Will The Rock Work Wrestlemania XXX? Very Early Plans Revealed, What No One In TNA Wants To Talk About, Jeff Jarrett’s New Role, Sheamus Out 4-6 Months, McMahon Upset Over Wyatt Family’s Segment On Raw, Uneasiness About Top SummerSlam Program, Top WWE Star Needs Time Off

Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.

This week’s edition covers news from Saturday, August 3, 2013 to Friday, August 9, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!

Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- Following the airing of this week’s Smackdown, the World Heavyweight Championship match is set for SummerSlam. Alberto Del Rio will defend against Christian after Christian was victorious in a number one contender’s bout on this week’s broadcast. Del Rio vs. Christian joins John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship and CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar as announced matches.

- Big Show did local media in Pittsburgh to talk about the network television premiere of Wrestlemania 29 on NBC. The interview was conducted from the new WWE Performance Center and can be watched at this link.

- JBL wrote the following about Alex Riely’s commentary of on this week’s Smackdown:

- Former WWE Tough Enough contestant and WWE developmental talent Christina Crawford is now a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She is the real-life sister of Alicia Fox.

- Tickets for the inaugural WWE Battleground pay-per-view are now on sale. Though the card is subject to change, currently advertised talent include John Cena, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, & The Shield. Tickets are available at this link. WWE Battleground will take place Sunday, October 6, 2013 from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.  We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE recently listed the production costs for the following WWE Studios projects:

The Marine 3 – $1,400,000
12 Rounds: Reloaded – $1,300,000
No One Lives – $2,200,000

- DIRECTV recently interviewed Daniel Bryan, and discussed a number of topics, including his upcoming match with John Cena at SummerSlam, his start in the business, and more. Some highlights are below:

[Mick Foley] said your match with John Cena at SummerSlam would be one of the few matches that, as a fan, he would do anything to see live and that while Cena has been great for the company, he thinks your time is now. Hearing that coming from Mick Foley, what are your thoughts?
Well, I hope he is right and that my time is now. I feel like it is. It’s also very humbling. You know it’s crazy because I feel like my story is very much like Mick Foley’s story in the sense that I grew up a really hardcore wrestling fan and it took Mick a really long time to get to the WWE and to get opportunities to become respected. But it was the people who brought Mick to the main event, it was the people who were so entertained by how good he was – I feel the it’s the same for me. I’ve been wrestling 14 years so when you get a compliment from Mick like that it’s pretty awesome.

He also went on to say that your match would be competing with the CM PUNK v. Brock Lesnar match for Match of the Show at SummerSlam.
I think there is also a bit of competitiveness behind it. We feel that we are carrying on the tradition of being a wrestler and with that there’s comes a certain pride in having the best match of the show and being the best performer. It’s unspoken but each of us come SummerSlam, we’re going to go out there and want people to remember our match. There will definitely be an element of one-upsmanship. Everyone at SummerSlam wants their match to be the best.

Can you talk a bit more about your relationship [with CM Punk]?
It’s interesting because CM Punk and I have a lot in common personally, yet we are very different. He is very brash and kind of says whatever he feels. I’m more laid back and not the most outgoing person. But we have a certain respect for each other. I have been on shows that Punk drove 14 or 15 hours for from Chicago to get paid 100 bucks. We’ve done those shows in front of 30 people together. It’s a long road for guys like us to get here. I’m always astounded. There was that December PPV when I had cashed in my Money in the Bank contract to beat Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship and Punk had retained his WWE title that same night. We used to work on the indies together and then there we were, both champions. No one really thought we could do it. It’s very cool and surreal.

Click here to view the full article.

- The network television premiere of Wrestlemania 29 did an average viewing audience of 1,920,000 viewers on NBC on Saturday night. Last year, the special did 2,730,000 viewers with Wrestlemania XXVIII. The year before that, Wrestlemania XXVII, drew 3,630,000 in their NBC television special. Click here for more.

- The Green Bay Press Gazette has a new article featuring quotes from Mark Henry to promote this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw in the city. Below are the highlights:

Mark Henry’s favorite gimmick:

Well, Sexual Chocolate was the most fun. I was able to clown and poke fun at myself and poke fun at the world, but I guess the closest to being me would be all of them. I was an Olympic high-level national champion and I was the strongest man in the world legitimately.

As far as being bent on destruction, I want to destroy stereotypes of big guys and I’ve done that. Big guys are supposed to be slow. Big guys are supposed to be un-athletic. Big guys are supposed to be dopey and jovial. I’m destroying that whole ideology of what the big man is supposed to be and in the process, the world is getting to see how I see myself. For a long time, I didn’t want to be portrayed as the big mean guy, but that exists inside me.

If his “retirement” promo was the best of his career:

It’s up there. It’s in the top three. In 2006, I did a eulogy with the Undertaker. I preached a sermon that day that I think could go down in history. I also did a promo when I was Sexual Chocolate where I said I had an addiction problem with women and I cried with (former WWE superstar) Chyna, so my ability to do this stuff has always been there. It’s just a matter of where I’m put in the pecking order.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Lance Storm is scheduled to work with WWE NXT talent this week’s at the WWE Performance Center. Storm, who runs his own pro wrestling school, often visits developmental where he helps train wrestlers.

