– With 32 days left until the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement, the National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association kicked off four days of talks in Toronto on Monday to come up with a new labour deal. While both sides have already said they have found some common ground regarding on-ice issues, there’s still the lingering issue of economic concerns as the NHLPA will make its pitch to the league on Tuesday. It’s believed the players will submit their counter to start the day’s session, allowing immediate time for discussion. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr added that the tone of negotiations have changed a little since last week with the NHL’s comments regarding not playing without a CBA and the, “starkness which it was delivered.”
– The NHL has the ability to cancel the Winter Classic between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings at Michigan Stadium on the date of the game, January 1 if there’s a lockout, according to the NY Times. The league would forfeit only $100K of its $3M stadium rental fee. In part, the contract states that the league can pull out of the game if there’s a work stoppage “arising from the lack of a collective bargaining agreement.” The Times states, “The N.H.L.’s contract with Michigan contains provisions that treat a work stoppage in a way similar to a ‘force majeure’ cancellation brought about by act of God, riot, weather, disaster or any other cause beyond the league’s control.”
– The Canadiens have signed F Max Pacioretty to a 6-year/$27M extension. The 23-year-old still has 1-year/$1.625M remaining on his current contract. Pacioretty enjoyed a breakout year last season, scoring 33 goals and 32 assists. He was also awarded the Masterstron Trophy, which is given to the player “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
– According to a report in the Swedish newspaper Helsingsborgs Dagblad, Flyers’ D Andreas Lilja (hip) underwent surgery last week and could be out for 4 months. The surgery was performed to repair a degenerative condition that has been plaguing him for more than a year. GM Paul Holmgren confirmed the procedure and says that the 37-year-old will “be ready in late October or early November.” It’s a big blow to an already decrepit Flyers’ blueline.
– The Avalanche have signed G Jean-Sebastien Giguere to a 1-year/$1.5M extension. In 32 games last year, Giguere had a 15-11-3 record with a 2.28 GAA and .919 SV%. The 35-year-old will serve as a backup again.
– According to the Sports Business Journal, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman received almost $8M in salary and benefits during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, according to the league’s most recent tax filing, up from a total compensation of $7.5M the previous year. At more than $7.98M, Bettman’s salary has more than doubled since the lockout that canceled the NHL’s 2004-05 season. In that year, he made $3.7M. The league’s total annual revenue, including its 30 member clubs and other business operations, has increased in that same time from $2.1B to $2.9B for the 2010-11 season, up 38%. The total grew further in the 2011-12 season, to $3.2B. Bettman’s base salary for the 2010-11 season was $6,090,173. Other compensation was $1,711,930. He also received $155,782 in deferred compensation and $25,868 in benefits.
By comparison, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is believed to make more than $20M annually, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this year signed a 5-year contract extension that ultimately is expected to double his salary to about $20M a year. NBA Commissioner David Stern’s salary has never been made public
In addition, several, including Bettman, received notable pay increases from the previous year. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made $2.86M in 2010-11 after making just more than $2M the previous season. Chief Operating Officer John Collins received $1.25M in bonus and incentive compensation directly tied to the league’s business growth. That bonus brought his total pay to $2.32M, almost double his 2009-10 season compensation of $1.2M. On the whole, the league posted a loss for its business of $14.7 million for the year, according to the tax filing. Expenses rose 25% from $83.3M to $103.9M, while revenue declined from $91.4M to $89.1M.
As part of the tax filing, the NHL also listed its five highest-paid contractors. Of the top five, three were for legal services, totaling $8.8M: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher — which represented the NHL when it acquired the Phoenix Coyotes in November 2009 — at $6.08M; Proskauer at $1.74M, and Covington & Burling at $979,589.
– The Lakers met with Dr. Robert Watkins on Friday, the surgeon who operated on F Dwight Howard (back). The procedure Howard had is called a “lumbar microdiscectomy” which is a removal of herniated disc fragments in the lower back. GM Mitch Kupchak said, ”We feel very assured he’s going to be back. We’re hopeful he’s back for camp; we’re hopeful he’s back to start the season.” The standard recovery time for Howard’s procedure is 6-7 months (he had surgery April 20), but Howard said that he’d be cleared for full contact “in 4 months,” and that mark would be on August 20. Howard has not been cleared by doctors to resume on-court work. His status for opening night remains doubtful.
