Top WWE & TNA Stars Injured, Jeff Hardy Leaving TNA For WWE?, Location For Wrestlemania 30, Another Wrestlemania 29 Main Event You Haven’t Heard About, Is TNA’s Lawsuit Against WWE Protecting Their Roster?, Exclusive CM Punk Update

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, December 8, 2012 to Friday, December 14, 2012 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

- Perry Saturn spent the past week at the NXT Wrestling facility in Tampa, Florida.

- WWE will be releasing another Bret Hart DVD next year. The current title is Bret “Hit Man” Hart: The Dungeon Collection and the set is expected out in March 2013. Speaking of Hart, he’s been working on a sequel to his critically acclaimed autobiography, My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Topics addressed will be his life since his last book and reconciling with WWE.

- WWE is currently doing external research regarding their Divas division. The company wants to know what role fans prefer to see Divas in – wrestlers, love interests to Superstars, managers or dancers. They are also asking focus groups to compare the Divas of today to Divas of previous eras and what roles they would like to see Divas in. Given the recent departures, WWE is looking to tweak the division headed into the new year.

- Randy Orton suffered an apparent injury at the WWE Tribute to the Troops taping Sunday night in Norfolk, Virginia. The injury occurred while Orton was working Dolph Ziggler as it appeared to be Orton’s right hand or wrist. The referee gave the X signal and a trainer came to ringside to check him out during the match. Click here for full WWE Tribute to the Troops taping results.

- WWE announced here on dot com that Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and The Black Keys will appear at the Rolling Stones anniversary concert they are distributing. The concert will take place on Saturday on pay-per-view at 9 PM EST. It will also be streamed online.

- Rapper Flo Rida taped an interview backstage at Sunday’s WWE Tribute to the Troops taping that will be included on this week’s episode of “The JBL & Michael Cole Show.” We have backstage photos of the interview at this link.

- Jim Ross doesn’t think CM Punk should be stripped of the WWE Championship because of his knee injury. You can read the latest from JR in a new blog here on his official website.

- WWE announced the 2012 Slammy Awards will take place on next week’s Raw. Voting for the awards will be a Rawactive feature through the new WWE App. Next week’s show will take place from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.

- Last week’s Smackdown ended up doing a 1.81 cable rating with an average viewership of 2,459,000 viewers on SyFy.

- Cody Rhodes returned from injury on this week’s WWE Raw in a tag team elimination match. He and Damien Sandow will face Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara in a Tables Match at WWE TLC on Sunday. The winner gets a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship against Daniel Bryan & Kane.

- Colt Cabana (a/k/a Scotty Goldman) was backstage at this week’s WWE Raw from Newark, New Jersey.

- Speaking of Cabana, WWE has an article on dot com looking at “The ring’s memorable Jewish Superstars.” Click here to read it.

- John “Bradshaw” Layfield is postponing his next mountain climb in South America due to a pulled muscle in his shin. Originally scheduled to climb a mountain nicknamed Mt. Death on January 11, 2013, he’ll now attempt it on February 24, 2013. This means he won’t miss Royal Rumble and is scheduled to join Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on announce.

Below is from Layfield’s Facebook page:

Good news for WWE (at least I hope so), was scheduled to go to South America January 11th to attempt to climb the highest mountain outside of Asia, Aconcagua, located in Argentina. I would have missed Royal Rumble.

However, been training like crazy to get ready to climb a mountain nicknamed Mt Death. Unfortunately, I have pulled a muscle in my shin due to overtraining and no possible way I could climb to almost 23,000 feet in less than a month. So, I am postponing till February 24th-thanks in a HUGE way to Mountain Madness, best mountaineering group in the world, that helped me get on a different climb.

So, I will not miss any PPVs and will be back in time for Mania-unless of course I die up there:)

I can walk fine, with pain, but can’t push off with my right foot. So I now have 10 1/2 weeks till I climb. Excited my locker mate in college (I was number 71 and he number 72, so we were beside each other in locker room for 4 years) is going with me-really cool.

I’m looking forward to climbing again as I keep preparing for Mt Everest and raising money for great kids I get the opportunity to work with in Bermuda.

