As noted earlier, Michael Hayes' first show backstage with the SmackDown/ECW roster was at the June 24 taping in Houston. The first thing he did was apologize to Mark Henry. He then apologized to all the African-American wrestlers. Hayes blamed the incident with Henry on his drinking problem. He told the wrestlers that he was now taking antabuse, a drug that makes one vomit should he/she drink alcohol.
The return of Hayes and Jim Ross' arrival to SmackDown were the main topics of discussion at the Houston tapings. Ross arrived to the building at around 5 p.m., a few hours before show time. Ross had a private meeting with Vince McMahon. After it was over, everything seemed to be fine.
Kofi Kingston has posted a blog on his WWE Fan Nation account regarding his first day on Raw and Intercontinental Championship win last Sunday. "Monday, June 30, had a different vibe to it, for sure. I did not know just how I would be received. First of all, the competition that exists between the three brands is no secret. Each superstar strives to make their brand the best; so inevitably, there is a sense of "sibling rivalry". Having started my career with ECW and now coming to Raw instantly provokes this rivalry," Kingston wrote. "I treaded cautiously, keeping my guard up, but to my surprise, there were many Raw Superstars that did congratulate and welcome me to the roster: Shad and JTG of Cryme Tyme, Women's Champion Mickie James, and John Cena. Even "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan gave me a thumbs-up and a "Hoooo!" which I'm pretty sure he meant positively! This helped to ease the tension." He also added, "Second, since everyone's goal is to be a champion, anyone with a title is a marked man. The Intercontinental Champion especially, since the title holds so much prestige. I had to do a photo shoot with the title and the photographer wanted me to make some "mean" faces, but I couldn't stop smiling because I was thinking of all the history behind the title."
SmackDown wrestler Gregory Helms, who has been out of action since April 2007 due to a neck injury, has posted a "Countdown" graphic on his MySpace page teasing his return. The graphic reads, "It's almost time!"
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.