– Sixers’ F Andrew Bynum (knee) will undergo a precautionary non-invasive knee procedure in early September in Germany. It’s expected that the surgery will not affect Bynum’s status for the start of training camp in October. Bynum will become the focal point of the franchise, and should improve on his 2011-12 averages of 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on 55.8% shooting.
– The Rockets have signed G Carlos Delfino to a 1-year contract with a team option on the second year. Delfino averaged 2.1 treys per game in February with the Bucks, but had just 22.7 minutes per game and 6.4 points per game in April.
– Nuggets’ F Danilo Gallinari (shoulder) reportedly injured his shoulder training with the Italian national team, but is expected to be ready for training camp. Gallo was plagued by injuries last season and was limited to just 43 games, but he averaged 14.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 treys on 41.4% shooting.
– F Greg Oden (knee) said that he’s “not going to rush” coming back to the NBA, but he wants “to get back with a team.” Oden admitted that he’d love to play in 2012-13, but that’s unlikely. “I need to take a year off.” Oden acknowledged that if he’s feeling good and ready to return late in the season, he would “love to play.”
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Steelers’ holdout WR Mike Wallace is “expected to report back to Steelers before the regular season begins.” Schefter, however, suggests Wallace could “(always) change his mind.” The Steelers maintain that Wallace will not be traded.
– The Patriots are not expected to sign free agent WR Plaxico Burress. The Pats worked out Burress on Sunday, but there doesn’t appear to be any room for him on the roster. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Plaxico is now on the Patriots’ “emergency list.”
– Bears’ MLB Brian Urlacher (left knee) underwent arthroscopic on Tuesday, but is still targeting a Week 1 return. Urlacher has already returned to camp.
– SI.com’s Jim Trotter expects the 49ers to limit WR Randy Moss to 20-25 plays a game to “keep him fresh.” Moss “continues to be the talk of camp” with his “trademark speed and downfield ability,” but is not currently slated for starter’s snaps. The 35-year-old will see limited opportunities in the run-heavy offence.
– According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cardinals’ QB John Skelton is “now considered the favorite” to win Arizona’s starting job over QB Kevin Kolb. Schefter’s report comes via “people within the organization.” Kolb is starting against the Raiders on Friday as part of a planned rotation with Skelton, but has been bad through his first two preseason games, going just 2-of-9 throws for 25 yards and an interception with a 0.0 QB rating. Skelton has been a bit better, going 7-of-12 attempts for 67 yards and a pick.
– Colts’ MLB Pat Angerer (broken foot) will undergo surgery and be sidelined for at least of 6 weeks. Angerer suffered the injury in Sunday’s preseason opener. Indy’s defence ranked 29th last season, and this certainly won’t help matters. He was fourth in the NFL with 148 tackles in 2011.
– Blue Jays’ OF Jose Bautista (wrist) resumed swinging a bat on Monday. An MRI on Bautista’s left wrist last Wednesday showed improvement and inflammation in one small spot.
– The Phillies have placed OF Nate Schierholtz (fractured big toe) on the 15-day DL and is out indefinitely. He suffered the injury Sunday in his only at-bat of the Phillies’ extra-innings victory over the Cardinals. The 28-year-old is batting .219/.278/.344 in 37 plate appearances with Philly.
– Nationals’ SS Ian Desmond (oblique) went through a full workout Monday. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that it’s a “big step” and that it “sounds like things are progressing quicker than expected.” Desmond had been in line to return at the end of the month, but that could be pushed up.
– A.W.’s Twitter account was suspended after the terminated WWE Superstar posted a multitude of messages disparaging his former employer and Vince McMahon’s wife Linda McMahon. A.W., however, set up another account under his real name, Brian Jossie, at BJRatedR and has continued to sound off on the sports-entertainment organization as well as Linda. Jossie believes WWE had his original account shut down, writing,
“Yeah the #WWE shut down my old account. It’s all good. It was fun while it lasted.”
When asked whether the account was his property, he responded,
“Not really sure. Although when it comes to the #WWE they own everything like Satan, including your soul,lol!”
Jossie, who blames Linda and her ongoing U.S. Senate campaign for his termination from WWE, subsequently posted three images ridiculing the political hopeful. In the first pic, he posted a joke poster of McMahon reading “UNSTOPPABLE”-a takeoff of the Barack Obama “Hope” poster. He then posted an unflattering photo of McMahon, noting,
“Is it me or does Linda McMahon make Hilary Clinton look like Angelina Fucking Jolie!!”
