– Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty said Monday that he has no plans to trade 1B Joey Votto. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported over the weekend that the Reds were prepared to listen to offers for the 2010 NL MVP, but Jocketty emphatically denied those claims Monday. “We haven’t talked about it. I wish that people would stop writing it. Why would we trade one of the best players in the game? We’re trying to win.” Votto, 28, is set to earn $9N in 2012 and $17N in 2013 before becoming a free agent.
– Tigers’ OF Magglio Ordonez (broken right ankle) is likely to require surgery. Ordonez was removed from the Tigers’ ALCS roster on Monday morning. He could officially retire if the surgery threatens his ability to play in 2012. The 37-year-old has a .309/.369/.502 career batting line, 294 home runs and 1,236 RBI in 7,742 total plate appearances.
With Ordonez out, OF Delmon Young (oblique) has been added to the ALCS roster. Young was left off initially due to an injury that he suffered in Game 5 of the ALDS, but Ordonez’s broken ankle has now opened up a roster spot.
– The Panthers have signed F Jonathan Huberdeau to a 3-year/entry-level contract. Huberdeau was taken with the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft. He has five points in two games since being sent to the QMJHL Saint John Sea Dogs. He won’t be able to be recalled unless it’s an emergency situation.
– Lightning’ D Mattias Ohlund (knees) will undergo a double scope surgery on Tuesday morning. , 35, requires scopes to both knees Tuesday morning. The 35-year-old is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, though the team will not release an official timetable.
– Colts’ owner Jim Irsay said that the odds of QB Peyton Manning (neck surgeries) returning this season are slightly under 50%. If the Colts have 8-9 losses midway through the season, there’s absolutely zero chance Manning returns for a lost season when there’s a chance of doing more damage to his neck. That said, if he was truly 100% healthy, he could see some time in order to stay sharp with some game action. Regardless, he’s unlikely to play this season.
– Texans’ OLB Mario Williams (torn pectoral) will undergo surgery this week, ending his season. It’s a big blow to the Texans’ improving defence. Williams was sometimes dominant in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme, racking up five sacks, 11 tackles and one forced fumble in five games.
– Ravens’ WR Lee Evans (ankle) was noncommittal Monday about his Week 6 status, but does say his ankle is feeling “much better” after the Ravens’ Week 5 bye. Evans was able to run routes, do sprints, and practice “more extensively” Monday than he has in awhile. “It feels better but tomorrow might be a different story. I think we’re on the right path. The goal is to play without being hampered.” In fantasy, Evans will have to show he can play a full game before being worth a WR3 start. The Ravens host the Texans in Week 6.
– Cardinals’ FS Kerry Rhodes (broken left foot) will be out a “number of weeks.” The Cards’ best defensive back in terms of coverage, Rhodes’ loss is the latest blow to a secondary that’s gotten shredded by every competent passing attack it’s faced. Arizona is on a Week 6 bye, but Rhodes can’t be expected to return in Week 7. Rashad Johnson should get the first crack at free safety.
– Browns’ DE Marcus Benard (broken arm) suffered the injury in a motorcycle accident on his way away from Monday’s practice. He’s been transferred to the Cleveland Clinic for further evaluation, but a broken arm is a season-threatening injury for the situational pass rusher. Benard was averaging only about 10 snaps per week. He did have one special teams tackle, three more on defence, and a half-sack.
– Bills’ WR Donald Jones (high ankle sprain) will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks.
– THQ reportedly approached Brock Lesnar back in January and asked for permission to use his name and likeness in WWE ’12 and the advertising campaign. According to sources, Brock loved the idea, but wouldn’t sign off unless Dana White approved. White told TMZ, “I love WWE and I have nothing but love for Vince McMahon — I’m totally OK with Brock being in the game.” The first commercial for the game will be released tomorrow.
– Former WWE and TNA Superstar “Road Dogg” BG James announced on Facebook this afternoon that he’s signed with WWE as an agent/producer. He wrote:
“Ok guys,if you dont know already,here goes;I have recently been hired,on a trial,6 week period,as an agent/producer with the WWE.Its the job Ive wanted and prayed about for a while now.He answered my prayers and now its my turn to repay Him w/my service.God bless you guys and have a great evening!”
