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These Cage Kings enjoy royal romp
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


King of the Cage, Canada's leading mixed-martial arts group, taped its third series of fights for TSN last Saturday at the Stampede Corral.

From the stunning ring girls to the elaborate pyro displays for the fighter's entrances, the show was every bit as flashy as a UFC event in Las Vegas.

The main event saw Ryan (The Lion) Diaz win the Canadian championship by forcing Thierry (The Surgeon) Quenneville to tap out in the third round.

Special guest Ken Shamrock sat ringside for the card but paid particularly close attention when one of his own fighters took to the octagon. Joe Martin, a member of Shamrock's Lions Den training camp, did his mentor proud, beating Victor Hernandez with a choke just 1:25 into the first round.

The KotC event, dubbed 'The Fight that was Banned in Saskatchewan,' will be broadcast as four separate shows on TSN in January.

It was the MMA group's second visit to Calgary.

- - -

DIVA DUMPED: Christy Hemme is the latest diva to be dropped by WWE. The 2004 Diva Search winner was quietly released Monday morning.

Hemme's release was a surprise as she had been given a big push in 2005, feuding with the top ladies in the company and posing for the cover of Playboy.

WWE also released Tajiri this week. The Japanese Buzzsaw had just signed a new three-year deal but apparently asked to be let out of his contract to return to his native Japan.

Tajiri's last match will be on Raw next Monday.

- - -

TNA GIVEN JOLT: TNA Wrestling is getting major mainstream publicity, including a plug in the news pages of Sports Illustrated, for bringing in Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

The World Series champion appeared on the group's prime-time special on Spike TV Thursday, getting involved in a scuffle with the Diamonds in the Rough, a heel stable of TNA wrestlers.

Pierzynski will also appear tomorrow on TNA's Turning Point pay-per-view, teaming with Bobby (The Brain) Heenan to co-manage a group of X-division stars.

- - -

KENNEDY NEEDS REPAIRS: WWE up-and-comer Ken Kennedy could be on the shelf for up to six months after undergoing surgery for a torn lat muscle.

Kennedy, who was in line for a main event slot at Wrestlemania next April, tore the tendon right off the bone during WWE's European tour last month.

This came just a few weeks after world champion Batista suffered the same injury, albeit on a lesser scale.

Batista will continue to work in a limited role while he rehabs.

- - -

HEART FAILURE CLAIMED EDDIE: The cause of Eddie Guerrero's death has been confirmed as heart failure. The medical examiner in Hennepin County, Minn., released the information Thursday, attributing Guerrero's death to natural causes, although it's believed his past substance abuse problems were also partially to blame.

Guerrero was found dead in a Minneapolis hotel room last month, having collapsed while brushing his teeth on the eve of a big WWE TV taping. He was 38.

- - -

BENJIE'S MOMMY TO THE RESCUE: After a few months in mid-card limbo, WWE is adding a new edge to Shelton Benjamin's character. Benjamin teased a heel turn in his tag match with Shawn Michaels on Monday's Raw but the company is now also looking to pair him up with his mother -- or at least a reasonable facsimile. WWE put out a casting call looking for a female to play the role of Benjamin's momma for the next few months. According to the call, potential candidates must be African American, heavy-set and in their 50s.

- - -

WWE VOICE HAS STYLES: Joey Styles is now officially the voice of Monday Night Raw, having signed a five-year deal with WWE. Until now Styles was handling the announcing duties as a temporary fill-in for long-time Raw announcer Jim Ross.

Styles, who made his name as the lead play-by-play guy for ECW, has decided to leave his day job in advertising to pursue his WWE options.


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