– According to F4WOnline, as reported earlier, Brock Lesnar signed a 1-year contract with WWE over the weekend. Now, it appears Lesnar received one of the most lucrative contracts in company history. After seeing what a juggernaut Lesnar was in terms of PPV sales for the UFC, WWE is rumoured to have guaranteed Lesnar $5M to work a limited schedule. Lesnar is also officially a member of the Raw roster and is listed as a Raw Superstar on WWE.com. They’ve also posted an extensive collection of photos and videos from his prior stint with the company.
– According to the PWInsider, early numbers for the WrestleMania 28 buyrate are coming in and preliminary estimates are showing that this year’s event could be the most-bought PPV events in WWE history. With one year to build up the blockbuster dream match between The Rock and John Cena, WWE was looking to surpass the annual benchmark of 1 million buys and had its sights on the record-holding WrestleMania 26 buyrate of approximately 1.25 million buys. According to ESPN’s Gus Ramsey, WWE looks like they might shatter that record. Ramsey tweeted the following on Wednesday:
“… Rock and Brock each sign 1 year deals. WM28 did 1.9M buys. WWE was targeting 1.5M”
– Former WWE superstar Maven Hufffman was arrested on Monday after authorities were informed that the 2001 Tough Enough winner was “doctor shopping” and trying to obtain approximately 1,000 narcotic prescription pills. TMZ.com is reporting that WWE has reached out to Maven and offered to send him to rehab. A WWE rep told TMZ, “WWE is the only entertainment or sports organization that offers its former performers assistance with substance abuse issues.”
– Evan Bourne (fractured foot) tweeted the following update Wednesday:
“Followed-up with the surgeon today. X-rays show every bone is back in it’s proper place. Recovery won’t be fast but I’ll heal & fly again!”
– Daniel Bryan announced on Twitter that WWE is capitalizing on the popularity of his “YES!” chant and will be releasing a “YES! YES! YES!” t-shirt as soon as Monday:
“The people have spoken, and @wweshop has listened. The #YesYesYes shirt may be out as soon as monday. Will keep you guys updated.”
Despite the unbelievable popularity of the catch phrase in Miami for WrestleMania and RAW the following night, some believe that the “YES!” chant is not going to remain popular for much longer.
– According to F4WOnline, WWE is looking to run more storylines on Twitter. The Twitter rants from Epico and Rosa Mendes about being left off WrestleMania 28 were an example of this recent company initiative.
– According to F4WOnline, kn preparation of the upcoming WWE Network launch, WWE is considering reaching out to former announcers so they don’t put too much strain on current employees.
– According to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio, the Reds are only offering a 4-year contract extension to 2B Brandon Phillips. Phillips, one of the best all-around second basemen in the game, is expected to draw 5 or 6-year contracts in free agency. He’s currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series.
– Nationals’ LHP John Lannan has formally requested a trade. Lannan is unhappy about being optioned to Triple-A Syracuse for the start of the regular season. He notified the media on Wednesday night, stating that “a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term.” His $5M salary for 2012 will be a stumbling block to get him moved. He posted a 3.70 ERA in over 180 innings last season.
– Red Sox’ RHP Andrew Bailey (right thumb) underwent successful surgery Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic. The procedure was designed to reconstruct the UCL in the thumb on Bailey’s throwing hand, and a Red Sox spokesman said Wednesday evening that everything “went well.” The 27-year-old is expected to be sidelined until late-July, with some reports putting his return in September. Stay tuned.
– Mets’ LHP Jon Niese is scheduled to take a pre-signing physical Friday for his new contract extension. Niese agreed to a 5-year/$25.5195M deal earlier this week that will be made official Saturday. He gets a $250K signing bonus and a $769,500 salary this season, $3M in 2013, $5M in 2014, $7M in 2015 and $9M in 2016. The Mets also hold club options for 2017 ($10M, $500,000 buyout) and 2018 ($10.5M, $500K buyout).