It was recently reported that James was scouting talent in India for TNA, for a new television show that they are looking at producing.
– WWE is asking fans to help them name the first show on the upcoming WWE Network, which they’ve now dubbed “the most interactive channel in television history.” The first show on the WWE Network is described as “a retrospective on the greatest entertainment spectacular of all time, WrestleMania. Each episode will transport you back to a single WrestleMania, starting with the Show of Show’s thrilling debut at Madison Square Garden in 1985, all the way to WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. Join us as we revisit each epic event through complete matches, never-before-seen footage, and in-depth commentary from the Superstars and Legends who’ve shared WWE’s grandest stage.” The choices for the poll include:
– WWE performer Darren Young has broken his silence about his 30-day suspension from WWE following his violation of the company’s Wellness Policy last week. Young wrote the following on Twitter over the weekend:
“To the WWE Universe, I sincerely apologize to my loving family, my supportive friends back up North, my peers who I have an incredible amount of respect for top to bottom and to all my fans that support #DYoung; I hear u loud and clear #WWE.
I take full responsibility for my actions as this will never occur again.
I love the @WWE and the worst thing you can do to me is keep me off that stage where I own it in that ring!
I accept this set back as a normal part of living; making a mental a note of it as a lessoned learned! D Young”
– Former WWE superstar Chris Jericho got some media attention recently when he stated that WWE superstars have been ripping off his ideas and moves. With several WWE superstars planning to protest tonight’s “Solidarity Rally” on RAW with picket signs, Jericho is calling people out once again for being unoriginal. Jericho posted the following comment on video on Twitter on Monday:
“Why is everyone onboard with the petitioning now, but nobody was when @IAmJericho did it?
– Former WWE diva Tammy “Sunny” Sytch no-showed yet another event this past weekend, a ‘Legends of the Ring’ this past Saturday in Monroe, New Jersey. She was spotted at the hotel bar the night before, but never made it to the actual convention as advertised. This is the second week in a row that she’s no-showed events.
According to the PWInsider, she was spotted highly intoxicated at the hotel’s sports bar the night before and needed assistance returning to her room since she was unable to walk on her own. She spent Saturday and Sunday in her hotel room before returning home. Sytch wrote of her whereabouts Monday afternoon on Facebook, “sorry i havent posted…..been very sick…..”
She appeared in no condition to perform at Northeast Wrestling’s Brass City Brawl II event on September 30 in Waterbury, Connecticut and was scratched from the show as a result. According to a source, a referee drove her back to her hotel and she wouldn’t leave her room the following day. She was then escorted off the premises by law enforcement. She missed a show she booked to appear on that day in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Sytch wrote “detoxing is not fun” two days later on her Facebook account. She then revealed on Thursday that she’s depressed.
“I want to thank everyone who stood behind me and sent well wishes during this hard time. Im sorry I havent responded sooner, but depression can be a bitch….dont feel like doing much at all…”
Her recent troubles are apparently related to problems with her boyfriend of over five years, who she broke up with a week earlier. She trashed her longtime partner on September 22 on Facebook by claiming that he cheated on her. She wrote three days later, “ok, seriously dont know what to do….need a sugar daddy asap….any takers??” She announced the following day that she was in a relationship with Brad Zapenas, a 21-year-old minor league baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. The relationship, however, would be short-lived as they broke up on Sunday.
Sytch faced a similar set of problems earlier this year as she appeared intoxicated at a Florida independent wrestling show on February 25. She slurred her words during a verbal confrontation with Danny Demanto and suffered multiple wardrobe malfunctions—she purposely flashed her breasts during a match to onlookers and her top accidentally came loose when she attempted to slap a wrestler. She stated days later on Facebook that she was dealing with personal problems at home: “To everyone: let me explain why Ive been so upset lately. I have made the biggest mistake of my life, and have hurt the only person who ever cared about me and stood behind me thru my worst times. Now I have to deal with the pain b/c of my own mistake.”