- Justin Gabriel is scheduled to appear on “Shark After Dark” on The Discovery Channel this week as part of “Shark Week.”

- Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts and Scott Hall took part in a Q&A session at Mick Foley’s comedy show in Georgia on Sunday night. Below is a photo from Twitter:

- John Cena’s current wish count through the Make-a-Wish Foundation has surpassed 350. I can’t say enough about what John does for these children and he has all of my respect for doing so. A lot of people (dare I say most?) in his position only care about themselves. Regardless of what you think about the John Cena character, you can’t help but respect him for this.  I know I do.

- Brock Lesnar is not being advertised for the post-SummerSlam episode of Monday Night Raw on 19 August in Anaheim. I’m not sure if there were plans for him to appear and they were changed or what happened. However, I can confirm he’s not officially advertised as of this writing.

- If you’re interested in WWE 2K14, you can preview it with Bryan Williams from 2K Sports at this link.

- We’re told The Rock is still saying privately that he is not working Wrestlemania XXX next year. If he sits out, WWE will look to do Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, John Cena vs. Triple H and possibly CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. While these plans will probably change several times before now and then, we continue to hear that Punk and Bryan are hoping to be kept apart until Wrestlemania XXX. Vince McMahon may choose to go in a different direction but that was the update as of early last week. The Rock was quoted last week about his wrestling future, saying that he would like to leave it open.

- JBL announced atop Mont Blanc that he’ll be a playable character in WWE 2K14. You can watch the announcement at this link.

- The latest episode of After Total Divas is online at this link.

- The WWE Smackdown audience remains on the rise as last week’s show did an average viewing audience of 2,746,000 viewers on SyFy.  The show ended up with a 1.99 cable rating.

- DirectTV has part two of their interview with Daniel Bryan now online. For those that missed part one, you can read the recap Brooks posted at this link. Below is a recap of part two:

Why he grew his beard:

Yea its bizarre because I will go signings and people will ask me when I’m going to shave my beard because they hate it. But it’s funny because I’ve become more popular since I’ve had the beard. My friend Christopher Daniels told me years ago that I am a slave to my whims. It was last year I just said I wasn’t going to shave for a bit and it just kept growing. Now I’m at a point where I don’t think I can shave it. It’s just part of the fun now.

Where the “Yes” and “No” chants originated from:

It was originally a take-off of UFC fighter Diego Sanchez because he was all about positivity and would just chant “Yes! Yes!” I always loved that and it was just something I started doing when I won the World Heavyweight Championship. I was very excited and I just started doing it. Then it just started to catch on. I remember the first time I noticed, we had done a RAW in Seattle and people were chanting “Yes!” and I thought it was because I was from Washington State but then it erupted at WrestleMania 28. It just happened organically.

Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

- WWE has announced the following Monday Night Raw locations:

October 14th – Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri
October 21st – FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee

- Brooke Mangum and Michelle Schexnayder from the USA Network’s “Summer Camp” are in attendance at this week’s Monday Night Raw from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

- Variety is reporting that a copy of the WWE Studios production, “The Call,” helped Redbox secure their 3 billion movie rental milestone. You can read the story at this link.

- Kane vs. Bray Wyatt was added to SummerSlam on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Following a match where Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan beat Brodus Clay & Tensai, Kane came on the big screen and challenged Bray.

- WWE officially announced Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes for SummerSlam on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. We’re told this program is seen as a way to push both in singles competition.

- To update on Kane vs. Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam, the match is officially listed as a “Ring of Fire” match.

- Kofi Kingston returned to WWE on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Kofi, who has been out since May after having elbow surgery, went over Fandango.

- CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman was announced for next week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, if Punk is “man enough to accept it,” as the storyline goes. Next week’s show will take place from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

- Travel packages for Wrestlemania XXX go on sale next Monday, August 12, 2013. Click here for more information.

- Kofi Kingston, who returned on Raw this week sporting new in-ring gear, talked with dot com backstage about the change in appearance. Click here to view the video.

- Following this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, below is the updated lineup for SummerSlam:

WWE Championship Match
- John Cena © vs. Daniel Bryan

Singles Match
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio © vs. Christian

Ring of Fire Match
- Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

Singles Match
- Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

SummerSlam 2013 will take place Sunday, August 18, 2013 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE is playing up an injury angle with John Cena and his left elbow. Cena mentioned it in his promo on Daniel Bryan on this week’s Monday Night Raw, saying it looked “like a football.”

The company is running the angle to create doubt about Cena’s status to defend the WWE title at SummerSlam. Below is an excerpt from coverage on dot com:

For now, it does not appear that Cena’s title defense is in any danger, nor is his eligibility for SummerSlam. He can and has fought back through worse. As for whether he’s truly at 100% when he puts his title on the line? That, at least, is no longer a given.

Click here for coverage by dot com.

- WWE did a stretcher job with Ricardo Rodriguez off-the-air following Alberto Del Rio’s “attack” on him at this week’s Monday Night Raw. Rodriguez returned from a 30-day suspension following his first violation of the company Wellness Policy.

- Big Show is reportedly cleared to work after being delayed a couple of weeks. There is still talk about including him on the SummerSlam lineup.

- Jody Kristofferson, who had been working as Garrett Dylan in WWE NXT, has been released from his developmental contract. Jody is the real-life son of actor Kris Kristofferson.

