WWE 2K14 Roster, The Long-Term Vitality Of TNA, Orton Is WWE Champ, Bar Fight Involving WWE Superstars, John Cena Out 4-6 Months, What’s Next For Punk/Heyman, Backstage Heat On Sin Cara, Raw Criticism, Ziggler Frustrated, Why There Was Heat On Brooke Hogan, MITB Buyrate, Another MMA Fighter To TNA?

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 17, 2013 to Friday, August 23, 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

- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was on hand at WWE’s “Superstars for Hope” party on Thursday night, and took some time to speak with Sam Roberts about Austin’s latest thoughts on a potential return at WrestleMania. Austin also had high praise for the members of The Shield. The interview is available at this link.

- Sam Roberts also caught up with Damien Sandow, who discussed his gimmick and upcoming match at SummerSlam in character. The interview is available at this link.

- Ric Flair is scheduled to appear at the 11 AM PDT SummerSlam Axxess session. The following is from WWE’s Twitter:

- WWE Champion John Cena did not work Friday night’s WWE live event in Portland, Oregon. Brad Maddox came out to open the show and announced that due to injury, Cena would not be working. This goes right along with what we’ve been told in that Cena’s left elbow has become an issue. Cena is scheduled to undergo surgery on the elbow early next week following Sunday’s WWE title match at SummerSlam. He was also held off last Sunday’s WWE live event in Oakland, California for precautionary purposes.

- The latest episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown is subtitled Sandow survived a shark attack? and is online now at this link.

- CM Punk talked about WWE 2K14 earlier this week. You can watch the interview at this link.

- CM Punk, who lives a straight edge lifestyle, told Yahoo! Sports he feels first-time drug offenders in Major League Baseball should receive lifetime bans. Below is an excerpt:

“Absolutely,” CM Punk told Yahoo! Sports. “That way I don’t have to sit and listen to any [expletive] apologies. Look at [Ryan] Braun. That dude just denied, denied, denied and then he gets caught and goes, ‘oh yeah, I’m sorry, I made a mistake.’ I don’t believe you. You’re a liar. You’ve already proved it publicly in an open public forum. You’re a liar. Just shut the [expletive] up and go wash dishes for a living.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- IGN.com has a new Q&A online with Triple H to promote SummerSlam. In it, he discusses Daniel Bryan. Below is an excerpt:

Triple H: I think Daniel has an “it” factor to him. Daniel’s an extremely exciting competitor in the ring. He’s very technically sound, but in addition to that he’s also got a huge personality and a charisma to him and just a quality that you must see. You want to see him. He intrigues people, and I think that’s what being a WWE Superstar is all about. Not to quote CM Punk’s music, but it’s that cult of personality, and he has it. He has it, John Cena has it, CM Punk has it, Brock Lesnar has it, the biggest stars of this industry always have it. Daniel has it, now how does he parlay that? How does he take that personality and that charisma and turn it into the biggest thing possible, which is being the WWE Champion? Is he that good, does he have that ability? And that’s where it goes because, like Cena said, it’s getting there, and then it’s staying there. Getting there is a moment, staying there is a full-time process. Let’s hope he can get it all done. I’m excited to see it, I’m anxious to see it. There are not a lot of times where you feel like you’re on the edge of a momentum shift or on the edge of a “Wow, this could change everything” moment. That’s where we’re at on Sunday. We’re at the edge of that cliff of “Wow, this could change everything.” It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.

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

- You can watch video of Natalya working the red carpet at the WWE “Superstars for Hope” party on Thursday night at this link.

- WWE and 2KSports announced the roster for the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode in the upcoming WWE 2K14 video game at SummerSlam Axxess on Saturday. The reveal was delayed by more than a half hour, in which 2K apologized for.

The “30 Years of Wrestlemania” roster is as follows:

The Rock
Ultimate Warrior
Big Show (Retro)
CM Punk
Sgt. Slaughter
Edge
Diesel
Undertaker
King Kong Bundy
Brock Lesnar
Chris Jericho (Retro)
Andre the Giant
Alberto Del Rio
Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
John Cena (Retro)
Shawn Michaels
Ricky Steamboat
Triple H (Retro)
Big John Studd
Ric Flair (Retro)
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Hulk Hogan
Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Kane (Retro)
Randy Orton
Undertaker (Retro)
Shawn Michaels (Retro)
Razor Ramon
Big Show
Triple H
Brock Lesnar (Retro)
JBL
Bret “Hitman” Hart
Chris Jericho
The Rock (Retro)
Mick Foley
The Miz
Batista
Yokozuna
John Cena
Macho Man Randy Savage
Ric Flair
Goldberg

The reveal was hosted by Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross and Damien Sandow.  Justin Roberts handled announcing the names.  Following the reveal, Ric Flair made a special appearance to “confront” Sandow.  Flair said for Sandow to say mention his name in the same sentence in Sandow is the most ridiculous thing he’s heard in the history of the business.  Flair went through his normal routine, including saying to be the man, you have to beat the man. Sandow, continued playing his heel character, before “leaving.”  Flair asked JR how people like that got into the business. JR offered “no comment.”  Flair inadvertently said he loved the people at “Y2K” rather than 2K Sports.

Lawler asked Flair his favorite Wrestlemania moment.  Flair said it was the day he had to retire but being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame then wrestling Shawn Michaels was his favorite Wrestlemania moment.

Flair said forget Warrior, forget Hogan, forget Savage.  You can live by this.  To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.  And there’s only one kiss stealin, limousine ridin, jet flyin’ son of a gun. Flair told an audience member he was “talkin to her, honey” and that she looked good.

WWE 2K14 comes out Tuesday, October 29, 2013.  You can pre-order now and receive Ultimate Warrior as a playable character.

- Sam Roberts sat down with The Funkadactyls to speak about Total Divas, their match being pulled from WrestleMania XXIX, Cameron‘s infamous “Melina vs. Alicia Fox” moment from Tough Enough, and more. Mick Foley also makes an appearance to talk about the Divas, and mentions a potential upcoming reality show appearance. The interview is available at this link.

- Roberts also spoke with Hornswoggle at this week’s WWE “Superstars for Hope” party. Hornswoggle discussed the botch from this week’s Raw, how Finlay’s departure affected his character, and his career highlights. The interview is available at this link.