- The WWE TLC YouTube Pre-show will feature a #1 Contender’s Battle Royal for the WWE Divas Championship. The match will include AJ Lee, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Natalya, Kaitlyn and Tamina Snuka. The match will begin at approximately 7:30 PM EST prior to the pay-per-view on Sunday and will be streamed live here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- The USA Network declared next week as WWE Week. Below is the schedule:

  • Monday, December 17 – WWE Raw featuring the 2012 Slammy Awards (more info)
  • Tuesday, December 18 – Commercial-free live Smackdown
  • Wednesday, December 19 – WWE Tribute to the Troops (taping results)
  • Thursday, December 20 – Big Show will appear on “Burn Notice”
  • Friday, December 21 – WWE Champion CM Punk will host “The Game Plan” starring The Rock on USA

- Following this week’s WWE Raw the company released the categories for the 2012 Slammy Awards. They are as follows:

  • Superstar of the Year
  • Breakout Star of the Year
  • Trending Now Award – (Hashtag of the Year)
  • Comeback of the Year
  • Kiss of the Year
  • “Tell me I did NOT just see that” – (The Most Shocking Moment of the Year)
  • LOL Moment of the Year
  • Match of the Year

It’s of note there is no category for Diva of the Year. All voting will take place via the WWE App and WWE’s second screen experience, “WWE Active.”

Click here for information on dot com.

- After this week’s WWE Raw went off the air, the brawl ensued until Dolph Ziggler ended up taking the finishers of all the babyfaces. The other heels(The Shield & Big Show) escaped as the babyfaces celebrated in the ring to send the crowd home happy.

- Brian Jack, who worked in WWE developmental as Buck Wild, has filed a lawsuit against WWE, Vince McMahon, Dr. James AndrewsJohn Laurinaitis, Ty Bailey, Kristin Actman, Santino Marella, Beth Phoenix, Shed Media USA and Kwik Trip Inc. I haven’t seen the lawsuit but PWInsider obtained the documents and below is a summary:

  • Jack alleges he told WWE corporate of hazing, sexual harassment and threats while working in developmental but was told to work it out with Steve Keirn. He says Keirn broke his “neck, pelvis, backbone, thumb” and badly injured his leg.
  • He claims Santino tried to get him to commit insurance fraud on his homeowner’s policy and WWE wanted him to get into a “staged car wreck” so their developmental insurance wouldn’t take a hit.
  • Jack alleges that WWE sent him to James Andrews to get his leg fixed and that Andrews asked him bizarre questions and checked him for a wire. He says he’s still receiving bills from Andrews even though WWE told him to forward the bills to them.
  • He claims WWE used Shed Media USA, who produced the revamped version of Tough Enough, to make him believe he would be a contestant on the show to sign a contract that would release WWE of any and all liabilities before, during and after production of the series. Jack says when he asked the clause be removed, WWE told him they would send him a new contract and never did.

So far there has been no response from the suit. You can learn more about Brian Jack at his official YouTube channel.

- – Drew McIntyre posted the following on Twitter:

- Mick Foley posted the following on Twitter:

- Mark Henry posted the following on Twitter:

- Jim Ross checks in with his Raw thoughts at this link.

- This week’s WWE Raw, the go-home to WWE TLC, did a 2.67 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 3,764,000 on the USA Network.  Below is the viewership by hour:

  • Hour one: 3,743,000 viewers
  • Hour two: 3,876,000 viewers
  • Hour three: 3,672,000 viewers

The numbers were up from last week’s debacle as Monday Night Football was down, doing under 15,000,000 viewers.

- We wrote on Tuesday that former WWE developmental talent Brian Jack had filed a large lawsuit against the company over harassment and many other allegations. We can confirm via a WWE representative the lawsuit has been dismissed.

- Amy “Lita” Dumas was at this week’s WWE Raw from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

- WWE is advertising The Rock for their Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on February 17, 2013 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s unknown what role he will have at the show.

- Billy Gunn has been hired by WWE as a developmental trainer.

- MVP Tweeted he has not been contacted by WWE and still works for New Japan Pro Wrestling.

- WWE did an injury angle at this week’s Smackdown taping with Randy Orton. The company had The Shield put him through a table in a backstage segment and later had Matt Striker update that he had a “separated shoulder” or “possible concussion.” It would appear this is WWE’s way of writing Orton off television as he suffered an apparent wrist injury at Sunday’s Tribute to the Troops taping. Click here for full Smackdown taping results and click here to view the sparse attendance.

- WWE will run two live events on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2013. There will be a Raw show in Augusta, Georgia while Smackdown will run in Birmingham, Alabama. The start time for both shows is 1 PM.

- In addition to CM Punk’s posse of Lita and Colt Cabana, Ronnie from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” was backstage at Raw in Newark on Monday night.

- Speaking of backstage visitors, ECW original Justin Credible was backstage at Smackdown on Tuesday.