- Big Show Tweeted the following:

- Glenn Gilbertti is alive and well despite some prankster editing his Wikipedia page to reflect the contrary. Gilbertti has been joking about the rumors on social media.

- After this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, Mark Henry and Kane came out to make the save for Daniel Bryan as The Shield stood over him. The champion vs. champion bout between John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio did not take place as advertised.

- Damien Sandow met a Doritos Jacked contest winner at this week’s Raw. You can watch a video at this link.

- Episode 2 of “Total Divas” on E! drew an average viewing audience of 1,526,000 viewers. The numbers should please both network executives and WWE as the numbers were up from the 1,300,000 viewers the show did in its premiere.

- Stephanie McMahon sold a significant portion of her WWE stock on the open market in a transaction dated Monday, August 5, 2013. Steph sold 114,972 shares at an average price of $10.39 for a total value of $1,194,559.08. She now owns 51,945 shares of WWE’s stock. Click here for coverage by Zolmax.com. Click here for the official document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

- WWE Studios and Lionsgate have announced “See No Evil 2″ starring Kane as Jacob Goodnight.

The sequel is from the first WWE film and is scheduled to start production in fall 2013. Below is an excerpt from dot com’s coverage:

“See No Evil 2″ revives the nightmare of the first film when Jacob Goodnight rises from the dead in the city morgue after his killing spree at the Blackwell Hotel. In this ominous, underground locker for the dead, a group of medical students fight to survive as this deranged psychopath once again starts to pick them apart one by one.

Lionsgate will handle worldwide distribution and WWE Studios will utilize its assets to market the film.

Click here for coverage by dot com.

- CM Punk needed four stitches in his chin after being busted open during the brawl with Brock Lesnar on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Dot com has more coverage with backstage photos of Punk getting stitched up at this link.

- This week’s episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled “The Bearded Barrage” and is online at this link.

- The new referee that worked Monday Night Raw this week was former Dragon Gate USA referee Jason Ayers. Ayers has been in the company’s developmental system since February 2012 and served as the head referee in both Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE Wrestling until November 2011.

- This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,178,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:

Hour 1 – 3,973,000 viewers
Hour 2 – 4,381,000 viewers
Hour 3 – 4,182,000 viewers

- This week’s episode of Total Divas ranked as the most-watched unscripted series for the time period among its key demographics. E and WWE issued a press release about the show’s success on Tuesday, noting the success on-screen and in digital media. To say the series has been a home run for WWE would be understating it at this point. This week’s episode ended up with a 1.21 cable rating.

- It was announced on this week’s Smackdown that Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn will face Big E Langston & AJ Lee in a mixed tag team match at SummerSlam.

- Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger beat Brodus Clay & Tensai in a dark match prior to this week’s Smackdown taping in Rockford, Illinois.

- The Miz visited Kmart headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois on Tuesday where he represented WWE. Miz Tweeted the following:

- WWE Champion John Cena Tweeted the following about his elbow on Tuesday:

- Sheamus has a torn labrum in his left shoulder that will require surgery to repair and is expected to be out 4-6 months. The procedure is scheduled for next week.

According to an article on dot com, the former WWE Champion suffered the injury during the Money in the Bank All-Stars Ladder match and it was further aggravated over the following weeks. MRI results indicated the injury would indeed need to be surgically repaired.

“We performed a specialized MRI with a dye inserted to highlight the structures within the shoulder joint,” said WWE ringside physician Dr. Chris Amann in a new article on dot com. “Doctor Samson and I both reviewed the film, and it appears that Sheamus has a cartilage [SLAP] tear.”

Sheamus will undergo arthroscopic surgery next week to fix the tear.

“I’ve never in my whole life had to have surgery,” Sheamus said. “I’ve always worked through pain. For the first time in four years, I’m going to be out of action.”

He continued, “To say I’m devastated would be a serious understatement, but I’m determined to take this time to go home to Ireland to see my family, to see my friends, learn a different language, read a lot of books, and come back bigger, stronger and better than ever.”

Click here for coverage by WWE.com.

Richard Reacts: The MITB All-Stars Match was brutal. I remarked at the time when we were hearing of everyone else’s knocks that Sheamus took the worst bumps. Now we see that while Sheamus is tough as nails, not even he is immune to serious injury.

- The Associated Press covered the opening of the WWE Performance Center with an article and video. You can check it out at this link.

- Jim Ross checks in with a new blog entry with his thoughts on this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw at this link.

- Sheamus Tweeted the following on Wednesday:

As reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Sheamus has a torn labrum that will require surgery to repair. The estimated timetable for his return is 4-6 months.

Backstage news & notes from Raw in Green Bay…

- This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw was re-written several times before they went live on the USA Network. We’re told the reason for the re-writes had to do with last minute changes to the SummerSlam lineup.

- We’re told WWE has delayed the stuff between The Shield and Mark Henry due to the uncertainly of Big Show’s status. Apparently he is medically cleared but remember, WWE thought that a couple of weeks ago.

- Speaking of The Shield, did you notice how The Wyatt Family’s segment/match immediately followed them on this week’s Raw? We’re told Vince McMahon was upset about this as he specifically stated he did not want both groups on the same hour.

