– WWE Champion CM Punk was at the Philadelphia Comic Con event over the weekend and participated in a Q&A session. CM Punk was asked about the possibility of WWE retiring the “spinner” belt and introducing a new WWE Championship belt. Punk confirmed that not only are there plans to replace the spinner belt–one that already exists:
“I email people that you people don’t know exist and I bother them constantly about this damn thing. There is a new title. I’ve seen it. I’ll probably get in trouble for saying it, but I don’t think it’s any better than the current one.”
“It’s better than [the spinner belt]. They literally just made it. It’s about 20 pounds heavier than this one. I keep preaching that I want to be the guy – if I’m not the guy who doesn’t produce a new title, then I’ll be a liar, and I don’t want to be a liar. It’s out there, and it’s coming soon. Probably a lot sooner than the ice cream bars.
Punk also discussed the current state of WWE’s roster, Eddie Guerrero, Steve Austin wrestling again, The Rock’s return to WWE and more. Here’s the video:
– TMZ.com’s recent report about a $100,000 lien against John Cena’s home has led some readers to speculate whether Cena is having financial difficulties. According to the report, the situation is a result of Cena (or whoever was put in charge to pay the contracts who are renovating his Florida home) simply not paying the bills on time. He had a similar issue last year, when a roofing company filed a $15,000 lien on the home, claiming they were not paid for work performed. Cena makes millions of dollars a year from WWE and is most likely very wealthy. It’s been widely reported that the renovation of their Florida home was the final straw that pushed their marriage to the brink.
– Mark Henry, who is currently recovering from recent shoulder surgery, says he’s the healthiest he’s been in 5 years. Henry tweeted over the weekend:
“I’m the healthiest I’ve been in 5 years. U haters go to hell to the fans I’m healing great the Hall of Pain! LIVES!!”
– Former WWE creative writer Seth Mates, who WWE Champion CM Punk follows on Twitter, weighed in on the perception that Triple H uses political maneuvering to “bury” top-level talent—degrading a wrestler’s standing to fans and peers. He was asked on Twitter, “Why does Triple H always bury the guy whose on fire?”
“Positioning. And not always, just the vast majority of the time.”
“If ratings dip, guess whhho’s back next week to save the day? Loves to be the “savior”. #positioning.”
During an interview earlier this year with Pro Wrestling Torch Livecast, Mates reacted to the negative sentiment within some WWE circles that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was “stealing someone else’s spot.” He feels the resentment actually stems from jealousy that Johnson found success outside of the walls of WWE, with Triple H being the driving force behind the negativity.
“I know that a lot of the stuff that [John] Cena has said about Rock and his feelings towards Rock sound like something that would be coming directly from, you know Mr. Helmsley and his view.”
“I always sensed some insecurities as related to Rock and to [Steve] Austin and how, again, in my mind and perception, he never was at that level. And so he wanted to position himself as, well, I’m as good, if not better. Which I don’t know that he has done that.”
– Suspended WWE superstar Chris Jericho was in Atlanta over the weekend prepping for Fozzy’s upcoming performances in the UK. Fozzy will play the at Download Festival this weekend, Saturday, June 9th. Jericho said Fozzy will debut their new song at the Download Festival and tweeted this picture of them rehearsing in Atlanta:
– According to F4WOnline, WWE’s 1,000th RAW will feature cameo appearances from many former WWE superstars. WWE has reportedly reached out to 20-30 legends to appear on the 3-hour July 23rd episode, which will kick off the new 3-hour interactive era of RAW.
– The official website of the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri is advertising the reunion of D-Generation X—Shawn Michaels and Triple H—for “One Night Only” at the historic 1,000th episode of Raw taking place July 23. Michaels, however, says he is unaware of a D-X reunion. When asked on Twitter about the reunion, he replied, “That’s what they tell me:-)” He was then asked if the reunion would include Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, replying, “I have no idea!! The whole DX thing is news to me. I was asked to show up:-) … Just telling u what I know. I was asked to show up, that’s it:-)”
– WWE.com has a new article up looking at Christian recently capturing the Intercontinental title, and how far he’ll go to stay champion. The article speculates that Christian, who has wrestled as a heel for a good portion of his WWE career, might resort to heel tactics:
“Considering a history of jealousy and other nefarious traits, what might Captain Charisma do to stay on top after injuries and setbacks kept him from it for so long?”
For now, the WWE Universe can merely trust that this Christian really is for the Peeps. And, if the signature smile proves to be a signal of another con job during his current title run, all we can do is simply grin and bear it.”
– With Dolph Ziggler apparently breaking off on his own and returning to singles action, WWE once again had Mason Ryan work as Ziggler’s bodyguard at last night’s Birmingham, Alabama live event. Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder in what was described by many as the best match on the show. Ziggler cut a promo before the match stating that he has dropped what was holding him back (presumably Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger) and is now associating himself with greatness (Mason Ryan).
– Former WWE superstar Sid Vicious noted on Twitter over the weekend that he’s received a “big offer” to make an upcoming appearance. With WWE recently contacting dozens of legends to appear at the 1,000th episode of RAW on July 23rd, this could be what he’s referring to.
– Matt Striker replaced Lilian Garcia as announcer at weekend live events because Garcia was dealing with a family situation in South Carolina. She tweeted the following great news:
“In SC w my dad celebrating the fact that his test results came back negative 4 Cancer. Been a rough few months waiting 4 results! #OverJoyed”
– WWE is starting to contact businesses it believes are infringing on Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” catch phrase, which they have trademarked.
– Several fans have sent in word that Ric Flair was spotted out in Greenville, South Carolina on Sunday night – the host city of tonight’s WWE RAW Supershow.
