Edge & The Bella Twins Let WWE Contracts Expire, Identity Of Kevin Nash’s “Dear Friend” That WWE Released, Backstage News On Brock Lesnar Freaking Out At Extreme Rules, YouTube Makes Big Money Offer For The WWE Network, Hulk Hogan Hightailing It Out Of TNA?, TNA Star Released, WWE Mocks Eric Bischoff, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- WWE has added Abraham Washington to their official talent roster. He is listed as A.W. (Thanks to WNW reader Fernando for sending this in.)

- The corporate WWE website has highlights of Vince McMahon at WWE’s Global Business Partners Summit the day before Wreslemania XXVIII. You can check it out at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Dustyn for sending this in.)

- Adding more to the “is it real?” or “is it fake?” Beth Phoenix posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE held their annual shareholders meeting yesterday in Stamford, Connecticut. While meetings such as this can produce several newsworthy tidbits, they can also be very boring. I have recapped the points that are of interest and saved you from the monotony.

  • Vince McMahon said he believed WWE’s stock price has dropped below $8, making new all-time lows because of unfavorable 2011 business results.
  • There are still distribution deals for WWE NXT and WWE Superstars but have been strategically held back. Announcements are coming “very shortly” according to McMahon.
  • McMahon said he doesn’t think the company should lower pay-per-view prices and believes more people are congregating to watch pay-per-views in a tough economy. He blamed the lack of PPV buys on the economy rather than a lack of interest.
  • Triple H said the company’s developmental expansion plans are still in the works and stressed that developmental is the lifeblood of their company.
  • McMahon said there hasn’t been any thought about a physical WWE Hall of Fame but it’s something they would consider in the future.
  • One shareholder wanted to know if the company had considered putting Wrestlemania on free TV and charge advertising like the Super Bowl.  Vince McMahon said if the NFL could put the Super Bowl on PPV they would make more money.  He said he didn’t know of a network that would pay them the rights fees they could make in terms of pay-per-view profits.
  • There were very vague answers to questions regarding the WWE Network with no timetable for launch available.  Much of the same rhetoric that has been recapped for the past several months was used.
  • Vince McMahon said the company was considering airing pay-per-views on the WWE Network but no decision has been made.
  • McMahon said WWE “Classics On Demand” will likely go away when the network launches.

You can watch the entire shareholders meeting at this link.

- Prior to his 60-day suspension, Rey Mysterio was scheduled to head to Japan next month on a promotional tour for WWE. Mysterio was suspended on Thursday for his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.

- Add Sheamus and Daniel Bryan to the list of WWE stars the company is doing a single disc “Superstar Collection” DVD on, joining the already announced John Cena and Zack Ryder. Each disc is slated to contain five matches and bonus material. Click here for more information.

- Edge will be letting his WWE contract expire and will decline to sign an extension. As we have been reporting, the company had been working to re-sign him but an agreement couldn’t be reached. While there is definitely a feeling that WWE “low-balled” his offer, apparently Edge wants to explore his options outside of WWE. Edge is scheduled for Resistance Pro’s show on May 11, 2012. Click here for more information.

- PadsandPanels.com has a new interview online with Cody Rhodes. In it, Rhodes discusses his thoughts on the return of Brock Lesnar. Below is an excerpt:

Obviously, The Rock recently came back. There’s the character Lord Tensai, and now Brock Lesnar is back. As someone who likely grew up watching the Attitude Era, what is it like to be a part of what’s going on right now?

Well, I mean, I walked into The Rock’s dressing room at WrestleMania and thanked him for the number of people who were there that night and the number of people who ordered it on pay per view. I have such respect for The Rock. And now with the return of Brock … it’s completely different than The Rock. But for me, it kind of just made me angry and not in a way like, ‘Oh, blast. They get to be on another pay per view.’ More in a way that – I’m out there working. I never take a day off. I never plan on taking a day off. I’m so in love with the wrestling business I couldn’t see myself going away. And these guys have that ability to come back in because they have that presence, they have that following and are just automatically accepted as superstars again. So there’s something to learn and something to be kind of irritated from that whole Attitude Era generation, but I get it from both the good and the bad.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- 14,817 was the announced attendance at tonight’s WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The show was sold out.

