View Brock Lesnar’s WWE Ring Gear, Surprising WWE Release; More Expected Soon, Two Surprise WWE Returns, John Cena Injured, Falling Out Between Lesnar & Paul Heyman, Mysterio Suspended, Top TNA Star Taking Time Off, Hogan Ruffles Feathers, Flair & Hogan’s TNA Salaries Revealed, Impact Changing Timeslots, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- Edge’s current WWE contract is expected to expire at the end of this month. While his career ended after his match at Wrestlemania XXVII last year, he has continued to collect his downside guarantee and is booked for appearances through the WWE office. WWE is negotiating a new deal with Edge and want to put together a deal where they would be able to fully utilize him despite the fact he can no longer wrestle. The deal differs from a Legend’s contract in that he would require more money and WWE would want to do more than just use his name for licensing purposes on merchandise. Workers under similar contracts include Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels.

- Antonio Caesaro made his WWE television debut on last night’s Smackdown in a segment with Aksana, Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis.

- Deadline is reporting that WWE Studios will be co-financing a romantic thriller called “Dead Man Down” starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper. Principal photography for the film begins Monday in Philadelphia.

- French commentator Christophe Agius resigned from his commentator job with “AB Productions,” an audiovisual company that manages French channels that broadcast WWE programming, after the WWE live event in Toulouse, France on Thursday. Agius was well-known by both the WWE office and WWE workers as he arranged interviews with workers in the country and was used in segments at French live events. Agius worked in his role for twelve years and left with no explanation.

- TMZ has a new story online today on Ted DiBiase. In it, the publication reports that DiBiase was recently at the Batson Children’s Hospital in Mississippi filming a documentary about his faith and his charity for sick and unprivileged children. It was there he met a 10-month-old boy with an extremely rare disease and led him in prayer.

- WWE has announced the July 10th Smackdown taping will take place from the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

- WWE has announced a November 7th show from the Forest National Arena in Brussels, Belgium.

- Earlier last week WWE leaked an image of Brock Lesnar’s ring attire on dot com but later removed the image. I finally found the image again and have included a photo you can view below:


As you can see, not only will Lesnar be sporting MMA attire, his shorts will also carry the images of his sponsors.  WWE is allowing Lesnar to keep endorsement deals he had obtained while working in UFC.  As I mentioned in Ask WNW last week, Lesnar’s WWE contract is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

- Justin Gabriel is back home in South Africa where he is sorting out passport issues. Gabriel has been off the road with WWE due to an elbow injury. He is expected back towards the middle of next month.

- Paul Heyman noted on his official Twitter account that he had nothing to do with Brock Lensar’s promo that aired on last week’s WWE Raw Supershow. Heyman said all the credit goes to WWE and Lesnar and that WWE got it right. Heyman also clarified he has “nothing” to do with Lesnar’s promos in WWE.

- WWE has released Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine from his developmental contract with the company. His profile as Kevin Hackman has already been removed from the FCW roster page. The self-proclaimed “Silent Rage” had heat right out the gate as he no-sold Steve Austin’s stunner after being announced as the Tough Enough winner on the June 6, 2011 edition of WWE Raw. Leavine was rumored to have a Wellness violation (although it was never announced by the company) and was said to still have a lot of work to do. Leavine had been training in Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa under the ring name Kevin Hackman. While WWE officials were very pleased with Tough Enough’s ratings on the USA Network, they were discouraged with the lack of talent produced.

- I’m told the release of WWE Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine is one of several cuts that should be coming in upcoming weeks. The WWE office is coming up with lists this week of who to keep and who to release, with names being debated within management. There are a couple of guys that were on WWE’s most recent overseas tour that are “very nervous” and are hoping the forthcoming cuts are made in a timely matter. I’m told the boys would rather know as quickly as possible so they know where they stand and don’t have to worry about it. As for the release of Andy Leavine, it was described to me as a pretty simple situation. The office felt it was taking him too long to learn and felt like he would need to be in their developmental system for years to ever “get it.”

