WWE Network To DirecTV?, CM Punk Injured, HHH Exploring Major WWE Change, Who Went Off Script On Raw, Sandow’s Push Scrapped?, Why Rey Mysterio Was Pulled From PPV, Take-Two Gets WWE Games, Undertaker Still In Play For Wrestlemania

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, February 9, 2013 to Friday, February 15, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!

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

WWE News

- For those that missed last week’s Smackdown, Mark Henry earned a spot in the upcoming Elimination Chamber match at the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Henry joins Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, & Rey Mysterio, as well as two still-unannounced competitors. Click here to view full results from this week’s Smackdown.

- DirecTV is surveying customers about the proposed WWE Network. According to their survey, the network will be offered for a fee each month and will include all pay-per-views except for Wrestlemania. Pay-per-views will still be available for purchase for those that do not subscribe to the network.

- Wrestling News World reader Ben sent word that Kmart is currently accepting pre-orders for the Wrestlemania 29 chair. They’re priced at $129.99 and located at this link.

- Chris Jericho is advertised to appear at the 3/21 WWE NXT tapings. John Cena is being advertised for the 4/11 tapings as Ryback was originally scheduled.

- WWE developmental worker Corey Graves is back on the road with the Raw crew this weekend.

- WWE is returning to the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, Tennessee on June 8, 2013.

- Bruno Sammartino said on the Busted Open radio show he’d like to have Larry Zbyszko induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame, however, he’s leaving it in WWE’s hands. Sammartino said that Triple H told him WWE usually lets Hall of Fame inductees select who they want to induct them but that they would like to think about it for awhile. Apparently WWE is looking to bring in someone “worldly known” to do the honors.

- Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Anchor Bay Films and Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch Productions have agreed to a deal that will roll out two new action films. The first film is called “Kill Em All, John” and will star Austin as an ex-hitman pulled back into the underworld to “retire” a number of crime bosses as the clock ticks. Filming is set to begin this summer. Click here for more.

-CM Punk was shaken up at Saturday’s WWE Raw live event in Springfield, Missouri. The Miz botched a stalling suplex on Punk, causing him to land awkwardly on his head. Punk was then checked on by officials for several minutes and eventually went on to continue competing, although our correspondent noted that “you could tell it had an impact on him.” Click here for full results from the event.

-The official WWE website has an article up with quotes from The Brooklyn Brawler, Tommy Dreamer, Joey Styles, Dory Funk Jr., Howard Finkel, Trish Stratus, The Rock, Michael Cole, JBL, and Shawn Michaels, all weighing in on Bruno Sammartino‘s upcoming induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. Click here to view the article.

- The Undertaker is in Nashville, TN where this week’s WWE Raw will take place from the Bridgestone Arena. A photo is circulating on Twitter of Undertaker with Gnash, the official mascot of the Nashville Predators NHL team as he was in attendance at Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Below is the photo:

Undertaker & Gnash

We’re told Undertaker is scheduled to meet with Vince McMahon and Triple H in attempt to get a deal worked out for him to work Wrestlemania 29 this year. We do not have confirmation as to whether or not he’ll be scripted into this week’s Raw.

- For those that missed it over the weekend, we broke exclusively here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com that CM Punk was knocked loopy after he was dropped on his head after a botched suplex by The Miz at Saturday night’s WWE Raw live event in Springfield, Missouri (results here).

The spot was supposed to be a double stalling suplex. The Miz lost it towards the end and rather than falling back he came down in a piledriver style. Punk protected himself but we’re told it could have been “really bad.” Medical staff came out to check on him and he gave the OK to continue.

Once Punk got to the back he was said to be visibly angry and shaken up. We’re told he didn’t want to talk to anyone as a producer scolded The Miz. Punk hasn’t really talked about the spot and went on to work Sunday night. Even if he was hurt, it’s unlikely he would say anything as one observer reminded this is the same guy that fractured his skull early in his career and never said anything.

