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, July 27, 2013 to Friday, August 2, 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!
- WWE Over the Limit is now officially listed as WWE Battleground. You can see the first promotional information for the show at this link. We broke the news of the change earlier in the week. 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.
- The Bella Twins and Natalya have been making the media rounds to promote Sunday's premiere of "Total Divas" on E. Check out the following appearances below:
The Bella Twins on The Couch on CBS WLNY:
Natalya on FoxNews.com:
Join us Sunday at 10 PM EDT here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com for live play-by-play coverage of "Total Divas" on E.
- There are nothing to rumors of Stacy Keibler returning to WWE.
- Brie Bella said her wardrobe malfunction at this week's Monday Night Raw was a complete accident. She said she was "taped in" and the humidity in the building caused it to give way. Bella said she apologized because she was embarrassed and will be wearing more tape. If you missed what happened, click here.
- For those looking to purchase tickets to the December 15th WWE TLC pay-per-view from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, you can do so at this link with the password HOUSTON.
- The September 30th episode of Monday Night Raw will take place from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. Tickets go on sale August 3rd, 2013. Thanks to Devin Cutting.
- One of Booker T's wrestling students, Robbie Gilmore, worked a tryout match against Justin Gabriel at Wednesday night's Smackdown tapings in Corpus, Christi, Texas. Booker had several of his students at TVs this week.
- Jake Roberts will appear in a Kickstarter funded film called "Heavy Water." You can read coverage of it by ABC News at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Jake Siem for sending this in.)
- R&B singer Monica Brown took her children to Friday night's WWE live event in Atlanta, Georgia. She Tweeted photos from Instagram than you can view on her official Twitter account. Make sure you follow us at Twitter.com/wnwnews.
- Matt Hardy and Reby Sky have set their wedding date for October 5, 2013. You can check out all the wedding details at this link.
- John Layfield will be taking time off from WWE television to prepare for his next mountain climb. JBL announced in this video he'll climb Mt. Blanc and make a "big announcement" once he reaches the peak.
- Former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis continued to publicly bury The Bella Twins on Twitter during the premiere of "Total Divas." Kanellis made it clear she was a fan of Natalya and The Funkadactyls but had sharp words for Brie and Nikki. The following is from Twitter:
Hahahaha ha!!!! The Bellas are vets?
— Maria Kanellis (@MariaLKanellis) July 29, 2013
Every time the Bellas say they are vets it makes me want to vomit! #askfirstladymaria
— Maria Kanellis (@MariaLKanellis) July 29, 2013
Awwwww poor Bellas. Kharma is a bitch. @TotalDivasE but I feel bad for the Funkadactyls.
— Maria Kanellis (@MariaLKanellis) July 29, 2013
— Maria Kanellis (@MariaLKanellis) July 29, 2013
- Josh Stewart of Newsday reviewed "Total Divas" following the premiere on Sunday night at this link.
- Chris Jericho was asked for his thoughts on Daniel Bryan and after putting him over, Jericho made a bold prediction. The following is from Twitter:
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) July 28, 2013
- CM Punk did an interview with Laurence Holmes on the CBS affiliate out of Chicago over the weekend. Below are some notes:
Punk said he doesn't think he met Brock Lesnar until he returned to WWE last year. He said a lot of people say they are very similar by being unapproachable with a bad attitude but Punk says he has no bad stories about Brock yet.
The former 434-day WWE Champion said his reputation doesn't upset him. If he's in a bad mood, he wears it on his sleeve. Punk said he is not overly malicious about it and it doesn't bother him. He said he could care less what people who are misinformed say about him.
Punk said he absolutely believes Vince McMahon looks at him differently. He said their relationship is something that constantly changes and it's different today from where it was in April.
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- Below is some more Twitter reaction from the premiere of "Total Divas":
I'm just sayin... Pretty unrealistic that newbies would come in with that attitude. Just doesn't happen or your life is miserable.
— Jillian Hall (@Jillianhall1) July 29, 2013
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) July 29, 2013
That's a wrap! Until next Sunday! Hope you all loved #TotalDivas !!! All 7 of us are excited to bring you all into our lives! Besos! B&N
— The Bella Twins (@nicoleandbri) July 29, 2013
The girls kept it so real! Felt like I was back in the locker room LOL! It was awesome seeing the girls shine tonight #TotalDivas
— Eve Torres (@EveMarieTorres) July 29, 2013
- We're told the latest plan was to do Mark Henry & Big Show vs. The Shield at SummerSlam. The only thing keeping the match from being made official is the return of Big Show. As we reported last week, the company felt that having him return as scheduled on last week's Monday Night Raw was overly optimistic as there are still some injury concerns with him.
The program between Bray Wyatt and Kane is that Bray is trying to get Kane to "come home" and join them. The original plan was for The Undertaker to return but that didn't get done. Compiled with injury concerns, we're told Undertaker didn't show interest and other elements were not to his liking.
- In an attempt to clear up the Stacy Keibler/WWE return rumors, here's is what we know. E originally wanted a "big name" on the "Total Divas" reality show and Stacy "would have been perfect." There was some discussion between executives from the network (likely Bonnie Hammer, although I can't confirm that) and WWE about what they would pay her and Stacy was believed to be on board.
However, Stacy was against the WWE travel schedule and said she wanted limited dates to return. Talks eventually broke down and Vince wouldn't budge on the deal he wanted. While the rumor was to involve Stacy with Daniel Bryan apparently the talk was feuding her with the Bellas. All of course are a moot point as WWE is not talking with Keibler.
- The premiere of "Total Divas" on E! did an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers with a 1.1 cable rating on Sunday. WWE and E! issued the following press release:
E!'S "TOTAL DIVAS" SERIES PREMIERE DELIVERS 1.3 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS ON SUNDAY NIGHT AT 10PM
New E! Series Taking Viewers Inside the World of WWE Divas Both Inside and Outside the Ring Delivers E!'s Most Watched Series Debut Since "Married to Jonas" in August 2012
In last night's series debut at 10pm, "Total Divas" delivered 1.3 MM Total Viewers / 855K A18-49 / 1.1 HH rtg making it E!'s most-watched new series debut since Married to Jonas in August 2012.
"Total Divas" was the 2ndmost social program in all ad-supported cable for the day (65K), behind only E!'s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
Across both airings at 10pm and midnight, "Total Divas" delivered 2 MM Total Viewers and 1.3 MM in its core demo, A18-49.
"Total Divas" launched off the back of the continued strength of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," which delivered its 2ndmost-watched telecast of Season 8 with 2.8 MM Total Viewers.
- WWE officially announced that Battleground will replace Over the Limit in October. Below is their official announcement in its entirety:
On Sunday, Oct. 6, WWE pay-per-view returns to Buffalo, N.Y., for the first time in two years with an all-new, landmark event: WWE Battleground!
Taking place at Buffalo's First Niagara Center, tickets for the huge debut go on sale this Saturday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. ET and will be available at the box office and Tickets.com.
Featuring all of the top WWE Superstars and Divas — including WWE Champion John Cena, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Randy Orton and more — the inaugural WWE Battleground is sure to be a spectacular that no WWE fan will want to miss.
There’s just no telling what type of action is in store for members of the WWE Universe when the world's top competitors converge on one the United States’ true wrestling hotbeds, Buffalo!
We broke the news of the pay-per-view name change last week and officially confirmed it on Saturday.
- The fiancé of Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, is defending her rant against the Bella Twins. The following is from Twitter:
Funny that the same people who complain about what's wrong w wrestling, are the same ones who blast someone when they speak out against it.
— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) July 29, 2013
Nobody gets anywhere by going w the crowd. stand up for what u believe in, or just keep ur mouth shut and follow blindly.
— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) July 29, 2013
I respect someone who has the balls to speak up,and if that makes them bitter and jealous.What does it make the ones who r afraid to speak
— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) July 29, 2013
Maria has publicly accused Brie and Nikki Bella of blocking her return to WWE earlier this year and had no problem with sharp comments towards them during the premiere of "Total Divas" on Sunday night.
Those interested in my thoughts on the feud can read them in Monday's installment of Ask WNW.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,650,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up with a 1.92 cable rating.
- Championship Wrestling from Hollywood has announced that Matt Striker will join their announce team and is scheduled to start at their August 11th television taping. Click here for more information.
- Jim Ross checked in with a new blog on his official website at this link.
