– John Cena has filed for divorce from his high school sweetheart and wife of three years, Liz Huberdeau, reports The Miami Herald and TMZ.com. The WWE Superstar claims their marriage is “irretrevably broken.” The couple signed a prenuptial agreement that allows Cena, who possesses assets worth $18M, the ability to take back all gifts and presents. Huberdeau has already hired powerful Miami attorney Raymond Rafool, who is best known for facing Hulk Hogan in his ugly divorce battle against ex-wife Linda. Rafool allegedly took 70% of the legendary grappler’s assets and Huberdeau reportedly wants a similar take. A source close to the situation told The Miami Herald that this divorce would “dwarf the Hogan divorce in nastiness.” Rafool released a statement, claiming,
“Although it is indeed unfortunate that John Cena decided to divorce his high school sweetheart Liz Cena; particularly, after they have come so far in their lives and in his career together, Liz will and really has no choice but to pursue all of her rights and entitlements.
“Sadly, divorce is not the way Liz thought her perfect love story would end.”
Huberdeau’s attorney adds that Cena “blindsided her” with the divorce filing. They had been having issues as the WWE Superstar approached her recently with a pre-divorce financial settlement agreement that she refused to sign due to her belief the relationship would work out.
– WWE.com has added Rob Van Dam to their Alumni section. The website writes, “Rob Van Dam’s innovative maneuvers, laid back demeanor and airbrushed attire made him ECW’s most popular Superstar of all time, and he later became WWE Champion at a historic contest in New York City. Check out RVD’s career milestones, photos and videos, the latest addition to WWE.com’s Alumni section!” This continues a trend of WWE.com acknowledging former talent affiliated with TNA Wrestling as Sting was added to the section last week and a playlist of Hulk Hogan’s wildest interviews was uploaded. Furthermore, three TNA Wrestling stars who succumbed to Brock Lesnar during his rise to the top of WWE—Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle and Hogan —were shown in a series of video packages on the April 23 Raw SuperShow.
– Announced exclusively on WWE.com, WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth will defend their titles for the very first time at WWE Over the Limit on May 20, taking on Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.
– Ultimate Warrior has addressed One Warrior Nation, a rotund wrestler who parades around the independent circuit with the former WWE Champion’s gimmick. He tweeted a photo of the impostor Wednesday and ridiculed his less than Warrior-like physique, writing,
“One tiny favor, warriors. If you ever see me in this condition, kill me. Just fucking kill me. W.”
– William Regal turned 44 yesterday.
– The Blue Jays have signed DH Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league contract worth a prorated $1.3M. Guerrero will report to extended spring training in Dunedin as the team decides how to use him. The 37-year-old batted .290/.317/.416 with just 13 homers, 63 RBI and a career-low .733 OPS last season with the Orioles. He’ll likely be a part-time DH and right-handed bat off the bench.
– Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro said he will be a seller in July if his team doesn’t improve over the next few months. ”We just have to get on track. But if July comes and we’re playing like this, we’ll be sellers. How we play now will determine whether we’ll be buyers or sellers in July.” The Phillies are 14-18 and five games back in the NL East. With a $174M payroll, just shy of the $178M luxury-tax threshold, and ownership that doesn’t want to pay the tax, Amaro won’t have much wiggle room if he decides he wants to be a buyer in July.
– Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi said that OF Brett Gardner (right elbow) had a “little setback” and is being sent for another MRI. Gardner was expected to be activated Thursday after playing two minor league rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which obviously won’t be happening now.
– Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant (gastroenteritis) did not participate in Thursday morning’s shootaround. The Lakers aren’t commenting on Bryant’s status for Thursday night’s Game 6 in Denver, only saying they’ll update his status at roughly 9 p.m. ET. That said, his chances of missing the game are slim. Head coach Mike Brown believes Kobe will be a go.
