\"Hey JR? Yeah, it\'s Vince. Listen, could you do me a huge favour? Just make sure the last wrestler to leave the company turns off the lights on their way out! Perfect, thanks Jim, I\'ll talk to you on Monday!\" Yes folks, the WWE talent relations department was working overtime again this week, with Jim Ross and his team waving goodbye to an unusually high number of established grapplers. Crash Holly was the latest mid-carder to be handed his marching orders, joining Jamal from Three Minute Warning at the front of the unemployment line. But the depleted Heat and Velocity rosters aren\'t the big news this week. No, the real story is an even bigger name who won\'t be appearing on next week\'s payroll.
Hulk Hogan, in the deja vu moment of the month, has reportedly butted heads with Vince McMahon -- again -- and has decided to call it quits -- again!
According to the Hulkster, he\'s through with World Wrestling Entertainment.
The exact details are still a little sketchy but the general understanding is the disagreement centred around money and the company\'s creative direction.
According to the most popular (and most likely) theory, Hogan was less than impressed with his payoff for Wrestlemania XIX (company-wide, cheques were said to be lower than many wrestlers expected) and he hasn\'t exactly been thrilled with the way Mr. America has been portrayed on Smackdown over the past few weeks, either.
Hogan apparently met with McMahon in New York last week to discuss the problems but, when a resolution couldn\'t be reached in time for the TV tapings on Tuesday, Mr. America was written out of the show at the last minute.
Hogan himself announced the decision Monday morning on a Florida-based radio show hosted by his shock-jock of choice and close personal friend, Bubba The Love Sponge. The Hulkster didn\'t reveal any specific details of the situation, simply stating fans wouldn\'t see Hulk Hogan or his Mr. America alter-ego on WWE for a while. He also suggested he wanted to return to Japan, where he\'s held in extremely high regard and could easily draw a ton of money for a big Tokyo Dome match.
Ironically, Hulk\'s departure came just days after the WWE decided to drop another \'80s legend, Rowdy Roddy Piper.
Piper had been working on a handshake agreement with the company and was supposed to take part in storylines until Summerslam in August.
But when he bashed the business in an interview that aired on HBO\'s Real Sports last week, WWE brass decided to cut their losses and let the Hot Rod go.
Rowdy Roddy was scheduled to host a series of Piper\'s Pit segments on the Up Close and Uncensored tour, including a heavily advertised pit-stop at the Saddledome next month.
With Piper out of the picture, Calgary fans can expect Bruce Prichard to be the replacement host, donning his Brother Love garb to interview McMahon and Zach Gowen. The untelevised spot shows McMahon insulting the audience and attacking Gowen, before the one-legged wonder hits back with a series of high-spots and a moonsault from the top rope.
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IN LOCAL ACTION: School\'s out for the summer and Stampede Wrestling is marking the occasion with a tournament for the vacant North American championship on Friday. Johnny Devine, Duke Durrango, Harry Smith (my pick to win), Bruce Hart, TJ Wilson and Karnage have already signed on. The action all goes down at the Bowness Sportsplex starting at 7:30 p.m.