- One of the reasons for Alberto Del Rio’s attack on Ricardo Rodriguez on this week’s show is that WWE felt Del Rio wasn’t over enough as a heel because people love Ricardo. Believe it or not, there was also a disciplinary component to it as Ricardo has drawn heat for openly complaining about his Wellness Policy violation.

- While original plans had CM Punk completely destroying Brock Lesnar, the decision was made to slow it down a couple weeks out from SummerSlam.

- Jim Ross promised that he would deliver “big news” on Saturday afternoon at SummerSlam Axxess regarding WWE 2K14. Below is an excerpt from JR’s latest blog:

“Speaking of 2K Sports, we have big news coming from them next Saturday afternoon at AXXESS that I will partner with The King to deliver. Big news indeed regarding WWE’s newest video game.”

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

- John Cena takes chances when getting waxed. Check out this bonus clip from Total Divas.

- After this week’s episode of WWE Smackdown was finished filming, Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry and Rob Van Dam beat The Shield in a dark match main event. The finish came off a World’s Strongest Slam from Henry followed by a 5 Star Frog Splash from RVD.

- Ricardo Rodriguez Tweeted the following kayfabe comments on Twitter following Alberto Del Rio’s “attack” on him on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw:

We revealed legitimate details behind the storyline attack earlier on Wednesday here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- The Rock is still part of National Milk’s ad campaign. You can check out a new print ad from his Twitter below:

- Santino Marella tours his new Battle Arts Academy in a new video at this link. Santino is due back on WWE television in September. Click here for more.

- Redeye Chicago has a new Q&A with Mick Foley that was used to promote his comedy show in in the city on Wednesday night. In one of the questions, Mick was asked if he thought WWE moving to PG was the right decision. Below is an excerpt:

I really do. With the TV-14 there were a lot of sponsors the WWE couldn’t bring in because of the rating. I think it was frustrating when they were doing gigantic ratings and couldn’t draw the sponsors during the Attitude Era. They did great business during a horrible economic time and continue to draw adults to bring their children to watch the product.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.

- Daniel Bryan did a Q&A with Sky Sports where he is asked whether or not he respects John Cena. Below is an excerpt:

I really do respect him. We did 219 WWE live events last year and most of those are untelevised and in most of those shows when Cena is on he’s the main event. He goes out there and works his butt off and he does it against the big boys, wrestling for 20 minutes against Ryback or Mark Henry or Big Show. He goes out there night after night and has to end the show on a high note – and for the most part, every night he does it. I have a tremendous amount of respect for a guy who’s been able to do that for the last 10 years.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.

- Season 1 of Total Divas will feature 8 episodes running into next month. Both WWE and E have been very pleased with how the show has gone over and are thrilled with viewership.

Below is a preview of next week’s episode:

Planet Funk is Funked Up
Naomi and Jon Uso come face-to-face in the ring. JoJo ends up giving her boyfriend an ultimatum. Nikki disagrees with Brie’s decision to move to Phoenix.

- Not only has Vince McMahon issued a directive that The Wyatt Family is to remain in different hours of Monday Night Raw than The Shield due to both being three-men factions with similar “beat down” fashions, he’s also told the creative team to keep them away from Daniel Bryan.

We’re told Vince is “uneasy” that so much of the Daniel Bryan angle is revolving around his long beard when all three members of The Wyatt Family have beards just as impressive, if not more impressive.

Vince is questioning the logic of bringing in three new guys that have long beards as a distinct part of their look, when the company’s new “top babyface” and so much of the top angle is being built around his “unique” beard.

According to a source, Vince is “annoyed at himself” for ending up in this situation. He’s happy with the job the Wyatt Family is doing and doesn’t want to mess with their look but he has made comments in creative meetings about why they have all these new bearded guys if the number one angle in the company right now and one of the top merchandise sellers revolves around Daniel Bryan’s beard.

This begs the question, if Vince doesn’t like the Wyatt Family being similar to The Shield or taking away from the uniqueness of Daniel Bryan’s beard, why wasn’t something done before they were brought to TV?

- A publication out of South Africa has a new article online featuring quotes from Damien Sandow. In the piece, Sandow is asked about the attack on Randy Orton from last week’s WWE show in the country. Below are the highlights:

On the incident itself:

“Yes, it happened that a fan got too excited and decided to join in the fun. It was unfortunate, but that is behind us now,” he said.

If the attack was scripted:

“It is possible, but I can’t confirm that. I didn’t know anything about it beforehand so I am totally in the dark. However, it is now at a stage where WWE as a company has to handle the legal aspects that come with such situations. All I know is this is just going to tighten our security from this point onwards,” he said.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Below is the updated WWE SummerSlam lineup:

WWE Championship Match
- John Cena © vs. Daniel Bryan

Singles Match
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio © vs. Christian

Ring of Fire Match
- Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

Singles Match
- Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

Mixed Tag Team Match
- Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & AJ Lee

Show Host:
- The Miz

- Vince McMahon Tweeted the following comments with The Associated Press’ article on the new WWE Performance Center:

 

The article is extremely detailed and reveals Big Show has been at the facility in Orlando where he has been rehabbing his hip injury. Show even did media from the Performance Center last week. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Superstars and Divas – including Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett, Tensai & Kaitlyn – went shark diving on the company’s recent stop in Cape Town, South Africa. You can watch video at this link.

