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, November 26, 2011 to Friday, December 2, 2011 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!
Jon Robertson has a new Q&A online with CM Punk to promote WWE '12. In it, Punk says Steve Austin isn't going to work Wrestlemania XXVIII next year because The Rock is headlining. He also confesses he hasn't watched his match at Money in the Bank but felt it wasn't as good as he could have made it. Below is an excerpt:
Jon Robinson: Looking back at your match at Money in the Bank, is that your favorite match that you've been a part of?
CM Punk:I don't know, I haven't watched it. I did live it, but I haven't watched it because I don't think it was as good as I could've made it. I'm my own worst critic, so I don't know, but I had a lot of fun. I can recall certain parts of that match and just having fun. I saw [Colt] Cabana and Ace [Steel] in the front row and high-fiving them, and my little sister was sitting by them, so that was a blast. We definitely did something special that night.
Jon Robinson: Looking ahead to Wrestlemania, there's Rock versus John Cena, but I'd actually rather see Austin versus Punk. Will we ever get a CM Punk versus Steve Austin main event?
CM Punk:I would rather see Austin/Punk, too. I would love to poll everybody who is going to order Wrestlemania and ask them, what would you rather see: Would you rather see Cena/Rock or Stone Cold/CM Punk? I'm biased, obviously, but I think we'd have a landslide victory. It's up to Steve, really, but he's certainly not going to do it this year. Honestly, if Steve Austin comes back to wrestling, he should be the main event of Wrestlemania, but he can't right now, because Dwayne is. I think Dwayne would get a little bit hurt if Steve took his Mania spot, but then at least Dwayne would understand how the rest of us feel. So I know that's not going to happen this year, but I would love for it to happen next year. I don't want to say it's a goal of mine, but it's definitely something that would be challenging and fun to do. I think Austin was the best worker for many, many, many, many, many years, and that's even pre-Stone Cold. "Stunning" Steve Austin was amazing.
You can read the full article at this link.
- John Morrison's WWE contract is believed to be up on November 29th. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on October 17th, while WWE offered Morrison a contract, he had little interested in re-signing. As a result of his expiring contract, Morrison has been written out of Zack Ryder's online show that can be watched here. (Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Josh) Morrison is believed to be interested in signing with TNA Impact Wrestling.
- Goldust has been rallying his Twitter followers to support a possible match between him and Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania XXVIII. He has encouraged them to Tweet WWE and pitch the bout. Speaking of the Rhodes family, Dusty has filmed a scene for an upcoming independent movie called Hell Elves. The flick is scheduled to be released on iTunes and Netflix on January 17, 2012.
- Vito Lograsso (a/k/a Big Vito) and Sinn Bodhi (a/k/a Kizarny) have taken to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to respond to WWE calling them turkeys and hurling insults at them in a website feature ran over the weekend. Below are their responses:
Vito Lograsso:A lot of people are upset with the WWE today. They spoke of me in a negative way which put the fans in shock. How would they post something like this on a holiday?! I have a family and the kids are all upset. I thought they had an anti-bullying policy. To all @WWE Universe, @WWE , @WWEmagazine and @Joey Styles know TALENT#UpVitosDress!!! The DRESS is so on with a ROYAL RUMBLE appearance in order. I will show all what’s up. LETS GET IT DONE!Sinn Bodhi: So much for WWE's Anti-Bullying campaign. I'm truly humbled by all the positive responses to this silly crap from WWE.com
Bodhi also elaborated with the following video:
- TechCrunch.com has a good editorial online looking at WWE's social media strategy that has been highly successful. You can read it at this link.
- David Otunga and Natalya appeared to students in Stamford, Connecticut as part of the WWE "Be a STAR" campaign. You can view photos of the appearance at this link.
- While ordinarily I wouldn't even consider this worth noting, it's slow enough to mention that a new Sin Cara t-shirt has people talking. I'll let you be the judge of what is possibly pictured on the graphic below:
9:45 PM EST Update: The shirt has been removed from the WWEShop.com website.
- Mick Foley performed his stand-up comedy routine at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City after last Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view. Apparently this was the scheduled event that was believed to make him unavailable to participate in the pay-per-view. However, I'm told Foley was backstage at Survivor Serious but obviously wasn't used. The official WWE website wrote an article about Foley's performance that was also posted on the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre's website at this link. While Foley's role in WWE is undefined, he's advertised for this Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- The official WWE website has a video interview online with Booker T where they follow-up on the program with Cody Rhodes from Monday's Raw Supershow. Book said stuff such as "I'm a journalist," it's "nothing personal" and that he has "no beef with Cody Rhodes." He also said he has no plans to get in the ring with the reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion. You can watch the full interview at this link. As I reported here in October, there are plans to program Rhodes and Booker T in the ring and they are advertised in singles matches on upcoming Smackdown house shows.
