– Free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson will sign a 1-day contract with the Chargers so he can retire as a member of the organization. LT2, a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, will go down as the best running back of the last decade. The five-time Pro Bowler spent nine seasons with the Chargers before wrapping up his career in a two-year stint with the Jets. He finishes with 13,684 rushing yards and 145 touchdowns on 3,174 carries, an average of 4.3 yards-per. In 2006, Tomlinson scored an NFL single-season record 28 rushing touchdowns, winning league MVP. He ran for a career-high 1,815 yards that year, giving him the first of two straight league rushing titles. LT2 also had 624 career receptions, which included a 100-catch season in 2003, becoming just one of two tailbacks to accomplish that. He ranks 5th all time in yards from scrimmage (18,456).
– The Texans have signed 1st-round pick DE Whitney Merculus a 4-year contract.
“It’s great to get it off my mind and just concentrate straight on football and everything. Just more concentrating instead of having a monkey on my back, no doubt and just getting in front of the fans.”
“I’ve grown up a lot, pretty fast, too. They shot it straight at us really fast, a hundred miles per hour and it’s a lot of information to take in. But it was our time for these three days of the mini-camp to actually grow up and graduate and basically go out here and execute what they call.”
– Bengals’ CB Adam Pacman Jones must pay $11M in damages to two Las Vegas strip club employees injured in 2007 when a lone gunman claiming he was doing Jones’ bidding opened fire outside the club. Tommy Urbanski, a club manager who was left paralyzed from the waist down, and Aaron Cudworth, a former bouncer who was wounded, stand to collect after the late Friday verdict. Urbanksi’s bones were shattered in the shooting that occurred after Jones and several other people were ejected from the club. The shooter later demanded $15,000 from Jones for “services rendered.” Jones’ lawyer, Lisa Rasmussen, said there is no evidence Jones was behind the shooting. She said Jones, who has played five years in the NFL, didn’t have the cash to cover the award because he won’t receive his first paycheque of the season until September. Rasmussen plans to appeal the verdict.
– WWE Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch is involved in a nude photograph controversy. Her boyfriend, independent wrestler Damien Darling, uploaded a photo of himself looking into a bathroom mirror Friday night on Facebook. Sytch was visible in the picture, and undressed. The photo was quickly removed from the website but is circulating online. Sytch is denying speculation that Darling posted a photo of her nude. She wrote Saturday on the website,
“To clear things up, it was not a nude pic of me… one boob and my elbow were off to the side of the frame.. I thought I was far enough out… it was completely accidental and promptly removed..my boyfriend DID NOT post a nude pic of me.”
In a separate but similar matter, Sytch exposed her breasts the prior weekend at an independent wrestling event. Accompanying Darling for his match against Harry Smith at a Family Wrestling Entertainment show in New York City on June 9, the 39-year-old donned a sheer top while braless. She also took photo-ops with fans in the outfit. It was a purposeful decision as she was seen leaving the venue in the same garment, but covered underneath.
– Kenn Doane, formerly Kenny Dykstra and Kenny from the Spirit Squad, has continued dishing dirt via Twitter regarding John Cena and Mickie James’ relationship years ago. Doane, who at one point was engaged to James, says he discovered she had been cheating on him with the Cenation leader when he oversaw her online searching rumors concerning her act of infidelity. James then confessed her unfaithfulness to Doane in a dramatic episode. Doane recalls,
“She was googling mickie james and john cena dating. I asked why, she broke down crying. Then I heard more from others. She was checking to see if it was on the net yet. I feel bad for magnus. Nice guy dating a …. well u know.”
Cena’s relationship with James resulted in Doane being transferred from Raw—where Cena and James resided—to SmackDown. The once-promising grappler languished throughout his duration on the blue brand and was ultimately dismissed in November 2008. Doane attributes James’ WWE success during her relationship with Cena to the wrestling megstar. The two remained ‘friends’ as late as May 2009, two months before Cena married his high school sweetheart, Liz Huberdeau. He also corroborated online reports that James was transferred from Raw to SmackDown in November 2009 because she was unable to cope with Cena breaking up with her, thus forcing organization officials to separate the two from each other at work. The move led to her being saddled with the unfavorable ‘Piggy James’ moniker and her contract being terminated in April 2010.
