– John Morrison recently spoke to Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal about the possibility of returning to WWE one day. Morrison says he left on great terms and his body simply needed a break from the hectic WWE schedule:
“The door is open to go back. I left on really good terms with everybody and what I wanted to do was take time off to heal, get refreshed and take a little vacation…”
“I was working a 250-plus day a year schedule and I wanted to be refreshed.”
He also revealed that he wasn’t enjoying himself anymore towards the end of his most recent run:
“Right before I left, I felt like I was going to work. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as when I started.”
Morrison will be wrestling his first match in the Untied States since leaving WWE back in November on Friday night at Northeast Wrestling’s Wrestlefest 16 at Poughkeepsie, New York’s Mid-Hudson Civic Center.
– WWE star John Cena appeared on The Mix 106.1 in Philadelphia, PA and talked about the possibility of WWE changing up the “spinner” championship belt:
“I’m the one that needs to be tied to the stake and burned as a witch. I’m the one who ‘disgraced the WWE Championship.
“Side note, the WWE spinning championship is not only the most requested item from anyone who wants any merchandise from WWE, and that goes all the way up to Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers people, but it’s also the most sold championship of all time.”
Cena agrees it’s time for WWE to introduce a newly redesigned WWE Championship belt – and it’s not just because the spinner belt is ugly:
“I don’t know if it will go back to the winged eagle, but being the guy who truly invented it, it needs to change. It has been the way it’s been for years now. It’s had it’s run. It doesn’t even spin anymore. It’s heavy, it’s awkward. It really is.”
“An average championship belt weighs about 12 pounds. The current WWE spinning championship weighs about 27 pounds. So we need a rehash. I’m proactively trying to do that. I only have so much stroke, guys. I can’t do everything.”
– According to the Wrestling Observer, in preparation for his match with John Cena at WrestleMania 28, The Rock has been doing his in-ring training with Curt Hawkins.
– During an appearance on Much Music in Canada this week, WWE Champion CM Punk revealed that he is also now a vegan. Because of how WWE has portrayed being a vegan as a heel characteristic, however, Punk’s latest lifestyle change is unlikely to be mentioned on television.
– TNA has reportedly been pushing for WWE to mention them at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, but it’s unlikely to happen. Ric Flair will be appearing at the Hall of Fame ceremony whether WWE mentions TNA or not.
– WWE’s upcoming No Way Out PPV on June 17 from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ will feature an “all cage matches” format, much like TNA’s annual Lockdown event. It remains to be seen whether WWE will build up feuds that are developed & mature enough to warrant a cage match. No Way Out will be facing stiff competition on pay-per-view that weekend, with the big Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen rematch rumored to be taking place the night before from Brazil in an 80,000 person stadium.
– Last week on RAW, the Undertaker made a mistake during his promo, stating that WrestleMania takes place on April 21st. Virtually nobody said anything about it backstage, but there was a feeling that anybody else without the Undertaker’s locker room clout would have gotten heat for the mistake.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE plans to call up several wrestlers from developmental in the months after WrestleMania 28. Among the top prospects at FCW who are ready for a spot on the main roster are Seth Rollins, Dean Amborse, Damien Sandow and Husky Harris. No word yet on who will be the first to debut on WWE television, but it’s worth noting that WWE plans to debut them one at a time once there is a storyline in place for each wrestler.
Another talent at Florida Championship Wrestling who is seen as having big potential is Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Vickie and the late Eddie Guerrero. While several of the women at developmental have showed up for tryouts knowing nothing about wrestling, Guerrero stands out for her great attitude, ability to take criticism and learn from mistakes as well as her ability to cut promos and alter her character when needed.
– WWE Champion CM Punk appeared at Tuesday night’s Blackhawks/Canucks game. During the 2nd intermission, Punk got to skate on to the ice and take a few shots on the open net. Punk said he played ice hockey as a kid but his skating was “atrocious.” Check it out:
– Former WWE Superstar Billy Gunn appeared on Busted Open with Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca, which airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sirius 92 and XM 207. Highlights from his interview are as follows:
WrestleReunion: “Yeah, it’s gonna be a lot of fun! I mean, there’s gonna be so much stuff going on in Miami because of not only WrestleReunion, Wrestlemania, everything else; it’s gonna be crazy. But it’s gonna be a lot of fun—I mean—once me and Brian (Road Dog Jesse James] get together, not even Wrestlemania can overshadow us!”
