– According to TSN, the Hurricanes are close to signing F Jeff Skinner to a 6-year/$34.35M extension worth $5.725M annually. GM Jim Rutherford’s tweeted Tuesday night: “It looks like we are going to be able to get Jeff Skinner tied up for a number of years. Exciting news for our franchise.” The 20-year-old has 51 goals and 56 assists in 146 NHL games.
– UFA F Shane Doan has included the Predators on his ‘short list’ of teams he would be willing to join if he doesn’t re-sign with the Coyotes, according to coach Barry Trotz. Josh Cooper of the Nashville Tennessean spoke with Trotz, who says he’s been in touch with the free agent this offseason. “I’ve been in contact with Shane Doan almost a month now. I keep in contact with him. To be quite honest I hope everything gets resolved in Phoenix and he retires as a Phoenix Coyote, but if it doesn’t, I know Nashville is on his short list.” Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that if Doan does not re-sign with the Coyotes–his top priority–his list of teams is narrowed down to the Penguins, Rangers and Canucks. The 36-year-old is seeking a 4-year contract. Stay tuned.
– The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Steelers have no intention of trading unsigned RFA WR Mike Wallace “at any point this season.” Head coach Mike Tomlin is reportedly “upset” and “no longer supportive” of Wallace. The Steelers do not expect him to report before the team leaves St. Vincent College on August 18.
– Broncos’ RE Elvis Dumervil will not be charged for his July “road rage” arrest. Dumervil allegedly approached another car, lifting up his shirt to reveal a gun. Police later found a gun in Dumervil’s glove compartment. Two sources tell the Denver Post, however, that Dumervil was not carrying a gun and neither the car nor the weapon found belonged to him.
– Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert would be “surprised” if RB Rashard Mendenhall (torn ACL) does not miss the first six games of the season on the PUP list. Mendenhall insists he’ll be ready for Week 1. Yet to practice, Mendenhall hasn’t been able to build up confidence in the ability of his surgically repaired knee to withstand sharp cuts.
– SI.com’s Peter King believes Seahawks’ WR Sidney Rice (shoulder surgeries) “might not be ready to start the season,” as evidenced by the team signing WR Terrell Owens. ”Obviously they wouldn’t be making these moves [if Rice was ready to contribute]. I think you’re signing T.O. with the idea that he’s going to be a starter … they need (Owens and Braylon Edwards) to be back to the player they were a couple of years ago to help the offense.”
– Blue Jays’ OF Jose Bautista (left wrist) is still feeling pain and is scheduled to visit a specialist. Joey Bats has been on the DL since July 17 with wrist inflammation. He began swinging a bat at the end of July, but that apparently led to even more soreness. He remains out indefinitely.
– Grantland.com has published a lengthy article on the life and controversial wrestling career of Kevin Nash, who has begun to gain traction in Hollywood. A notable point in the article has the six-time world champion reiterating his stance on “Vanilla Midgets,” a dismissive term he used as booker in the late ’90s in World Championship Wrestling to describe small-statured, gifted technical wrestlers who didn’t project larger than life personalities but were beloved by fans, such as Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. “Big Sexy” feels the professional wrestling industry died in 2004 at WrestleMania XX when WWE’s “Super Bowl” concluded with the image of the under six-foot-tall grapplers reigning supreme as champions and emotionally celebrating. Even though the two wrestlers are now deceased, he still believes they never belonged in the main event scene due to their small stature.
“When Benoit and Guerrero hugged [at the end of WrestleMania XX], that was the end of the business. Has business been the same since that WrestleMania? Has it come close to the Austin era? Has it come close to the nWo or the Hogan era? You put two fucking guys that were great workers that were the same height as the fucking referees, and I’m sorry, man. Are you going to watch a porno movie with a guy with a three-inch dick? Even if you’re not gay, you will not watch a porno movie with a guy with a three-inch dick. That’s not the standard in porno films. So you put a 5-foot-7 guy as your world champion.”
Nash has the same problem with today’s “Internet heroes,” CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
“They are not bigger than life. I bet they could both walk through airports and not be noticed unless they have a gimmick shirt on and the belt.”
Nash also discussed how The Kliq shifted financial compensation in the wrestlers’ favor, how his 1995 heel turn inspired the “Attitude Era” and the subsequent ascent of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, cursing out Tom Cruise’s makeup artist on the set of Rock of Ages and more.
– While recapping Monday’s episode of Raw for Maria Menounos’ media network AfterBuzzTV.com, former WWE performer Maria Kanellis used the open forum to cryptically remark about Kelly Kelly’s personal life. The WWE Diva appeared on Raw for the first time in over two months and scored a singles match victory over Eve following a surprise hurricanrana.
“There was a lot of speculation that [Kelly Kelly] was leaving for good. So they must have come to terms on her contract and she’s still here.”
Co-host Josh Padgett and special guest Nigel McGuinness then ask Kanellis whether she had “backstage heat” with Kelly, who she worked alongside with in WWE from 2006 to 2010. She cryptically responds.
