– Axl Rotton was not allowed to work the Velocity taping this week. Apparently Maryland State Athletic Commission’s Executive Director Patrick Pannella refused to license Axl Rotten this past Tuesday, forcing a change for the WWE Smackdown TV taping. Rotten and Mahoney were scheduled to debut on Velocity, challenging WWE Tag team champions MNM.
PWInsider contacted Pannella, who said: “Due to Mr. Knighton’s failure to comply with a past directive of the MD State Athletic Commission, he was not permitted to wrestle on the July 19, 2005 professional wrestling event in Baltimore. When Mr. Knighton complies with that directive, he will be eligible to be considered for licensure by the Commission as a professional wrestler.” Panella declined to comment on what the past directive was and declined further comment on the story.
According to several who were at the event, Pannella refused to license Rotten (who hasn’t had a license in the State of Maryland since 1998), stemming from a 1998 issue where Rotten failed to provide proof he had taken took care of health issues involving his gallbladder and liver after they forced him to be hospitalized during that time period.
There were some who felt that some underlying heat that dates back several years over Rotten making an off-handed remark about the Commission on an independent event might have also played into the situation.
There were said to have been several other members of the Commission who tried to get Pannella to change his stance and defended Rotten, noting that he had gone through a number of problems in the last several years and not allowing him to wrestle might adversely affect his chances of getting a regular WWE gig.
Pannella was said to have remained steadfast and refused to license Rotten to work. Former ECW Tag Team champions Danny Doring and Roadkill were then put into the bout by WWE officials, replacing Rotten and Mahoney, who are in the midst of an extended tryout with World Wrestling Entertainment. Rotten and Mahoney had gone as far as to plan out their bout with MNM in the event Rotten would be cleared to wrestle.
– Dave Scherer reports that a lot of people in WWE who were surprised that the company put the statement about Muhammad Hassan’s character up on their website last night. Even though he has heard from a few sources that the decision has already been made to kill his character in the midst of the fallout from the angle that they did a few weeks ago, people in the company told him that they figured that WWE.com would wait until after Sunday’s match with the Undertaker to post any kind of statement, since it now pretty much gives away the finish of the number one contender’s bout. One theory he has heard was that they posted the note on the website to appease UPN. Knowing how Vince McMahon feels about giving in to pressure, if that is the case here, he can’t be the least bit happy. There is a lot of talk that Hassan will be sent down to OVW for repackaging when this is all said and done.
– People who have seen Triple H lately have said that he is looking a little “soft”, as if he is not training as hard as he usually does while he takes time off from TV. In the interim, he has been working backstage at the TV tapings and spending time at the WWE offices. There is no firm word on when he will be back on TV, but there has been a rumor for a few weeks that he would take on Ric Flair at SummerSlam.
– WWE continues to bring in new people to the creative team. There are now over 10 people on the team. I believe that there are 11 members right now, including one female.