Jossie was also sent a side-by-side image of Linda and the Cryptkeeper and asked if he sees a resemblance.
“Yep! CryptKeeper might have her beat,” he wrote.
Jossie had also tweeted,
“@Linda_McMahon has cost more negroes jobs than hurricane Katrina!!”
However, he stated minutes later that he doesn’t hate Linda and that he’s merely joking around.
“I don’t hate Linda, I’m doing what a comedian would do. Making light of a serious situation inorder to make people think!”
“David Duke would hire my black ass before @Linda_McMahon!”
“Sorry I won’t be HANGING out at any #WWE shows. There’s enough pro wrestling lynching as it is….”
In response to a fan comment stating, “It’s pretty damn funny that @WWE actually thinks @Linda_McMahon has a chance at winning,” Jossie responded,
“Agreed, Them muthafuckas are as high as Jeff Hardy!!!”
Jossie was also asked whether one needs to “play the game” in order to survive the political minefield of WWE. He responded,
“Politics is a must. Everyone plays the GAME!! Some (Divas) more than others….#WinkWink #HHH.”
A Twitter user sent Jossie a mock graphic proposing a Street Fight between himself and Vince McMahon at WrestleMania XXIX, to which he responded,
“Ha! Yeah I’d whoop that old man’s ass! I’d only do it if Shane and Steph joined in. #McMahonSmackdown!”
He also noted “as soon as I see Vince on TV this Nike is gonna fuck my plasma up!!” Jossie was also asked how WWE would have acted had he made a Mike Tyson rape joke rather than a Kobe Bryant one. “Nope I would have probably got a raise! #WhatTheFuck?” he responded. Finally, Jossie was asked whether he’s calling out WWE for exposure, to be controversial or out of bitterness.
“I’m just saying my peace. I wish more people would be like JTG and not be afraid to speak up. #Courage”
In addition, at Monday’s Raw at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, WWE had arena personnel confiscate fans’ signs pertaining to A.W. Jossie spoke out about WWE’s actions Monday. He vented on Twitter,
“Anyone that has had their sign taken from them in support of me should realize that the #WWE are the real bullies!!! #BeAFuckingStar.”
Jossie also took offense to JTG’s “burial” on Raw, which he says stems from the WWE Superstar’s “controversial remarks” on Twitter last week where he said his “locker room brothers” were being taken advantage of. Before JTG encountered Ryback for his match, Jossie predicted,
“After JTG just ripped their ass on twitter he’s showcased but I’m fired for saying support Linda! Now watch them bury him…”
Then after Ryback had soundly beaten JTG, Jossie lamented,
“What else can I say… JTG just got did in for his disrespect to his masters.. #IAintOnThePlantation.”
Jossie had stated hours earlier,
“I’m not a racist!! I’m a realist! The only race card that got played was the Senate “RACE” Card!
“Vince didn’t want some no name Negro associated with his less than stellar half mummified ass wife! #Vote4ChrisMurphy.”
Jossie then challenged “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who hosted “Piper’s Pit” on Raw, to a verbal duel.
“I would love to be on Pipers Pit!! That muthafucka would be speechless! He ain’t neva met a guy like me….
AbeWashVsPipersPit! In my opinion Piper’s Pit wins. He was allowed to speak his mind! They would neva let me speak my mind #ILLUMINATED.” He continued. “I’d destroy that muthafucka!! #BigFanOfThePit #HeAintBettaThanMe..”
Finally, Jossie noted:
“I will be addressing the wrestling universe soon..
“The #WWE is afraid of me…
“Vince you shook my hand and betrayed me within the same week…”
– Jossie spoke to Connecticut’s CTPost on Monday about his departure from the company and revealed that a recent tweet about Linda McMahon is what led to him being fired. The tweet in question was:
“#AWPromotion$ says vote for Linda McMahon!!! The PTP’z support Linda and so should you! #voteordie4Linda”
AW told the CT, post,
“That’s how they show support for their employees who want to support Linda. They fire them. That’s complete bull(expletive).”
Shortly after AW’s endorsement of Linda’s campaign, a WWE spokesperson sent out a statement that
“WWE is a non-partisan organization. Superstars as well as employees are free to support any political party or candidate they choose.”