- Job evaluation time in the latest episode of WWE Inbox now online at this link.

- John Cena Tweeted the following:

- Nikki and Brie Bella prove they’re city girls at heart in a new Total Divas bonus clip at this link.

- Peter Rosenberg interviewed CM Punk on New York’s Hot 97 where he talked working with Brock Lesnar, the Randy Orton fan attack in South Africa and more.

- Digital Spy has a new Q&A online with Daniel Bryan where he talks SummerSlam and his rise to prominence. You can read it at this link.

- We’re told there is still no definitive plan for the ending of Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk at WWE SummerSlam, which of course is just over a week away. The match was originally scheduled to main event the show, however, the talk now is that WWE Champion John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan will close the show. Suggested finishes for Punk vs. Lesnar have included a double count out and outside interference. The bout really books WWE into a corner because it’s lose/lose for either Lesnar or Punk to go under. One observer notes that no finish can be ruled out, no matter how “stupid” or “far fetched.”

- John Cena’s elbow is getting worse by the match and it doesn’t help that he takes the majority of his bumps “elbow first.” At this point the smartest thing to do is to get it fixed after SummerSlam so he doesn’t have to miss a big pay-per-view. I can’t confirm there are any plans for him to do so as Cena is always reluctant to take time off and is a self-proclaimed workaholic.

- The rumblings about Randy Orton becoming Vince McMahon’s next “corporate champion” continue, with the obvious twist that Orton goes full heel. Whether or not this happens at SummerSlam remains to be seen but it is worth noting he’s not on the card yet.

- ESPN W has a new article online where Trish Stratus discusses her departure from WWE and the issues that led up to her retirement. Below is an excerpt:

“People thought I retired to start a family,” Stratus told ESPN W, “but I was just ready to leave the business. Athletically, I achieved everything I wanted to, and I’d worked with everyone I wanted to. I was really fulfilled. It felt right.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The University of Miami has named their new football locker room after Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Click here for more coverage with a photo.

- This week’s episode of The JBL & Cole Show is subtitled “Cody doesn’t want to be a Cowboy” and is online at this link.

- The Eva Marie/Stephanie McMahon segment on this week’s episode of “Total Divas” was a work. The same goes for Marie “refusing” to dye her hair blonde. This is all part of the show to create intriguing storylines. There are plenty of opinions backstage about the show but there is no denying its early success.

- The “fact checkers” are out in droves adding up WWE’s claim they amassed 20 million viewers over the past week in a press release issued on Friday. There’s no reason to be offended over the numbers, WWE’s intention is to create hype with key television deals coming up. The first major domestic television deal coming up is Smackdown. The company’s agreement for the show to air on SyFy is up at the end of September. As far as I know they are working on a new deal but no announcement has been made as of this writing. WWE entered into a three-year deal for Smackdown on SyFy in October 2010.

- Fast & Furious fans worry not as The Rock says he’ll be in Fast & Furious 7 along with UFC champion Ronda Rousey. The following is from Twitter:

- The first trailer for “The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden” DVD/Blu-Ray is online at this link.

- Mark Henry is taking part in a “Back to School Bash” on Saturday at Hernandez Middle School in Austin, Texas. You can check out a promotional appearance he did to promote it at this link.

TNA News

- Dixie Carter posted the following on Twitter:

As we reported on Friday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kurt Angle was arrested after Thursday’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Texas for Driving While Impaired. His fourth drinking and driving related arrest since 2007, Angle announced Friday night he’ll immediately enter rehab.

- Dixie Carter issued the following statement Monday night via Twitter regarding Kurt Angle:

Angle was arrested last Thursday and charged with Driving While Intoxicated after the Impact Wrestling tapings in Texas. This was Angle’s fourth drinking and driving related arrest since 2007.

- Do not expect much to come out of the meeting between Jeff Jarrett and Keiji Mutoh (a/k/a The Great Muta) that took place last week in Nashville. We’re told Mutoh is looking for investors in Japan on the idea that he can make inroads in the US market. The photo-op with TNA was merely for appearances so he can spin it that the meeting was more than it was. Jarrett is taking over many of the talent relations responsibilities previously handled by Bruce Prichard. When Mutoh contacted TNA about discussing a talent exchange, he was originally scheduled to meet with Prichard. When Prichard departed, Jarrett was the guy that handled that kind of stuff.

- The release of Jesse Sorensen from TNA Wrestling is just something no one wants to talk about. We’re told Dixie Carter said to Sorensen at the hospital the night he got injured that he would never have to worry about money, which is how the supposed “job for life” promise got started. It’s a tricky thing because Sorensen was making more money than someone else in his position and the company needed to cut expenses. The entire situation just really sucks.

- Fighting Sports Magazine is able to confirm that TNA Wrestling star Magnus has signed a new two year deal with the company. Below is an exert of the post:

Fighting Spirit Magazine is delighted to confirm that our monthly columnist, Nick “Magnus” Aldis, has re-signed with TNA Wrestling.

“I’m very happy to confirm that I have signed a new two-year deal, on improved terms. It came down to the wire between TNA, myself, and my agent, but ultimately we came to a mutually beneficial agreement,” Aldis said in a statement to FSM.