- WWE has altered the “Santa’s Helper” No. 1 Contender’s Diva Battle Royal that will air on the WWE TLC Pre-show. AJ Lee has been removed while Cameron and Naomi have been added. The match now is as follows:

Alicia Fox, Layla, Natalya, Kaitlyn, Tamina Snuka, Rosa Mendes, Aksana, Cameron and Naomi

It’s worth noting AJ Lee is still “tagged” in the dot com preview.

- Zack Ryder beat Corey Graves in a dark match prior to this week’s Smackdown taping. Following the show, Sheamus beat World Heavyweight Champion Big Show via disqualification in a dark match main event when Show used a steel chair. Once the match was thrown out, Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick on Show to end the taping.

- For those that missed it here on WrestlingNews.net, WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres was at the Cosmopolitan offices earlier this week. The magazine has posted self-defense tips from Eve, who is trained in Jiu-Jitsu.

While you can read the full article at this link, below are the tips:

  • Embrace Girl Power
  • Know Your Enemy
  • Don’t Phone It In
  • Help a Sister Out
  • Shout It Out
  • Scream, Kick, Punch
  • Don’t Panic
  • Go on the Offensive

- On November 15, 2012 we reported here on Richard’s Backstage Blog that the city of New Orleans had emerged as a potential host city for Wrestlemania 30 in 2014. One of the things WWE is attracted about having the show in “the Big Easy” is the fact it could include a significant tax credit from the US government. Other cities that have been discussed include Detroit and Chicago. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas was brought up but I believe is now out.

We’re told Vince McMahon has been exploring plans this week for a potential Randy Orton vs. Ryback match at Wrestlemania 29 with Orton as a heel. The thinking is Ryback could be the World Heavyweight Champion and new “face of Smackdown.” The question this raises is, has WWE lost faith in Sheamus? We’re told Vince hasn’t lost faith in him as a star but doesn’t see him able to carry the Smackdown brand. While labeled “Hunter’s guy,” many feel Vince is past making Sheamus a major face of the company. He’ll remain a main eventer for sure but the idea of Smackdown as Sheamus’ brand hasn’t turned out to Vince’s liking. We’re told McMahon has already had discussions about pushing Antonio Cesaro to the moon as Vince is high up on his work and feels he came work great matches and is over with limited mic work.

- WWE will run a Supershow live event Saturday night from the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, PA where they will basically run through the WWE TLC lineup. The following matches are being advertised for the live event locally:

John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler

Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship

Ryback, Daniel Bryan and Kane vs. The Shield in a 6-man tag match

Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio

Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Also advertised: The Prime Time Players, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd

Click here for local event information.

- Ahead of next Monday’s 2012 Slammy Awards, WWE Magazine has released their 2012 awards in the January 2013 issue. They are as follows:

  • Sheamus – Most Dominant Superstar
  • Brodus Clay – Entrance of the Year
  • Zack Ryder – Social Media Superstar of the Year
  • Wade Barrett – Comeback of the Year
  • Kaitlyn – Most Improved
  • AJ Lee – Diva of the Year
  • John Cena – The Atlas Award (For Holding WWE on His Mighty Shoulders)
  • Antonio Cesaro – Newcomer of the Year
  • John Laurinaitis & Paul Heyman – Jerks of the Year
  • Dolph Ziggler & Tensai – Jawdropper of the Year
  • The Miz – Upgrade of the Year
  • Eve – Most Devious Diva
  • CM Punk vs. WWE – Rivalry of the Year
  • Brock Lensar – Shocker of the Year
  • Kofi Kingston – Best Ring Gear
  • CM Punk – Most Controversial Superstar
  • Dolph Ziggler – The Show-Stealer Award
  • Heath Slater – Most Annoying Superstar
  • 3MB – Best Air Guitar
  • Ryback – Breakout Star of the Year
  • Jack Swagger – Most Primed for a Comeback
  • Daniel Bryan & Kane – Tag Team of the Year
  • Damien Sandow – Most Loquacious Superstar
  • Rey Mysterio – Mentor of the Year
  • Cody Rhodes – Most Sinister Superstar
  • The Prime Time Players – Catchphrase of the Year
  • The Rock vs. John Cena – Match of the Year
  • Road Dogg Jesse James – “You Still Got It” Award

But Wait! There’s more… 13 Reasons Why 2013 May Be WWE’s Biggest Year Yet

- Edge implied on Twitter he’s working on a new autobiography. When I interviewed Edge last year, one of the things he stated about his first autobiography is that it was done too early in his career.

