Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Nash’

Clippers & Celtics Trade Back On?, Flyers Sign Streit

Monday, June 17th, 2013

NBA

– According to the LA Times, a deal between the Celtics and Clippers involving F Kevin Garnett and head coach Doc Rivers is reportedly “close to being done very, very soon.” Per the report, the Celtics are no longer insisting that G Eric Bledsoe be included, as long as the Clippers take back the contract of either G Jason Terry or G Courtney Lee. Boston’s return would include F DeAndre Jordan and a 1st-round pick. Meanwhile, Clippers’ G Chris Paul would re-sign with the LA if they can acquire Garnett and Rivers, according to Yahoo! Sports. Paul is an impending free agent, so needless to say, he’ll have some voice in what LA does this summer. Stay tuned.

– Bucks’ G Monta Ellis will opt out of his contract and test free agency, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. As expected, Ellis will turn down his $11M option. He rejected a 2-year/$24.8M contract extension. He’ll seek a multi-year contract elsewhere.

MLB

– Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw is reportedly upset that information about his contract extension talks with the team have leaked publicly. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that both sides are progressing towards a contract worth at least 7-year/$180M. “I guess you’ll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out. I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it. We kind of had an agreement that we weren’t going to talk about it. It didn’t come from our side.” Kershaw, 25, will be a free agent following the 2014 season.

– Yankees’ 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip) is scheduled to face live pitching for the first time this year on Tuesday in Tampa. He ran the bases at 75% effort over the weekend, and is now ready to begin working on his timing at the plate. A-Rod is recovering from January hip surgery, and is targeting a return shortly after the All-Star break.

– The Tigers have placed RHP Anibal Sanchez (strained right shoulder) and C Alex Avila (left arm contusion) on the 15-day DL. Sanchez’ move is retroactive to June 16. After being scratched from a start last week due to shoulder stiffness, Sanchez lasted just 3 2/3 innings on Saturday. Avila suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch on Sunday.

– Blue Jays’ SS Jose Reyes (sprained left ankle) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with High-A Dunedin. He’s hoping to return by the end of the month, barring setbacks. Reyes has been sidelined since April 12.

– Troy Renck of the Denver Post believes Rockies’ RHP Roy Oswalt will start Thursday against the Nationals. Oswalt has a 2.16 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings at Double-A Tulsa since signing a minor league contract with the Rockies in early May. He had a 5.80 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 59 innings last season for the Rangers.

– Indians’ RHP Chris Perez (shoulder soreness) is expected to be activated from the DL Friday. Perez allowed two hits and struck out one Sunday in his first rehab appearance with Low-A Lake County. He’ll make another appearance Tuesday. Perez has been out since May 26.

NFL

– ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Monday that the Patriots do not know when TE Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) will return. “The fact is the Patriots really don’t know when he’s gonna come back.” Gronk will go under the knife Tuesday, after which a clearer timetable should be provided. Of note, New England is carrying a league-high seven tight ends on its 90-man roster. Gronk will open camp on the PUP list.

– Lions’ WR Ryan Broyles (ACL surgery) tells the Detroit News that he expects to be ready for Week 1. “I’m out there doing full practices right now so in a couple months I feel like I’ll be pretty good.” Broyles added that he’s going “full blast in the weight room.”

– The Vikings are expected to make a “strong run” at free agent ILB Desmond Bishop. The Bears were also rumored to have interest in Bishop, although it’s believed that they’ve moved on.

– The Denver Post writes that 75 catches is the ideal number for WRs Wes Welker and Eric Decker. Meanwhile, WR Demaryius Thomas is projected at 85. QB Peyton Manning has never been a part of an offense where at least three players caught 75 passes, however, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Jacob Tamme all cleared 67 in 2010 with the Colts.

NHL

– The Flyers have agreed to terms with D Mark Streit on a 4-year contract. Streit, an impending UFA, had his rights acquired from the Islanders last Wednesday for F Shane Harper and a 2014 4th-round pick. Streit, 35, had six goals and 21 assists in 48 games last season.

– According to the Detroit News, the Red Wings are looking into Panthers’ F Stephen Weiss. The Stars and Maple Leafs have also asked about Weiss. The 30-year-old will be UFA on July 5. He recorded just one goal and three assists in 17 games last season.

WWE

– WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair spoke to the Charlotte Observer over the weekend about the news that his son’s autopsy report confirmed that he died from a heroin overdose. Flair said:

“I loved him… He should have been on top of the world, but he was fighting a battle he couldn’t win. I hope people remember his laugh, his spirit and his love of life.”

Reid’s mother, Beth, said,

“I knew his fears and I knew how to help him. All he wanted to do was stay busy, train and keep his mind off the old triggers, then go back to Japan. He was doing really well there. He was happy.”

– WWE Superstar Jack Swagger is scheduled to go to trial on June 25 in Mississippi, stemming from his February 19 DUI arrest in Gulfport, MS. Swagger was arrested just 90 minutes after attending a WWE SmackDown taping. Swagger’s charges carry fines of $437 for possession of marijuana, $188 for driving 10 mph over the speed limit and $1,300 for driving impaired on a first DUI offense. City prosecutor Kirk Clark previously told the Associated Press that he is pushing for the maximum sentence against Swagger, which would land him in jail for two days and require him to take several classes.

– Kevin Nash tweeted the following on Sunday next, explaining why he probably won’t be getting back in the ring at any time soon:

– Mark Henry is teasing on Twitter that he may retire soon.

– With the announcement that Rob Van Dam will be returning to WWE at next month’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, WWE.com caught up with several WWE Superstars / TV personalities to get their thoughts on the situation:

Paul Heyman: “The entire WWE Universe is buzzing about the return of a true one-of-a-kind, Rob Van Dam. And no one, I assure you, no one is more exhilarated about the return of RVD than Paul Heyman himself. Because after all, Rob Van Dam is a “Paul Heyman Guy.””

The Miz: “One of the greatest highfliers, a Legend in my mind. I remember from ECW to WWE, this guy is action-packed, he is a showstopper, he is must-see. He’s not going to take The Miz’s spot. I welcome all comers. I’ve always welcomed anyone that’s come back, because the fact is, if people are going to watch them, they’re going to stay to watch me. Who knows how much he has left in the tank? I’m curious to see how he does. I’m a huge fan and I look forward to getting in the ring with him.”

Vickie Guerrero: “My responsibility is making the best opportunities for Monday Night Raw. To have RVD return back to WWE, I am honored to be part of the board that looked at his profile and welcomed him with open arms. RVD and I go back many years to when he was with Eddie. I cannot wait to see him here.”

Brad Maddox: “Of course I’m not surprised, because I signed him. Or I should say, re-signed the legendary RVD. I specifically told him to wait for Money in the Bank, because I wanted to maximize profitability.”

Titus O’Neil: “Anything that gets the WWE Universe excited in any way, shape or form, I’m excited about. Because that means more fans in the WWE Universe that will be spending more money to buy Prime Time Players T-shirts. So yeah, I’m excited about RVD coming back.”

Damien Sandow: “I am not threatened by any man whose name is three letters.”

WWE has already moved RVD’s WWE.com Superstar profile from the “Alumni” section to the main roster section. Van Dam returns to WWE at next month’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

– New WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel tweeted the following on Sunday, wishing his father Curt Hennig a Happy Fathers Day:

– New WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee tweeted the following message after her match at Payback last night:

– Seth Rollins of The Shield tweeted the following about he and Roman Reigns retaining the WWE Tag Team titles at Payback:

– WWE Hall of Famer Edge spoke to Paul Mazeby of the When We Were Bouncers Facebook page about his crazy experiences as a bouncer, prior to becoming a pro wrestler.

“I started bouncing at 17 years old at a franchise place called O’Toole’s in my hometown of Orangeville. Of course it was highly illegal for me to be doing that, but even at that age I was about 6’4” and 220, so because they were short on bouncers, I got the job.

The thing with Orangeville was that, even though it was just a small town of about 15000 people, it was surrounded by a bunch of farming communities whose farm boys would come into town with their shit-kickers on when they wanted to drink. And when the drinking started, all the different rivalries from all the different towns would flare up.

The bouncing crew included friends of mine named Doug Childs and Kelly McGoogan, as well as the legendary Burt the Hurt. Burt was a guy I knew from the wrestling business, since we were both training to be wrestlers at Sully’s Gym in Toronto. In his day job he was a schoolteacher, but he was also legally blind so how he got a license, I have no idea. That dude was INSANE — he would only answer if you called him by his full name of “Burt the Hurt”, and he spoke about himself in the third person way before The Rock ever did. I liked to call him “The Innovator of Eccentricity” because he always talked as if he was cutting a wrestling promo, even when there were no cameras around and he didn’t think anybody was listening. Burt was also strong as a bull — squat, deadlift, pick up cars, whatever. Total freak — and batshit crazy.

Our crew was actually well-hired, because with me being from town and every other guy being from one of the neighbouring towns, any time things got out of hand, the odds were good that at least one of us would know at least one of the guys in the fight and have a chance at talking them down.

So one night we were all at work, and it was one of those times where the place was filled with these big, athletic farm guys who play hockey, and the air was thick with testosterone and you could just tell that something was gonna happen. Adding to the potential for disaster was that Jay The Dick [Jay Reso aka “Christian”, Copeland’s tag team partner and best friend] was also in the club, because there was really nowhere else to hang out in Orangeville.

I can’t even remember what started it all. I just remember looking at the back corner and seeing fists start flying back there, and then suddenly it was like a tsunami of fists rolling toward us as more and more people got involved. By the time the wave crashed into us, there were at least thirty people fighting, which meant we could absolutely forget about stopping it. We just had to pick off guys one at a time, try to control it.

The first guy I grabbed started swinging at me, so I rammed him up against a support pillar to get a good hold of him, and then began dragging him out. But a buddy of his came up from behind me and grabbed me in a chokehold! So now I’m not only fending off the choke, but the guy I had against the pillar is now loose and he’s getting ready to dial me in.

We were all standing beside this kind of wooden barrier that ran around the dance floor, maybe four feet high and eighteen inches thick, and just as I’m thinking I’m finished, out of nowhere I see The Dick running along the top of it. So I pushed backward and slammed the guy behind me into a wall, which got me loose just as The Dick launched himself into the air. A moment later — BOOM! — he hit the guy in front of me with a picture-perfect cross body block to the back! I swear, you’ve never seen a better one in any wrestling ring than the one that The Dick pulled off that night — slammed the guy face-first right into the ground!

To the best of my knowledge, that was the first-ever successful cross body block to be pulled off in a street fight — and don’t even talk to me about that weak shit that [Chris] Jericho tried in Calgary, because it totally doesn’t count if you don’t connect!

Thankfully, the fight didn’t last much longer and we all came out of it more or less unscathed. If you don’t count having to listen to The Dick brag about himself for weeks afterward, that is.”

*********

“If I fail to remember O’Toole’s for any other reason, I will always remember it for the night that they featured a male strip show. I was freaking out that I had to work that night, because I’d barely been to a female strip club at that point, so I had no idea what the deal was gonna be.

The strippers arrived shortly after my shift started, and because it was the nineties, they were all mulletted out like crazy — not that I can say anything about it since I was rockin’ the same thing, plus my uniform was cowboy boots, jeans, and a white denim shirt, so I wasn’t setting a very high fashion precedent.

After the show began, I stayed on the front door and tried to look into the club as little as possible. But it was still my job to scan the room from time to time, and every time I did, it was like, “Whoa, shit, there’s a dick”. I hadn’t realized that these guys were actually gonna get their shit right in the girls’ faces and just shake it! I don’t know if that was legal or not, but I can tell you it was sure goin’ on.

Eventually I had to use the staff washroom, which was a tiny, single-user deal at the back. As I made my way back there I tried to keep my eyes to the floor, but it was like walking through dick land-mines the whole way! When I finally got to the back I let out a huge sigh of relief, but that only lasted a couple of seconds before I opened the unlocked bathroom door and found one of the peelers standing there wearing nothing but a cock ring! Porn magazine in one hand, junk in the other, and going to TOWN on himself trying to get his shit hard!

At a young and impressionable 17 years old, I didn’t want to know about cock-rings — what they were, what they were for, the whole process of getting ‘em on, I didn’t wanna know any of that. And I especially didn’t want to be enlightened by a guy who was only too eager to explain it all while whacking his meat!

So yeah… I witnessed that. And even with all the years that passed and all the concussions I’ve suffered since then, I’ve still never found a way to un-know it.”

– Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted the following on Monday about his new movie Hercules:

– Here are some highlights from WWE.com’s backstage interviews from Sunday night after WWE Payback:

WWE doctor Michael Sampson commented on Dolph Ziggler’s condition, noting that Ziggler was checked out after his match and will continue to be monitored for post-concussion symptoms. According to WWE storylines, Ziggler’s in-ring status is up int he air until they get more results from Ziggler’s latest round of testing.

Kane commented on his count-out loss to Dean Ambrose, promising that Dean Ambrose won’t escape him again.

Paul Heyman said new Intercontinental champion Curtis Axel had the “perfect” victory at Payback and now has a bunch of “offers” coming in.

The Shield also gave WWE a hand-held video they shot backstage, mocking their opponents and declaring that The Shield dominated yet another pay-per-view event. Ambrose called WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns “the best tag team walking today” and said that The Shield are the leaders of a”new generation” in WWE.

– WWE.com has an article up stating that Ryback refused medical attention after losing the Three Stages of Hell match to John Cena at Payback. Cena won the match by giving Ryback an AA through the roof of the ambulance at ringside. There will be an update on Ryback’s condition tonight on RAW.

– WWE Payback was a legitimate sellout at the Allstate Arena, with 14,623 fans in attendance.

– WWE announcer Michael Cole was recently interviewed by Wrestling101. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

What have been some of your highlights during your time with WWE?

My career was made at the beginning thanks to Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude, if it wasn’t for D-Generation X who knows if I would’ve ever been discovered to become the personality that I am today, with those guys we had so much fun together and I become their foil.

From there I went onto SmackDown and I was there for ten years straight before I moved to Raw and that was obviously a huge experience for me. Then moving to Monday Night Raw was probably the biggest moment of my career. Finally being asked to get in the ring and have Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s only WrestleMania match was a complete honour, I was completely humbled by that and I had a lot of fun doing it.

I like being a bad guy but now I’m a good guy again and it’s all just so much fun, you’re able to reinvent your character so much in this business and that’s why I enjoy it so much.

You were doing commentary on Raw when Jerry Lawler had a heart attack, what instincts kicked in when that incident happened?

My news instincts kicked in, it was just one of those things where Jerry had a heart attack next to me and being a news reporter kicked in. I had to report what was going on in the ring, then I had to report what was going on with Jerry, it was all instinct, there was nothing premeditated about it.

Jerry had a match that night but it was business as usual, he came back and went to work nothing changed. Whatever match it was we were calling, I thought he was snoring and I turned around to look at him and he was passed out on the table and we went from there. It was a surreal thing and I’ve never watched that moment back, I don’t want to but I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. He was passed out under the table and luckily doc Sampson was three feet away and they got to him quickly and got his heart going again but it was a bizarre time, I didn’t know for the last hour of the show if I was going to have to report that Jerry had passed away or if he was surviving and luckily we got the news right as we were going off the air that he was surviving, it was a really tough time.

