– According to the PWInsider, when WWE announced its second quarter financial results last week, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon announced that The Rock will be appearing at “multiple” pay-per-view events aside from WrestleMania 28. The Rock announced last month that he’ll be appearing at the 25th anniversary of Survivor Series in November to confront John Cena, who he will wrestle at WrestleMania 28. Aside from those events – WWE is planning for The Rock to appear at next year’s Royal Rumble and SummerSlam events, as long as his movie schedule allows it. WWE was very pleased with The Rock’s impact on WrestleMania 27 drawing over $28M for the company and are hoping to book him on as many big shows as possible over the next year.
– WWE is looking give “Stone Cold” Steve Austin a big role at next year’s WrestleMania – although it still remains unlikely that he will wrestle a match.
– According to the PWInsider, as the head of WWE’s revamped talent development program, Triple H has a lot of influence over which talents are signed and featured on WWE television. It’s been reported that Triple H is serious about introducing new talents through ‘coming soon’ vignettes, as we saw with the first two people signed under Triple H – Sin Cara and Kharma.
Now -Triple H is said to have his sights set on a new objective – rebuilding WWE’s tag team division. WWE is looking to recruit tag teams from other promotions, including Ring of Honor’s Kings of Wrestling & Brisco Brothers as well as TNA tag team Beer Money, when they become free agents. Regarding the recent WWE tryouts for the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli), the latest word is that the KoW will be introduced as a tag team, not singles wrestlers.
– Following the WWE releases of Melina, Vladimir Kozlov and DH Smith last week, the talent is expected to get paid until November and will have no-compete clauses.
– The WWE Championship unification match between CM Punk and John Cena is expected to get a lot of time at Sunday’s SummerSlam pay-per-view. With less than a week to go, only four matches have been announced – leading many to see SummerSlam as a “one-match show.”
– Following a several year hiatus, “The Informer” is once again featured in WWE Magazine. Though the monthly column largely consisted of made-up stories, it would at times correctly predict future storylines. The feature is now branded as “WWE gossip” and appears to be a mashup of kayfabe and legitimate backstage tales. Highlights from the October 2011 edition are as follows:
“Would a certain A-list Hollywood celeb please stop calling our offices in hopes of landing a Raw guest-star slot? You had your chance already, pal!”
“I hear a top-level, WWE Hall of Fame-bound Superstar suggested that Natalya use the double sharpshooter at 2010?s WWE TLC.”
“During a recent photo shoot, a Superstar demanded that the makeup artist stop touching up the Divas and focus her attention on him!”
“A source tells us that The Rock isn’t the only Attitude Era Superstar planning to step in the ring in 2012. Hint: There’s an “E” in his name.”
– WWE.com’s bio on referee Mike Chioda made mention of deceased wrestler Chris Benoit, who is considered persona non grata within the organization. He recalled November 29, 2004, when he and a fellow official declared contrary decisions in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship; Chioda saw Benoit pinned for the three-count while Edge tapped out simultaneously. The Benoit mention has since been removed. Meanwhile, WWE.com’s bio on referee Jack Doan says Benoit’s match with Kurt Angle at WrestleMania X-Seven is one of his most memorable moments.
– Edge stated in a new interview promoting his four-episode guest-spot on the Syfy series Haven that he would be appearing at SummerSlam. The former World Heavyweight Champion is scheduled to appear at Summerslam Axxess this weekend, but did not specify whether he would be appearing on the pay-per-view broadcast. Edge told TVDoneWright.com:
“I basically started shooting Haven directly from Extreme Rules when Christian won the title. So it basically took up the entire summer. I have an appearance at Summerslam and after that it’s some serious outdoor time. Kayaking, mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding, dog hiking, and whatever else I can find before winter hits.”
When asked if he intends to return to WWE, even in a non-wrestling capacity, he replied,
“I’m sure I’ll make appearances from time to time like (Shawn Michaels) does. I’m not interested in commentating, but maybe at some point something behind the scenes if it didn’t involve the crazy travel. My days of over 200 days a year on the road are over.”
The Rated-R Superstar also says has some WWE appearances scheduled in Paris, France to promote a movie he shot last year for WWE Films, Bending the Rules (to be released in January 2012). He adds,
“Beyond that I think it’s time to find out what retirement is really like and catch the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam on their current tours.”
– Mike Pavone, Executive Vice President of WWE Studios, has been removed from his job. His exit from WWE Studios comes just a week after it was announced that its “That’s What I Am” movie was a losing proposition – to the tune of $3.3M.
