Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mike Mooneyham's Column - "The Rock Smells what WWE is Cooking"

The Rock smells what WWE is cooking

By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday Night Raw fans have seen a number of celebrities from various fields serve as guest hosts over the past few months.

Since WWE implemented the guest-host concept in June, its flagship show has entertained such diverse personalities as ZZ Top, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Shaquille O’Neal and the Osbournes.

Next up are Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Verne “Mini Me” Troyer, Mark Cuban and Dennis Miller.

No one, however, would pop Monday Night Raw more than the artist formerly known as The Rock. And it could happen as early as January.

Former WWE champion-turned-Hollywood movie star Dwayne Johnson told a Washington, D.C.-based radio show last week that he’s working with the company on a major project. He also said he’d be open to guest-hosting a WWE show.

Vince McMahon and company may need someone just like him come early January when it’s expected that TNA will make its Monday night debut on Spike TV opposite Raw on the USA network.

And, for the first time in a long while, The Rock appears to be smelling what WWE’s cooking.

“I love that world and being able to entertain, especially if I could go back whether it’s on Smackdown and do a promo or guest-host or we could create this cool show, whatever that may be,” Johnson said on the Jack Diamond Morning Show. “Especially now ... I’m at the point where I can go back and give back to the fans and help out the guys in any way I can.”

Johnson, who in the past hasn’t been as receptive to WWE overtures, added that he has a “great relationship” with McMahon, and that he would like to do more than just host the show.

Johnson’s new animated film, “Planet 51,” was released Friday.

•Jerry “The King” Lawler told the UK’s Sun newspaper last week that TNA isn’t even a blip on the radar screen to McMahon and WWE. “I’ve told this to a lot of people, and I don’t know if they believe it, but no one in the WWE ever talks about TNA,” Lawler said. “There is no concern whatsoever. They don’t acknowledge, think or worry about them.”

“Even with Hulk Hogan, I don’t think the WWE feel they are any threat at all,” Lawler added. “Maybe they don’t worry if TNA does well as competition is a good thing. The best years WWE had was when we were embroiled in the big war with WCW.”

•Dalip Singh Rana, better known in the wrestling world as Great Khali, has been suspended. But not by WWE. The 7-1 giant from India has been suspended by the Punjab Police Department, his other employer, for “unauthorized leave.” His official absence ended last December.

“As per the rule, Dalip Singh Rana was not entitled to any further leave and there was no option other than to suspend him,” said unit commander Arunpal Singh.

Khali, who is taking time off from WWE to heal an injured knee, had filed for a five-year leave of absence from the force, where he held the post of assistant sub-inspector, under “extraordinary” circumstances, namely his pro wrestling and acting endeavors.

•Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were scheduled to have worked their first match on the highly publicized Australian tour Saturday night at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. The tour continues with shows Tuesday at the Burwood Dome in Perth, Thursday at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane and next Saturday at the Acer Centre in Sydney. The tour got a welcome shot of international publicity last Tuesday when Flair attacked and bloodied Hogan during a press conference angle.

Flair’s last official bout was 19 months ago in a “retirement match” against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24, while Hogan hasn’t worked since April 2007 at a Memphis event against Big Show.

•Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sandy Scott, one of the true greats of Mid-Atlantic wrestling, who’s waging a battle with pancreatic cancer. Sandy underwent a 15-hour operation on Monday to remove a tumor, and is recovering in a Winston-Salem, N.C., hospital.

Sandy formed one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history with brother George during the ‘50s and ‘60s, and as The Flying Scotts was a top act in the Carolinas for a number of years. He was involved in many memorable bouts at the old County Hall on King Street and worked with the late Henry Marcus on the promotional end during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

If you would like to send a message of support to Sandy, you are welcome to do so through the Mid-Atlantic Gateway site at The good folks at that site will make sure Sandy and his family get your messages.

•Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to Tweet. Sherri Shepherd of “The View” says she was hit in the head by a book thrown to her by Triple H during last week’s Monday Night Raw episode at Madison Square Garden.

“Yeah, baby, I got a concussion,” Shepherd posted on her Twitter page.

Shepherd admits it was her fault since she failed to hear Triple H shouting to her from the ring. Why? Because she was tweeting.

“I had my head down tweeting, which is why the book hit me in the head,” she explained.

Shepherd, who enjoyed a storyline romance with MVP earlier this year, was at the show to cheer on her good friend.

“I’m a grown woman. My rose-colored glasses got stepped on and broken a long time ago. MVP and I ... not a chance.”

•Former WWE champ and current UFC champ Brock Lesnar is now hopefully on the road to recovery after reportedly dealing with a career-threatening illness for the past year. Lesnar recently was felled by a mystery malady while vacationing in Canada. UFC president Dana White, who questioned Lesnar’s future as a fighter, revealed that his biggest star was suffering from an unspecified intestinal ailment. He was hospitalized briefly last week and underwent surgery to repair a hole in his intestine that was leaking into his stomach.

Lesnar is expected to make a full recovery from the bacterial infection, and his trainer claimed to TMZ that Lesnar will be ready to fight again within six months.

“He will be fine and be fighting again in six months,” Lesnar’s jiu-jitsu coach, Rodrigo Medeiros, told on Friday.

“The doctor told him he hasn’t been right for a year,” White said. “His immune system has been trying to fight this thing, and that’s why he was susceptible to getting sick.”

•Old School Championship Wrestling moves to a new location, the Omar Shrine Auditorium at 176 Patriots Point Blvd., Mount Pleasant, for its next event on Dec. 6.
Main event will pit mat great Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Malachi against Calie Casanova and Hans Bumgartner. Bell time is 6 p.m.

Adult admission $10; kids 12 and under $5.

For more information, call 743-4800 or visit

•George’s Sports Bar, 1300 Savannah Highway, will air WWE’s Survivors Series pay-per-view at 8 p.m. today. Cover charge will apply.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail at

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