Chris Jericho Done With WWE?, Alberto Del Rio To Have Surgery, One Name You Can Rule Out As Part Of The Cryptic Videos, Zack Ryder’s WWE Diva Girlfriend, Randy Orton Injured, Lashley Returning To WWE?, Kurt Angle’s Olympic Return Attempt, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

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 24, 2011 to Friday, December 30, 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!

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

WWE News

- TMZ reported today that a Florida roofing company has filed a lien against the home of John Cena. The accuser claims they did $15,214.92 worth of work and did not get paid. If Cena refuses to pay, the company would be able to go after the house.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Chris Jericho:

- Tyson Tomko is still in the process of completing an inpatient drug rehabilitation program in Florida. According to his attorney James McCune, Tomko has one month left in the facility which is one of the best in the world. WWE is footing the bill for Tomko’s treatment that, according to McCune, is “a lot of money.” Following the conclusion of Tomko’s rehab, he’ll enter six months of outpatient treatment in transitional home at the same facility. Tomko was arrested on October 10, 2011 when he was caught injecting stolen oxycodone in the bathroom of a Chili’s restaurant. Click here for more on Tomko by The St. Augustine Record.

- The WWE Studios production “Breaking the Rules” starring Edge and Jamie Kennedy is slated to be released in April 2012.

- Sean Waltman addressed his arrest today on Twitter. Below is from the official Twitter account of Waltman:

- WWE has confirmed that Alberto Del Rio has a torn groin and it will require surgery to repair. He’s expected to be out four to six weeks. Del Rio was injured in the main event of last week’s edition of Raw Supershow.

- R-Truth returned from suspension on tonight’s edition of Raw Supershow. Truth was suspended more than one month ago for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy for testing positive for synthetic cannabinoids.

- WWE has released Diary of a Heartbreak Kid, an eBook co-written by Shawn Michaels & Craig Tello. The eBook, centered around Michaels’ induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, is available for $5.99, and a synopsis is below:

In a day-by-day narrative accompanied by incredible photography that capture each moment’s raw emotion, Diary of a Heartbreak Kid captures unfiltered candor of Michaels as he’s reunited with family, friends and legends like Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ric Flair, The Rock, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman and Vince McMahon – all of whom played a part in Michaels’ Hall of Fame career and legacy of immortality. With his beautiful wife, children, time tested faith and nearly three decades of squared circle memories, Michaels steps back into the warm glow of the limelight during WrestleMania XXVIII weekend to have sports-entertainment’s greatest honor bestowed upon him. And with Diary of a Heartbreak Kid, you’ll experience it all by his side.

Click here for more information.

- CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler on next week’s edition of Raw Supershow. For those that missed it, Ziggler earned the title shot by beating Punk in a Gauntlet Match on last night’s show. Next week’s Raw Supershow will take place from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Click here for local event information.

- The announced attendance for last night’s sold out WWE Raw Supershow from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois was 14,804.

- WWE has trademarked the term WrestleFest and sent out cease and desist letters to those using the term. WWE actually had an arcade video game named “WWF WrestleFest” in the 90′s released by Technos.

- The latest edition of Tommy Dreamer TV featuring Jay Lethal is embedded in the video below:

- Ohio Valley Wrestling owner Danny Davis recently said he has spent $600,000 to keep the promotion going since WWE canceled their contract in 2008. WWE paid OVW $1,000,000 per year as their official developmental territory.

- As was seen on last night’s WWE Raw Supershow, the new debut date for Brodus Clay is next Monday. It’s believed that Clay has been held back as punishment for spoiling plans for him to write John Morrison off television at the end of November.

- I spoke with someone close to Christian today and was told he just recently got the walking boot taken off his ankle. I’m told he still has to wear it every other day and is still in a lot of pain. The feeling is he would have been better off breaking his ankle given the severity of the sprain. The injury occurred on November 9th at a Smackdown house show in Belgium. Due to increased speculation about Christian being part of the cryptic videos on Raw Supershow, I asked if he was a possibility. My source said that was “very doubtful” because he can still “barely walk.” While WWE plans for him to be back early next year, it certainly appears his return to the ring is not imminent. To answer the multitude of questions, I have only heard two names for the cryptic videos since they began airing – Chris Jericho and The Undertaker. However, I am unable to confirm any return at this point.

- WWE announced on Facebook the 1,000th episode of Raw will take place on Monday, July 23, 2012.

