TNA Changing Announce Teams, Explaining The WWE Network With Possible Price Points, Big Johnny's Return To TV

Why does TNA change announcers halfway through Impact Wrestling?

As noted here on, the decision to change announce teams halfway through Impact Wrestling was one made by Eric Bischoff. This is what they did on WCW Nitro as Bischoff feels it helps breakup the show from getting monotonous. I actually agree with the concept and wouldn't mind WWE switching announcers during their three-hour Raw broadcasts.

Regarding the WWE Network, can you explain what a premium subscription model is and will it be available in the United Kingdom?

A premium subscription model is a channel in which you pay a monthly fee to have access too. The best example I can give is HBO as viewers must pay a fee that is added directly to their cable/satellite bill in order to have access. We reported here on Premium in July there was talk of launching the channel at $14.95 per month and increasing it within the first 30 months of launch by two small increases to eventually reach $19.95 per month. As for the network being available in the United Kingdom, I heard clearances were more available overseas than they were in the United States. We even reported there was talk about the UK getting the WWE Network before the US.

Are there still plans to see John Laurinaitis back on WWE television?

There are still plans for John Laurinaitis to return to WWE TV as an on-air authority figure, however, he's been off the road recovering from shoulder surgery. While no longer the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, he had been working as a producer prior to taking time off to have surgery.

What was the worst mistake in WWE history?

Normally I shy away from questions such as this because they are widely debatable, however, I have to think the planned “funeral” for the Mr. McMahon character that was scheduled the night we learned of the death of Chris Benoit (June 25, 2007) and his family was the worst mistake in WWE history. Not only that but the tribute show that replaced it as we learned of the heinous details behind the crimes Benoit committed in the final days of his life.

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  • Rayner Chee-bai

    The worst mistake WWE ever did is switching from TV-14 to TV – PG. Am I right?

    • Adam

      Hell YEAH!!!!

    • Ken

      For once, Rayner, I think you might actually have a point.

      DAMMIT KEN! Don't feed the troll!!!

    • snap

      The PG rating isn’t the actual problem, it’s how far they took the concept of PG (glorified baby talk in Cena’s case, when he tried to “swear” and “keep it PG”).

      I never liked the glut of “hardcore” during the Attitude era, especially stuff like the barbed wire baseball bats and thumbtacks. I don’t see what’s so exciting about any of that.

      If weapon use was as commonplace today, how much of an impact would the introduction of a sledgehammer have had in last year’s Triple H vs. Undertaker WrestleMania match?

      I’d say the worst mistake would have to be trying to do everything they can, including censoring elements of their own history, to try and get Linda McMahon into the Senate. Hopefully the people of Connecticut can see through WWE insulting their intelligence with all of the tactics to eliminate WWE’s worst actions as a result of Linda’s opponent’s attacks?

      I mean, with how much WWE pushes the Be a STAR campaign, anybody can just bring up the video of JBL bullying the referees during the SmackDown taping. I don’t care how people try to spin it, but JBL certainly did not “Show Tolerance and Respect.”

    • izblack

      Nope not at all. The worst mistake was keeping the belt on Punk for an entire year. Ratings suck with him as champ

      • Lee

        Punk's great as champ, the last time we had a lenghty titl reign was JBL.

        • snap

          Actually, it was John Cena when he held the belt for 380 days before being forced to vacate it due to injury. What’s interesting, and probably entirely coincidental, is JBL’s reign and Cena’s first reign lasted exactly the same number of days.

          I agree, though, I enjoy Punk as WWE champion. I just wish WWE would hurry up and get a new belt to replace the crappy one Heyman has to lug around.

  • Rob Beckett

    Any reactions from WWE about the TNA line about "AJ's (Styles and Lee) " from Thursday night airing ?

    • neweramaze

      I popped over that line, I thought it was funny.

    • Ken

      Just got around to watching TNA. That line was absolutely genius. Pretty much word for word withwhat went through my head when the AJ Lee storyline went there.

    • Yousef

      What happened?

      • Ken

        He threw a deserved shot at the WWE for copying TNA's AJ-affair storyline and doing their own AJ-affair storyline.

  • Ken

    I said it last time Richard answered this question about the worst WWE mistake and I'll say it again this time… the Vince McMahon funeral angle and the Benoit tribute cannot be truly classified as mistakes on the WWE's part. They're only regarded as dark chapters because of Chris Benoit's actions. His mistake, not the WWE's. I'll work backwards.

