– Jerry “The King” Lawler, who suffered a heart attack while announcing at a WWE event in Montreal Sept. 10, made his first public appearance on Friday at an independent wrestling show that took place at the Mid-South Fair in South Haven, Mississippi. Before his heart attack, Lawler, 62, was scheduled to wrestle in two matches. Instead, he met fans and served as a ringside commentator. Speaking to Action News 5 is Memphis, Tennessee, Lawler said WWE head Vince McMahon assured him to take as much time off as he needs. Lawler, however, is targeting November for his full-time return to the squared circle and broadcast booth. He originally wanted to return to the ring and booth this month, but McMahon felt it was “too soon.” Before making his full-time return, Lawler will appear at the October 16 SmackDown taping in Memphis, Tennessee.
– WWE.com is no longer advertising John Cena for Raw tomorrow at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He appeared with his arm in a sling on last week’s show after undergoing surgery on September 18 to remove bone chips in his elbow. The prognosis for his recovery was announced as six to eight weeks.
– Rob Feinstein of RF Video, who coordinates wrestler appearances at trade shows, posted a lengthy blog on his Facebook page detailing his recent negotiations for the former Kelly Kelly, Barbie Blank, to appear at next month’s “Legends of the Ring” convention in Monroe, New Jersey. The former Diva’s agent verbally agreed to a deal six weeks ago, but it fell through Friday after Feinstein was informed that her asking price to appear at independent events had increased to $10K. Feinstein writes,
“I make it a rule to NEVER bury anyone in the wrestling business publicly if a deal goes wrong. Well in this case I want to inform anybody who might be a fan of Barbie Banks (FKA Kelly Kelly) on how her manager conducts business. To say I am pissed is a understatement. This is no way reflect Barbie Banks FKA Kelly Kelly.
“About 6 weeks ago we struck a verbal deal to bring her into Legends of the Ring. We were told by her manger that she was going to be able to do outside projects while she was still under WWE contract. It really made no sense but she told me that she was in the progress of getting her a new deal that would allow this. She told me that we had a done deal and we agreed on terms. We just never signed a deal because she wanted to wait until she got a new contract which I was told would be a week.
“A week went by and than I was told that because of the holiday labor day I would have to wait another week. When that week passed I was told that Barbie had to do something personal and we would have to wait another week to see if she was medically cleared to make it to our show. To me that is when things got fishy. I informed her manager that two weeks ago you told me we had a deal and we were just waiting for the paper work to go thru. Now things seemed fishy. Well later that week I was informed that she was not going to be able to make it because WWE at the time was not giving her another contract. Honestly none of this made sense to me but I thought that maybe it was true because I have heard she was trying to get a new deal to do outside projects.
“So after 3 weeks or so of being put on hold finally her agent told me the deal was dead and we would have to wait until March to book her. We left everything on great terms even though I was pissed for being put thru the windmill for 3 weeks.
“I went out and booked Shane Helms instead which is great.
“On Friday I get a call from her agent again out of the blue asking me if its to late to book Kelly for Legends of the Ring and now she was able to do it. I told her I only had two weeks now to promote this and I wanted a better rate. I also had to talk to the promoter of Legends of the Ring and get his approval since I once already told him I had her and than had to tell him I lost her. I called up James who is always professional and told him that I could get her again and that I would feel more comfortable if he talked to her agent with me to confirm everything.
“We had a three way call and we came to terms on money, the times and everything. All we needed to do was sign off on the deal. She than asked me for the address of the venue and the times and everything you would put into a contract. I told her I would sign it as soon as I looked it over and we agreed on the phone I would be able to announce this today.
“A hour after we talked I was informed by the agent that someone called with in the hour that we struck our deal and offered Kelly more money that weekend for another event. She than basically tried to hold me up for more money asking well cant I match the deal and I told her no way we already verbally comitted to a deal.
“The professional thing to do here was to tell the other party you already stuck a deal for that date and you would work with them in the future. That is how you conduct proper business in wrestling. A deal is a deal and especially in this business you stick to your word.
“She than told me she had to talk to Barbie and she would call me back. Well with in 4 minutes I got a text no call…..just a text saying that she talked to Barbie and that Barbie decided to go with the other guy. It was obvious she never talked to her as many people in that circle told me that it was so wrong to do. I also want to point out that I had given her at least 10 other dates at the time. For the record her asking price is 10k a shot…you do the match….We had alot of money on the table over the next 7 months with her.
“I informed James of the situation and to say he was not happy was a understatement. James texted her and tried to get her to call him but she refused saying that we never had a deal which was a total lie.
“We had a deal, we agreed and everything was set. Like I said in wrestling when you verbally committ and tell someone your drawing up a contract its a deal. I told her agent that I have worked with everyone from the Rock which I had at my store before, to every big name in the business and that this was a first. Of course she did not reply and I just wanted to let everyone know that because of this the fans of her will not be getting to meet her at the upcoming legends convention.
“I will never work with her agent again unless she gives us the proper apology and does business the right way.
“I never like to work with agents in wrestling for this reason. They do not understand the wrestling business and usually end up costing their clients money, in this case ALOT of money.