The former WWE Diva appeared intoxicated at a multitude of independent wrestling events in the years prior to her comeback. Her erratic behavior intensified in the months following the April 2005 death of longtime partner Chris Candido: she officiated at least two matches while intoxicated and was escorted from a wrestling convention after causing a scene near Bret Hart. Her wily antics, however, simmered after she entered a relationship with a police official in January 2006 (who she broke up with last month) and shortly thereafter began her road to recovery, which culminated with enshrinement into WWE’s Hall of Fame last April.
– Friday’s WWE Smackdown on SyFy drew a 2.02 rating, which is up from the previous week’s 1.95. Friday’s show averaged approximately three million viewers.
– More legends have been confirmed for the upcoming WWE ’12 video game, including former WWE tag team champions Demolition, Kevin Nash, Booker T and Arn Anderson.
– TNA star Hulk Hogan returns to the ring this Sunday at Bound For Glory in a No-DQ fight against Sting, but don’t expect Hogan to get too physical. At his latest “Hulk Hogan & Friends” event over the weekend in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Hogan told fans flat out – he won’t be taking any bumps, which is likely why the No-DQ stipulation was added to the match. Hogan also told a story about how The Rock wanted to map out their entire WrestleMania 18 match in an empty building while Rocky Johnson and Pat Patterson watched. Hogan said he agreed to rehearse the match in advance out of respect to The Rock, but didn’t take any bumps then either, telling Rock that he only takes bumps if a lot of people are watching.
– Mickie James has revealed in an interview how Vince McMahon yelled at her in the aftermath of her first WrestleMania match. James debuted in WWE in 2005 and participated in a memorable angle with Trish Stratus. The storyline climaxed at WrestleMania 22 where James capture the WWE Women’s Championship from the blonde bombshell, but contained a controversial moment. Her character had developed crazed lust-like feelings for her opponent, touched Stratus’ crotch and made a provocative gesture towards the camera insinuating lesbian intimacy. McMahon was furious with James and ordered the gesture be edited out of future video releases. Speaking to Wrestlecast, James recalls:
“The only people that remember that are the people watching or who were there live and in person. It didn’t make the DVD.
“I came back through the curtain and Vince was really mad. In the moment it had seemed amazing to me. I thought ‘Vince will love this’.
“‘Crass’ was the word I got. He didn’t like it at all. He told me ‘We’re going to have to go back and edit that out. Do you know how much time (this will take)?’
“This was my first Wrestlemania, my mom was in the audience, I’m freaking out already. I’m back through the curtain and I’m already in tears and an emotional mess. And I got yelled at.”
– Former WWE star Shane Helms, who is still recovering from his life threatening motorcycle accident back on May 5th, tweeted the following on Monday regarding his severely injured foot. Helms and his girlfriend were badly injured after Helms crashed his motorcycle back on May 5th. He’s had multiple surgeries since then and still has a very long road to recovery:
“After almost losing my foot (and life) in May, I’m officially off the crutches. Still limping like a fool but it’s progress.”
– TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle spoke to New Zealand’s NZPWI.co.nz over the weekend to promote Sunday’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view.
His Opponent This Sunday, Bobby Roode: “You know what? I have had 5 star matches my whole career, and what I see in Bobby Roode is a talent that can go as far as he wants to go. I’m talking about Shawn Michaels. I’m talking about Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Triple H. Bobby has something about him that could make him a huge superstar. Now, at Bound For Glory, that doesn’t mean he’s going to win. I can guarantee the match won’t be short. And I can guarantee that it will be very competitive.”
Sting vs. Hulk Hogan and The Main Event of Bound For Glory: “Hulk Hogan’s wrestled Sting so many times already. It’ll help the pay-per-view, but fans are more interested in what’s going to happen between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode. I hope that we go on last, because it won’t be good for them if they have to follow us. Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode will be putting on a hell of a performance.”