- Dolph Ziggler recently revealed his SummerSlam predictions at SLAM! Wrestling, and had the following to say about John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan:

“Once again, I’m going to go with the guy who has a chip on his shoulder, something to prove. He’s a smaller guy, he’s not just a wrestler. Cena, personally I’m sick of him. Ten years, doing the same thing, same five moves, the crowd loves him, the crowd hates him, either way, he does the same thing … I’m sick of it. I understand the awesome charity work he does, I understand what he represents, he makes a great face for our company … I’d rather see his face on a WWE dollar bill than Daniel Bryan’s. But I feel like we need a change, and as much as I feel like I’m that change, Daniel Bryan is in the position to actually beat John Cena. Not to go out there and go, ‘oh, hey, he had a really good match, great, let’s move on.’ I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope he wins.”

Click here to view the full article.

- AJ Lee recently spoke with IGN.com about where she sees her character going, the surreal feeling of meeting fans, working as a heel, and more. An excerpt is below:

IGN: Are you excited for Sunday? You go in with so much story with Kaitlyn, with Dolph….

AJ: Yeah, the really funny thing is that somewhere along the way, Dolph and I and E became really good friends, which is so weird. Especially since a year ago, I think Dolph and I actually hated each other… just for no reason! We were just like, “We’re so opposite.” Like, “He’s such a douche bag,” and he thought I was the biggest nerd. We were just mean to each other. And then to work together so much, where we are traveling together and go to dinner together and we enjoy each other’s company, it’s so funny to me. Like how did that happen? So now it’s so bittersweet that it feels like everything’s ending, you know? It feels like we’re all going to leave SummerSlam and go our separate ways, and that is the saddest thing in the world to me. But it’s really cool that three of my best friends right now in the industry will all be together at Summer Slam. That’s really cool to me.

Click here to read the full interview.

- Jim Ross‘ latest blog entry features his SummerSlam predictions. Click here to read it.

- There was a WWE 2K14 30 Years of Wrestlemania Symposium in Los Angeles on Saturday night that by accounts we’ve heard, was a great time. The panel included Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Steve Austin, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley and Ric Flair. Jim Ross was the host.

Due to the fact he was slurring his words, some are accusing that JR was inebriated. He explained that he was slurring his words due to his Bell’s Palsy acting up because he was tired. The following is from JR’s Twitter:

You can watch the event at this link.

- The WWE Studios made-for-TV project, “Christmas Bounty,” starring The Miz will premiere on the network on November 26th. Th film will be released on DVD on December 3rd.

- As we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE and 2KSports hosted a “30 Years of Wrestlemania” symposium at the Conga Room of L.A. Live on Saturday night. The event featured Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Steve Austin, Rey Mysterio, Mick Foley, Paul Heyman and Ric Flair. Jim Ross operated as the moderator.

During the panel, Flair told a touching story about placing one of his WWE Hall of Fame rings on his late son Reid’s finger before they closed the casket. WWE replaced the ring with a new one for Flair with his son’s name engraved on it.

While I am aware there are a lot of stories and rumors being pushed out about Flair’s condition, everything I have seen from people that actually attended has been quite positive. Here’s what Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald wrote:

One of the most entertaining panels you will ever see…

Click here for his coverage.

Arda Ocal, who was also in attendance, wrote the following on Twitter:

- Natalya & Maria Menounos beat Brie Bella & Eva Marie in a tag team match on Sunday at SummerSlam Axxess.

- Maryse and The Miz talked about getting married and then possibly having children in a new video interview at this link.

- Variety has a new article online featuring quotes from Steve Austin. In it, he reveals to being upset when WWE Tough Enough wasn’t renewed:

“When that show didn’t come back, I was pissed off,” Austin said. “It was a great show. The numbers were very good. We had a great time doing it. Why they didn’t bring it back still baffles me to this day because I loved doing that show. It was a great way to be in the business I know and love without having to be in the ring taking lumps.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Natalya and The Funkadactyls discussed their reactions to Darren Young coming out at this link.

- TMZ.com asked Shawn Michaels about his reaction to Darren Young coming out. Shawn said that he just found out about it but being gay in pro wrestling is “very eighties.” He said it’s something that’s been in the business for years but now it’s certainly a safe time to come out. Michaels said Young’s decision was gutsy and it was good. He said he doesn’t keep up much with WWE but that it’s actually hip to be gay right now.

- The Ultimate Warrior returned to WWE for SummerSlam Axxess on Sunday. Reporters Arda Ocal and Scott Fishman were in attendance for the session and Tweeted updates.

- AJ Lee is the first WWE Diva to surpass 1 million followers on Twitter. You can follow her at Twitter.com/WWEAJLee. Make sure you follow us at Twitter.com/wnwnews.

- The announced attendance for SummerSlam 2013 was 17,739. The show was a legitimate sellout from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

- John Cena worked the WWE title match at SummerSlam against Daniel Bryan with a large pad over his left elbow. Cena’s elbow is in bad shape and has caused him to be pulled off live events. We’re told he is scheduled to undergo surgery early this week. Cena also suffered a left eye injury during the match as it very noticeably swelled up after an apparent hardway shot. It’s too early to know if anything is broken but it didn’t look good.

- Daniel Bryan beat John Cena to win the WWE Championship in the main event of SummerSlam. After the match, Cena congratulated Bryan and walked off. Randy Orton’s music hit and he came out with the briefcase.

Orton held it up but appeared to walk off. Triple H, the special guest referee, turned on Bryan and hit the Pedigree. Orton then “cashed in” and pinned Bryan to win the WWE Championship.

The pay-per-view went off the air with Orton and Hunter celebrating in the ring.

Once cameras stopped rolling, Triple H and Orton posed on the ramp until the music ended. Bryan left the ring slowly then started going ballistic by pulling his hair out. The crowd chanted “bullshit” and “no, no no!” Our live correspondent eloquently coined it the LA Screwjob.

- WWE posted an excerpt of Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam for the WWE United States Championship in the SummerSlam Kickoff at this link.

- Alberto Del Rio and Drew McIntyre went out over SummerSlam weekend and showed up at the Staples Center on Sunday looking like they got beat up. We haven’t heard what happened but that’s why Del Rio was sporting a shiner in his bout against Christian.

