Chris Jericho continues to claim he wants nothing to do with WWE.
At least those have been the words coming out of his mouth in recent weeks.
Not many, though, seem to be buying it.
WWE has been teasing the return of a mystery superstar on the second day of January. All signs point to Jericho.
Jericho, 41, recently claimed that he hadn’t even watched Raw in a month nor had he seen the mystery promos. He attempted to deflect attention from the topic on Twitter.
“Sick of all the questions so this is it ... from now on I’m not answering any more wrestling-related questions. I’m done with WWE. Deal with it.”
But he also had vehemently denied that he was going to be a contestant in the 12th season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” last year. He did the show, of course, and danced his way through the first four cuts until getting the ballroom boot.
The talented six-time world heavyweight champion, who also includes musician, actor and author on his impressive resume, would be a welcome addition to the WWE roster in 2012. He’s effective as a heel or babyface, solid in the ring and compelling on the mic. He’s been away long enough — more than a year — to bring a fresh new presence to the company.
The current plan is for a Chris Jericho-C.M. Punk showdown at this year’s Wrestlemania in Miami. Jericho has been in negotiations with WWE and, as a backup plan, The Undertaker is waiting in the wings.
The timing, though, is right for the man once known as “Y2J.” Jericho made a grand entrance in his WWE debut on Aug. 9, 1999, when he interrupted The Rock as a Y2J millennium clock ticked down to zero.
No doubt his re-emergence this time around will be tied to the apocalyptic predictions for the coming year.
Evangelist Carl Kerby has a great new book out titled “Reasons for Hope: In the Mosaic of Your Life.”
The book shares the journey of one man and how God used the broken pieces of his life to make a beautiful mosaic.
Kerby was a founding board member of Answers in Genesis, a biblical apologetics ministry with a focus on creation study, and is current president of Reasons for Hope, a nonprofit organization he started last year which seeks to bring Scripture to bear on a variety of issues.
A former air-traffic controller at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and now an in-demand speaker, Kerby is the son of ‘60s pro wrestling star Luke “Big Boy” Brown, better known as one half of The Kentuckians tag team along with Jake “Grizzly” Smith.
In his new book Kerby shares stories about his father and applies biblical application to them.
Brown, whose real name was Carl Dennis Campbell, passed away at the age of 62 in 1997. Kerby was 36 at the time of his father’s death, but laments the fact that he hadn’t spent time with him in the 23 years following his parents’ divorce.
He discovered after his father’s death that Brown wanted his son to join him in the wrestling business as a member of The New Kentuckians. Kerby opted to live with his mother rather than live on the road with his dad, and the spot went to a young Jake Roberts (Aurelian Smith Jr.), eldest son of Brown’s former partner, Grizzly Smith.
“I remembered my mom saying that my dad’s greatest desire was to take me on the road with him when I was 16 so we could wrestle as The New Kentuckians. I was looking at a picture that I fully believe would have been me if I had made a different decision when I was 13 and that my dad had asked me to come live with him.”
Kerby, the oldest of five children, remembers the seven-foot-tall Grizzly Smith changing his diapers when he was a toddler and playing with Smith’s sons, Jake and Mike (who later wrestled as Sam Houston) at their house when they were older. Both sons would be plagued by drug problems later in life.
Kerby remains saddened that he was never able to have the close, authentic relationship with his dad that he had always desired. He was able to speak to him a day before he died from complications of a heart attack.
“That conversation means so much to me,” said Kerby, who told his father that he had been very involved with ministry and that he was coaching his son’s high school basketball team. “Dad told me that after he was released, he wanted to come and visit me. He wanted to see me coach my son’s basketball team, and he wanted to visit his grandchildren.”
Unfortunately the hulking wrestler known as “Big Boy” Brown died a day after their conversation. Although Brown had achieved fame in the wrestling business, writes Kerby, he had next to nothing when he died. He had been living in a $3,000 trailer that wasn’t paid for and worked taking tolls in a toll booth. Most of his worldly possessions, notes Kerby, had been squandered.
Ultimately, says Kerby, his decision to follow another path was a wise one.
“My earthly father had a plan for my life, as most of our earthy parents do. But that may or may not fit with what God has called us to do. Your heavenly father, who loves you more than you will ever understand this side of heaven, also has a good and perfect plan for your life.”
