– As seen on Monday’s RAW, Brock Lesnar was written off television with his WWE contract status “up in the air” following the attack on Triple H. Lesnar reportedly had a meltdown backstage after his loss to John Cena at Extreme Rules. Lesnar was said to be absolutely furious about John Cena’s post-match promo, because the original plan was for John Cena to get stretchered out and look “totally incapacitated” to sell the beating he took from Lesnar during the match. Lesnar felt that he was made to look weak and WWE officials double crossed him. Lesnar allegedly went nuts backstage in front of everyone, tearing things up and throwing a tantrum. Lesnar specifically yelled at Marc Carano, the assistant to John Laurinaitis, about how things are a mess and “everything is wrong” in WWE. Some felt that part of the tantrum was just an act by Lesnar to show to the locker room that he has more power than WWE and can walk away any time he wants.
During his backstage rampage, Lesnar also suggested that Cena intentionally pulled down the top rope at Extreme Rules, causing him to nearly blow out his knee in the bad spot towards the end of the match where they both tumbled out to the floor. Despite what Lesnar said about Cena pulling down the rope, Lesnar and Cena are believed to be on good terms and this could have also been Lesnar being overly dramatic and worked up.
F4WOnline.com is now reporting that Lesnar’s tantrum was partially a ‘work’ on the locker room as a way to convince people that Cena going over was the right decision. Lesnar was indeed upset about the finish, but “some, if not most” of the situation was not entirely legitimate. WWE tried to have word leak out on Monday that Lesnar had quit the company, likely to get the “dirt sheets” reporting it so people would be surprised when Lesnar showed up on RAW. By the time that this was going on, however, it was already out there that Lesnar was at the arena and going to be at RAW.
WWE’s new mentality with Lesnar, according to F4WOnline, is that he’s getting paid a ton of money to work a limited schedule, so he should be used to put over their top talents. People in Lesnar’s camp were under the impression that WWE might have been testing Lesnar by changing plans without telling him and having Cena deliver the post-match speech to the live crowd. Lesnar’s relationship with WWE remains complicated. WWE is going to have their hands full over the next year booking Lesnar due to his contract, which only requires limited appearances.
Following Lesnar’s attack on Triple H, it appears WWE is building towards a match between the two at SummerSlam. After that, Lesnar will almost certainly work the remaining “big” pay-per-views (Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) leading up to WrestleMania 29, which is will be his final match with the company.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, there is currently major heat on Rey Mysterio for his latest Wellness Policy violation. People are in disbelief that Mysterio is getting paid big money to sit at home while recovering from his latest injury, yet he reportedly came up positive for a narcotic drug. Some people think that Kevin Nash’s recent tweet about a friend being released from WWE was referencing Rey Mysterio, but at this time, there has been no official announcement about him being released. He is currently serving a 60-day suspension and will be cleared to return to the ring at the end of May.
– It was announced early this week that Chris Jericho’s heavy metal band FOZZY will be performing on the upcoming Rockstar Uproar Tour, which takes place from August 15 through September 30. One of the tour dates is August 19, the night of SummerSlam. During a recent red carpet interview at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, Jericho revealed that he’ll be taking a break from WWE soon to tour with Fozzy this summer. While WWE’s live events page still lists Chris Jericho on the SummerSlam preview page, it remains to be seen if he will appear on the card. Jericho is not currently advertised for any shows (with the exception of SummerSlam) from August until the RAW Supershow on October 1 from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. He is also advertised for the WWE overseas tour which starts in late October. That said, there’s a good chance that Chris Jericho will be written off WWE television prior to August 15 and eventually return to WWE full time this fall.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, a major error occurred on Monday’s RAW. Chris Jericho was supposed to defeat Big Show by count out in the Beat the Clock Challenge match, but the referee did not properly do the count. Jericho was going to win by 1 second, however, the plan all along was for Daniel Bryan to win the series and challenge CM Punk for the WWE Title.
– Today marks exactly one year since Michelle McCool last appeared for WWE. At Extreme Rules, the multi-time champion lost to Layla in a No Count-Out No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE Match and was subsequently attacked by a debuting Kharma. McCool addressed her absence from WWE Tuesday on Twitter, as well as former LayCool mate Layla capturing the Divas Championship on Sunday at Extreme Rules.
“Wow, y’all have ever so nicely reminded me that’s it’s been exactly 1 year since I left WWE….time flies when you’re having fun! And though I didn’t see it, congrats to @mslayel ! Maybe I’ll watch now that my tv will be flawless again! #laycoolforeverflawless.”
– Updating a previous item, Jim Neidhart had a hearing on April 12 and was sent to jail, where he has remained since then. Neidhart will soon be heading to the Salvation Army in Tampa, FL for a substance abuse in-house rehab program.