- William Regal, who quietly disappeared from his position as an announcer on WWE NXT last month, wrote the following on Twitter:

- There was an incident today at Madison Square Garden where security wouldn’t allow CM Punk in the venue. Apparently the security guard didn’t believe it was Punk. The WWE Champion Tweeted about the experience:

Punk was eventually able to get into the venue and will work tonight’s show in New York City. If you’re attending, please submit a live report. – The official WWE Insider Twitter account posted the following tweet minutes ago:

BREAKING: @RandyOrton injured at #Smackdown in Indianapolis tonight. More details to follow on WWE.com as they become available.

It is unknown at this time whether or not the injury is legitimate, but live reports are indicating that his match on Smackdown this week (Spoilers available at this link) ended abruptly after the final spot.

- It was announced on this week’s Smackdown that Drew McIntyre has been moved back to the Smackdown roster. McIntyre was originally moved to Raw as a part of the 2011 WWE Supplemental Draft.

- The official WWE website has announced that Randy Orton will no longer be competing in advertised street fights against Wade Barrett during this week’s live events due to an injury he suffered during this week’s Smackdown taping. Orton will be replaced by Sheamus in the matches.

- Two title matches have been announced for next week’s Smackdown:

* Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

* Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship

Next week’s Smackdown will be taped next Tuesday from the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Vickie Guerrero:

- The following is from the official Twitter account of CM Punk:

- WWE is teasing a storyline relationship between WWE United States Champion Zack Ryder and Eve Torres which is the reason for their pairing on this week’s Raw Supershow. Ryder invites Eve out for New Year’s Eve in a WWE.com video located at this link.

- LocalBozo has a write-up on last night’s WWE Raw house show from Madison Square Garden in New York City with pictures. You can check it out at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Gregg for sending us the link.)

- Wade Barrett claimed at last night’s Smackdown house show that he had injured Randy Orton so bad he would be out for six months. Barrett’s comments were kayfabe as there is still no timetable for how long Orton will be out as of this writing. Refunds were offered because Orton was unable to work the show as advertised.

- Speaking of last night’s house show, WWE will return to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan on April 23, 2012 for Raw Supershow. Tickets go on sale February 25, 2012.

- The Montgomery Adviser has a new article online promoting the Smackdown house show on January 7th from the Garrett Coliseum. You can read it at this link.

- It looks like CM Punk may soon write his own comic book in collaboration with Jill Thompson. ComicBookResources.com has the details on how the talk got started and how Punk himself expressed interest. You can read their piece at this link.

- Seth Rollins is on the road with the Smackdown crew this week. Rollins, a WWE developmental star in Florida Championship Wrestling, is best known as Tyler Black from his days in Ring of Honor.

- Another developmental talent that has been getting looked at on WWE shows this week is Leo Kruger. He’s on the road with the Raw crew and is a South African talent and the reigning FCW Champion.

- WWE has provided an injury update on Randy Orton on their official website. According to their report, Orton is expected to be out a few weeks and will be unable to make scheduled house shows.

“Randy suffered a herniated disc on the L4-L5 level on the left side, and that’s resulting in pain and weakness down his leg.” Dr. Sampson explained. “He’s going to need some time off for rehab, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.”

Orton has been replaced on this week’s house shows by Sheamus. You can read WWE’s coverage at this link.

- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article featuring quotes from Bobby Lashley. In it, Lashley talks about WWE and while he criticizes them for letting John Morrison walk, he has many positive things to say. Lashley also didn’t rule out a return to his former employer, almost as going as far as suggesting he’s interested:

Below is an excerpt:

“There’s of course unfinished business in WWE, there’s always some unfinished business somewhere, but I believe there’s still something’s to accomplish in WWE, definitely.

“I’m completely open to going back, I would love to come back and do something big if there was an opportunity presented, I would definitely consider it.

“While I would do it, if the chance never came my way then I would be completely content in continuing with what I’m doing at the moment and that’s continuing wrestling and trying to become the best possible fighter I can be.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE plans to bring back their Bragging Rights pay-per-view next year. The show, which took place in October 2009 and 2010, was scrapped in 2011. It is scheduled to take the place of WWE Capitol Punishment next year on Sunday, June 17, 2012.

- Kharma had her publicist put out the following video on YouTube:

TNA Impact Wrestling News

Diva-Dirt.com interviewed Rosita and sent us the following highlights:

On her rookie year in Impact Wrestling: “It’s been a crazy journey so far. I look back a couple of years ago, and seeing where I am now, there’s no way I thought I’d be where I am right now.”

“It’s truly amazing to see where determination and drive will lead you. From people telling me, ‘Oh no, you’re too small’ and ‘You can’t do those things that everyone else can do because you’re so small’, and you put those people to rest saying, ‘I can do this no matter what’. I had Tommy Dreamer, who’s amazing to me, from the very first day I met him — he actually was the one to say to me, ‘I believe in you, I know that you can do this. Let’s see what you can do at TNA’. Everybody at TNA has been amazing to me too, so I’ve been truly blessed on this whole [journey].”