Training for the Olympics: “Honey, listen. I’m trying out for the Olympics next year. The pressure is nothing compared to trying out for the Olympic team at 43 years of age. I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’ve gone from 245lb down to 215lb. A lot of people will say I look smaller than the referee, which is kind of degrading, but it’s funny too. I am in the best shape of my life. Thank God TNA gave me a lot of time off to train. I have been home for three weeks now, training solely for the Olympics. I’ll be at my best when the Olympic trials come around. I feel good. I’m healthy, there’s nothing that’s going to hold me back. I know there’s one guy in my weight class that I have to beat – the #1 guy – his name is Jake Varner, he’s a world silver medallist. But I’m very serious about making the Olympic team. I love professional wrestling, I love TNA, but I’ve always wanted to do something that no-one’s ever done, and to win an Olympic medal at the age of 43 is far beyond anything anyone’s done before.”
His Future & TNA Talent: “The best development is that we’ve got a lot of our own homegrown talent. The worst is that we’re not growing them fast enough, or pushing them hard enough. You’ve got Samoa Joe. He had been undefeated. I walked in and beat him on my first match. I didn’t like that. Then I had AJ Styles, and he went to main event status. Then they backed off from him. Then we’ve got Beer Money – James Storm and Robert Roode deserve to be main event status. We have Crimson and Amazing Red – we have all this talent, that’s never been touched. We need to elevate that talent. And you know who can do it? Me. And the other older talent. I’m not going to lie to you – I’m only going to be wrestling for 3 more years. Then I’m retiring. My job is to get this young talent to replace Kurt Angle.
“I’m going to be with TNA forever. I won’t be wrestling, but I will be there. I will be involved in the creative direction, training and development. And I want TNA to understand that we have a lot of homegrown talent that I think is better than the talent over in WWE. So why aren’t we using these guys, when they’re that good? The older guys – Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Kurt Angle – the list goes on. Guys in their 40’s, 50’s and 60s. It’s time to let the younger talent shine through. If we do that, then we’re a new company. We’ll get higher ratings, and we can compete with the monster, WWE.”
– Crimson appeared on Monday Night Mayhem, which airs every Monday night at 7:00 p.m. via MondayNightMayhem.com. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
What he has learned from being with TNA this past year, the early success he has received, and why he was not intimidated about being “thrown into the mix pretty quickly”: “It’s been a huge year thus far. When I was signed, I was thrown right into the mix pretty quickly, and things took off very soon. I’m always ready for anything and can adapt to anything. I’m trying to do the best I can. The fact is that I was put into a main spot, and in my opinion, I think I have been doing fairly well. I don’t like to brag as far as as the feedback goes. From the people behind the scenes, I’ve handled everything pretty well.”
Why he has a firm belief in looking to improve/better himself as his TNA career progresses and what he feels he needs to work on in order to quiet his critics: “I’m not going to sit here, and point out my flaws, and what I think I’m doing wrong, but there is always room for improvement and always a way to better yourself. It’s just taking small critics from agents, and producers, and the people that really matter, applying it and making yourself better. I see a lot of the feedback from people, and a lot of times one person’s opinion sometimes overshadows facts. The fact is I did the dark matches, I did the ‘Gut Check,’ and obviously impressed the right people, and got myself to where I am today. That’s fact.”
His reaction to the comparisons between himself and Goldberg (as a result of his recent undefeated streak in TNA) and why he wants to finally put to rest the recent rumors of heat between the two: “There’s no hostility between me and Goldberg. I don’t follow Goldberg on Twitter. I don’t pay attention to Bill Goldberg these days. People came to me calling me a ‘Poor Man’s Goldberg,’ and he was retweeting the fans’ stuff basically saying the same thing. It’s sad that some of the simple-minded people out there, because of an undefeated streak, automatically assume that I trying to be Bill Goldberg, which I’m not. The fact that I’m an intense, and maybe some of my in-ring style, and because I break out a spear every so often (which hundreds of wrestlers do), it makes me out to be Bill Goldberg. Bottom line, I’m not trying to be Bill Goldberg.”