- Scorpio Sky worked as the fireman during the Bray Wyatt vs. Kane Ring of Fire Match at SummerSlam on Sunday night. Sky previously portrayed Harold in the anger management skits.

- As I noted here on Twitter, CM Punk and Brock Lesnar received a standing ovation when they got backstage at SummerSlam. We’re told Triple H really put Punk over before heading out for the main event.

- Cody Rhodes, who is clean shaven once again, wrote the following on Twitter about retiring the mustache:

- William Regal performed with Mick Foley at his comedy show after SummerSlam in Los Angeles. Dolph Ziggler, Hornswoggle, JTG, Lilian Garcia and former Diva Candice Michelle were all there to support them.

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

- WWE has posted several kayfabe backstage interviews from SummerSlam. You can watch the entire playlist at this link.

- Roddy Piper wrote the following on Twitter regarding being left off the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” roster in WWE 2K14. His Tweet is below:

Maria Menounos Photos

The New York Daily News has some great photos of Maria Menounos’ match at SummerSlam Axxess on Sunday that you can view at this link.

- For those that missed it last week, Diamond Dallas Page and his “DDP Yoga” will be featured on HBO’s “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday at 9 PM ET/PT. You can watch a video preview at this link.

- Last week’s episode of WWE Smackdown, the go-home to SummerSlam, did an average viewing audience of 2,400,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up with a 1.83 cable rating.

- John Cena announced in the opening segment of this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw that his swollen elbow is due to a torn left triceps and it will require surgery to repair. Cena said he’ll be out 4-6 months for surgery and rehab. I heard last week Cena already had surgery scheduled for early this week, however, I was not told that he had a torn triceps. As far as I know this is the legitimate injury. You can watch video from the opening segment featuring Cena at this link.

- Prior to SummerSlam Randy Orton did an interview with NBC Sports Radio at this link. In it, he discussed ongoing problems with a disk he ruptured two years ago and loose shoulder capsules.

- The Rock wrote the following on Twitter regarding WWE SummerSlam:

- WWE has released Dante Dash from his developmental contract with the company.

- The Los Matadores vignette that aired on this week’s Monday Night Raw is for the repackaging of Primo & Epico.

- Ricardo Rodriguez has aligned with Rob Van Dam following the kayfabe breakup from Alberto Del Rio.

- Josh Stewart from Newsday has a new article online featuring quotes from Mick Foley where he reveals that he hopes to be Diamond Dallas Page’s next success story. In the piece, he discusses the stunning turnarounds of Jakes Roberts and Scott Hall.

“Scott has come a long way, mending his body but also his entire life,” said Foley, who wasn’t there while the HBO segment was being taped. “He’s learning how to be a healthier person but also a better dad.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Sin Cara appeared to break some fingers during his match with Alberto Del Rio on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. The injury happened when Cara dove out of the ring onto Del Rio. As soon as he landed the spot, he called for the referee. A camera shot showed several fingers clearly out of place.

- As previously reported on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Sin Cara suffered an injury to his fingers during a match with Alberto Del Rio on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. The official WWE website has provided an update on his condition, and revealed he suffered a dislocated ring finger. The article also provides some insight on the severity of the injury:

According to Sampson, an injury such as this does carry risk, which is why the bout was stopped and Sin Cara is currently slated to undergo further testing. “We’re going get X-rays tomorrow to make sure he doesn’t have an avulsion fracture,” said Sampson. “Hopefully we’ll be able to finger splint him and he’ll be able to wrestle, but it’ll be determined after x-rays tomorrow.”

Click here for more information.

- Los Matadores are coming to WWE, and their first vignette is now available at this link.

- Wade Barrett recently sat down with Sam Roberts and discussed his current position in WWE, leading Nexus, his elbow injury, and more. The interview is available at this link.

- Darren Young worked his first match on WWE television since coming out (See also - Darren Young – I’m A WWE Superstar And I’m Gay) on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Young tagged with his partner Titus O’Neil to oppose Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, turning the tag team into babyfaces.

Many were interested to see the reactions that Young would garner since coming out last week and we noticed a big pop. Young looked good in the ring and WWE booked the Prime Time Player over clean as the finish saw Young hit Gut Check on Cesaro and pin him for the victory.

- After WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, WWE Champion Randy Orton, Vince McMahon, Triple H and Stephanie left the ring. The Shield continued their attack on Daniel Bryan until Big Show, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Herny made the save. The babyfaces gained the advantage, clearing the ring to end the taping. They posed in the ring to “Yes” chants to send the crowd home happy.

- Ahead of the segment on HBO’s “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel that features Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts and Scott Hall, Hall posted his 5 month progress report at this link.

- The latest episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled “Prime Time Win” and is online now at this link.

- A new trailer for the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode on WWE 2K14 is now online at this link.

Backstage news & notes from Monday Night Raw in Anaheim…

- We’re told the opening segment of this week’s show ran long. One of the original plans was for Daniel Bryan to size up all the security guards and pick the biggest one and attack him until being pulled off. This was scrapped before the show went live.

- There is talk of pairing CM Punk with Daniel Bryan to feud with Triple H and Randy Orton. Under this scenario, Punk would do a worked shoot promo with Bryan about where they came from and how Punk had to threaten to quit before getting a push. He would focus on Hunter “holding guys down” and how they aren’t the model WWE guys and now they’re treating Bryan how they treated him. We’re told under this scenario, Paul Heyman would realign with Punk because the only thing they hate more than each other is the McMahons. Another proposed plan is to align Bryan with Shawn Michaels, like we’ve written about before.

- Sin Cara dislocated and possibly broke his ring finger in his match against Alberto Del Rio on Monday Night Raw. We’re told Del Rio was upset about Cara having the referee stop the match and that Cara was greeted with flak from backstage for quitting on that type of injury. One source said the heat is so hot on Cara, they wouldn’t be shocked if this is the last we see of him in a WWE ring.

- We’re told the pairing of Ricardo Rodriguez with Rob Van Dam was “super last minute” because Rey Mysterio wasn’t ready to come back. With that being said, they’re moving forward with RVD vs. Alberto Del Rio.