- WWE has a piece over on dot com looking at “15 Superstars You Didn’t Know Competed in WCW.” The names are as follows: Sabu, Edge, The Iron Sheik, Triple H, Ryhno, Marty Jannetty, Rob Van Dam, Rikishi, Mikey Whipwreck, Luna Vachon, Barry Horowitz, Zeus, Jimmy Snuka and Mil Mascaras. You can read the article at this link.

- Big Show did an in-studio interview on the Boomer and Carton show on Thursday. You can listen at this link.

- AM New York has a new Q&A online with WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston to promote Sunday’s WWE TLC pay-per-view. You can read it at this link.

- Jesse Neal was a guest of WWE’s at last Sunday’s WWE Tribute to the Troops taping in Norfolk, Virginia.

- This week’s Smackdown taping only drew approximately 2500 fans in Bridgeport, Connecticut. You can view the empty arena at this link.

- Shelton Benjamin wrote on Twitter that no one from WWE has contacted him about returning. Below is his Tweet:

MVP denied rumors earlier this week.

- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has part two of his interview (we recapped part one here) with Ryback now online. Below are the highlights:

Debuting in WWE as Skip Sheffield:

“I’m a big believer in the law of attraction, positivity and that certain things will happen to us,” Ryback said. “I feel that had to happen to me for me to be able to do what I’m doing right now. I felt I was ready back then, but again, I had a dopy and stupid name. I wasn’t necessarily the focus of attention in that group. I wasn’t supposed to be by design anyways. It was good to get me away for a while. It was a lot longer than I think any of us expected…

Bill Goldberg chants:

“I didn’t expect that,” he said. “I had been on the road from about the end of December, but didn’t debut until after WrestleMania, and not once did I get anything like that. Then once I got to TV, I think maybe the style of matches and the facial hair. I think it was the intense style and the undefeated streak. It never bothered me one bit and never will because I was a wrestling fan all my life. We become very loyal to those we see on TV before us.

“There are a lot of people that are very loyal to Bill Goldberg and rightfully so. It’s only fair that people are going to make comparisons to new talent that may come up. Not necessarily that I was a brand new talent, but people are going to make comparisons. It’s just one of those things. I know that I’m a lot different than him. I’m a different character and different in a lot of ways. It took time for people to see that.”

“As you’ve seen the Goldberg chants have gone down tremendously, if not completely gone away,” Ryback said. “Every once in a while you will hear fans at TV or the pay-per-view try to get them going, but they are drowned out by, ‘Feed Me More’. If I was going out there every night and doing the spear and Jackhammer and mimicking his mannerisms, then yeah, they would probably still be there. But there is a lot more to Ryback. I understand them, but they don’t bother me at all. It just takes time to get a fan base and have people become loyal to you.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Justin Roberts and Dolph Ziggler were in attendance at Wednesday night’s Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns NBA game. They were acknowledged on the local Phoenix broadcast with the commentators pointing out that Royal Rumble will take place from the US Airways Center.

- Mark Henry is advertised for an autograph signing at the Barclays Center this Friday night prior to the Brooklyn Nets game. For tickets, click here.

- The Rock is officially advertised for WWE Elimination Chamber on Sunday, Febraury 17, 2013.

- Next week’s WWE Main Event will be headlined by Kane vs. Cody Rhodes.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website. In it, he gives him predictions for the 2012 Slammy Awards and congratulates Billy Gunn on being re-hired by WWE. Click here to read JR’s latest in its entirety.

- Madison Square Garden is no longer advertising CM Punk for the December 27th WWE Raw live event in the venue. Originally scheduled to face Ryback, his spot will go to Paul Heyman. Additionally, WWE is not advertising Punk for any of their holiday live events as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.

- Remember former WWE Diva Ryan Shamrock?  Here she was with her wrestler boyfriend last weekend.

- No one knows exactly why Rey Mysterio was off last week, as he was granted personal time off. Some believe he hurt his knee, however, that’s nothing more than hearsay.

- The Miz broke the speed of sound while flying in a F/A-18 fighter jet over Tribute to the Troops weekend. Miz had to completely a “rigorous training process” before being cleared to fly with Squadron VFA-211. Once in the air, Miz reached the speed of Mach 1.2 which is nearly 900 MPH.

- Sheamus was a guest on “Conan” with Conan O’Brien on Thursday night. In the appearance, Sheamus confirmed that SummerSlam 2013 will take place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

- WWE Champion CM Punk had a checkup earlier this week to see how his knee is feeling after undergoing arthroscopic surgery last week. We’re told he’s recovering as expected and is scheduled for an MRI net week to make sure all is fine on the inside. One observer commented about this all worked out very conveniently for WWE.

