– WWE proudly announced Monday that WrestleMania 28 set new records for Pay-Per-View buys and gross sales. According to WWE.com, preliminary estimates show that WrestleMania garnered 1.3 million PPV buys, with global gross sales in excess of $67M. The event was seen around the world on Pay-Per-View in more than 105 countries and 20 languages. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who competed in the “Once in a Lifetime” Match against John Cena, touted the event’s success via Twitter. He wrote,
“BREAKING NEWS: Wrestlemania 28 sets all time PPV buys & one day global gross record. #TeamBringItWorldwide THANK YOU!”
WWE will report a preliminary PPV buyrate figure next month. The final number will be reported during WWE’s second quarter 2012 earnings later this year.
– Last week on RAW, General Manager John Laurinaitis revealed that he is responsible for Brock Lesnar’s WWE return. During an interview with the WWE website, here’s what Laurinaitis said about Lesnar bringing “legitimacy” back to WWE:
“Brock has achieved incredible success on every level. He’s the only athlete to ever win the WWE Championship, the UFC Heavyweight Championship and an NCAA Division I Heavyweight Championship. Quite frankly, I couldn’t imagine a better man than Brock more suited to be the face of WWE. No offense to John Cena, who’s an outstanding athlete in his own right, but he’s no Brock Lesnar.”
Courtesy of Laurinaitis, the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match at Extreme Rules has been changed to a no-disqualification, no count-out “Extreme Rules” Match, WWE.com has confirmed.
– Scott Hall’s ex-wife Diana Hall said that she wasn’t surprised by his arrest on charges of choking his girlfriend. During an interview with the Charleston Post & Courier, Dana Hall says that she believes the charges and that the girlfriend’s attorney’s claim of a “peaceful and amicable” relationship is a lie.
“This relationship is not peaceful and amicable, but sick, unhealthy, disturbing, disgusting, unstable, violent and enabling, just to name a few.”
“I completely believe he did this to her, as he has tried to do it to me in the past and to others. It’s deplorable… It is a sick/codependent/abusive relationship of major proportions that needs to be seriously addressed, not schmoozed over so that the sickness can continue.”
Scott Hall denies the charges.
– The feud between WrestleMania 28 celebrity guest Flo Rida and WWE wrestler Heath Slater continued on Twitter over the weekend. The WWE website has also picked up on Flo Rida’s recent video challenge to Heath Slater and the back and forth tweets between them. According to the PWInsider, there is no word yet on whether Flo Rida plans to actually step in the ring, but it appears they’re building towards something.
– During an interview with Steven Muehlhausen of The Fight Club Chicago, boxing analyst Percy Crawford said he spoke to Paul Heyman about Brock Lesnar working with famed boxing trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr. before Lesnar fought Shane Carwin in July 2010. Crawford says Lesnar rejected the offer.
“I actually offered … his close friend Paul Heyman to hook him [Lesnar] up with Floyd Mayweather, Sr. [and] Heyman said, ‘You know, that’s not a bad idea. Let me talk to Brock and get back with ya’. And then it was like, ‘uh, Brock’s kinda comfortable in Minnesota. We’re gonna go with what we have’.”
– Updating a previous item, Vickie Guerrero broke kayfabe when she got a cake in the face for her 44th birthday during a Raw live event. Here’s the video:
– WWE Hall of Famer Edge appeared at the Wizard World Comic Con event in Toronto over the weekend and took part in a Q&A Session. Of note, Edge said:
- He is healthy enough to have one more match but WWE won’t allow him; for which he was grateful for.
- His favorite moment in the new Edge DVD is the extra on the Blu-Ray of him playing with his dogs
- He is content with his life and said that he didn’t want to be a guy in his 50s with a pony tail and still wrestling.
– WWE conducted an angle at SmackDown live events last week where ring announcer Lilian Garcia nearly came to blows with Natalya during a heated confrontation. Fed up with the third generation wrestler’s shabby treatment of her, Garcia aggressively shoved Natalya’s jacket back at the SmackDown Diva following her losses to AJ. Garcia addressed the matter on Twitter Sunday, writing, “She bettr watch out 4 this Latina Heat!!” Natalya responded, “Latina heat? Maybe try showing The Queen of Harts a little respect… Thank you!” She also vowed to make Garcia tap out to the Sharpshooter.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with another blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Extreme Rules: “Getting tons of folks asking for predictions for the upcoming Lesnar vs. Cena bout at Extreme Rules in Chicago on PPV. The only thing that I know for sure is that the live audience in Chicago will be restaurant quality. Is Cena ‘due’ after losing to Rock at WM28 or will Lesnar lose his first WWE bout in years? It makes for some compelling, episodic TV, in my opinion, but one has to consider Lesnar’s likely ‘ring rust’ when analyzing this main event and making educated guesses.