- Speaking of Del Rio, he was involved in bar fight over SummerSlam weekend that happened some time close to last call. Del Rio was out with Drew McIntyre when a group of guys said something derogatory to a woman that McIntyre was with. Del Rio stepped in and got hit with something, so McIntyre retaliated and beat one of the guys up. Meanwhile, Del Rio got worked over pretty good by another individual. No charges were filed but both Del Rio and McIntyre showed up for SummerSlam looking terrible and they had to put a lot of makeup on Del Rio. We’re told this is also why Del Rio bled quickly from his nose.

- The babyface turn of The Prime Time Players was due to Darren Young coming out and it’s how WWE is handling the mainstream media attention in storylines.

- The final segment of this week’s Monday Night Raw was criticized by many backstage. One observer said it “lacked wrestling logic,” because when there is a protagonist and an antagonist, it’s supposed to look like the protagonist has a chance. When there are four antagonists that control everything, the logic of how fans are supposed to buy it is out the window.

- This week’s episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,349,000 viewers on E. The show, which was up against WWE SummerSlam, saw a pullback in viewership but it was still above the premiere (which both WWE and E were happy about).

- This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,293,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:

Hour 1 – 4,076,000 viewers
Hour 2 – 4,485,000 viewers
Hour 3 – 4,333,000 viewers

The show ended up doing a 3.24 cable rating.

- The man that Ryback “bullied” in the shower backstage at Monday Night Raw was Christian Cole. Cole is regular for Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, working as a manager.

- As noted earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Sin Cara suffered a hand injury on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. You can watch where the injury occurred at this link.

- John Cena’s torn triceps will be surgically repaired by Dr. James Andrews. Cena was originally being treated for bursitis when a tear in his triceps was discovered. Below is a quote from WWE’s Dr. Michael Sampson published here on dot com:

“John has been dealing with a large left elbow bursitis,” said WWE’s Dr. Michael Sampson. “We did an MRI which showed a partial triceps tear. Being the warrior that he is, he did not want to have surgery [forcing him to cancel his SummerSlam match].”

- As noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE recently trademarked the names Torito and Torlito. There is a chance these names could be used under the repackaging of Primo & Epic as Los Matadores.

- Brodus Clay was interviewed by Gary Spears to promote the DVD release of the WWE Studios production “No One Lives.” Clay expressed frustration being left off the SummerSlam lineup but vowed to be ready when called upon. You can check the interview out at this link.

- Rey Mysterio told Arda Ocal that he’s now shooting for a return to WWE some time next month. His original goal, as we’ve noted on numerous occasions, was SummerSlam. You can watch Adra’s interview with Rey at this link. We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that the WWE creative team was informed they were to begin planning the return of Mysterio.

- Following an injury on this week’s Monday Night Raw, Sin Cara was in action prior to this week’s WWE Smackdown taping, defeating Damien Sandow in a dark match. After the match, Sin Cara posted a picture of his taped-up ring finger to Foursquare. Click here to view it.

- WWE has revealed the design of Randy Orton‘s WWE Championship side plates. An image of the side plates, which feature a snake and “RKO,” is available at this link.

- Paul Heyman recently spoke with Sam Roberts on a number of topics, including his relationship with the McMahons, what sets Brock Lesnar apart from other part-time talent, and more. The video is available at this link.

- San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California is currently a finalist to host WrestleMania 31, which will take place in 2015. Santa Clara, which is in the running along with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sent city leaders to meet with WWE officials two weeks ago, and will be sending leaders to Stamford next week to formally make a pitch. WWE has confirmed Santa Clara’s interest, as noted in the excerpt below:

The WWE confirmed Santa Clara’s interest and said the 2015 host city will be announced “early next year,” but declined to comment further. Generally, WWE officials seek a destination city that can accommodate the multiple events with smaller facilities, while having a stadium that can hold at least 60,000 fans. Wrestling blogs and Philadelphia media are abuzz about the City of Brotherly Love’s pitch for the event.

Though the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium will hold 68,500 fans for 49ers games when it opens next summer, it would balloon with temporary seating to a capacity of 75,000 for the Super Bowl and WrestleMania.

Click here to read the full article.

- John Cena had his torn triceps surgically repaired today by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. He posted the following update on Twitter regarding the procedure.

“Surgery went very well, Dr Andrews has more than done his part, now I will do mine.”

He subsequently added the following, with the accompanying photo of himself alongside Andrews.

Watch recent video of The Undertaker speaking normally ->

- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were at Gleasons Gym in Brooklyn, New York, today to announce “a huge partnership” with the milk industry—official details have yet to be disclosed.

- In the following video, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Dolph Ziggler and Paul Heyman discuss the authenticity of 2K Sports’ upcoming WWE 2K14 video game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXwLdAe-K6w[/youtube]

- Pro Wrestling Illustrated has announced that John Cena has been ranked No. 1 in the 2013 “PWI 500.”

The list, which is now in its twenty-third year, ranks the top five-hundred professional wrestlers in the world. During the evaluation period for the 2012 “PWI 500,” from June 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013, Cena triumphed over The Rock to claim the WWE Championship, won the annual Royal Rumble match, claimed the Money in the Bank briefcase and defeated CM Punk on two occasions.

With the honor, Cena is the first person to top the annual list on three occasions, surpassing two-time winners Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Triple H.

The top 10 is as follows: John Cena, CM Punk, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Bully Ray, Kazuchika Okada, Sheamus, Jeff Hardy, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Steen.

- Daniel Bryan spoke with Sam Roberts prior to SummerSlam about his recent fame, growing out his beard, what makes a WWE Superstar, and adapting to the WWE in-ring style. The interview is available at this link.

- Dolph Ziggler spoke with Arda Ocal ahead of SummerSlam last week and discussed his frustration with only having a mixed tag team match at the show, as well as frustration over his character’s stagnation since losing the World Heavyweight Championship. Ziggler went on to say that he envisioned either still holding the World Heavyweight Championship or remaining in the title picture at this point. The video is available at this link.

- The official WWE website posted an article today with quotes from John Cena, who recently underwent surgery.