- John Cena cut a promo on Dolph Ziggler during an appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday night. While referring to Ziggler, Cena said you don’t have to be Bill Nye the Science Guy to take one look and you and realize that your tan spray and hair dye is just an excuse for your insignificant penis.

- WWE has announced a live event from the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas on February 23rd, 2013. Tickets go on sale January 5, 2013.

- The WWE TLC Webcast on dot com will be available in English and Spanish. This is the first time Spanish has been offered via the Webcast.

TNA News

- The Beautiful People of Velvet Sky were recently reunited for the cover of Models Mania Magazine. With Sky returning to TNA on last week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, Love was asked on Twitter if she can be expected back as well. Angelina’s one word response is embedded below:

Sky commented on her return to TNA at this link.

- TNA Wrestling has announced the following live events for February 2013:

  • February 1st – Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina
  • February 2nd – Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • February 8th – Century Link Center in Bossier City, Louisiana
  • February 9th – Vicksburg Convention Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi

- After TNA Final Resolution ended, Kurt Angle went on Twitter and, after thanking his partners in the 8 man tag team match, shared that he has a slight groin injury. Kurt picked up the win and you can see the full results of the pay-per-view here. His tweet is embedded below:

TNA Wrestling will be taping a couple weeks worth of Impact Wrestling the next couple of days and we will have show results right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- After TNA Final Resolution went off the air, Aces & 8′s celebrated their attack on TNA Champion Jeff Hardy and Bobby Roode. Officials came out to assist the “injured” workers as Hardy was carried to the back while Roode made his way to the back under his own power.

- Sunday night after TNA Final Resolution Kurt Angle said he had a little groin injury. It turns out Angle has a groin tear, however, he says he’s working through it as long as his Twitter friends believe in him.

Below is the latest from Angle:

- There were a number of talents discussing TNA cutting back the number of pay-per-views they run each year backstage at Sunday’s Final Resolution pay-per-view. The gist was fewer shows gives them more opportunities to build programs and will make shows more meaningful. With that being said a new pay-per-view schedule hasn’t been released but Dixie Carter said publicly show wouldn’t be opposed to cutting pay-per-views by as much as 50%. Genesis will take place as scheduled in January while it’s believed Lockdown will be the show to follow it in March.

- The contract of TNA Champion Jeff Hardy is coming up and while he is getting close to a new deal, we’re told he hasn’t signed yet. Hardy, like many TNA workers with expiring contracts, has little negotiation leverage as WWE is still not an option for any worker leaving TNA or was employed in TNA while Brian Wittenstein worked there. This all goes back to TNA’s lawsuit against WWE which has enacted a hiring freeze where WWE won’t even look at talent from TNA. We’re told in the case of Hardy, he doesn’t want to risk sitting out six months, a year or even longer to see if he can get a new deal with WWE. He and TNA have agreed on money but they are still negotiating the length. Hardy has agreed to a two year deal but TNA wants an option for a third year (which would be 2 year guaranteed, with years 3 being at TNA’s discretion). Hardy has so far resisted the year three option but one observer questioned, what choice does he really have? There is nowhere else to go.

- James Storm, who is currently working through a rib injury, posted the following on Twitter about working Final Resolution:

- Speaking of Final Resolution, Mike Knox and an unidentified independent worker were paired with D.O.C. and Devon in their match against Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff.

- Kenny King has officially been added to the roster page on the official TNA website.

- TNA has released a 9 track EP for Jeff Hardy called “Similar Creatures.” The price is only $6.99 and can be previewed/bought at this link.

- To follow-up on an earlier report, the unidentified independent worker that teamed with Mike Knox at TNA Final Resolution was CJ O’Doyle. O’Doyle is an indy worker that doesn’t have a full-time TNA contract.

- Below is the seating chart for TNA Lockdown 2013:

- Gawker Media filed a motion to dismiss Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against them last Friday, December 7, 2012. In their request, they claimed Hogan has failed to state a claim against them for posting clips of his sex tape with Heath Clem.

- Bellator Fighting Championships debuts on Spike TV on January 17, 2013 at 10 PM EST directly after Impact Wrestling. The companies are expected to work together to cross promote material with King Mo working for both Bellator and TNA.

- TNA announced here they have added Final Resolution and Bound for Glory to their TNAOnDemand.com website.

- The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from AJ Styles. Below are the highlights:

His in-ring style:

“I pick my spots and use them wisely.

“I’ll not tone it down until I stop wrestling.

“The most brutal match I’ve had where I picked my spots was the Last Man Standing bout with Daniels, we took some hard bumps there and you really felt the difference between being in the ring and out of it.