AW said that he was punished for referencing Linda’s campaign, which he didn’t realize was off limits.
“For some reason they don’t want to associate [Linda] with anything to do with wrestling because it’s in the past. Vince doesn’t want any association with her campaign. They told me it’s two totally different entities, which I didn’t know. I thought I was doing a good thing.”
His recent Kobe Bryan rape joke on Monday Night RAW might have been in bad taste, but AW says he could have said way worse and WWE’s own track record of edgy content speaks for itself.
“If I had made a Jerry Sandusky or a Colorado shooting joke, okay, fire me right there. WWE put a convicted rapist in the Hall of Fame (referring to Mike Tyson).”
“I don’t hate the WWE. I love the company. But the way the politics are with her campaign, it screwed me.”
– Grantland.com published a lengthy article last week on the life and controversial wrestling career of Kevin Nash with the six-time world champion notably reiterating his stance on “Vanilla Midgets,” a dismissive term he used behind-the-scenes in the late ’90s in World Championship Wrestling to describe small-statured, gifted technical wrestlers such as Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Nash said the professional wrestling industry died at WrestleMania XX when the pay-per-view event concluded with Benoit and Guerrero—both of whom were under six-feet-tall—reigning atop as world champions and emotionally celebrating. Guerrero’s brother, Chavo Guerrero, Sr., took offense to Nash’s remarks and posted a scathing rebuttal on Facebook. “Chavo Classic” wrote,
“K 4 THOSE WHO CARE IM NOT AGAINST NASH HE HAS ALL THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS HIS OPINION OR THOUGHTS BLOOD SEEMS TO TRIGGER A GUERRERO BLAST. SO I WLL PUT IT REAL SIMPLE IF U THE READER ARE PUTTING UP UR $ ON A VENUE PRO WRESTLING PROMOTION, AND U HAVE THE DEMOGRAPHICS NEXT TO U AND THE TV VIEWERS IN FRONT OF U, WHO R U GOING TO GO WITH TO MAKE $, I WLD GO FOR THE BOX OFFICE GUY, IN THIS CASE , HANDS DOWN, GUERRERO AND BENOIT BY FAR UNLESS U WANT TO SEE BIG SEXY IN HIS UNWASHED LEATHERS APPEAR AND SIGN AUTOGRAPHS BECAUSE HE IS A FREAK OF NATURE, IN NORMAL STANDARDS. GUARRANTEE WWE MADE MORE $ OF BENOIT AND GUERRERO THAN NASH, AND IF I WAS A BETTING MAN I GURRANTEE BIG SEXY GOT PAID MORE, ITS A VINCE THING ..
“K I’M ON ROLL, U FUCK WITH THE GUERREROS WTCH OUT, BEING THE ELDEST AND BEING OUTSPOKEN AS I AM, ONCE AGAIN,, KEVIN NASH WAS A BASKETBALL PLAYER, NOT A WRESTLER, PLAYED FOR THE TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS 1979-1980 DID NOT PLAY HIS 4TH YR. HE ATTEMPTED TO TRANSFER TO BOWLING GREEN BUT 4 SOME REASON OR ANOTHER DID NOT. WIKPEDIA STATES THAT HE TORE HIS ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT, IN OTHER WORDS OUT OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL. SO HE GOES INTO PRO WRESTLING. LIKE BRUISER BRODIE TOLD ME,” AND MANY EX OTHER SPORT JOCKS WHEN THEY WLD SAY, I GOT HURT SO I CAME TO PRO WRESTLING.” BRODY WLD TELL THEM AND I LOVE THIS, ” U CAME TO PRO WRESTLING BECAUSE U DID NOT MAKE IT IN UR SPORT, QUIT BS.” HE HAD SEVERAL UNSUCCESSFUL GIMICKS, STELL, OZZ,(WITH THE WIZARD), VINNIE VEGAS, DIESEL, ETC. AND HE IS PASSING JUGEMENT OR COMMENTARY ON 2 TRUE WRESTLERS. CHAMPIONS IN THE ORGANIZATION HE WAS IN AND THE OTHER ONE, GIVE ME A BRAKE DWIVE, HELLO. HE KEEPS HIS SHIT UP IN DESRESPECTING MY BROTHER OF BLOOD, MY BROTHER CHRIS AND WRESTLING AND I WILL EXPOSE MORE MORE SH– ON HIM THAN HE KNOWS HE HAS. NO MENACE OR THREAT TO ANYBODY, WE THE GUERREROS HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE. SO BIG NASTY, AND I DO MEAN NASTY WHEN U WORE THOSE REDICULOUS LEATHERS THAT U NEVER WASHED, CHILL OUT AND MIND UR OWN BUSINESS WHICH IS RAPING THE BUSINESS, THANK U, CHAVO GUERRERO, SR. SO LET IT BE SAID SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, “JULE BRENNER, THE 10 COMMENDMENTS< ‘ ORALE CABRONES FACTS ARE FACTS.”