Obviously it all came out the way we wanted it to, and it is great having Jerry back on the commentary table. It changed me personally but it also changed me professionally because at that point I became a babyface again and I think for the best, I was a bad guy for a while but it was time to change. Obviously Jerry’s heart attack changed history as we look at it.

What is Vince McMahon like as a boss?

He is wonderful, he’s hard but he is a genius with what we do as a company. If you can understand how to learn from him, here is a guy that is a billionaire and he’s built the wrestling business to where it is today but he still goes out and puts himself in situations, embarrassing situations for the good of the company.

That’s why when I did my role as a heel for a few years and all the things I did to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, I did that with Vince in mind. Vince is the owner of the company but he has had his head shoved up Big Shows rear-end, had his head shaved bald at WrestleMania, all the stuff he did over the years I thought if my boss could do that, I could do that.

He is one of my hero’s in this business and even in life, I’ve grown up in this business, I’ve spent 16-years here, I started as a fairly young kid, I’ve raised my family being a part of the WWE. Vince is like a second father to me and he has helped me throughout my career and I hope to spend the rest of my career with the guy, he’s just been an unbelievable mentor.

Have you ever had an ear bashing from Vince?

(Laughs) Yeah it happens every week, the thing is you can’t take it personally. Vince is very obsessive about his product because he should be, he has built the WWE into a global phenomenon, this is his baby and he acts that way because he wants his product to be the best.

You have to understand it’s not a personal attack, it’s him wanting his product to be the best in the world and once you can understand that you’re going to be better than ever and you’ve got to understand it’s a way to motivate you.

– Here is WWE’s official promo video for the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 14:

– Stephanie McMahon tweeted this picture of the social media command center backstage at WWE Payback:

TNA

– TNA Wrestling has parted ways with Mike Weber, their Vice President of Marketing, last week. He had been with the company since 2008 and previously worked for WWE and WCW.

Rob Van Dam Returning at MITB?, NBA & NFL News

Monday, June 17th, 2013

NBA

– According to ESPN, F Kevin Garnett, F Paul Pierce and head coach Doc Rivers all prefer to “carry on in Boston for one more season.” Although the three may want to remain in Boston, GM Danny Ainge has the final say. Stay tuned.

– The Pacers are “leaning toward” not trading F Danny Granger, according to ESPN.

– F Dario Saric has officially withdrawn from the 2013 NBA draft. Saric was ranked No. 11 by ESPN. He’ll spend another year overseas, which he was going to do anyways, before re-entering the 2014 Draft.

– Warriors’ F Festus Ezeli (right knee) has undergone surgery to reinforce his MCL and PCL, and will miss 6-9 months. Ezeli sprained the knee during the regular-season finale at Portland on April 17. Ezeli averaged 2.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.95 blocked shots — fourth among NBA rookies — in 78 regular-season games and 41 starts as a rookie.

– Spurs’ G Danny Green scored 24 points in the Spurs’ Game 5 victory, shooting 6-of-10 from downtown to increase his series total to a Finals-record 25 made 3-pointers, passing Ray Allen.

NFL

– Texans’ RB Arian Foster (calf) believes he’ll “more than likely” be ready for training camp. Foster was injured in late May, and has been spending time in a hyperbaric chamber to try and speed up his recovery. He’s missed just three games since 2010.

– Retired WR Donald Driver suggested at the Packers’ charity softball game Sunday that he’d be open to returning if Green Bay called this year. “I think the thing for me is if the Packers call midseason, I’d be in shape. I’ve been staying in shape.” Driver, 38, retired on January 31.

– According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, there’s a “strong possibility” that Steelers’ TE Heath Miller (ACL, MCL, PCL surgery) won’t be ready for Week 1. Per the report, Miller is “out indefinitely.” He didn’t participate in any OTAs following a three-ligament knee tear on December 23 and reconstructive surgery on January 2.

– Jets’ WR Santonio Holmes (foot) said that his 2012 Lisfranc foot fracture was the most series kind, in that it was “grade four.” The injury included a muscle tear and a joint separation in his mid-foot. Holmes needed a followup surgery to remove a plate and screws from the foot in March, but two screws will stay in permanently. Holmes still can’t run or cut, and his status for Week 1 is in doubt.

– The Colorado Springs-Gazette reports that the Broncos released RB Willis McGahee Thursday because he’s not healthy. McGahee tore his MCL and fractured his leg last season.

– Titans’ head coach Mike Munchak told the Tennesseean that WR Nate Washington is “very much” in the team’s plans. “He is our leader. We know how thin that position can get real quickly, and we have a good group to watch. Nate is very much in our plans.” Washington is due $4.2M next season.

– The Falcons have signed CB Robert Alford, a 2nd-round pick from Southeastern Louisiana. Alford had 10 interceptions and started 31 games at Southeastern Louisiana.

MLB

– Rays’ RHP Alex Cobb (concussion) will not travel with the team on their upcoming 7-game road trip. Cobb was diagnosed with a mild concussion at Bayfront Medical Center after being hit in the head by an Eric Hosmer line drive Saturday at Tropicana Field. He’s been placed on the 7-day DL, and will miss at least one start. Cobb has a 3.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 76/23 K/BB ratio in 83 2/3 innings this season.

– Phillis’ 2B Chase Utley (right oblique) could begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Tuesday. Utley took batting practice with teammates Friday and Saturday at Coors Field without issue.

– According to Andy Martino of the NY Daily News, the Mets do not expect to trade RHP Bobby Parnell. The 28-year-old is under contract for two more seasons. He has a 2.83 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 26/8 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings this season.

– The Cubs have placed OF David DeJesus (sprained right shoulder) on the 15-day DL. DeJesus suffered the injury Friday when he ran into the centre-field wall.

NHL

– Brendan Shanahan was in Calgary Friday to have dinner and a conversation with Flames’ president Ken King. According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, no job offer was made but there was discussion. Shanahan, 44, has been the NHL’s vice-president of hockey and business development since December, 2009 and became director of player safety in June, 2011. The Flames have reportedly been looking to hire someone to oversee their hockey operations.

– NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has been in contact with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. McGinn believes that Seattle can support an NHL team in KeyArena, which is the former home of the WHL’s Thunderbirds and the former NBA’s SuperSonics.

PGA

– Justin Rose posted an even-par 70 in the final round to win his first major at the 2013 U.S. Open. Rose is the fifth consecutive first-time winner at the U.S. Open. Phil Mickelson posted a 3-over 73, and finished runner-up for the sixth time in this event. To make matters worse, Sunday was not only Father’s Day, but also his birthday.

WWE

– It was confirmed during the WWE Payback PPV from Chicago Sunday night that former WWE Champion Rob Van Dam will be returning to the company at the upcoming WWE Money In The Bank PPV. The RVD announcement at Payback came in the form of a video package, which highlighted RVD’s past work in WWE and then confirmed his return at the MITB PPV on Sunday, July 14. RVD will be working a limited schedule, and won’t be on the road full-time. Additionally, his contract is said to be a short-term deal.

– According to F4WOnline, due to time constraints, WWE was forced to cut time from the final two matches at WWE Payback last night. The Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns and Ryback vs. John Cena matches were given less time than scheduled. According to reports, the Ryback vs. John Cena feud is now over, and the plan as of this weekend was still to run with Cena vs. Daniel Bryan on top at the Money In The Bank PPV.

– WWE is playing up the fact that there may be some issues between CM Punk and Paul Heyman following the WWE Payback pay-per-view on Sunday night in Chicago. WWE.com played into the storyline by adding a video that shows Heyman and Punk arguing backstage after Punk’s victory over Chris Jericho on the PPV. In the video, Punk stresses that he’s not one of Heyman’s clients, but instead a friend. Punk told Heyman to be his friend and Heyman closed out by saying he would.

– According to reports, Chris Jericho (knee) suffered a knee injury last week, likely in his match at SmackDown with Curtis Axel. Despite Jericho working at the live events over the weekend and Payback on Sunday, there is fear that he may have suffered a torn meniscus.

– Updating a previous item, WWE Superstar CM Punk appeared at a Rancid concert last week. After appearing at the concert, rumours started circulating that Punk would receive a new WWE theme song from the rock band. At that point, however, the entire idea was merely rumour and speculation stemming from Punk casually visiting a friends’ rock concert. According to reports, though, there is talk within WWE now that Punk will in fact get a new theme song in the near future.

– WWE announcer JBL lost his luggage on a flight with American Airlines on Saturday. The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion tweeted about the incident on his official Twitter account. The following are the related tweets:

“Can we arrange a boycott of @AmericanAir ? These guys r terrible! Where is my bag???”

“No answers and no service! @AmericanAir sucks and doesn’t care! I have a @wwe PPV to do tomorrow an they just lie to me! Fly anyone but them”

“Hey @AmericanAir where’s my bags???? U morons lost my bags, said they would be delivered at 8p. Please, NO ONE fly this airline!”

– WWE Superstar Triple H recently mentioned how he’d like the chance to have one more match with The Rock. Additionally, HHH replied to a fan on Twitter who asked the question, “Who did you never get a chance to get in the ring with that you look back at and say, ‘Damn we could of had a classic match’?” by simply stating, “…Rey,” referring to Rey Mysterio.

– The following are highlights of an interview with British wrestling promoter Graham McKay:

On Drew McIntyre in WWE: “He’s getting wasted in WWE. You look at the 3MB set up: three of the best guys they’ve got in that company and they are totally wrecking them. He was supposed to get the big push, he was the next big thing. Bret Hart has spoken to Vince about Drew, Roddy Piper has spoken to Vince about Drew, but nothing seems to be happening. Drew doesn’t let much on about what’s happening, but I said to him a couple of weeks ago that he’s getting ruined. He didn’t say much but he seems quite happy with what he’s doing. So I don’t know if they have plans for him, but I don’t see how they can repair what they’re doing to him right now. Drew’s ability is so much more advanced than what WWE will let him do. He is so technically minded. Him and Sheamus got signed at the same time, they’re best friends: they would have great matches.”

On Sheamus signing with WWE: “Sheamus was actually in two minds over whether or not to go for the WWE try-out. He’s that little bit older, he’s in his 30s, he had a good job in Dublin and was very well paid. So he was in two minds, because obviously if you get through the try-out you go to developmental, you can spend two or three years there and get nothing. So it was a big risk for him to go for that and potentially come back to no job. Believe it or not it was Drew that convinced him to go for the try-out.”

– Sean Waltman discussed his career with Inside The Ropes this past Thursday as he promoted the Viva L.A Lucha Kickstarter campaign (details available here). Highlights from the interview are as follows:

On his huge promotion upon his arrival to the WWF in 1993 as the 1-2-3 Kid, compared to talent receiving opportunities today: “Okay, they were pushing me, but this is what I don’t understand. There’s some guys now who are getting their opportunities and doing a lot with them, but you can’t push something that doesn’t propel itself. Sometimes you’re limited to what you are talent wise. My angle was really unique when I came in. Usually a guy would come in with vignettes and then win some squash matches and get over that way. They seemed to have a well thought out plan for me. Plus the angle with Razor and I was the first storyline they ran on Raw so that was pretty cool.”

On being told he’s working with Shane McMahon at WrestleMania XV: “I didn’t like it going in, I was expecting to have this big WrestleMania match. But back then If something wasn’t my idea, I didn’t like it, even if it was a good one. I was a bit of a spoiled brat at the time. I remember thinking I wanted to have a really good WrestleMania match, but how was I gonna do that with somebody that’d never had a match before, but I told Vince y’know, he listens to me and I’ll do it but it’s my way. And the agreement was he’d do the job (laughs). But the overall picture of why we did the finish of the match, you know Hunter turned on me and a lot of good things came out of that. My team with Kane came out of that, Hunter’s big first championship run kinda came from that. I thought Shane did an amazing job, he really did. He rented the St Paul Civic Center, it had this little building that held 3-4,000 people called the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, he rented that and had someone in Detroit drive a ring and set it up in this empty building, so I’d go there and work out a match with him for WrestleMania. I wasn’t going anywhere on my days off. I thought that was really going above and beyond, sending a ring to Detroit, Shane and I ended up being pretty tight.”

Whether he watches TNA: “You know what I should, I really should, but I don’t. I don’t know why or what it is but it just doesn’t feel like must see TV to me.”

Thoughts on going down to NXT: “From where it was a couple of years ago it’s so much better, so much better. I actually think quite often it’s the best thing on TV. Sometimes I think the best stuff comes off of that show. Triple H is working closely with that too. ”

– Kevin Nash recently talked about his brief feud in WWE with CM Punk in a new tweet. Nash wrote, “It’s crazy I powerbombed Punk several times and his minions talk about a promo.What did he do to me physically? Not a f*cking thing.”

– Six years ago Saturday, WWE Hall of Famer “Sensational” Sherri Martel died at her mother’s residence in McCalla, Alabama. A toxicology released later that year stated that she died of an overdose with multiple drugs in her system, including high amounts of oxycodone. Former NWA World Women’s Champion Tiffany Roxx posted this message in remembrance of Martel, “RIP Sensational Sherri. You were one of my biggest inspirations and I’m still learning from your work.”

– WWE Superstar Hornswoggle competed in an actual match at the WWE live event in Bloomington, Illinois. Hornswoggle defeated Brad Maddox via pinfall after hitting his “Tadpole Splash” finisher.

– Next month’s slate of WWE Classics On Demand programming will feature a summer theme highlighted by a profile on WWE Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch and the broadcast of a WCW pay-per-view event from 1995 that took place on a beach. A brief description of next month’s programming reads, “California… Where the beach is the place to be, the heatwaves are extreme, and the weather is always “Sunny”. Enjoy the very best from The Golden State all month long on WWE Classics On Demand.” Sunny, whose trailblazing contributions to the professional wrestling industry earned her a place in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, is ecstatic over WWE shining the spotlight on her once again. She promoted the video on Twitter with the accompanying message, “WATCH AT THE END OF THE VIDEO.. the featured Hall of Famer for JULY is MEEEEEEEE!!”

TNA

– TNA Wrestling has cut ties with Michael Weber, Vice President of Marketing. Prior to joining the organization in 2008, he held the same role for World Championship Wrestling from 1992 to 1999, and worked as Director of Media Relations for the World Wrestling Federation from 1986 to 1989.

– Kevin Nash is continuing his active streak on Twitter today, as he tweeted this one out recently in regards to joining the Main Event Mafia. “Wish Sting would call ,be nice to get some sleep.”

– TNA Wrestling has announced “Bad Bones” John Klinger as the winner of the Gut Check Challenge, an online tournament. As a result of his victory, Klinger has earned the opportunity to compete in the Gut Check Challenge on a future episode of Impact Wrestling. Of the 6,361 votes cast in the final round, Klinger garnered 2,185. The runner-up was “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete” Shanna, who drew 1,571. Finalists were WWE Tough Enough contestant A.J. Kirsch, The Big O, Lufisto, and Chance Prophet, among other independent wrestlers.

