More On The Bella Twins Leaving WWE, Top WWE Star Leaving Before SummerSlam, WWE Interested In Controversial TNA Exec, Alberto Del Rio Switches Brands, Matt Morgan Reveals Expiring TNA Contract & Won’t Rule Out Return To WWE, TNA Knockout Gone, AJ Styles Calls Ric Flair A “Douche-Bag,” Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- Brie and Nikki Bella are both advertised for next week’s WWE Raw Supershow in London but have not been on overseas live events. It was noted today on their official Twitter account they are currently en route to London. As we noted earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the Bella twins will be letting their WWE contracts expire and will be leaving at the end of the month to pursue other opportunities. For those that have asked they will not have 90-day non-compete clauses because they are letting their deals expire.

- WWE has announced the following overseas shows for November:

  • November 2, 2012 from the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany
  • November 8, 2012 from the Indoor Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland

- Despite rumors over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend indicating otherwise, Rima Fakih Tweeted today that she has not signed a contract with WWE. The former Miss USA and WWE Tough Enough contestant made headlines last week when she entered a “no contest” plea on charges of Driving Under the Influence.

- The following press release hit the wire today:

MOSCOW–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE:WWE – News) successfully held its first-ever live event in Russia on Wednesday, April 11, where more than 6,000 fans were in attendance to see their favorite WWE Superstars and Divas live in the ring at the Luzhniki Small Sports Arena in Moscow.

WWE Executive Vice President and WWE Superstar Paul “Triple H®” Levesque made a surprise guest appearance at the RAW live event in Moscow joining Superstars John Cena® and CM Punk™. Levesque stated, “The response from our fans in Moscow at Luzhniki was overwhelming. WWE is very proud to have already established such a loyal fan base in Russia in a little over a year. We look forward to returning again in the near future and delivering an even bigger experience.”

Since the launch of WWE’s flagship weekly TV show WWE RAW on 2×2 in February 2011, the company has seen a steep rise in popularity across Russia. Now both WWE RAW and WWE SmackDown are seen in more than 24 million Russian TV households every week and a Russian language WWE website (ru.wwe.com) with Tvigle launched earlier this year.

- WWE announced here on dot com that John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules will be an “extreme rules match,” meaning no count out and no disqualification.

WWE has announced they will tape Smackdown on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

- The official WWE website announced today that preliminary buyrates and global gross sales for WrestleMania XXVIII were record-breaking. Details are in the following excerpt:

Preliminary estimates show that WrestleMania, featuring the historic “Once in a Lifetime” Match between The Rock and John Cena, garnered 1.3 million pay-per-view buys with global gross sales in excess of $67 million including the live event.

Click here to read the full article.

- TMZ has a snippet on The Rock where he is featured on the set of his new bodybuilding film “Pain and Gain” with his body double, You can check it out at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.)

- Speaking of The Rock, he Tweeted today that Wrestlemania XXVIII set a pay-per-view buy record. Here’s his Tweet:

- WWE finally put out a buyrate number for Wrestlemania XXVIII, touting the show did 1,300,000 buys. While this is above the initial estimates I heard in the 1,100,000 buy range, it is below rumors that the show did 1,900,000 buys. Below is the official press release:

STAMFORD, Conn., April 16, 2012 – WWE (NYSE:WWE) announced today that WrestleMania, held April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, set new records for pay-per-view buys and gross sales. Preliminary estimates show that WrestleMania, featuring the historic Once in a Lifetime match between The Rock® and John Cena®, garnered 1.3 million pay-per-view buys with global gross sales in excess of $67 million including the live event. WrestleMania was seen around the world on pay-per-view in more than 105 countries and 20 languages. Next year’s WrestleMania will take place Sunday, April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Ticket information will be announced later this year.

- Pac, who is known for his stellar Dragon Gate USA matches, was at today’s Raw Supershow taping from the London O2 Arena in London, England. – Another well-known Dragon Gate USA name that is now under WWE developmental contract, Dean Ambrose, worked a dark match prior to today’s taping in London. He went over Alex Riley.

- WWEhas announced the following shows in Kentucky:

  • July 28th from the Broadbent Arena in Louisville
  • July 29th from Rupp Arena in Lexington

- Mick Foley continued his program in a new blog entry written on his Typepad account. Below is an excerpt:

2) About Dean Ambrose – Look, sports-entertainment has to involve a certain amount of respect and trust. It’s pretty obvious Dean Ambrose doesn’t have the slightest ammount of respect for me, and therefore I can’t place the slightest ammount of trust in him. Anyone wondering if I’m feeling better following the concussion I spoke of in that promo with Flair? I’m not. I tend to have two types of days when it comes to that muted, under-water feeling I spoke of in that promo – bad and worse. Given my history of concussions, I would have to be an absolute idiot to place my future in the hands of someone I don’t trust. Since I like to think I am not an idiot, I won’t be placing any trust in him. He had the golden ticket, and he blew it, because he would not honor the simple request I made – to his face – to not include my children in any way in his tweets. If I can’t trust him to honor that simple request, I certainly can’t trust him not to take liberties in the ring. It’s tough to get over in WWE. I certainly wouldn’t want to be one of the young guys facing someone like Skip Sheffield (yeah, I know he has a new name, but I don’t know it yet) knowing that the priority placed on getting over will be somewhat higher than looking out for the well being of an opponent. I went through that with The Dynamite Kid in 1986, when I was 21 years old. I could do it then. I can’t do it at 46..especialy not for someone like Dean Ambrose. To quote the original Willy Wonka movie, “You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!”