Likewise, Tracy Smothers went on Facebook to blast “Big Sexy”:
“Kevin Nash can go to Hell for his comments bout Chris,Eddie,was wrong to say that,u have done well,made lots of money Kevin.Im sure their families are hurt bout yr b.s. comments.U have no respect for the business or the people int it who helped yr ungrateful SORRY ASS.That wasn,t k,don,t go there,they hav kinfolks that are very hurt,why say that.YR APISS ANT PUNK,COWARD.I waana pull yr eyeballs out u JACKOFF,ANYTIME,ANYPLACE,YR A PIECE OF SHIT CANCER in our business.”
– Chris Jericho was asked what he thinks about AW’s release on Twitter over the weekend. He replied:
It’s a drag. But it’s not the attitude era anymore “@J_Edwards56: What you think of AW getting Future Endeavored?? Ur from the Attitude Era
– According to F4WOnline, a talent meeting was held prior to Monday’s RAW from Dallas, Texas. In light of the recent Twitter rant by JTG and reported unhappiness from several members on the roster, company officials gave talent the chance to express their grievances. Nobody spoke up. WWE told everybody to be “use common sense” and be careful venting their frustrations via social media, because once a tweet is made, it’s public and action can be taken against them for it.
– The following is the updated card for Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam:
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar: Shawn Michaels in Triple H’s Corner
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs. The Prime Time Players
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
There will also be a 30-minute online pre-show at Youtube.com and WWE.com featuring WWE United States Champion Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro.
– According to F4WOnline, WWE management is currently “on the fence” regarding Antonio Cesaro and his potential to be a big star for the company. Despite the fact that he is still a rookie, some people feel Cesaro has to make a big impact soon or he could be branded as a lower-card act – a reputation that is hard to shake with fans. That said, a big part of Cesaro getting over has to do with how he’s booked, not necessarily his “ruthless aggression” and his ability to “grab the brass ring.”
– WWE Champion CM Punk was interviewed by Mike Buda of SportstownChicago.com at Chicago Comic-Con about The Rock getting a WWE Title shot, how WWE has changed in the past several months and more.
“I think it’s fantastic since he’s getting a title shot against me if I last that long. It’s nice to be vocally against somebody who’s just being handed things and then being the roadblock.”
“Obviously, I was very vocal about Dwayne just marching in and getting to cherry-pick what days he shows up, and when he actually wants to be motivated to work, and now he’s going to be in the ring with me. There’s no bringing 30%, there’s no days off. It’s me, it’s 100% me and it’s going to be a challenge for Dwayne.”
– CM Punk responded to a fan on Twitter who said he should not have turned heel. Punk told the fan:
“@SamTerry97: @CMPunk shouldn’t have turned heel /:” You shouldn’t use words you do not understand.
– According to F4WOnline, following the recent departure of AW, WWE is discussing possible replacements to manage the Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. Vince McMahon is still said to be against managers in WWE, but some feel this will change and the Players will soon be paired up with someone else.
– Ivelisse Vélez (aka Sofia Cortez), who was released from her WWE developmental contract late last week, is disputing reports attributed to F4WOnline.com that her termination stemmed from a perceived “attitude problem.” Dave Meltzer stated on Wrestling Observer Radio late Saturday that according to sources in Florida Championship Wrestling, Vélez believed her talent level did not correspond with her position in the organization and had been vocal about not being promoted to the main roster. The Puerto Rican grappler took to Twitter to dispute the online claims, which she labeled as “lies.”
It amazes me & breaks my <3 to have people says lies about me. Im 1 of the most humble person you’ll ever meet. I & my people know #DaTruth
So for the record: #No I DONT have an attitude or ego problem. #No Im NOT going to go on a rant & bad mouth @WWE . But #Yes I got screwed.