- Dana White spoke about Brock Lesnar returning to WWE after UFC 145 on Saturday. Below are highlights of White’s comments courtesy of the folks over at MMAJunkie.com:

“It was always upfront and said in his deal that he could do the WWE,”

“Everything we did with that guy, nothing ever leaked out of that camp, ever leaks out of that camp,” White said. “Those guys did a deal with (WWE promoter) Vince (McMahon), and I guarantee you Vince said, ‘Keep this a secret. Don’t tell anybody.’ And he did. He never said anything. He didn’t call me.

“I sent them a text and said, ‘Congrats on your deal. I’ll be watching.’ [Expletive] never got nothing back. They didn’t respond and say, ‘Hey, thanks we’re pumped.’ They just did their thing.”

“For what they do, it’s cool,” he said. “I’m happy for him. The fact that the guy came over here, did what he did in the WWE, came here and did what he did here, now he’s back over there. Good for him and good for them.”

- 16,122 was the announced attendance for tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The show is a sellout.

- WWE Hall of Famer Edge appeared to tonight’s Raw Supershow in the opening segment with John Cena and John Laurinaitis. Interestingly enough, Edge mentioned he will no longer be under WWE contract in a few days. As we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Edge’s WWE contract is up at the end of the month but the company is trying to re-sign him.

- Paul Bearer was featured in a backstage segment on tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow where Randy Orton tied him up and locked him in a freezer. Bearer, who is very active on Twitter, didn’t give away his appearance on tonight’s show but said today was going to be an “unusual one.” The following is from his official Twitter account:

Bearer is accepting independent bookings and is booked for Power Pro Wrestling’s show on Saturday from the Winston Salem National Guard Armory in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

- Nikki Bella beat Beth Phoenix on tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow to win the WWE Divas Championship.

- The official WWE website has an injury update on Beth Phoenix, who appeared to suffer an injury in her lumberjill match against Nikki Bella on this week’s Raw SuperShow. The injury was described as a “severe sprain to her left ankle.” In the following excerpt, WWE Doctor Michael Sampson explains the injury:

“It looks like she affected her anterior talofibular ligament, which is the most common injured ankle ligament on an inversion injury,” Sampson told WWE.com.“She has some swelling, [and] she’s having a hard time walking or ambulating on it. We’re going to need an MRI just to make sure there’s nothing else going on and see how we can treat it – if we need surgery or if we can do it conservatively.”

Click here to read the full article.

– The following is from the official Twitter account of Beth Phoenix:

- WWE is now posting video highlights from Raw Supershow on their YouTube channel as the show airs on the East Coast. This is something the company used to never do as they used to wait for the show to air in all US time zones. Part of the reason is because of WWE’s new agreement with YouTube. Their deal is working out very well and WWE is now one of the top earners on the site.

- Edge was at Raw Supershow last night to meet with WWE officials about his expiring contract. As Edge mentioned in his promo, his contract with the company will expire at the end of the month. I haven’t heard if a new agreement was reached last night but I can confirm Edge is looking for a big six-figure deal much like Shawn Michaels or Mick Foley have. WWE wants to keep him under contract so it will be interesting to see if they increase their offer to appease him. For those looking for a ballpark number, Shawn is believed to have a deal that pays him somewhere close to $300,000 per year.

- I heard from a reliable source yesterday that John Cena’s hips are bothering him and he was originally expected to take time off after losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII. CM Punk was slated to carry the load on Raw. When WWE was able to finalize a deal to bring back Brock Lesnar, Cena volunteered to stick around longer to do a program with a returning Lesnar. My source said it’s possible that Brock “injures” Cena at Extreme Rules on Sunday so Cena can take time off as he is really hurting right now. With that being said I cannot confirm any booking plans for Cena vs. Lesnar at Extreme Rules and just know Cena is working more banged up than usual.

- The WWE live event from the Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas has been moved from July 20th to July 6th.