Foley also revealed the new WWE kids book is expected to be released in October. Click here to read his latest in its entirety. – Variety is reporting that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will take part in a new reality show called “The Hero.” Johnson is listed an an executive producer for the show and will be appearing on various episodes to encourage contestants. - “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had the following to say to ZooToday in an interview about what it would take for him to return to the ring:

A lot of zeros… you know, if the right situation, the right opponent and the right circumstances came up for the WWE, then it would certainly be something worth considering. Could I have another match or two? Yeah. Physically I am in really good shape right now. People seem to think I am half-dead!

- WNW reader Fernando sent in an article from The Huffington Post with quotes from Daniel Bryan, in which he discusses his vegan lifestyle and more. Bryan had the following to say about his health since the switch to a vegan diet:

“My health is so much better. I’m bigger now than I was eating meat. My lifts in the gym are better. I’m in better shape. A lot of people thought you couldn’t be a top-level athlete as a vegan, but people like Mac Danzig and Jake Shields are proving that’s wrong. And it’s better for me as a performer. The other wrestlers just think it’s weird. They don’t understand it.”

Click here to read the full article.

- Lilian Garcia, who tripped out of her own shoe a month ago, tripped and fell onto the entrance ramp before singing at tonight’s Smackdown taping in London, England. WWE recorded the fall and has posted it to their official YouTube channel.

- The official WWE website has an article with quotes from Daniel Bryan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, & Sheamus over the “YES!” phenomenon, and whether it is becoming the new “WHAT?” When asked via Twitter if Austin believes that “WHAT?” is being replaced, Austin replied “YES! YES! YES!” Daniel Bryan weighed in with the excerpt below:

“I think [Austin] was probably just placating fans. There’s a percentage of the WWE Universe that likes things they’re not supposed to like, and they’re responsible for the ‘YES!’ chants.”

Sheamus had the following to say:

“YES!” chants show how vocal our fans are. Whether they’re getting behind Daniel Bryan or whether they’re mocking him … it just shows that the WWE Universe wants to be heard.

Click here to read the full article.

- WWE has held several tryouts for European Diva talent on their current overseas tour, Diva-Dirt.com reported today. Out of all the names looked at, Rachelle St. Clair (real name Rachel Walker), is believed to have been offered a contract. St. Clair is an Irish talent known for her work in American Wrestling Rampage.

- Wrestling News World reader Brandon van Reenen sent in the following:

The first free-to-air television broadcast of Wrestlemania XVIII in Southern Africa is scheduled for this Sunday 22 April at 12.35pm SAST on the e.TV channel. Viewers on the remainder of the continent should check local listings for the TV premiere of WrestleMania in their country.

- MLB.com has a new article on Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames where he reveals he wanted to be a professional wrestler growing up. Below is an excerpt for their piece:

“In sixth, seventh, eighth grade, wrestling was huge — with The Rock and Stone Cold [Steve Austin], and it always seemed fun to me,” Thames said. “You get to work out all day. It always seemed like a fun thing to do.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Brodie Lee announced over the weekend he has signed a WWE developmental contract and will be reporting to Florida Championship Wrestling.  We first reported Lee had signed a WWE deal last month here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Chris Jericho are scheduled to appear on “The Grand Journal” in France on Friday at 8:30 PM to promote the upcoming WWE live event in Paris. – Ted DiBiase has a new blog entry online at this link.

- WWE has a new video online where Lilian Garcia discusses her latest tripping incident here on dot com.

- Christian worked tonight’s WWE Smackdown live event in Sheffield, England, teaming with Mark Henry against Brodus Clay and Booker T. The babyfaces went over and Christian didn’t do much. Christian is in the process of returning from a severe high ankle sprain that he suffered last November. He was originally in the Wrestlemania XXVIII plans on Team Johnny but was pulled due to the injury.

- Wrestling News World reader Glenn Guinand sent word that WWE made the “clip of the week” on E!’s “The Soup.” The clip featured was the backstage segment on Raw Supershow with Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston.

- Wrestling News World reader Brandon van Reenen sent in the following:

e.tv Ghana’s official website lists the free-TV premiere of Wrestlemania XVIII as scheduled for this Sunday 22 April, though a start time is yet to be announced.