- Kane returned to WWE Monday Night Raw on this week's show that was taped last Tuesday for a singles match against Daniel Bryan. Kane "did the honors" before being taken out by The Wyatt Family.
- The latest Doritos Jacked contestant winner gets their question answered by Rob Van Dam. You can watch at this link.
- While this will probably shock no one, "Total Divas" does feature scripted segments for the sake of entertainment, however, the segment where Cameron's boyfriend Vincent got upset at Brodus Clay after Wrestlemania 29 dress rehearsals was a shoot.
- Do you think Stephanie McMahon should give Daniel Bryan a corporate makeover? Vote in this poll on dot com.
- WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 will take place Sunday, October 27, 2013 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Tickets officially go on sale the Saturday before SummerSlam on August 17, 2013. There will be an online presale in the days leading up to Saturday.
- The latest episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw is now online at this link.
- This week's taped episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 3,768,000 viewers on the USA Network. The hours broke down as follows:
Hour 1 - 3,662,000 viewers
Hour 2 - 3,896,000 viewers
Hour 3 - 3,746,000 viewers
The show ended up with a 2.87 cable rating.
In other ratings news, the repeat of "Total Divas" drew an average viewing audience of 1,530,000 viewers on the USA Network. This was good enough to top the first run airing of the show from Sunday night on E. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the premiere of "Total Divas" drew an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers.
- There was an incident at Tuesday's WWE live event in Cape Town, South Africa involving a fan and Randy Orton. According to multiple eyewitness accounts, a fan hopped the guardrail and delivered a shot to Orton's groin while he was celebrating his victory over Big E Langston.
Accounts differ as to whether or not Orton made physical contact with the fan but he did give them the middle finger as security was dragging them away. Security in the building beefed up for the remainder of the evening after the incident.
- WWE is covering the Randy Orton fan attack in South Africa on dot com, raising questions of its legitimacy. The company posted the following on their official website:
WWE.com has learned that Randy Orton was violently attacked by an audience member during a SmackDown World Tour Live Event in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday evening. Footage of the attack was captured by a WWE fan and posted to YouTube, and shows the perpetrator striking Orton from behind. The matter is currently under investigation by the local authorities, and the South African fan is being held in jail pending criminal charges. The extent of Orton's injuries are unknown at this time.
WWE also posted a new Youtube video of the attack at this link.
- Jim Ross has a new blog on his official website with his thoughts on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw at this link.
- Tickets for WWE Battleground go on sale on Saturday, August 3 at 10 AM. They'll be priced from $27.50-$402.50 and will be available at Tickets.com. WWE Battleground, which replaces WWE Over the Limit, will take place Sunday, October 6, 2013.
- Last week we updated on Santino Marella, reporting that he was looking to return to WWE in September. Santino Tweeted a new update that you can read below:
Started running hills in preparation for my return this September, #deathmeat
— Santino Marella (@milanmiracle) July 31, 2013
- CM Punk sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch at Tuesday night's Chicago Cubs game. You can view a photo below:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 31, 2013
- Big E Langston Tweeted the following about the Randy Orton fan attack from Tuesday in South Africa:
That's not exactly what we mean by "intimate fan experience." #WWECapeTown
— Big E Langston (@BigELangston) July 30, 2013
Langston was Orton's opponent before the incident happened.
- CM Punk was on SportsTalk Live in Chicago on Tuesday prior to his appearance at the Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. He opened the appearance by talking about Chicago sports and wrestling and transitioned to a game of word association. Below is recap of that:
Daniel Bryan: Second best wrestler in the world
John Cena: Company man
Brock Lesnar: Challenging
Randy Orton: (after a pause) Money in the Bank
CM Punk: I would probably say a bunch of self deprecating negative stuff. You know, he's got a double chin. He's kind of fat. He talks too much, you know. His face is all scarred up.
Paul Heyman: Paul Heyman is a bad egg. I'd like to see Paul Heyman try to run the bases.
You can watch the appearance at this link.
- We noted Wednesday morning here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that WWE was covering the fan attack on Randy Orton in South Africa on Tuesday, thus calling into question the legitimacy of the incident. As it turns out, the entire thing looks to have been staged.
The crazed "fan" was actually identified as local South African independent wrestler The Blacksmith. WrestleZone.com posted three eyewitness accounts that identified the wrestler.
As soon as WWE started hyping the "violent attack" on social media and dot com, it was evident it was more than an unruly fan. When legitimate incidents happen at WWE shows, the company does all they can to prevent from giving them attention.
For example, there was a legitimate fight in the crowd at Monday Night Raw in May where WWE pulled the cameras in tight and didn't acknowledge what happened. Once live reports started coming in about the incident in South Africa, WWE posted the following on their verified Twitter account:
— WWE (@WWE) July 31, 2013
So while I haven't spoken with any of my sources within the company about the incident, it does not appear to be a real-life situation but rather a staged publicity stunt.
- Jerry Lawler was on local news Wednesday morning to discuss the tragic death of Corey Maclin. You can watch his comments at this link. As reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Maclin died Tuesday night following a single car accident in Mississippi. He was 43.
- Mark Henry is scheduled to appear at the X Games in Los Angeles, California on Thursday.
- The real name of the local independent wrestler that attacked (or "attacked") Randy Orton at the WWE live event in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday has been identified as 20-year-old Tshepo Sekhabi.
According to the South African website eNCA.com, Orton is free to pursue criminal charges against Sekhabi for undisclosed injuries to his groin. The attacker apparently suffered a black eye after being kicked in the head by Orton. He was not arrested but was thrown out of the hotel that was hosting the event.
Richard Reacts: This is the only "official" report I've seen of the incident and I use the term official very loosely here. If accurate, this report already differs from WWE's claim the fan was "being held in jail pending criminal charges." At this point who knows but we should find out one way or the other soon enough.
- Drew McIntyre wrote the following on Twitter:
Sorry all I'm not on tour, @WWE and I are in final stages of my green card process. Thx for asking me to stay,u like me, u really like me 🙂
— Drew McIntyre (@TheDrewMcIntyre) July 31, 2013
- WWE Studios is teasing "big news." Check out WWE's official films division on Facebook at this link.
- From the "where are they now?" file, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has an article on former WWE star Rico. In it, the publication reports he has regained his job as a Taxicab Authority law enforcement officer. Rico was reportedly fired after video surfaced of his engaged in a wrestling match while he was on light duty for a non-work related injury has won his job back. You can check out the article in its entirety at this link.
- Dot com has a "where are they now?" piece on Mideon. The former WWE star now operates his own catering company. You can read their piece at this link.
- Randy Orton's attacker was profiled by You Magazine TV in a new video at this link.
- The yoga studio of Trish Stratus has won another award. Brian has the details here on TrishStratus.com.
- 2K Sports and WWE will release a special edition of WWE 2K14 themed around The Undertaker. The collector's edition will include special Undertaker packaging in the shape of a coffin, The "American Badass" Undertaker character and The Ultimate Warrior as downloadable characters, Undertaker controller skin, DVD/Blu-Ray feature on Undertaker, collectible art card signed by Undertaker.
- WWE reps contacted me on behalf of WrestlingNewsWorld.com to confirm the Randy Orton attack in South Africa was not part of a storyline. They sent along the following statement:
“On Tuesday night at a WWE live event, Randy Orton was attacked in the ring from behind by a South African fan, who is being held by authorities pending criminal charges. Thankfully, Randy is well enough to continue performing on the tour in South Africa.”
For those that missed it, there was an incident following Orton vs. Big E Langston at Tuesday night's WWE live event in Cape Town, South Africa. After Orton's victory, a member of the audience, identified as 20-year-old Tshepo Sekhabi, jumped in the ring and delivered a "low blow" to Orton's groin as he was celebrating in the corner. Sekhabi was quickly retained and Orton responded by delivering double middle fingers.
A clear video of the incident is available at this link.
- WWE reported their 2013 second quarter financial results prior to market open on Thursday morning. In them, were the official pay-per-view buyrates of the quarter. They are as follows:
Wrestlemania 29 - 1,039,000 buys (compared to 1,217,000 as Wrestlemania XXVIII in 2012)
Extreme Rules - 231,000 buys (compared to 263,000 in 2012)
WWE Payback - 186,000 buys (compared to 194,000 as No Way Out in 2012)
Vince McMahon will host a conference call at 11 AM EDT to discuss the earnings with investors. We'll be on the call and have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- To follow-up on an earlier item regarding Undertaker not working SummerSlam, we are able to confirm the determining factor came down to money.