To purchase the book, visit rforh.com.
-- Sports Illustrated has listed ESPN’s E:60 documentary on Scott Hall as its top nominee for “Best News Feature on a Sports Program” in its 2011 Media Awards.
The documentary chronicled Hall’s rise to fame in pro wrestling, and his fall from grace because of a drug and alcohol dependency.
“The superhero physique he had during his days in the WWE is long gone,” wrote SI.com. “Scott Hall is now 53 and says he takes 11 heart and seizure medications daily. He has a pacemaker and says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He looks shockingly frail. In October, E:60 aired a 16-minute piece on one of the more interesting figures in pro wrestling history, given his fame and self-destructive nature. For those of us of a certain age, it was a devastating portrait, a man wrecked by drug addiction and alcoholism. There’s no narrator and no reporter fronting the piece, which adds to the sullen mood.”
Ben Houser was lead producer for the piece, and John Minton III was associate producer.
-- A recent You Tube video posted by Matt Hardy claimed he has changed and “become a whole person” in the wake of his latest rehab stint.
Hardy was kicked out of rehab in November after completing two of three months before being sent back.
-- Another former wrestling diva is dating an “A-List” celebrity.
Torrie Wilson has been linked to New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod most recently dated actress Cameron Diaz.
Wilson and Rodriguez, both 36, were spotted over the holidays at a gym in the former model’s hometown of Boise, Idaho.
They were photographed last month riding bicycles in Miami, and before Christmas were spotted in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, vacationing with actor George Clooney and girlfriend Stacy Keibler, another former wrestling diva and Wilson’s close friend and former roommate.
The former Playboy centerfold was married to pro wrestler Billy Kidman (Pete Gruner) for five years before they divorced in 2008.
-- Former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio is expected to miss up to six weeks after undergoing surgery for a groin tear.
-- Randy Orton, who was scheduled to win the Royal Rumble in his hometown of St. Louis, also is expected to be sidelined for several weeks with a herniated disc.
-- Get-well wishes to midget wrestling great Darling Dagmar (Kathy Moreland).
Dagmar broke her right leg above her knee Thursday and is recovering in a Columbia hospital.
Dagmar, who retired from the business in 1977, was known as “the Marilyn Monroe of midget girls.”
-- Among the many wrestling personalities we said goodbye to in 2011:
Umanosuke “Mr. Ito” Ueda (Dec. 21, age 71), Sharon Valentine (Dec. 1, 67), Jim Hussey (Nov. 30, 87), Mark “Bison” Smith (Nov. 22, 38), Bennie Matta (Nov. 21, 83), Killer Karl Kox (Nov. 10, 80), Venus LaRue (Nov. 9, 76), Chris Drake (Sept. 26, 72), Little Tokyo (Sept. 6, 71), Handsome Johnny Barend (Sept. 20, 82), Mando Lopez (Aug. 26, 63), Donna Christanello (Aug. 25, 69), Tony Cosenza (Aug. 17, 93), Bobby Fields (Aug. 13, 77), Scott LeDoux (Aug. 11, 62), Malcolm Cormier (Aug. 9, 74), Terry Yorkston (Aug. 7, 78), Duncan McTavish (June 5, 80), Betty Wagner (June 3, 98), Randy Savage (May 10, 58), Pierre Morrison (April 1, 52), Sir Oliver Humperdink (March 19, 62), Hahn Lee (March 2, 80), Nick “The Greek” Spillios (Feb. 1, 79), Johnny Heidman (Jan. 27, 90), Shawn Osborne (Jan. 26, 34), Jose Luis “El Vagabundo” Garcia (Jan. 20, 61), Tiki Tapu (Jan. 19, 40), Guy Coffee (Jan. 8, 86), Big Val Puccio (Jan. 7, 45) and Verne Langdon (Jan. 1, 69).
Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at 843-937-5517 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carl Kerby, author of "Reasons for Hope: In the Mosaic of Your Life," is the son of wrestling great Luke "Big Boy" Brown.×
Luke "Big Boy" Brown (left) and Jake "Grizzly" Smith as The Kentuckians.×
Former pro wrestling diva Torrie Wilson has been spending time with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.×