Nothing's official yet, but it's expected that former WWE Intercontinental champion and TNA heavyweight champ Christian Cage will return soon to WWE.
Christian (Jay Reso), whose contract with TNA recently expired, is banking on a much higher-profile status with WWE than the one he held when he left the company at the end of 2005.
Mired in mid-card territory, with little upward mobility in sight, Christian refused to re-sign a WWE contract three years ago when he felt he had gone as far as he could in that company. It didn't help that WWE owner Vince McMahon didn't recognize his star potential or view him as the main-event player others in the company saw him as. As a result he left WWE for TNA, went back to his old ring name of Christian Cage, traded his "Captain Charisma" moniker for "The Instant Classic," and was given a bigger role in the smaller company.
Three years later Christian feels he has a good shot to make an immediate impact in WWE and, at age 35, this could be his last chance to deliver. Many top stars in WWE, including longtime friend Edge (Adam Copeland), strongly believe Christian can break into that rarefied realm and become a top-tier player.
While Christian enjoyed a good relationship with TNA brass, was assured of maintaining a strong position on the roster and had a more relaxed schedule with limited travel that kept him close to his family in Tampa, sources say Christian realized that this could be his final opportunity to prove himself as a main-eventer in WWE and establish himself as a future WWE hall of famer. And while Christian is one of the higher-paid performers in TNA, a long run in WWE could ensure long-term financial stability for the wrestler and his family.
Christian could resurface in a WWE ring as early as this month's Royal Rumble when Jeff Hardy defends the WWE title against Edge at the Royal Rumble. He also is expected to be revealed as the person who attacked Hardy on the morning of the Survivor Series pay-per-view, according to prowrestling.net, setting up a possible Christian vs. Jeff Hardy match at Wrestlemania 25.
Some have speculated that brother Matt Hardy could be revealed as the man behind the attack.
- Former WWE performer and Celebrity Rehab reality show star Joanie "Chyna" Laurer, who was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital last weekend after friends found her passed out on a bathroom floor following a 36th birthday drinking binge, later said she blacked out after making the mistake of mixing alcohol with new medication.
"I was on some new medication and drank with it ... blacked out, hit some glass, and I'm fine. I'm good," she told the TMZ site. "A few cuts and scratches and that's it."
Questions remain, however, concerning the incident.
Laurer, who once was regarded as a fitness fanatic, was so intoxicated she was barely able to speak, and a psychiatric evaluation could not be performed because of the high alcohol level in her blood. Doctors said too many alcohol shots did not mix well with her prescription pills. Laurer was released from the hospital the following day.
Laurer, who left pro wrestling in 2001 to focus on a film career, has had a number of small parts in straight-to-video flicks and has appeared in several reality shows. Laurer had a relationship with WWE star Triple H (Paul Levesque) from 1996-2000 and was engaged briefly to Sean "X-Pac" Waltman in 2003 before their tumultuous relationship ended.
WWE announcer Jim Ross, who helped bring Laurer into WWE during the mid-'90s, commented on her downfall since leaving wrestling in a recent blog.
"I am thankful she is alive after apparently overdosing on her birthday. I truly hope Joanie gets more professional help, the WWE is an option for her, with whatever issues she has and find true happiness in her life. I'm not sure that her kind of happiness is going to be found in Tinseltown.
"Joanie was always so health conscious when she was on the WWE roster and the reports about her issues the past several years have been personally troubling to me. She had many challenges in her life long before she arrived in the WWE which I honestly feel are at the root of her problems today. Nonetheless, I am no Dr. Phil, but I do hope that Joanie gets better and finds a vocation that is personally rewarding to her."
- Linda Bollea, the estranged wife of Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea), is about to drop a bomb on the Hulkster.
According to pwtorch.com, Linda reportedly is writing a tell-all book that will document her 24-year-marriage to the wrestling superstar, and it's a sure bet Hogan isn't going to like what he reads.
The St. Petersburg Times recently reported that Linda's bank account has dipped below $200,000, according to her lawyers, and she desperately needs money to keep up her lifestyle and legal case. Divorce attorneys for the warring Hogans wrangled over whether Linda should get a disbursement of $400,000 from the couple's frozen assets before agreeing to deposit money into an account controlled by her lawyers and used only for legal costs.
Linda currently is receiving $40,000 a month in temporary alimony payments. She reportedly has spent $850,000 on legal fees so far, while Hulk has spent another $1.6 million, including money he paid for his son's legal defense in the reckless driving case against him.
Attorneys for their 18-year-old son, Nick Bollea, have asked the Florida Department of Corrections agency to let him serve the rest of his probation in California. Bollea was released in October from the Pinellas County Jail, where he served 166 days of an eight-month sentence handed down after pleading no contest to a charge of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury.
Bollea wants to attend school in California this spring and live with his maternal grandparents.
- Newly crowned Smackdown divas champion Maryse suffered a dislocated kneecap during a house show last weekend in Raleigh. The injury is not serious, and she's expected to return to the ring in a couple of weeks.
- Former WWE women's champ Gail Kim, who left TNA late last year, is expected to challenge Maryse for the divas title.
- WWE has released road agent Barry Windham.
The 48-year-old Windham, the eldest son of pro wrestling great Blackjack Mulligan (Bob Windham), began work as a producer for the company shortly after his father was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
A source close to the company predicted more cuts to come in January.
- Lord Littlebrook (Eric Tovey), one of the greatest midget wrestlers of all time, turned 80 on Saturday.
Littlebrook was recognized as the NWA world midgets champion during the '60s and '70s.
Littlebrook, who is bedridden and lost the use of both legs, has suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease the past several years.
- Recently announced Royal Rumble entrants from the Smackdown brand include The Undertaker, Triple H, Big Show, Vladimir Kozlov and Shelton Benjamin.
- "Contact Any Celebrity," a research firm based in West Hollywood, Calif., that provides celebrity contact information to fans, businesses, nonprofits and the media, recently named John Cena the fifth most-sought-after celebrity in 2008.
Actor and singer Miley Cyrus topped the list. Cena is fifth, ahead of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie.
The Top 10 "Most Wanted" Celebrities of 2008 are the "most wanted" for autographs, charitable donations, endorsements, and media requests from contactanycelebrity.com's online database of more than 55,000 celebrities and public figures worldwide.
- Kurt Angle has a lead role in a movie being filmed in his home area of Pittsburgh.
"End Game" is described as a psychological thriller centered on a serial killer played by Angle.
Angle soon will be filming a movie in California called "Escape from Hell."