Undertaker realizes at this point in his career he doesn't have many matches left and couldn't justify doing a match on a major pay-per-view that was essentially a midcard tag match (the bout was believed to be a tag match with Kane against The Shield). According to a source speaking under the condition of anonymity, Undertaker wanted "certain financial assurances" on what his payoff would be. When he was unable to get those assurances, he chose to sit this one out.
As of this writing Undertaker is expected to work Wrestlemania XXX next year.
Richard Reacts: I don't want this article to put Undertaker in a negative light. He, like Steve Austin, knows the risks that working a match poses to his body. He doesn't need the money but isn't going to work for less than he feels a match out of his body is worth. I do not blame him and others shouldn't either. This is the business side of things.
- E! was so pleased with the audience for the premiere of "Total Divas" they sent the cast members bottles of champagne to celebrate. You can view a photo of Nikki Bella with her bottle here on Instagram.
We reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com that the premiere of "Total Divas" was E!'s most watched series debut since "Married to Jonas" debuted in August 2012. The repeat after Monday Night Raw on the USA Network actually topped the first run airing.
Click here for more ratings data.
- Former Falcons offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka is pursuing a career in pro wrestling now that his NFL career has ended. Daniel Cox has the story here at AtlantaFalcons.com.
- JBL reached the top of the French Alps on Wednesday. The climb was part of his Seven Summits campaign to benefit children. JBL's wife, Meredith Whitney, is on the climb with him.
The West Australian has a new article featuring quotes from Zack Ryder where he discusses bringing social media to WWE's attention. Click here to read it.
- WWE held a conference call with investors on Thursday to go over the company's 2013 Second Quarter Financial Results. I was on the call on behalf of WrestlingNewsWorld.com and compiled the following notes:
Michael Weiz opened the call by reading a prepared statement. Vince McMahon and WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios will be joining us on today's call.
Vince McMahon said there is no sense in dwelling on their performance and that they were a little bit below of where they thought they were going to be. Vince said they do know what they are doing, by the way and put over the fact that Wrestlemania 29 was their highest grossing pay-per-view in their history (official statement). Vince talked about growing their audience through "Total Divas" by attracting women. He said to quote an E! executive, the show was a "home run." He said the reality series gives them the opportunity to do more things like this.
McMahon said ratings for Raw and Smackdown are about the same but they've increased their television viewership overall. He put over their upcoming animation projects with WWE Studios and working in partnership with The Bridge Direct (details here). Vince discussed the upcoming John Cena line in Kmart and sponsorships for the company. McMahon said WWE is a safe environment to be associated with and pointed to deals with Kraft and Doritos. He said Fruity Pebbles has renewed their sponsorship of the company.
Vince said they're finishing up a overseas tour that has gone very well. McMahon put over social media growth and said they have a lot of "what they call products" coming out as well. He said they're leading social media in terms of how it's used. Vince said they are using the WWE App, which has close to 7 million downloads, to provide so much viewer interaction so no one changes the channel. He said it's more than stats and things other networks try to do but there is programming there. Vince said he knows they are trying to teach the audience how to watch television again. He said no one can do it like they can.
McMahon talked about global markets, including the UK and negotiations in India. Vince said they have been undervalued in the United States but that will not be the case going forward. Vince talked about the opening of the WWE Performance Center and the ability to attract "so many more individuals" from all over the world. He talked about talents that made their debuts at Wrestlemania this year. Vince said it takes time for talents to "get over" but they have a plethora of good talent in their developmental system.
Vince said those are some of the metrics that should be considered when evaluating what he considers a lousy quarter from a financial standpoint. Vince handed the call over from George Barrios.
George outlined the numbers like only he can. While he crunched a lot of numbers, the talk regarding the WWE Network was very vague. Barrios pointed towards the company's research for a network and the potential for a paid subscriber base. He continuously referred to it as "a potential network."
The line was then opened for a question and answer session.
A caller wanted an update on the WWE Network. Vince McMahon said all the options were open for them. He talked about television deals coming up and the potential WWE Network being tied to that. George Barrios talked about the increased ticket prices and they have to do with premium seating.
A caller asked Vince McMahon to talk about what the company has learned in terms of how they do movies. Vince said they explored a number of models but have found the right one with the success of "The Call." Vince said they need to broaden their footprint in everything they do and WWE Studios is making money for them now.
Vince talked about talent roles in films. He said in addition to John Cena, The Miz and Randy Orton carried starring roles in a smaller scale in straight-to-DVD projects. He put over the supporting roles in major films.
WWE's contracts with the USA Network for Monday Night Raw and with SyFy for Smackdown are up at the end of the year. Vince talked about lesser sports getting huge rights fees but said they are poised more than anything is out there to garner double or "who knows" how much more about what they are now getting. Vince said they are the last major franchise left.
George Barrios said they invested more on the talent side and production side for Wrestlemania 29. He would not go into specifics as to what they paid The Rock. He said the event overall was about a million dollars down.
Barrios said they are very excited about the partnership with Take Two for WWE 2K14. A caller wants to know the expectations, Barrios expects the results to get better and better each year.
A caller asked "how tied" the Raw and Smackdown negotiations are to the potential WWE Network. George Barrios said they are separate discussions.
A caller wanted to know about the profitability decline in the pay-per-view segment. Barrios talked about WWE Over the Limit being moved and higher production and talent expense for Wrestlemania 29. He reiterated that all in the event was down about $1 million for last year.
Vince said he will allow a caller to put a hammerlock on him if they do not double their television rights fees.
- Vince McMahon said WWE's 2013 Second Quarter Financial Results were "lousy." He stressed not to dwell on the numbers and touted the following:
Wrestlemania 29 buys were lower [from last year] but it was the highest grossing pay-per-view in the company's history.
An E! executive told Vince that the "Total Divas" premiere was a "home run."
Vince stressed WWE is a "safe environment" for sponsors to be associated with. He said they are now working with Kraft and mentioned
Doritos as the primary sponsor of SummerSlam
The WWE App has close to 7,000,000 downloads
You can read a full recap from Thursday's investor conference call at this link.
Below is the official press release:
The Deadman Cometh: WWE(R) 2K14 "Phenom Edition" to Feature Iconic WWE Superstar Undertaker(R)
Collector's Offering Set to Deliver Exclusive in-Game Content, Collectible Autographed Item, Video Content and Unique Packaging
NEW YORK, Aug 01, 2013 - 2K today announced that enigmatic WWE Superstar Undertaker will be featured through the "Phenom Edition" of WWE 2K14, the forthcoming release in the WWE flagship video game franchise. Available for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, while supplies last, the WWE 2K14 "Phenom Edition" is scheduled to include the following items:
- Exclusive tin coffin box;
- Exclusive collectible art card personally autographed by Undertaker;
- Exclusive Undertaker playable character: "American Badass";
- Exclusive Undertaker-themed controller skin;
- "WWE Undertaker - The Streak": Disc #1 (on Blu-Ray/DVD);
- Access to WWE 2K14 global pre-order offer: Ultimate Warrior playable character;
- Copy of WWE 2K14 video game.
"The Deadman. The Lord of Darkness. The American Badass. The Phenom. In every aspect of his career, Undertaker has commanded the admiration and respect of WWE fans and newcomers alike for more than two decades," said Chris Snyder, Senior Director of Marketing at 2K. "His unequivocal legacy will be fully realized in the WWE 2K14 'Phenom Edition' and is a must-have item for any collector."
With captivating ring entrances and looming, omnipresent appeal, Undertaker is WWE's longest-tenured current Superstar and holder of several WWE titles throughout his storied 20-year career. He is best known for his unrivaled winning streak at WrestleMania, WWE's biggest event of the year, where he boasts a 21-0 record. Whether he took on Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior early in his career, aligned in tag team competition with his brother Kane, delivered career-defining matches against WWE Superstar Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels or squared off against his most recent WrestleMania opponent CM Punk, Undertaker is responsible for some of WWE's most prolific and memorable moments.
Become Immortal - 2K's lineup of premier sports simulation titles expands with the Company's upcoming release in the renowned WWE video game franchise, WWE 2K14. Developed by Yukes for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system, WWE 2K14 is positioned to be the most electrifying, authentic and comprehensive WWE video game experience to date. WWE 2K14 is not yet rated by the ESRB. Fans who pre-order WWE 2K14 will receive Ultimate Warrior at no extra cost on launch day on October 29, 2013, in North America and November 1, 2013, internationally.
