– The Magic have “focused on persuading (Dwight) Howard to remain in Orlando,” according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld. GM Rob Hennigan will travel to Los Angeles this week to “meet face-to-face with Howard and deliver a presentation designed to persuade Howard to return to the Magic.” Things appear to be back to square one. Stay tuned. Again.
– The Bulls have decided not to match the Rockets offer sheet for RFA F Omer Asik. GM Gar Forman said, ”We have decided not to match Houston’s offer sheet for restricted free agent Omer Asik. It was a difficult decision because Omer did a nice job for us. Matching the offer for Omer could have put us in a difficult position going forward in trying to acquire high level talent.” F Taj Gibson should see more playing time as a result.
– Free agent F Andrei Kirilenko will reportedly return to the NBA next season. CSKA president Andrey Vatutin told Russian paper Sport-Express that AK-47 will be heading back to the NBA. It’s unclear where he prefers to play right now. Stay tuned.
– The Knicks have signed UFA G Ronnie Brewer to a 1-year contract. It’s a solid signing by the Knicks. Brewer averaged 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 25 minutes per game last season with the Bulls.
– According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, there have been no trade discussions between the Flyers and Predators since D Shea Weber signed the 14-year/$110M offer sheet last Wednesday. Sam Carchidi confirms from “two sources with knowledge of the situation.” Earlier reports hinted that Nashville would work out a deal with Philadelphia in return for not matching. Nashville has until 11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday to match. Weber’s agent, Kevin Epp said, ”We have no clue what’s going to happen. We’re all in a state of limbo.”
– UFA F Shane Doan will give Coyotes’ prospective owner Greg Jamison until Friday to see if he makes headway on the purchase, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. If Doan can’t get assurance that Phoenix will be bought by then, he’ll begin to hone in on where he’d want to play. Doan’s agent, Terry Boss said, “When we get the news, whether it’s good or bad, at least we’ll be prepared. Otherwise we’ll have to take a week to make a decision. If we find out it doesn’t happen, then we’re behind the 8-ball trying to go visit teams and make a decision.”
– The Steelers have signed coach Mike Tomlin to a 3-year extension through 2016. Tomlin has four AFC North championships in five years, including a pair of Superbowl appearances. His teams’ defence has finished below first or second in the NFL just once. The 40-year-old’s career winning percentage of .688 (55-25), tied with Ravens coach John Harbaugh, is good for seventh in league history.
– Rams’ RB Steven Jackson said on PFT Live Tuesday that he is working on a contract with the team that would allow him to retire in St. Louis. Jackson, 29, is signed through 2013 with twin base salaries of $7M. Reports back in April suggested that S-Jax wanted a new contract and might ask out of St. Louis. “We’ve had some contact about making sure I retire as a Ram. I think somewhere in the future, myself and the Rams will get something worked out. To make sure I can retire as a Ram.”
– Jaguars’ head coach Mike Mularkey told to the Florida Times Union that the Jaguars don’t know whether RB Maurice Jones-Drew will report to training camp on time. MJD will be fined the maximum $30K if he misses the first day, and can receive that fine every single day he skips. “We’ll deal with the players who are here and are hoping he is one of them,” said Mularkey.
– The Cardinals have signed SS Adrian Wilson to a 4-year extension. Wilson still had $17M remaining on the $36.5M contract signed back in 2009. Beat writer Mike Jurecki reports that the new deal will give the Panthers cap relief while allowing Wilson to finish his career as the team’s defensive leader. He played through a partially torn biceps muscle in 2011.
– Jaguars’ WR Justin Blackmon has pled guilty in his DUI case, and will avoid jail time if he completes the terms of his sentence. The terms include a one-year deferred sentence, 50 hours of community service and a $500 fine. He will also enter the NFL’s Substance Abuse Program. He’s one of six remaining unsigned first-round picks, and may not be present for the beginning of Jaguars camp on Thursday.
– The Browns have signed No. 22 overall pick QB Brandon Weeden to a 4-year/$8.1M contract. Team rookies report to camp today, with practicing beginning on Wednesday. Weeden, 28, is expected to be named the starter early in training camp. GM Mike Holmgren said Weedon is “as prepared to come in and start as a rookie as any quarterback I’ve seen in a long time.”
– Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney said Tuesday that there’s no chance RB Jonathan Stewart will be traded. Hurney expressed similar sentiments in late March following the signing of FB Mike Tolbert. “He’s a very talented player. He fits our Panther profile perfectly, and he’s somebody that we would like to extend for a lot of years.” Stewart is entering a contract year.
– During an appearance on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio on Tuesday morning, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman downplayed the possibility that RHP Mariano Rivera (knee) will return this season. Cashman was also critical of Rivera’s rehab doctor, Dr. Keith Pyne, who raised speculation that the all-time saves leader could return this year. “He’s not coming back this year and I wish he was, I wish he was, but unfortunately people get excited. They want to get their name out there for whatever reason and so he got a day in the sun, but he’ll be proven wrong in the end unfortunately. So, he got all our fans excited and a lot more media attention for myself to deal with, but he’s not coming back this year. I wish he was.” Rivera has said that his goal is to return in 2012. Stay tuned.
– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Cubs’ RHP Ryan Dempster prefers to be traded to the Dodgers, rather than the Braves. The Cubs and Braves reached agreement Monday on a trade that would send Dempster to Atlanta for 22-year-old RHP Randall Delgado. Dempster, however, has 10-and-5 rights and can veto any deal. LA presents a better destination in terms of being closer to home, as he lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Stay tuned.
– D’Backs’ president Derrick Hall said Tuesday that there’s “close to a 100%t chance” that OF Justin Upton will not be traded before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. ”I would be completely shocked if anything were to happen in-season. You have a better chance of moving a star-caliber player like Justin in the offseason, when teams know exactly where they finished and where they’re heading, and they can get more creative.” Upton, who turns 25 next month, will make $9.75M next season and $14.25M in 2014 and 2015.
– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Phillies have told to teams that they are eager to move OF Hunter Pence. Rosenthal suggests that Pence’s trade value has gone up with Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Quentin signing extensions. Pence, 29, is making $10.4M this season while batting .268/.336/.453 with 17 home runs, 57 RBI and a .789 OPS through 96 games. He’s arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
– Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes that Nationals’ RHP Stephen Strasburg could be capped at 180 innings this season. Strasburg was expected to be shut down at roughly 160 innings, but have indicated in recent days that there’s no magic number, given that the team is in the thick of a postseason run. Strasburg is currently at 110 1/3 innings through 19 starts.
– Indians’ RHP Roberto Hernandez will make his first minor league rehab appearance Thursday with Class A Lake County. Hernandez arrived in the United States over the weekend and threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Monday at Progressive Field. He’s currently serving a three-week suspension for falsifying his identity and will be eligible to return on August 11.
– “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who Vince McMahon has dubbed the greatest star in the history of Monday Night Raw, was noticeably absent from Monday’s 1000 episode celebration. The legendary wrestler addressed his absence from the program with an explanation on his official website, BrokenSkullRanch.com.
“The reason I did not attend RAW 1,000 was because I underwent a major knee surgery on my left knee on July 2, 2012. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, CA performed the surgery.”
Austin says the surgery was a complete success, but he remains on crutches and recently began physical therapy.
“STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN IS A 100% ASS KICKING MACHINE. There was no way I was going to limp down the ramp on crutches for RAW 1,000. It was time to get my knee fixed. The decision to no-show RAW 1,000 was made by me and no one else. I have always taken pride in making my shots and have never faked an injury or illness. Pro Wrestling is a tough game and it was time to pay the piper for some of the damage I incurred in the ring. No gripes. No complaints.
“To the fans that were hoping to see SCSA, I’m sorry I missed the show. I would have loved to be there under different circumstances. I normally keep my personal business to myself, but due to feedback and incorrect speculation, I have posted this blog and given the 411 on why I was not at RAW 1,000.”