Regardless though.. I am still endlessly grateful for all opportunities trusted upon me by @WWE during my time there. #CaseClosed
Vélez also said her message in Spanish:
“Clarifico: #No No tengo problemas de actitud o ego. #No No divulgare nada negativo sobre @WWE . Pero #Si Fue una injusticia hacia mi. Sea lo que sea.. Aun estoy mil veces agradecida por todas las oportunidades que @WWE confio en mi. #CasoCerrado.”
She also re-tweeted a message stating:
So for the record: #No I DONT have an attitude or ego problem. #No Im NOT going to go on a rant & bad mouth @WWE . But #Yes I got screwed.
Vélez reiterated her stance on being “screwed” by WWE to fellow firee A.W., who too was released by the organization last week. She wrote to him:
@BJRatedR @Tom_Skull I got screwed too bro. #IFeelYaPain
– Paul Heyman tweeted the following after RAW, taunting Shawn Michaels:
I hope @ShawnMichaels recovers from this very quickly. It’s terrible he got taken out before @WWE #SummerSlam. But those are the breaks!
– Former WWE divas Lita, Melina, Maryse and the Bella Twins were recently together:
– According to the PWInsider, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock will be a playable character in the upcoming WWE ’13 video game, in stores October 30th. Shamrock, who held the WWE Intercontinental title, tag titles and won the 1998 King of the Ring tournament, will be featured as part of the Attitude Era mode in this year’s game.
– During an interview with the Los Angeles Times to promote this week’s SummerSlam Axxess fan fest and Sunday’s pay-per-view, commented on being compared to the late “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Ziggler said:
“Any comparison to a WWE legend or someone I’ve looked up to is really cool, but make no mistake about it, my ego is too big to want to be a really good replica of someone else!”
“It’s unfortunate that if you’re really good at your job, you are constantly compared to legends of the past. I am not trying to be the next ANYONE, I am going to be the FIRST Dolph Ziggler! Follow that!”
– WWE Champion CM Punk participated in a Q&A session at the at Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con event on Saturday. Credit to WrestlingRambles.com for these highlights of what Punk said about:
The New WWE Title Belt: CM Punk talked about a new design for the WWE Championship title. I think he said it’s coming soon and it will be something he helped create. He teased that it could happen at SummerSlam or maybe at the next Pay-Per-View after SummerSlam which is in Boston, John Cena’s hometown.
Retirement: Punk talked about retiring from wrestling. He said that he will be 34 in a few months and that is too old to be able to perform at a high level in professional wrestling. Punk said he won’t be another Triple H or Undertaker. Those two guys are currently older than 40 and still performing in the ring. Punk said when he does retire, he will leave the wrestling business for at least two years. I think he said if he does return to wrestling, he won’t make a return to the ring. His retirement will not be like a Terry Funk retirement. Punk said he feels good now and he wants to stay healthy after he is retired. Punk said he has had one surgery and he never wants another surgery ever again. Punk said that he doesn’t want to say when he might retire because the answer would “depress the hell” out of everyone.
Kevin Nash’s Recent Rant About Smaller Wrestlers: Punk said that it is Nash’s opinion and you can’t hate someone’s opinion just because you don’t agree with it.
JTG’s Twitter Rant: CM Punk said if JTG had a problem with something, he should have talked to Vince McMahon or someone backstage instead of ranting about it on Twitter. Punk said that although his original Pipe Bomb promo was a public rant just like JTG, everything Punk said during the promo were the same things he had been saying to Vince for months.
Have His Feelings About WWE Changed Since Last Year: Punk said it’s different now because he is a lot less pissed off than he was back then.
His WrestleMania 29 Opponent: Punk was asked if he would rather face The Rock or John Cena at WrestleMania, and Punk said he wants to face The Rock so he could try to have a better match with Rock than Cena did and then be able to tell Cena that Punk’s match was better. Punk made it sound like Rock and Cena are the top two possible opponents for WrestleMania next year.
Steve Austin Wrestling Again: Punk said it’s unlikely he will face Stone Cold anytime soon because Stone Cold just had knee surgery. Punk said the match will only happen if Stone Cold wants it to happen.”