    The tribute episode first.
    Before Benoit went off the rails it had long been tradition to offer on-screen tribute following the death of talent. Such tribute was traditionally offered on the first show following the discovery of said talent's death.
    As much as I despise the term 'WWE Universe' it is accurate in that the WWE is a brotherhood. The entire industry is a brotherhood no matter where one fits into it. Families argue but in the end when one falls it affects the whole.
    When Chris Benoit was declared dead it was the WWE's duty at the time to acknowledge that death, and since Chris was an active performing talent at the time that tribute had to be special. Had they not done so they'd have been thought of as heartless at the time (remember as the show started the truth wasn't known).
    Obviously as the truth became known the tribute show took on a whole new light, but this is with the benefit of hindsight, and was down entirely to Chris.
    The tribute show was in bad taste, but the WWE wasn't at fault for running it because they didn't know at the time what Chris had done, therefore the mistake isn't theirs.

    The McMahon funeral… well, it's not like Creative knew beforehand that Chris was going to go all psycho nutjob on his family. Had that not happened then the funeral episode would have been just another episode, just another storyline, just another eeaaahhhhgggghhhh moment easily forgotten, easily lost to the mists of time. It only became a mistake because of Chris' actions, not the WWE's.

    Hindsight can certainly enlighten us as to errors made in the past, but mistakes have the special virtue that they should have been obvious and avoided before they were made.

    As for what my opinions are regarding the WWE's worst mistake, I'll just say that I'm not a big fan of Linda right now, but that I have a feeling her situation will easily be overshadowed by the collossal failure that the WWE Network will be, and if I can see beforehand that these two things are screw-ups then the WWE surely should have.

    Apologies for the lengthy post.

    • Kevin

      I couldn't agree with you more. The funeral storyline was just that – a storyline. The tribute show was a must, given the circumstances that a) Chris Benoit, an active WWE talent, was dead, and b) we didn't know the truth behind his death until the next day, after the tribute show aired. Remember, on Tuesday night's ECW episode, after the truth had come out, Vince started the show off by apologizing for the tribute show, and saying that Chris Benoit's name would never be mentioned again. I, like you, believe that the WWE Network will wind up a failure, especially in light of the fact that they intend to run it as a premium channel at a cost of $14.95, to be raised to $19.95, per month.

      • Ken

        I don't know a lot about US cable TV pricing and such, being a Brit.
        I had Sky TV for a long time, full subscription, which was about £49 a month for one receiver box, and a second box to watch independantly of the first at an extra £10 a month (roughly $95 a month for more entertainment, movie, sports, documentary, and shopping channels than I could ever hope to watch, and a zillion radio stations).
        They also carried a few other stations at an additional monthly subscription cost (adult channels and a few very specialist channels not included in the full package) and they had their PPV section on top for movies, big sporting events, high profile concerts, and so on.
        When I last had Sky, if I remember correctly, the big 4 WWE events were PPV over here with the B-shows being broadcast on one of the package sports channels, and I think they were about to change it to 8 events being PPV and 4 freely shown but I'm not sure as my wife and I both lost our jobs at the same time and I had to cancel our subscription.
        A typical PPV here was $24 with WM being more expensive. At one point all events used to be free over here. I really used to pity US fans when I was a kid.
        After paying the equivalent of $120 a month for all that crap though there'd be NO CHANCE *dah doo doo duh doo dooo* NO CHANCE IN HELL that I would have ever paid any more on top for a WWE Network, and I've been a loyal fan for over thirty years.
        Unless Vince literally put all major WWE programming onto his new network, Raw, SD, NXT, Main Event, PPVs, and also lobby to broadcast other things like boxing and MMA I can't honestly see why anyone would subscribe.
        People don't have endless money to urinate up the wall these days, and without the mainstream content on there I doubt that they have anything up their sleeves that's worth $19.95 a month.
        As much as I like Download and Are You Serious they're casual humour; they're not shows that would carry a network, and though I admittedly haven't looked into this I'm pretty sure in this day and age any old/classic content you might want to watch (i.e. Attitude Era, old WCW Nitro, ECW, etc) is available on places like YouTube for a lot less than $19.95 a month.

        I honestly see this Vincent K. McMahon Ego-Trip Venture(tm) going the same way as Vince's other ego-trip ventures. The WBF failed, the XFL failed, and this will too. As much as I respect the man he should just stay with what he's good at.

        Besides, all the WWE's programming is available for free on the net anyway if you know where to look…

  • vmagic

    I disagree, what benoit supposedly did that day doesnt matter much to me, I still think the tribute show was the way to go, he was deserving of that no matter what happened that day, of which nobody has any solid proof of that I am aware of.

    • Kevin

      You're right about one thing: we have no eyewitness, no letter, no video, to prove that Benoit murdered his wife and child, then took his own life. We do, however, have the autopsy results, along with the crimescene photos, and the years of experience of the investigating detectives. When all the evidence is evaluated by those detectives, it leads to one conclusion: double murder/suicide. We'll never know why he did it, but we certainly know that he did, in fact, do ii. The only other possibility is a triple murder made to look like a double murder/suicide. If that is how it went down, then the perps (there most certainly would have had to be more than one) were DAMN good, since they left no hint of their presence whatsoever.

