More on Hayes, RVD, Lashley, WrestleMania

After picked up on the Michael Hayes suspension story, WWE issued a statement saying that “Due to inappropriate behavior, Michael Hayes was suspended for 60 days with no pay. In order to return to work, Michael Hayes will be required to undergo further evaluation.” Such as recognising that he is in fact white.

Rob Van Dam’s wife, Sonya Szatkowski, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Van Dam said on his MySpace blog that “After months of chasing down the origin of stomach cramps, we got the news that Sonya has cancer in her colon. Obviously this was not something we wanted to hear, and were not at all prepared for it. This is the kind of thing that we hear about happening to other people. Us? Really?… Sonya wants everyone to know that you have to get checked.” She is due to undergo surgery at the end of the week and we wish her all the very best.

Bobby Lashley has been killing time by launching his own nutritional store in Colorado. The official website is here. Lashley’s non-compete clause expires on 10 May and he is currently preparing to enter MMA.

Jay Briscoe has picked Austin Aries to be his tag team partner for the 10 May match against Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black.

WWE issued the following press release regarding their preparations for WrestleMania XXV in Houston next year:

STAMFORD, Conn.–Fresh off a tremendously successful WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, World Wrestling Entertainment® is already working with the Houston business community on WrestleMania XXV, which will be held on Sunday, April 5, 2009, at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, home to the NFL’s Houston Texans.

WWE® executives and WWE’s most decorated Superstar, Ric Flair, traveled to Houston today to meet with local city officials and businesses, to begin preparations for this milestone event. Their collaborative agenda includes planning stadium production, discussing sponsorship opportunities and organizing citywide activities. The trip included a luncheon with more than 100 Houston business leaders and discussion of how their companies could integrate with sports entertainment’s biggest pop culture event.

For the past two years, WrestleMania has attracted fans from around the world, and infused up to $30 million into the local economies of host cities Detroit (WrestleMania XXIII) and Orlando.

The always anticipated WrestleMania weekend is expected to feature the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the annual Bacon, Bagels and Biceps Brunch, the annual national WrestleMania Reading Challenge Finals, another wish granting initiative with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visits to schools and libraries, local fundraisers and exciting opportunities to meet WWE Superstars and Divas at various public appearances. “Fans in Houston can expect an up-close and personal experience when WrestleMania XXV comes to Texas next year,” said Geof Rochester, Executive Vice President, Marketing. “It’s going to be an amazing 25th Anniversary celebration.”

In 2001, the Houston Reliant Astrodome hosted WrestleMania 17 (WrestleMania X-Seven®). A record 67,925 fans witnessed Stone Cold Steve Austin regain the WWE Championship from The Rock, among other exciting matches, making WrestleMania X-Seven, at the time, the highest grossing live event in WWE history. In addition, the event shattered Reliant Astrodome live attendance records.

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, feature films, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.

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