- I've checked into Jonah Hill not appearing on last week's Raw Supershow and apparently he was never scheduled to appear live. Hill taped segments for WWE television but they were scrapped in last minute re-writes. Things are changing more frequently than ever from a creative standpoint in WWE. In addition to Hill's guest appearance being scrapped, Triple H was scheduled to appear (and locally advertised), there were plans for Brodus Clay to debut and going into Survivor Series on Sunday there were no plans to break up the team of Awesome Truth. A possible reason for some of the dysfunction is Vince McMahon keeping stuff close to his vest and not cluing the creative team in on his plans until the last minute. Mondays are always stressful for the creative team as they try to finalize the script that effectively progresses storylines and fits into their time window. As a result, things that are planned (and sometimes even advertised) are cut out. A segment that was recently bumped several times is the Michael Cole/Jim Ross challenge.
-< strong>Brodus Clayposted on his Twitter page that he will destroy John Morrison tonight on RAW. The tweet has since been deleted, but that may give a hint as to how Morrison will be written off TV.
- Christian recently attended a Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers hockey game in Tampa, Florida. He was walking very well which bodes well for an imminent return.
- WWE is in the process of launching a website to lobby support for the upcoming WWE Network. The site, located at IWantWWENetwork.com, currently redirects to WWE.com but there have been reports it was online at one point with a countdown clock that was counting to April 1, 2012. While I didn't see the website first hand, this coincides with rumors WWE plans to launch the network by broadcasting Wrestlemania XXVIII. Little is known about the network in terms of clearance, however, format is becoming clearer as WWE polls fans to name upcoming shows. The first show that has been named for the forthcoming WWE Network is WrestleMania Rewind.
- For those that haven't seen Kelly Kelly's photo shoot in the December 2011 issue of Maxim, you can view the photos at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Dave L for sending this in.)
- Chicagoist.com has a review of the CM Punk-inspired "Go to Sleep" pizza at Ian's Pizza in Wrigleyville. Click here to read it. (Thanks to WNW reader Patrick Peralta for sending this in.)
- File this in the "hot rumor" drawer, but there are rumors beginning to surface about possibly turning Mark Henry babyface. I do not have any more information than that and it should be noted that creative directions change all the time.
- John Cena, the man who introduced the "spinner" WWE Title belt, said today on his Twitter account that he's wanted to change the belt's design for a long time. When asked if it's time to change the design, Cena responded:
"yes. I have thought that for 3 years. Either classic or new. It needs a change"
- During a match on Raw featuring Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox vs. The Bella Twins, a link to the YouTube channel "second2012" appeared briefly. Just like last week's video link, when one goes to the channel, a single video is featured. This one, also pointing toward January 2, 2012, is embedded in the video below:
- Bruce Springsteen has a problem that involves WWE. The music icon recently announced a world tour, however, rumored dates of Australia conflict with next summer's WWE Raw World Tour down under.
Here are the rumored dates for Springsteen:
27 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
28 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
31 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
1 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
5 – Allphones Arena, Sydney, NSW
6 – Allphones Arena, Sydney, NSW
8 – Vector Arena, Auckland, NZ
Below are the confirmed WWE Raw World Tour dates:
30 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
31 – Allphones Arena, Sydney, NSW
1 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
You can read more by Noise 11, who reported the conflict at this link.
- While The Undertaker has underwent surgeries on his hip and shoulder since his match against Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVII earlier this year, the feeling is he will be ready to go by Wrestlemania XXVIII next year. There's been a lot of talk about his opponent, however, a decision has not been made. WWE is expected to heavily promote the fact "the streak" could go to 20-0 if The Undertaker is victorious. It's unknown what type of shape Undertaker is in physically as he does have permanent damage to his shoulder but is thought to be feeling much better.
- WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis was in Hendersonville, North Carolina on Saturday to scout talent at a High Velocity Wrestling show. The promotion is owned by Gary Benfield. Laurinaitis spoke to the roster backstage prior to the show and tried to calm the workers by saying, "who the [expletive] am I?"
- Big Show did media to promote yesterday's Raw Supershow in his home state of South Carolina and claimed his latest "injury" was the "worst ever." He alluded to Mark Henry "breaking his ankle." The injury was a work and Show was actually out on requested time off.