– Monday’s RAW Supershow drew a 3.3 rating with 4,880,000 viewers. The show did hours of 3.41 and 3.27, so hour two lost viewership once again.
– Ticketmaster.com is currently holding a pre-sale for WWE’s Money in the Bank PPV event, which takes place July 15 at the US Airways Centerin Phoenix, Arizona. The password is WWEMONEY.
– I think the “Lesnar goes nuts backstage” stories are not as real as you think they might be. I don’t know anything about it. I just don’t think it’s as big a deal as some may say. Lesnar is likely going to miss the next two or three PPVs before coming back for Summerslam. His deal is for like 30 dates over the course of one year. He’s making $5 million plus bonuses. They’re not going to waste him on the May, June & July PPVs. When Mania tickets go on sale in November that’s when he’ll be there on a weekly basis. As an aside, Lesnar is a huge money draw for UFC and WWE. Also very good for websites in terms of page views!
– Yahoo’s Puck Daddy announced that HBO and the NHL have decided to bring back NHL’s 24/7. An announcement has yet to officially be made but one is forthcoming.
After two seasons that changed the way fans see the National Hockey League and its players, NHL COO John Collins confirmed that there will be a Season 3 for “HBO 24/7: Road To The NHL Winter Classic” featuring the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“We’re bringing it back,” Collins told Puck Daddy exclusively on Tuesday, although he said a formal announcement is forthcoming.
There was no guarantee “24/7? would come back for a third season, after a change at the top at HBO Sports. The Associated Press speculated in January that HBO could “decide to keep the show, and possibly expand it from its four-week run, or move in a different direction.”
– Blackhawks’ D Sami Lepisto tweeted and attached this gruesome picture:
This is why I shouldn’t be blocking slap shots!!
– Capitals’ prospect F Evgeny Kuznetsov has decided to continue playing in Russia’s KHL, signing a 2-year contract with Chelyabinsk. He told R-Sport,
“It was a tough decision, I talked to my parents and decided to stay in Chelyabinsk for two more years.”
Kuznetsov, who was drafted 26th overall by the Capitals in 2010, had 41 points in 42 games for Chelyabinsk Traktor last season and the Capitals were hoping he would join the team next season. The 19-year-old has his sights set on playing for Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and feels that playing with Chelyabinsk will increase his chances of making the team.
“First of all, I really want to make the Olympic team badly. We have a strong team, I’ll get some experience and will play.”
– Former Avalanche’ GM Francois Giguere told La Presse on Tuesday that he’s out of the running for the job.
“The Canadiens said I’m no longer in the race. They told me very recently, but I don’t want to say any more to do any harm to the team’s process.”
Giguere told La Presse that he had two conversations with the Canadiens, who have been in search of a replacement for Pierre Gauthier since March 29.
“I had a first phone interview with Geoff Molson and another discussion with another member of the organization. As a Quebec resident, I am certainly disappointed, but the Canadiens have several candidates who are qualified. For a Quebec resident, having the opportunity to get this post – that would have been very special.”
Giguere worked three seasons as GM of the Colorado Avalanche before parting ways with the club in 2009.
– Canadiens’ D P.K. Subban (knee) will not join Team Canada at the World Hockey Championship after he suffered a minor knee injury in Canada’s pre-tournament game against Switzerland on Sunday. Subban will be sidelined for approximately 2 weeks. Habs’ assistant GM Larry Carriere said that Subban will return to Montreal where he will be re-evaluated by the team doctors.
“For All Fans asking about injury, it was minor and will heal in 1-2 weeks #nobiggie”
– Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich has been named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for the 2011-12 season. Despite having one of the oldest rosters in the league, Pop guided the Spurs to a 50-16 record and the West’s No. 1 seed. He also won the award in 2002-03, when the Spurs went on to win their second of four NBA titles. Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau was second in the voting, and Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel of the Pacers came in third.
“If you can draft David Robinson and follow that up with Tim Duncan, that’s a couple of decades of very, very possible success unless you just screw it up. So it’s hard to take credit when circumstances have gone your way so consistently.”
– Knicks’ F Amare Stoudemire (hand) has undergone surgery and will not play for the remainder of their opening series with the Heat. New York is already missing G Baron Davis (back), G Iman Shumpert (knee) and G Jeremy Lin (knee).
“We all have done thing out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This (too) shall pass.”
– Celtics’ G Ray Allen (ankle) is considered out indefinitely. Head coach Doc Rivers said that while Ray felt “great” on Monday, he could “barely walk” on Tuesday. Allen could miss the remainder of the playoffs.