– After WWE’s milestone 1000th episode of Raw went off the air, The Rock and John Cena double-teamed Big Show. Cena hits Show with the Attitude Adjustment, which placed him into position for a People’s Elbow. The Rock, however, didn’t have an elbow pad, so Cena gave him his “Cenation” armband. The Rock spoke on the microphone and said Cena must use headbands as arm bands since no one’s arms are that huge. The Great One then hit The People’s Elbow on Show as Cena left up the ramp. The Rock thanked everyone and posed with a few fans. Show remained in the ring as the house lights come on.
– For the past ten years, video content from WWE’s “Attitude Era” (1998–2002) has been edited due to a lawsuit with the World Wide Fund for Nature over the WWF initials. All WWF “scratch” logos and references to the initials had to be blurred or edited out. This directive has now changed, at least in part. According to the PWInsider, in regards to the former “scratch” logo appearing unaltered in video packages on Monday’s Raw, multiple sources within the company say use of the symbol in flashback sequences is now permitted, so brief clips no longer have to be blurred. However, it is unclear whether the permission extends to complete matches and other archival footage. One source believes the company wants to develop a strategy to cease the logo blurring before the launch of the WWE Network.
– Former WWE announcer and commentator Johnathan “The Coach” Coachman tweeted to a fan that he wasn’t invited to Raw 1000, and that Kevin Kelly wasn’t in is league.
@TheCoachESPN I was really looking forward to you and Kevin Kelly having a nostalgia announcer fight on #RAW1000
@angryrose no offense- kevin kelly is not in my league.never was-never will be.life is a marathon-not a sprint.actually I really liked him
@TheCoachESPN Wish you could have been at @WWE tonight for 1000th RAW episode thanks for the years
@normesinPH thank u.I sincerely missed being there tonight.but can’t go where I am not invited.but no hate on my.only love for @WWE.
They need to bring back @TheCoachESPN for #RAW1000 tonight.. one of my all time favorites
@Sheets86 I do want to congratulate @WWE for 1000 raws.however I will not be there.I was there for over 450.big part of my life.
– The always hilarious Iron Sheik provided somewhat running commentary during Raw1000
who watch the #wwe #raw tonight? I be happy to make the 1000 for the boss kennedymcmahon. he no jabroni like fucking virgil
the Rick nash like the Steve nash want to party in the big apple. hope he handle the moderation of the a to the z #teamsheikie
happy birthday to intelligent jew the @Rosenbergradio he respect the wrestling he no jabroni
I watch the monday night raw tonight I chill out have cold beer
The damien sandow not ready for the dx he get humbled old country way #teamsheikie
The slick is my black brother. He one of my favorite manager ever. He not like the dumb fuck Virgil #raw1000
Jim Ross I love him forever #raw1000
Dolphin Ziggler the real next generation #raw1000
Sheikie baby new raw gm #teamsheikie #raw1000
I am the teacher of the Bret hart
Jim Duggan I beat the fuck out of him if I want
i be in next royal rumble to fuck up the santino
slick the real not like the OJ Simpson #teamsheikie #raw1000
what the fuck is the umpa lumpa?
brock lesnar the real
you respect the Sheikie baby then you buy the Iron Sheik t shirt indiemerch.com/theironsheik/ otherwise you are worse than umpa lumpa #teamsheikie
– Former WWE Diva Maxine (aka Karlee Perez), joined Diva-Dirt.com for her first exclusive post-WWE interview to talk about why she decided to leave WWE, her reported frustration at her upward mobility in the company and more. The highlights:
On why she wanted to leave WWE: “I don’t know if it was something specific or things over time. WWE, there’s pros and cons with the company. It was a company I enjoyed working for. I was able to use tools and broaden myself, and make myself better as an entertainer because of the company and I was very grateful for that. The climb to the top, and the fighting to get to that spot — there’s so many talented people in the company, and there’s so many talented people that aren’t utilized. It’s politics, and I don’t always agree with it. It doesn’t matter [if I do], because you’re either in it or you’re not, and you have to deal with what is handed to you. After NXT [Redemption] that I did with Derrick [Bateman] and Johnny [Curtis] — I think we did 66 weeks or so, I really wanted to keep that as entertaining as people even though we were given the short end of the stick, and even given the short end of the stick, I thought we did a hell of a job. So that was for me the chance to prove that I deserve a chance. After sitting for a while, and the chance not really coming, I just decided to take it in my own hands and make a chance for myself which is what I did.”