“I plan on using the next couple months to rehab and get healthy as I can, as quickly as I can,” said Cena. “My goal is to return to WWE healthy and strong, and since my expected time away is only six months, this shouldn’t affect WrestleMania.”

Cena’s time out is still estimated between 4-6 months. Click here to view the full article.

- Ahead of Sunday’s WWE live event in Ontario, Inland Empire Weekly conducted an interview with United States Champion Dean Ambrose. Ambrose spoke about difference between working for a multinational corporation like WWE as opposed to the “Wild West” of the independent scene, as well as working to entertain viewers at home instead of only the live crowd. In the following excerpt, Ambrose discusses holding the United States Championship:

“That feels pretty good,” Ambrose said regarding his title. “That’s one of those things you don’t really realize how cool it is until you hold that belt in your hands for the first time and you hear the crowd.  Now for me the biggest part of it is elevating the belt. I don’t believe a championship makes a wrestler and a wrestler makes a champion. I have to raise the profile even higher than the championship and make everybody want it because I have it. I want my performance to be at the highest level of anybody in the company.  I want to make everybody step up to me. I’ll create my own challenges; I want to make sure the energy is pointing to me and the United States championship. I don’t want it to be a trinket.”

Click here to read the full article.

- This week’s WWE Inbox features Superstars and Divas discussing their favorite airline and movie. The video is available at this link.

- Triple H recently gave an extensive, in-depth look at his role in WWE in an interview with Grantland. Some highlights from the interview are below:

On a physical WWE Hall of Fame:

There are rumors that after the Performance Center, a physical Hall of Fame might be on the way.

Everybody always asks that question. Halls of fame are not a lucrative business. But here’s the bigger reason: If and when the time is right to do a Hall of Fame, it’s not just going to be a place where you walk in and say, “Oh, look, there’s a pair of trunks.” If we do it, it’ll be an immersive experience. With technology the way it is, a 4-D experience, whether it’s a ride, or, picture this: You walk into a locker room, lights go down, smoke comes out, and Andre the Giant walks out in a hologram and stands there and talks to you. That’s what it has to be. But is the Hall of Fame the priority? Absolutely not. It’s out there someplace in the stratosphere. But if we do it, it takes a lot of research because we want to do it right.

On bringing back Legends after burning bridges:

Speaking of Bruno, he was estranged from the WWF/WWE for decades. You spearheaded his Hall of Fame induction. Is your passion for the history where your drive to mend fences comes from?

Time goes on and everybody changes. I wasn’t there for the fences to fall apart, so it’s easier for me to go in there and say, “Can’t we just fix this now?” But it’s a long process. With Bruno, one day I went into Vince’s office and asked what he thought of Bruno in the Hall of Fame. He says, “It ain’t going to happen.” I say, “Would you care if I try?” He says, “Hey, if you want to waste your time, go ahead.” And it took eight months to get Bruno there. I think people think Vince sits in his office counting money and checking the list of people he hates. But he honestly doesn’t care. He’s moved on. Some guys will want to come back and have a personal meeting with Vince, and he’ll be like, “What do they want to meet with me personally for?” And I’ll say, “They just want to bury the hatchet.” And he says, “There is no hatchet.”

On the WWE Network:

The question you probably always get after the Hall of Fame is the WWE television channel.

If I had to say what is one priority we think about on a daily basis, that is one of them. But it’s not so easy to put together. It’s not the NFL Network. You have to think about how our business is different. Don’t look at us as a Mayweather or De La Hoya fight, look at it as Rocky. Rocky is a movie that just happens to be about boxing. It’s really about characters and story lines and relationships and all those things, and the backdrop is boxing. You can go back and watch the final fight in Rocky a thousand times. If you dig that movie, if you like the characters, you’ll watch the whole movie over and over.

But that’s a very limited number of people that go back and watch boxing matches, unless it’s like the Thrilla in Manila. But to go back and just watch a regular boxing match, or a Super Bowl, what’s the implications of that now? It doesn’t mean anything. Our stuff is different.

Click here to read the full interview.

- Triple H recently gave an extensive, in-depth look at his role in WWE in an interview with Grantland. Some highlights from the interview are below:

On Internet spoilers:

The night we brought Lesnar in, the fans were chanting his name, and Vince said to me, “How do they know we have Lesnar here?” They didn’t! They’d heard rumors that Lesnar was a possibility. But if you watched that crowd, they were f—ing blown away when he walked out there. And that’s the difference. People think they know, but they really don’t know any of the inner mechanics of what we do. Every now and then there’s something in there that will be right on, and I think that’s because talent put it out there. Talent hear things and that’s fine. We don’t really put much thought into it, to be quite honest. We just dislike when people ruin stuff for fans. It’s like telling kids Santa Claus is fake. Why do it? It doesn’t benefit anybody other than the ego of the person who put it out there. I never understood that. Why would you tell people what’s going on? Isn’t that the whole point of what we do, to keep them on the edge of their seats? I mean, yeah, we see where the Internet is going. We’re giving fans more access now and doing shows like Total Divas. But I laugh, like, when writers say “Oh, CM Punk laid the pipe bomb and lifted the fourth wall in a promo.” So let me get this straight, you think we put him out on TV, he broke f—ing everything we were supposed to do, and then sat down Indian-style and started blistering everybody, and we didn’t think Let’s take him off the air? If that would’ve been a shoot, it would’ve been off the air the second he started.

On the beginnings of his work in talent developmental:

I started in the office full-time a few years ago. Vince had been bugging me for a while, saying “When are you going to stop messing around in the ring and come get a real job?” So one time when I was injured, I shadowed him in the office for three months. I did everything he did. When I finally started full-time, he was like, “Take a few months. I want you to dig into everything. Have meetings with finance, dig into every part of this company and see what you think needs work.” And the thing I came back to him with was we have this huge global marketing juggernaut, but we’re a victim of our own success. We’ve shut down all the other territories. There’s almost no place for guys to go learn, and when they do, they’re learning how to work in a junior high in front of 50 people. It’s a completely different thing than working in front of 10,000 or a million on TV with a camera in your face.

So I started this little division called talent development. It was basically to build a bridge between creative and the developmental wrestlers. Now, other than Vince saying, “OK, you can have that amount of money,” he doesn’t have anything to do with it. Honest to god, he hasn’t even seen the Performance Center yet. He’s supposed to go next week.

