Posts Tagged ‘Retirement’

Former WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam remains sporadically active on the independent circuit, even at 46 years old, but you won’t see the popular star back on Raw or SmackDown anytime soon.

According to TheBlast.com, a “visual impairment” caused by a concussion suffered in November 2016 has “disqualified [me] from working for WWE,” as per the terms outlined in the company’s Concussion Management Program protocol. The claims were made in papers filed as part of RVD’s ongoing divorce proceedings.

The former WWE and ECW Champion suffered the affliction while wrestling Pentagon Jr. for England’s Preston City Wrestling. It saw the veteran fly out of the ring and use a steel chair, with RVD taking a couple of big bumps throughout, though he was competing again by December.

Now in his 27th year in the business, Van Dam claims he has “aged out” of wrestling partly because of his inability to rejoin WWE, which has “substantially reduced” his income. He last worked for the company back in August 2014, but has fulfilled a number of independent dates in 2017, including a featured spot at ICW’s flagship Fear & Loathing event last month.

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Candice Michelle spoke to On Milwaukee before her upcoming retirement match at House of Hardcore 36 on December 2, which will air live on Twitch. Here are some of the highlights:

When she first started with WWE, getting called out by Lita in the locker room:

“It was brutal. I remember I was in the locker room with Lita, who is very intimidating. I went to put my makeup on; I thought I took the worst spot in the locker room. I thought I was being respectful. I sat on the floor by a mirror. And she got up in my face, and she was like, ‘What? Do you think you can walk in here and take the best spot in the locker room?’ And I was like, ‘I’m sitting on the floor!’ I was considered the Hollywood girl. These wrestling girls, they paved the way of going to these indie shows and training camps and putting their bodies through this for so long. And I just come from Hollywood and show up. So I get their side of it. I had to earn the wrestling respect side of it.”

How injuries ended her WWE career:

“We were coming back from a two-week European tour, and it was our last match in Nebraska before we got a break. It was a big match with me and Beth Phoenix, and I went up to the top rope for a spot where she was gonna hit the rope and I was gonna eat it. But my boot caught, and I nose dived. So I was knocked out, on live TV. The next thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance, and they said, ‘Your husband’s being flown in.’ When you’re in a neck brace, and you’re in an ambulance, and they’re flying your husband in, it’s pretty scary. Thankfully, I just had a broken collar bone and a concussion. But the hardest part is it shelved me. I worked so hard to get that spot, and that recognition from my coworkers, and from the fans. And now I’m shelved for six months.

I think most wrestlers have a very relentless mentality. Somehow, I had to convince [Producer] Johnny Laurinaitis and the doctors there that my collarbone was not broken anymore, even though the X-rays show it was still. Somehow, I weaseled my way into a match, and the first drop kick, I shattered it. But, I finished the match. I was shelved another six months. Then I was coming back, and WrestleMania was coming up, just being in overdrive. I did a Superman punch, landed on my ankle and tore two ligaments. That was the final injury where I got the call to say, ‘All right, kid. You’re done.'”

Training for upcoming retirement match:

“I did training at Knox Pro Wrestling Academy, back in L.A. That first bump, woo! That s— hurts. You forget. And my body forgot. I trained for a month and a half there a couple times a week. I cried every time I was there. Whether it was because I was in pain or because I missed it, or because of facing those spirits.”

Edge spoke with ESPN on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Life after pro wrestling:

“I had no aspirations after wrestling. I truly just assumed I would retire, grow a big beard, sit on my deck and figure out what was next. If it was nothing, I was OK with that. I pretty much immediately did ‘Haven,’ but still had no kind of false aspirations that this was something that I’d be good at, or would want to do outside of just a couple episodes. It’d be fun, and that will be that.”

Starting E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness with Christian:

“It was one of those deals where Christian had approached me, because the company had approached him.I said I didn’t know — there’s like a thousand podcasts out there, what can we do that’s different? How do we make ours different than the other hundred out there? It’s different because it’s us. Because of our banter and our chemistry, and the fact that we’ve been best friends for 33 years. You can’t manufacture that. I think you can tell from listening to us that we’re just two idiots having a good time, shooting the breeze like we would anyway, just more wrestling centric.”