- Cody Rhodes beat Big Show in a Tables Match at tonight’s WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The finish saw Show break a table when he stepped on it.

- Layla returned to WWE at tonight’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view, winning the WWE Divas Championship. Layla actually pinned Brie Bella when “twin magic” failed. Layla was been off WWE TV since suffering a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee at the same pay-per-view last year that required surgery to repair.

- WWE Champion CM Punk posted the following on Twitter after last night’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view:

- Speaking of CM Punk, dot com has a new video with Chris Jericho following his match against Punk at this link. Jericho, who is working in the video, says he will always be the best in the world at what he does.

- The Miz will replace Randy Orton in the upcoming WWE Studios production “The Marine: Homefront.” Orton was originally cast for the film but was removed from the lead role after outrage due to his dishonorable discharge from the United States Marines Corps. The film is about a Marine trying to rescue his kidnapped from a terrorist. The film is WWE’s third installment of The Marine franchise and will begin filming in Vancouver this June.

- WWE posted the following storyline “injury” update on John Cena:

Update: Following an MRI and a battery of tests on his left arm Monday, doctors confirmed that Cena has sustained multiple muscle strains but suffered no permanent structural damage.

Cena will appear on tonight’s Raw Supershow in Dayton, Ohio.

For the original story on dot com, go here. For the legitimate details behind Cena’s promo following last night’s pay-per-view, click here.

- Mike Buda of SportstownChicago conducted new interviews with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Beth Phoenix on Saturday. You can check them out at this link.

- WWE has announced the July 2nd edition of Raw Supershow will take place from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.

WWE issued the following press release about The Miz starring in The Marine: Homefront:

STAMFORD, Conn., April 30, 2012 – WWE Studios (NYSE:WWE) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) today announced WWE® Superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin will star in The Marine: Homefront, the third installment in The Marine franchise. This marks Mizanin’s first starring role in a film.

The action thriller will be directed by Scott Wiper, who directed The Condemned and wrote the screenplay with John Petro for the Cold Light of Day starring Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Principal photography will begin June 11 in Vancouver.

Mizanin portrays a Marine who is forced to put his skills to the test when a radical militia group kidnaps his rebellious niece. The unrelenting soldier does whatever is necessary to save his niece and stop a terrorist attack masterminded by the militia leader.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will handle worldwide distribution on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and digital download. WWE will utilize its extensive global reach through its television, digital/social media and print assets to market the release of the film.

- Wrestling News World readers CJ Blaze and Fernando sent word that Damien Sandow has been added as an official WWE roster member over on dot com. Fernando also noted that “Ravishing” Rick Rude is available in the Alumni section.

- The official WWE website just posted the following announcement:

WWE.com has learned that The Bella Twins have been fired from WWE.

As previously reported on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, The Bella Twins decided to let their contracts expire. Click here to view the full announcement.

- Kofi Kingston & R-Truth beat Primo & Epico to win the WWE Tag Team Championship on tonight’s Raw Supershow from Dayton, Ohio.

- Chris Jericho and his band Fozzy are scheduled to play at Edgefest on August 18, 2012 in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can view more information at this link. While Jericho has already noted he will be touring with Fozzy before SummerSlam, this gig is actually the night before as SummerSlam 2012 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 19, 2012.

