– After the Undertaker suffered a broken orbital bone during his match with Rey Mysterio on the May 28 edition of WWE SmackDown, WWE ran a storyline on last week’s show to explain the Dead Man’s absence from television.
Teddy Long opened the show to announce The Undertaker was found by Kane in a vegetative state over the weekend. Druids come out signing and walking with a casket to the ring. Kane came out and said The Undertaker is gone from WWE. He vows to find out who did this to his brother and says he will hunt them down and make them pay. Later in the show, Rey Mysterio won a battle royal to earn the Undertaker’s vacated spot in the World Heavyweight title match at Fatal 4 Way later this month.
The Undertaker is expected to be out for several months due to this injury. The latest talk is that SummerSlam is an optimistic return date for the Undertaker’s return, but other plans will be made in case he needs more time off.
– UFC light heavyweight star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his “A-Team” co-stars will be guest hosting next Monday’s night’s 3-hour episode of WWE RAW from Miami. According to f4wonlien.com, WWE is really hoping that they can get Rampage in the ring and do something physical.
UFC President Dana White recently commented how he had a good relationship with Vince McMahon and had no problem with Quinton appearing on RAW but if he were to do something physical, they would have to talk to him (UFC) first.
Since the show is to also feature SmackDown stars, it will be interesting to see if The Undertaker is there. Taker blew Jackson off years ago when Jackson tried to meet him. Quinton never forgot about the incident and it kind of soured him on the wrestling business.
Rampage was a huge wrestling fan growing up and an interesting fact not many people are aware of – the chain he wears around his neck to the cage are a tribute to his favorite wrestler as a child, the late Junkyard Dog
– According to the PWTorch, The WWE Studios movie that will feature actor Ed Harris and WWE star Randy Orton has changed names again, according to NOLA.com. The film had working titles of Big Red and Big Ginger, but is now called That’s What I Am.
– The Rams have acquired WR Isaac Bruce from the 49ers in advance of Bruce announcing his retirement on Wednesday. The 16-year veteran holds every major Rams receiving record, ranks 5th in league history in receptions (1,024), and is 2nd in all-time receiving yards (15,208). He is 9th all-time in receiving touchdowns (91). Bruce will likely get into Canton, though maybe not on the first try. While his statistics can’t be disputed, Bruce may be viewed by some voters as something of a product of the Rams’ system. He never made an All-Pro team, and it’s hard to say he was every truly dominant.
– The Chargers have signed RFA WR Malcom Floyd to a one-year/$3.168M contract. Floyd, 29, failed to top four catches from Weeks 8-16. He did, however, finish 4th in the league in YPC average, and exploded for 140 yards on nine grabs in Week 17 with WR Vincent Jackson out. V-Jax may be facing a suspension to open 2010, so Floyd’s performance in last year’s finale may be a sign of things to come early in 2010.
– Updating a previous item, the Cavs have discussed offering a huge contract to coach Tom Izzo, expected to be a five-yer/$30M deal. While the offer isn’t official, it’s being reported by trustworthy beat writer Brian Windhorst and is said to include perks such as the use of a private jet. Izzo is currently making about $2.6M per year with Michigan State, but a huge payday might not be enough to budge him — he wants another NCAA championship and is leery of committing to the Cavs without knowing where LeBron James will end up.
– Avery Johnson is the clear-cut favourite to become the next head coach of the Nets. The NY Daily News reports that Johnson “has been the favorite from day one.” With Rod Thorn entrenched in the front office, the odds of a power struggle (which derailed his candidacy with the Hornets and Hawks) seem low.
– Jeff Hardy’s next court date will be on Tuesday, July 6. Hardy’s trial was set to begin this past week and apparently the District Attorney has dropped some of the charges against him – since the North Carolina courts website now says he is only being charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Opium. The situation seems to be looking better for Hardy.
– Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel said that he doesn’t expect SS Jimmy Rollins (calf) back from the DL before next Thursday. He hasn’t even resumed running, but will head to back to the club’s spring training facility in Clearwater on Thursday. Rollins wouldn’t offer a timetable for his return, but said, “It better not be a month.” Either way, he said he wants to undergo an MRI 3-4 days before he returns, just to be on the safe side.
– The Brewers have released RHP Jeff Suppan. Suppan was inked to a four-year/$42M contract back in December of 2006. That deal looks absolutely ridiculous now, considering the state of the economy, but mostly because of the way the right-hander has pitched. In 110 games with Milwaukee, Suppan was 29-36 with a 5.08 ERA. He had a 7.84 ERA and had allowed 50 hits in 31 innings (two starts) this season.
Marc Valeri – firstname.lastname@example.org
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