On his Internet reputation:

There’s been a lot written about you on the Internet over the years.

I wish I had the brainpower and the wherewithal and the drive to be as maniacal and devious as people f—ing think I am. I’d be f—ing Darth Vader. I’d run the Empire, and I guess maybe that’s how some people see it, right? They’d say “Oh, he went in there and he buried this guy,” and it’s like, f—, I had nothing to do with that. I didn’t even know he was coming in until I saw him that day.

Click here to read the full interview.

- The official WWE website conducted an interview with NXT Diva Charlotte (daughter of Ric Flair), and discussed her entry into the wrestling business, having her father at her NXT debut, and more. In the following excerpt, Charlotte discusses paving her own legacy:

WWE.COM: Describe the experience of being able to pave your own legacy.

CHARLOTTE: I am not the same person I was a year ago because I have learned so much in WWE’s developmental system. Words cannot explain what we do. It is the toughest obstacle that I have ever tackled. Not only do you have to be an athlete, but you have to be an entertainer as well. I’ve always been a natural performer, but being an entertainer was foreign to me.  I try to incorporate some of my dad’s signature moves in with mine just because it is sentimental to me. Yes, I am my own person, but I will never want to go through my career without a part of him with me.

Click here to read the full interview.

- Natalya stars in the latest episode of WWE Outside The Ring. The video is available at this link.

- WWE has updated their Key Performance Indicators with the preliminary 2013 Money In The Bank buyrate. The show did an estimated 192,000 buys, compared to 188,000 buys in 2012 and 195,000 in 2011.

146,000 buys came from North America, while the remaining 46,000 buys were international.

The show was headlined by the Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Championship contract, which Randy Orton won. The show also featured John Cena vs. Mark Henry for the WWE Championship.

Click here to view WWE’s Key Performance Indicators.

- This week on WWE Superstars, Dolph Ziggler teams up with Kofi Kingston to take on The Prime Time Players. Plus, Zack Ryder squares off against Heath Slater. Courtesy of WWE’s official YouTube account, here are highlights from both matches.

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- Morkeith Brown, a 28-year-old professional football player, revealed to pittsburgh.scout.com that he declined an invitation to compete for a roster spot for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign a contract with WWE.

- WWE 2K14’s” “30 Years of WrestleMania” Mode will allow gamers the opportunity to relive more than 45 classic WrestleMania matches including Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania III, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, and Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a WrestleMania X Ladder Match. GamesRadar.com has published an article listing five WrestleMania matches they want in the game and five they don’t want to be relived.

- We noted earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com that SoCal Val has departed TNA Wrestling. I am now able to confirm that Val was in attendance at this week’s WWE NXT taping from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

- Former World Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg responded to an online rumor reported by the Wrestling Observer on Wednesday alleging that he is currently in negotiations with WWE to appear at WrestleMania XXX in April.

When asked through Twitter on Thursday whether the rumor is legitimate, he simply wrote “nope.”

- The official YouTube account of WWE has released this unseen Total Divas clip of the Funkadactlys going on a double-date with their respective boyfriends.

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- It was revealed during tonight’s WWE NXT tapings (spoilers available at this link) that Rob Van Dam & Fandango will be appearing at the next set of tapings, which will take place on September 12.

- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin spoke with Sam Roberts earlier this week about WWE 2K14, being happy with retirement, and his feelings on the longevity of the “What?” chants. The interview is available at this link.

- John Cena, who is currently recovering from surgery, recently surpassed 5 million Twitter followers. Cena tweeted out his thanks in the following tweet:

- This week’s episode of “The JBL & Cole Show” features the reveal of who shaved Cody Rhodes‘ mustache, and is available at this link.

- John Cena posted a picture of his surgically-repaired arm to his Twitter account. The tweet is below:

- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin spoke with Mike Dunsmore of NBC Sports Radio on the success of the Attitude Era, current stars he’s impressed with, a potential match with CM Punk, and more. The interview is available at this link.

- Promoting his newly released autobiography Wrestling with the Devil: The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler – His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption, Lex Luger spoke to Queen City Sports about growing up in Buffalo, his accomplished wrestling career and current life. During the interview, the two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion was asked if he could ever see Sting working for WWE in the future.

“As a friend I support whatever he does. As a fan I’d love to see him wrestle in the WWE someday,” said Luger. “Even if it’s just for one Wrestlemania. Him versus the Undertaker. Retire him and have him go into the Hall of Fame that same weekend. Man I’d love to see him and the Undertaker or somebody like that. I think the fans would love to see that.”

To read the interview, click here.

- Darren Young of The Prime Time Players will square off against Antonio Cesaro on tonight’s episode of SmackDown on Syfy. Regarding the bout, Young wrote the following message on Twitter.

- This week’s episode of WWE Superstars features Christian going one-on-one with Big E Langston. Plus, JTG returns to action in his first televised match since April as he squares off against Kofi Kingston.

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- WWE’s website photos of Randy Orton‘s WWE Championship, including customized Viper plates.

- Nikki Bella announced through social media that today is her first day rehabilitating her injured shin.

“Goin’ to get this shin stronger than ever!” she wrote on Instagram. “@briannagc you’re one of my inspirations! She’s been workin’ insanely hard!”

She then added on Twitter, “Sometimes your disappointments make you a stronger person for the future.” Day 1 of Rehab… N #BellaBootCamp.”

The one-time WWE Divas Champion has not wrestled since June. No timetable has been publicly given on her return to the ring.

- WWE has posted a preview clip of this Sunday’s episode of Total Divas on E! where The Bella Twins watch their boyfriends’ wrestle in a match on Raw.

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- It was announced on this week’s Friday Night Smackdown (full results at this link) that CM Punk will face Curtis Axel on next week’s Monday Night Raw.