Daniel Bryan coming on their podcast and being very open about wanting to wrestler again and concussions:

“We’ve just ended up talking, and what has come out has been what you’ve heard. I think the only instance so far where I was surprised with how candid he was, was Bryan talking about the concussions. And a lot of that I didn’t even know, so it was really eye-opening and interesting to see all the steps that he’s taken with that.

Source: Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast

On episode 159 of Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, pro broadcaster and pro wrestling enthusiast Sam Roberts interviewed WWE Hall Of Famer ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase. Among other things, DiBiase discussed his retirement from pro wrestling, working with Virgil, and his son, Ted DiBiase, Jr.’s decision to leave WWE.

 According to DiBiase, he did not have a hard time calling it a career when he retired from pro wrestling, as he got more involved with his faith-based work. With that said, ‘The Million Dollar Man’ wishes that he had worked with Ted Jr.

“Yeah, I mean, I really didn’t have any trouble because people ask me that all the time, they say, ‘don’t you miss it? I mean, man, you were the guy.’ And it’s like, I had a 19-year active career and overall I was in the industry as a full-time participant for 25 years. That’s long enough. And when I transitioned out of this, into the ministry, the ministry began to consume me in the same way. And so, I kind of feel for the guys because there [are] a lot of guys that have a real hard time making that transition, but I didn’t. I didn’t. And people ask me all the time, ‘don’t you miss it? Don’t you ever just wish you could get back in there again?’ and I go, ‘I really don’t.’ I say, ‘now maybe if I see a really good match or I see a young guy and I see a lot of talent, I go, ‘man, if I could get in there and have a match with him, it would help him a little bit.’ Something like that. But wanting to be the guy again? No problem.” DiBiase added, “there was one [up-and-coming star he regrets not working] for sure, my son.”

On the subject of Virgil, DiBiase shared that he did not know Virgil before being paired with him by the office. DiBiase noted that Virgil was a decent guy who had a good look, but he was not very smart. Moreover, DiBiase indicated that they could have had a good run if Virgil was a better worker.

“Well, actually, I can’t claim Virgil because I didn’t even know Virgil until they introduced me to him in the office, so I’m not sure who found Virgil. But they hired Virgil. I mean, he had the look and he had the guns. And I guess that’s about all I can say about that! Yeah, I mean, here’s the thing about [Virgil]. He wasn’t a bad guy. I mean, he showed up on time. He didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs. I’ve been told that he likes to gamble, but other than that… But I did realize that [he] wasn’t the smartest book on the shelf. No, not at all. And what we could’ve done if Virgil had some really, really good or decent wrestling skills, we could have had a heck of a run, but that wasn’t in the cards.”

Apparently, when Ted, Jr. was put with Virgil, ‘The Fortunate Son’ called asking his dad how he put up with Virgil.

“When he told me, ‘they’re going to put Virgil with me – it’s very brief, very, very short,’ but i think the idea was that they were trying to do a thing whereby he keeps saying, ‘I’m not my dad,’ but he keeps acting like me, right? And so, the first night Virgil is on TV with him, I’m watching the live show and it’s over, well, I live in the central timezone, so it’s over at 10 o’clock my time. At 10:05, my phone rings and it’s Teddy. He said, ‘dad, how did you put up with this idiot for as long as you did? He’s driving me crazy!'”

Also during the interview, DiBiase indicated that he was very proud of his son for leaving WWE because it is the right thing to do for his family. DiBiase said his son understood that to be a top guy in WWE, he would have to put in time that he would otherwise be spending with his family.

“I was proud of him. I mean, he called me before, just before, and he said, ‘dad, I just wanted you to be aware of something,’ and he said, ‘but before I tell you, the first thing you’ve got to promise me is you won’t say those words.’ I said, ‘what words might that be?’ ‘I told you so.’ And so he told me, he said ‘my contract’s about up and they want me to re-sign.’ And he said, ‘I’m not going to go back.’ And I said, ‘really?’ And he said, ‘yeah,’ he said, ‘because basically, you’re right.'”