- Brock Lesnar was very upset backstage after Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Lesnar felt he had been “double crossed” with the promo by John Cena that closed the show. Lesnar was so upset he began throwing things before he could be consoled.  In the tirade, Brock specifically berated Marc Carano, who is the real-life assist of John Laurinaitis.  Brock complained to Marc that the booking in WWE was a disaster and allegedly accused Cena of trying to hurt him.  The  situation was so out of control some accused Lesnar of acting in an attempt to show up the locker room in order to send the message that he could quit at anytime. Apparently Brock was told that Cena would go over but would be stretchered out of the building, preventing Lesnar from looking weak. When Cena decided to address the audience after the match, Lesnar threw a fit.  I was told yesterday that prior to the match Lesnar specifically asked one of the producers if they “were sure” about the match outcome. The angle on last night’s Raw Supershow was done to write Lesnar off television. He is expected to return in a few weeks and isn’t believed to have heat with Cena despite the promo and the accusations Lesnar made after the match.  It’s unknown what was said to Lesnar to calm him down and while some are speculating that his contract status with the company is “up in the air,” many feel there is no way he is walking away from the big money and this is all part of Brock being Brock.

- It was announced during the Spanish broadcast of last night’s WWE Raw Supershow that Sin Cara is scheduled for the Smackdown tour of Mexico later this month. The company will be touring the country on May 24-26. Cara was in Mexico City this weekend, doing promotional work for WWE. He has been off television since Survivor Series where he suffered a knee injury. There is a possibility Cara could return to television prior to the tour but he is being officially advertised.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of The Bella Twins:

Variety is reporting that WWE Studios has partnered with Kare Prods. on the French dramedy “Les Reines du ring” (Queen of the Ring), which Warner Bros. Entertainment France will distribute.

- The episode of “Dream Machines” featuring John Cena will air on SyFy next Tuesday, May 8th at 10 PM ET. The episode will also follow next week’s Smackdown on the network.

- The storyline injury update on Triple H is that Brock Lesnar “broke his arm” during his outburst in the opening segment of last night’s Raw Supershow. There are plans to do a Hunter vs. Lesnar program possibly leading into SummerSlam.

- Below is the official “injury update” on Triple H following the opening segment of last night’s WWE Raw Supershow as posted on dot com:

TRIPLE H INJURY UPDATE
According to WWE doctor Dr. Chris Amann, Triple H’s arm was placed in a hold that created a tremendous amount of torque on his upper arm and elbow. “He has a non-displaced fracture of distal humorous,” said Amann. “Fortunately, this is not something that needs surgery with pins and screws. We’ll be treating him with a sling for comfort and following with him in the next few days.”

- I have been able to obtain more details regarding Brock Lesnar’s tirade backstage at Extreme Rules this past Sunday. Brock was informed on April 16th (while the majority of WWE the roster was overseas) that he would be going under to John Cena in their main event match at Extreme Rules. The way it was explained to Lesnar is that while he would be going under, Cena’s victory would be a “fluke” and he’d come out looking like the stronger of the two workers. The aftermath would have been Cena being stretchered out of the building and taking some time off with Lesnar getting “suspended” the following night on Raw Supershow. Prior to Cena going out for the match on Sunday, he was told to work the “smarks” after the match to make it look like a shoot. Once Lesnar got backstage after the match, he went to the monitor to watch Cena’s promo (which is out of the ordinary for Lesnar as he hasn’t been “engaged” in current WWE programs). However, as Cena was cutting the promo, Lesnar started to throw a tantrum backstage and went right for Marc Carano (one of John Laurinaitis’ assistants). I’m told this in itself was funny because up until this point Lesnar had gone right over Carano’s head for everything. One of my sources with knowledge of the tantrum told me under the condition of anonymity that many feel it was a work on the boys and the Internet fans. This particular observer commented on the fact that had Lesnar not known about Cena’s post-match promo he wouldn’t have been watching the monitor backstage and certainly wouldn’t have gone directly to Marc Carano. The feeling is the entire thing was done to appear the company had gone behind Lesnar’s back to make them appear in control when in reality, everyone feels WWE needs Brock more than he needs them. Brock was isolated from most of the workers backstage at Raw Supershow yesterday and if he was truly upset and the tirade wasn’t a work, the opening segment of last night’s show wouldn’t have been as safe as it was.