Upcoming book:

“I do have a book in progress. It is early days so far.

“I personally think I am rather boring, but there is interest and I think the fans deserve to know how I got into the business and how I have felt about certain situations.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Kurt Angle either suffered a new injury or aggravated a pre-existing groin injury during a match taped for the December 20th episode of Impact Wrestling on Monday night. The bout was against Devon and afterwards the referee threw up the X signal and Angle was helped to the back.

Wrestling News World Orlando correspondent Scott Brooks mentioned the injury in his spoiler report but thought it was storyline.

The fact Angle went into the match with a hurt groin and he didn’t work on Tuesday night leads me to believe there was more to it. Angle wrote the following on Twitter Wednesday evening:

- TNA is having Velvet Sky answer Tweets from fans prior to this week’s Impact Wrestling at 7/6c. Fans can Tweet Sky @VelVelHoller with the hashtag #LetThePiegonsLoose.

- There will be a TNA Gut Check Seminar on Saturday, January 5, 2013 in the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, PA. The Application Form is located at this link.

- Buff Bagwell claimed in a recent media interview he is talking with Eric Bischoff about coming to work in TNA Wrestling. According to Bagwell, Sting wants him signed but they are waiting for him to be 100%.

- There continues to be a lot of frustration about the WWE hiring freeze in regards to former TNA talent due to the ongoing litigation. One observer says there is a certain level of acceptance since there really isn’t much that can be done. Some names that were resistant to signing new TNA contracts have ended up re-signing because they don’t have anywhere to go. This same observer says the anti-TNA sentiment amongst talent has also started to subside and morale has improved in recent weeks. Velvet Sky was one name in particular that had hoped for a run in WWE but she finally gave up and re-signed with TNA. Others are starting to realize there is no way of knowing how long the lawsuit will remain ongoing and it isn’t worth the risk of being on the sidelines indefinitely. This ties into the report we ran here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium regarding TNA Champion Jeff Hardy.

- TNA Wrestling’s contract with Sky Deutschland expires on January 1, 2013. The agreement allows for Impact Wrestling and pay-per-views to air on Sky Sports and Sky Select in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Negotiations continue but if a new deal is not reached, the programming will cease to air and TNA will have to find another option in the market.

- The official Impact Wrestling preview for next week is below:

- It’s the return of CHAMPIONSHIP THURSDAY with an epic main event as World Heavyweight Champion “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy will defend the gold against former titleholder Austin Aries!

- The Knockouts Championship will also be on the line as Tara defends the title against one of these four superstars: Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Miss Tessmacher or ODB! The potential challengers will make their case to Knockouts Executive in Charge Brooke Hogan, and Brooke will select who receives the title shot!

- Also on the CHAMPIONSHIP THURSDAY edition of IMPACT, the Television Championship will be defended as Devon of The Aces and Eights puts his title on the line against the Olympic Gold Medalist – Kurt Angle!

- Plus, just days before the big holiday, Kazarian promises to throw a party on the broadcast in honor of Christopher Daniels to celebrate his big win over AJ Styles at Final Resolution!

All this and much more on Thursday’s special holiday IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV

The show has already been taped as spoilers are available on our TNA Spoilers page.

- TNA is looking for a British band to write and record a song that will be played in arenas during their upcoming UK tour and on an episode of Impact Wrestling. Official details are online at this link.

- Buff Bagwell claimed in a recent media interview he had been talking with Eric Bischoff about returning to TNA Wrestling. According to Bischoff, this isn’t true. Bischoff wrote the following on Twitter:

- Scott Steiner has dropped his count-suit against TNA Wrestling where he alleged nonpayment over royalties and a lack of accounting over the royalties. TNA still has an open lawsuit against Steiner for disparaging remarks he made on Twitter about the company as well as Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.  Click here for details on that lawsuit. Steiner still has an open suit against TNA, alleging he was injured while wrestling Jeff Hardy when he was “in no condition to perform” at a live event in Mount Pleasant, Michigan last year. You can read more about that at this link.

Ask WNW

Do you think, or believe, the creative writing team will reveal that The Shield is actually working for The Rock and only helping out CM Punk so The Rock could face him at the Royal Rumble, as payback for Raw 1000?

I appreciate your attention to detail and logic in using a past storyline into a new one but I can tell you this was not the plan as of last week. The Shield is pseudo-aligned with CM Punk but long-term future plans are unknown. When The Shield debuted at Survivor Series there was no plan past the pay-per-view as this has been something booked on the fly. Their first big test will be at WWE TLC on Sunday as to whether or not they are over enough to hold their own in a pay-per-view match.

