Michael Hayes apologised to Mark Henry, as well as the other African American wrestlers, at his first post-suspension show on 24 June. He informed them that he was now taking antibuse, which induces vomiting if he drinks any alcohol.
Jim Ross had a private meeting with Vince McMahon at the same tapings in Houston, which cleared the air between the two. He apologised for the negative comments he made on his blog about leaving Raw, whilst Vince assured him that the company was making Smackdown more of a priority and that Ross was an important part of this. Ross was actually late for the tapings as he stopped at a nearby store to buy a new suit, prompting fears backstage that he was actually going to no-show. WWE is installing a new cable line in his home so that he can do clean-up or post-production work from home instead of flying into Stamford. They did the same thing for Michael Cole when he moved from New Jersey to Texas. Cole was also unhappy about switching brands, though he was quieter about it than Ross.
Dos Caras Jr, the nephew of Mil Mascaras, had a try-out at the 01 July Smackdown tapings as WWE tries to fill the Rey Mysterio Hispanic void on the brand. Caras is tall with a good physique and has a lot of experience of working in Japan, which makes him better suited to the WWE style than most Mexican wrestlers. More importantly, he is fluent in English. John Laurinaitis is also keen on bringing back Mr Aguila, who previously wrestled as Essa Rios for the WWF. Other names discussed include Damian 666, Ricky Reyes and El Psicodelico Jr (also Mascaras’ nephew). Getting more Hispanic stars is also a big priority for the WWE now that Mysterio’s injuries are becoming more frequent.
The Smackdown wedding planner, Alicia Fox, is actually Victoria Crawford, a former swimwear model who Laurinaitis brought to developmental a few years ago.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 07 July 2008 (subscribe here)
Tags: ECW, Jim Ross, michael hayes, rey mysterio, Smackdown, vince mcmahon, WWE