- TMZ has posted an article covering The Bella Twins' visit to West Point military academy last Tuesday. Brie and Nikki competed in the cadets' obstacle course to entertain the troops, and the website obtained photos from the event. Click here to view the full article.
- WWE and Scottrade Center have announced tickets to the 25th Royal Rumble will go on sale on Saturday, December 10th at 10AM CST. The event will be held January 29th in St. Louis. Click here for more information from the Scottrade Center.
- Comedian and former WWE writer Patrice O'Neal has died at the age of 41. O'Neal suffered a serious stroke that left him unable to speak.
The news was broke by the Opie and Anthony Show and posted here on WeLoveSoaps.com.
O'Neal discussed what it was like working for Vince McMahon in WWE last year. Below is what he told the Atlantic City Weekly:
It was actually a dream situation, but I think if I had kept doing it, it wouldn’t have been a dream. When I stopped doing it, it was perfect. It was just to be able to say I did it and it was like, ‘Wow, I actually got the job!’ You know, you had to audition to get it so I actually wrote a scenario where they wanted me to write a finish to an existing beef and conclude it in a Pay-per-View match. I think I was doing the Undertaker and Triple H and I had to escalate it for three weeks and then end it with a Pay-per-View. At the time I was really into wrestling so that was easy to do and my writing sample got the job. It was fun; I flew around on a WWE jet, [got to] roll with some of the big-time wrestlers ... and directed a couple of vignettes. [WWE chairman and CEO] Vince McMahon was one of the few people I’ve ever seen that I was in complete awe of his presence, you know? He was the man, he was the boss. I learned a lot of things in like three days looking at Vince McMahon and how he operates; it was a hell of a thing. So when that ended it was almost like it should've ended cause it was a good experience and I didn’t have to see anything I shouldn’t see and didn’t have to deal with anything I shouldn’t have dealt with. It was just short and sweet.
- In the wake of John Morrison being written off TV this week, the official WWE website posted an interview with John Laurinaitis, who had the following to say to Morrison:
"John, what happened was unfortunate, and I truly wish you the best. Your contract was coming up in the next couple of weeks anyway, and looking at your win/loss record, I really wasn't going to sign you anyway. That being said, it's kind of a win/win for John Morrison and WWE. I hope you take some time, get your mind and body in order, and get well soon."
Click here to view the full video.
- The latest rumor regarding the "It Begins" video promo is that it will be used for the return of the The Undertaker and not Chris Jericho. As I've mentioned in initial reports, these types of videos are started for a purpose but also subject to change. The video promotes the return happening on the January 2, 2012 edition of Raw Supershow.
- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online on John Morrison leaving WWE. You can read it at this link. Upon last check, Morrison's WWE contract expired yesterday.
- For those wondering why there was no follow-up to the Kevin Nash and Triple H program on this week's WWE television, I'm told Hunter is really banged up. While the storyline is he has a "fractured vertebrae" and will be "out at least six weeks," he is suffering from a legitimate neck injury as a result of a spot with Kevin Nash. Sources close to Triple H also tell me his knees are in "really bad" shape. Hunter thought some rest would make him feel better but so far he's still hurting. While next Monday would fulfill the "six weeks" timetable of the storyline WWE injury, the proposed match between Hunter and Nash at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs is in limbo. The match was originally scheduled for Survivor Series, bumped to this month and could be bumped to Royal Rumble. Given the uncertainty of Triple H's status, it could be even longer than that. I'm told Hunter will eventually need surgery on his knees but has no plans to go under the knife right now. Meanwhile, Kevin Nash is overseas with the Raw roster in Japan. He tagged with WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler against Big Show & Zack Ryder at today's show in Yokohama.
- Next year's Royal Rumble is scheduled to go back to the 30-man format, differing from this year's 40-man format. Both the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship are scheduled to be defended. Click here for local event information. WWE Royal Rumble 2012 will take place Sunday, January 29, 2012 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- The Raw crew has one more show in Yokohama, Japan tomorrow night from the Yokohama Arena.
- Speaking of WWE in Japan, Bull Nakano was backstage at today's show. CM Punk posted a photo with her on Twitter at this link.
- The Smackdown taping after Royal Rumble will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 from the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online featuring quotes from Maryse. In it, she discusses her journey from the WWE Diva Search to the top of the Diva's division. Below is an excerpt:
"I knew in my heart that I wanted to leave WWE for a long time. I'm a business woman. I need to build and grow and I didn't have any interest in the WWE anymore. I was like, next!