On winning PWI’s Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award: “I remember when I was first presented the award, I was amazed. Usually when I’m shocked, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God’ — I just lose my breath and I [get] lost for words. I just looked at it like, ‘Oh, my God, this is amazing’.”

“I just remember bringing it home to my mom and she just started crying. She couldn’t even believe that her daughter — her crazy little daughter [Laughs] — actually touched the lives of other people to say that I’m an inspiration. It was an absolute honor.”

The screen time & opportunities afforded to the Knockouts division: “I think it’s super important [to have the screen time and opportunities the Knockouts receive]. Back to what I was saying about Hardcore Justice, I mean, despite the fact that myself and Sarita lost against [Brooke] Tessmacher and Tara, that was one of my favorite matches and that match alone was a good 10 minutes. When was the last time you really got a [Divas] match that’s over two minutes in WWE?”

“I’m just glad that we are given that time to show everybody who we are and show everybody what we have. And everybody is so different — you can look at Sarita and know that [there is] no comparison to Velvet Sky or Angelina Love. Everybody has their own certain characters. Everybody has something that they bring to the table.”

“I think it’s great that we get so much airtime to show that, and if you look, sometimes there’s more than one Knockouts match. You’re lucky if you get one Divas match in WWE.”

On her on-screen cousin Sarita overcoming the difficult year she’s had with facial paralysis & a nasty fall in Mexico: “From the moment I met Sarita, you can see that she is just, from top to bottom, inside and out, tough. She’s very tough. She’s very sincere, and she’s very sweet, but she’s tough as nails. No matter what, she will always get up from a fall. She didn’t let facial paralysis stop her from performing. She didn’t let that fall [in Mexico] stop her from coming back to the Impact Zone and doing what she does best and I couldn’t be more proud of her because there’s just some things, people are like, ‘Okay, I’m not going to go wrestle anymore after that’ or ‘Not my face, no’, but she’s not afraid of anything. It’s crazy. That’s another reason I look up to her.”

You can listen to the interview embedded below:

- The Poughkeepsie Journal is reporting that independent workers Vik Dalishus and Hale Collins are booked for a bout on TNA Impact Wrestling’s Friday house show from the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. The match will serve as a tryout for both. Dalishus has worked as an extra in WWE before and commented on the experience. “If I’ve ever been on my game to go out and kick (butt), this is going to be it. I don’t think the things I did with WWE were my best shot. I am going to give it my best shot and if I have to walk away, I will walk away with no regrets.”

- Embedded in the video below is Before the Bell – TNA Genesis:

- Colors TV uploaded the following promos for Ring Ka King on their official YouTube channel:

- The following is from Matt Morgan’s Twitter account:

- “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero has a role in Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” It’s unknown of Dinero has any dialogue in the movie. The film will be released in theaters on July 20, 2012.

- TimesUnion.com has a new article online promoting tonight’s TNA Impact Wrestling house show from the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The piece features quotes from Kurt Angle. Below is an excerpt:

“TNA has given me their blessing” to pursue the Olympic dream, he says. “I’m more of a part-time (pro) wrestler now.”

“I haven’t toned down my style in the (pro) ring,” says Angle, “but I toned down the danger level.” He has a long-term contract with TNA and intends to return to it full-time — before the Olympics if he doesn’t make the team, after if he does.

“If I don’t hit a certain number of (appearances), I’ll make it up the next year,” Angle says. “And if I don’t hit enough that year, I’ll work the fourth year for free. They’ve been very good to me and I’m very loyal to them. They want me to go for it. They’re not giving me this time off to sit on my a–.”

“I get respect, because of what I’ve done and how hard I’m training now,” he says. “I’m one of America’s greatest Olympic wrestlers of all time, (and) I’m rated one of the greatest college wrestlers ever. Whether I succeed or fail, I believe they’ll all stand up and clap. They’ll say, ‘At least he tried; he did everything possible, and he really went for it.’ ”

Click here to read the full article in its entirety.