- The latest episode of WWE Inbox - subtitled Get the tables! - is now online at this link.
- Antonio Cesaro's unreal feat of strength is on display in the latest episode of Behind the Match. You can watch now at this link.
- We've been asked about the price for the "Phenom Edition" of WWE 2K14. The game costs $99.99 and can be pre-ordered at this link.
- The Associated Press has a new article online featuring quotes from The Rock discussing his future as a professional wrestler.
"I'd like to leave it open. But if I'd never wrestle again, I'd be very content with that," Johnson said recently while on set filming the season finale of TNT's "The Hero," which airs Thursday night. "Winning or losing never really mattered to me. The whole idea was to put on a great match. Got injured in that match. Still was able to walk out on my own, which I was more happy about. I don't know. We'll see."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Brock Lesnar is scheduled for Monday Night Raw next week in Green Bay. We're told there has been talk for weeks about CM Punk launching a hardcore attack on Lesnar to sell the legitimacy of their bout at SummerSlam. The premise being that Punk has "lost it" and is capable of beating Lesnar, despite the size difference between them. There are still a lot of questions about the finish to the match at SummerSlam and no real answers. One observer says they wouldn't be shocked if it was put solely into the hands of Triple H and Punk to call what is the best moving forward.
- WWE officials and Vince McMahon continue to go back and forth on opponents for Rob Van Dam at SummerSlam. A new name that has emerged lately is Fandango, which is the reason for what happened on Raw.
- If you haven't seen the new beard of Shawn Michaels, check it out here before reading this next tidbit. We're told one of the original plans was to do an angle that brought Shawn Michaels back to television and included him in the program with Daniel Bryan/the McMahons. The premise here would be Shawn saying "I told you so" and that Bryan was "his guy." At this point it doesn't look as likely to happen but was still getting some talk backstage.
- Speaking of Daniel Bryan/the McMahons, the "corporate makeover" bit is seen as a way to "finally get rid" of Bryan's beard but no one is holding their breath on it happening any time soon.
- Wade Barrett has been in the WWE doghouse but we're not sure why. We're told Vince McMahon would like to get back to his push before the end of the year as he's high up on the "legit tough guy" persona.
- Following up on the Randy Orton/South Africa attack, we're told many WWE workers are not buying it as legitimate. Their questions are the same as my questions but the truth is no one knows 100% other than the people involved.
- WWE has made a long-term commitment to WWE Studios. Documents filed on Friday with the SEC revealed that WWE pays Studios head Michael Luisi $577,500 annually in base salary and he will be considered for a raise beginning in 2014 based on the prior year's performance.
- Bill Goldberg appeared on 4th & Pain to discuss the upcoming WWE DVD set entitled Goldberg: The Ultiamte Collection. You can listen to the interview at this link. Click here for the complete match listing of the set due out this fall.
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus visited an 18-year-old boy that was bullied in South Africa. You can read the story at this link.
- b>Cody Rhodes gets his prize in this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show. You can watch it at this link.
- The Brisbane Times has a new article online featuring quotes from Daniel Bryan. Below is an excerpt:
Brisbane Times: What's independent in your heart?
Daniel Bryan: Think how you want. Create how you want. I love wrestling because it's an act of creativity, despite that you're on TV and work for this massive corporation. Nobody's telling me exactly how to wrestle … sometimes they'll tell me, ''You shouldn't do this'', then the fire inside me … I know wrestling isn't exactly changing the world, but it's a small act of defiance.
Brisbane Times: Has it been hard maintaining relationships?
Daniel Bryan: Yes. It's not just romantic relationships. I haven't seen my best friend in eight months. I haven't seen my nieces. It's heartbreaking. She has TOYS of me, but can't see me. It's hard.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- WWE posted here on dot com that Randy Orton's attacker was charged on Thursday. Below is their update:
The accused party pleaded guilty in court yesterday, August 1, 2013, and was charged and ordered to either pay a fine of 500 Rand or, alternatively, serve 30 days in jail.
After acknowledging his wrongfulness, the accused individual was given a three-year suspended sentence, and is not permitted to attend WWE’s Live Events in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,314,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 1.05 cable rating.
- The Sports Courier interviewed Rob Terry. You can watch highlight at this link.
- TNA Wrestling has announced a September 13th live event from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. Tickets can be purchased at this link.
- Ohio Valley Wrestling announcer Dean Hill played the role of Bully Ray's "attorney" on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling.
- MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Viacom is expected to announce a pay-per-view boxing match between Roy Jones Jr. and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at next week's Bellator 97 event on Spike TV.
According to the report, the fight is expected to take place at the end of the year but a date and weight class "could not immediately be confirmed."
Below is a statement issued to MMAJunkie.com:
"We've been talking to Roy and his people over a potential 'Rampage' vs. Roy fight for over seven months," a representative from Jackson's longtime team, Wolfslair MMA, told MMAjunkie.com. The rep requested anonymity due to the ongoing negotiations related to the matchup.
"If it happens, it would be an incredible fight," the rep said. "Boxing and MMA have both been discussed, and (Bellator Chairman and CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) has been in these discussions every step of the way. I can't say much more than that. We'll see what happens."
Click here for full coverage by MMAJunkie.com.
- Hulk Hogan encouraged people on his Facebook page to support Jesse Sorensen in his return to the ring Saturday night in Tampa. The timing of post is interesting as TNA released Sorensen last week.
Part of what led to TNA terminating Sorensen's employment was his desire to wrestle - something the company did not want him to do following his severe neck injury that he suffered last year. The following is from Hogan's Facebook:
Come support my boy Jessy. This is his first match since his injury while wrestling in TNA. So if you are in the Tampa area go cheer him on. The show starts at 7:30 and is located at 7235 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL .
Good luck Jessy. HH
You can check out the post at this link.
We posted details on Sorensen's first match back on Saturday morning here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Jesse Sorensen Tweeted a copy of TNA Wrestling's Assumption of Risk/Release of Liability form on Twitter. You can view it at this link.
- TNA Wrestling launched another cryptic campaign to introduce a mystery man on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. We haven't heard who it is but Adam Pearce did make some teases on Twitter over the weekend. This is likely a result of the attention he received from being on TNA Gut Check but you can check out the Tweet below:
By the way, how many days til #August1 ?
— Adam Pearce (@ScrapDaddyAP) July 27, 2013
- King Mo talked TNA Wrestling at this link.
- TNA Wrestling posted a second #August1Warning video that you can watch at this link. The "mystery man" says that he is "not Dave Batista" because he's a big movie star now. The company is playing it up with a new article on their official website where they cite Tweets from Boby Holly and Adam Pearce. Click here to read it.
- Greg DeMarco has issued a Tweet clarifying the comment about Taeler Hendrix being "heavy for TV." The Tweet is below:
Clarification: @Taeler_Hendrix's "heavy for TV" comment was not direct from Dixie. It's placement after the Dixie question caused confusion.
— Greg DeMarco (@gregdemarcoshow) July 29, 2013
The initial recap of the interview is online at this link.
- Dave Batista Retweeted TNA"s latest #August1Warning where the person in the video says they are "not Dave Batista." You can watch the latest video at this link.
- A new Impact Wrestling Podcast is online and features Kurt Angle, Mickie James, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson. You can listen at this link.
- Preview this week's episode of Impact Wrestling in a video posted at this link.
- We noted last week that the next round of the Bound for Glory Series will be decided by the fans. They were a choice between three different cards. After a week of voting, the results are in. Card B won the most votes with 57%. The matches are official for the next two week's of Impact Wrestling:
The following matches will air on August 1st on Spike TV
Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles
Joseph Park vs. Jay Bradley
Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode
The following matches will air on August 8th on Spike TV
Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
Frankie Kazarian vs. Christopher Daniels
Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson
We will have live coverage of each show right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- TNA Wrestling revealed on their official website that The Great Muta met with Jeff Jarrett and TNA officials in Nashville today. The Great Muta runs Wrestle-1 promotion in Japan. Below is the official statement:
On Tuesday afternoon, Japanese wrestling legend The Great Muta was at the TNA Offices in Nashville, Tennessee for a business meeting with TNA officials, including TNA founder Jeff Jarrett. The Great Muta, who runs Japan's WRESTLE-1 promotion under Gen Sports Entertainment, was in Nashville to discuss future opportunities between TNA and WRESTLE-1. ImpactWrestling.com will have more details on the meeting in the coming weeks!