"My manager was happy when he heard of my release. He said to me, 'Now we can start working on the serious stuff.' I'm ready for a new chapter in my life. I have been with the WWE for six fantastic years, but now I want to do more.
"I would go back to WWE, for a million dollars and a main event match at Wrestlemania. But, no TNA."
Click here to read the full article.
- Steve Austin did an interview with TheWrestlingPress.com and spoke on several topics of interested. Below are the excerpts the publication sent to us:
On wrestling CM Punk: "So yeah I hear the stories, if the stars aligned and all things worked out to benefit us all I’d say that he is the guy I’d pick to face. I could get another match out of this carcass of mine sure.”
On filming a comedy: “Comedy, no one has asked really, I have a script in progress, kind of a spoof of the action genre and I do want to do that.”
On his new DVD: “Looking back like that lets you see things you would change if you could go back. Early in my career I was in Ric Flair mode… I was really treading water for a time.”
On Tough Enough 2: “I hear there will be a second series, I’d say there’s a 95% chance of it right now. I really did enjoy doing it.”
Click here to read the full interview.
- John Morrison's contract has officially expired, so his roster profile on the official WWE website has been moved to the Alumni section. Click here to view Morrison's Alumnus profile.
- Gerard Fazzio, who worked as part of the Executioner tag team in WWE back in the 1980's, is now a school principal. The New Jersey Herald has an article online profiling him. Click here to read it. (Thanks to WNW reader Dave Laiosa for sending this in.)
- Former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler is featured in Raphael Mazzucco's new coffee table book titled "Culo." Check out this link for more information. (Thanks to WNW reader Dave Laiosa for sending this in.)
- Market Watch has an article online on WWE retaining Catapult Marketing to support their be a STAR Alliance. You can read it at this link.
- It has been announced that NBC will air this year's WWE Tribute To The Troops on Saturday, December 17. The hour-long special event will be taped at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and will feature musical performances by Mary J. Blige and Nickelback, comedy by George Wallace, and an appearance of Miss USA Alyssa Campanella. In addition, former Raw guest host Maria Menounos will wrestle in a special Divas match. Click here for more information.
- Evan Bourne was suspended on November 1, so his first suspension for violating the WWE Wellness Policy has ended. Bourne is already locally advertised to face Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship at house shows this weekend.
- The official WWE website has posted an article which calls for a redesign of the "spinner" WWE Championship belt. The article, which explores possibilities of replacements for the championship belt, also features the opinions of CM Punk, John Cena, and The Miz. Punk had the following to say on whether he is in favor of changing the belt:
“YES! [The current title] is old and passé. It’s gaudy and ugly. It says 'Champ' instead of Champion! That’s ridiculous. I need a dignified title, not a blinged out rapper accessory.”
John Cena's comments have been previously posted, and The Miz had the following to say on the subject:
“Well, you saw my effort to redesign the current title. But, I'd agree it needs to look less like a toy and more like a title. I mean, think about it. When football players win the Super Bowl or basketball players win the NBA finals, you'll usually see one of the players sporting a championship from WWE. But, it’s always the World Heavyweight Title. It doesn’t take that much to figure out why that is.”
Click here to view the full article.
- Mick Foley is set to be one of ten celebrities to take part in the upcoming season of Celebrity Wife Swap, a special edition of the hit show Wife Swap in which two families swap wives with each other for 2 weeks. For the first week, the wives have to adhere to the original rules of each household set by the original wife, and during the second week, after observation, they get a chance to make up their own set of rules on how to live for that week. The series is set to begin airing in January on ABC. Among others, Foley will be appearing with celebrities such as Gary Busey and Flavor Flav. Click here for more information.
- GO386 has a new interview online with Alex Riley to promote Sunday's scheduled WWE house show in Daytona Beach. While the show was postponed and rescheduled for September 14, 2012, the interview was still published. Below is an excerpt:
Q: How important do you think FCW was in helping you get to WWE?
A: "I think it was a huge deal. I really knew nothing about the wrestling business. I was a fan of it growing up as a kid. I was playing football and following it back and forth. I got really, really into it. It was a second dream of mine to become a WWE Superstar. When I was done with football, I started pursuing wrestling immediately. I really had to learn the craft. I had never been in a wrestling ring before. I had to learn what it takes to be a wrestler. It's a lot more physical than what it comes across as on TV. I owe a lot to Dusty Rhodes -- the speaking part and the character part of the business."