- The Bella Twins are scheduled to make their first post-WWE appearance at an autograph signing on Saturday, May 19th at the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Industry, California. Autographs and photos will be available for $30.

- Despite being announced as part of the “Uproar Festival” lineup with his band Fozzy and a confirmed gig the day before SummerSlam in Arkansas, Chris Jericho is still being officially advertised for the pay-per-view in Los Angeles, California as of this writing. WWE SummerSlam 2012 will take place on Sunday, August 19, 2012 from the Staples Center in Los Angles, California.  We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- I was told moments ago the “dear friend” Kevin Nash was talking about that was let go from WWE was Goldust. As of this writing Goldust’s profile remains on the official WWE roster page. Goldust had been working backstage as a producer after suffering a shoulder injury in December 2010 that halted his in-ring career. He wasn’t at TVs this week and is reportedly interested in working independent dates.

- The Toldeo Free Press has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. Below are the highlights:

“When we weren’t at [training], we were at somebody’s apartment, watching WWE 24/7. And when we weren’t there, we were eating, and I was learning about diet and training — that was something I never had any access to. My dad was not a body guy. And in this day and age, when a company has evolved to where a lot of the specimens you see on TV are carved from stone, that was all new to me.”

“I spent a year driving Cena around when I was on the Raw brand,” Rhodes said. “The goal was to learn a lot about him, what he does in the ring, how he has gotten where he has gotten, but also to learn a lot about merchandising and marketing, pretty much all the things he does. And I’d say I learned a great deal on what it takes outside of the ring. He’s noted as being one of the most hard-working people in entertainment, and he is. If you want his job, you have to work as hard as he does. And it is much easier said than done.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The Miz posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE has posted a “Farewell to The Bella Twins” photo gallery over on dot com. You can view the gallery at this link.

- Speaking of The Bella Twins, they are now free to work wherever they please as is Edge who had his WWE contract also expire. All three already have upcoming dates outside of WWE.

- WWE has announced the July 3rd Smackdown taping will take place from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. – Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that The Bella Twins are booked for the June 1st Northeast Wrestling show in Poughkeepsie, New York. They are being billed as Nicole and Bri Bella.

- Dean Ambrose worked a dark match prior to last night’s Smackdown taping, beating Ezekiel Jackson.

- Wade Barrett has a small role in the new film WWE Studios is co-financing. The flick stars Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper. Barrett is currently out rehabbing a dislocated elbow that required surgery to repair.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Michelle McCool:

- Earlier this morning WWE reported their earnings for the first quarter of 2012. In the report, the official buyrates for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber were announced. They were reported as follows:

  • Royal Rumble – 443,000 buys (compared to 446,000 in 2011)
  • Elimination Chamber – 178,000 buys (compared to 199,000 in 2011)

Click here to read the full earnings report.

- The Bella Twins posted a new blog on their official website regarding their WWE departure. You can read it below:

What a whirlwind few days. As you all know by now, TwinMagic has decided to take some time away from wrestling. First and foremost, we want to thank each and every one of you for your support. We would not be where we are without the Bella Army. This beautiful chapter in our life was filled with many amazing memories, friendships and moments with you all that we will cherish. Being apart of WWE is like being apart of a family, we will always be in it

Just so you know, we need your continued support. We are on the cover of Maxim Espanol this month and later on this week check out the calendar to see where you can meet us.

Throughout the last five years, the Bella Army has helped us take home two Diva Championships and helped make us two of WWE’s most popular Diva’s, but most importantly the interaction we had with Bella Fans everywhere has allowed us to have so much fun. We want this fun to continue. Keep talking to us on Twitter and interacting on our blog posts. We will also do fan questions this week with the hash tag #BellaArmyForever.

Remember it’s not Good-Bye….the fun is just getting started BELLA style!

Today at 4pmEST/1pmPST we will be doing a twitter Q&A so join us @thebellatwins

Besos!