CM Punk Turning Babyface?, NBA & NFL News

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

NBA

– According to Lakers Nation’s Mark Heisler, the Lakers aren’t willing to take back players or salary in a sign-and-trade if F Dwight Howard decides to sign with another team. Per Heisler, LA would rather take the salary cap and luxury tax savings than take on players that aren’t equivalent to Howard just to help him sign elsewhere. Howard and G Chris Paul would reportedly like to play together next season, and if they do, it almost surely won’t be with the Lakers or Clippers due to the salary cap. The Rockets and Hawks have been mentioned as possible landing spots. Stay tuned.

– According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, there’s a “rising belief” that F Kevin Garnett, F Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers all want to join the Clippers should they be unable to work out a deal with the Celtics. Wow. There remain several question marks for all three, but it remains a possibility. Stay tuned.

– Nuggets’ F Danilo Gallinari (knee) suffered only a partial ACL tear, according to The Steadman Clinic in Vail. While it is good news, Gallo is still unlikely to be ready until around New Years.

– Lakers’ trainer Gary Vitti suggested Friday that G Steve Nash should be on a tight minutes cap next season. Nash is expected to be 100% for training camp. Nash turns 40 in February. “Figure out the appropriate minutes that put him in a successful situation. The example I use is Robert Horry, where we played him a lot of minutes, and it was difficult for him to recover and be productive at his age. But he goes to San Antonio, plays 18 minutes a game, and the guy was an unbelievable force off the bench for them. I think if we figure out how best to use Steve, he can be the same way.”

– Heat’ F Chris Bosh has been fined $5K for flopping during Thursday’s Game 4 win over the Spurs. It’s peanuts to his $17.545M salary this season.

NFL

– Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski (back) will undergo surgery Tuesday in LA, and is expected to miss 12 weeks. Gronk will reportedly need 6 weeks of rest and 6 to rebuild strength and resume conditioning. If he makes 12 weeks exactly, it would be September 10, two days after the Pats open their regular season. Gronkowski will open training camp on the active/PUP list.

– The Jets have signed TE Kellen Winslow to a 1-year contract. Winslow, 30 next month, appeared in one game in 2012, catching one pass for 12 yards.

– According to the NY Daily News, “word” is that Giants’ WR Victor Cruz will settle for no less than $9M annually on a long-term contract offer. Cruz was initially seeking $11M annually. Per the report, the club’s latest offer is worth an average of more than $8M a year. Cruz signed his 1-year/$2.879M tender Friday.

– The Indianapolis Star projects Colts’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw to start ahead of Vick Ballard. Bradshaw may open training camp on the active/PUP list following offseason foot surgery. He hasn’t practiced with the team yet.

NHL

– The Red Wings have signed F Drew Mille to a 3-year/$4.05M contract. Miller had four goals, including two game winners, and eight points in 44 games last season.

– While the Flyers continue to work on a contract with recently acquired D Mark Streit, TSN reports that the team has also begun preliminary discussions on a contract extension with F Claude Giroux. The 25-year-old has one year left on a 3-year/$11.25M contract. He’ll be an RFA after next season. The two-time All-Star had 13 goals and 48 points in 48 games this season.

– Updating a previous item, Bruins’ F Nathan Horton (left shoulder) will eventually require surgery. According to WEEI-FM in Boston, Horton has been bothered by a left shoulder subluxation, an injury he first sustained during an April 20 fight with Pittsburgh’s Jarome Iginla. He missed the final five games of the regular season before returning for the playoffs.

– Alain Vigneault has asked to be withdrawn from the list of Stars’ potential head coaches, and appears likely to be named the Rangers’ next head coach.

– The Panthers have traded D T.J. Brennan to the Predators for F Bobby Butler. In 29 games between the Sabres and Panthers last season, Brennan recorded three goals and 10 points. Butler, 25, had 11 points in 34 games between the Predators and Devils last season.

– Blackhawks’ F Bryan Bickell revealed that his pre-game meal during the Stanley Cup Finals is sushi. He told NHL.com, “The sushi dinner before a game is something I started to do in the playoffs and it’s working, so I’m not going to stop it now. I took Kaner [Chicago Patrick Kane] with me before Game 4 in Los Angeles and he scored, so he went again before Game 5 and then he scored a hat trick. I’m sure he’ll find a way to get some tonight as well.”

– The Oilers have agreed to terms with F Mark Arcobello on a 1-year contract extension. Arcobello, 24, has spent the past three seasons with the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL, scoring a career high 22 goals and 68 points in 74 games this season.

– The Utica Comets–the AHL affiliate for the Canucks–will now be playing at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Comets will kick off their inaugural season this fall at the 4,000-seat venue, which will be renovated with the help of $5M in state aid. The new franchise brings the number of AHL clubs in New York State to six.

MLB

– Athletics’ LHP Brett Anderson (right foot) is expected to be sidelined until August at the earliest. Anderson is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, and will be remain in a walking boot for at least another 4 weeks. He won’t be reevaluated until after the All-Star break.

– Nationals’ OF Bryce Harper (knee) will test his knee when the team travels to Philadelphia next week. Harper could perform baseball activities at that time if he feels well. Harper was given platelet-rich plasma and cortisone shots in the knee Monday, and had to be shut down completely for one week.

– D’Backs’ 2B Aaron Hill (hand) took live batting practice Friday without issue, and will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno Saturday. Hill will remain with Triple-A Reno through Wednesday, and could return to the lineup as early as next weekend. Hill has been limited to just 10 games this season.

– D’Backs’ RHP Ian Kennedy will appeal his 10-game suspension. Kennedy was issued the ban for his role in Tuesday’s brawl with the Dodgers. The appeal allows him to make his scheduled start on Sunday in San Diego.

– Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler will make his MLB debut in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Braves. The 23-year-old owns a 3.93 ERA and 73/27 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings across 13 starts this season with Triple-A Las Vegas.

– Dodgers’ OF Matt Kemp (hamstring) will not be activated during the team’s’ current roadtrip through June 24. Kemp suffered a minor setback last weekend.

– The Brewers have placed OF Ryan Braun (right thumb contusion) on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 9. He should return before the end of June, barring setbacks.

– The Yankees have placed 3B Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain) on the 15-day DL. It’s the same injury that landed Youk on the DL at the end of April. He hit just.146/.239/.220 with one RBI and 13 strikeouts in 41 at-bats after returning from the DL on May 31.

EPL

– Manchester City has hired Manuel Pellegrini, 59, as the club’s new manager.

FIFA

– FIFA said in a statement today it is authorizing the wearing of male head covers at all levels of Canadian soccer. The statement says the headwear must be the same colour as the jersey, look professional, must not be attached to the jersey and not pose any danger to players. FIFA’s position comes four days after the Canadian Soccer Association suspended Quebec’s soccer federation after the provincial body banned the wearing of Sikh headwear.

WWE

– With CM Punk returning to WWE this weekend at Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view, there has been a lot of buzz that he’ll be turning babyface soon. Punk has a little over one year left on his current WWE contract, and in the event that Punk wants to take extended time off again at that point, WWE wants to get another big babyface run out of him.

– WWE Chairman Vince McMahon commented on CM Punk’s return to action at Sunday’s WWE Payback pay-per-view, writing on Twitter:

– According to celebrity-gossip website TMZ, an autopsy report showed WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair’s son, Reid Flair, officially died of an accidental drug overdose. The TMZ report claims that heroin, xanax, among other drugs, were found in Reid’s system at the time of his death. Reid Flair passed away in a hotel room in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 29, 2013.

– Former WCW wrestler Al Green passed away earlier this week. He was 58 years old. Green had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in recent years, which is a degenerative disease that makes it hard to breathe. He had been using an oxygen tank full time. Green was originally trained by Steve Keirn, and worked as one half of the Master Blasters tag team with Kevin Nash. He also worked with Road Warrior Animal’s brother Marcus Laurinaitis as one half of the Terminators in the US and Japan. The team got a run in 1993 WCW as The Wrestling Crew, and from there had runs in Otto Wanz’ CWA and in All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1995. Green had a final run back with WCW in the company’s dying days, with the gimmick “The Dog.” Kevin Nash, Green’s former tag team partner, tweeted the following about his friend’s passing:

“R.I.P Al Green thanks for saying yes in Hammon Indiana to be my partner.”

– During a recent interview with Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper, WWE Superstar The Miz spoke about John Cena helping him early in his WWE career:

“John Cena made me realise what I had to do to get ahead in this business. You have to make your own way to the top because no one’s going to give the spot to you.

“Most of all you have to make the audience believe (in your character). No matter what they’re saying about it, you always have to make them believe.”

The Miz also talked about CM Punk’s success in WWE, calling Punk his polar opposite:

“Punk, whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect him for all that he’s done in the WWE. He’s the longest-reigning champion of the past 25 years, and that’s for a reason, but we are complete opposites.

“I enjoy the limelight, walking the red carpet, living in Hollywood and doing stuff like that. And Punk, well, he’s not what you’d call a ‘corporate person’. I think the big differences in who we are as people, and as characters, would make for a great feud.”

– The Buffalo News has revealed that Fandango’s original dance partner is 20-year-old college student/dance instructor Andrea Lynn. Lynn revealed that she heard from WWE last month and was told that the creative team decided to go with Summer Rae as Fandango’s dance partner instead. However, she did note that the door is open for her to return some time in the future.

“They didn’t cut me off like, ‘We don’t want you anymore.’ They could call me next week, they could call me next year.”

She noted that she was not originally suposed to appear on WWE TV more than once, but prior to settling on Summer Rae, WWE decided to use Lynn severeal times because it would be too much of a hasstle to find a new dancer in every town they visited.

– In the SmackDown edition of “Backstage Fallout,” Sheamus talks about how he intends to repay Damien Sandow for Friday Night’s surprise attack. Plus, Heath Slater compares himself to “James and the Giant Peach.”

– WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin says he met with executives from the CMT cable network (home of his Redneck Island show) about another new reality TV show:

– William Regal tweeted the following message on Friday night, referencing his past issues with substance abuse and noting that he remains humble, possibly referencing that other wrestlers don’t:

– MMG‘s Gunplay recently revealed his newest ink, a replica of the famous WWF Winged Eagle title belt:

TNA

– The 2013 TNA Hall of Fame ceremony for Kurt Angle will be October 19 at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley.

– The Thursday, June 13th edition of TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV scored a final cable rating of 1.03, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 1.03 number marks an increase from the 0.92 final draw the show scored last week. Impact Wrestling this week averaged 1.203 million viewers, up from the 1.1 million viewers the show averaged last week.

– On Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, TNA Hall of Famer Sting revealed that he’ll be bringing back the Main Event Mafia. Here’s a preview for next week’s Impact Wrestling:

The Undertaker at SummerSlam?, Blackhawks & Penguins News

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

MLB

– Padres’ OF Cameron Maybin (left knee) will miss at least 6 weeks a PCL injury. Maybin missed seven weeks with a wrist issue earlier, and will now be sidelined until after the All-Star break. He was injured after landing on it awkwardly while attempting a diving catch of a fly ball Sunday.

– The Cubs have acquired RHP Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals in exchange for RHP Ian Dickson. Rodriguez had been designated for assignment last week after posting a 5.13 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.

NFL

– The Seahawks are expected to sign free agent QB Tarvaris Jackson to a 1-year contract. He was released by the Bills just two days ago. Jackson was as the team captain in 2011, and posted a 7-7 record as a starter. Now, he’ll battle, and likely beat, QB Brady Quinn for the backup role.

– According to the Times-Picayune, Saints’ OLB Victor Butler (torn ACL) was injured during Tuesday’s practice. Butler signed a 2-year/$3M contract with the Saints this past offseason.

NBA

– The Nets have the paramaters of a 3-year offer in place for Jason Kidd to become their next head coach, according to the NY Post. The Nets are interviewing Brian Shaw Wednesday, but the job appears to be Kidd’s to lose. Per the report, no official offer has been made.

NHL

– Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman told the Chicago Tribune that any moves his team makes from now will be made with the mindset that F Jonathan Toews and F Patrick Kane will need long-term contracts soon. Toews and Kane both have contracts that expire after the 2014-15 season. Bowman said the two are “franchise players” and it remains a “singular focus for us” to extend them, as they “will be one of the constants going forward for the franchise.” Stay tuned.

– Penguins’ GM Ray Shero gave G Marc-Andre Fleury a vote of confidence Wednesday. “I’m not getting rid of Marc-Andre Fleury. It’s difficult to replace 40 wins a year from M-A Fleury. I don’t believe I can replace that. He can get back to where he was 2008-09.”

– According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Penguins’ ownership has given GM Ray Shero the ‘OK’ to re-sign F Evgeni Malkin. Shero and Malkin’s agent, J.P. Barry, held a face-to-face meeting Monday. Re-signing Gino will be the team’s top priority this summer, and the team wants to get him to agree in principle to a new deal before free agency. Stay tuned.

– Bruins’ impending UFA F Nathan Horton told the Boston Herald that he wants to stay with the team, but he isn’t thinking about his future right now. “We’ve got so much going on. No matter what happens, I think I’ll be playing somewhere. I’m just going out and playing hockey because in the end there’s nothing I can really do about it. I think the way I am, not thinking about anything and just going out and playing, has helped me a lot. Let things lie where they lie.” Horton has seven goals and 17 points in 16 playoff games, to go along with a playoff-leading +21 rating.

– Oilers’ F Taylor Hall told the Edmonton Sun that wants to be more of a leader next season. “Whether they’re (Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky) here or not, I’m still looking forward to being more of a leader next year and maturing as a player and a person. I’m still pretty young and regardless of who’s here, I look forward to becoming an even better player, a more rounded player and a more rounded person. I think all of us young guys relish at being better at leading teams, being better in the last five minutes and doing those things that leaders do.” Hall, 21, already has 65 goals and 80 assists in three NHL seasons.

– Predators’ G Pekka Rinne (hip surgery) told the Tennessean that his recovery is “going really well,” but remains unsure of when he’ll be ready to get back on the ice. Rinne added that G Tim Thomas and G Niklas Backstrom have given him advice during his recovery. “They were super nice, sharing their experience and the way they came back and how they felt. The one common thing is it’s a lot of work, and you have to treat it as the biggest thing. Every day I’m working to get better…It’s hard to set any timetables. It’s just the nature of the injury and hopefully I can get back and keep progressing steadily, have no setbacks and eventually get back on the ice.” He’ll be reevaluated in July.

– According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Canucks are expected to interview Kings’ assistant John Stevens later this week.

LA LIGA

– A Spanish prosecutor filed a fraud complaint Wednesday against Lionel Messi, alleging the Barcelona and Argentina star owes 4 million euros ($5.3M) in back taxes for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Messi released this statement via Facebook:

“We are surprised because we have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants who will take care of clarifying this situation.”

WWE

– According to F4WOnline, with WWE Payback taking place this Sunday, planning is already underway for the WWE SummerSlam PPV on 8/18. Over the weekend, WWE was discussing the possibility of The Undertaker wrestling on the show, teaming up with Kane against WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield. If Undertaker does not commit to wrestle, the match will likely be Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. The Shield. Other matches in the works for SummerSlam:

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan

Big E Langston vs. Big Show or Mark Henry

US Champion Dean Ambrose vs. Rey Mysterio

Aside from those SummerSlam matches, WWE is looking at Randy Orton vs. Ryback and Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger as feuds for this summer.

