Greetings from under the black Resistol hat from Las Vegas, the site of this weeks Tough Enough 2 tryouts.
Certainly an interesting array of men and women seeking an opportunity to become a WWF Superstar Wednesday and Thursday here in Vegas. Because independent wrestlers were allowed to participate this time, it seemed that the overall quality of the candidates improved from Tough Enough I. We interviewed approximately 250 men and women that consisted of very light conditioning and agility drills along with a brief verbal presentation and questions from the judges. Judges consisted of MTV personnel, Big John Gaburick, Federation Executive Producer Kevin Dunn, Bob Holly, Ivory, Chavo Guerrero, Al Snow and yours truly. I was disappointed that many of the prospects that auditioned were in such poor physical condition while one could tell that others had really been training hard. The final 13, along with some alternates, will be finalized late today or early Saturday. I have not seen the final list as I compile this, however, I do feel the overall talent level from a physical standpoint will be better than last year. This process over Wednesday-Thursday will become a one-hour casting special to air soon on MTV. The house will be located in Southern California for the training of these prospects and that begins almost immediately.
Certainly, there are some very diverse personalities being considered for the 13 slots which should make the living arrangements very interesting.
The Rock: Injured his elbow Monday on RAW via chair shot from Y2J. Not considered to be serious.
Rhyno: Surgery to repair herniated disk went well, including bone fusion to stabilize the affected area. Recovery/return time estimated to be 6 months 1 year.
Kanyon: ACL surgery a success. Rehab to take 4-6 months.
Taka: Shoulder surgery a success. Rehab to take 4-6 months.
X-Pac: Waiting to speak with the surgeon who operated on his neck. MRI did not show a new injury. Will not return to work until his surgeon evaluates X-Pacs condition.
Scotty 2 Hotty: Will eventually need neck surgery but not at this time as there is no risk for him to continue to compete at this time. Will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.
Stone Cold: Got the stitches (18) removed from above his eye Wednesday in Texas. Working through lower back pain, also.
William Regal: Training/working through minor bicep tear. No surgery required.
Hugh Morrus: Experiencing shoulder soreness. Will receive an MRI in next few weeks to check it out.
Chris Benoit: Will see his surgeon, Dr. Youngblood, next week for evaluation and an update. Rehab progressing well.
Triple H: Continues to rehab in Birmingham. If the healing continues to go well, HHH could return as early as December or it could be January.
All depends on the healing process and incurring no setbacks.
Rikishi: Working on conditioning and strengthening his shoulder. Looks like a December return, but that could change.
Bob Holly: Looks great and is pain free. Waiting the go-ahead to intensify his rehab. Still months away from returning.
Jerry Lynn: Sees his doctor again on November 16 and should be released by end of December from patella surgery.
Russ Haas: His doctor feels strongly that Russ will be able to return from his heart issues. We will get a second opinion and make a decision from there.
As with any injury, there is rarely an exact date when a talent can return to work as they rehab through an injury. These return dates are estimates our staff is provided from the physicians and therapists themselves. Individuals heal at different rates and obviously certain injuries take more time to heal than others. I have seen athletes have the exact same surgery and still have much different rehab/recovery time. So, bottom line, these return dates are merely estimates and could be off by several weeks and even months with some of the more major surgeries.
Its hard to believe that next Sunday, November 18, will be the Survivor Series on Pay-Per-View in Greensboro, NC. We know the main event and obviously the balance of the card will be announced, one would assume. Monday on RAW and Thursday on SmackDown!
Im anxious to see the additional matches we will feature in Greensboro as several strong pairings are being considered from what I understand.
What a week it has been! Returning from the UK and getting home about 4 a.m. Sunday morning, RAW Monday, SmackDown! taping Tuesday, early morning flight to Vegas Wednesday, Tough Enough Wednesday and Thursday, doing my day job via phone and fax on Friday before settling in to enjoy the Sooners game here in Vegas at Caesars Palace Saturday on TV. I travel back to Connecticut on Sunday and on to Boston Monday for RAW and then drive up to Albany, NY, for SmackDown! taping on Tuesday. Never a dully moment in the fast-paced, every changing world of sports entertainment.
Wild Samoan Afa is organizing a fundraiser for Yokozunas family on November 28 in Pennsylvania. I hope you can check it out as several Federation Superstars will be volunteering their time for this worthy cause. For info on this event, check out the appearance section of WWF.com
Im very excited about our final two broadcasts before Survivor Series, Monday in Boston and Tuesday in Albany, NY. We should really be able to build momentum with these two TV shows. Certainly, post-Survivor Series TVs should be equally, if not more, compelling.
My condolences to the Hart Family for the loss of the matriarch of the family, Helen Hart.
I had the privilege of being in Stu and Helens home on a couple of occasions and she was always a wonderful host and a real lady. I will never forget her prominent smile and her gentle ways. Helen Hart will be missed by all that knew her and her contributions to our business are very significant.
No BBQ Sauce update this week but I hope we will have some substantial info to release soon about this never ending project.
My Sooners have a tough game Saturday at home vs. the dangerous Texas A&M Aggies and OU is favored by 17 1/2-18 points. I think this Big 12 Slobberknocker will be much closer than the spread with Oklahoma icing this one in the 4th quarter.
Dont miss the Weakest Link on NBC at 8 p.m. Monday night featuring an interesting mix of Federation and Alliance Superstars.
Take care of yourself and be good to your family. See you next week!