Q: How important was The Miz to your wrestling development?
A: "Huge. I think on NXT, I think I had something to offer, but you never know. I didn't know what was going to get thrown at me. They would throw us out on live TV, and we didn't know what was going to happen. It was truly like live TV -- anything can happen -- and it took a lot of preparation. I was very confident to have The Miz -- it really solidified everything, his presence. It amplified any promo I cut."
Click here to read the full interview.
- Arda Ocal has new interview online with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper now online. Piper discusses this past Monday's Raw Supershow, John Cena and more. You can watch it embedded in the video below:
- The Miami Herald has posted a new interview with Dolph Ziggler, in which he discusses his recent match on Raw with CM Punk, getting sent back to Florida Championship Wrestling twice, working with Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero, and more. In the following excerpt, Ziggler discusses his most recent match with CM Punk:
“A lot of people enjoyed the match, and my family and friends liked it. Honestly, since last Monday, I haven’t been able to sleep that well, because I really wanted that match to be one of the best ever, and it wasn’t. So I have something to build toward, and hopefully we’ll get to do it on a big stage, and if we do, I know we will tear the house down. I know it.”
In the excerpt below, Ziggler talks about being sent down to FCW for another repackaging after he appeared in the Spirit Squad:
“It’s a little scary, no matter how good you think you are or no matter how much you’re progressing. Anytime you’re taken off the full-time roster, and you have to kind of start over and work on your craft some more, when you’re off TV, it’s scary. I told myself if I got another chance, if, then I would be 100 percent ready to go. I went to two practices a day. I was watching my tapes. I didn’t want to come back and have them say, ‘Hey, let’s give this guy a shot. Oh, he’s OK.’ I wanted, ‘Wow, this guy could be the best ever,’ and that’s what I’m striving for. I was lucky enough to come back, and I’ve been lucky enough to prove a bunch of people wrong, and now I go out there and when I walk back to the locker room, and it’s tough [for those wrestling next on the show] to follow my match.”
"I'm Already Qualified for final Olympic trials In June. But I Will Official Enter Olympic trial Qualifier Tourney in April in Iowa!I'm Ready
A Big thank You to Tna and NYAC, As My Sponsors and Club I Will Represent In Olympic trials! I Will Not Let You Down. GOD Bless."
- I can confirm reports that Jeff Hardy is currently working through a back injury. The injury has caused him to be limited as to what he can do in the ring and he has been booked accordingly. TNA will tape the next two weeks of Impact Wrestling on Monday and Tuesday night from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We'll have full taping results here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Jackie Moore's short contract with TNA Impact Wrestling has expired, according to this post on her Twitter account.
- Jesse Neal worked tonight's Impact Wrestling taping. As I reported last Monday on Richard's Backstage Blog, he's still employed despite rumors he was finishing up a couple weeks ago.
- Rob McNichol has excerpts from a podcast interview he conducted with Mr. Anderson now available on the UK Sun website. In the interview, Anderson defends Jeff Hardy. Below is an excerpt:
"A guy like Jeff Hardy, regardless of what you think about him personally, is a tremendous entertainer. He loves this business and gives his all to this business.
"Everybody makes mistakes, everybody does stupid stuff. I'm not trying to make excuses for anybody, but when you've had the career that he's had and done the things that he's done, you're bound to make mistakes.
"When you do make mistakes people are going to look at it with a magnifying glass and amplify it and make it bigger than it actually is.
"I think he's done a great job of overcoming that and recognizing 'I did this. This is my problem. How do I fix it so that I don't do it again? How do I move forward?' He's done all those things.
"I have no judgments about Jeff Hardy other than the fact that he is a great performer and a hell of a guy."
Click here to read the full article.
- Former WWE Superstar Chris Masters is utilizing Twitter in an effort to jumpstart a campaign to join TNA. Today he sent the following tweets out from his Twitter account:
"I think @tnadixie needs some encouragement. Can I rally the IWC. For all those who support me, let her know!"
"For anyone who's ever felt like an underdog, who's ever tried to make nothing into something, and worked their ass off. This is my battlecry!"
Thanks to Wrestling News World writer Rick Craig for sending in this story.
- The latest edition of TNA Spin Cycle features TNA Champion Bobby Roode, Robbie E, Matt Morgan, Crimson and of course JB. You can watch it embedded in the video below:
- Impact Wrestling is asking fans to vote for their favorite Knockouts Holiday Video. You can view the videos at this link.