- Mick Foley is being advertised as the special guest referee for Randy Orton vs. Kane in a no disqualification match on at the May 27th Smackdown live event in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

- Steve Austin wrote the following on Twitter regarding the release of WWE Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine:

- WWE has signed Austin Draven to a developmental contract. He will be reporting to Florida Championship Wrestling.

- It turns out Beth Phoenix was working on Raw Supershow last night and did not suffer a legitimate ankle injury. WWE officials were very pleased with how well Beth sold the injury with many people believing she suffered a legitimate injury. The update posted over on dot com and recapped here was all part of a storyline, used to keep her from looking weak in dropping the WWE Divas Championship.

- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent in the following Tweet which is a storyline update on the condition of Paul Bearer:

- Speaking of storyline updates, dot com has a storyline update on the “injuries” sustained by Josh Mathews at this link.

- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that details on WWE’s “The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions” DVD set have been released here on Amazon.com.

- Paul Heyman sent out several Tweets Sunday night directed at former WCW commentator Mark Madden clarifying that he’s had nothing to do with Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE. Madden had praised Lesnar’s recent WWE promos and their “Heyman” influence. While on the surface, Heyman seems to simply be giving credit where credit is due by admitting he hasn’t been involved in the promos in any way, there is actually much more to the story of why Heyman hasn’t been involved with Lesnar lately. It wasn’t that long ago that Heyman was involved in Lesnar’s every move, at least when it came to guiding his career, but the two had a big falling out in December and have not been on good terms since. While Lesnar had been interested in a WWE return for quite some time, feeling like he’d lost his passion for MMA after dealing with several setbacks, Heyman had been adamant that he continue to pursue his UFC career. Heyman really sold Lesnar on the idea that the book he’d co-written would not only be a big hit, but would also open a lot of doors for Lesnar. Unfortunately, sales for the book were very disappointing and none of the other opportunities Heyman had been selling Lesnar on ever materialized. The falling out between the two took place right before Lesnar’s last UFC fight, which Lesnar lost quickly before announcing his retirement from UFC after the fight. Those close to Lesnar say that Lesnar started to realize that Heyman was pressuring him to remain with UFC because Lesnar’s involvement in MMA was opening other doors for Heyman, while a return to WWE would likely result in Heyman’s involvement in Lesnar’s career either being extremely minimized or completely eliminated. While Vince McMahon was very eager to bring Lesnar back, even offering unprecented money and the ability for Lesnar to retain his sponsors, one thing McMahon was not willing to budge on was his absolute insistance that Paul Heyman not be involved in any way whatsoever in any potential deal between WWE and Lesnar. While Heyman knew all along that his return would never be allowed, Lesnar did not realize until later the extent of the bad blood between WWE and Heyman, not to mention what a conflict of interest it was for Heyman to be advising Lesnar not to return.

- Shawn Michaels is now endorsing a new line of eye-black products. You can get HBK-inspired eye-black that says “Mr. Hall of Fame,” “MRA Hunting” and of course “ShowStopper.” Click here to order yours now.

- The official website of the Nutter Center (the venue of next week’s Raw Supershow) is advertising Brock Lesnar for next week’s show. WWE has not confirmed him on the official list of advertised talent as of this writing.

Sin Cara will be doing promotional work for WWE in Mexico City this weekend. Cara will be doing media appearances to promote the Smackdown tour from May 24-May 28th.  Cara is currently out with an injury and isn’t expected back until next month at the earliest.

- WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico are scheduled to work WWC’s April 28th show in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico against Los Enmascarados Misteriosos. They are able to work the show because Carlos Colon (the owner of WWC) is WWE’s local promoter in Puerto Rico.

- WWE just sent out the following:

STAMFORD, Conn. – In accordance with its Talent Wellness Program, WWE has suspended Oscar Gutierrez (Rey Mysterio) for 60 days effective Thursday, April 26 for his second violation of the company’s policy.

Rey Mysterio’s first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy was announced on Thursday, August 27, 2009 but delayed until Wednesday, September 2, 2009 so the company could get the WWE Intercontinental Championship off him.