“He was messing with MJ so I got moved to Smackdown so they could further mess. I jobbed, got fired. When MJ got crazy because he wouldn’t date her, she then got fired. Weird biz huh? She got title, on TV show while with him. Serves her well though.”
“She wanted to date him, he said no, she flipped out backstage which led to her demise.”
“When they were together she got the title, TV roles. When he dumped her she became Piggy James, then fired.”
Doane also clarifies that Cena and James didn’t actually date; but rather, ‘they were hooking up.’ He also alleges that Cena lied to Huberdeau about his relationship with James:
“He denied it all to [her].”
He also feels Cena resents him for disclosing his relationship with James to management.
“I made mention of him sleeping with MJ and he probably thought I wouldn’t say anything. But I did and he is mad. I guess.”
A Twitter user asked Doane what right he has to air his former co-workers’ dirty laundry. He responds,
“What they do is their biz, but it’s also mine when it effects my career and life.”
Doane proclaimed several times to his followers that he is being honest with all of his statements as he has no reason to lie. Now that he’s settled with another career, he doesn’t care whether he’s blackballed from WWE.
“If I spoke out it would have ruined my chance of returning to WWE. Now I’m set with what I’m doing and don’t care if I get banned.”
“I’m ruining any chance of a WWE return by doing this I’m sure. But it doesn’t matter to me.”
Despite his airing of Cena’s dirty laundry, Doane says he likes him.
“I have no heat towards him. He has heat towards me. I really don’t care either way. I’m just being honest. Truthfully I do like john, but if u ask me a question im gonna answer it truthfully. Not my fault he did dumb shit. #youcanthandlethetruth!”
– Chris Kelly and The Trey Dawg were joined by former WWE Champion Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) for a special interview on this week’s Running The Ropes found over at www.facebook.com/runningtheropes.radio.. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
How the idea of his WWE return came about: “I was actually on my way to go to the gathering with the Insane Clown Posse and I got a phone call three or four days before that and they said “Hey, do you want to come to SummerSlam and stick Punk and make him lose the title to Del Rio?” I said, “Yeah sure, why not.”
Thoughts on CM Punk: “I would have liked to put the kid (CM Punk) over as I think he is a good talent and I enjoy watching him and he could definitely carry me to having a good match. I have enough left in me and I need somebody with his ability to have that stellar match.”
Thoughts on his last WWE match: “To me, me and Paul didnt have my last match (as) I think I deserve to have a last match and if I could put someone over, I would be happy to do so. I have a few movies coming up so I’m enjoying working on the Indies as I can work when I want to work.”
The difference between being on a WWE Legends contract as opposed to a TNA contract: “The money (being offered in TNA) was becoming almost global wrestling proportion. My whole thing is, you can offer me $200,000 for 10 dates but you own my brand, my name and my name is worth more than $200,000 whether I step in the ring or not.”
Stating on Twitter that the WWE Hall Of Fame means “nothing to me”: “I was just emotional as a really close friend of mine got released and then you get this people on Twitter who go on a rant taking about the WWE Hall Of Fame and it’s like, you know what, Randy Savage isn’t in the Hall Of Fame, Rick Rude isn’t in the Hall Of Fame and there is a lot of cash cows that where mentors to me that I wouldn’t comfortable being in the Hall Of Fame in front of them.”
– Rory McAllister, who appeared for WWE from 2006 to 2008 as a member of The Highlanders, was asked via Twitter about WWE ‘criminally’ disregarding Drew McIntyre. He responded,
“Drew has all the tools to be a player but has to grow a set and not be “happy to have a job.” He’s better than that!”
The WWE Superstar who Vince McMahon predicted would be a ‘future World Champion’ has languished since being drafted to the Raw brand in April 2011. He was largely confined to dark matches, WWE Superstars and putting over talent before transferring back to SmackDown late in the year, where the trend continued.
– Legendary wrestling broadcaster “Mean” Gene Okerlund joined Inside The Ropes this past Thursday and divulged that the late Randy Savage declined WWE’s multiple invitations to join their Hall of Fame. When asked why the “Macho Man” isn’t in the Hall, he responded,
“Are you telling me that the WWE hadn’t made an overture to Randy about being in the Hall of Fame? That’s BS. They asked him many times and he declined. For whatever reason, that’s what I’m still trying to figure out.”