– Yahoo!’s Marc Spears is reporting that Knicks’ F Tyson Chandler will be named the Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday. Chandler averaged 11.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.4 blocks this season. The Knicks went from tied for 27th in the NBA in opponent points per game last season to 11th in their first season with Chandler at centre. They trimmed 11 points off the 105.7 they yielded in 2010-11.
– Nets’ GM Bill King expressed optimism when asked about the chances of re-signing G Deron Williams. Speaking at a year-end wrapup five days after the Nets missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year, King sounded confident that he would be able to re-sign Williams after the 27-year-old opts out of the final year of his contract.
“I feel pretty good. I haven’t wavered all year in my thought process with this. I think he and I understand what I’ve got to do and where we’ve got to get to. The goal is to win. The goal is to not be talking to you this early in the year in the spring. If we can come back with our core and add to that, I think we have a great shot to be playing post-season basketball next year.”
“Obviously, Deron and Gerald Wallace are key pieces that we would like back in the fold. (And) Brook Lopez. They are major, big-time free agents, and you add Humphries in there as a starting four. So, you look at those guys and I didn’t do it in any order. I’m just trying to think as you go through the 11 in my head. But those four, I think, are core pieces that you’ve got to look to build with going forward.”
“We have cap space. We have the potential to create more cap space, so the flexibility is there, and I think the greatest thing we have is a brand-new building that’s gonna be the best in the NBA. We’re in Brooklyn, so all of these things, it’s different than the last two summers in the off-season, because now you’re not talking, ‘hey, here’s the pictures of the Barclays Center. Come look at it.”‘
– Scott Skiles will return to coach the Milwaukee Bucks next season. Skiles told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that he would be back as the team’s coach. His agent, Keith Glass, confirmed the decision in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. Glass said Skiles would not necessarily receive an extension before next season. Skiles has a year left on his contract, which was extended in 2010. Skiles is 146-166 in four seasons with the Bucks. He led Milwaukee to a 46-win season and made the playoffs in 2009-2010, where the Bucks lost to the Atlanta Hawks. They have missed the post-season two straight seasons since then.
- Scottie Pippen says the Chicago Bulls still are the team to beat even without the injured G Derrick Rose (torn ACL/MCL). In an open letter to the team posted Tuesday on the Bulls’ website, Pippen writes, “You’re still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise.” The Hall of Famer also compares the loss of Rose to Michael Jordan’s first retirement and points out the 1993-94 team won 55 games. Pippen says the Bulls “believed in ourselves” and never “felt sorry for ourselves.”
– Rockets’ G Kyle Lowry (sports hernia) has undergone surgery and will miss 6-8 weeks. Lowry missed 19 games this season, mostly because of a bacterial infection. He sat out Houston’s final two games with the sports hernia. Lowry averaged 14 points and 6.6 assists in 47 games for the Rockets this season.
– Nuggets’ F Wilson Chandler (torn left labrum) has undergone surgery but is expected to be ready by the start of training camp next season. He played for Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout and rejoined the Nuggets in March, signing a 5-year/$37M deal. The 24-year-old averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in eight games, including six starts.
– Rays’ 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) will miss 6-8 weeks. Longoria suffered the injury Monday while running the bases. Longo was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games played.
– Nationals’ 3B Ryan Zimmerman (sore right shoulder) is hoping to return to the lineup on Sunday night. Zimmerman has been sidelined since April 21. He played catch Tuesday and should begin swinging a bat soon. “As long as I take groundballs and throw and stay in shape, hitting takes only two days.”
– The sale of the Dodgers to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC officially closed Tuesday. Frank McCourt is officially out, as the “Magic Era” gets underway. The sale was originally expected to close on Monday night, but it was pushed back to Tuesday while the two sides worked out last-minute details. The Guggenheim group, which includes Mark Walter as the control person and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten as the CEO, agreed to purchase the team in late March for the record price of $2B.
– An MRI on Twins’ 1B Justin Morneau (left wrist) revealed only inflammation and fluid buildup. He’ll fly back to Anaheim Wednesday to rejoin the Twins. He’s not expected to rejoin the lineup until Friday. Morneau is batting .230/.313/.459 with four homers so far this season.
– The Rays have transferred RHP Kyle Farnsworth (elbow strain) from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Farnsworth is still making his way back from an early-April elbow strain. He’s hoping to being throwing soon, but the won’t be eligible to return until June 5.
– Braves’ OF Jason Heyward (right oblique) is hoping to return Thursday. Heyward originally set Wednesday as a return, but was still feeling considerable soreness when he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday. The 22-year-old has a .783 OPS, two homers, nine RBI and eight stolen bases in 22 games this season.