– According to F4WOnline, John Cena is currently booked to defeat Ryback in the Three Stages of Hell match this Sunday at WWE Payback.

– According to F4WOnline, over the weekend, several changes were made to the Payback card. Playing off their recent dissension, WWE had been planning for Daniel Bryan to wrestle Randy Orton at the PPV. Instead, the two will be teaming up against The Shield’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Also discussed over the weekend, it’s possible we see two heels turns for Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. As previously reported, Daniel Bryan is scheduled to feud with John Cena over the WWE Championship this summer.

– WWE Hall of Famer Booker T underwent surgery on his elbow this week:

– Bill Goldberg and Kevin Nash will be working together on another upcoming project. Nash tweeted on Wednesday:

– Former WWE developmental wrestler Derek Foore, who was known as Chad Baxter at NXT, revealed this week that he’s selling his WWE contract to the highest bidder. Foore has been openly criticizing WWE, tweeting:

– WrestlingDVDNews.com has confirmed that WWE will be releasing a new DVD set highlighting the career of former WCW & WWE superstar Bill Goldberg. The 3-DVD/2-Bluray set, which will feature his best matches (without a documentary), is currently scheduled to be released in the UK on 9/30, in the US on 10/8 and in Australia on 10/16. According to WrestlingDVDNews.com, the upcoming Bill Goldberg WWE DVD set will be a match compilation, currently scheduled for release on September 30th in the UK, October 8th in the United States and October 16th in Australia.

– Sami Callihan, who is believed to have signed with WWE, will wrestle his farewell indy match at the upcoming House of Hardcore 2 show from Philadelphia on June 22nd. His opponent will be former WWE superstar MVP.

– CM Punk attended a concert for the band Rancid on Tuesday night in Detroit. Before playing their new song, “F**k You”, band member Lars Fredericksen called CM Punk on stage and joked that the song should be his new WWE entrance theme. They also got the crowd to chant, “..1..2..3..F**K YOU PHILLIP!!” at Punk. Here’s a picture of CM Punk on stage with Rancid in Detroit (6/11):

Owens Retiring?, MLB Debuts, Fast & Furious 6 Breaking Records

Friday, June 7th, 2013

MLB

– Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates’ RHP Gerrit Cole “will very likely” make his major league debut on Tuesday against the Giants. Cole has just 47 strikeouts over 68 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis this season, but does have a 2.91 ERA. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.

– Adam Rubin of ESPN NY reports that the Mets are expected to call up RHP Zack Wheeler to make his major league debut on June 14 against the Cubs. Per Rubin, the date is “not set in stone, but is tentatively set.” Wheeler has a 3.86 ERA with 59 strikeouts over 58 1/3 innings in Triple-A this season.

– Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes said during a radio interview Friday that 1B Yonder Alonso (broken right hand) could miss one month.

NFL

– Free agent WR Terrell Owens told CBS Sports that he’ll retire if he’s unsigned for the 2013 season. “That’s just me being realistic. I want to play again. I want to go out on top with a team. I think I can still play, but if I don’t sign with a team, it would be time to retire. I have to be honest with myself.” Owens spent 3 weeks on the Seahawks’ training camp roster last summer, but hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2010.

NBA

– The Sixers have Nuggets’ assistant Melvin Hunt and Heat’ assistant David Fizdale “on the radar” for their head coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

WWE

– The Rock’s new movie, Fast & Furious 6, is breaking records at the box office. According to a report by Variety, The Rock’s latest blockbuster is the fastest film to break $500M at the box office for Universal Pictures. “Fast 6? has held the box office lead for three consecutive weekends, following its strong Memorial Day weekend release. It is on track to surpass Fast 5 as the highest grossing film in the 10-year franchiser. That film has grossed over $626M since its debut in 2011. Universal has officially signed on for the 7th installment, which is expected to begin production this July. The Rock, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and Paul Walker have all signed on, according to IMDB.

– Evan Bourne tweeted the following cryptic message about his upcoming WWE return:

– Earlier this week, WWE added a profile for Andrew “Test” Martin to the Alumni section of the company’s official website. Kevin Nash tweeted the following about the move:

TNA

– Following Thursday night’s TNA Impact Wrestling tapings (for the show airing June 13), Impact Wrestling taping, the following is the completed list of 2013 Bound for Glory series competitors.

Jeff Hardy
AJ Styles
Samoa Joe
Bobby Roode
Ken Anderson
Austin Aries
Kazarian
Chris Daniels
Joseph Park
Magnus
Jay Bradley
Hernandez

The Undertaker Inducted in 2014 Hall of Fame with Paul Bearer?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

MLB

– Yankees’ 1B Mark Teixiera (wrist) said Tuesday that he expects to be back in the lineup by June 1. Teixiera previously set May 1 as his goal, but was obviously unable to make that. It’s unclear when he’ll be ready for a minor league rehab assignment.

– Braves’ RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow) will make his first minor league rehab start Sunday with Triple-A Gwinnett. He threw 29 pitches over two innings Tuesday during a start in extended spring training prior to getting cleareance. Beachy is expected to make around five starts in the minors, and could join the rotation around the anniversary of his Tommy John surgery on June 21, barring setbacks.

– Nationals’ OF Jayson Werth (hamstring) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday with High-A Potomac. It will be his first game action since he aggravated his hamstring on May 2. He’s expected to be activated from the DL on Saturday.

– Angels’ RHP Jered Weaver (elbow) is expected to need 2-3 rehab starts before rejoining the rotation. Weaver threw another successful bullpen session Tuesday, and will throw 80 pitches in his next session before then beginning a rehab assignment. He’s expected back in early June.

– FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have made a long-term offer to SS Jean Segura. Segura’s agent, Joe Klein, told Rosenthal, ”They contacted me. Right now, I guess it’s in my court. But with a guy this young, it’s hard to figure out what the right numbers would be.” Segura, 23, isn’t arbitration-eligible until 2016.

– Red Sox’ RHP Andrew Bailey (biceps) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Tuesday afternoon without issue. He’s scheduled to face live hitters in a simulated appearance Thursday, and could return to the team by next week.

– The Phillies have signed RHP Carlos Zambrano to a minor league contract. Zambrano recently agreed to a deal with the independent Long Island Ducks, but never reported to the team, as his focus was still finding a major league home. The 31-year-old posted a 4.49 ERA and 95/75 K/BB ratio over 132 1/3 innings last season with the Marlins. He’ll report to extended spring training.

– ESPN’s Pedro Gomez reports that free agent LHP Jonathan Sanchez is “zeroing in” on a deal with the Dodgers. Sanchez will likely pitch out of Triple-A. If signed, he’ll need to serve a 6-game suspension for throwing at Cardinals’ 1B Allen Craig last month.

– Blue Jays’ RHP Sergio Santos (right elbow) will undergo surgery to remove bone chips and spurs. Santos had been nearing a minor league rehab assignment.

– Reds’ OF Chris Heisey (hamstring) re-strained his hamstring Monday at Double-A Pensacola, and has been pulled from his rehab assignment. Heisey will return to Cincinnati to be evaluated by team doctors. He’s been on the DL since April 27.

– The Orioles have placed RHP Wei-Yin Chen (strained right oblique) on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 13. Chen left Sunday’s start.

NBA

– New 76ers’ GM Sam Hinkie said Wednesday that the F Andrew Bynum (knees) trade was “a failure.” Hinkie previously said yesterday that he viewed Bynum as just another free agent, it’s becoming crystal clear that he won’t be with Philly next season. If true, Bynum’s Sixers’ stint will have lasted just one season, with him playing a grand total of zero games.

– 76ers’ G Nick Young is being sued for sexual assault stemming from a 2011 incident in Los Angeles, according to TMZ. A woman is suing Young for sexual battery, sexual assault and false imprisonment. The woman alleges that she was “roofied” by Young after he bought her and a friend champagne at a night club. Young is a free agent at season’s end.

– Blazers’ G Damien Lillard was the All-Rookie team’s lone unanimous selection. Lillard led all rookies in points (19.0), assists (6.5), 3-pointer made (2.3) and minutes (38.6). Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harrison Barnes round out the rest of the first team, while Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller are on the second team.

– Hornets’ G Eric Gordon (left ankle) told the New Orleans Times-Picayune Tuesday that he’d been dealing with painful bone spurs since the All-Star break. Gordon missed the first 29 games of the season with chronic right knee injuries, and missed 11 more due to knee precautions and his ankle injury. Gordon had a scope last week to remove particles of scar tissue from his ankle, but says he’ll be 100% by camp.

NFL

– According to the NY Daily News, Giants’ RFA WR Victor Cruz has lowered his contract demands. Cruz was initially asking for $10-11M per season, but is now reportedly seeking “much closer” to the $8M annually the team is offering. Per the Daly News, a deal will “probably” be done in time for Cruz to report to the full-team minicamp that begins on June 11.

– According to Yahoo! Sports, the Panthers and RB DeAngelo Williams have agreed to a contract restructure. Williams, 30, could either accept this restructure or be designated as a cut after June 1. The new agreement saves Carolina $3.2M off this year’s cap without reducing Williams’ total compensation, while also cutting his salary in 2014 and 2015. Williams averaged 10.2 carries per game over the last two years.

– Free agent S Charles Woodson’s player rep says Woodson has generated interest from the Raiders, Broncos and Panthers, and that Oakland has made an offer. Still, Denver appears to be his top choice.

– Chargers’ OLB Melvin Ingram (torn left ACL) is expected to miss the entire 2013 season. The No. 18 pick of last year’s draft suffered the injury in OTAs Tuesday.

– Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano told ESPN Wednesday that RB Vick Ballard is “sitting there as the lead guy” in his backfield. Pagano added that RB Donald Brown “looks fantastic” and is a “home run hitter.” Ballard will likely begin the season as the feature back, with Brown as the change-of-pace option. The new offensive scheme also means they’ll both be included in the passing game as well.

– The Jaguars have claimed DL Brandon Deaderick off waivers from the Patriots. Deaderick was waived Monday. He’s scheduled to make $630K next season. Deaderick has played at least 260 snaps each of the past three seasons.

– Free agent DE Dwight Freeney will visit the Chargers on Wednesday. Freeney has a history with GM and former Colts VP of football operations Tom Telesco. The Bolts, however, run a 3-4 defence, which was what Freeney struggled in last season.

NHL

– Islanders’ D Mark Streit told Newsday Wednesday that he wants to return next season. Streit, an impending UFA, scored six goals and 27 points in 48 games this season. The two sides had reportedly started working on an extension for the team captain prior to the end of the regular season.

– Ducks’ GM Bob Murray revealed Tuesday that D Francois Beauchemin (knee) was playing with a torn ACL, and will undergo surgery soon. Beauchemin suffered a lower-body injury April 3, but it’s unclear if that is the injury in question.

Murray also told the Orange County Register that the roster will not be the same when training camp opens in September. F Saku Koivu and F Teemu Selanne are free agents, and were non-committal when asked about their futures Tuesday, and that both will need a few weeks to mull over their decision. Given that the salary cap will drop next season, the big money deals that F Corey Perry and F Ryan Getzlaf signed will likely cause some players to be moved, namely F Bobby Ryan and G Jonas Hiller. Stay tuned.

– Updating a previous item, Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong called his team’s goaltending situation “cloudy.” Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak both have one year remaining on their contracts, while Jake Allen is an RFA. “I think anything could happen. It was a difficult year for both Elliott and Jaro, and I think Jake took great advantage of it. He’s proven to us now that he has to go in the equation. Brian got off to a poor start, resurrected himself, had a great finish. Jaro, unfortunately, had injuries. We were giving him the ball and then … he got injured again, and the season progressed and he didn’t get back in the net. So it’s a cloudy issue right now to be honest with you, our goaltending situation, because of how the season has progressed. It’s a positive cloud in one sense, in that Jake has given us things we have to look at.” One of Halak or Elliott could be traded this summer. Stay tuned.

– Maple Leafs’ assistant GM Claude Loiselle said Tuesday that F Tyler Bozak (upper body) has a bicep injury. Bozak missed Games 6 and 7 due to the ailment. The severity of the injury is unclear, and its not known if the injury is  related to his late-season shoulder injury.

MISC

– Floyd Mayweather is still No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50. In just two fights this year, Mayweather will earn between $90-128M. Mayweather was No. 1 on last year’s list, knocking out Tiger Woods, who had been No. 1 every year since SI started producing the list in 2004. Heat’ F LeBron James (No. 2) passed Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant (No. 4), while Woods (No. 5) is back above Phil Mickelson (No. 6).

WWE

– According to F4WOnline, with the late Paul Bearer considered to be a lock for next year’s WWE Hall of Fame class, there is already speculation that The Undertaker will be inducted along with him. Going back several years, the plan has always been for them to be inducted together. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is also a potential inductee for next year.

– According to F4WOnline, the latest on Christian’s return is that he’ll be back soon after Extreme Rules. He’s been medically cleared to wrestle for months now, but his return has been delayed due to the creative team not having anything for him.

– The winner of the Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio #1 Contender’s match at Extreme Rules will be getting his title shot against Dolph Ziggler on an upcoming RAW or SmackDown – not a PPV. WWE already has plans in place for the next few pay-per-views and the company plans to get back on track once Ziggler is healthy to wrestle again.

– According to a new WWE.com article, Paul Heyman is scouting a third client, to add to his current stable of two (Brock Lesnar and CM Punk).

– Monday’s Raw bounced back from year-low viewership the week before as the program averaged 4.05 million viewers. Raw averaged 3.79 million viewers, 4.1 million viewers in the second and 4.25 million viewers in the third. Last week’s show garnered a 2.9 cable rating and averaged 3.917 million viewers. Two weeks ago, the program drew 4.285 million viewers.

– After recently returning to the ring at an NXT live event, WWE officials have decided that Evan Bourne is not yet ready to be wrestling full-time. When he does return, there’s been talk of pairing him with Sin Cara as a new tag team.

– Former WWE Superstar MVP, who has been rumored to be in talks with WWE for several months now, is currently a free agent after parting ways with New Japan Pro Wrestling in February. He was asked about his future in the professional wrestling industry on Twitter Tuesday and said,

“Thinking about it. WWE, TNA, retirement?

“I’ve never worked with Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Mr. Anderson/Kennedy, Bobby Roode and so forth. I’ve often wondered what that would be like.”

“The beautiful thing for me is that my future is wide open wherever I end up. Living life on my terms is an amazing feeling. Live for YOU!”

MVP later clarified his remark regarding the possibility of joining TNA Wrestling:

“To be clear, I didn’t say I WANT TO GO TO TNA. I just said they had some guys that are tremendously talented that are on my wish list.”

MVP also explained the differences between WWE and Japan:

Being a WWE fan doesn’t make u a PRO WRESTLING fan. There r AMAZING wrestlers in Mexico, Japan, Europe you’ve never heard of but would love!