Reaction to her decision & making the hard decision to move on: “I didn’t feel like I was moving forward. Even though a lot of fans said that, ‘Why didn’t you just wait? You should’ve been patient’. It isn’t really about patience – they like to tell us it’s about patience, but it’s not. Nobody can say you should’ve been patient, if you don’t know long you’re waiting for, so that can really — yeah, it can get you frustrated. That wasn’t the only reason I left. There was other things. It wasn’t just out of frustration like people say it was. It was a mixture of feelings, and that was just one reason. By the end of it, I wasn’t frustrated anymore. I accepted it. By the end of me leaving, it was a bit of a shock that I did it, but I accepted it. The feelings are tough, sitting there waiting, going backwards, and taking the jump — it’s tough.”
The Divas realizing the grass may not always be greener in WWE: “It makes you think, and I think that’s what happened when I did that and my other colleagues and Divas found out. I think they actually thought about what they were doing for the company, and if they were the ones sitting on the sidelines, I’m sure they thought twice also. There’s some beautiful, bright women in the business and everyone has something to bring to the table, something different. I told management when I asked for my release, ‘I wanted to bring you something you didn’t have’ and I feel I did that. I put a lot of effort and time to make myself as diverse as possible, so there was no other Maxine — so Maxine would have a spot no matter what. I don’t know if it was political, or timing, or whatnot, I just didn’t see the spot being built anytime soon. It might’ve been three, four, five… who knows how many years? I think a lot of the girls are feeling like that right now because for some of them, it’s already been three years and they still haven’t had time. So, what is it? Another three years, and then another three years?”
– Former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson turns 37-years-old on Tuesday.
– Sean Mooney, the first person to appear on the premiere episode of Raw in 1993, resurfaced on Monday’s show as he conducted a backstage interview with Daniel Bryan. Zack Ryder reacted to his return on Twitter: “I met Sean Mooney tonight…#SSSIIICCCKKK.”
– The historic 1,000th episode of Raw saw members of the first two incarnations of D-Generation X reunited in the ring to deliver a special message to Damien Sandow. One former member, however, was noticeably absent: Chyna. She addressed this via Twitter, while also remembering the late Eddie Guerrero, who she partnered with in 2000:
Hi everyone. Just wanted to check in & offer my congrats on the 1000 episode of Raw. I was not asked to appear but I have a few thoughts.
How do I live in Southern California but I’m always sick? I might as well go back to Rochester.
I am very proud to have played a role in the history making event that Raw is. I have many found memories from my time there.
To all the WWE fans, Thank You for welcoming us into your living rooms each week and into your lives. We are who we are because of you.
People have asked me about Eddie Guerrero many times. I would like to keep my memories of him to myself.
However, for this event, let me say that Eddie was a talented performer & a very good friend. He always made me feel special in the ring.
– WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels was recently interviewed by the Miami Herald. Here are some highlights of what HBK said about:
Being Retired & Wrestling Again: “I certainly don’t get the itch. That is something that does not happen to me. I think I do get satisfied when I get to go back to do an appearance and get to be a special referee or just an autograph session. Things like that, which is something I really enjoy. Certainly, I don’t stay on the sidelines longing to be in the spotlight, but the time that I am, it’s always a great deal of fun.
“I still try to do a good job and try not to phone it in. It’s almost like two different parts of your life. The first part of your life is geared toward one direction, and the second part of your life is more geared toward another. I’m guessing that is sort of where I’m at, but not forsaking or forgetting the first part by any stretch. I’m appreciative for it and thankful for it.”
CM Punk Saying That He Would Have Made It On TV Back In 1993 When RAW Had Its First Episode: “I certainly understand the point he was trying to make. It was a different time, and there was a different attitude toward us guys, but because he is a fighter and doesn’t take a lot of guff from folks — for the same reasons that he is on now and the same reason he accomplished what he has in his career now, which is a testament to him — for all of those reasons, all the good reasons and positives because he is a fighter, I think he would have been on the first show.