- Following the airing of last night’s edition of Impact Wrestling, below is the updated TNA Genesis lineup:

TNA Championship Match
- Bobby Roode © vs. Jeff Hardy

Singles Match
- Kurt Angle vs. James Storm

TNA Women’s Knockout Championship Match
- Gail Kim © vs. Mickie James

Four Corners Match for the TNA X Division Championship
- Austin Aries © vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion

Monster’s Ball Match
If Abyss loses, he’ll join Immortal.
- Abyss vs. Bully Ray

Singles Match
- “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero vs. Devon

TNA Genesis will take place Sunday, January 8, 2012 from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Embedded in the video below is the latest edition of TNA Spin Cycle courtesy of the official TNA Impact Wrestling YouTube channel:

Ask WNW

While both WWE and TNA have their own respective in-house musicians/composers (Jim Johnston and Dale Oliver), ROH borrows songs to use them as entrance themes. Can they really afford to pay the corresponding royalties? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have their own music composer?

Ring of Honor often times gets music from independent bands where they trade exposure for the rights to a song. While they obviously have to pay for the rights to use any mainstream song, it’s not a major expense. If ROH continues to grow, an in-house music composer might be something of interest as they do have a significant financial backer in Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

When WWE Superstars travel show to show, does WWE pay for their flights and accommodations or do they pay for themselves?

Workers under WWE contract must pay their own travel expenses. The WWE office will assist in booking flights and making hotel reservations – all at a discounted rate you or I would get – however, it is a worker’s responsibility to handle these expenses. Most of the roster has a group of two or three that travel together where they share expenses such as hotel rooms, rental cars, etc.

If a worker is not injured but also not being featured on shows do they still get paid?

WWE contracts include a downside guarantee which is money they get regardless if they are injured or not used. This money is figured on a yearly basis and then paid either weekly or bimonthly (I can’t remember the pay cycle). The only time they do not collect this money is during a suspension upon which point these funds are not distributed. Downside guarantees vary from six figures all the way to approximately $25,000/year for a WWE developmental contract.

Is John Cena’s program with Kane something for him to do until Wrestlemania XXVIII?

John Cena’s program with Kane is one of the final programs he will have before his intermittent program with The Rock for Wrestlemania XXVIII is given the green light. There is obviously room for another; however, it all depends on how long Cena vs. Kane lasts. It looks like we will see this match at Royal Rumble which leaves only one pay-per-view for Cena before Wrestlemania. A lot was made about Cena not being on the WWE TLC lineup but there was literally nothing for him.

When is Christian due back on WWE television?

Christian is expected to return from the high ankle sprain he suffered next year as he’s included on the booking sheets for 2012 house shows. With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back at any time.

A couple weeks in, what’s the mindset in WWE regarding Daniel Bryan as World Heavyweight Championship?

Very few people know the future plans for the World Heavyweight Championship. I have been holding my breath from the moment Daniel Bryan “cashed in,” however, it was McMahon that made the call to utilize the gimmick. From what I understand Mark Henry’s injury played a role and the fact WWE didn’t want to be obligated to the gimmick in the build to Wrestlemania XXVIII.

What’s the latest update on Skip Sheffield?

Skip Sheffield worked a dark match prior to last night’s WWE Raw Supershow in Chicago. He is back from injury and should be returning to television soon. While Sheffield teased he was behind the cryptic videos, that is clearly not the case.

Why is Cody Rhodes in a program with Booker T? Is there no other “active” superstar that he could be in a program with? There are plenty of men in the locker room that are waiting for something yet they have him going against Booker T, who is twice his age…..why?

WWE has used Booker T in their plans to elevate Cody Rhodes. Working with someone as accomplished as Booker is a great way to get attention on Rhodes and goes to show to amount of confidence Book has in him. Ordinarily I do not like to see workers “past their prime” getting TV time over younger under-utilized workers, however, in this case I’m willing to make an exception.

Are WWE wrestlers classified as WWE employees or independent contractors?

WWE wrestlers signed under performer’s contracts are classified as independent contractors, not company employees. Due to the independent contractor status, there is no set pay structure or union that offers benefits. The classification has been argued and even fought in court; however, the bottom line is every wrestler under a WWE performer’s contract has legally agreed to be an independent contractor for WWE. We can debate the classification for hours but it makes no sense for a wrestler to agree to working as an independent contractor only to argue it once the agreement has ended. A contract is only binding if both sides agree and no matter how much someone may argue a WWE performer’s contract, they have to sign it for it to become legally binding.

What have you heard regarding Randy Orton’s injury suffered at last night’s Smackdown taping?

The initial word regarding Randy Orton’s injury at last night’s Smackdown taping is not good. I heard the injury has to do with his back and it could be serious. We should have more later today.

What is your gut telling you as to who is behind the cryptic videos on Raw Supershow?

For me to name a worker that is behind the cryptic videos would be nothing more than an educated guess. As far as I know Chris Jericho still hasn’t signed a WWE contract and he and his reps are denying he is returning. The feeling within WWE was if they couldn’t get Jericho, they would use the videos to re-debut The Undertaker in time for Wrestlemania. I posted a Backstage News article on the videos yesterday at this link.