Okerlund also gave his thoughts on Savage’s rival Ultimate Warrior.
“He did have a look, that’s about as far as it goes. He couldn’t talk, he sure as hell couldn’t work in the ring, that was very marginal. I think one of the worst matches I’ve seen in my life was between Warrior and Papa Shango. What a disaster of monumental proportions,” he said.
Okerlund also explained how WWE’s pay-per-view frequency has changed the promotion.
“I personally think we have way too many pay-per-views. I don’t think we get the chance to adequately develop the storylines with the guys and gals between pay per views. I’d like to see us down to about eight pay per views a year.”
– Jim Ross has published a new blog entry on his official website. Highlights are as follows:
Tonight’s No Way Out pay-per-view event: “For some reason, nothing specific but just a feeling, I’m guessing that WWE really shakes things up Sunday night on PPV at No Way Out. ‘People Power’ which reminds me of my Aunt Ruth’s ‘sour belches’ (both are/were organically stinky) seems to be in jeopardy with the return of Mr. McMahon but the Boss siding with John Cena on this matter is a head scratcher so who knows what is going to occur Sunday night?”
Last week’s WWE NXT tapings: “I had a great time in Orlando taping more episodes of NXT Thursday evening at Full Sail University. We started at 6:30 pm and finished at 9:30 pm. The event ran smoothly and efficiently and the fans in attendance seemed to have fun. Our next Full Sail/NXT event will be Thursday July 12. Byron Saxton handled the bulk of the play by play with William Regal doing the color commentary. Chris Russo was the ring announcer and yours truly appeared on each show helping Saxton and Regal with the main events.”
Jinder Mahal’s performance at the tapings: “It seemed that Jinder Mahal was a different talent in Orlando than I have seen him at times on WWE TV. Mahal has a marketable upside in my view and NXT might give him the platform to better develop his in ring efforts. I’d suggest keeping an eye on this highly intelligent, motivated young man.
WWE developmental wrestler Bray Wyatt: “Bray Wyatt’s TV persona is one of the most unique and compelling to come along in a good while and the young athlete, who at one time wrestled as Husky Harris, has but a great deal of time and effort into his new persona. Some may compare it to the DeNiro character in Cape Fear and even Waylon Mercy back in the day but this uniquely Bray Wyatt incarnation feels new and fresh plus the athlete behind it is big and aggressive….and has youth going for him.”
AJ: “AJ is arguably the most compelling/interesting new, WWE TV persona to come along in a a good while. She’s a provocative, girl next door, with ‘something’ not just ‘quite right’ and has her seat reserved to leave at any time on the ‘Crazy Train.’”
– According to WrestleZone, former TNA star Amazing Red is currently backstage at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey for No Way Out. The 3-time X-Division champion was reportedly seen practicing in the ring this afternoon. No word yet on whether Amazing Red has signed with WWE.
– Heath Slater joined Washington Redskins defensive end Adam Carriker and Chuck Carroll on this week’s “4th & Pain.” Slater talked a lot about facing Vader on last Monday’s RAW. Like Carroll, he was scared of Vader growing up. That big smoke-shooting helmet he’d wear to the ring was frightening. He also talked about his goals for the second half of 2012 and how he’s able to keep his name out in the WWE Universe when he’s not necessarily getting as much TV time as he’d hope for.
What it was like to face Vader: “I guess it was bittersweet, you could say. Growing up watching him I was scared to death and I had to get in the ring with him. I’ve been trained and everything and it’s like the only thing I’ve ever remember him by is destroying people, as you can see he pretty much destroyed me, but we don’t really have to talk to in on that . . . it was one of those things, he’s like 6-5, close to 400 pounds and here I am 6-3, 230 looking good, but the fact of the matter is he’s a mastodon of mayhem and I’m just the southern rock band trying to play a tune on his head and I just couldn’t get my tune right.”
Whether Vader has lost a step: “Honestly, he can still hit as hard as he could. And judging by the people’s response, they started chanting ‘You still go it.’ So, I guess the WWE Universe . . . they think he’s still has it. You never really know. He did beat me, so what can I say?”
Coming up short in the match: “Honestly, deep down inside I was giving my best, but it was just too much man for me to handle, I guess.”