– The Giants have placed LHP Jeremy Affeldt (sprained right knee) on the 15-day DL. It’s his second stint on the DL in less than 8 months. Affeldt sprained his right knee Saturday night when he reached out to catch his 4-year-old son, Walker, as the 60-pound boy jumped off the couch to hug his arriving father. He said he heard a pop but didn’t think there was anything seriously wrong. Then he woke up at 4 a.m. Sunday with throbbing pain and headed to the ballpark a few hours later after icing the knee with a package of frozen vegetables. An MRI exam revealed the sprain for Affeldt, who last Sept. 8 sliced his non-throwing hand nearly to the artery while separating frozen hamburgers.
“There was some light swelling but there wasn’t a lot, so I knew it probably wasn’t a huge deal or a major tear. But it was enough pain that I didn’t think I could get off the mound if I had to.”
– Rays prospect SS Tim Beckham has been suspended 50 games for a positive drug test. The second suspension is for a ”drug of abuse” violation, not performance-enhancing one. The former 1st-round draft pick was batting just .204/.290/.278 in 13 games for the Triple-A Durham Bulls.
– The Phillies have placed RHP David Herndon (elbow inflammation) on the 15-day DL. Herndon is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA in five games.
– The KC Star reports that the Chiefs hosted free agent TE Dallas Clark on Tuesday. It’s Clark’s first known visit since his March 9 release from the Colts. Both NFL.com’s Albert Breer and Yahoo’s Jason Cole report that Clark is “done” after getting exposed as a blocker and struggling with drops last season.
– Chargers’ WR Robert Meachem (knee) revealed Tuesday that he underwent arthroscopic surgery after the 2011 season. It’s the same knee that was surgically repaired five years ago, before Meachem’s rookie season. Meachem “banged” the knee in the 2011 season finale, and it “flared up” in both Saints playoff games. Meachem does not expect to be limited in OTAs, minicamp, or training camp. “I’m still young, so it doesn’t concern me. I’m 27. I feel great. Just taking it day by day.”
– The Texans have released WR/KR Jacoby Jones. The Texans shopped Jones during draft weekend, but predictably found no takers for his $3M salary. Jones’ mistake-filled game in the Texans’ playoff loss at Baltimore is the consensus reason why he’s being let go.
– The Raiders have signed QB Matt Leinart. New OC Gregg Knapp worked with Leinart as Texans’ QBs coach the past two years. Leinart will automatically become the backup, while QB Terrelle Pryor will spend another season in the No. 3 developmental role.
– The Jets have signed K Josh Brown.
– The Bills will work out free agent QB Vince Young on Wednesday. Young would be the favorite to beat out QB Tyler Thigpen for the top backup job should he be signed.
– Lions’ GM Martin Mayhew expects RB Jahvid Best (concussions) to be cleared for football activities “sometime in June.” Best has already taken part in the offseason workout program, and is expected to be a full participant in June’s minicamp and for the start of training camp in late July. The Lions opted not to select any backs in the draft.
– Giants’ GM Jerry Reese insists that RB Ahmad Bradshaw will be the “lead dog” at halfback despite the 1st-round pick used on RB David Wilson. Bradshaw still figures to open the season as a 15-18 touch-per-game back, while Wilson will require more development before being able to overtake the roll. “We’ve got [Bradshaw] and he’s going to be the lead dog for us, but we wanted to get another running back at some point. [Wilson] was the top player on our board.”
– ESPN NFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky believes 1st-round pick RB Doug Martin as the Buccaneers’ Week 1 starter at tailback. Current RB Mark Blount would become a complementary player, mixing in on early downs.
– Quebec Remparts’ F Mikhail Grigorenko (mononucleosis) will miss the next 4-6 weeks. The team said in a statement:
“As of the end of the season, Grigorenko informed our medical team that he felt tired. He was immediately given several medical tests which concluded with this result.”
Grigorenko, one of the top propsects eligible for this June’s NHL Draft, scored 40 goals and 85 points in 59 games with the Remparts this season. In 11 playoff games, Grigorenko scored seven goals and 10 points.
– Niagara IceDogs’ D Dougie Hamilton has been named the Ontario Hockey League’s defenceman of the year Tuesday. Hamilton led all OHL defencemen in scoring with 72 points in just 50 games and tied for third in the league with a plus-minus rating of plus-37. He scored 17 goals and finished tied for third overall in the league with 55 assists, which included a league-high 30 assists recorded on the power play.
“This year has been a ton of fun and it is a huge honour to win this award. I spent the last couple of years watching the best defencemen in the league and then trying to get myself to that point and it is exciting to be here now and receive this award.
“A lot of past winners have gone on to NHL careers and hopefully I can follow suit.”
The 18-year-old was taken 9th overall by the Bruins at the 2011 NHL draft and earned a bronze for Canada at the 2012 world junior hockey championship. Scott Harrington of the London Knights was second in voting for the award, followed by Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67′s.