Check out the post on TNA's official website right here where it includes a picture of The Great Muta and Jarrett.
- TNA Wrestling has canceled the following live events:
23 August 2013 in Yakima, Washington
24 August 2013 in Eugene, Oregon
- TNA Wrestling posted a third #August1Warning video that you can watch at this link. The "mystery man" says that he is "not a rock star like Chris Jericho" and that he is " not someone 99% of you have never heard of, and being that 1% can shake things up."
- The fourth #August1Warning video says the person is not Bill Goldberg. You can watch it at this link.
- Eric Bischoff Tweeted the following about the #August1Warning videos:
4am and on my way to Whichita Falls Texas for Impact! #August1warning better be able to "walk the talk". Texas is the wrong place not to.
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) July 31, 2013
- A new episode of TNA Spin Cycle features Mickie James, Magnus, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian is online at this link.
- Madison Rayne posted a new blog on her official website where she explained there is no ill will regarding her departure from TNA Wrestling. Click here to read it.
- I was on a media conference call with Bobby Roode on Wednesday to promote the premiere of TNA 10 Reunion, which comes to pay-per-view on Friday at 8 PM EDT.
I asked Roode a two-part question. Following the evolution of TNA (from the Nashville Fairgrounds to a cable TV staple that travels the world) what's the next step for the company and what's the next step for Bobby Roode personally?
Bobby told me that the next big step for TNA is company awareness. He said taking Impact on the road was a major step for them. Roode said he doesn't believe people know just how big of a step that was, however, now is the time to build on that. They want to concentrate on drawing the casual fan, making them aware of Bobby Roode, James Storm, AJ Styles, etc. Roode said product awareness is the key and the next big step to making them a huge wrestling company.
As for him personally, Bobby said the next step is becoming a household name. He wants to be a multiple time world heavyweight champion and in top storylines and feuds.
I've been recapping the other questions from the call and will post a transcript when it's over.
- TNA Wrestling hosted a media conference call with Bobby Roode on Wednesday to promote the premiere of TNA 10 Reunion, which comes to pay-per-view on Friday at 8 PM EDT. I was on the call on behalf of WrestlingNewsWorld.com and compiled the following Q&A highlights:
What's it like seeing the company change and evolve over the years?
Bobby discussed the growth of the company and concluded by saying he thinks TNA will continue to grow.
How difficult is it for Bobby Roode and James Storm to continuously come up with great matches?
Bobby credited the chemistry between them and the fact they were two of the guys that helped build the company.
Thoughts on the current state of the tag division in TNA:
Roode discussed growing up a fan of The Hart Foundation and talked about the great following for tag teams in the 80s and late 90s. He said now it's kind of a lost art form and he doesn't know the reason why that is. Bobby put over Bad Influence and credited them for helping rebuild tag team wrestling the company. He also gave credit to many of the teams in the company.
Going back to the days of Beer Money vs. The Motor City Machine Guns, did he ever think three of the four would go on to be TNA Champions?
Bobby said the four of them - Alex Shelley included - were so committed to putting the tag division on the map. He said he got into the business to be a world heavyweight champion and knew he would get the chance one day. He said at the time they were so focused on tag team wrestling it was there only focus. Bobby said he has a lot of respect for Chris Sabin and he's happy for him. Bobby was unable to pick one guy as the next "breakout" star but mentioned Robbie E and said he's always been a fan and sees him as a money guy if given the opportunity.
Are we on the verge of a new direction of the Bobby Roode character?
Bobby said it's come to a crossroads and he was on top of the world last year with the long title reign. When he lost the title last July it was a bit of an opener and he's been "lacking in the win department" ever since. He kayfabed here, saying it's time to get serious and he needs to get the world title back.
Reflections on the first night he worked for TNA…
Bobby reflected on a dark match he had in late 2003 against Konnan and he felt like at the time that TNA wasn't the place for him. He said it was very different from when he came back as member of Team Canada. He was leery about coming back but it was the best move he could have made. Roode reflected on his run with James Storm and of course becoming a world heavyweight champion a couple years ago. Roode said there are hopefully a lot more to come.
Did you ever think TNA would get as big as it is?
Roode said that it was everyone's dream at the time. When they were at the Nashville Fairgrounds, they felt like they were going to week to week. He was a true believer of Jeff Jarrett and still is. Roode said they continue to continue to grow at a great pace.
Who would you like to work with and haven't?
Bobby said he thinks he's worked with everybody in the company but there are a couple he hasn't done a lot with. That list includes Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle.
What goals have you got left to accomplish?
He has a lot left. He wants to be a multiple time world champion. He's still young and has a lot left to give.
The Bound for Glory Series…
Bobby Roode compared it to a football or baseball season. He kayfabed here, discussing the rules of the tournament
Any added tension because of the roster cuts?
It hasn't been too bad at all. Some of the cuts were no unexpected but it just makes them want to work harder. It's tough when people go but it's just part of the business. He doesn't personally see people being worried.
TNA cutting the number of pay-per-views…
Bobby Roode sees it as a great move and gives fans stuff more to look forward too. Cutting back to the four pay-per-views gives matches a "bigger feel" and lets stories develop over time and they aren't rushing anything. He's all for it.
What do you think of the WWE Performance Center?
He's heard about it but hasn't seen pictures and cannot really comment.
Thoughts on the #August1Warning?
Bobby doesn't have any guesses as to who it is but is "extremely interested."
Was it frustrating that the TNA Championship wasn't on the line in his bout against James Storm at Bound for Glory last year?
He said it was frustrating to him and to fans because everyone wanted that big payoff, however, they still went out there and had a hell of a match.
Is the lack of new talent coming in a cause of concern?
Bobby doesn't think it's a huge concern because there are so many things they could still do. He stressed the importance of building the guys that they have and making them bigger names.
Where he is now in the company…
Bobby said he likes to think he is helpful to the younger workers. He's one of the veterans now but he's not ready to take a backseat. He wants to be a guy that's going to main event pay-per-views and TV shows and be a world champion.
What was it like winning the TNA Championship?
A combination of relief and excitement. Thirteen years prior to winning the TNA Championship, when he first broke in, he always wanted to be that guy. The win was just a combination of a lot of things - basically that he did it and accomplished it.
Could a manager help him get his title back?
Bobby Roode said Bobby Roode can help him get the title back. He kayfabed here, he's not proud of his Bound for Glory Series standing. The weight falls on his shoulders and it begins Thursday night against Hernandez on Impact.
Opinion of managers…
He grew up watching Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, etc. but today it's different. If you want to be a top guy today, you have to be able to talk and walk the walk on your own. The days of the managers has came and gone.
The confidence TNA had in him to give him his historic title reign…
Bobby said it felt great and admitted he was happy Chris Sabin beat Bully Ray because Bully was coming for his reign.
Any interests outside of pro wrestling?
Bobby said he lives, breathes and eats wrestling. It's the only thing he really cares about. It's a passion he's had for the last 15 years of his life. He won't be able to wrestle forever but outside of family, the only thing he concentrates on is pro wrestling.
What would he have been if he wouldn't have been a wrestler?
He was a huge hockey fan growing up and he had the dream of being a professional hockey player but he always had the dream of being a professional wrestler as well.
Were the Canadian legends like the Harts an inspiration to him?
Absolutely they were and Bret Hart was one of the guys that inspired him.
An MP3 of the call will be available later in the week and we'll post it when we receive it.
For more on One Night Only: TNA 10 Reunion, click here for official show information.
- As we noted earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Bobby Roode took questions from the media in a conference call on Tuesday to promote the premiere of One Night Only: TNA 10 Reunion on pay-per-view this Friday at 8 PM EDT. Complete audio of that call is now online and embedded in the player below:
For those interested in hearing my two minutes with Roode, recapped here, you can fast forward to the 25:00 mark.
To listen push the play button below:
Mobile and tablet users to listen please: CLICK HERE
To download this to your computer: CLICK HERE
- While the rumor was that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would face Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match later this year, it was announced Wednesday night at Bellator 97 that he'll oppose Tito Ortiz on pay-per-view on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Both ended their respective UFC careers on three fight losing streaks.