Axel, along with Paul Heyman, challenged Punk on Smackdown. Punk tweeted the following reply, making the match official:

TNA News

- Velvet Sky says she missed the Hardcore Justice themed episode of Impact Wrestling due to “an extreme emergency scare.” She says she is “OK now.” The following is from Twitter:

Velvet’s former tag team partner and friend, Angelina Love, addressed Velvet’s absence for her on Friday. We posted her comments here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- I heard something recently regarding the long-term vitality of TNA Wrestling. One of the things I always tell people when they bring up the possibility of TNA “going out of business” is that they will exist as long as Panda Energy, their parent company, continues to support them. Well, there is actually some good news on that front. I’m being told that Viacom, the parent company of Spike TV and Bellator MMA, loves the TNA brand and would consider buying the company should that opportunity ever arise. Now, let me be clear. My source cautioned no one is suggesting TNA is for sale and we can confirm that no talks of this sort have taken place, but it’s interesting that Viacom likes TNA to the point where they would entertain the possibility of bankrolling them. One of the things Viacom is very happy with is the rub TNA has been able to give Bellator and they like the idea of co-promoting the companies on their television network.

- TNA Wrestling tried to revamp the X-Division back in March by giving specific and unique rules to all of the divisional matches (which can be read here). The X-Division was the focal point this summer on Impact Wrestling. However, Hulk Hogan just announced on his official Twitter account that the X-Division matches will now be contested in one-on-one matches. Below is the official tweet:

- While I still do not have full details on Devon’s employment with TNA Wrestling, he is now accepting independent bookings through Bill Behrens. Devon was the Aces and Eights member that got pinned in what will air as this week’s main event of Impact Wrestling. The stipulation was that whoever lost the match had to leave the company.

- TNA Wrestling just released a video for One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown. The One Night Only special will air exclusively on pay-per-view on Friday September 5, 2013.

- TNA Wrestling also released the opening video to this week’s Impact Wrestling. You can check it out below. Remember to join us for our Live Watch Party right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com starting at 8:30PM EDT.

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- TNA Wrestling‘s website is running a story between their star Bobby Roode and Howard Stern‘s show. Here’s an exert from the article:

For two consecutive days, Howard Stern has played clips of the Impact Wrestling Podcast with Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme, where the “It Factor” Bobby Roode has engaged in a bitter verbal war with long time Stern guest, Eric “the Actor” Lynch.

“I can’t stand him. He’s every time he’s on Stern it is like nails on a chalk board. And then that idiot Borash brings him backstage as an invited guest and all he does is hang around the knockouts locker room waiting for something to drop on the floor so he can pick it up and sniff it, or lurking around looking for free t-shirts. He shouldn’t be invited anywhere. He’s a moron.” Roode tells ImpactWrestling.com.

Eric has responded by going on record as saying he would never cheat like Roode has, and judging by his slow start in the BFG Series, and the success of James Storm, Bobby Roode was really the weak link of Beer Money.

Roode has invited Eric to Bound For Glory in San Diego. Will he take him up on his offer? Stay tuned!

As it looks, this could set up for the celebrity type feud for Bound for Glory this coming October. To check the full story as well as the audio podcasts and messages, click here.

- TNA Wrestling has announced a new way to provide everyone with coverage before, during, and after Impact Wrestling. It’s called Impact Interactive!. The company will start a half hour show before Impact Wrestling, starting at 8:30PM ET and it will be titled Impact Interactive Preshow. They will start to provide an exclusive “Second Screen Experience” during the commercial breaks. At 11PM ET, they will have Impact Interactive Post Show. All of the information and the links to the shows can be found at this link.

- TNA Wrestling has shifted their focus on lower priced talent when looking for additions as part of new cost cutting measures. This includes but is not limited to talent from Ring of Honor, talent overseas and former names working on the domestic indies. Expect this to continue as the company feels the product has not been hurt by recent roster cuts.

- We are able to confirm that Brooke Hogan’s release from TNA Wrestling was twofold. While her release was done as part of budget cuts, there was another reason.

Brooke’s public announcement of her high-profile engagement to Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Phil Costa got her a lot of heat. We’e told she basically “ruined” the legitimacy of the Bully Ray angle. It was this, combined with the fact she was making more than most of the Knockouts on the roster and wasn’t even wrestling, that made her expendable.

- In other Hogan news, we’re told TNA has approached Hulk Hogan about taking another pay cut. The company is trying to spin it as a contract extension as they are willing to commit to a lengthier deal at a lower rate. The hope is he’ll agree to lower pay for a longer commitment.

Sources close to Hogan do not see him agreeing.

- Another talent has parted ways with TNA Wrestling as SoCal Val announced her departure from the organization on Thursday evening.

“Thank u #ImpactWrestling ,the lockerroom & esp the fans for 9 wonderful years. No longer w the company. Really excited 2 see what’s NEXT!”

- TNA Wrestling has released the following video previewing its One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown pay-per-view event premiering Friday, September 6.

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Here is the official synopsis for the event: “TNA WRESTLING PRESENTS ONE NIGHT ONLY: KNOCKOUTS KNOCKDOWN. Join TNA WRESTLING for one special event, spotlighting the most athletic and beautiful women in professional wrestling, including GAIL KIM, ALYSSA FLASH, IVELIEZE, LEI D TAPA, TARA, MIA YIM, MISS TESSMACHER, SANTANA, ODB, TRINITY, TARYN TERRELL, JACKIE MOORE, HANNAH BLOSSOM, SOJO, TAELER HENDRIX, VELVET SKY, JILLIAN HALL, MICKIE JAMES, SERENA. The winner of each individual match will advance on to one final match of the evening! A gauntlet match where the last two women standing will battle to see who is truly “The Queen of the Knockouts”. TNA WRESTLING PRESENTS ONE NIGHT ONLY: KNOCKOUTS KNOCKDOWN. Premiering Friday, September 6th on Pay Per View.”

- Devon took to Twitter right after Impact Wrestling and wrote about his time with TNA Wrestling. Below are the tweets:

In an interesting note, Devon’s profile has already been removed from Impact Wrestling’s official website. However, the profiles of Brooke Hogan and So Cal Val remain on the site. We were able to confirm Brooke’s release last week and So Cal Val just announced her departure earlier tonight. Also, we last reported that the word going around is that Devon would be replacing D-Lo Brown as an agent. The role of Devon on whether he is really still with the company is unknown at this time.