- Embedded in the video below is a new Final Resolution preview:
The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from a recent interview that Fighting Spirit Magazine did with TNA Champion Bobby Roode. In it, he's asked about Hulk Hogan's support of him (or lack thereof). Below is an excerpt:
"I'm still extremely respectful of Hulk Hogan — I did interviews leading up to Bound For Glory where people asked me if I'd be sour if Hogan wanted to go on in the main event spot for his match with Sting.
"But the true answer was no, I wouldn't have been. Without Hulk Hogan or Sting, I wouldn't be here doing this stuff."
Hogan, a constant magnet for controversy, posted comments on Twitter Tuesday that made some eyes roll. Here's what he wrote:
Taping again in Orlando,Garrett seems to have found the magic,I only hope it rubs off on some of the other numbskulls. HH
- SportsVide.co.uk has a new interview online with Ken Anderson. In it, he discusses the differences working in TNA compared to WWE and also talks about his big missed opportunity. Below is an excerpt:
Q. Having worked in both WWE and TNA, what are some of the differences and similarities between Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter?
Over in the WWE - and this is their business decision - you are told exactly what to do; how to walk, how to talk, how to react to certain things. Wrestlers are performers and artists. Generally artists and actors are pretty free-spirited individuals and when you tell them exactly what to do and how to act it doesn’t tend to work so well.
I think here with TNA we are given a lot of freedom as far as character development goes. We may be given bullet points, but we are told to put them in our own words and put our own spin on things. When we do that, it makes it more organic and more real and people will be able to relate to it more rather than if you were playing a character.
Q. Since arriving in TNA you’ve been a two-time world champion. Do you feel you would have ever got that opportunity in the WWE?
I do believe I was 24 hours away from accomplishing that in the WWE had I not sustained an injury that kept me on the shelf for a little bit. I actually had a talk with Vince and he told me what was going to happen. He wanted me to cash in my ‘Money in the Bank’ then in the very next match I got injured.
Click here to read the full article.
- Vickie Guerrero and Karen Jarrett have engaged in a Twitter war and while I normally do not find Tweets particularly newsworthy, it's Friday and news is winding down for the week. The whole thing started when Vickie Re-Tweeted one of her followers last night that wrote:
RT @KarenJarrett = @ExcuseMeWWE #TNAAwful.
Without responding, Karen Re-Tweeted one of her follows that wrote:
RT @ExcuseMeWWE How is @karenjarrett copying you when she was on tv way befoe you ever was.
Karen then wrote Oh these twitter games....... and Funny 2 me...2 people retweet 2 tweets & look at all the attention! LOL.
The follower that Karen Re-Tweeted is actually wrong about Karen on TV before Vickie as Vickie debuted on WWE television in 2005 while Karen didn't debut on TNA TV until 2007. Nonetheless it looks like we have a program if either woman decides to jump ship.
- Matt Morgan noted on Twitter he is happy in TNA Impact Wrestling when asked if he would be interested in returning to WWE. He also revealed that he has two years remaining on his current contract with the company. You can follow Morgan on Twitter at this link.
- TNA Impact Wrestling's plans in India are ready to kickoff on December 15th. The company will take a group of talent to the country on that date to begin filming for a new TV show on the Colors Network. They will be there for an entire week. The project will feature names currently on the TNA roster and some popular indy names but will feature different ring names to avoid trademark conflicts. TNA is behind the project but will not use their name or logo. Jeff Jarrett is the executive behind the project with a staff that also includes Dave Lagana, Rudy Charles, Savio Vega and Dutch Mantel.
WWE has this anti-bully campaign going on meaning that they're against bullying yet they feature things that are associated with bullying such as Jerry Lawler's irritating fat jokes towards Vickie Guerrero and Jim Ross being humiliated and insulted about his health problems. Does this make WWE hypocritical?
The WWE "Be A Star" anti-bullying campaign is one of the most hypocritical public initiatives that WWE has ever tried to accomplish. The company is run under the "high school jock" mentality, where bullying is frequent. Not only does ribbing amongst the workers take place but there are situations that are even accurately portrayed in storylines on television (such as the stuff WWE does with Jim Ross). WWE posted a controversial article on Thanksgiving looking at turkeys in the ring, essentially burying at least two former names in Kizarny and Big Vito. I can't answer why this is done but I am in complete agreement that it is hypocritical.
Why is John Morrison leaving WWE?