– Despite previous reports, Mark Caranno has not been moved from WWE talent development to working directly under Triple H.
– The Wrstling Press recently interviewed the only man to ever hold championship gold in both WWE & the UFC–Brock Lesnar. The highlights:
Being A WWE Wrestler: “These guys, they just don’t have another life. When they go home, they really can’t get out of tune with their on-stage persona. There’s really no time. I think the biggest thing is there’s really no downtime for the human body to recover, and more importantly, for their mind to recover where you’re constantly on the road, and in a program where you can’t get outside to take an outside look at what’s going on — guys resort to all kinds of extracurricular activities.”
How His Time In WWE Helped Him In The MMA World: “I’m not stupid — without the WWE, the WWE made me a household name and increased my value tenfold before I even pursued the UFC. Could I be where I am today without the WWE? Probably not. Could I be drawing the same numbers that I’m drawing? Probably not. I brought a lot of fans over, a lot of crossover fans that I brought, just from the general public and WWE fans, I believe.”
– The Patriots have signed LG Logan Mankins, 29, to a 6-year contract. A three-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro (2010), Mankins has never missed a start due to injury in his career and is arguably the best interior offensive lineman in football. The Pats will again field one of the NFL’s top front fives this season.
– The Eagles have signed WR Steve Smith to a 1-year/$4M contract with $2M guaranteed. Smith was expected to re-sign with the Giants, but team doctors believed his surgically repaired knee was too iffy to make the gamble on. The Eagles’ doctors, however, believe Smith could return by midseason. He’ll probably open the season on the PUP list.
– The Saints have shut down WR Marques Colston (right knee) because he developed “irritation and swelling” in his surgically repaired right knee. According to the Times-Picayune, he’s been sidelined “considerably longer” than than both Colston and Saints coach Sean Payton expected. “It’s getting better. We’re just trying to be patient.” Colston missed his sixth straight day of practice Wednesday and looks doubtful for the preseason opener.
– Last month Steve Austin made headlines when he said WWE should sign TNA star Samoa Joe when his contract expires later this year. Austin tweeted: “WWE should sign @SamoaJoe as soon as his TNA contract is up. One of my favorite workers in today’s game. Needs a full green light.” Now, it appears that Stone Cold might get his wish – according to sources, Samoa Joe has been talking seriously about jumping to WWE as soon as he can.
– Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke has posed nude for animal activist company PETA, and the “sophisticated” campaign will be unveiled in Miami on Saturday – Hulk’s birthday. A rep of Hogan’s says:
“The photos at the exhibit are very sophisticated and classy and just give the illusion of nude or the perception of nude, but of course, to get these shots, the shoot itself is fully nude.”n
– The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that TNA wants both Matt and Jeff Hardy to first enter rehab, but both have refused.
– The Marlins have placed SS Hanley Ramirez (sprained left shoulder) on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 3. He’ll be eligible to return on August 18.
– Rays’ RHP Alex Cobb (ribcage) is set to undergo season-ending surgery. Cobb has some “blockage” near the first rib on the right side of his body. He’s fully expected to be ready for the start of spring training next February. The talented 23-year-old posted a 3.42 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 52 2/3 innings this season.
– Orioles’ RHP Jake Arrieta (right elbow) will undergo surgery Friday to remove a bone spur and will miss 2-3 months. Arrieta could have been given multiple cortisone shots for the rest of the season and came back to pitch, but he’s dealt with the issue for a while and has decided to have the operation. He’ll be allowed to have a regular offseason regimen with the hopes of being 100% for training camp.
– Dodgers’ SS Dee Gordon (right shoulder) will be placed on the DL. Gordon had an MRI Wednesday that revealed only a bruise, but the club is playing it safe. Manager Don Mattingly said, “He’ll go on the disabled list just as a precaution, just to make sure it totally goes away. He’ll be back to baseball activities in a few days. We kind of thought he’d be a week, but we wanted to make sure he’ll be fine when he comes back.” Gordon is batting just .234/.248/.270 with 12 steals through 30 games.
– Pacers’ F Danny Granger criticized the owners for not knowing how much David Stern got paid on Wednesday, calling him “probably the most powerful guy of all the professional sports.” ”I feel like he’s playing with fire a little bit. He’s taken such a hard stance on things. I read that he finally said he’d take a salary cut. Nobody knows how much he makes, though. That’s the craziest thing I’ve heard. We’ve got 30 owners putting their faith in him to get the deal done and nobody knows how much he’s getting paid.”