Could you ever see Jeff Hardy returning to WWE?

We never like to use the word never in this business because anything is possible. However, I can tell you there is currently zero interest in Jeff Hardy. Despite all his problems, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff see him as the top babyface in TNA Impact Wrestling and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went over Bobby Roode for the title at Genesis.

Is Randy Orton legitimately injured or did he fail another WWE Wellness Test?

Randy Orton is suffering from a legitimate back injury. I’m still unclear if it’s something that happened on Tuesday night or if he realized it was going to be something that he could no longer work through so the stuff done Tuesday was used to write him off television. However, I have heard nothing about a Wellness test failure and can assure you that WWE makes names public when a worker tests positive. I know of two situations where names have not been announced, one including Orton but WWE did have a reason for not announcing it. With that being said the full duration of how long he will be out is unknown at this point.

I agree with most fans in that Michael Cole’s play-by-play is terrible and annoying but I think he is still very valuable because he is so over as a heel. So why not use him in another role as a manger or General Manager?

Vince McMahon loves Michael Cole’s work as the Raw play-by-play man. He does exactly what he is told and McMahon likes the heel/babyface setup on commentary. While a lot of fans cannot stand Michael Cole’s work as an announcer, McMahon legitimately sees him as the “voice of WWE.”

With Raw’s viewership decreasing each week why doesn’t WWE consider moving the show back an hour so the show doesn’t end so late?

This week’s Raw Supershow actually reversed the trend as the show actually gained audience from hour one to hour two (rating available here). It’s also worth noting that when there is a three-hour edition of Raw, the first hour is always the least-watched and drags the final number down. This is obviously due to the fact that the normal viewership of the show is programmed to tune in during the 9-11 PM EST timeslot. While I obviously can’t give a concrete answer as to why the show has lost viewership in recent weeks, I can tell you there are people in WWE trying to analyze the segments and figure it out.

I always wondered why they have title matches at house shows. I can’t remember the last time a title changed hands during one of these. I know its a ploy to get the bang for your buck, but can’t it come up as false advertising?

In addition to giving the shows headline matches to advertise, WWE has the titles defended at house shows to give the impression anything can happen; while rare, there are occasions where a belt will change hands. I’m against titles not being defended because it devalues them as props. Just because a worker is champion doesn’t always mean they are always going over as there are ways to book a dirty or DQ finish to keep up the excitement. The only way it’s false advertising is if they promote the title being defended and it’s not.

What is Hulk Hogan’s relationship with Vince McMahon like? Is there a chance Hogan could ever end up back in WWE?

Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon have a very unique relationship to say the least. Both have huge egos, however, the success they’ve endured can be traced back to one another. I personally believe there is a mutual amount of respect between Hogan and McMahon but they are not by any means friends. The talk when Hogan first came to TNA was that he couldn’t agree to terms on a WWE deal so he decided to help out TNA. While initially unhappy that Hogan joined Dixie Carter and company, I’ve heard McMahon has grown apathetic to workers such as Hogan and Ric Flair working for his “competition.” There was probably some initial fear that Hogan could elevate TNA but that clearly has not happened.

What are the chances Bobby Lashley returns to WWE?

Bobby Lashley has always been pretty firm that he had moved on from WWE into other things. He liked working for TNA because they still allowed him to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts. Based on Lashley’s recent comments, it seems like he actually wants another run in WWE. One of the reasons Lashley left WWE was the way they treated his real-life girlfriend Kristal Marshall. The last I heard they had broken up, so perhaps Lashley doesn’t feel strong dislike for the higher ups in WWE like he did at one point. Obviously another reason could be that his MMA career hasn’t gone anywhere and the clock is ticking on the prime of his career.

Will the WWE Network be available in Europe? If not, will you be able to order pay-per-views the same way?

Very little is known regarding the clearance of the WWE Network. As I have reported, there have been plans pitched to change the WWE pay-per-view model by moving B-level shows to the WWE Network. However, we do not know if the WWE Network is going to be a premium pay channel like HBO, a cable channel like the NFL Network or some other model we haven’t seen before (all three ideas have come up). Given WWE’s commitment to profitable overseas markets, I do not see them being left out in the plans. It troubles me that we are only months away from the WWE Network launch yet much of it remains a mystery.

What has happened to Mick Foley in WWE?

Mick Foley is under contract with WWE. While I do not know what type of deal, I’m assuming it’s a Legend’s Contract that gives the company exclusive access to him but it isn’t as limiting as a Performer’s Contract. He is currently on the road with the Raw brand.

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