Tag team wrestling today: “Right now, I think tags everywhere are a little weak, especially WWE. If you know anything about that company you know they’re not high on tags anyway; it’s all about singles and who their big single run can be.”
Downfall of tag team wrestling: “It’s just something that’s baffled me, and it’s baffled everybody that I’ve talked to, and they always ask the same question: “Why are tags not all that prevalent up there?” And I can’t ever answer that, I can’t ever give a good reason. One may be because there’s no good stand-out tag-teams. Or maybe it’s guys don’t wanna be in tags anymore because everyone is so worried about themselves that they don’t wanna have to worry about somebody else. Because when you’re in a tag, you’ve gotta at least gel a little bit for it to work anyway. I don’t have a great answer for that, I just wish they would put more emphasis in the tag division.”
On state of wrestling: “I think it’s picking up a little bit. Poor John Cena (not “poor John Cena” money-wise), but poor John Cena! He’s carried that company for a long time. No matter what anybody says, no matter what people say about him or what they do, he has carried that company on his back a long time. Now, they’re kind of stirring up the pot. I know they’ve done Wrestlemania a year out with him and [The] Rock; they have to bring something with that strong of a personality to kinda kick things back in gear ‘cause it’s getting a little stale. And they started doing that with the CM Punk. Punk started talking crap about the company and everything which, in turn, stirred some question about what was going on. So people started tuning in and getting into it a little bit more. In the Attitude Era, you weren’t getting just wrestling; you were getting all kinds of crazy stuff. It was what it was called: entertainment. You were entertained from the minute that Raw started to the minute it was over to making you want to want more. That’s what the show was, that’s what Raw was all about in the Attitude Era: what’s making you want more. They would leave you hanging to make you just chomp at the bit all week to make you tune in to the next week. Now you watch the show like you’re watching an episode of “The Flinstones” or something. There’s nothing to keep your attention, or nothing to make you go Woah! Now this is what wrestling is! Y’know, we’re all parents now… they’re constantly telling their kids about the Attitude Era—The Rock, Stone Cold, DX, Mankind. There’s a whole slew of people! Now when you mention wrestling it’s John Cena. Not that that’s bad, but that’s where you get lost; there’s just nothing really interesting about the show.”
On WrestleMania: “This is the one most spectacular thing I’ve ever been involved with. Starting from right after the [Royal] Rumble, you start getting goosebumps because it is that good, it is that much fun, it is that entertaining. It’s like an event that you’ll never, ever, ever experience in your life that you don’t go to live. You can watch it on TV, but until you’re there, you have no idea how fun it is. Wrestlemania is the number one show of the year and they prove it because they hold nothing back. They let it all rip… It is phenomenal. It is probably the one greatest thing on Earth, to me anyway.”
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Randy Orton is being considered for the lead role in upcoming WWE Studios film, The Marine 3. Orton was originally supposed to star in Marine 2, but was injured at the time, so that role went to Ted DiBiase.
– The Bears have signed RB Michael Bush on a 4-year/$14M contract. The Bears also saved $1.7M in cap space by releasing Marion Barber. More importantly, though, is that the signing gives the team leverage over RB Matt Forte. Bush is a candidate for short-yardage and goal-line work.
– The Patriots have signed WR Deion Branch to a 1-year contract. Branch drew no minimal interest on the free agent market. Branch cleared 50 receiving yards just once in the Pats’ final seven games of 2011. The 33-year-old may not be guaranteed a roster spot, but works well with QB Tom Brady on numerous levels.
– Check out these recent pictures of Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski getting his party on during the offseason:
– The AP reports the Jets are now trying to trade QB Drew Stanton after acquiring QB Tim Tebow from the Broncos. Stanton just a signed a 1-year/$1.25M deal with New York. They’ll pull for a late-round pick and hope a team bites on Stanton, rather than trying to sign a veteran free agent quarterback.