– The Ducks have signed head coach Bruce Boudreau to a 2-year contract extension through the 2014-15 NHL season. Boudreau was named the eighth head coach in team history in late November and led the Ducks to a 27-23-8 record in 58 games last season, including a 24-15-6 mark in 2012 that ranked fifth in the Western Conference. Boudreau has compiled a 228-111-48 record in 387 career NHL games with Anaheim and Washington for a .651 win percentage. Since making his debut as a head coach with Washington in 2007, Boudreau is tied with Detroit’s Mike Babcock for the most standings points earned (504), while ranking second in wins (228, one behind Babcock).
“Since joining the organization last November, Bruce has done an outstanding job with the team. He’s committed to us and determined to lead us back to the playoffs,” GM Bob Murray said.
“I’m really happy about this. I’m convinced we have a great core of players and a bright future, and I’m excited to be part of it,” Boudeau said.
– According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Flyers’ F Jaromir Jagr may test free agency as a UFA on July 1. Jagr was non-committal about his future with the team following their elimination at the hands of the Devils. He has plenty left in the tank, scoring 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games.
– Flyers’ D Chris Pronger (concussion) is still suffering from concussion symptoms, but GM Paul Holmgren hopes he will be able to play next season. Pronger hasn’t played since November 19 because of post-concussion syndrome, and progress in his recovery has been minimal. Out of respect for Pronger, Holmgren said they won’t take away his captaincy, despite the general belief being that F Claude Giroux will be taking it over very soon.
– Devils’ head coach Peter DeBoer expects to have D Marek Zidlicky and D Anton Volchenkov in the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. Both were injured in Game 5 against the Flyers, and neither skated on Thursday at practice. Zidlicky left the game and didn’t return; he’s listed as day-to-day, while Volchenkov returned to the game before the end of the first period.
– The Wild have signed D Clayton Stoner to a 2-year/$2.1M contract worth $1M and $1.1M. The 27-year-old impending UFA played in just 51 games after he played in 57 the year before. He recorded one goal, five points, 72 hits, 80 blocks, 62 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating last season.
– The Blues have been purchased by an all-local group led by Tom Stillman, previously a minority owner of the club. The new ownership group includes several prominent business and civic leaders.
“We are honored and humbled to take ownership of the St. Louis Blues. Our new ownership group is 100 percent local, and we are 100% committed to the Blues and to St. Louis. We see the Blues as an important civic institution, and we know what the Blue Note means to this city and to the best fans in the NHL,” said Stillman.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Tom and his group, who are so devoted to the Blues and to the community. Success on the ice, an outstanding home arena, tremendous fan support and Tom’s passionate commitment all point toward an extremely positive future for the franchise.”
– Bucs’ DE Da’Quan Bowers (torn Achilles tendon) will undergo surgery Friday to repair the injury suffered during the offseason program on Thursday. Bowers started slowly last season while recovering from a microfracture procedure on his knee, and now leaves the team desperately thin at defensive end. It’s his second serious lower leg injury in as many seasons.
– The Broncos have signed CB Drayton Florence to a 2-year/$4.5M contract. The 31-year-old had also drawn interest from the Titans and Chargers.
– Browns’ DT Phil Taylor (left pectoral) is undergoing an MRI for a possible tear. Taylor’s agent confirmed the original report from Fox 8 Cleveland’s John Telich. Last year’s first-round pick, Taylor suffered the injury while lifting weights in Berea on Thursday. If the MRI comes back positive, Taylor could be lost for the 2012 season.
– Raiders’ WR Darrius Heyward-Bey was charged with DUI Thursday following an arrest last month on the Bay Bridge. The arrest occurred at 2 a.m. on April 7 when he was spotted speeding and weaving in his lane. Although he was “very cooperative” with officers, he failed a field sobriety test at the scene. The Raiders leading receiver last season, DHB does not have a history of legal troubles. He’s not likely to be suspended, but he will be eligible for the NFL’s substance abuse program.