WWE is the biggest promotion in the world. The best production. Some awesome talent. But pro wrestling is bigger than WWE. I had a blast…

…working there. I also had a blast working in Japan. Different psychology, different styles. It all comes down to personal preference.

Khali was World Heavy Weight champion. That’s usually reserved for the best. Is he among the best? Remember it’s ENTERTAINMENT.

– After holding the United States Championship for 240 days through last month when he was upended by Kofi Kingston, Antonio Cesaro’s standing in WWE has been greatly curtailed as the Swiss grappler has lost the majority of his televised matches. According to the Wrestling Observer, his demotion is not a result of “heat” backstage, but that top WWE officials simply feel he lacks personality. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio Monday night that company brass believe that the former Ring of Honor standout is “boring,” resulting in his slide down the card. Some in WWE, however, are not in favor of the demotion, and believe Cesaro should be a headliner. While Cesaro engaged in a match with Kingston two weeks on WWE Main Event that was well-received by management, it failed to alter his standing in the organization. Meltzer noted, “They don’t see him any higher than they did two weeks ago. There was lip service paid there for a week or two, but it’s over now.”

– Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are currently planning to do an Outsiders speaking tour. Nash tweeted the following this week about the project:

– Top independent wrestler Sami Callihan has been undergoing WWE medical tests and is expected to sign with the company soon. Callihan has been pulled from this month’s Big Japan Pro Wrestling’s Strong Style Tournament, another sign that his days on the indy scene are winding down.

– WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper will appear on ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap on Sunday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. Production elements of the episode are currently being finalized.

– According to F4WOnline, there is talk of Big E Langston wrestling Mark Henry in a “Battle of the Strongmen” at SummerSlam.

– Wednesday’s  wrestling birthdays include WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons (55) and Hall of Famer Kevin von Erich (56).

– WWE reportedly had record-setting activity on the WWE mobile app during Monday’s RAW when fans were encouraged to vote on Big E Langston’s opponent.

– WWE NXT star Judas Devlin is apparently the new second member of The Ascension with Conor O’Brian. The two teamed up at a NXT live event last week to defeat Alexander Rusev and Aiden English. O’Brian and Devlin used the same double team finisher that O’Brian and Kenneth Cameron used to use before Cameron was released from WWE. Former Ascension member Kenneth Cameron was released last year after he was arrested late on Thanksgiving Eve on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly intoxication. He had been arrested previously for DUI.

– Former NFL player and WWE developmental wrestler Brandon “TAC” Carter recently spoke to LubbockOnline.com about what pushed him out of wrestling:

“I went down there and got a few concussions and ended up getting pneumonia. I ended up in the hospital in December. I woke up and nobody was there. Then I realized I didn’t have any friends or family there, so I came back here to Lubbock to be with family.”

Carter currently works as a personal trainer in Lubbock, Texas.

TNA

– Austin Aries will be disciplined for his public form of sexual harassment towards TNA Wrestling ring announcer Christy Hemme on last Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling. Mark Madden of WrestleZone.com garnered a statement from David Schwarz, Senior Vice President of Communications for Spike TV, regarding the matter Tuesday.

“We have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment. We discussed [the incident] with our partner. [Aries is] being disciplined. I’m trying to get more information on what action is being taken. Dixie Carter took this very personally. He will be disciplined. Again, we have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.

“I’m not sure specifically how [the discipline] will be handled. To what extent, I don’t know. This is certainly something we don’t condone and don’t tolerate. Such behavior is not welcome.”

In response to whether Aries’ discipline should be made public since Hemme was harassed on national television, Schwarz responded,

“I think that a statement of some sort will be coming. That’s being worked out. But immediate action will be taken.”

TNA President Dixie Carter also tweeted,

“TNA has ZERO tolerance for inappropriate behavior. The incident with Austin Aries was taken very seriously and handled immediately.”

On the show, Hemme mistakenly introduced Aries and tag team partner Bobby Roode as their opponents for the evening, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. This led Aries to corner the inaugural winner of WWE’s Diva Search in the ring as he intimidated her into correctly introducing him before climbing onto a second-level turnbuckle and shoving his groin near her face. Following the show, Hemme voiced her displeasure with Aries’ actions via Twitter, deeming it “unacceptable.” Late Saturday night, Aries appeared to address the incident though the social networking outlet, writing,

“Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn’t to your face…Eh, anyway, time to sack out.”

– James Storm (groin) is undergoing an MRI today to determine the extent of his injury.

– Rob Van Dam will return to the ring on June 21st against Tommy Dreamer with Family Wrestling Entertainment’s show in Corona, New York at the ELMCOR Center. RVD is a free agent after leaving TNA earlier this year. The FWE show will also feature John Morrison vs. Carlito, a 30-Man Rumble, Paul London vs. Akio (Jimmy Wang Yang), Petey Williams vs. Brian Kendrick and more.

WrestleMania 29 is Highest Grossing Event in WWE History

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

MLB

– Angels’ RHP Jered Weaver (fractured left elbow) played catch Wednesday for the first time since his injury. He’s been on the DL since April 9. Barring setbacks, he’s expected to return in mid-May.

– Yankees’ prospect OF Mason Williams was arrested Thursday in Tampa, Florida on a DUI charge. An officer spotted Williams, 21, weaving in and out of lanes and pulled him over. Williams passed a breathalyzer test with a BAC of 0.06 (under the Florida limit of 0.08), but he did not pass the field sobriety test. He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and later released on $500 bail.

NHL

– Predators’ F Patric Hornqvist (upper body) won’t play in Nashville’s last two games. He finishes the season with four goals and 14 points in 24 contests.

– Hurricanes’ F Alex Semin (concussion) will miss the team’s final two games of the season. Semin finished a plus-14 rating with 13 goals and 44 points in 44 games, good for second on the team in scoring. He signed a 5-year/$35M contract extension at the end of March.

WWE

– WWE announced Thursday that WrestleMania 29 set a record as the highest grossing event in company history, earning $72M. The figure is up from the $67M grossed by WrestleMania 28 last year. WWE issued a press release stating that the show will once again exceed 1 million pay-per-view buys worldwide. A preliminary estimate revealed to Variety show that WrestleMania 29 will reach 1.2 million buys on pay-per-view, less than the record 1.3 million sold for last year’s event. However, it was noted that the number could still increase.

– During a recent interview with USA Today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was asked directly if he used steroids to play a bodybuilder in his new movie, Pain and Gain. He replied, “Oh, no.” Looking at his co-star, Mark Wahlberg, Johnson said, “How about you? You did all kinds.” Walberg replied, “What?” Steroids? No. I don’t (mess) with those.” Rock also revealed how he maintained so much muscle mass during filming:

“It wasn’t that easy. It was a lot of protein and growth naps (laughs). I would say the hardest thing was probably the schedule at that time that I had to keep between having a big match down in Miami for WrestleMania and preparing for this.”

– Ryback has been embroiled in a televised feud with WWE Superstar John Cena, which may now be more than a storyline as Cena’s ex-wife is left angry after a mention on Ryback’s Twitter account. The initial tweet read, “Watching the pain on Cena’s face was worth standing back for. Funny the two things he says I lack, his ex-wife seems to love.” All tweets regarding Cena were later deleted as Ryback reset his entire Twitter account.

– WWE confirmed on this week’s Main Event broadcast that the Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose match taped at the end of Tuesday’s SmackDown tapings will in fact air on Friday’s SmackDown broadcast. There had been a lot of confusion as to whether the match was a dark match or not. It’s worth noting that this will be the first time a member of The Shield wrestles a singles match on WWE TV.

– JBL has responded to fans chanting “One More Match” at him on Wednesday’s WWE Main Event broadcast during an in-ring segment with him and Mark Henry. He tweeted:

– WWE has been signing several wrestlers from recent tryouts to add to their constantly growing development roster. Independent wrestler Sami Calihan recently underwent medical testing for the WWE which commonly takes place before the signing of official company contracts. Additionally, Mike Bennett from Ring of Honor was another newcomer possibly signing with WWE.

– Superstars Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kevin Nash tweeted “get well” messages to fellow WWE Superstar The Rock on Wednesday regarding his injury from WrestleMania 29:

– Vampiro, a former WCW wrestler who never competed for WWE, is the latest addition to the sport-entertainment company website’s Alumni section. The organization writes of the Mexico City-based wrestler, “Something wicked this way comes. Namely Vampiro, the sunken-eyed sadist who terrorized the ranks of WCW at the end of the last century with his penchant for pyromania, premature burial and every other horrible thing you’d read about in an Edgar Allan Poe story.”

– In the latest installment of the WWE Youtube series “Behind the Match,” Wade Barrett analyzes his recent Intercontinental Championship win over The Miz:

– The Undertaker is featured on the cover of the May edition of WWE Magazine.

TNA

– TNA star Kurt Angle appeared on Mark Madden’s Pittsburgh radio show this week to promote tonight’s live episode of Impact Wrestling. Here are some highlights of what Angle said about:

Why Hogan Is Battling Aces & Eights, Not Him: “You know what, I’ve had talks with Creative and, yeah, we’ve been going back and forth. I’ve been the staple of the company the last five years until, I would say, the last year. I believe they’ve been trying to use the younger talent.”

“[It's] a touchy subject. I love Terry, but you’re right, it is about bringing up the younger talent. And the way to do it is having them wrestle veterans like me in the main events. Hopefully in the future they’ll start doing that more often.”

Focusing Back On TNA After Considering Another Olympic Run: “I believe that was probably the beginning of my demise in TNA as far as where they wanted me. They were expecting me to try out for the Olympics and go to the Olympics, so they kind of wrote me off. Then, they didn’t have a lot for me. But, I said, ‘Hey, it’s over. What are we going to do now?’ And they said, ‘We’re going to have plans for you and start writing you back in.’ So, we’ll see here in the future.”

Loving TNA But Possibly Ending His Career In WWE: “I love it in TNA. I’ve been very, very happy here. They treat me very well. You just never know. The way I want to retire, I want to go out with a bang. I’m hoping to God that within the next three years, we can have somewhat of a PPV that is minutely close to WrestleMania. But, we don’t. Not yet. But, you know, everyone always wants to retire at WrestleMania.”

“It’s a hard thing because I want to stay in TNA – I love it there – but when you have the opportunity to go back and perform in front of millions of people on PPV and 100,000 fans in the stadium, it’s kind of hard not to. But, like I said, I am happy in TNA and this is where I want to stay.”

Steelers Match for Emmanuel Sanders, Adam Scott Wins Masters

Monday, April 15th, 2013

MLB

– Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM’s Inside Pitch that the team will give 3B Brett Lawrie a look at second base, but is not committed to using him there. Lawrie began his pro career at second, and is playing the position during his first rehab game with High-A Dunedin on Sunday. INF Maicer Izturis has moved to shortstop to replace Jose Reyes (ankle). Lawrie is expected to return before the end of the week.

– The Cubs have signed RHP Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract. He’ll report to extended spring training.

– Mets’ RHP Shaun Marcum (neck) could join the rotation on April 21. Marcum threw a two-inning simulated game on Saturday, and is scheduled for a five-inning sim game next. Barring setbacks, he could skip a rehab assignment and jump right back into the rotation. Marcum experienced shoulder and neck issues during spring training.

– Padres’ OF Carlos Quentin has dropped the appeal of his 8-game suspension, and will begin serving it Sunday.

– Indians’ OF Michael Bourn (right hand laceration) could miss 5-7 days. Bourn left Sunday’s game when he was stepped on by White Sox’ LHP Matt Thornton on a head-first slide into first base. Bourn needed five stitches in his right index finger to close the wound.

– According to the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal, Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday that 3B Aramis Ramirez (knee) will probably not be activated on April 21 when he’s first eligible. “He played catch yesterday but it’s not coming along as quick as it did in spring training. So, it’s hard to answer when exactly that date is going to be. We’ll just, day to day, see how he progresses, how he feels. But I know, and I talked to him yesterday about it, we can’t rush this thing.”

– OF Conor Jackson has announced his retirement. Jackson, once a top prospect, had his last strong season in 2008. The 30-year-old batted .271/.351/.407 over seven big league seasons.

NFL

– The Steelers have matched RFA WR Emmanuel Sanders’ 1-year/$2.5M offer sheet from the Patriots. Sanders, 26, posted a 44/626/14.2/1 line as Pittsburgh’s slot receiver last season.

– The Denver Post reports that Broncos’ franchise LT Ryan Clady won’t report for the start of the team’s offseason program on Monday. Clady hasn’t signed his $9.828M tender. The workouts, however, remain voluntary, so it’s not a holdout yet. The deadline to sign franchise players to long-term contracts is July 15. According to reporter Mike Klis, the sides haven’t had long-term talks since Clady turned down a 5-year/$50M offer last summer.

– SI’s Peter King “hears” the Chiefs are willing to accept a “high 2nd-round pick” for LT Branden Albert.

– According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns have “identified” TE Jordan Cameron as their starter. Cabot expects Cameron to take a “big step this year” and “have plenty of production.”

– NFL.com’s Albert Breer considers the Browns a “wild card” for West Virginia QB Geno Smith. The Browns pick at No. 6, but Breer believes they could target Smith in a trade down.

– Jaguars’ GM Dave Caldwell tells the Florida Times Union that the team has narrowed down the No. 2 overall pick to two prospects. Caldwell, owner Shad Khan, and coach Gus Bradley are expected to be the only ones with knowledge of the selection. The two prospects are believed to be a combination of DE/OLB Dion Jordan, DE Ziggy Ansah and QB Geno Smith.

– The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the Bengals’ contract talks with free agent LB James Harrison will resume on Monday. The Enquirer’s story says that “all indications” are that Harrison will become a Bengal soon. Harrison visited the club facility Thursday and “left a favorable impression on everyone, not only in a workout but his demeanor.” He reportedly wants “revenge” on the Steelers and Ravens that for cutting him in the past, and is determined to stay in the AFC North.

PGA

– Adam Scott shot a 3-under-par 36-33=69 in the final round of the Masters and defeated Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole to claim his first major championship. Scott also becomes the first Australian to win the Masters. He finished the tournament with a 9-under 69-72-69-69=279. With the win, Scott will get a five-year exemption into all of the majors and a lifetime spot in the Masters.

NBA

– 76ers’ head coach Doug Collins will resign at the conclusion of the season, according to Yahoo! Sports. Collins and the Sixers are negotiating a buyout for the final year of his contract. Philly has a 33-47 record along with the league’s lowest-scoring offence at 92.9 PPG.

– Cavaliers’ G Dion Waiters (knee) still has a loose fragment of cartilage, and may require offseason arthroscopic surgery, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal. Waiters missed 10 games due to the injury. “It feels good. I’m jumping and dunking. If I can do that, then I’m ready to go.”

NHL

– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby (broken jaw) skated with conditioning coach Mike Kadar Monday morning. He was in full gear and wore a plastic shield protecting his jaw, but remains out indefinitely. He’s still trying to play a game before the end of the regular season.

– Jets’ D Tobias Enstrom (mid-body injury) is listed as “week-to-week.” He has four goals and 15 points in 22 games this season.

– Blue Jackets’ F Artem Anisimov (head) is out indefinitely, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Anisimov suffered the injury when he was struck on Saturday by Wild’ F Charlie Coyle.