– After JTG pleaded his case to make some noise on Raw, his wish was granted by program General Manager AJ Lee as the quirky Diva placed him in a one-on-one match against Ryback. WWE broadcaster Michael Cole acknowledged JTG’s “controversial remarks” on Twitter last week where he cryptically stated that his “locker room brothers” were being taken advantage of. F4WOnline reports his source of contention stemmed from lower-tier wrestlers’ financial compensation for WrestleMania XXVIII. Following the Cryme Tyme founder’s loss to Ryback, Cole stated, “I can’t wait until JTG tweets about this.”
– Mick Foley revealed during his recent comedy tour in the UK that he postponed back surgery to be at the event and would be undergoing the surgery in early September.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
Tonight’s RAW: “Expect The final Raw before Summerslam to to a hot one. HHH/ Lesnar issue has piqued my interest. WWE Title bout, too. Anxious to see how the build for the PPV unfolds. It’s crunch time for all involved. It’s nights like this that make me miss being at the announce table.”
SummerSlam Week: “Im headed to LA later in the week for some THQ functions but am excited to be able to watch Summerslam in person. I think it will be a kick ass PPV.”
AW’s WWE Release: “AW’s release was unfortunate. He’s a talented guy who made a costly mistake. One door closes another opens. I hope AW regroups and finds success. Speaking from experience, one has to put issues such as this behind them and move positively forward. I wish AW the best.”
Ivelisse Velez’s Release: “Same goes for [Ivelisse Velez] who I really liked, too. Only advice I’d provide both talents is to move forward and depend on their skills and passion to find happiness and success. Life deals all of us challenging hands.”
– WWE Diva Eve Torres was recently interviewed by IGN.com to hype her involvement in the new NBC reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” which debuts tonight on at 8pm ET. Here are some highlights of what Eve said about:
Her Reaction To Being Selected For Stars Earn Stripes: “To be honest, I thought it had my name written all over it. First of all, my connection with the military. I’m a strong supporter of the military, and I’ve been overseas to support them and entertain the troops. So the fact that I could raise money for military charities was an awesome opportunity. On top of that, I was like, “Wait, I get to shoot guns, jump through helicopters and climb through mud?” I was a tomboy growing up. I love that kind of stuff. I don’t think I knew how difficult it was going to be. I definitely didn’t, but I was excited.”
Main Eventing RAW Last Month: “It was an extremely cool moment. Not only was I in my hometown of Denver, Colorado, but there are is a very small number of women who have had that opportunity to main event RAW. To be one of those women was an honor for me, to be a part of that. It’s something that I can say that I’ve done and I’m very proud of.”
RAW’s New General Manager, AJ Lee: “I’m not impressed. I think she is not fit for the job, and I think you need a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman to have that job – and that’s me,” Eve said, playing up the storyline. “I have the experience, I have the expertise, I was executive administrator for many months and I should be the next one in that role. So I’m not okay with it, and we’ll go from there.”
– On this week’s episode of WWE Download, Dolph Ziggler debuts a new segment called “midlife crisis clip of the week” where he pokes fun at Chris Jericho.
– Monday marks the five-year anniversary of the passing of Brian Adams (a/k/a Crush), who was found dead of unknown causes at his Tampa, Florida home. He was 43-years-old.
– According to F4WOnline, WWE currently spends around $820,000 for television taping, which is an increase from the $735,000 last year.
– According to F4WOnline, the following is a breakdown of WWE’s revenue figures from around the world:
74.4% from North America in April-June 2012 (up from 72.2% in April-June 2011)
17.1% from Europe, the Middle East and Africa in April-June 2012. (Down from 18.2%)
5.9% from Asia Pacific in April-June 2012. (Up from 5.8%)
2.6% from Latin America in April-June 2012. (Down from 3.7%)
– During a Q&A session with fans on Saturday at the Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont, Illinois, WWE Champion CM Punk implied that TNA Wrestling is a minor league wrestling company. When asked who he would work with if it could be any single wrestler, Punk replied “Samoa Joe.” He was then asked which independent wrestler he would like to see in WWE. Punk again replied, “Samoa Joe.” When the fan noted that Samoa Joe works for TNA Wrestling, Punk remarked, “I know. You said indy, didn’t you?” Kurt Angle, who competes for TNA Wrestling, was not pleased with Punk’s statements. He tweeted:
Punk wants to Say Tna Is An Indy League? I Was On top in Wwe when You Were trying to Get a Job Anywhere. It Was My Choice to go to Tna. …
If I ever See You Punk, Hide Bitch!