By Mike Mooneyham
Oct. 5, 2003
Like his theme song says, “It’s all about The Game.”
Triple H may be on hiatus after dropping his WWE crown, but he’s making sure he’s not forgotten while Bill Goldberg keeps his title warm for him.
Currently filming “Blade: Trinity” with Wesley Snipes, Triple H’s presence is still being felt on WWE television through a number of segments he’s taped putting a bounty on the head of Goldberg.
Initial plans were for Triple H to regain the crown at Survivor Series in November, but the latest scenario has him taking the belt back at the Royal Rumble in January, leading to a blow-off match at Wrestlemania.Among those shooting for the bounty will be Kevin Nash, who will turn heel, setting up an eventual showdown between Goldberg and Kane, currently the Raw roster’s strongest heel despite embarrassing performances against non-wrestler Shane McMahon. Two-time Olympian Mark Henry gets his crack at Goldberg this week on Raw.
– Ratings for last week’s Raw dropped to a 3.4, while the overrun featuring the Christian-Rob Van Dam cage match posted a disappointing 3.6, one of the lowest overrun marks in recent months. The highest number came in at 3.9 for the Jim Ross-Jonathan Coachman train wreck (don’t blame JR – he only follows his marching orders).
Ratings for the Monday night show have continued to drop since the fall TV season started. Last week’s Smackdown fared no better, registering an alarmingly low 2.9.
– The Rock, basking in the glow of his Hollywood success, apparently has a pretty clear perspective of how things are going with his former full-time employer.
Said The Rock in an interview last week: “I have a great relationship with Vince (McMahon), but it’s hard for me because I want something different every time I go back. Last time it was Goldberg, before that it was Hogan, but now, it’s hard for me to envision who I would go back for.”
– Steve Austin will manage Bill Goldberg and Booker T for their main-event Raw match against Kevin Nash and Randy Orton, managed by Ric Flair, Nov. 29 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
– “Macho Man” Randy Savage told the John Boy & Billy show on Thursday that Hulk Hogan was a punk and that he had one good match in him, challenging the Hulkster to meet him at Wrestlemania XX. At this point, of course, it’s all talk, since Vince McMahon has said on numerous occasions that he has no interest in ever bringing Savage back. While McMahon also recently said that he had no desire to bring Hogan back in an in-ring role due to his reputation of walking out in the middle of programs, it’s hard to imagine Hogan not being on the 20th anniversary show at Madison Square Garden.
Savage, whose latest interest is music, bombed at a recent concert promoting his new rap CD at a nightclub in Treasure Island, Fla. Savage was heckled throughout his short set as the CD skipped three songs into the show while he lip-synched a tune. Savage eventually threw down the microphone and left the stage, with the show ending abruptly.
Most of the hecklers attended the show in response to Tampa deejay Bubba The Love Sponge, a close friend of Hulk Hogan who encouraged his listeners to crash the gig.
Brian Adams, formerly one half of Kronik with Bryan Clark, is serving as Savage’s road manager.
– Del “The Patriot” Wilkes and George South will make appearances at Betaw Christian Church’s fall festival at 6 p.m. Oct. 31. The church is located at 2915 Santee River Road, St. Stephen, on S.C. Highway 45, four miles off S.C. Highway 52.
The event, which is open to the public, also will feature food, games and prizes. For more information, call (843) 567-2567.
– A four-corners tag-team battle will highlight a Carolina Pro Wrestling show at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sterett Hall on the former Charleston Naval Base.
Tickets are $7 at the door, $5 advance, children under 12 are free. Military, fire and police personnel also are free with proper ID. For more information, call 219-0625.
– Authorities have said it is unlikely that criminal charges will ever be filed in connection with the apparent fatal overdoses of Anthony Durante, one half of ECW’s Pit Bulls tag team, and his 29-year-old girlfriend.
Detectives are continuing to investigate how Durante, 36, and Dianna Hulsey died in the living room of their rental home in Misquamicut, R.I. A relative of Durante’s found the bodies on Sept. 25. The couple’s two children were also in the house, where authorities believe the victims lay dead for more than a day. The children, a 21-month-old boy and an 8-month-old girl, were unharmed, though they were taken to and treated at a nearby hospital.
Durante was dropped by ECW in 1998 after he and partner Gary Wolfe were arrested on drug charges, according to reports. Those charges included allegations of steroid possession and distribution filed in 1995 and again in 1997, records show. Durante pleaded guilty to conspiracy to selling marijuana and methenolone – an anabolic steroid – in 1998 and was sentenced to three years probation.
– WWE has settled its lawsuit against Lewmar Inc., the British maker of the harness whose premature release led to the 1999 death of Owen Hart in a fall at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena, for a reported $9 million, according to The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate.
The $9 million is half of what WWE paid to settle a wrongful-death case brought by Hart’s family. After the settlement the WWE sued Lewmar seeking compensation for what it paid, alleging that the company was responsible for Hart’s death.
In October 2000, the WWE agreed to pay Hart’s widow, two young children and his parents $18 million to settle the case, averting a trial. His widow got $10 million, the children $3 million each and his parents $1 million each. The settlement features a gag order so none of the participants can comment on the terms.
– Georgia Tech freshman defensive end Joe Anoai is the little brother of WWE’s 6-5, 350-pound Rosey (Matt Anoai). Their father and uncle are “Wild Samoans” Sika and Afa Anoai.
“You kind of think those guys might exaggerate on the weight and the height, but most of those guys are pretty big,” the 6-3, 235-pound Joe Anoia told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They practice it so much they know what they’re doing. They try to make it as safe and as entertaining as possible. If you get lifted up by a 6-4 guy and thrown to the ground, it’s gonna hurt. These guys are strong.”
Anoia is the cousin of the 6-1, 400-pound Rikishi, whose real name is Solofa “Junior” Fatu.
– Booker T, who has been sidelined with a bulging disc in his back, will return to the ring at a house show Oct. 10 in Louisville, Ky.
He recently confirmed that he doesn’t “plan to be around for a lot longer” in terms of years left in his career, but added that he was working hard at getting back into the ring.