Below is the official press release:
BELLATOR ANNOUNCES RAMPAGE VS. TITO PAY-PER-VIEW
Newport Beach, CA. (Wednesday, July 31st) – It was announced live inside the Bellator cage tonight that two of the biggest names in MMA Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Tito "The People's Champion" Ortiz will meet in a light heavyweight battle live on PPV Saturday, November 2nd. The announcement was made with both Rampage and Tito inside the Bellator cage to a nationally televised audience on Spike TV at Bellator 97 inside The Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"Rampage vs. Tito" will be held at Southern California's Long Beach Arena, with tickets on sale at 10 AM PST this Saturday, August 3rd. Tickets can be purchased on Bellator.com, Ticketmaster.com, as well as at the Long Beach Arena Box Office.
"To have two of the biggest names in MMA headline our first PPV is awesome," Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. "Rampage vs. Tito is a fight I've wanted to see for years and to have it as our Main Event on our first Pay-Per-View is a spectacular next step in Bellator's evolution. They're both re-energized, excited and ready for a war. This will be a great fight."
"Honestly, I feel like I've been re-born.," Jackson said. "My excitement, energy and aggression, it's all back and bigger than ever. I feel like a kid again. The Rampage you'll see Nov. 2nd will be better than any Rampage you've ever seen. Everybody knows Tito and I have a very long history. He's a former teammate and friend, and it's one of the reasons I stayed away from the UFC as long as I did. But, I want to be very clear; any sort of friendship we once had doesn't exist when that cage door shuts. I've got a ton to prove on November 2nd, and unfortunately for Tito he's the guy I have to make an example of. He's in my house now and Saturday, November 2nd on PPV, it's going to be a horrible night for Tito Ortiz."
"I'm back," Ortiz stated. "Over the last few years, my passion for MMA was completely killed, dealing with UFC politics and with Dana. I didn't have that drive to compete, my heart wasn't in it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm free. Bjorn and Bellator put together an opportunity that made me part of the promotion, part of the family. I feel like I can breathe again and my old friend is going to be on the receiving end of all that happiness turned into an old school Tito Ortiz ground and pound beating. I've fought and beaten the very best in MMA history and on Nov. 2nd, Rampage will be the next huge win on my record. This is a new era for the People's Champion."
Jackson arrived in Bellator in June as a former Pride and UFC champion, having last fought on Spike TV in September 2007, in a fight vs. Dan Henderson that drew nearly 6 million viewers, making it one of the most watched fights in the sport's history. In 2009, Jackson served as a coach on Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights," the highest-rated season by far in franchise history, delivering over 3 million viewers per week. Rampage joins a Bellator Light Heavyweight division that features "King Mo", Emanuel Newton, Vladimir Matyushenko, Attila Vegh and now, Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz joins Bellator as a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and throughout his career has been one of the most recognizable and polarizing figures during his sixteen year career, fighting the likes of Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans and Ken Shamrock. A true MMA icon, Ortiz will now start a new cha
- Bully Ray worked as an agent at last weekend's TNA Wrestling live events. Both Bully Ray and Devon have worked as agents in the past as Devon is expected to replace the role that D'Lo Brown used to fill.
- Taryn Terrell was not at the Destination X/Impact Wrestling taping in Louisville, Kentucky a couple weeks ago because she was in New Orleans filming a role in a horror movie.
- TNA Wrestling announced that India's Premier Sports Entertainment Channel has acquired broadcasting rights to the full catalog of their programming. The channel will exclusively air more than 500 hours of wrestling content across key Asian markets. Below is the official press release:
SONY SIX - India's Premier Sports Entertainment Channel acquires broadcasting rights to TNA Wrestling's full catalog of programming
The channel will exclusively air more than 500 hours of wrestling content across key Asian markets
Mumbai, July 2013: Further expanding its bouquet of international sporting events, SONY SIX, India's premier sports entertainment channel, has acquired the exclusive broadcasting rights to Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling across the Indian Sub-continent.
SONY SIX will now air all of the best TNA Wrestling programming every week including IMPACT WRESTLING, Xplosion, Greatest Matches and Unfinished Business, along with four episodic Pay Per View programs and eight One Night Only specials throughout the year.
TNA Wrestling is one of the leading brands in the world of sports and entertainment, providing high excitement action across the globe. TNA is the home of 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan, 'The Icon' Sting, 'The Charismatic Enigma' Jeff Hardy, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Bully Ray, Magnus, AJ Styles, Gail Kim, TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Chris Sabin.
This acquisition strengthens the diverse sports offering by SONY SIX further.
On acquiring the rights, Mr. Man Jit Singh CEO, MSM said, “Wrestling is considered one of the ancient sports in the world and India with Kushti has a storied tradition in wrestling. India's recent success in International Wrestling has attracted the youth in India and also captured the imagination and interest of audiences across the country. Given this national interest in the sport, we are proud to have acquired TNA Wrestling as one of our premium international sporting events. TNA Wrestling has garnered immense viewership internationally and we believe this association further reiterates SONY SIX's commitment to airing high impact alternative sports in India.”
Commenting on this new initiative Mr. N P Singh COO, MSM added, “SONY SIX will now offer fans more than 500 hours of exciting original wrestling content every year. TNA Wrestling is a global phenomenon, producing exclusive entertainment for more than 5 million viewers in 14 languages each week and seen in more than 120 countries across the world. We at SONY SIX look forward to building on this fascinating sport in the years to come”
Speaking about the partnership with SONY SIX, TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter said, "Everyone at TNA is thrilled at this exciting venture with SONY SIX that will open up new horizons across all of India. The Indian Sub-continent is home to some of the most passionate and dedicated wrestling fans on the planet - and they now have more than 500 hours of the very best in professional wrestling to enjoy. SONY SIX is the perfect partner for us, thanks to their impressive and diverse range of sporting events, and we can't wait to debut."
With Mixed Martial Arts and now wrestling introduced into the bouquet of international sports content, SONY SIX will truly broadcast the best of both worlds by providing the finest action packed holistic entertainment programs for the audiences.
TNA Wrestling is a privately held sports entertainment company based in Nashville, Tennessee that specializes in events, products, numerous TV properties, merchandise and music, as well as, the management and promotion of professional wrestlers.
TNA produces numerous weekly TV programs, monthly PPV events and more than 100 live shows a year. The product is the world's most innovative experience in professional wrestling and is broadcast in more than 120 countries. The events see the company's biggest stars perform for the sport's most passionate audiences. Annual mainstays like March's “Lockdown,” June's “Slammiversary” and October's “Bound for Glory” anchor the lineup, but each show delivers the best TNA has to offer.
Sony SIX, India's Premier Sports Entertainment Channel is owned and operated by MSM India. The company is well known to exclusively broadcast some of the world's largest as well as renowned international sporting properties like The Pepsi IPL, UEFA EURO 2016, Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, Qualifiers for 2014 & 2018 FIFA World Cup, Scottish Professional Football League, The NBA and The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Since its inception, the channel has successfully managed to target the youth of India through a mix of sports and entertainment.
- King Mo beat Jacob Noe at 2:51 in the third round via TKO (punches) at Bellator XCVII on Wednesday night from the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
TNA president Dixie Carter wrote the following on Twitter regarding the Bellator/TNA crossover star:
Love @KingMoFH in the ring after a big win talking about WRESTLING and how important it is to him. Very classy win.
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) August 1, 2013
- TNA will hold a set of Impact Wrestling tapings front he Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday, September 26, 2013. Tickets go on sale August 9, 2013.
- For those who missed this week's Impact Wrestling, Tito Ortiz was revealed as the person who was behind the #August1Warning videos TNA Wrestling has been airing for the past week. For those who missed the show, check out our live coverage here.
- It was confirmed on this week's Impact Wrestling that the following match will occur at TNA's Hardcore Justice show on August 15th on Spike TV:
10 Man Tag Team Match - Whoever gets pinned or submits in the match will leave TNA for good
Main Event Mafia (Kurt Angle, Sting, Samoa Joe, Magnus, and Rampage Jackson) vs. Aces & 8s (Devon, Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco, Knux, and Garett Bischoff)
We will have live coverage of that show right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com
- Muscle & Fitness has a Q&A online with Sting where he talks about using steroids early in his pro wrestling career. Below is an excerpt:
I never did the powerlifting thing, but the goal was to lift heavy. Four plates squatting for reps – 4-5, 8-10, 315 for 20, 225 for 50 – leg extensions, leg curls and that’s how we trained every single week. On the bench , my best was 435 – I was younger and I was on the gas, too. There were guys who weighed a lot less than I did who could easily do that. But I didn’t really train for power or strength. I trained for size. That’s all I was training for. My knees are arthritic now. I don’t have a whole lot of flexibility left. Thankfully, I got smart somehow or another in 1990 and stopped taking steroids – totally stopped. A lot of the guys I ran with all those years continued to take steroids year after year – those guys are having their knees and their hips replaced. I’m not saying everybody who gets their knees and their hips replaced took steroids. I just noticed that the guys who did that were too big, too bulky, too heavy, and the body couldn’t handle it and it took its toll. So that was my one saving grace, but I would train differently now. I’m actually doing pretty good for a guy my age – I just turned 54 – and I’m still hanging in there. I can move a little bit in the ring. I can’t do half of what I used to be able to do, but I get around.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- It looks like the TNA Gut Check project is finished. Ohio Valley Wrestling's Danny Davis says he won't be appearing in the segments on TV anymore and with Bruce Prichard gone, the project will need to be revamped if they do bring it back.