What is Vince McMahon’s opinion on sites such as Wrestling News World? Does he hold it in higher regard in comparison to NEWZ sites, or are they all the same to him?

It’s all the same to Vince McMahon. They don’t like this website because they want everyone to visit WWE.com where they can monetize what they consider their traffic. Further, Vince doesn’t like storylines and spoilers leaking and tries his best to keep things under wraps. Vince [and others in the WWE office] will claim they pay no attention to Wrestling News World yet they do not hesitate to email when they need something. And just to clarify, Vince has never emailed personally.

Is there any interest in Dave Batista working Wrestlemania next year?

The feeling has been since Batista left WWE that he’ll be back one day. He’s been a strong critic of WWE PG yet has had informal discussions about returning. Batista said he wouldn’t be returning this year and he won’t be. 2013 is a new year although I’m not sure WWE needs Batista given Wrestlemania 29 is already stacked with top talent.

Will Undertaker ever come back for anything more than Wrestlemania?

Anything is possible but there are no plans for Undertaker to be any more than a part-time star at this stage in his career. Undertaker realizes he only has a handful of matches left in his career and wants to make them count. I published an article on our sister website, WrestlingNews.net, about possible Wrestlemania opponents for Undertaker with a new update on his status at this link.

Wasn’t Brock Lesnar’s deal with WWE to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29 next year?

Brock Lesnar signed a one year part-time contract with WWE believed to be worth somewhere in the range of $5 million. The assumption is he’ll do whatever they ask him to collect his paycheck. That said, Undertaker and The Rock both want to face him at the pay-per-view next year.

Where do you see the WWE Divas division going and what is your take on the difference between them and the TNA Knockouts?

WWE is conducting focus groups, asking fans what they want to see with the Divas heading into the new year. The WWE philosophy with Divas has never been built around athletic in-ring matches, even when the division was stocked with viable in-ring talent, matches often left a lot to be desired. Vince McMahon’s mentality with the Divas has always been to use them more for their looks than their talent. The difference between the WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts is Knockouts have more athletic wrestling matches but this has become less than common under the leadership of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

Where do you get your inside information?

I have been in this business since 1999 and have compiled a detailed list of sources and connections over the years. My days are spent working the phones and going through emails and text messages to bring readers the best experience possible. I get a tremendous amount of information each week but it’s up to me to go through it all and post what is relevant to you.

Why did WWE have John Cena “cash in” at Raw 1000 rather than a surprise “cashing in” like we’ve seen with Money in the Bank winders int he past?

WWE wanted John Cena to challenge for the WWE Championship on the 1000th episode of Raw thus they did what they did with the MITB briefcase. I didn’t like how the match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view was only open to former champions. The MITB ladder match has always been about elevating up and coming talent and they went against that this year with the WWE Championship briefcase. In my opinion it took away from the match and one can only hope Dolph Ziggler is booked better.

Is it true WWE has plans to release a Goldberg DVD next year and if so, do you see him appearing to promote it?

Yes, WWE has plans to release a DVD highlighting the career of Bill Goldberg with a tentative release date of June 25, 2013. There is always a possibly Goldberg signs on to appear but I wouldn’t hold my breath. He doesn’t have a good relationship with Vince McMahon or Triple H and has always wanted too much money.

Do you see TNA dropping their lawsuit against WWE the day after Wrestlemania as a rib on Vince McMahon?

TNA’s contract tampering lawsuit against WWE is doing exactly what they wanted it to do; prevent WWE from ransacking their talent roster. It will end only when TNA feels they get a proper settlement from WWE but I can already name of a list of talent that ended up re-signing with TNA because WWE currently is not an option. But to answer your question, no one is thinking “let’s end it as a rib.” This was done to protect TNA and it’s functioning as intended.

Why doesn’t Spike TV help TNA get talent? For example if they offered Goldberg a show, he could make crossover appears on Impact Wrestling.

Talent isn’t the problem in TNA Wrestling. At one time their roster was arguably better than WWE’s roster and one could still make that point. I’m not sure what fans still see in Goldberg as he’s been out of the mainstream eye for nearly a decade and is 45-years-old. He’d be happy to work for the right amount of money; the problem is closing the gap between what he’s worth and what he’s willing to accept. Spike is already helping TNA with talent with a recent example being King Mo who will be competing for TNA and Bellator Fighting Championships.

I’m going to WWE TLC and upset about CM Punk being sidelined. What are the chances he appears and cuts a promo on The Rock?