– Nationals’ OF Michael Morse (lat) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday night at Double-A Harrisburg. Morse was placed on the DL retroactive to March 26. The 30-year-old should be ready to join the Nationals’ starting lineup in about a week, barring setbacks. He posted a stellar .303/.360/.550 slash line with 31 home runs and 95 RBI in 146 games last season.
– Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver has obtained audio of Saints’ DC Gregg Williams instructing his defenders to physically injure 49ers offensive players during the clubs’ 2011 playoff game. The audio was captured by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who was doing a documentary on former Saints’ S Steve Gleason in his battle back from ALS. Williams speaks of dealing 49ers’ QB Alex Smith a “remember me” shot, re-injuring PR Kyle Williams, and hitting RB Frank Gore in the head during pileups. Williams wanted WR Michael Crabtree to suffer a debilitating injury. “We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a fake-ass prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find that out, and he becomes human when you [expletive] take out that outside ACL.”
– The Ravens have signed LCB Lardarius Webb to a 6-year/$52.74M contract with a $10M signing bonus. He’ll make $18M in the deal’s first two years, and $33.5M in the first four. Per Pro Football Focus, Webb didn’t allow a single touchdown pass in 2011, and opposing quarterbacks posted a paltry 55.6 passer rating on throws into his coverage. Webb recorded eight interceptions, including three in the playoffs and had 23 pass breakups. The 27-year-old is one of the league’s best corners.
– Ravens’ FS Ed Reed indicated in a Wednesday interview with 105.7 The Fan that he wants a new contract from the team. ”I got a lot on my mind I’ve been thinking about. The truth of the matter is, it’s about respect. It’s about getting respect and it’s a business.” Reed also asked for a new contract last offseason. “And I know if I’m giving my heart to football, it’s going to take a toll on my later life,” he said. “My family has got to be taken care of. I don’t want to hear that I’m getting old. I don’t want to hear that.” Reed is due $7.2M next season.
– The Jets have begun long-term extension talks with TE Dustin Keller, who’s entering a contract year in 2012. ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini cautions that “no deal is imminent.” Keller’s 2012 base salary is $3,052,500. He led the team in receptions, receiving yards, first downs, and 20-plus yard receptions last season. Keller turns 28 in September.
– The anticipated title-bout between UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem came to a halt when the NSAC revealed “The Demolition Man” had shown an elevated level of testosterone in his blood stream and would not be licensed as things currently stand. He will need to appear before the commission and have a “B” sample cleared before being permitted to compete, a decision likely indicating his dance with Dos Santos is officially done for. Overeem was subjected to random drug testing at a recent press conference promoting UFC 146 where he is/was scheduled to scrap with Dos Santos. All other fighters who submitted samples were cleared.
While Overeem’s status is up in the air, however, at least one heavyweight contender is willing to step in to face “Cigano” on short notice – Frank Mir. Mir is already booked to battle on the May 26 card and viewed as the closest thing to a #1 challenger after Overeem.
“I would be excited if given the opportunity to compete for the UFC’s heavyweight title at UFC 146. I have been fortunate to be able to fight in the UFC for more than a decade, and it is a dream of mine to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in the UFC. Being able to fight Junior Dos Santos would put me one step closer to that dream.”
– Cavaliers’ G Kyrie Irving (shoulder) will be out at least one week. Irving played 30 minutes on Tuesday and didn’t appear to be hurt.
– Bulls’ G Derrick Rose (groin) said that he’s not yet running at his top speed. ”I’m able to run a little bit more, but not at my top speed.” Rose said he “definitely” feels better, but will still need more time to get back to 100%.
– Nuggets’ F Danilo Gallinari (thumb) has begun running and shooting, but said that he’s still in pain when trying to catch passes. Gallinari reportedly “doesn’t have a date circled for his return,” but as soon as he can tolerate the pain, the forward will play. He had been targeting Friday’s game for his return, but that is up in the air as there is no firm timetable.