“I’m really excited about the new structure and more streamlined team. It’s important to know that while some people may be moving on, TNA is focusing on their priority guys. Simply – earn your spot, and be rewarded. I can only speak for myself, but my career has steadily progressed financially throughout my entire time with the company.”

To read the full article, click here.

- Hulk Hogan told a TMZ photog that a movie about his life is in the works. It was a less-than-serious encounter but you can check it out at this link.

- Taryn Terrell is currently away from TNA Wrestling due to personal reasons. She was not at last week’s Impact tapings in Wichita Falls, Texas.

- Eric Bischoff is now in charge of TNA writers Dave Lagana and Matt Conway.

- With this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling in the can, the focus is on next week’s Hardcore Justice themed episode. Two matches have already been announced for the show being taped next week from the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Click here for official event information.

- The upcoming autobiography of AJ Styles, titled “Phenomenal,” is complete and is scheduled for an October publishing date. The book is now in the editing process.

- Dixie Carter did another fan Q&A on Twitter that was posted here on ImpactWrestling.com. Some of the highlights included Carter saying that TNA will “definitely” have a pay-per-view in the United Kingdom one day and that Monty Brown is now retired and living in Michigan. You can check it in its entirety at this link.

- Following this week’s Impact Wrestling (Results found here), two more matches were made for the Hardcore Justice show that will air next week at 9PM EDT on Spike TV. The new matches are below:

Bound for Glory Series Ladder MatchWinner receives 20 points in the series
Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries vs. Kazarian

Knockouts Tornado Tag Team MatchNo Disqualification, No Countouts
Mickie James and Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky and ODB

- Tickets go on sale today for four future TNA Wrestling events. The events are below with all of the information:

- 9/26 Impact Wrestling in North Little Rock, AR at the Verizon Arena. Tickets available at 10 AM Central at Ticketmaster.com and the Verizon Arena.

- 9/7 Impact Wrestling World Tour live event in Bethlehem, PA at the Stabler Arena. Click here for more information.

- 9/20 Impact Wrestling World Tour live event in El Paso, TX at the El Paso County Coliseum. Click here for more information.

- 9/21 Impact Wrestling World Tour live event in Tucson, AZ at the Tucson Convention Center. Click here for more information.

- Jesse Sorensen says he’s not bitter following his release from TNA Wrestling. The following is from Twitter:

- TNA held a press conference in Little Rock, Arkansas on Wednesday to promote the September 26th Impact Wrestling tapings. TNA Champion Chris Sabin was the featured guest and you can watch video footage at this link.

- TNA/Bellator crossover star Tito Ortiz believes he’s going to be part of a smear campaign from his estranged wife Jenna Jameson. TMZ has the story at this link.

- There was plenty of movement in the Bound for Glory Series on this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling. Mr. Anderson beat Magnus via disqualification and Christopher Daniels vs. Kazarian ended in a double count out. Below are the updated standings:

Magnus – 39 points
Samoa Joe – 26 points
Jeff Hardy – 24 points
AJ Styles – 22 points
Christopher Daniels – 26 points
Mr. Anderson – 24 points
Austin Aries – 21 points
Bobby Roode – 7 points
Hernandez – 7 points
Kazarian – 5 points
Jay Bradley – 0 points
Joseph Park – (3) points

- Following the airing of this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, below is the updated lineup for next week’s Hardcore Justice themed episode:

Steel Cage Match for the TNA Championship
- Chris Sabin © vs. Bully Ray

Loser Leaves TNA
- Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & Eights

Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match
Winner receives 20 points
- Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries vs. Kazarian

Knockouts Tornado Tag Team Match
No disqualification, no countouts.
- Mickie James & Gail Kim vs. ODB & Velvet Sky

Next week’s Hardcore Justice episode of Impact will be taped on Thursday from the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Click here for official event information.

- Last night’s Impact Wrestling had an average viewing audience of 1,179,000 on Spike TV and it scored a 0.96 cable rating. The rating has been declining for the past three weeks. Certainly TNA Wrestling is hoping for a rebound for next week’s Hardcore Justice special.

- Steve Austin hosted TNA’s Samoa Joe on his “Steve Austin Show” podcast on Friday. We’ll post the link when it’s available.

Ask WNW

With WWE releasing a new Goldberg DVD this fall, what are the chances he’ll return to the company to promote it?

Bill Goldberg is not part of the project as he’s on record as to saying that it is not a collaborative effort. I don’t know how else to put this other than Goldberg doesn’t get along with Vince McMahon and Triple H. We never like to say never in this business but I think Bill’s days in the rings are over. The fact that fans still remember him and chant his name goes to show his impact on the business.

Have you heard anything about WWE Battleground other than the name change?

I heard there was a possibility of a war games type concept like what WCW used to do with multiple rings but the seating chart does not reflect that. Will it be a gimmick pay-per-view or is the name change like what they did with WWE Payback? I haven’t heard for sure but am assuming the latter until I hear otherwise. Tickets are on sale now as the show takes place on Sunday, October 6, 2013 in Buffalo, New York.

Will Ricardo Rodriguez return with Alberto Del Rio now that his suspension is up?

