– More on Ted Dibiase and Tim Horner being released from their roles as agents last week. Horner was thought to be too slow in reacting to things backstage and not very good at planning finishes. Dibiase was well-liked but said to be poor at communicating finishes given by the office to the talent. He had been working with ECW lately and was said to be a bit too honest in his reports to management for his own good. His reputation had been dented recently when he was removed from creative for being too outdated in his views on wrestling. He was also asked to come out of retirement to do occasional matches, most likely including Cyber Sunday, but turned it down because of the long-standing neck and spine injuries that forced him into early retirement. There was talk of inducting him into the Hall of Fame next year but the odds of it happening have now obviously decreased.
– Tully Blanchard’s decision to resign as producer after just one week has been attributed to a scene at the 10/24 tapings in St Louis, the day after he started. JBL had been telling people all day he was anxious to see Blanchard as when he first broke into the business Blanchard “treated [him] like shit”. As Blanchard watched the show JBL started cutting a promo on him in front of many onlookers, calling him a liar, a cheat, a drug addict, an asshole and a hypocrite who used God to make money. And they were said to be the nice things he said. A few days later, Blanchard quit. Next in line for the position is Barry Windham, a friend of JBL.
– Bob Sapp did not come to terms with WWE on his five-year contract deal. Apparently the major program they had planned for him was time-dependent and required him to start on 10/29 in Milwaukee, yet the deal didn’t get done and the angle has been scrapped. Both sides are still negotiating a deal for a different storyline but it is far less likely that they will now agree terms. WWE would need to offer him a considerable downside guarantee to land him full-time and Sapp still has numerous movie roles lined up.
– SummerSlam 2007 has been moved from Madison Square Garden to the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. This is part of WWE’s continued uneasy relationship with MSG over the cost of running shows in the venue. Other changes have been made to 2007’s PPV schedule. Cyber Sunday 2007 has been moved from 11/04 to 10/28 in Washington, DC. They have also added a PPV on 11/18 in Miami, one week before Survivor Series 2007.
– Mick Foley’s next book will be The Hardcore Diaries, covering his return from retirement to work with Edge and Ric Flair. The book is said to examine his real relationship with Flair and how they structured their recent feud. It will be released in March.
– Nattie Neidhart, daughter of Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, has made a favourable impression in Deep South Wrestling and is said to have a good shot at being offered a full contract.
– Steve Austin’s WWE movie, The Condemned, is tentatively scheduled to be released by Lion’s Gate on 04/27/07.
Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)