- William Regal wrote the following on Twitter after appearing on WWE’s tour overseas with the Smackdown crew:

- Chris Jericho needed three staples in the back of his head following his match with WWE Champion CM Punk at the WWE Raw live event in Milan, Italy. The following is from Jericho’s Twitter account:

- Evan Bourne posted the following update on his foot on Twitter:

- WWE will report their first quarter earnings for 2012 on May 3, 2012. There will be a conference call hosted by Vince McMahon beginning at 11 AM EDT with investors to go over the results. Below is the official release:

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE:WWE – News) announced that it will report its 2012 first quarter results on May 3, 2012, before the opening of the market. The Company’s Chairman and CEO, Vincent K. McMahon, and senior management will host a conference call beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results.

All interested parties are welcome to listen to a live webcast that will be hosted through the Company’s website at corporate.wwe.com. Participants can access the conference call by dialing 855-993-1400 (toll free) or 630-691-2763 from outside the U.S. (conference ID for both lines: WWE). Please reserve a line 15 minutes prior to the start time of the conference call.

The earnings release and presentation to be referenced during the call will be available at corporate.wwe.com. A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the conference call concludes, and can be accessed on the Company’s website.

Chris Jericho stated at the Revolver Golden Gods awards that his current run with WWE is up before SummerSlam in order to tour with Fozzy.

- WWE is reportedly interested in hiring Terry Taylor as the head of their developmental project in Stamford, Connecticut. While little has been reports since the rumors of Florida Championship Wrestling’s demise, the company is still looking to have some type of developmental presence in Connecticut.

- While only a few people probably noticed, WWE committed a flub-up on this week’s episode of WWE NXT. During a segment William Regal handcuffed the left hand of Johnny Curtis to the right hand of Maxine at ringside. Later in the show they were shown handcuffed, but Crutis’ left hand to Maxine’s left hand.

- WWE has canceled their May 24th Raw live event from Rio de Janeiro. Further details are not available as of this writing but the listing has been removed from the official WWE website.

- The official WWE website has a new feature up about Brock Lesnar‘s controversial interview and statements about John Cena, with quotes from Booker T, Goldust, William Regal, & Matt Striker. In the following excerpt, Regal weighs in on how the WWE would be different if Lesnar stayed with the company:

“There’s no way that things would be the way they are if Brock had never left. I’m not saying that Cena wouldn’t be the huge star that he is, but there’s not room for two of them in the same universe,” Regal said. “You can’t have two people with that incredible ability, strength, desire, passion, and that Elvis quality – which is that magic quality that you only come across once in a million. And they’ve both got it. Usually, one fella has got to go, because when they collide, that’s the way it plays out.”

Additionally, Matt Striker had the following to say:

“I think Brock was supposed to leave. Cena was supposed to rise to the great heights he’s reached. I just think that all of this is the planets aligning,” Striker said. “This had to happen on April 29, 2012. It couldn’t have happened a day before or a day after. It has to be Brock Lesnar versus John Cena, and it has to be done this way.”

Click here to read the full article.

- Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez are now officially members of the Smackdown roster. Del Rio won a future World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus on the show two weeks ago and has been touring overseas with the Smackdown crew.

- The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Steve Austin. In it, he says that The Undertaker vs. Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXVIII saved the show early. Below is an excerpt:

“‘I don’t watch all the WWE PPV events these days, but WrestleMania is always a must see.

“The Undertaker and Triple H match made it special. Going into it, I thought how will they better last year? How do you follow something like that?

“But they did. It was at about the 8-10 minute mark when I saw them dig beyond the solid work they had done and pull out all of the stops.

“Shawn Michaels was a real benefit there too. He was perfect in his referee role.

“I believe the match they had was off the charts. If it hadn’t been for it, the event would have failed. It was very average until then.”

Thoughts on Daniel Bryan’s 18-second job:

“I felt bad for Daniel Bryan, as his match with Sheamus was so short and I really wanted him to get the chance to shine.

“He is a great kid and he can work, you just want to see him work and he didn’t get that chance there.

“I hope they use him better down the line as there aren’t a lot of guys that truly work like he does.

“Daniel does need some polishing on his promos, but then so do a lot of the guys there.

Open to a return to the ring but not sure about CM Punk as an opponent:

“Maybe Punk’s not the guy to go against. He needs to pick up his intensity. We’ll have to see what I do, I’m happy now doing what I am.

“In a perfect world, where I could step back into the ring for one last match I would be willing to have that discussion with management.

“I do miss the business and working a live crowd, going out there and wrestling your hearts out.

“I’m still in contact with a few of the guys. I speak to Kevin Nash the most, Nash and I talk about once a week.

“I also keep in contact with Jericho, Punk and Cena, but not as often. I’m not a big phone or email guy and they are always on the road or doing their thing.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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