    • XKonn247

      What he did doesn’t matter to you? Really? He murdered his wife and a young child. And that’s ok to you? My friend, that’s incredibly disturbed.

      • Chris.d514

        What he did was the direct result of a lack of drug testing in the industry. From my readings on the situation the amount of brain damage he had suffered from years in the business and using the flying headbutt combined with steroid usage, I don't believe he knew what was happening when it happened. I'm not trying to say what he did was right because it was horrible. What I am saying is had this not happened we still would not have the drug testing like we do and the situation could have been many times worse. I don't cheer his praises but neither am I going to condemn a guy who I believe did not know what he was doing.

  • Mike

    No, the worst mistake was the death of Owen Hart, the Chris Benoit thing was out of WWE's control, if they had taken more care Owen Hart would still be here.

    • Austin

      Owen Hart’s death was an ACCIDENT!! If your gonna blame WWE, you better put a healthy part of the blame on Owen too. No one forced him to do it, he chose to.

      • XKonn247

        Didn’t Owen actually try to get out of it cuz he was terrified of heights?

      • John

        Actually, Owen never wanted to perform the stunt! Bret Hart even said he would never have allowed them to do it had he still been with the company at the time. WWE forced Owen to do the stunt, and the equipment they used wasn't properly tested, so yes there is absolutely blame on the WWE's head over it.

  • Kevin

    Wow! I am shocked. I actually thought they might keep the price between $8 and $12 for WWE Network. If they are seriously going to charge $14.95, then raise it twice until it reaches $19.95, I am definitely NOT interested.

    • dusty588

      It is a bit higher, but you have to remember that most of the PPV's through the year might be INCLUDED in the network. WWE PPV's range from $45-$50, so having them included is well worth it in my opinion.

  • ou812

    The worst mistake was releasing Waylon Mercy

    • Ellen

      Who's Waylon Mercy?

    • Ken

      I always thought Fantasio or whatever its name was had a lot of untapped potential…

    • Sam The Man

      Lol,he was one crazy f*****.

    • partyjereme

      They didn't release him he retired.

  • Jman72485

    The worst mistake in my opinion was when Vince screwed Bret Hart because it was done live and publicly resulting in some bad beef between the WWE and one of their greatest preformers at Tue time….

    • Austin

      Vince screwing Bret inadvertently helped lead the industry to one of it’s biggest boom periods: The attitude era. Yeah it was a mistake, but in hindsight calling it the BIGGEST mistake is a little much.

  • Me.

    The only way I would subscribe to the Network is if EVERY PPV is broadcast live on it.

  • izblack

    Richard I disagree. WWE did ran that storyline & tribute show before they knew the full acts of what had happened so no I don’t think that was a mistake at all. Had they had done a tribute show after knowing what really happened then I would agree.

  • Bogusstang

    I would never pay that much !! And lets not forget about kevin sullivan in the benoit case

    • PhilT81

      Certainly an interesting conspiracy theory. I’ve heard all there is to hear on that one and its certainly a convincing argument – so much so that I’m probably about 0.5% convinced by it despite all of the contradicting evidence, lack of any evidence whatsoever in favour – Kevin Sullivan being elsewhere at the time and the biggest thing, the state they found Benoit’s brain to be in. I’m actually pretty dumb for only being 99.5% convinced by something that’s basically fact.

      As for WWE network, they should consider a non-PPV option for $4.95 per month which gets them a $20 discount on regular PPV prices. The subscribers then feel that they’re not spending much by only paying $4.95 per month and the decision to purchase the PPV is easier because they’ve getting such a substantial discount. Fans are happy and WWE make more money, have more subscribers and get more PPV buys. Plus, with more subscribers being able to afford it they get more viewers and higher ratings and can generate more advertising revenue.

  • sweeeeeet

    The biggest mistake was when Vince McMahon came out with the nWo music and said that the nWo is finished and will never come back… Saddest day of my life 🙁

  • sweeeeeet

    Oh, and when Vince McMahon bought WCW. Such a huge mistake!

  • Mike Brailsford

    I was puzzled why WWE decided to cancel that night's Raw, sending home an audience who had probably worked hard to get there, because as we know and as previously stated, ones for Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero weren't. WWE could not be blamed without knowing the details beforehand.

    It would have made people assume, did they think more of Chris than either Owen or Eddie.

  • Raven

    Where is Averno?

  • John

    BY FAR the worst mistake in WWE history was a) forcing Owen Hart into performing a stunt he never wanted to do, and b) when tragedy struck, rolling Owen out of the ring and carried on with there damn pay-per-view! That was the most disgusting, vile thing the WWE have ever done!

  • Clint

    the whole benoit tragedy was sad and despicable, but after that incident WWE now regularly makes sure it workers are safe, as sad as it is it happened, it was something that was needed to wake the WWE up to what it workers were battling, it could have been avoided if WWE would have had these regulations in place in the first place