July 2, 2005
Jericho weighs in on NHLWWE star gives Sun his two cents on hockey league's labour negotiations
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
There are three ways to get Chris Jericho talking -- You can bring up his wrestling career, you can bring up his music career or you can bring up hockey.
The WWE star recently sat down with the Sun to give his two cents on the ongoing labour relations saga in the NHL.
"It really peeves me off that there's no season," Jericho said.
"I think diehard fans like myself are annoyed but I think your average fan or your fair-weather fan will be gone. It's going to take a lot of work to bring those fans back."
Jericho, whose Hockey Hall of Fame father Ted Irvine played for the New York Rangers, said Bob Goodenow has greatly over-estimated the league's popularity.
"Newsflash for everybody in the NHL office: Hockey's not as big as they'd like to believe it is," Jericho said. "I live in Florida and, believe me, a lot of people just don't give a damn.
"(The NHL) lost all the headway and all the goodwill that they had. I think they really shot themselves in the foot because they turned away a lot of fans that were starting to get into the game. Those fans have now gone back to NASCAR or tiddly winks or whatever it is they watched before."
And while hockey bosses and NHLPA reps are hinting the end of the lockout may be in sight, Y2J doesn't share their optimism.
"Both the players and the owners have an ego about how big hockey is," said Jericho. "I hope they know what they're doing but I honestly don't think they do."
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TRADING PLACES: The final trades of the 2005 draft lottery were announced Thursday night on WWE's website. Chavo Guerrero, Danny Basham, René Dupre, Mark Jindrak, Kenzo Suzuki and Hiroko are on their way to Raw. In return, the Smackdown brand will sign William Regal, Stevie Richards, Simon Dean, Sylvain Grenier and Candace Michele.
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CUT VICTIMS: TV announcer Marc Lloyd and a bevy of office staff were the first victims of WWE's latest round of talent cuts. Vince McMahon warned employees of impending layoffs earlier this week.
The company will be in extreme cost-cutting mode for the foreseeable future as it takes a big revenue hit to bring Monday Night Raw from Spike TV to a more visible slot on USA Network.
As part of the cutbacks, several mid-card wrestlers are expected to be released when their contracts come up for renewal in the coming weeks.
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TEAM PLAYER: As WWE bosses look to rebuild the company's tag-team scene, Canadian wrestling writer Greg Oliver has penned the first comprehensive look at the history of the two-on-two division with co-writer Steven Johnson.
Covering half a century of tag team history, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams hit store shelves last month. The book includes hundreds of profiles of the biggest tandems to ever step foot in the ring, including the Road Warriors, the Freebirds and Calgary's own Hart Foundation.
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HARDY DEAL: A TNA offer is on the table but Matt Hardy isn't signing. According to multiple WWE sources, Vince McMahon may have finally realized firing Hardy was a big mistake.
Chants of "We want Matt" have become a staple at WWE shows and the company is reportedly asking Hardy to hold off on signing with any other organizations until further notice. Hardy's non-compete clause with WWE expires this month.
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SHARK ATTACK: TNA wrestler Shark Boy (Dean Roll) has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the movie Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D. Roll trademarked the 'Shark Boy' name in 1997 and claims the movie -- targeted at pre-teen audiences -- creates confusion between the film's lead character and his own wrestling persona.
A spokesperson for the motion picture's producers told MTV: "We haven't seen the complaint but, based on what we've read, we are highly confident that there is no merit to this claim."