– WWE Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch fulfilled her booking obligations for CCW Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Syndicate this weekend. She wrote Sunday on Facebook:
“Had a great weekend at CCW in PA and PWS in NJ! If you missed them, don’t miss the next ones!”
– The Penguins have acquired G Tomas Vokoun from the Capitals for a 7th-round draft pick, and have signed him to a 2-year/$4M contract. Vokoun, who was an impending UFA on July 1, was 25-17-2 last season with a 2.51 GAA and a .917 SV% in 48 appearances for Washington. The 35-year-old will back up G Marc-Andre Fleury, making G Brent Johnson expendable. Washington will move forward with Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth in net.
– Heat’ F Chris Bosh (strained abdomen) is now expected to return for Game 5 on Tuesday, barring setbacks. The Heat “are hoping” to activate him, and head coach Erik Spoelstra will evaluate Bosh’s condition on Monday. He has been out three weeks and could be on a minute-limit when he returns. Of note, since Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston, Bosh’s offensive numbers against the Celtics have been among his worst totals against any team–in three matchups with Boston this season, he averaged 11.7 points in 35 minutes per game.
– Bulls’ G Derrick Rose (knee surgery) is “already walking with a soft brace on his injured knee and only one crutch,” a source tells CSN Chicago. Rose was said to be in good spirits previously, and although he’s now in a soft cast, the timetable for his recovery remains the same 8-12 months. The earliest he’s likely to return is sometime in January.
– The Bulls will “take a run” at UFA Gs Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, according to CSN Chicago. Chicago needs a replacement for G Derrick Rose (knee surgery), but neither play really makes sense in the situation. Stay tuned.
– The Nets are considered the “front-runners” to sign UFA F Ersan Ilyasova, according to the Journal-Times. The report states that the 25-year-old will “command at least $8M a season.” Ilyasova averaged 14.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.0 treys on 51.9% shooting over 41 games as a starter this season.
– Updating a previous item, Stillwater, Oklahoma police spokesman Randy Dickerson revealed that Jaguars’ WR Justin Blackmon blew a 0.24 blood-alcohol level–three times the Oklahoma legal limit–before he was booked for aggravated DUI on Sunday morning. The Oklahoman has clarified that Blackmon was arrested at 3 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, and not 10 a.m. as initially reported. Blackmon’s elevated BAC suggests he was either drinking the entire day, or drank a excessively just before getting behind the wheel. He was released Sunday at 12:45PM on $1,000 bond. He’s due in court Monday for an arraignment.
– Falcons’ WR Roddy White says new OC Dirk Koetter plans to lean on the 30-year-old receiver less in 2012. With WR Julio Jones taking on a bigger role, someone else needed to be scaled back. “We switched some things up. We are doing the things [Koetter] likes to do. He’s a smart guy, and he knows what we do best…I know that sounds crazy, but we’ve got other guys out there that can play. Julio is going to be a big part of the offense this year. Harry [Douglas] is going to do wonders in the slot. We have to maximize our talent and get the ball in everyone’s hands.” White has at least 100 catches in back-to-back seasons.
– An arbitrator ruled Monday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline New Orleans Saints players for their role in a bounty system. The NFL Players Association challenged Goodell’s power to impose penalties for what the league says was a three-year bounty program that targeted specific players. Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, took only five days to determine that Goodell has the power to punish the players under the collective bargaining agreement reached last August to end the lockout. Goodell suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season and teammate Will Smith for four games. Former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was suspended for eight games, while linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, was docked three games.
– The Bucs have signed No. 31 pick RB Doug Martin to a 4-year contract. The second running back drafted in April, Martin is expected to make the biggest impact of any rookie runner not named Trent Richardson. Numerous Bucs and league observers expect Martin to unseat LeGarrette Blount as the Bucs’ starter in the new run-heavy offence. No. 7 pick SS Mark Barron is the Bucs’ lone unsigned pick.
– Tiger Woods secured his 5th victory at the Memorial, posting a 5-under-par 33-34=67. In the process, he tied tournament host Jack Nicklaus with 73 career PGA TOUR wins. In vintage Woods fashion, he holed a 16-yard chip from the deep rough on the par-3 16th, prompting the trademark fist pump. He was also tied for the lead in GIR for the week with 73.6%. Overall, Woods was a 9-under 70-69-73-67=279, two strokes clear of Rory Sabbatini and Andres Romero. He will skip the FedEx St. Jude Classic in order to prepare for the U.S. Open.
– Phillies’ 2B Chase Utley (knee) will head to Florida to start working out in extended spring training Monday, but remains without a timetable for return. Utley’s gimpy knees will need to be able to handle second base before the team even considers bringing him up.
– According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Astros are expected to select Stanford RHP Mark Appel with the first pick in Monday’s draft. Appel grew up in Houston and his family had Astros season tickets. Standing in at 6’5″ and 215 lbs, Appel has hit 100 mph on the radar gun, and was 9-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 116/24 K/BB rate in 110 innings during Stanford’s regular season. He’ll be in the majors sooner rather than later.
– Mets’ OF Jason Bay (non-displaced fractured rib) is expected to be activated from the DL Tuesday. Bay was set to be used as the DH during interleague games this weekend. Bay has been out since April 23.
– The Marlies have signed head coach Dallas Eakins to a 3-year contract extension. Assistant coaches Gord Dineen and Derek King have also signed contract extensions. The Marlies captured the Sam Pollock Trophy as the winner of the AHL’s North Division in 2011-12. Under Eakins guidance, the team has ranked first in the AHL in penalty-killing in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Toronto surrendered a league-low 175 goals in 2011-12 and finished with a record of 44-25-5-3 and 96 points which is the 2nd best total in team history. As the second playoff seed in the AHL’s Western Conference, the Marlies this spring eliminated Rochester, Abbotsford and first place Oklahoma City on their path to the 2012 Calder Cup Final.