John Morrison's WWE contract expires tomorrow and he chose not to re-sign. I don't know how much this relates back to Melina but I have to believe she is a factor in his decision to walk. He wasn't a top priority in terms of WWE trying to re-sign him but I was told an offer was made. At this point it looks like Morrison could be headed to TNA Impact Wrestling with Melina.
Everybody is always thinking that WWE will turn John Cena heel. Isn't he technically a heel? He is always getting booed. It is sort of like CM Punk where he was a heel but always got cheered.
The issue goes deeper than if John Cena is being cheered or booed. Most fans, me included, want to see progression in the John Cena character. When WWE went away from the rap gimmick and made Cena the super human force that "overcame the odds," he gained a huge following as a fan favorite. However, I believe it's a case where WWE has rode it too long because of how much merchandise he moves and the argument has always been - no matter if fans boo or cheer Cena, they passionately care and he makes the company money. The reason a lot of people call Cena a modern day Hulk Hogan is the same thing happened with the Hogan character which eventually led to the biggest heel turn of all time. I speak for many when I say that I hope something happens in his match with The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII that will make the Cena character more interesting.
Why does TNA try and sign all names that leave WWE instead of building up their own names?
TNA pursues WWE talent because of name recognition and the fact that WWE wrestlers are the best in the world at what they do. If you are a top wrestler in the world in 2011, you are going to work for WWE. There are exceptions like Kurt Angle but the fact of the matter is WWE is the top wrestling company in the world and offers their performers the best chance to make a lot of money. People that can't make it in WWE or choose to leave due to certain circumstances, look for work in TNA because it gives them an opportunity to make money on a mainstream platform. I agree TNA should focus on home-growing talent; however, it's also important they keep some of the names that have been around to make people care. So far, TNA hasn't been able to make that work despite some of the biggest names in the business such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting. Vince McMahon's mentality is if these workers can't make TNA competitive than why should he worry about mid-card workers like John Morrison jumping ship?
What are your thoughts on the current status of CM Punk in WWE? I believe he's the only guy since John Cena and Randy Orton to get elevated to the top of the company.
I place CM Punk exactly where you are placing him in terms of active top stars in WWE - John Cena is the face followed by Orton then CM Punk. The "leaving" angle that WWE used to elevate Punk this summer worked perfectly because it was a legitimate situation that allowed for his real-life personality to shine through his wrestling gimmick. These are always the most successful gimmicks and I can tell you Punk has been one of the company's top merchandise sellers since it was done.
Whatever happened to Alex Riley?
Alex Riley is still an active member of the Raw roster. He beat Drew McIntyre in a dark match prior to last night's Raw Supershow. There's not an active storyline for him but we've been seeing a lot of things get cut from TV due to time constraints.
What do you think of Daniel Bryan attempting to "cash in" the Money in the Bank briefcase on Smackdown?
Daniel Bryan is the yo-yo of WWE. His push is on then it's off, it's up then it's down. While some may accuse me of having a "man crush" on Daniel Bryan, I feel he can flat out get it done. He can out work anyone in the company and his mic work/personality isn't near as bad as a lot of people perceive. I've always questioned whether or not Bryan would have success in WWE because he doesn't fit the prototypical WWE model in terms of who gets pushed. This is something Vince McMahon and Triple H would argue (and point to workers such as Rey Mysterio and CM Punk) but there's no denying a prototypical model exists. I field a lot of questions about who should take the World Heavyweight Championship off Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan would be a great choice, however, I'm not holding my breath. Nonetheless the reaction he generated from the crowd on last week's Smackdown when they thought he won the title should speak volumes.
Do you think Jeff Hardy will get a TNA Championship shot after Final Resolution?
I've already documented on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff want the TNA Championship on Jeff Hardy. I don't want to look too far ahead but you need to read this post and you can make your own conclusion.
How much stroke does a main event talent have in WWE? For example, can they approach Vince McMahon and request a title shot?
Title shots come down to the right situation and are ultimately guided under the direction of the WWE writing team and of course Vince McMahon. While a main event worker has more leverage to lobby for a title reign, they can't just request one and get it. The outcomes are scripted but to be champion is a big deal and provides the worker with an opportunity to make a lot of money. The more stroke the worker has, the more input they have in the direction of their character and storylines. However, no one runs over Vince McMahon and as you can probably imagine, McMahon's ego is big enough to hold his own. This is absolutely crucial in a business controlled by politics and manipulation.
What is the story with Jeff Jarrett and the Mexican Heavyweight Championship belt he wears?