“I just think that sometimes you gotta be careful what photos end up on the Internet when people are involved with other people because it makes us girls that work our tails off to be very good individuals and be good at our job look trashy.”
McGuinness says he never saw “those photos” and feels that Kelly should set up her own website. “Trending now, naked pictures of Kelly Kelly,” he jokes. “The First Lady of Ring of Honor” responds,
“I don’t mind those, naked it up if you’re by yourself, but if you’re with someone else’s someone else…I don’t like that. Scandalous and I don’t like it. It’s exact opposite of what I’m about. I think that you have to be careful with that stuff. Especially if you’re trying to change…”
Kanellis is then directed by the producer to change the subject to Kelly’s match. She responds,
“I don’t want to go the next match. Especially if you’re trying to change the opinions people are having about a certain group of individuals. You know what I mean? I have a problem with that because I fought my entire life to try and be just as strong as men and just as smart, and of course, the first thing that happens, is I get a stupid gimmick. So what did I do? I got on Celebrity Apprentice. And as soon as I was out of WWE, I started to make a change with my life, but it was not random photos of me with someone else’s someone else—because they don’t go away.”
Regarding the photos in question, Kanellis appears to be referencing some images that surfaced online in early 2009 of Kelly canoodling with a married man in fellow WWE Superstar Chris Jericho—the batch included a shot of the two kissing. It has been heavily speculated that the two were involved in a secret romantic relationship then; a Google.com search for the term “chris jericho kelly kelly” leads to numerous suggest results including “chris jericho kelly kelly kissing,” “chris jericho kelly kelly dating,” “chris jericho and kelly kelly a couple” and “chris jericho kelly kelly together.”
Kelly appeared to respond to Kanellis’ cryptic remarks Tuesday evening via Twitter, herself cryptically stating,
“I will never mention your name, you will never be relevant. If I have something to say about you, I will say it to you ? #thebiggerperson.”
“Relevant enough to call me. #IMALADY.” She then deleted the remark, but stands by her show comments.
“@afterbuzztv is a show about a show. Every show discusses the show, news and gossip. If you don’t like you’re dirty laundry aired maybe you should be more careful about what shows up on the Internet.”
– Shawn Michaels stated on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that he has declined a behind-the-scenes role with WWE. When asked on Twitter how he would react if offered an executive position by WWE chief Vince McMahon, Michaels replied, “He has, and for now, I’ve declined.”
– The August 6 episode of garnered a 3.08 cable rating over the course of three hours, the same rating as last week. Raw also averaged a 3.23 rating from 9:00 through the 11:00 p.m. overrun, which is identical to last week. Unlike the last two weeks, the rating for the third hour of Raw declined from the second hour. The program garnered a 3.26 rating in the second hour before declining to a 3.19 in the third. The first hour drew a 2.80 rating compared to 2.79 the week before. Overall viewership declined 130,000 from last week to 4,360,000 viewers. Raw averaged 4,070,000 viewers in the first hour, 4,650,000 in the second hour and 4,470,000 in the third hour. It was the least watched episode overall since June and least watched from 9:00 through the 11:00 p.m. overrun since July 9.
– Silver Vision has released the official trailer for WWE’s upcoming DVD and Blu-ray title Rock vs. Cena – Once in a Lifetime.
“In the week leading up to WrestleMania XXVIII, a one-hour documentary aired on NBC Universal in America called ‘Once In A Lifetime: The Rock vs. John Cena’. This DVD collection is an expanded version of that documentary – giving the full one-year story of the build up to this epic match – from the very first promo.
“It also gives an insight into the preparation of body and mind that these two competitors went through before they met in the ring on April 1 in Miami. Once in A Lifetime explores the iconic Superstars long, emotional paths toward their match, and gives viewers a glimpse into The Rock and John Cena’s daily lives, training regiments, and the personal choices and histories that led them to the defining moment of their careers.”
The three-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray set will be released in the United States on Sept. 11.
– Wade Barrett returned to action on Tuesday night in a dark match that took place prior to the WWE SmackDown tapings from Houston, Texas. He cut a heel promo and defeated Zack Ryder with his Wasteland finisher. Barrett had a new look, sporting a beard. Check out this picture of Wade Barrett’s new look:
– Check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from the making of WWE’s upcoming “CM Punk: Best In The World” DVD set.
– Chris Jericho was recently interviewed by SoundSpike. In the interview he talks about his music and wrestling gigs. Here are some highlights.
Simultaneously Being a Pro Wrestler & A Rock Star: “I’ve been nothing but a wrestling fan and a music fan since I was a young kid. I just couldn’t decide which one of them I wanted to do. So I said, ‘I’ll do them both.’ I’ll be the first singer-wrestler the same way that Jared Leto is the first actor-singer with 30 Seconds to Mars. The only person who will tell you you can’t do it is you. If you say you can do it, then you have to make it happen.”
Being Excited For The Upcoming “Uproar” Tour: Yeah, very excited. I mean, after doing this for 13 years, we’ve never done a full U.S. tour. So not only is it a full U.S. tour, it’s one of the biggest of the summer. So we’re really, really pumped about it, excited to get there and steal the show and tear some heads off every night.
Balancing Wrestling with Music: I’ll be done wrestling at that point. You can’t balance them both. I came back to wrestling when we were recording “Sin and Bones,” knowing that as soon as the record came out, I’d be done with the WWE. That’s what’s happened. I think the last gig is the same day as the record comes out, Aug. 14, then we go straight to Uproar and then we’re off.
What Inspired The New Album “Sin and Bones”?: “Chasing the Grail” did a lot for us, our last record in 2010. We got a lot of momentum built up for that and from the live shows that we played. We wanted to continue in the same vein in what we were doing with “Grail.” We kind of figured out, after all these years, what it is that we could pass, which is very heavy riffs and melodic and hooky choruses. It’s almost like if Metallica and Journey and Coldplay had a three way this is what ended up. We wanted to do more of that with “Sin and Bones.” We kind of had this monster. We wanted to make it our “Black” album. What I mean by that is the “Black” album had all 12 songs that were all loosely related to each other. Not lyrically, but there’s a certain feel to that record, a certain vibe to it. We wanted to do Fozzy’s “Black” album by having 10 songs that all have a smilar feel and a similar vibe and keep everything within the blocks. I think that’s what we did. That’s why this record is going to be a really big success. It’s the epitome of who we are as a band, what we do songwriting and performance-wise.
What Can Fans Expect From Fozzy at Uproar?: We’re going to steal the show every night. We’re a very road-trained band. We’ve been touring in dozens of countries for the last 10 years. We have five amazing show business veterans who know exactly what to do to have a great show, to get the crowd into the show and to put on a show. I always like to say the only people that don’t like Fozzy are the ones that have never heard us or seen us. That’s gonna change at Uproar. My goal every night is for people to go, “You know Godsmack was great but Fozzy, man, those guys were amazing. We didn’t expect them to be like that.” That’s what we like. We’ve made a whole career off of low expectations and I plan to blow people’s heads off with this tour. I know we have the ability to. We’re just raring to go and we’re excited.
– The Trendrr.com social media score for Monday’s WWE RAW was up 54 percent from last week. Raw scored 401,202 on Monday, up from 259,203 last week, but down from a record 907,443 two weeks ago. RAW ranked #4 on cable TV Monday night, trailing Olympics coverage on NBC Universal and “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” on VH1.
– Last week’s WWE SmackDown did a 1.91 cable rating with 2.78 million viewers. This is virtually even with the previous week.
– Matt Striker wrote on Twitter that he’d love to do commentary on SmackDown, but acknowledged there several people he feels are more qualified than him for the position:
Id <3 2 do SD cmmtry but I recognize that there r more exp’d & deserving voices: @RealKingRegal, @JCLayfield, @JRsBBQ… but a boy can dream
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is back with a Tuesday afternoon blog update, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR wrote about:
Daniel Bryan’s Breakout Year: “@WWEDanielBryan…arguably WWE’s most interesting star at the moment and who seems to NEVER have a bad match with anyone. Back in the day, Bryan would have been a great candidate to have been the traveling, NWA Champion because of his skill level and believable personality. However, egocentric NWA promoters and power brokers would have bemoaned Daniel’s lack of size and found other lame excuses to exclude him from the process.”
Triple H & Brock Lenar’s Segment On RAW: “Really enjoyed the HHH/Lesnar business with @ShawnMichaels and @HeymanHustle adding greatly to the process. The segment left me wanting more which I perceive as a good thing. I was thinking that it would be a potentially long night for Shawn in his hometown, I speak from experience, but I was wrong. I was looking for the ‘heater’ and got an off speed pitch. Now I have even more to look forward to regarding this high profile matter heading into Summerslam.”
“Lesnar telling HBK that ‘I’ll see you before Summerslam’ is a major declaration.”
Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night: “I wish I had been in San Antonio for the HBK Appreciation Night portion of the evening that was held after RAW went off the air. I’m a major HBK fan for many reasons and not all of them have to do with wrestling. I am grateful that I was a small part of the process that helped facilitate Shawn’s WWE return after four years off.”
CM Punk’s Promo At The End Of RAW: “Punk’s closing promo to King was entertaining and provocative. I hope that Punk gets back to more of his eye opening, shocking verbalizing style in the week’s to come.”
– The Jazz introduced Dennis Lindsey as their new GM on Tuesday. Lindsey worked with the Rockets for 11 years before eventually becoming an assistant GM with the Spurs.
– The Blazers have hired Terry Stotts to replace interim Kaleb Canales as the head coach. Canales will remain with the Blazers in some capacity. Stotts has a 115-168 record as a head coach.