Mysterio has been out since August with a knee injury that required surgery to repair.  While he initially targeted Wrestlemania XXVIII as his return date, he had hoped to return some time next month.  Mysterio will not be eligible to return now until late June.

- Paul Bearer has a new blog entry online regarding his came on this week’s Raw Supershow. Below is an excerpt:

I certainly enjoyed being part of a live WWE RAW television event this week, after a long period. If you have been following the show you know that the week before my “son” Kane attacked the Legendary Cowboy Bob Orton, Father of ring star Randy Orton. It was only natural for Paul Bearer to pop back in, and Randy Orton getting retribution on “The Fat Man”. I throughly enjoy these storylines, notwithstanding my month long “kidnapped story” with Edge just last year.

I had a blast being with my extended WWE Family again, even though I worked with them the entire WM-XXVIII extravaganza just last month. You must remember that I signed my first contract with the then WWF, on December 22, 1990; and started managing The Undertaker in January 1991. I have remained a part of the company, on and off television, since that time. Count the years….

Even though I am not on WWE television programming these days, I am signed to a “Legends Contract”, that still has over 4-years remaining. Currently I am allowed to do independent wrestling appearances around the globe, and answer The WWE calls now and then.

No matter if the Paul Bearer character has been buried in cement, pushed off a balcony, or locked in a freezer; the “Father Of Destruction” is very much alive. WWE doesn’t kill anybody on their television shows, even though it might appear that way, as a cement burial, fall from a balcony, or spending time in a freezer may very well indeed put an end to a real life. Storylinewise, The Paul Bearer character is being treated for hypothermia following this week’s freezer incident.

My appearance this past week on RAW was a last minute creative idea of the company. I had been in Las Vegas most of last week with The Annual Cauliflower Alley Reunion, and didn’t receive the request for my ONE TIME return to RAW until Saturday morning. Of course I jumped at the chance, no matter what the plans were. It was a win-win situation for me. Will you ever see Paul Bearer on WWE programming again? Never say never… but, I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. My ship has virtually sailed.

I have absolutely no intention of returning to The WWE, or any wrestling company for that matter, in any type of full time position. I will continue to work with independent promotions, wrestling conventions, reunions, etc., as I have been doing during the past few years.

Click here to read Bearer’s latest in its entirety.

- A pre-sale began this morning for the June 25th WWE Raw Supershow taping from the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana began this morning. The password to obtain tickets is RAWTV at this link.

- Changes to WWE’s developmental system are underway. The company will begin taping some of Florida Championship Wrestling’s television from Full Sail University in the Orlando, Florida area beginning on Thursday, May 17, 2012. They will continue to use the FCW Arena in Tampa and will still be taping TV there as well.

- WWE will hold their annual shareholders meeting today in Stamford, Connecticut. We’ll recap anything noteworthy said by Vince McMahon or any other WWE executive.

- Kevin Nash had some fun on Twitter late last night/early this morning. In a series of Tweets, Nash expressed disinterest in the WWE Hall of Fame and said one of his dearest friends was “let go” from WWE. The following is from Nash’s official account:

- Arda Ocal has a new article online over on The Baltimore Sun featuring quotes from Daniel Bryan. Below are the highlights:

18-second loss at Wrestlemania XXVIII:

“I actually thought the people might enjoy [the quick match],” Bryan said in an interview Thursday. “It was something really different, [to start WrestleMania like that]. The whole situation is very unusual. I’m just happy that the people have gotten behind me. It’s really incredible.”

Firing from WWE in 2010 after debuting with The Nexus:

“I honestly at the time wasn’t worried about it,” Bryan said. “It was a huge moment on WWE programming. Then they fire me for being what was reported on the internet for not being PG. As far as independent bookings go, there is nothing that can make me more marketable than that. [WWE] apologized and said they had sponsors they had to deal with and whatnot. And I said don’t worry about me, I’m probably going to make more money this year than I did the last year when I was on NXT. I had people from Japan calling me, I had TNA people talking to me, not directly, but through other people. It was just a fascinating time for me in my career.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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