Ricardo Rodriguez’s WWE suspension is up and he is eligible to return to the company. As far as I know he’ll rejoin Alberto Del Rio as I haven’t heard anything different. For those that need a recap, Rodriguez was suspended on Thursday, July 2, 2013 for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. You can view our list of WWE Suspensions at this link. As for what caused Rodriguez’s suspension, I’m told it was an over-the-counter fat-burning agent similar to hydroxycut.

A main reason for WCW’s downfall in the latest 1990s was the lack of new stars. WWE hasn’t built any major stars since John Cena. Shouldn’t Vince McMahon wake up before it’s too late?

I categorically reject everything stated in this question. First off, WCW went out because they spent money like a drunken sailor because they thought Ted Turner was always going to fund it. Even then, what finalized their demise was losing their television deal. As for WWE not building new stars, aside from the other top names working alongside Cena, take a look at the talent that made their Wrestlemania debuts this year. How about Daniel Bryan in the SummerSlam main event? Have you heard of a guy named CM Punk? The Shield? The Wyatt Family? Curtis Axel? Come on now, if there is one thing that WWE does right it’s developing talent and taking them to the next level. Check out the WWE Performance Center and its capabilities combined with the fact it’s loaded with call-up ready talent.

How difficult is to for Tensai to leave WWE, work overseas and become dominant somewhere else, only to come back with a huge push and end up as comic relief?

Matt Bloom, a/k/a Tensai, is a good worker. We’ve gotten to see shades of it since his return to WWE in 2012 but work is only one aspect of what it takes to be successful in WWE. The Lord Tensai push as a “monster” just didn’t work. The fans didn’t buy it, they still viewed Bloom as Albert, and it flopped. I can’t explain why the crowd didn’t react but WWE gave it a fair chance before pulling the plug. Now, Tensai is still able to get on television but in a different role. While he would rather be a top guy, he’s still getting on television and working for the biggest wrestling company in the world.

Do you think John Cena should get an extended break like CM Punk got?

There has been concern about John Cena burning himself out both physically and mentally but John is a workaholic. He’s a guy that wants to be out there performing in the ring. This aspect, which is often highlighted in his promos, is just part of who he is. WWE does feel they need him as he remains the face of the company and their top draw.

What is the point of The Miz hosting SummerSlam?

The point of making The Miz “the host of SummerSlam” is to give him attention without putting him on the card. Even if he ends up with a match, which I don’t expect, this is a way to differentiate him as a “bigger deal.”

Have you heard any updates on a possible John Morrison return to WWE?

I haven’t heard anything recently about John Morrison returning to WWE. The last I heard when there was mutual interest earlier this year, Morrison didn’t want a long-term commitment and Vince McMahon wanted a minimum of two years. I have not heard an update since then.

Is the Ring of Fire match between Bray Wyatt and Kane at SummerSlam just another name for an Inferno Match?

The Ring of Fire match between Bray Wyatt and Kane at SummerSlam is a variation of an Inferno Match although I’m not sure the exact difference. I’m under the impression the ring will be surrounded by fire but I was just as confused as everyone else when the match was announced. There have been four inferno matches in WWE, with the stipulation being that the winning participant has to set their opponent on fire to get the victory. Out of the four instances, Kane has been involved in all of them. The last time we saw the bout in WWE was at the Armageddon pay-per-view on December 17, 2006. WWE’s official preview to Kane vs. Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam is online at this link.

Not too long ago, Wade Barrett was in for a big  push but now he’s doing  jobs to everyone. What happened?

We heard there was some backstage heat on Wade Barrett, although have been unable to figure out why. In the same breath, we’re also told that Vince McMahon has suggested they push Barrett again this fall. I do not take his involvement with Daniel Bryan as a bad thing although his job is to make Bryan look good heading into SummerSlam.

Are there any plans for a new season of WWE Tough Enough?

There are no plans as of this writing for a new season of WWE Tough Enough. While the show has been successful in terms of viewership and ratings, it hasn’t been successful in producing viable stars. Sure, some contestants found their way to WWE but  the concept didn’t translate as seamlessly as some had hoped. However, given the success of Total Divas, the WWE brand is as strong as ever. The company’s ability to air a show on a network outside of their core demographics and have success goes to show how well structured they are as an entertainment company. Total Divas is only expanding WWE’s audience and that is good for everyone.

Was there a hidden message in John Cena’s promo on this week’s Raw when he said WWE was the NFL of pro wrestling and if fired, he wouldn’t work anywhere else?  Does he think he is too good to work for a smaller company or is he a corporate suck up?

John Cena really does eat, sleep and breath WWE. He’s the face of the company, he’s making a fortune and he’s the top guy in the largest and most successful pro wrestling company in the world. What he said about WWE being the NFL of pro wrestling is accurate. I don’t know about his claim that he wouldn’t work anywhere else but Cena isn’t going anywhere so it’s a moot point.

Is the upcoming Chris Benoit biopic, Crossface, basically going to be a documentary? I’ve also heard Kurt Angle and Triple H are going to be a pretty big part of the movie, is that true?