B&N

Both Brie and Nikki Bella let their WWE contracts expire as they were out on Monday.

- WWE held a conference call with investors this morning to discuss the company’s first quarter earnings for 2012 that were reported this morning. Vince McMahon and Chief Financial Officer George Barrios were on the call. Below are the highlights:

  • It was announced the company has spent $2.1 million this quarter for development of the WWE Network.
  • Vince McMahon said the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII this year compared to years past is due to better execution all the way around. He put over the year long build to John Cena vs. The Rock and said The Undertaker vs. Triple H was for the long-term fans. He said there was something for everyone.
  • Vince said any hold-ups for the WWE Network are on WWE’s side and not on the distributors. He reiterated they have discussed traditional and new models.
  • McMahon said the company wants to own 100% of the WWE Network and have full control on programming. He emphasized they know their product better than anyone.
  • Vince estimated a 3-month timeline in terms of when an announcement would be made regarding WWE Network distribution.
  • George Barrios said the company has put aside $15-$25 million for WWE Studios and are working on how to develop and spend the money as they develop new projects.
  • Barrios said WWE did around 1 billion viewers on YouTube last year and they made advertisement revenue off those. Google, the parent company of YouTube, is going after original content and now pays WWE a licensing fee for their content.
  • WWE Superstars and WWE NXT are being monetized internationally and there is hope to play the shows on traditional networks very soon.

- Vince McMahon mentioned again today in the conference call with investors to discuss WWE’s first quarter earnings of 2012 that both traditional and new models have been explored for the upcoming WWE Network. One of the new models involves YouTube and their initiative to launch 100 new channels this year. I’m told under the current agreement between WWE and YouTube, WWE receives approximately $1 million a year to supply the service with original programming. With all of the struggles WWE has had with launching the WWE Network (the launch date repeatedly delayed, failure to sign carriage agreements, etc.), YouTube reached out to the company to see if there would be any interest in moving the launch of the WWE Network as a YouTube exclusive channel that was streamed live 24 hours a day. Instead of the $1 million per year that WWE currently receives for original programming on their channel, YouTube offered them a lucrative offer somewhere in the range of $1 million per month. Thus far Vince is downplaying the offer and doesn’t want to waver on his instance that WWE launch a cable television network by the end of the year, come “hell or high water.” However, if the WWE Network continues to run into stumbling blocks, don’t be surprised if that reported $12 million per year guaranteed starts to look a little more appealing. One source told me there are already those in the company that think the WWE Network is destined to be a “colossal disaster” and the offer from YouTube to run a more streamlined and scaled back “online” network for a guaranteed sum of money is almost like the company being thrown a life preserver before anymore money is sunk into a project that appears to be doomed. Nonetheless I was reassured that Vince wasn’t biting yet and everyone has been told full speed ahead with the previous plan.

- Mark Henry has been pulled from weekend WWE live events. He was scheduled to compete on Raw brand shows against John Cena and WWE Champion CM Punk but is no longer listed on the official WWE show listing. As of this writing, Henry hasn’t been added to Smackdown shows either.

- The Asheville Citizen-Times has a new article online featuring quotes from Christian. The publication reports that Christian is scheduled to face Daniel Bryan and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in a triple-threat match at tomorrow night’s Smackdown live event in Asheville, North Carolina. However, as of this writing, Christian isn’t on the list of official advertised talent.

Below is an excerpt from Christian from the piece:

“We just got back from a two-week tour of Europe where we wrestled every night,” Christian said. “It is what it is. It’s not for everybody. No matter how tired you get, when you get in that ring and hear that crowd road, everything will go away.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Evan Bourne has had a PICC line in his arm for the past six weeks to kill the bone infection caused from his severe foot injury. Bourne noted on Twitter he had the PICC line removed on Tuesday. Below is the latest from Bourne’s Twitter:

He also noted the pins in his foot will be removed in a couple weeks. Below is also from his official Twitter account:

- Sting has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view it.

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