DiBiase explained, “nobody works harder in that company than Vince [McMahon], himself, and it’s just going to be expected of you and he got that. He understood that, but that’s also what he understood. He said, ‘if I do that, it’s not fair to my wife and it’s not fair to my child.’ And I said, ‘I won’t say those words!’ And I said, ‘but I’m glad you figured it out and I support you’ and I know he bowed out gracefully. And, I mean, if he wanted to go back, he probably could.”

He may no longer own a title, but Michael Bisping can still go out on his own terms.

Mere days after he agreed to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China, on just two weeks’ notice, the former middleweight champion revealed he’s aiming to fight on the UFC’s March bill in London, England, before calling it a career during a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

The 38-year-old had aimed to defeat Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 before going out with another title defense in his home country – preferably in his native Manchester – but he’ll settle for the English capital now that St-Pierre owns the crown.

Bisping became the UFC’s first British champion with a knockout of Luke Rockhold two Junes ago before defending the belt against Dan Henderson in Manchester last October. The latter victory gave him sole ownership of the UFC’s win record with 20, a distinction St-Pierre matched when he submitted the Brit at UFC 217 just nine days ago.

As for why he agreed to the three-week turnaround, the former titleholder repeated to Ariel Helwani on Monday what he told FloCombat’s Damon Martin upon replacing Anderson Silva to face Gastelum: He had to jump at the opportunity to rebound from his submission loss to GSP.

“I can’t see how I cannot take this fight,” Bisping told Martin. “I’m serious because the homework is done. I’ve got no injuries. I like to fight, and I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth from my last performance. That’s what’s bothering me. The UFC head of legal, Hunter Campbell, he was checking ‘Are you OK, are you OK?’ and physically I’m fine. Mentally, I’m very frustrated.

“So this gives me a chance to exorcise my demons and get some decent mental space back. Physically, I’m totally fine. Mentally, I’m pissed off. So for me it’s almost a gift from the gods.”

Bisping will aim to get back in the win column when he meets Gastelum in UFC Fight Night 122’s main event on Nov. 25. His ideal swan song – UFC Fight Night 127 – is currently scheduled for March 17 at London’s O2 Arena.

Despite receiving a hearty endorsement from former teammate CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez says he hasn’t even considered himself a possible candidate for the New York Yankees managerial vacancy.

“I’ve never thought about that,” Rodriguez told Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post. “I’ve always thought that one day, ownership could be interesting.”

The Yankees have begun interviewing for the vacancy following Joe Girardi’s dismissal last month after a decade with the organization, though it’s not believed Rodriguez is on the list of interviewees.

Sabathia hasn’t been the only one to mention Rodriguez’s name as a future manager. Prior to last season, Girardi, ironically enough, predicted that Rodriguez could one day find himself leading a team.

“I think Alex would probably prefer to manage, if he was going to do anything, because I think he likes all the strategy of the game,” Girardi said at the time. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him in uniform.”

Since retiring near the end of the 2016 season, Rodriguez has spent some time around the Yankees in an advisory role, but his main ambitions have come away from the team – serving as an analyst for FOX Sports, while also appearing on the TV show “Shark Tank.”

Rodriguez believes the Yankees’ managerial position will be highly coveted, as he considers it one of the most prestigious jobs in sports.

“I will say that being a manager for the New York Yankees is almost like POTUS, like one of those jobs that anybody and everybody should and would pay attention to,” Rodriguez said. “Because the New York Yankees are the greatest franchise in sports, not only in America but in the entire globe.”

Vadim Shipachyov had the chance to extend his NHL career, but ultimately elected to return to Russia.

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee confirmed Shipachyov’s retirement from the NHL on Thursday, while noting Vegas had worked out a trade that would have sent the Russian to another NHL club, but he didn’t want to go to another team, according to NHL.com’s Danny Webster.

“We wanted to work with him, but he wanted to go home,” McPhee said.

Shipachyov tallied one goal in the only three games he played with the Golden Knights after agreeing to a two-year, $9-million contract during the offseason.