- I've read a lot of the Tweets and reaction from Tito Ortiz being unveiled as the #August1Warning and I'm not surprised. The same people that criticize every move TNA makes are the same people acting informed here. Look, I don't care what opinion you have but make sure it's your own opinion. Just because a wrestler or a writer Tweets something, doesn't mean you have to agree. I feel like a lot of times people look to see what a certain name or personality says then adopt that opinion because it looks "smarky." Form your own opinion and don't fall into the trap of trolling just to look cool.
- TNA 10 Reunion, the company's latest One Night Only pay-per-view that premieres on Friday, will not be available to DirecTV subscribers. Originally scheduled to be carried, the provider has dropped it from their guide. TNA lists the following carriers as to providing the pay-per-view:
Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Bright House and Suddenlink.
Click here for non-spoiler show details that also includes the link to full taping results.
- Kurt Angle was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated Thursday night in Decatur, Texas after leaving the TNA Impact Wrestling tapings in Wichita Falls. Angle was booked and later released on $2000 bail. This is Angle's fourth alcohol-related arrest since 2007. In March 2011, Angle was arrested in South Dakota for "being in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated," he pled down to reckless driving. Six months later, in September 2011, Angle was popped for DUI in Virginia but pled guilty to reckless driving yet again and was fined $15,000. In September 2007, he was arrested in Pittsburgh for drunk driving. Angle was later found not guilty.
- Kurt Angle has taken to Twitter after the news broke he was arrested Thursday night on charges of Driving While Intoxicated. The following is from Angle's verified account:
@kktg: hey Coming Out With a Statement today. TNA and I Are Working to Get Me Better. I'm a fighter
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 2, 2013
Direct from @AndyArmstrong88: I'm Getting Help. Much Love.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 2, 2013
Direct from @IAmTeamJericho: Thk U! I Will Beat this!
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 2, 2013
Direct from @kktg: I Will Overcome this
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 2, 2013
Thank You to All My friends Who Have Supported Me. GOD Bless!!! I Will Overcome this.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 2, 2013
We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Angle was arrested Thursday night in Decatur, Texas after leaving the TNA Impact Wrestling tapings in Wichita Falls. He was released on $2000 bail.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,246,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 1.03 cable rating.
- Kurt Angle wrote on Twitter that he will enter a rehabilitation center following his arrest for Driving While Intoxicated on Thursday night. The following is from his verified account:
I am blessed to have the support of my family, my friends and my company. In light of recent events I will immediately be entering a
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 3, 2013
rehabilitation center. I realize that this is a pivotal time in my life and I ask for your understanding as well as your prayers and
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 3, 2013
continued support. I am confident that in taking these steps I can begin to address necessary changes in my life.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) August 3, 2013
- TMZ posted more details about Kurt Angle's arrest at this link. According to their report, police received a call about a reckless driver. When they caught up with Angle, the odor of alcohol was detected emanating from Angle's vehicle. He was then arrested and later charged.
With The Rock being on the cover of WWE 2K14, what are the chances he will be back in WWE for Wrestlemania XXX next year?
I was told shortly after it was announced The Rock would be on the cover of WWE 2K14 that he has several promotional appearances lined up to promote the game this fall. Whether or not that means a return to WWE TV remains to be seen but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. As for The Rock working Wrestlemania XXX, I'm personally looking at it as 50/50. When Rock made the comments that Wrestlemania 29 could have been his last match a lot of people saw it as a result of the injuries he suffered in the bout amongst other things. However, he is not a lock for next year's show either.
Do you have an update on MVP returning to WWE after being backstage at Smackdown in Houston last week?
I am unaware as of this writing regarding any update on MVP returning to WWE. A few months ago both Rob Van Dam and MVP were on the WWE radar and we were told at the time that RVD was more of a priority. RVD ended up signing and MVP is currently doing a television series with Lionsgate TV. Bruce Prichard was pushing for TNA to bring MVP in but he's since departed. MVP did feel it was necessary to rule himself out of the August 1, 2013 mystery man angle that TNA is doing.
With Paige being crowned the first WWE NXT Women's Champion have you heard any news regarding a main roster call-up?
WWE officials have been high up on Paige for months and she was on the road with the main roster back in May. In fact, she even pinned AJ Lee at a live event match in March. WWE clearly didn't think she was ready to come to television but her stock remains high in developmental. With the company focusing on the Divas on the reality show right now, it's smart to let her get seasoned before calling her up.
It was recently revealed The Bella Twins blocked Maria and two other Divas from going to WWE. Can you confirm this and who were the other two?
Maria Kanellis recently Tweeted that the Bella Twins blocked her and two other Divas from coming to WWE, so that's where this all started. I don't know who Maria was talking about but WWE did contact several former Divas about returning back in March of this year. Names we heard that were contacted included Kelly Kelly, Maryse, Eve Torres and Michelle McCool. Again, I don't know who Maria was talking about but can tell you the Bellas are well-positioned in WWE politically as Nikki is dating John Cena. However, as much as I like Maria, I don't like this look on her. Criticizing the Bellas on Twitter just makes her look bad. The best thing to do in this case is to say nothing. Twitter is a great thing but a lot of people use it before thinking of the full impact of their comments.
How is Triple H perceived backstage in his inevitable succession of Vince McMahon?
A lot of the boys are high up on Triple H taking over for Vince McMahon because he is seen as one of them with a wrestling mentality. It's the "been there and done that" mentality and that he can relate to them. Hunter has received high marks for some of his early business dealings such as his revamp of developmental and facilitation of Bruno Sammartino to the WWE Hall of Fame. Below is what Chris Jericho said in February regarding Hunter's rise to power:
“To be honest with you, he’s [Triple H is] doing a great job. In the early 90s it’s no secret there was no love lost between he and I. We didn’t like each other, we didn’t get along. We had great matches, but there was always a personality issue. That stopped years and years ago and now I consider Triple H a pretty good friend. I’ll be completely flatly honest, I think he’s the right guy to take over the company. I think he’s prepared for it. He’s learning a lot about how to be the corporate guy. There’s so much more than just calling finishes and signing guys. He’s got to run the whole corporate side of it. Go to all the meetings, do all that stuff. I think it’s in very good hands if Vince ever retires or passes away.”
What is the latest on Scott Steiner?
Scott Steiner remains in a legal battle with TNA Wrestling over Twitter comments he made about Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and company. As for wrestling he is taking independent dates but at 51 and a strained relationship with Triple H, I do not see a return to WWE.
Is there really heat on Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins? If so, what happened?
We broke the story here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on July 15, 2013 about Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins having backstage heat after a confrontation with Randy Orton. Below is an excerpt from our original report:
"…we are told there is some backstage heat on Roman Reigns. While details are sketchy, it has something to do with a spot at a live event several weeks ago involving Randy Orton. Apparently Reigns confronted Orton over a blown spot and it rubbed him the wrong way. Seth Rollins was reportedly involved, but only in trying to tell Reigns it wasn’t a good idea to confront Orton in the first place. While it’s believed Orton was in the wrong, he still has a lot of backstage influence and it’s never a good idea to to complain on him or at him."
For more backstage news and information you can signup for WNW Premium for as low as $4.95/month at this link.
When will the entire roster for WWE 2K14 be announced?
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the current plan is for the entire WWE 2K14 roster to be unveiled over SummerSlam weekend. I'm sure there will be an online component but it will likely take place as part of SummerSlam Fan Axxess. We'll have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
What were your thoughts on the premiere of Total Divas?