The upcoming Chris Benoit biopic, Crossface, is based on the book “Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry” by Matthew Randazzo V. I read the book and can tell you I won’t be watching the film. While well researched, it’s not an objective look by any means. The author has a certain point of view and does his best to convince the reader to buy it. He blames Vince McMahon. He blames Benoit’s training. He blames and blames and blames yet I just didn’t buy it. You can’t blame pro wrestling or Vince McMahon or anyone else for what happened with Chris Benoit. I don’t know why Chris did what he did. I don’t know what caused him to do what he did but I do know that to blame the business is wrong and incredibly shortsighted. No, I don’t agree with everything Vince does but to put this on him isn’t right either. I’m sure Triple H will be portrayed in the film but he isn’t taking part. I haven’t heard anything about Kurt Angle but it wouldn’t be wise for any pro wrestler to take part in the film. There is an agenda here and it’s agenda that blames the business over personal accountability.

Any update on the main roster call-up of Kassius Ohno?

Kassius Ohno has been on the short list for a main roster call-up several times in WWE yet it hasn’t happened. We heard there was an issue regarding his weight training. Apparently he was asked to spend more time in the weight room and he took offense to it. There is a lot of frustration from Ohno about his status but so far the update is there is no update.

When CM Punk retires from the ring do you see him taking a position behind-the-scenes?

CM Punk says he’s not a pro wrestling lifer and many feel like he’ll “move on” once he’s finished in the ring. I have a hard time seeing Punk working for Triple H behind-the-scenes in WWE after his in-ring career but you never know.

Why aren’t divas like AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Layla El, Tamina Snuka, and Alicia Fox in Total Divas? Is it because too many of the side stories of each diva would confuse the fans?

WWE and E worked together to put together a cast for the show and the names you mentioned just didn’t make the cut. Both Eva Marie and Jo Jo Offerman were brought in specifically for the show. I can’t say enough about the success of the show. While I haven’t watched the 2nd episode yet, this is a good thing for WWE. They are expanding their demographic and growing the WWE brand. When they grow, we all benefit.

Are steroids and performance enhancing drugs still an issue in pro wrestling?

Absolutely steroids and performance enhancing drugs are still an issue in pro wrestling. Both TNA and WWE test and things have cleaned up to a certain extent but to act like the issue has been solved and these substances have been eradicated would be naive at best. The only way to completely eliminate steroids and PEDs would be to implement Olympic style drug testing and I’m not even sure that would completely solve it. All of the outrage and surprise over PEDs in baseball is pretty hilarious. It’s a widespread issue that we’ve only begun to uncover.

Given the high level of tension now between Vince McMahon and Daniel Bryan AND the company’s goal of demonizing Randy Orton, wouldn’t it make sense for Randy to intervene in the Cena-Bryan match in a way that would clearly cost Bryan the title and then cash in his briefcase and take the title himself?

Yes, this pretty much goes along with the obvious scenario that puts Daniel Bryan over John Cena and cashes Randy Orton in (both figuratively and literally) as a heel at SummerSlam. The idea would be Bryan is over huge and the fans are thrilled only for Orton to come out and make the night all about him. It’s been brought up backstage but this seems a tad obvious at this point. I agree it makes complete sense and would help all parties but WWE tends to avoid the obvious more often than not.

With the brand extension over, why not unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships and create an Undisputed Champion?

Unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship belts would create less opportunities in the top of the card and I push back whenever the idea of unification is suggested. If WWE wanted to unify titles, why not unify the WWE Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship? The latter doesn’t hold near as much value and perhaps this could operate as a catalyst to rebuild the prestige of the IC title. People that push for the unification of the world titles are often the people tired of the same people dominating the main event scene. If WWE were to scrap the World Heavyweight Championship this problem would only get worse, not better.

It looked like Kurt Angle needed stitches above his eye after his match on this week’s Impact Wrestling, did he?

Kurt Angle suffered a cut above his left eye but I can’t confirm it required stitches to close. It was a bad night for Angle as he ended up getting arrested following the tapings [in Wichita Falls, Texas] on the charge of Driving While Impaired. TNA will have to explain Angle’s absence from television on next week’s Hardcore Justice episode of Impact as he’s currently getting treated in a rehab facility. Dixie Carter has made it clear that the number one priority at this point is Kurt’s health and nothing else.

Will Big Show and Mark Henry be on the SummerSlam lineup? If so, what will they be doing?

The plan was to do Big Show & Mark Henry, as babyfaces, against The Shield. The holdup has been over Show’s medical clearance. The last I heard he’s good to go so if WWE is going to go forward with it, expect an announcement on next week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. It’s interesting to note that Show has been at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando where he has been rehabbing the injury. This is a major attraction of the new state of the art facility as it not only provides a place to train up and coming talent but a place where current stars can go to rehab their injuries and WWE can monitor them. As far as I know Big Show is the first WWE talent to be able to utilize the Performance Center for this purpose.

What do you think of Mick Foley agreeing that going to PG was a good thing for WWE?

I haven’t been thrilled with WWE taking their PG programming too far but the move as a whole makes sense. When it was done the economy was faltering and Vince McMahon wanted to gear the product towards the entire family. He also wanted to make sure the company had the ability to attract premium sponsors that were able to buy ad inventory when the economy was in a down turn. People that complain about the ratings and viewership would be best suited to comb over these numbers. Let’s also note that “Total Divas” has a rating of TV-14, which shows WWE has the ability to step out of the PG commitment when needed.

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