Watching Vader as a child: “I was just like you as a little kid, you know, scared to death to see it. So, no, I’m glad he didn’t wear it. I probably would left the ring and ran out!
“It’s like one of those things, you were scared to death of his as a kid, and here I am in the ring looking at him coming down the ramp and the people going crazy and everything… It’s just like the goose bump feelings when you get that little knot in your throat. You’re just like, ‘Oh my God this is really happening.’ Like, I might as well just swallow my pride and give it my all.”
Predictions for his career in the second half of 2012: “I’m hoping to just stay around and get my (Intercontinental Championship) title shot against my old pro, Christian, and become a champion by the end of the year. But then again, you never know where the ball drops or falls with this company in WWE. I’m just keeping my head up and swinging the bat as many times as a I can. If the ball ever comes in my court I’m going to grab it and take off running as far and as fast as I can with it.”
Keeping his name visible “That’s what social media is for, I’m guessing. You don’t really know when and where they’re going to put you or where you’re going to be. So, you’ve got to just keep up with Twitter and Facebook to keep your name fresh out there and try to just get in when you can.”
– Lance Storm was asked on Twitter who he thinks should get a better push in WWE. He responded, “Tyson Kidd for starters.”
– Former WWE star Bam Neely turns 37 years old on Sunday. He is retired from wrestling and now works as a night club bouncer in Tampa, Florida.
– According to the PWInsider, Matt Morgan finalized his commitments with TNA Wrestling at last week’s live event tour in Texas. At Saturday’s show in Houston, Morgan grabbed a sign from a ringside fan reading “Going, Going, Gone” and held it up to the audience. Morgan expressed frustration with management during a radio station interview Thursday promoting the house show tour, saying his “beef is with the company.”
“I don’t feel like I’m getting what I’m putting into TNA,” Morgan stated on 102.5 FM The Bear. He then called himself the “ultimate head-turner in TNA” and said he’s tired of a “carrot dangling in front of my face.”
According to the report, there is interest from WWE in Morgan. He wrote the following on Twitter today: “Texas yesterday, Connecticut today, who says u can’t go home!”
– According to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Southwest, the Red Sox asked for OF Gerardo Parra from the D’Backs in exchange for 3B Kevin Youkilis during trade negotiations earlier this month. Arizona reportedly declined, likely because Parra is cost-controlled for the next few seasons. Boston may need to adjust their asking price if Youk’s struggles continue closer to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
– The Nationals have designed RHP Brad Lidge for assignment. Lidge signed a 1-year/$1M contract this past winter. The 35-year-old went 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Nats, and opponents were batting .308 against him. GM Mike Rizzo said, ”Brad wasn’t performing very well, and Mattheus was ready to come off the rehab assignment. We thought this was the right time to make the move.”
– The Braves have placed RHP Brandon Beachy (sore right elbow) on the 15-day DL. Beachy, who leads the major leagues with his 2.00 ERA, will undergo an MRI on Monday, but is already believed to require a longer-than-minimum stay. He left Saturday night’s game against Baltimore in the fourth inning. He had seven days’ rest before making the start. Beachy said Sunday he has had bone spurs in the elbow. He said he didn’t feel a pop in the elbow, so he hopes the soreness was caused by the spurs instead of a ligament issue which could lead to season-ending surgery. ”I’m hoping it’s bone spurs still. It’s time to find out for sure, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
– The Astros? have agreed to a $2.5M contract with RHP Lance McCullers, the No. 41 pick in the 2012 draft, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America. Houston’s saved money on the Carlos Correa signing went to McCullers, a Top-10 prospect who dropped down boards because of the new CBA rules and a high-asking price.
– The Astros have placed RHP Bud Norris (sprained knee) on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 12.
– The Red Sox have placed OF Ryan Sweeney (toe) on the 15-day DL. Sweeney was hitting just 3-for-19 (.158) in his last seven games.
– According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, G Lou Williams has officially opted out of the final year of his contract with the 76ers. Williams was going to make $5.4M next season, but he’ll likely be able to get more on a multi-year deal through free agency this summer. Williams has been with the Sixers for the entirety of his seven-year career, and led the team last season with 14.9 points in just 26 minutes per game. Under the new CBA Philly can offer him a 5-year contract, one more year than any other team.