I held this question for a couple of days because I didn't get to watch the premiere episode of "Total Divas" until Tuesday night. I watched the show with my wife, who is a fan of reality TV and watches a lot of programming on E. She is admittedly and unapologetically not a pro wrestling fan so I was interested to see her reaction. The final verdict was that she liked the show and I did not. She felt the program was compelling and entertaining while the show told me what I already figured. This isn't a program about wrestling nor is it meant to cater to pro wrestling fans. This show is to expand WWE's demographic while also touting their diversity as an entertainment company. Total Divas featured romance, drama and a "real-life" look at the people that play the characters on television. I will continue to watch the show because I enjoy watching television with my wife - not because I'm a fan of its content. I'm not saying it "wasn't a good show," I'm saying I'm not a fan of reality TV shows based on romance and drama. I would rather be watching a baseball game. However, WWE and E got good news in terms of viewership and touted the results. The show also carried strong viewership numbers following Raw on Monday, with an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers on the USA Network. If you missed it, we have a recap of the show available at this link.
What are the chances of Alex Shelley returning to TNA Wrestling to re-form The Motor City Machine Guns with Chris Sabin?
Alex Shelley has been working in Japan, looking at the time over there as a "break." Chris Sabin's stock is clearly the highest of his career but given the fact the company is currently pushing him in singles, I don't see the appeal in recreating The Motor City Machine Guns. Sure, they're a great tag team but working as a tag team would be a clear regression from TNA Champion. With that being said anything is possible.
Is it fair to compare the current rise of Daniel Bryan and how over he is to Jeff Hardy and his rise to the top of WWE?
Both Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy gave WWE no choice but to push them. You can absolutely compare them based on that. You could also say that neither Bryan nor Hardy fit the stereotypical "WWE mold" for a champion or top tier talent yet they are two of the most talented and over people in the pro wrestling business. To answer your question, yes it is a fair comparison although I believe the ceiling is higher for Daniel Bryan.
What's the latest on Batista and are there plans for him to return to WWE?
Batista is currently filming his first major movie role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy. There are no plans as of this writing for him to return to WWE and the fact is, him landing a major movie role has hurt the chances of a pro wrestling return. Batista was determined to "make it" outside of WWE but nothing was at the same level until he was cast for this part. Now, many doors are opened for him outside of wrestling. I always believed Batista would return to WWE for "one last run" but there are now other opportunities available.
Do you see the Wrestlemania 29 buyrate as a slap in the face to Vince McMahon for not giving the fans the proper card?
No, I do not see the Wrestlemania 29 buyrate as a slap in the face. I think the buyrate reflects fans not being as interested in the recycled main events of John Cena vs. The Rock and Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. I could have told you this prior to the rematches being announced. WWE's goal with Wrestlemania is to cross the 1 million buys threshold and they did that again this year. Could the numbers have been better? I think they would have been had WWE gone in another direction with their main event. In case you missed it, Wrestlemania 29 did 1,039,000 buys compared to 1,217,000 buys from Wrestlemania XXVIII from last year.
I do not want to jump to conclusions about the Randy Orton attack in South Africa but since when does WWE post videos on dot com about audience members attacking wrestlers? Doesn't this seem to entice future incidents if indeed legitimate?
We've covered the Randy Orton attack in South Africa on Tuesday from every angle. The attacker was a trained pro wrestler but WWE maintains the incident was not part of a storyline. Some have suggested the incident was a publicity stunt to draw attention, however, WWE is pushing back on those claims. There are multiple articles you can read on the subject here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com and I'll include the links below:
- WWE – Randy Orton Attack Was Not Part Of A Storyline
- Orton’s Attacker Profiled, Trish Stratus Update, Undertaker Edition Of WWE 2K14
- Randy Orton’s Attacker (Or “Attacker”) Identified – Legitimacy Still In Question
- Randy Orton Incident In South Africa Likely Staged – “Fan” Identified As Local Wrestler
- Photo Of CM Punk Singing At Cubs Game, Big E Langston On Orton Incident
- WWE Covers Randy Orton Fan Attack In South Africa
- Randy Orton Attacked By Fan At WWE Live Event In South Africa (Updated With Video)
Suffice it to say, we have fully examined the incident. I am no longer injecting an opinion. Read the coverage (the oldest articles are at the bottom), watch the videos and form your own opinion. As for the answer to your question, I am against WWE covering the attack if it is indeed legitimate because it sends the message that "if you do this, you will get attention from it." Under no circumstances is it OK for an audience member to enter the ringside area, just as there are no circumstances where it is OK for an audience member to enter the playing surface at a sporting event. When audience members act in this way they put the safety of everyone in jeopardy and deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
If you were booking SummerSlam, which match closes, Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk or John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan?
I'm told Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk is seen as the SummerSlam main event, however, I'm from the "old school" where titles mean more than any match. While there have been exceptions, as we saw with Money in the Bank last month, I favor closing with the WWE title bout at SummerSlam. Why was Money in the Bank an exception? There were a couple of reasons. First, it was a themed pay-per-view based on the gimmick. Given the fact there were two Money in the Bank ladder matches, they needed to be spread out. And two, there was no way the slower pace of John Cena vs. Mark Henry would be able to follow the action packed gimmick match with a surprising outcome.
How many years do you see TNA Wrestling being around for?
This is a fairly ridiculous question but it highlights a mindset currently held by many in the Internet Wrestling Community. Given the cuts and the live event debacle, July wasn't a good money for TNA Wrestling. However, reports of the company's demise are greatly exaggerated. The truth is no one knows the financial state of TNA Wrestling because TNA is a privately owned company and their books are not open to the public. This differs from WWE, as was exemplified Thursday morning, because we know what is going on with their financials. It's worth mentioning that TNA announced a big TV distribution deal in India on Thursday morning. Are these the type of deals announced by companies that are going out of business? Allow me to answer that - no.
Recently you posted about Bully Ray working as an agent backstage in TNA and how both he and Devon have done this before. My question is what exactly is an agent in the wrestling business and what are their jobs?
An agent, or producer as they are called in WWE, operates as a liaison between the creative team and the talent. They communicate the outcome of the match, go over timing and help lay things out beforehand. The agents play an important part in making sure that talent is ready to go out before their respective match and play a significant role in assuring the event flows smoothly behind-the-scenes.
What are you thoughts on TNA signing all this MMA talent? I'm a fan of MMA and like the guest appearances but the #August1stwarning was kind of a disappointment since I was expecting wrestling talent after all the hype?
First, the deals with MMA stars are a bit different than the performer's contracts that most wrestlers have in TNA Wrestling. These contracts are in conjunction with Spike TV and Bellator MMA as the three parties are working together for crossover opportunities. I am fine with Tito Ortiz being announced as the #August1Warning because I understand why it is being done. Tito appearing in TNA is part of the aforementioned collaboration where they will be able to promote Rampage Jackson vs. Ortiz on pay-per-view on November 2, 2013. I addressed the IWC outrage earlier here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Every time a viral campaign is launched, fans immediately gain unrealistic expectations and most of the time are setting themselves up for a letdown. So many people today are saying "well, what about an actual wrestler?" One person even Tweeted me that Adam Pearce would have been better for the role. You have to understand there is a business component here and TNA is working with two other parties. It's part of a business arrangement that I think helps TNA. The closer they are with Spike TV, the better, because without Spike they would be unable to continue as a company. I'm not sure a viral campaign was the best way to go about this given the fact TNA just did this with Rampage Jackson and fans, especially the IWC, hold viral campaigns to such high standards.
Does Rob Van Dam have a title reign in his WWE contract?
No, not that I know of. Rob Van Dam is under a part-time performer's contract in WWE that is similar to what Chris Jericho has been working under. The deal benefits both parties and I'm enjoying RVD's work in WWE.
Why did Jim Ross close his BBQ restaurant in Oklahoma?
The restaurant business is extremely difficult and economic conditions at the time were less than desirable. Below is what Jim Ross wrote on his blog when his JR's Family BBQ Restaurant closed:
“At the end of the day, our business plan could not handle the shift in the economy or the rising overhead that we encountered. We make no excuses. We worked diligently on making this aspect of our BBQ dream come true but this time around it simply wasn’t meant to be. We played the game hard and played to win but we came up short. Again, we make no excuses.”
I have tried Jim's BBQ sauce and I recommend it. I haven't ordered any recently and wish it were available in more grocery stores. If it was available at my local Publix, I guarantee you that I would buy it over any other brand. You can order JR's BBQ sauce at this link.