The plan is to move forward to CM Punk vs. The Rock so they want to keep Punk on television. I wouldn’t be shocked if Punk appears at TLC on Sunday but it will probably depend on time constraints and how much open time they have to fill.

What is the purpose of opening up a sister site at WrestlingNews.net?

We decided to open WrestlingNews.net as part of our expansion to take over the world. OK not really, it’s just a side site we put together to feature some different content. It’s not in competition to WNW; it’s a compliment to it. We aren’t moving any features from WNW to the new site, we are adding new features to our sister site and highlighting them here. Check it out – I think you’ll like it – WrestlingNews.net.

Who is behind the new 1.3.13 videos airing on Impact Wrestling?

The talk coming out of this week’s TVs was that the 1.3.13 videos were for the return of Sting. Stuff like this is always subject to change and TNA may change the plan with this leaking online, however, I can tell you this was the word as of this week.

I see WWE is advertising the 12/19 show in Rochester, NY as a television event, however, this is the night they are airing Tribute to the Troops on the USA Network. What’s the latest?

WWE will tape the 12/28 episode of Smackdown next Wednesday night in Rochester. They will then tape the New Year’s Eve Raw on Saturday, December 29 in Washington, DC. They will tape that week’s Smackdown on Sunday, December 30th in Richmond, Virginia. The taping schedule is mixed up due to the holidays. We’ll have all the taping results here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

Vince McMahon made a joke on Raw after walking in on Vickie Guerrero in a compromising position. Does this mean he is starting to change from the PG format?

It’s interesting you mention this as there seems to be an internal feeling to make the product edgier once again. It’s not a departure from the PG initiative as Vince McMahon is still committed to family-friendly programming; but there is some panic over the recent abysmal ratings and ideas are being pitched to try and reverse the trend. As for McMahon’s joke on Raw, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

John Cena is 35-years-old. Realistically, how much longer does he have as WWE’s top guy?

This is something you’re going to hear a lot more about over the next several months as John Cena will be 36 years old next year and his 10 years in the ring haven begun to take their toll on his body. WWE realizes Cena can’t carry them forever and they are trying to produce new top stars. We’ve been all over names possibly in line for mega pushes with a new update here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.

What are your thoughts on Miz’s face turn that he has been pulling off the last few weeks? I’ve been hearing a lot of people bad mouthing it without giving it what I think is a proper chance, while I think it has been doing just fine as of late.

I was told last week that WWE officials were already second-guessing The Miz’s babyface turn. It’s early give up on it and WWE has a history of giving up on turns too quickly, however, Miz is a natural heel. I like him better that way and haven’t seen anything as a babyface that leads me to believe he will be a bigger babyface. That said, he’s talented enough to get over as either but I’m not sure babyface Miz can surpass heel Miz.

Why did Kizarny leave the WWE? He obviously had a connection with Edge and he had beautifully strange gimmick – certainly one I hadn’t seen before. What happened?

In June 2009 I spoke at length with Kizarny about his WWE release (interview here). He told me all of the producers gave him high marks on his matches and all of the writers were happy with his work. However, he told me that Vince McMahon was set on him as a babyface while everyone else felt he should be a heel. He was disappointed the company gave up on him so quickly but it’s just how things happened.

Given the ratings slide and live attendance issues, when does WWE start dipping into their pot of elders (e.g.. The Rock, Austin, Lesnar etc.) to stoke interest?

The Rock and Brock Lesnar are expected to be back on television in early 2013. Rock is confirmed for Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania so it’s coming. The ratings slide is troubling and highlights a myriad of problems that I could spend pages trying to highlight.

Do WWE workers care about the Slammy Awards? Are they awards that hail a worker’s accomplishments or are they much like the HOF, whomever Vince thinks will draw an audience/make money wins the awards?

It’s just a scripted reality show, nothing more and nothing less. The Slammy’s aren’t held in the same regard as the WWE Hall of Fame as it’s more a promotional mechanism for end-of-the-year programming. It’s a fun concept and adds value to otherwise throwaway television.

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  • _JIM_

    That is pretty smart on TNA's part if they are actually using their law-suit against WWE to protect their roster. I seriously doubt that it had anything to do with their original intentions. but because of how long this thing seems to be drawn out, it has definitely worked to their advantage. It happened at a good time for them also. They have quite a few of their top names having contracts coming to an end, and a couple that have already expired since all this started a few months ago. WWE basically black listing those workers and not even attempting to sign them has screwed those workers also. TNA has nobody's price that they have to beat so they can offer a lot less money. TNA is winning all the way around. Especially if the law-suit goes their way.