Jeff Jarrett is the current AAA Heavyweight Champion. TNA hasn't been referring to the title as the AAA Heavyweight Championship because promoter Steve Ship owns all the United States rights to AAA's intellectual property. AAA is not legally allowed to tour in the United States unless Ship is the promoter and Jarrett can't wear the AAA insignias on the title belt. Ship is currently not doing business with AAA because he was behind the Lucha Libre USA promotion on MTV2. AAA officials have been in talks with TNA officials about running joint shows.
Do you have any updates on Kharma's pregnancy?
Kharma has remained very private during her pregnancy but when she announced she was pregnant at the end of May, she was believed to be out until mid-2012. I could see WWE bringing her back at Wrestlemania XXVIII but that's speculation on my part.
Why does WWE keep changing the Cody Rhodes character and music? From "Dashing" to "dark" to his latest mask less and knee pad transition.
WWE continues to tweak the Cody Rhodes character to elevate him. The "dashing" gimmick worked to a point but it wasn't a gimmick that could be used in the top of the card. The mask helped establish his "demented" personality but it couldn't continue forever. Character progression is important to keep the worker fresh and Cody seems primed to work in the top of the card. As for the knee pads, he looked silly without them.
Whatever happened to Bret Hart? He was touring with WWE earlier this year but is now nowhere to be found.
Bret Hart still has a good relationship with WWE but does not have a recurring role on television. While Bret is a WWE Hall of Famer and a Legend, he's limited in what he can do because he cannot compete. I criticized WWE earlier this year for the way they used Hart, not making a "big enough deal" about him appearing. When Bret finally returned to WWE TV in 2010 it was monumental but the use of him lately is more like seeing someone such as Sgt. Slaughter on TV. Any appearance of Hart should be heavily promoted and portrayed as something extraordinary.
What is the real reason Brodus Clay has had his debut bumped from Raw Supershow?
Brodus Clay has fallen victim to numerous show re-writes that have delayed his return on Raw Supershow. Brodus might have gotten himself in some trouble on Monday when he wrote on Twitter he was going to destroy John Morrison but later deleted it. Either WWE officials got upset he leaked the storyline on Twitter or changed the storyline by having The Miz take care of Morrison.
Whatever happened to Layla?
Layla has been out with a torn ACL and MCL in her knee. She underwent surgery in late May and has been rehabbing ever since. Layla did make an appearance at Florida Championship Wrestling last month and should be close to returning.
Why is Sheamus reserved to competing against mid-carders?
WWE is in the process of re-building Sheamus. He was pushed to the moon upon his debut on WWE TV but softened over the years. Transitioning from heel to babyface, WWE is once again planning a push for him. He hasn't worked against all mid-card talent as he just completed programs with Mark Henry and Christian.
Given the recent articles featured on WWE.com such as a revamp of the John Cena character, a new WWE Championship belt or the return of the Hardcore Title is WWE listening to the Internet and are these changes happening?
There is no way I can give you an accurate answer of what is featured on WWE.com. Some of the stuff is kayfabe, some of it legitimate and some of it (turkeys in the ring) is completely uncalled for. The articles you mentioned have generated a lot of buzz but I'm not sure if they mean serious changes or are used to get people sharing on Facebook and Tweeting on Twitter. WWE uses their website as a means of promotion for the company as well as yet another revenue stream for their well-oiled machine. There isn't always the best communication between the WWE website staff and the WWE writing team but it is what it is. We try and highlight some of the stuff WWE posts on their website but I would not use it as a source for accurate information.
While Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli) is now in WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory, where is Chris Hero?
Chris Hero ended up not getting signed by WWE. He's still working the indies and is part of Jeff Katz's Wrestling Revolution Project, however, he's not under any type of WWE contract.
Is Booker T a heel or babyface?
Booker T is meant to be a tweener, however, he's playing the role of a babyface in his program with Cody Rhodes. There are big plans for Rhodes and working with Book is part of the process of his elevation. On another note, I want to take a moment to applaud the work of Booker T. When he first returned to WWE as a color commentator I had questions about his work but he's gotten much better and is entertaining. He still has a tendency to "over talk" but overall he's greatly improved.
Has the way Alberto Del Rio been booked lately hurt his character in the long term?
The booking of Alberto Del Rio has been telling and questionable. WWE has elevated him quicker and stronger than any worker in recent history as he won both the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank briefcase this year. However, during his title reigns the company has made it blatantly obvious they have no confidence in him as "the guy." What I don't understand is if WWE doesn't have confidence in him to defend the strap, why give it to him in the first place?