– The Penguins have signed G Eric Hartzell to a 1-year entry-level contract. Hartzell, 23, posted a 1.57 GAA and .933 SV% in 42 NCAA games. He was both a Hobey Baker Award finalist and the ECAC Player of the Year.

WWE

– Paul Heyman was recently interviewed by Brian Soscia. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

What He Would Do Differently If He Ran WWE: “I’d fire the McMahons immediately.”

His First Reaction To Seeing CM Punk: “How could you look at CM Punk and not think that he has the it factor? I don’t think I’m any great visionary or genius because I saw something in CM Punk, I think everyone else is a stupid schmuck for not seeing it in CM Punk. They’re blind. I mean truly, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king and if you can’t spot that CM Punk is magic from the moment he walks in the door then you’re reading a playbook from an antiquated writer.”

What Drew Him Into Wrestling: “The very next week [following the Apollo and Martinez vs. Love Brothers match] they were replaced on television by Vince McMahon’s father’s television show and I saw Superstar Billy Graham do one interview and I was blown away by it. I realized that that man does not work for a living. I said I don’t want to work for a living either. I want to talk s*** on TV like Superstar Billy Graham. That’s what I get to do for a living now.”

His Greatest Creation in ECW: “The ECW audience itself. The audience was the biggest star. We played to them and for a reason. They were the greatest performers we had. I mean, who else would have thought about actually chanting the name of the promotion? We didn’t come up with that. They did. Who else thought of then screaming out the name of the company and literally fighting our battles for us? We didn’t ask them to do it. They volunteered to. We didn’t get on pay per view on our own merits. We got on pay per view because the audience got us on. The greatest creation of ECW was the ECW audience.”

– According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE is thrilled with the exposure that Fandango and his theme song have been getting over the past week. WWE has been pushing the Fandango Revolution on Twitter, asking fans and popular brands to take the “Fandango challenge” and upload video of them Fandangoing. They are also encouraging fans to download Fandango’s theme song, ChaChaLaLa, from iTunes and make it their ringtones.

– Scott Hall joined Inside The Ropes this past Thursday to talk about getting sober and his career in professional wrestling. Highlights from the interview are as follows:

About being a top guy in the WWE today and his son Cody going there: “I don’t get to watch a lot of WWE, but through this internet thing, Some people comment about a guy becoming the World Champ or the US champ and a couple of weeks later he’s down the card in the opening match. I think that kills the image of being a top guy. But I guess the promoters, the guys in the WWE calling the shots are seeing it like ‘We’re giving you a chance and if you don’t produce, you don’t produce and back down you go’ I’ve talked to Cody about it a lot and he’s in no hurry to go there. He’d rather be seasoned and polished before he makes a move like that.”

On what Scott and Kevin knew the night of the Bash at the Beach 96: “We had no idea who it was going to be. The whole third guy thing came up by accident. I remember Kev and I called Bret and I spoke to him, Kev spoke to him and we told him it was really fun working at WCW. It was really laid back, guaranteed money, it was easy. We were so used to being in a shark tank in New York. Coming to Atlanta was like being in a country club. It was really tame in the locker room in WCW compared to New York. We told Bret he should come down. Bischoff was interested, he was offering him a pretty sweet deal but Bret wasn’t interested. We wanted it to be Hulk, but Hulk had creative control in his contract so he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do. We went to the ring, we hadn’t even met Hulk yet, I met him briefly at WrestleMania 9 but I didn’t know Hulk, we actually went to the ring in Daytona and Hogan wasn’t even there yet. He was on a jet, flying cross country from shooting a movie. Bischoff wanted it to be Hulk but before we went out, Bischoff told us “If Hulk doesn’t show, I’m gonna send out Sting.”

How he became sober, with the assistance of Diamond Dallas Page: “I didn’t have any purpose in my life. My goal had been to be a top star in wrestling and I did that. Then I thought the natural progression would be me working in the office but it didn’t happen. I had a little heart episode about 7 weeks ago, I ended up in the hospital in intensive care for a week. The doctor commented ‘you’re a freak, you’re a genetic freak, your heart is normal again’ While I was there, there was this kid who brought me my food and he was a big wrestling fan, and the kid kept coming back and one time he whipped out his iPhone and he had the before and after pics of Jake The Snake. I’d heard things but never seen the pictures. I’d talked to Jake and I knew good things were happening and Dallas was at the root of it and I thought, Do I go to rehab again? Or do I try something else? Instead of treading water in rehab, I don’t know what triggered it and to be honest i don’t question it. I’m moving in the right direction finally, for the first time in so long. I’m 65 days now without any alcohol or drug. I’ve had longer times, but I’ve always been in a facility. I have no cravings and I feel great.”

– 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 said about:

Last Week’s Rowdy Crowd At RAW: “Speaking of reactions, the live events, RAWS, Smackdown, and the PPVs are the places fans should express themselves and not, as I wrote about recently, at an event like the WWE Hall of Fame. The boorish behavior of a loud, perhaps inebriated, minority of male fans is inexcusable and, believe me, I’ve heard all the excuses since writing about some of the attendees who acted like morons at the 2013 #WWEHOF Induction Ceremony. I see this behavior as a total lack of respect for all involved in the process not just those being jeered. Finally, the “we pay our money, so we can act any way that we choose” excuse is laughable….and embarrassing.”

Ryback Attacking Cena: “Just because @Ryback22 is hungry for the WWE Title and the money that comes along with it why does that motive make the powerhouse a villain? Since when did ambition make one an antagonist. Antagonist display a variety of common traits, non of which I have seen yet, I stress yet, from Ryback. I do like the apparent pairing of Ryback vs. John Cena and where this matter may be heading. To me, it certainly feels fresh even though some will take exception to the fact that Cena is in the equation. It doesn’t both me and I see this rivalry selling tickets and producing a reaction in the arenas.”

Steve Austin’s Thoughts on Fandango: “@steveaustinBSR predicts that @WWEFandango will be IC Champion within a few months. It might not take that long but I could also see Fandango winning the US Title as well at some point. Stars become stars over the long haul and even though Fandango has had an amazing few weeks and change as it relates to recognition, etc, it’s how he does long term that writes his story. If Fandango can continue to grow, a key role at WM30 could be in his future and that’s generally considered the yard stick.”

– CM Punk and his girlfriend Amy “Lita” Dumas attended Saturday night’s UFC Ultimate Fighter (Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen) finale.

– Top Rope Pro Wrestling responded to the allegations made by Kevin Nash and Sean “X Pac” Waltman on Twitter that they were not paid for their match,

“Mr. Nash was paid $4,000 for his appearance, by check, mailed to him on Monday, April 8, funds cleared by the bank on Friday, April 12. Mr. Waltman was paid $1,200, in cash, the night of the show.”

Both superstars had travel and accommodations paid for by Top Rope who added, “There was no agreement in place with talent to disburse any of those revenues to talent.”

Pac has taken down eight of the nine tweets related to the show, but it seems the damage is already done as the promotion added,

“We are considering all options to correct for the slanderous and defamatory statements made by Mr. Nash and Mr. Waltman and the damage to our reputation that has been done with these materially false messages being sent out to their hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and the additional coverage that has been given to their messages on various wrestling news websites.”

Nash later tweeted the following on Sunday night, explaining that Top Rope was not at fault for the situation:

Top Rope Productions was not at fault .Marvin Ward working for the promotion lied and withheld payment due to me.

Top Rope also issued the following statement in response to Kevin Nash clearing them from being at fault:

“Kevin Nash has corrected the record regarding Top Rope Promotions on Twitter (@realkevinnash) with respect to payment issues at Night of the Superstars. We have been in contact with Kevin by email to thank him for clearing up what we both agreed was a misunderstanding. We look forward to being able to putting our focus on building upon what was a very successful house show at Night of the Superstars last night.”

TNA

– Eric Bischoff was interviewed by Brian Thompson of the Neck Breaker Podcast. Here are some highlights:

If People In The Wrestling Industry Read “Dirtsheets”: “Oh, sure. I mean, anyone that says they don’t is probably lying to themselves or intentionally lying to somebody else. I for one read them and I read them for entertainment because it amazes me how small minded or uneducated a lot of these supposed wrestling experts, or people that put themselves out as experts, are and how far off the mark they are about so many of the things that they write and the positions they take. I also read them because a lot of times, things leak from inside of the office and you need to be aware of what’s out there in the universe when there are certain things you don’t want out there. Whether it’s a story line or a talent issue, or a direction that you’re going. So, I monitor it simply to make sure the things I deem [secret] need to stay inside and part of story, part of character and part of talent development do so. And when they don’t we’re pretty hard to find out why not and the reason for that leak. But ya, it happens. I’m sure for some people more than others, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check them on a regular basis.”

Where WCW Would Be If It Were Still Around: “It’s impossible to answer with any credibility because there’s just no way of knowing. Had we had the television, had we had the financial backing, the way we did by the way. It wasn’t a question as to whether or not we were going to get the financial backing. We had it. That wasn’t the reason why we didn’t acquire WCW. The reason we didn’t acquire WCW is an incoming, rotating door, new head of Turner at that time, took prime time television literally out of the deal that we had already negotiated. Once that happened there was no way to make any sense of it. It was really just a video library and some ring mats. There’s no way of knowing. I can tell you what I would have liked to happen, but who knows what would have happened.”

What TNA Does Better Than WWE: “That’s hard. I have a lot of respect for the folks over at WWE and I have a ton of respect for what they’ve accomplished within the industry. So for me to take an adverse position on anything they’re doing, quite frankly I’d be thrilled with just about any of their mistakes at this point. [laughter] When I look at the television product, and again you have to look at what we do and what they do within context, meaning they’re on probably the number two or three network that averages more than likely 3 million viewers all week long in prime time. We’re on a smaller network. They’ve got a budget of probably, and I’m guessing, I don’t know this, but they’ve got a budget of probably 6, 7 maybe even 800,000 an episode to work with. We have a fraction of a fraction of that. They’re a 30 plus year old company that’s been around for a long long time. It’s got a lot of brand affinity and history and relationship with generations of wrestling fans around the country and around the world. TNA has been around they say ten years, but probably really seven or eight as a viable company. So you can’t really compare. It’s not apples to apples.

“That being said, when I look at the way we tell our stories, I, along with my partner Jason Hervey, have a very successful television production company, one of the more successful ones in Hollywood and we have since 2003. We produce shows for every major cable network and a few of the bigger networks like NBC. We have a fairly good knowledge of television and how it works and the audience and what the networks are looking for. One of the advantages I think TNA has with BHE [his company], myself and Jason, is that we’re able to bring things that work in other formats, particularly in reality, and integrate them into a wrestling format. The wrestling format has pretty much been the same for the last 15 years and prior to that it was the same for 30 years. Now we’re changing things. We’re adding more reality. If you look at the Aces and Eights story, that story from conception to what you saw last night is over a year old and while along the way we’ve had to bob an weave a little bit, make some changes due to circumstances, some of them out of our control, whether they be injuries, talent contract issues or whatever, for the most part we’ve been able to keep that story very on the rails, very episodic.

“If you saw the show last night [with Bully Ray's explanation about joining Aces & Eights], for the first time ever, we’re taking the audience back and showing them what they missed. Not that they may not have tuned in, but they may not have realized how that story was unfolding before their eyes. It’s a little bit like putting on a magic show and then taking people backstage and showing them just a little bit of the magic. We didn’t show them all the magic. We didn’t get into all of the nuance and detail because there’s some of it that we’re still going to reveal; we didn’t lay everything out there last night. But that’s never been done before. We’re essentially telling or teaching the viewers how to watch our show because what we’re doing and the way we’re telling our stories is different than what we used to do and it’s certainly different than what WWE does. As in any program, it doesn’t matter what it is, you have to train the viewer or guide the viewer along the way to help them really understand where those changes are and how to watch the show. Hopefully now viewers will start watching for little nuance within a story. They’ll start looking for the bobs and the weaves and looking for the depth of the story that was actually created, as opposed to grading a dropkick or talking about a hurricanrana.

“It’s time that the wrestling product evolves and becomes much more episodic as well as more character driven, but in a real way. Not just pay lip service to it, because everybody pays lip service to it. We’ve done it. We’re building long term arcs and we take those long term arcs and create weekly bibles. And we take those weekly bibles and they’re the basis and the outline of every format. We plan our shows six months in advance. I don’t care what anybody says, that doesn’t happen anywhere else. It’s certainly not happening in the WWE and anybody that says it is is lying through their teeth. We know enough people there on the creative side of things to know how that process works and it’s not what we’re doing. Now, they’re having tremendous success doing not what we’re doing [laughter] so more power to them, but you’re asking me what we’re doing differently and I think the way we tell our stories, the way we’re trying to help our audience along to how to appreciate and watch those stories, as well as providing great wrestling action. I think that’s what we’re doing differently.”

His Goals For TNA: “My goal isn’t as much personal achievement in TNA because quite frankly my role is such that I’m not positioned to achieve much on a personal basis or a professional basis, individually within TNA. I’m a support mechanism. I oversee to a large degree creative, along with Bruce Pritchard. I enjoy the hell out of working with the staff that we have. We’re looking forward to bringing in some more people. I really like teaching them the thing’s I’ve learned, not only from the wrestling business, but the way to present television, the way to present story, the way to present character that’s new and different than the way we’ve always done it in wrestling. I get a big kick out of that. It’s very rewarding for me to work with those guys and watch them grow.”

– Mickie James spoke with Phil Allely of FameMagazine.co.uk about her new country music video. Here is what she said:

The Similarities of Wrestling & Music: “There are ton of parallels as far as your confidence and your ability to be able to tell a story, both within wrestling and within music. With wrestling, you’re running on raw passion and adrenaline. With music, your emotions are more present and your heart goes more into it.

Her New Music Video ‘Somebody’s Gonna Pay’: “This is my first video, so it was wonderful to have so many of my friends join me in front of the camera and the fact that Trish and Nick took time out of their schedules to take part in it made it something very special.”

“I wanted to create a video that would really showcase this song for my fans – and Blake did a brilliant job helping me bring that to life.”

Santana & Granger Done for Season, Bourne Returns, WM29 Set

Friday, March 29th, 2013

NHL

– Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli held a news conference Thursday, explaining how their trade for then-Flames’ F Jarome Iginla fell apart. The Bruins’ offer for Iginla was believed to be D Matt Bartkowski, F Alexander Khokhlachev and a 1st-round pick conditional on Iginla re-signing with the Bruins. Chiarelli even scratched both players from their Boston and Providence lineups in anticipation. Chiarelli then said he received a call from the Flames at about 11:45pm ET Wednesday night, saying that it was the “player’s choice” and that Iginla was going to be dealt to the Penguins.

“We made a firm offer two days ago and were told at Noon yesterday (Wednesday) that we’d won the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes so to speak. We believed that we had a deal.”

“We relied on the fact that we had a deal. Now, these things happen all the time, more than you know, about deals going south for whatever reason. We believed we had a deal. We operated on the premise that we had a deal. When things were silent, in my experience, when things go silent, things are usually going screwy from your end. And it was.”