“Cena vs. Lesnar is what a main event should be, too close to easily call a winner.”
The Rock’s Desire To Become WWE Champion Again: “Rock says he wants to be WWE Champion again. Time will tell if he can pull that one off but if that were to occur it would likely be following some intriguing, episodic TV leading into the big match. I think that it’s going to be a compelling year regarding the WWE Title.”
Whether The Undertaker Has Retired Or Not: “I might be naive and I know that I’m out of the loop, which, BTW, isn’t a gripe, but IF Undertaker was going to retire, don’t you think that WWE would make a HUGE deal of it? Can you think of another wrestler’s retirement that would be as impactful as the Undertaker’s at this point in time? So….I am still of the mindset that Undertaker will return to the ring at the appropriate time.”
– SmackDown newcomer Damien Sandow is overseas with WWE this week and is headed to London for Tuesday’sSmackDown from the O2 Arena. It’s possible he will make his TV debut this week, or he could just work a pre-show dark match.
– Former WWE superstar MVP changed his mind over the weekend regarding a potential return to WWE. While he was open to a comeback before, when asked by a fan on Twitter if he’ll ever return to WWE, he responded, “Never again.”
– Senators’ F Daniel Alfredsson (concussion) is listed as a game-time decision after passing his baseline tests and skated on Monday morning.
– John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants have signed LHP Madison Bumgarner to a 5-year?$35M contract extension with options for 2018 and 2019. The guaranteed value of the deal will be bumped to $40M if Bumgarner qualifies for Super Two status. The deal covers all of Bumgarner’s years of arbitration eligibility and his first year of free agency. The 22-year-old posted a strong 3.21 ERA and 191/46 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings last season. It should be a great deal as long as Bumgarner continues to develop. This is the largest sum of money ever committed to a player with one-plus year of service time.
– According to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times, Angels’ SS Erick Aybar “is believed to be looking for at least 5-years/$50M” from the team. GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters this weekend that he believes progress is being made toward a long-term agreement. The 28-year-old hit 10 homers and stole 30 bases last year, but has a mediocre .275/.318/.378 career batting line. Aybar is slated to hit the free agent market five days after the 2012 World Series.
– Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Houston’s FOX 26 that there’s “nothing to” reports of RHP Brett Myers being shopped. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted Saturday that the Astros had already made Myers available via trade. The 32-year-old is still very likely to be moved by the deadline–the rebuilding Astros can use Myers are starter depth or as a closer to get some prospects in return.
– Red Sox’ 3B Kevin Youkilis’ agent told the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman that he’s upset by manager Bobby Valentine’s quotes that seemed to question the effort of his client. ”I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” Valentine told WHDH on Sunday. The agent, Joe Bick, responded as such on Monday morning: “I will not dignify his quotes by responding to something so far off base on so many different levels. I have all the faith in the world in Kevin Youkilis. I’m not the least bit worried about Kevin.”
– Rangers’ 1B Mitch Moreland (mouth) will undergo oral surgery Monday to correct an abscessed front tooth. With the Rangers off Monday, Moreland is expected to be in Tuesday’s lineup against the Red Sox. Manager Ron Washington said, “He still had another rough night. We’ve got to get that taken care of.” Moreland is batting .150/.227/.300 with one homer and two RBI in six games this year.
– Following his match with Jeff Hardy at Sunday’s Lockdown PPV, Kurt Angle (knee) wrote on Twitter that he’ll be taking some time off to deal with his injured knee, but “not too long.” He also followed up on his recent announcement that he won’t be competing at the 2012 Olympic Games, stating that he’s at peace with the decision. Angle said he loves his fans and his job now is to entertain us.
– After his team lost at TNA Lockdown, Eric Bischoff has been written out of the TNA storylines after and will no longer be allowed to use the Bischoff name on television. According to the PWInsider, the plan going forward is that Eric Bischoff will be off TV, although he will still be working backstage as a top executive for the company.
– Grizzlies’ F Marc Gasol’s (knee) MRI revealed only a bone bruise and his now listed as day-to-day. Gasol didn’t sustain any ligament damage when he banged knees with F Xavier Henry on Sunday, but with just six games left in the season, he probably won’t be rushed back.