- Matt Hardy gave his thoughts on his official Twitter tonight about Impact Wrestling. In the tweets, he praises Sonjay Dutt, Austin Aries, and the Knockout division. He reveals that Bully Ray can still get a reaction that is so hard to get in this day and age. He goes on to praise TNA Wrestling from their talent, TV partner, and their passion. He states that everyone should want them to thrive. Below are the tweets:

- We’re told that Bellator MMA has reached to Kimbo Slice’s representatives about bringing him in under the Bellator banner. Slice is yet another talent that Viacom would like to see work as a crossover star in TNA Wrestling. The hangup on the deal has been a complication with Slice’s boxing contract, which could be too big of a legal headache to get him signed. Slice was reportedly contacted a few weeks before the Tito Ortiz deal was announced when Bellator was exploring a lot of their options. Now that Tito has signed, the Kimbo deal may no longer be one of interest.

– TNA Wrestling has released the following footage of Dixie Carter presenting an emotional TJ Perkins, who portrays X Division Champion Manik, with an official TNA Wrestling contract.

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- Sam Shaw, who has been absent from TNA television since June, has not returned to Ohio Valley Wrestling after being assigned there late last year, reports the Wrestling Observer. According to Shaw’s Twitter account, he is currently residing in Florida and appearing for various independent promotions.

- Last night’s Impact Wrestling received an average of 1,246,000 viewers. TNA Wrestling tried to advertise the show as Hardcore Justice Part 2. The show, however, saw a decline in viewership from last week. We will let you know the rating of the show when it comes in.

Ask WNW

What happened to Alberto Del Rio? Did he get his black eye from one of his earlier matches?

Alberto Del Rio and Drew McIntyre, who are very good friends in real life, went out over SummerSlam weekend and apparently got into a physical altercation with some people. I don’t know the details but I know Del Rio showed up for work with a black eye/bruised face. The story is being blown up to be more than it really is. Wrestlers going out and getting rowdy is nothing new. You can read my initial report at this link.

With what happened at SummerSlam and Triple H “screwing” Daniel Bryan, do you see possible Evolution reunion?

Many people (me included) felt it was an inevitable possibility that Randy Orton would “cash in” the Money in the Bank briefcase and walk out the WWE Champion at SummerSlam. I don’t think many people saw Triple H being the one to make it happen. All kinds of questions are raised as to what the alliance entails and the Evolution reunion talk began immediately. I haven’t heard what the creative plans are but I agree with the Orton “cash in” and think the Hunter alliance adds an extra element that will entices people to watch Raw.

With the departure of Brooke Hogan from TNA, do you see Hulk Hogan sticking around?

I am still gathering details behind Brooke Hogan’s release from TNA Wrestling but the initial word is that it was budget related. Hulk Hogan always said it was Dixie Carter’s move to bring Brooke in and not his own doing. I think a lot of people have a hard time believing that but that’s his story and I guess he’s sticking to it. One aspect I don’t think has been examined is Hulk Hogan agrees to do WWE 2K14 and Brooke ends up without a job with TNA. Could it be a coincidence? Absolutely. However, those that look at Hogan’s inclusion in WWE 2K14 as “no big deal” aren’t seeing the full picture. We have more at this link.

WWE had the opportunity to create a “classic moment” with Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam and instead, the rub went to Randy Orton. Does anyone else feel this way?

You are not the only one that feels this way as our own Sean Hopkins voiced this very point immediately following the pay-per-view. I respect Sean Hopkins and his opinion as much as anyone’s opinion in this business, however, we disagree here. The “swerve” of Randy Orton “cashing in” on Daniel Bryan is a “win” for everyone. First, WWE is able to turn Orton heel and create another interesting aspect with a Triple H alliance. Also, and I think this is the most important, I feel this increases the stock of Daniel Bryan. People in the building were livid that Daniel Bryan was “screwed” and that increases the heat on Orton while increasing the pops for Bryan. The WWE fan base is behind Bryan more now than ever before and people will pay to see him chase the title. I do agree that WWE had the opportunity to create a “moment” with Bryan leaving SummerSlam as champion but I think this way could actually be more effective.

Maybe it’s just me, but seeing the McMahons, Hunter and chosen champ Randy Orton, just screamed to me the new corporation and maybe Daniel Bryan as the next rebel like Stone Cold.

I absolutely liken the current WWE title situation and subsequent Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan program to the Corporation faction of the Attitude Era. This week’s Monday Night Raw was largely forgettable until the final segment, which I felt was well done. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic over Daniel Bryan out to oppose the McMahon family and being “beat down” as a result. One of the reasons I was in favor of Orton “cashing in” on Bryan [at SummerSlam] is because I felt it would increase crowd reactions on both sides. If this week’s Raw was any indication that is exactly what has happened. Despite his very brief WWE title reign, Daniel Bryan is more over now than he ever has been in his entire career. Could Bryan be the next Steve Austin? We’re off to a good start and it’s exciting to see it evolve.

How do you feel Randy Orton’s run as the “Corporate Champion” will compare to the runs of The Rock, Steve Austin, etc?

With John Cena out, it’s up to Randy Orton to carry WWE. He has finally regained the trust of Vince McMahon following last year’s Wellness Policy violation and is now the top heel in the company. I don’t want to “wish away” the program with Daniel Bryan but I want to see a feud between Orton and CM Punk for the WWE title. WWE would be best suited to leave the belt on Orton for a while to help establish his new spot as the top heel.

With John Cena’s injury and his upcoming 4-6 month absence from the ring, there will be many superstars willing and able to step up to the plate. How do you see such an extended absence for “the face of the franchise” affecting his status in the company?

John Cena will still be the “face of WWE” when he returns from injury but let’s face it, Cena needs some time off. I’ve heard over the course of the last year WWE officials were worried about Cena burning out physically and mentally and while no one wants to see it happen like this, some time away should be good for him. I worry the Cena character is as stale as ever but WWE doesn’t appear to changing it anytime soon.

Considering the fact that this will be the 4th time Sin Cara will have been out for an injury since he signed, and on the first move of the match no less, should WWE just cut their losses with him?

The stock of Sin Cara seems to be at an all-time low. It just hasn’t worked out. WWE hoped they would sign him and have a seamless transition from Rey Mysterio, however, Cara’s run in WWE has been marred by a Wellness violation and injuries. I don’t want to see anyone lose their job but Cara’s run in WWE has not worked.

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