“I think at the end of the day that’s what it was. We put a heck of an offer forward. Those players are good players.”

Flames’ GM Jay Feaster also spoke to the media about the failed deal with Boston:

“We all understand in this business, a player who has a no trade no move has an opportunity to decide when and whether to waive that, so we dealt with the teams that were given to us by the player and we had a deal with Boston that we liked. We certainly felt that would have been an acceptable way to go as an organization, the player indicated that he wanted to be with Pittsburgh, and so we got a deal done with Pittsburgh.”

– Senators’ F Jason Spezza (back surgery) could miss the remainder of the season, according to GM Bryan Murray. Spezza has been sidelined since January 27, but Murray said earlier in March that he hoped Spezza would return in 2-3  weeks. Murray told the Ottawa Sun that Spezza is a “real borderline” to return this season.

– Panthers’ D Ed Jovanovski (hip) will undergo season-ending surgery. Jovo played just six games this season, recording one assist with a minus-4 rating.

– ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke with Lightning’ GM Steve Yzerman regarding the availability of F Martin St. Louis at the trade deadline. St. Louis, 37, has eight goals and 23 assists in 33 games this season:

“Marty St. Louis is not going to be traded. He remains one of the best players in the league and an extremely important player to our team, both on and off the ice. We are a team in transition, we just made a coaching change, Marty is one of the leaders of the team, he is not going anywhere.”

– Canucks’ D Keith Ballard (foot) has a minor fracture, and will miss the next few days.

– Following the Penguins acquired F Jarome Iginla, here are the updated odds of winning the 2013 Stanley Cup, according to Bodog:

Odds to win the 2013 Stanley Cup

Pittsburgh Penguins 4/1
Chicago Blackhawks 5/1
Boston Bruins 17/2
Anaheim Ducks 11/1
Minnesota Wild 11/1
Montreal Canadiens 11/1
Vancouver Canucks 14/1
Los Angeles Kings 16/1
St. Louis Blues 18/1
New York Rangers 25/1
Detroit Red Wings 28/1
Ottawa Senators 28/1
San Jose Sharks 28/1
New Jersey Devils 35/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 35/1
Winnipeg Jets 35/1
Carolina Hurricanes 40/1
Nashville Predators 40/1
Washington Capitals 50/1
Dallas Stars 66/1
Edmonton Oilers 66/1
Philadelphia Flyers 66/1
Buffalo Sabres 75/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 75/1
New York Islanders 75/1
Phoenix Coyotes 75/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 75/1
Calgary Flames 125/1
Colorado Avalanche 500/1
Florida Panthers 1000/1

NBA

– Pacers’ F Danny Granger (left knee) will undergo season-ending surgery. Granger has been experiencing soreness all season. He underwent a procedure he had in October for patellar tendinosis and returned to the lineup on February 25. He played five games before being shut down. He was scheduled to return to the lineup Thursday.

– Nuggets’ G Ty Lawson (plantar fascia tear in heel) is expected to miss the next several games. He won’t require surgery, but will likely be evaluated daily.

– According to the LA Times, Clippers’ G Chauncey Billups’ (groin) status for the remainder of the season is “in doubt.” Billups aggravated his groin injury on Wednesday.

– Bucks’ G Brandon Jennings told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he’s unhappy with being benched during Wednesday’s game. “I don’t see any all-stars in this locker room.” Jennings played just 17 minutes Wednesday. Head coach Jim Boylan said he “needed to do something to try to energize our team.” Jennings, an impending RFA, added, “This is the third time I’ve been benched in the second half and it hasn’t been under (former coach Scott) Skiles.”

– Wizards’ F Martell Webster (abdominal) could miss 2 more weeks, according to the Washington Post. “It’s uncomfortable doing anything — running, jumping as well.” He’s targeting an April 7 return against the Celtics, and if he does make it back then, he’ll have just six games remaining in the regular season.

– Jazz’ F Enes Kanter (dislocated left shoulder) is out indefinitely. He averaged 9.8 points on 55.3% from the field and 86.7% from the line in 18.5 minutes per game since the All-Star break.

NFL

– The Redskins have re-signed TE Fred Davis to a 1-year contract. The Bills’ offer to Davis was reportedly “a little better,” and for two years. He’s recovering from a torn Achilles.

– The Bucs have re-signed RT Demar Dotson to a 4-year/$7.5M contract. Dotson, 27, graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 13 right tackle in 2012.

– According to Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole, the scouting report among ex-Packers’ executives is that Seahawks’ QB Matt Flynn’s “lack of arm strength will eventually be exposed by opposing teams.” The Raiders are known to have interest, and former Packers’ personnel Reggie McKenzie is their GM. Flynn will likely be moved for a late-round pick.

– According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, free agent Ahmad Bradshaw will visit the Steelers again “in a few weeks” after he left without a contract Thursday. Bradshaw had his fifth career foot surgery in late January.

– According to Yahoo’s Mike Silver, there is “much organizational skepticism” about Raiders’ QB Terrelle Pryor’s future.

MLB

– Mets’ LHP Johan Santana (left shoulder) has re-torn his anterior capsule, according an MRI Wednesday. He’s expected to undergo another surgery, and will miss the remainder of the season. Santana, 34, took two years to come back from the first surgery, and it’s fair to wonder if his career is in jeopardy. He’s owed $25.5M this season and has a $5.5M buyout for 2014.

– FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the D’Backs and Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a 5-year/$32M contract extension with a club option for 2019. Goldschmidt wasn’t slated for arbitration eligibility until after 2014. The new deal buys out his arbitration years and at least one free agent year.

– The Giants have extended the contracts of manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean through 2016. Both of their deals were set to expire after the 2013 season. San Fran has won two of the last three World Series.

– Brewers’ RHP Michael Fiers is expected to be pushed to the bullpen following the addition of RHP Kyle Lohse, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee is expected to carry 13 pitchers to start the season.

– Rays’ RHP Roberto Hernandez has been named the No. 5 starter over RHP Jeff Niemann. Niemann posted a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP this spring, better than Hernandez’s 5.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Hernandez had just three starts last season following his changed identity saga.

– The Rangers have optioned SS Jurickson Profar to Triple-A Round Rock. Profar is widely viewed as the top prospect in baseball.

– According to NESN, Red Sox’ OF Jackie Bradley is expected to make the Opening Day roster. OF Ryan Sweeney has been told that he won’t make the team. Bradley, 22, is batting .441 with two homers, two stolen bases and 12 RBI. He will start in left field, moving Jonny Gomes to DH.

– The Marlins have signed C Miguel Olivo. Olivo was released Thursday by the Reds after he failed to make their Opening Day roster. The 34-year-old batted .222/.239/.381 with 12 home runs and 29 RBI in 87 games for the Mariners last season.

– The Rockies have signed RHP Aaron Cook to a minor league contract. Cook was released by the Phillies Tuesday after posting a 3.38 ERA and 5/4 K/BB ratio over 18 2/3 innings this spring. The 34-year-old was originally drafted by the Rockies in 1997, and posted a 4.53 ERA over 10 seasons with the club.

– The Orioles have placed RHP Chris Tillman (left abdominal strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 22. He’s expected to pitch on April 6, barring a setback. Tillman has been limited to just two Grapefruit League appearances this spring.

– The Yankees have released OF Juan Rivera. 1B Lyle Overbay will get the majority of starts until 1B Mark Teixeira (broken wrist) returns in late May or early June. Rivera batted .244/.286/.375 with nine home runs and 47 RBI in 109 games last season for the Dodgers.

– The Red Sox have optioned RHP Daniel Bard to Double-A Portland. Bard had a 6.75 ERA and 10/4 K/BB ratio over 7 2/3 innings this spring.

– Agent Scott Boras said Thursday that his client, RHP Jose Valverde, has thrown bullpen sessions for scouts from multiple teams in recent days. He’s scheduled to throw for a couple more teams in the coming days.

– The Red Sox have placed SS Stephen Drew (concussion) on the 7-day DL retroactive to March 27. Drew is still experiencing minor symptoms related to his concussion from earlier this month.

– Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres are expected to name RHP Tyson Ross the No. 5 starter over RHP Andrew Cashner. Cashner will have a reliever role with the big league team.

WWE

– WWE superstar Evan Bourne (ankle) returned to action at Thursday night’s WWE NXT live event after a full year out of action due to injury. Bourne defeated NXT star Sammy Sane, formerly known as El Generico. Bourne was asked a fan on Twitter earlier this week when he’ll be returning to action and he replied, “Not Long!” Bourne suffered a badly broken foot in a car accident last March. He tweeted at the time that the foot was “Broken in 4 spots, dislocated in 5? and has been doing physical rehabilitation in recent months in preparation for his return.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AFEavj6D6kE

– WWE Champion The Rock did a “Rock Talk” live chat with his fans on Twitter on Thursday evening and spoke about everything from WrestleMania 29, his movie career, his diet and more. Here are some highlights of what he said:

“My fav Wrestlemania moment will come April 7. Met Life Stadium. The greatest way I can give back to the @WWE. #RockTalk”

“My current diet is a 14 week prep to shoot Hercules. 7 meals a day. Protein/carbs/greens. Zero fat. It’s a bitch;). #RockTalk”

“Making #GIJoeRetaliation & playing Roadblock was a childhood dream come true. Super cool, plus Block’s a bad mofo! #RockTalk”

“Prep for #GIJoeRetaliation fight scenes was tough. Trained w Navy SEALs & fight choreographers. Had to look legit. #RockTalk”

“Working w/ Michael Bay & Wahlberg on PAIN & GAIN was solid. My boys. P&G will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen..;) #RockTalk”

“3 important things I learned for success: Stay hungry, humble & surround yourself w/ quality peeps. (And eat pancakes) #RockTalk”

“I want to play a Jedi, Space Cowboy & Evil Sith all rolled into one. Anything’s possible – calling JJ! #StarWars #RockTalk”

– The Elimination Chamber preliminary buyrate released as part of WWE’s monthly business figures – and the show did approximately 221,000 buys, with 161,000 domestic buys and 51,000 international. This is way up from 178,000 buys in 2011 and 199,000 buys in 2011. The show featured the Rock vs. CM Punk rematch for the WWE Championship and Jack Swagger winning the SmackDown brand’s Elimination Chamber match to earn World Heavyweight title match against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania 29. Also released in the business figures is an updated buyrate for January’s Royal Rumble – which came in at 498,000 buys total.

– Check out these pictures of the WrestleMania 29 set being built including a huge Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. The set was manufactured by Rod Wraps in Miami, Florida:

– WWE legend Kevin Nash was interviewed this week by the Baltimore Sun. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

What He’s Doing Now Since Leaving WWE: “I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve been making personal appearances as well as doing independent bookings. I’ve been working on a movie project locally with some writers and a production group. It has a good script, and a medium-budget of about $1-to-1.5 million. There’s also a reality show that I’ve been in talks with.

“I also have a legends deal with WWE, so I go in from time-to-time for DVD commentaries, and I sometimes go to developmental (NXT). It gives them an extra set of eyes who doesn’t necessarily get to see the guys as often, and can give them a different perspective.”

WWE Developmental: “For a long time, when I went to any sort of developmental, it seems like every guy there had a cookie-cutter look to them. Just a really generic look. Now there are a lot of guys that really look like professional wrestlers. I feel really comfortable with the new group that’s there right now. They’ll be able to continue the business.”

WrestleMania Memories: “The first Wrestlemania I was involved with was the Michaels/Hall ladder match, when I was Shawn’s bodyguard. I still think that was one of the greatest matches of all time. A year later, me and Shawn were headlining. And then I co-headlined with ‘Taker the next year. I was involved with some great moments in the early-to-mid-90s.”

Being a Part of the Undertaker’s Streak: “It’s funny because I didn’t believe that there was truly anything special when I wrestled ‘Taker at the time. There was no inkling of a streak or anything. The guys like me that are earlier in the streak are just lucky to be part of the streak. Now it’s such a big thing, and one of the really special things in the business. I really don’t think the streak is ever going to end, and if it was up to me, I wouldn’t ever have it end.”

– Paul Heyman recently spoke with Philly.com to promote WrestleMania 29. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

The City of Philadelphia: “There is no Paul Heyman in 2013 without the city of Philadelphia. Each city has a unique flavor… and Philadelphia is the reason why ECW became such a global phenomenon and in turn solidified my reputation and afforded me the opportunity to build my reputation that I would have never had in any other city in America or in the world for that matter.”

Working with CM Punk and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania: “How could it be bad for me? I have two of the three main events properly represented on the biggest Wrestlemania of all time in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. How could things be going anything but splendidly for me? I’m ecstatic with my current role in WWE. I get to work every Monday with my two best friends: Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. I have ‘The Beast’ [Lesnar] and ‘The Best’ [Punk].”

Final Hype for Brock vs. Triple H and Punk vs. The Undertaker: “One, you have a chance to come and witness true history, where The Undertaker’s streak is finally going to be snapped. You get to say that ‘I saw it live when The Undertaker’s streak was broken by CM Punk. Far from least important, you get to sat thank you to Triple H for all of his in-ring contributions to the WWE Universe throughout the years because if you’re a Triple H fan, you’re not going to get to see him wrestle again. This is going to be his last match because Brock Lesnar is going to beat Triple H and this is your chance to say thank you to the The Game.”

– 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Trish Stratus was the featured guest on this week’s edition of the award-winning Monday Night Mayhem. Interview highlights courtesy of Kahlil “Paterson” Thomas, MNM’s correspondent & contributor:

Where she was when she found out that news that she was going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and her reaction to hearing the news about being part of the WWE’s “Class of 2013?: “It was the end of 2012. I was home. I got a call and was told the news. It was a little bit of a shock, because I feel like I just wrestled yesterday. I’m just super honored. It’s exciting, because when I heard about the class and everyone else being inducted, I was just so thrilled and honored to be in the same class. I never thought I would get in, and just to know that I’m accepted, I’m going to be a fan just getting my pictures with everyone.”

Her favorite match of her career and why she classifies it as “the pinnacle” of her era in women’s wrestling: “My favorite will probably have to me my WrestleMania match with Mickie (James) at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago. The fact that it was my last WrestleMania match. I think why our era was so different and memorable than maybe today is the storylines and character development. What that match did was it embodied all the elements that era embodied: strong story and deep character development, but also solid work. I think that whole combination is what was brought out in that match, and you could see the crowd invested in a story that was six months long. I look at that match as the pinnacle of that era.”

The growth of her Stratusphere Yoga Studio and her Stratusphere Yoga brand: “When I retired in 2006, one of my first business venture was to open up a yoga studio. I opened up place north of Toronto called Stratusphere. That’s where I started the foundation for the brand, and spreading the word about yoga, and living a balanced lifestyle. The transition to develop my own style happened when I was about to film my movie ‘Bounty Hunters.’ I realized I was playing this kick-ass bounty hunter, and I was a ‘yoga chick.’ So I ended up creating this routine, which was integrating strength training moments into my yoga flow, and my body totally changed. So I started showing people the style I was doing, and it really caught on. That’s how I developed Stratusphere Yoga, and then I started producing the DVD’s.”