– Canucks’ F Daniel Sedin (head) is flying Sedin back to Vancouver today to see a specialist and get treatment. Sedin was injured in the first period of last night’s game, when Blackhawks’ D Duncan Keith elbowed him in the head in open ice. There’s been no firm diagnosis of Sedin from the Canucks yet, and it could be a while before there is one since it’s not uncommon for it take 48 to 72 hours after being hit in the head for potential onset of symptoms. Sedin can see a neurological specialists in Vancouver but also get soft tissue (ART) and chiropractic treatment which is essential for any potential concussion to separate brain trauma symptoms from skeletal or soft tissue related symptoms. That procedure was part of Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby’s concussion treatment.
– Blues’ F Alex Steen (concussion) is encouraged by his recent progress from a concussion. ”I’m still trying to figure some stuff out, (but) this is as clear and sharp as I’ve felt all year. Basically, it comes down to me being able to take a hit, bumps in the corners. I feel like I’m there now, where I can start thinking about it.” He practiced for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, but remains out indefinitely.
– Mets’ 3B David Wright (abdominal strain) took batting practice Thursday for the first time since receiving a cortisone shot last week. ”I feel about as good as I’d feel, I guess, picking up a bat for the first time in a few weeks. Hopefully it gets better from here result-wise. But just being out there and being able to go through a full day and a full round of batting practice and not feeling anything, that’s pretty good.” Wright has also begun making full throws across the diamond, but will need a few more days of workouts before playing in a game. Manager Terry Collins said Tuesday that he hopes Wright will make his spring debut by early next week at the latest. He should be fine for Opening Day.
– Phillies’ 1B Ryan Howard (Achilles surgery) has officially been cleared to begin workouts without a walking boot. Howard arrived at Phillies’ camp Thursday without a walking boot, and has already taken some ground balls from a stool. He could return as soon as early-May, barring setbacks.
– Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson indicated Thursday that OF Michael Morse (lat) recently received a platelet rich plasma injection and is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. Morse continues to say that he feels fine, but he hasn’t been cleared for baseball activities yet.
– Rangers’ RHP Neftali Feliz (shoulder) had no issues with his long-toss session Thursday. He’s is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday and it’s possible he could make his next scheduled start on Monday.
– Royals’ RHP Joakim Soria (elbow) is still debating whether to undergo Tommy John surgery or not. Soria received a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles earlier this week, which confirmed the initial diagnosis of damage in the UCL of his throwing elbow. The 27-year-old spoke with Royals’ trainer Nick Kenney on Thursday to review his options, but surgery seems like the wisest and most logical choice.
– Twins’ RHP Scott Baker allowed one hit over two scoreless innings in a minor league game Thursday. Baker threw 16 out of 23 pitches for strikes while striking out two and walking none. He topped out at 88 mph, but was consistently the 83-86 mph range. The Twins don’t need a fifth start for the first time until April 15, meaning Baker will likely start the season on the DL.
– Phillies’ 3B Placido Polanco (sprained finger) took batting practice Thursday for the first time since spraining his left ring finger on Saturday. Most of the swelling is gone, but Polanco admitted that his finger still “hurts a little bit.” He’ll continue taking batting practice, but won’t return to game action until he has less pain gripping the bat. The 36-year-old should be ready for Opening Day.
– Rays’ OF Desmond Jennings (shoulder) likely won’t return to game action until early next week. He was scratched from Thursday’s lineup with a sore right shoulder, and will take a few days of rest. He should be fine for Opening Day.
– The Ontario Hockey Federation announced this morning that 15-year-old Connor McDavid will be granted exceptional player status, making him eligible for the OHL Priority Selection next month, a year earlier than other players born in 1997. He is only the third player in OHL history to be granted exceptional status behind Colts’ D Aaron Ekblad, who is a rookie with the Barrie Colts, and Islanders’ F John Tavares, who was drafted by the Oshawa Generals in 2005. Both were the selected first overall in their respective drafts and the same is expected from McDavid, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound forward who had 72 points in 33 games this season with the minor midget Toronto Marlboros. The Erie Otters hold the first overall pick.