovalchuk or [Slava] Kozlov. They have to take responsibility, because I think ownership did everything right, signed good players, they have a good goalie, good defense — but something is missing. I think we are missing from the coaching staff. Looks like they have fun, but unfortunately in the NHL you have to work. You have to prepare for every game.”