“I think I understand the point he was trying to make. It was a different time. There were stereotypes that needed to be broken back then, and thankfully, it was done. Hopefully, it has made a difference for Punk and the others. I think because of the type of dude he is, I don’t think he would have had anything to worry about.”
– On Backstage Fallout, John Cena was asked about unsuccessfully cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Raw against CM Punk. He responded, “My mistake.”
“We all know I’ve had issues with CM Punk in the past, but it’s been (pause), the word respect comes up. If you’re the champ, nobody has any loyalty to anything. The word respect comes to mind, even when we’re at each other’s throats. It just respect. I go back to Money in the Bank when Vince went to throw it out and I told him no, and I lost. My watch, my terms, and I respect that.”
The Miz, Heath Slater and Daniel Bryan also react to Raw events.
– Kevin Nash tweeted the following about Monday’s RAW 1,000:
Creative, good job. Exciting countout finish. Glad Phil kept the strap. The belt means something. Again.
Congrats to Vince and the entire crew at WWE.Raw 1000!! Seems like yesterday I was driving to the Manhattan Center with Shawn and Scott.
– Smith Hart wrote the following on Twitter about WWE wasting Bret Hart at RAW 1000:
“Another waste of a legend. I would have much preferred Bret referee than ring announce. Especially given his history with both men.”
– Kelly Kelly was apparently backstage at RAW last night but not used.
– James Yun, who appeared as Akio and Jimmy Wang Yang for WWE, weighed in on Monday’s milestone addition of Raw. He tweeted, “I really enjoy the 1000 episode of #raw tonight I find it really cool that i can say I was on that show a few times.”
– After AJ decided not to marry Daniel Bryan on Raw, it was revealed she accepted a proposal from Vince McMahon to become the new permanent Raw General Manager. Vickie Guerrero, a former General Manager of the program, weighed in on the matter via Twitter.
“Feelings about @Aj? Her reign in office will be short lived…no experience, maturity, and support….she will learn she needs to grow up.”
– According to the PWInsider, Velvet Sky is on the verge of parting ways with company due to a contract dispute. One source noted Monday night that she is “as gone as can be without having pen to paper.” Her status with the organization has been tenuous for several weeks, although she’s been in negotiations for a new contract. Bruce Prichard, who serves as Talent Relations for the organization, has reportedly asked numerous wrestlers to restructure their contracts. A company source says some talent who have time remaining on their deals are among those being asked to restructure, even if they’re due for raises. Many of those individuals believe they are being presented with “take it or leave it” type offers. Sky is not believed to be among those asked to restructure their contract, but rather, her contract is expiring. She has told colleagues that she is not happy with how the negotiations are going. Sky last appeared for TNA at a BaseBrawl event in Memphis, Tennessee on July 14. She is presently booked for a Legends of the Ring convention in Monroe, New Jersey the same weekend that TNA holds its annual Bound for Glory festivities. Sky is one of the most popular females in TNA and has been with the company since the advent of the Knockouts division in October 2007. A former Knockouts and Knockouts Tag Team Champion, she was recent cast in a Montgomery Gentry music video through the company. Her former “Beautiful People” mate, Angelina Love, also recently left the promotion.
– According to the PWInsider, Bully Ray and Devon’s respective contracts with the organization will expire in f4-5 weeks. Both wrestlers have been negotiating new contracts with management but no movement has been made towards agreements being reached. Bully Ray underwent an incredible career resurgence after retooling his character following the split of Team 3D in late 2010. Likewise, Devon underwent a career rebirth following the split and now reigns as Television Champion. Both assist young talent, with Bully Ray working behind the scenes as an agent and Devon wrestling them at both television and house show events.
– TNA Wrestling producer Eric Bischoff, who reigned as General Manager of Raw from 2002 to 2005, congratulated his former employer on reaching 1000 episodes Monday.
“Congrats to the team at WWE on an amazing 1000 episodes. Phenomenal achievement!”