Much more is contained in Trish’s first-ever interview with Monday Night Mayhem, including her candid thoughts on her fellow WWE Hall of Fame inductees, why she agrees with many others in saying the “Class of 2013? is the best of all-time, what prompted her decision to retire at the age of 30, why she credits Fit Finlay for her career going in the direction it went, what being a WWE Diva/Women’s Champion/role model to young girls meant to her personally and professionally, her influence on women’s wrestling, what matches she is looking forward to at WrestleMania XXIX, plus so much more, including exclusive comments from former WWE Women’s Champion “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix and Trish’s original trainer Ron Hutchison on what it was like working with Trish and their reactions to her being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Mayhem Nation: Get the latest updates on Trish leading into her WWE HOF induction by logging on to TrishStratus.com and by following Trish on Twitter (Twitter.com/TrishStratusCom). Achieve wellness through balanced living at Stratusphere, Canada’s largest yoga studio. If you live north of the border, sign up for your spring classes at StratusphereYoga.com. If you reside in the U.S. or overseas and looking to try out Stratusphere Yoga, check out the all-new “Stratusphere Yoga for Men” DVD (featuring Trish and former five-time MLB All-Star and two-time World Series Champion Joe Carter), now available!

– London’s O2 Arena has announced that The Undertaker will be appearing at the April 23rd Smackdown taping. It’s being promoted as a “London Exclusive.”

The Rock vs. CM Punk or Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

NBA

– Sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein that the Clippers would not be willing to trade G Eric Bledsoe and F DeAndre Jordan to the Celtics for F Kevin Garnett. KG maintains that he won’t waive his no-trade clause.

– ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Hawks have “convinced numerous teams” that F Josh Smith will be traded prior to Thursday’s deadline. Several teams have been linked to J-Smoove, such as the Bucks, Suns, Wizards, Nets and Celtics, however, no firm offers have been reported anywhere. ESPN’s Chris Broussard believes the Wizards are willing to move anyone other than John Wall, Bradley Beal or Nene, while Stein says the Celtics’ interest is contingent on F Paul Pierce not being in the return package. The Celtics are hard capped at $74M, and if Pierce isn’t involved, any potential deal will need to involve three teams. Stay tuned.

– A source told Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld that Pacers’ F Danny Granger (knee) had a “small hole in the cartilage of his knee.” He was diagnosed with patellar tendinitis, but the injury is obviously much more severe. He has yet to make his season debut.

– Wizards’ G John Wall (knee) remains on a minutes limit, according to the Washington Post. Wall has played at least 32 minutes in every game since February 2, and has topped out at just under 39. He seems to be fine, though, as he’s recorded at least least eight assists in every game since February 2.

NHL

– The NHL Draft Lottery will not be changing this year. According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the NHL discussed making odds for the 14 non-playoff teams more balanced during the NHL Draft Lottery, but it will not happen for year. The lone change in this year’s format is the team that wins the lottery will be awarded the No. 1 overall pick automatically–in previous years, winning the lottery only allowed a team to move up a maximum of four places in the draft order.

– Islanders’ D Brian Strait (broken left ankle) suffered a broken ankle Monday, and will miss 6-8 weeks. Strait got his skate caught in a rut on the ice in the second period, and fell feet-first into the side boards. Strait was claimed off waivers from the Penguins on January 18, and signed a 3-year/$2.325M extension January 31. In 15 games with the Isles, he has four assists and a plus-3 rating.

– According to the Denver Post, Avalanche’ F Gabriel Landeskog (head) continues to skate and could rejoin the team later in the week. Although the Avs refuse to say it was a concussion, Landeskog has now missed 10 games with the injury. He has been skating for the last four days.

– Canucks’ F David Booth (groin) has been medically cleared to play. Booth has been out since the first day of training camp.

– Check out this goal by Avalanche’ F Matt Duchene on Monday against the Predators. Despite the nice finish, he’s way offside, yet the refs still allowed the goal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YDXf_2Ct54o

NFL

– ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Tuesday that free agent TE Tony Gonzalez is beginning to “waver” on his previous retirement plans. “I’m told virtually everyone in the Falcons’ organization has been campaigning for Gonzalez to make one more Super Bowl run. And I’m told that he’s beginning to waver. The people who have spoken to him seem to believe that they’re making progress. In fact, one player close to Gonzalez told me ‘I think, if the circumstances are right, that Tony Gonzalez will return.’”

– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the Chiefs may franchise tag free agent WR Dwayne Bowe for a second straight year. If tagged again, Bowe would receive more than $11M guaranteed for the 2013 season.

– A league source tells the Examiner that Redskins’ WR Pierre Garcon (right foot) will not require offseason surgery. Garcon tore ligaments in his foot during Week 1, and played in just 10 games in 2012. Per the report, surgery to repair his plantar plate wouldn’t have guaranteed a full recovery, and specialists believe that barring a setback, rest will help him get back to 100%. Garcon hasn’t been running since the ‘Skins’ season ended on January 6.

KHL

– Check out this insane shootout goal by Alexander Barkov:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lTtTOZu1isE

MLB

– Cubs’ RHP Matt Garza (mild lat strain) will rest for one week before trying to throw again.

– Nationals’ LHP Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. It’s unclear whether Detwiler will be used as a starter or reliever. Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that the Nats will likely try to get him two starts this spring before he leaves for the WBC.

OLYMPICS

– Oscar Pistorius told a packed courtroom Tuesday that he shot his girlfriend to death by mistake, thinking she was a robber. The prosecutor called it premeditated murder. The double amputee said in an affidavit read by his lawyer at his bail hearing that he felt vulnerable because he did not have on his prosthetic legs when he pumped bullets into the locked bathroom door. Then, Pistorius said in the sworn statement, he realized that model Reeva Steenkamp was not in his bed. He put on his prosthetic legs, tried to kick down the door, then bashed it in with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp, 29, shot inside. He said he ran downstairs with her, but “She died in my arms.” Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Tuesday charged the 26-year-old athlete and Olympian with premeditated murder, alleging he took the time to put on his legs and walk some seven meters (yards) from the bed to the bathroom door before opening fire. A conviction of premeditated murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in jail.

NCAAB

– Duke says former star Phil Henderson has died. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday that Henderson’s mother told him that her son died Sunday at his home in the Philippines at the age of 44. No cause of death was given. Henderson was a senior captain and the leading scorer on the 1989-90 Duke team that lost to UNLV in the national championship game. He averaged 18.5 points that year and scored 22.3 points in tournament play during that post-season. Krzyzewski says the Duke basketball family was “deeply saddened” to hear of Henderson’s death and called him “a talented player and a good man with a gentle soul.” Henderson was selected by the Mavericks in the second round of the 1990 NBA draft but played internationally as a pro.

WWE

– Paul Heyman tweeted the following about The Rock and WrestleMania XXX:

I hear @TheRock has committed to @WWE #WrestleManiaXXX, and boy do I have an opponent for him!

– Scott Hall has arrived in Georgia and will begin living at Diamond Dallas Page’s “Accountability Crib” home in hopes of getting his life together through yoga and healthy living. Here’s a picture from the airport:

Kevin Nash tweeted on Monday night that he trusts Diamond Dallas Page and Jake Roberts to help get Scott Hall back on the path of healthy living:

The Bad guy has landed, As I said now is time to heal BODY &MIND.I trust DDP and Jake.Scott made the choice, this is huge

If you only knew how much your love and support means to Scott, even his 6-10 prick friend wants to say your love always keep Scott going.

– At Monday’s WrestleMania XXX press conference from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, The Rock spoke about his long history with the city, which includes playing college football National Championship games, wrestling for WWE and filming movies. At the conclusion of the press conference, The Rock had a stare down with John Cena, who is presumed to be The Rock’s WrestleMania 29 opponent. We’ll find out next Monday on RAW if that match will still take place. After the press conference, The Rock was interviewed by the local Times-Picayune newspaper about whether we’ll see The Rock compete at next year’s WrestleMania XXX event.

“I can’t tell you that. No, I can’t confirm – I can’t tell you that.”


The Rock tweeted the following picture of himself with the new belt on Tuesday morning:

New title. New era. New standard.

@WWE Heavyweight Champion.

#JustBringIt

– Following Monday’s WWE RAW, John Cena tweeted about his decision to put his WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 29 on the line against CM Punk next week:

Off to #WWEDoha then #WWEIstanbul but all eyes on next #RAW put up or shut up time !

If @CMPunk beats me, then he deserves to face @TheRock for the new @WWE title. I will be at my best. #thechampishere

– Chris Jericho will be taking several weeks off to tour Australia with his band, Fozzy. He will be back on WWE television next month to build to WrestleMania 29. Jericho also tweeted that The Shield the “future” of WWE:

Great match against @TheShieldWWE tonight on #Raw! Cant win em all, but I say those cats are hard hitting, smart and they get it! #future

He also replied to a follower who said he still needs to win once in a while:

@IAmJericho I know you love putting young talent over but you need to get a W every now and then.

@Senor_Nipps Got one last week. Beat @WWEDanielBryan with the Codebreaker on #Raw. More important it was an awesome match #allthatmatters

– Several WWE personalities have tweeted their thoughts on the new WWE Championship belt:

Jim Ross: “Everyone complaining can rejoice…@TheRock is unveiling a new championship title. #WWE Customized, no less. #controversial? Yep.”

David Otunga: “The new @WWE Championship looks like a giant Super Bowl Championship ring. Looks expensive. @WWEUniverse #RAW #RAWLafayette”

Bo Dallas: “New WWE Title I digg it #keepitclassy”

BG James: “I appreciate all the feedback about the new title, honesty is mandatory in communication and I thank you, but it’s the New Title! #OUDK”

JBL: “The unveiling of MY old championship belt! Was changed when Cena took it from me and NOW it is back-well kinda….looks great!”

NXT Diva Paige: “Now THATS a title. #NewWWETitle #WWE #RAW”

Edge: “Way better than that spinner shipwreck”

– Monday’s RAW from Lafayette, Louisiana was expected to feature the debut of NXT star Bray Wyatt. Formerly known as Nexus member Husky Harris, Wyatt has been teasing his RAW debut for several months, and has specifically mentioned the city of Lafayette as the site of his debut. Back on November 27th, he tweeted:

#RAW Ville De Lafayette Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock

On Monday morning, he tweeted:

Another days disappointment, another flight I didnt take. Ville De Lafayette makes the taste of iron go away.

– According to the PWInsider, WWE officials were very satisfied with Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Even through the New Orleans crowd is not seen as one of the rowdier markets that WWE visits, the top matches all delivered.

– According to the PWInsider, there is said to be a lot of excitement in WWE about WrestleMania XXX returning to New Orleans next April. WWE executives are proud they’ll be holding WrestleMania in a stadium that has hosted the NFL Superbowl and the NCAA basketball championships.

– Vickie Guerrero tweeted the following about Brad Maddox joining her “administration”:

“Expanding my administration, welcome Mr. Maddox. Ready to share my wisdom with @bradmaddoxisthewwe”

Maddox, who was trending on Tweeted during RAW, tweeted:

“I’m trending. And I’m Assistant Managing Supervisor. One is for money and one is cause I’m cool”

– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog at JRsBarBQ.com with his thoughts on Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

Overall Thoughts: The #WWEChamber had many moments that I enjoyed. New Orleans live audience felt emotionally invested while watching on PPV from my home in Oklahoma. The look of the show, graphics, music, video packages were top shelf as always. No one does PPV better than @WWE in my biased opinion.

Del Rio vs. Big Show:: I never saw the submission victory for Alberto Del Rio coming. @VivaDelRio using the cross armbreaker to submit @WWETheBigShow shows the effectiveness of the hold and that ADR can beat any one with it. I’ve always been a fan of when sport entertainment utilizes established submission holds.

Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz: Continue to be impressed with the United State Champion @AntonioCesaro as he seems to continue to get better with each outing. Cesaro is so fundamentally sound, much bigger and stronger than most perceive and is in magnificent physical condition. He has a legit shot to reinvigorate the US Title and it seems as if his rivalry with @MikeTheMiz is on going. The disqualification decision caught me off guard but the Ref’s call appeared to be the only one that he could make.

Elimination Chamber Match: The Elimination Chamber match delivered in a big way in my eyes. Loved that it came down to all six men before the first elimination was declared. It certainly was one of the better bouts of its type as all the participants had significant moments along the way. Even though @TheMarkHenry did not win he had a monster night. Very impactful and memorable. Great example of maximizing his minutes. Same can be said to some degree for @RandyOrton, @IAmJericho Chris Jericho and the eventual winner and former #OU Sooner Jack Swagger. Swagger now is in line for a major assignment at WM29 in Met Life Stadium where he will face Alberto Del Rio for the World Title.

Jericho continued his torrid paced return to WWE and his marathon like performance was outstanding. It’s hard to believe that, arguably, Jericho is as good as he ever was, perhaps better in many ways, after such a long lay off. A true artisan.

Team Cena vs. The Shield: The 6 man tag exceeded my expectations and I thought it, along with the Elimination Chamber, were, arguably, the matches of the night. Shocked to some degree that @TheShield won as their victory was definitely an ‘upset’ in my view. @WWERollins, @DeanAmbrose and @RomanReigns all had excellent nights against top quality opponents. The @WWENXT alums came though on game day and have added a freshness and unpredictability to WWE that always makes the TV product better.

The Rock vs. CM Punk: @TheRock defeating @CMPunk wasn’t a total shocker including the controversy that dotted the bout toward its crescendo. Punk will likely have plenty to say about the matter tonight on #Raw that emanates from Lafayette, Louisiana. This bout saw two referees utilized, @HeymanHustle get dusted, Punk pinning Rock for long enough to grab a sandwich, and a well timed Rock Bottom to seal the deal. Lots of things to process in the final moments of the contest. “Was justice served?” Great line by @JCLayfield that certainly stimulated plenty of conjecture.

– The WWE RAW crew is flying overseas to Qatar today for two shows there this week. They will then be in Istanbul, Turkey over the weekend. RAW stars advertised for the tour include John Cena, CM Punk,Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Langston, Ryback, Mark Henry, R-Truth, Antonio Cesaro, Kane, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder.

– With Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger set for WrestleMania 29, Ricardo Rodriguez took a shot Swagger’s new manager Zeb Colter:

“Well this is gonna be interesting! Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez Vs Jack Swagger w/Mustache guy at Wrestlemania.”

“Btw, this Mustache guy looks like he’s going on a safari adventure and didn’t get to see the lions and thats why he’s mad.”

– As seen at Elimination Chamber, Josh Mathews conducted a ringside interview with The Rock’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” co-stars, D.J. Cotrona and Adrianne Palicki. Palicki gave a shout out to her cousin Benjamin Boone, who she said wrestles in Ohio. Boone wrestles on the independent scene and currently works with the PRIME Wrestling promotion.

– Tuesday’s wrestling birthdays include ECW Original Danny Doring (39) and ECW’s “Queen of Extreme” Francine (41). Today would have been the 65th birthday of the late WWE Hall of Famer Big John Studd.

– Former WWE Diva Eve Torres is featured in the latest episode of the “Gracie Way” Youtube series, teaching law enforcement in Arizona: