Thursday, February 26, 2009

WWE suit dismissed; The Rock still not coming back

New Haven, CT federal judge Peter Dorsey dismissed the lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment filed by former wrestlers Scott "Raven" Levy, Chris "Kanyon" Klucsaritis and "Above Average" Mike Sanders.

In the suit, the wrestlers said the level of control exerted over them by WWE qualified them as full-time employees of the company and not independent contractors as their contracts stipulated they were. The contracts dictated compensation, physical training regimens, dates and sites of matches, costumes, and storylines for performers' wrestling personas. WWE also reserved the right to use their images and submitted them to drug screenings. The suit claims WWE avoided withholding federal taxes from the performers' paychecks by not classifying them as full-time employees. The company also didn't pay Social Security or Medicare taxes, nor did it pay for benefits such as health care or vacation time.

The suit was originally filed in July in state Superior Court but was later moved to U.S. District Court of Connecticut. The plaintiffs also sought class-action status. WWE's request for dismissal was granted on Tuesday. Attorney David Golub said the losing wrestlers are considering an appeal.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson turned down an offer to appear at WrestleMania 25 in Houston, Texas. WWE is already allegedly attempting to acquire Johnson's services for WrestleMania 26 in Arizona.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Manu released; PPV name changed

Manu has been released from World Wrestling Entertainment.

WWE/ECW's "One Night Stand" pay-per-view has been renamed to make it more kid-friendly. The new title of the show will be "Extreme Rules." Originally the event was slated to be called "One Night Only." No word was given on the reason for the second name change.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

two WWE releases

Scotty "Colt Cabana" Goldman and Freddie Prinze, Jr. have left World Wrestling Entertainment. Goldman was released, while Prinze's departure is said to be mutual.

Prinze had been working for the SmackDown creative team since July. He is said to have been responsible for the Jeff Hardy tweener character. Goldman had recently been reduced to an online-exclusive web show, which had previously helped The In Crowd gain popularity. Internally, Prinze's departure from the company is not being seen as much of a surprise. He had attended very few television tapings in recent weeks. He was said to be well-liked by the wrestlers since he is legitimately a fan of the wrestling industry. However, the novelty of being a WWE writer is said to have worn out quickly for Prinze.

Goldman is expected to return to the indy circuit as Colt Cabana, while Prinze will likely re-join Hollywood.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

three new WWE books

World Wrestling Entertainment has announced three new book titles due out in time for Christmas. Rey Mysterio, Degeneration X, and the Iron Sheik will all have autobiographies released between September and November of 2009. Mysterio's book will be the only of the three available in hardcover format. All three books will be ghost-written.

Verne Gagne under investigation

Wrestling legend Verne Gagne is under investigation in the death of his care facility roommate, Helmut Gutmann.

Gutmann and Gagne were roommates of the Friendship Village hospital's memory loss unit in Bloomington, Minnesota. Gagne allegedly threw Gutmann to the floor on January 26th, breaking his hip and injuring his head. Gutmann was treated for the injuries and later rehospitalized. He died this past Saturday.

Ruth Hennig, Gutmann's daughter, told the Pioneer Press the two men had a previous altercation which ended with Gagne shoving Gutmann. "I know that my father would still be alive today if they hadn't had this altercation. I'm more sad than I am angry," she said. Greg Gagne, Verne Gagne's son, described the incident as an accident and referred all other questions to the Gagne family attorney.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gutmann family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

John Cena on steroids, movies, and getting married

Credit: Newsletter

John Cena continues to insist that he is a steroid-free wrestler. Last week it was revealed that over 100 professional baseball players failed steroid tests in the past few years. The WWE star has very strong opinions about the fate of the violators.

"They should send the guys to jail," Cena said in an interview with Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I'm not only a guy who will say I'm clean, but I'll beat my chest to the world that I'm clean."

Cena, who is getting married by the end of the year, says that unlike other prominent celebrities, he wants to be a strong leader and role model. "I don't know when it happened, but nowadays it seems like nobody cares (about the lack of role models in society). Our main figures are collapsing around us. People don't seem to know that other people are watching them."

Cena also hopes to spread his reach to the general public through his developmental as an action star. He hopes to fill a void in the movie industry for the next big action hero. "That's a giant void in cinema. Everywhere I go, the question is always: 'Who's the next guy?' I think I'm damn near the closest thing to come around the pike," Cena said.

In the past, Cena has criticized Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for leaving World Wrestling Entertainment to persue a movie career.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Way Out results

Triple H beat Jeff Hardy, Edge, The Undertaker, Kozlov and The Big Show in an Elimination Chamber match to win the WWE title. Triple H is now a thirteen-time World champion.

Randy Orton beat Shane McMahon in a No Holds Barred match.

Jack Swagger beat Finlay to retain the ECW title.

Shawn Michaels beat JBL to "win" all the money he was owed.

Edge (taking the place of an attacked Kofi Kingston) beat John Cena, Kane, Mike Knox, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho in an Elimination Chamber match to win the World title.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chris Jericho fan assault update

Last night following a WWE house show, Chris Jericho punched a group of wrestling fans outside the arena.

Fan reports from the incident suggest Jericho was physically provoked by the first member of the group, who was not stopped by any type of security or police, leaving Jericho no choice but to defend himself against the individual. Reports go on to state that Jericho was then confronted by the friends of the punched fan, most of whom were said to only aggrivate the situation by shoving and attempting to hit the WWE wrestler. Others argue that Jericho stepped over the line. In one instance, he was the first to throw a punch against the female of the fan group. He was also heard threatening to "fucking kill" a member of the party.

Camera phone videos of the incident have made their way across the internet, but the majority of them only show Jericho hitting a fan or two out of context. The fans in question have already pressed charges with police.