“I was not going to pay her full price because we had a deal set because of all the dates but now that is all off the table. So if you book her beware of what your getting yourself into.
“Again this does not reflect on Barbie just the person taking her bookings.”
– The NHL and the players’ association met for a third straight day Sunday, and again avoided the money issues that are behind the ongoing lockout. NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said,
“We did not discuss core economic issues, as was the plan. We discussed health and safety, drug testing, including more discussion of drug testing, medical care etc. Also a number of things in the CBA legal area of player movements.”
The drug policy was a key component of talks Friday when the sides got together for the first time since the NHL imposed the lockout on September 16. On Saturday, the sides focused on clarifications of definitions of what makes up hockey-related revenue, a pot that exceeded $3B.
“It was a productive day. We made some progress in some areas. I would say it’s good that we were talking. It’s true that we could’ve done this last week or a week before or a week before that, but it’s a lot better than doing it three weeks from now.”
Because of difficulty in finding common ground on how to split up that money, the league and union instead concentrated all weekend on secondary issues that will also be included in any new agreement. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said,
“I hate to sound like a broken record, but we need some movement on the economic issues. We need some movement on the system issues. We need them to be scheduled as the subject of a meeting, and right now the union is not prepared to do that.”
Negotiations on Sunday were conducted at the league office without NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. They met privately Friday and Saturday, away from the other group negotiations.
“I think that may demonstrate more than anything else the nature of the issues we’re talking about. We’re really talking about kind of micro issues, issues we deal with on a day-to-day basis that don’t necessarily rise to the commissioner’s level or the executive director’s level.
“So they will be at the table when we’re talking about the issues that are really going to get this deal done or not.”
– Devils’ F Krys Barch took to Twitter and gave his thoughts on the NHL lockout:
“I feel the Wild West would be more simplified than the world we live in now, when an employer who makes billions of dollars and a league with record revenues can tell me that I can’t do the things that my heart tells me to do! All what my heart tells me to do far surpasses what my body has endured.”
“I have played approx 5 1/2 years in the NHL and have worked for every second of it. I haven’t been a 1st round pick, bonus baby or a son of a hall of famer. I have made it through sweating, bleeding, cut Achilles, broken hands, concussions, broken orbital bones, 8 teeth knocked out, etc, etc, etc.”
“I wonder how this work stoppage affects the owners? I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York, Washington, etc, etc, have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the NHL have endured. Still they probably sit there smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac, and going on vacation to one of five houses they own while we sit here knowing they want to take 20% of our paychecks.”
“One half to 3/4 of my peers will have to work for the next 50 years of their lives. Congratulations to the lucky select few that I have played with who have made salaries that they can choose to do whatever they want when they are done. But I have played [with] most who do not!”
“If the NHL wants teams in the south or struggling markets, than the players along with the financially well to do teams need to start working together or they need to start to move teams to the North where they will make money. The system allows the owners to continually take money from the players, contract after contract where eventually over 40 some years, the owners will have 80% of revenue.”
“The only way to stop the work stoppages long into the future is fix the root cause of the problems. The lockout is a procedure to take from the players to pay for the NHL mistakes. Let’s not allow the NHL to make any more mistakes. Let the league and the players come together to fix the mistakes that have been made and make sure none are made in the future. Let’s get a deal where the owners, players, and fans benefit.
“Like me or hate me, I speak what comes from my heart!”
– In the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night, Nationals’ OF Michael Morse hit a line drive to right field with the bases loaded. The ball cleared the wall at Busch Stadium, then bounced back into the field of play off a sign just behind it. The umps initially ruled the ball as “in play.” The baserunners seemed confused and Morse was eventually tagged out in a rundown. After a review, however, the umpires ruled the hit a grand slam.
Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche were sent back to their bases and Morse was sent all the way back the batter’s box. Morse then circled the bases backwards. After arriving back at home plate, and his teammates back at the stations they began the at-bat, Morse took a pretend swing at the plate without a bat, as everyone re-ran the bases. Check it out:
– Phillies’ 1B Ryan Howard (broken toe) is done for season. Howard dropped a warmup bat on his toe on Friday night. He’ll finish with a .219/.295/.423 batting line, 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 71 games. The 32-year-old is owed $20M next season, then $25M per season through 2016.
– Rockies’ 1B Jason Giambi (right groin hernia) has been shut down for the remainder of the season. The 41-year-old finishes with a .225/.372/.303 batting line, one home run and eight RBI in just 89 at-bats. Giambi has expressed interest in re-signing with the Rockies, however, a deal remains unlikely.
– ESPN Dallas reports that Rangers’ RHP Mike Adams (neck/shoulder) has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. It’s the same injury that kept Cardinals’ RHP Chris Carpenter out for the majority of the season. Adams will delay surgery and is expected to be sidelined for 7-10 days. The Rangers are hoping he’ll be available for the playoffs.
– Broncos’ C J.D. Walton (broken ankle) is likely out for the season after suffering the injury in Sunday’s Week 4 win over the Raiders. Walton was blocking for RB Lance Ball when he got rolled up on from behind by Raiders’ DE Jack Crawford. Walton had previously missed just one snap in his three-year career.