Below are two photos from the botched spot in Springfield:

The Miz losing it

The Miz lost it

- We heard there was some criticism of last weekend’s Smackdown live events due to the lack of star power. Big Show was off and replaced by Wade Barrett. On the Raw shows, John Cena didn’t work.

- Gerald Brisco is scheduled to scout talent at the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame weekend in Waterloo, Iowa on July 12, 2013.

- TMZ is reporting that Kenn Doane is writing a children’s book against bullying. He already has a publisher lined up to release the project.

- NBC Universal announced on Monday the rebranding and makeover of its G4 television network into “The Esquire Channel.” They’ll be teaming with Esquire magazine to launch “an upscale Bravo for men.” This is significant as both WWE and UFC tried to purchase the network and rebrand it for their respective companies. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on July 15, 2011, WWE was hoping to acquire G4 to launch the WWE Network. The thinking was it would guarantee them significant distribution with already acquired clearances.

- We’re told Triple H has a lot of momentum right now after getting the deal done to induct Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame. As a result, Vince McMahon is giving him more and more freedom to make changes, lay out future plans, etc. One major focus for Hunter has been the new training center WWE is looking to open in Orlando, FL. While some of the ideas are nothing particularly groundbreaking like the desire to be bigger than the NXT facilities in Tampa with more rings, there is one idea that has people excited. Hunter wants the Orlando facility to include a state of the art injury rehabilitation inside the training compound. Not only would injured developmental workers rehab there but when someone from the main roster gets injured, they’ll be sent to Orlando for rehab so the company can monitor their progress.

- During this week’s WWE Raw, Chris Jericho earned a spot in the upcoming Elimination Chamber match at the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Henry joins Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan & Mark Henry as well as two still-unannounced competitors. Click here to view full results from this week’s Raw.

- Dutch Mantel, working as the American patriot Zeb Coulter, debuted as Jack Swagger’s manager on this week’s WWE Raw. Mantel, a real-life Vietnam War veteran, is a semi-retired pro wrestler and was seen as the mastermind behind TNA’s stellar Knockout division during its glory days and was also a writer for Ring Ka King in India. Speaking of Swagger, he was officially added to the Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29.

- Last week’s Smackdown did a 2.16 cable rating with a strong average viewing audience of 3,190,000 viewers on SyFy.

- The Rock will not have a “champion’s advantage” in his WWE Championship match against CM Punk at Elimination Chamber on Sunday. The stipulation is the title will change hands if Rock is counted out or disqualified.

- Rey Mysterio will not be in the Elimination Chamber match despite being previously advertised. His face was cropped out of the graphic to promote the match when Chris Jericho qualified on Raw.

- Speaking of Raw, the show will return to the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina on April 15, 2013. Tickets go on sale February 23rd.

- The Elimination Chamber match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29 is set after undergoing some changes. Rey Mysterio is out and has been replaced along with two other workers being announced on this week’s Raw. The match is now as follows:

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Jack Swagger vs. Chris Jericho

The winner will face either Alberto Del Rio or Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29.

Join us on Sunday at 8 PM EST for exclusive live play-by-play coverage of WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- One of my local television stations, WTAE Pittsburgh, interviewed Bruno Sammartino about the upcoming WWE Hall of Fame. In the interview, they discuss Bruno’s success, but also his battle with the WWE. Bruno reveals that he spoke out about the product but felt that he failed:

“Naturally, I became a pariah to the wrestling world, but after I did everything I felt in my power to bring attention to it, I felt I failed because nothing happened. It continued on its merry way, so I said, ‘Well, I gave it my best shot and it’s time for me to bow out,’” said Sammartino.

Sammartino, with the help of Triple H, realized that the WWE did change. Bruno will be inducted on April 7, 2013.

“After everything that they told me, I said, now that I know Dr. Maroon is in charge. Now that all these things are done and I see it with my own eyes — I watch it week after week purposely to see if this was the way it was — then I told Paul Levesque, I said, ‘OK, you guys have done all the changes. I’m so grateful you people have done all that and I will do my part. I will accept your Hall of Fame,’” said Sammartino.

“I can take a lot of physical pain, but emotionally, I am not the strongest guy. I can get emotional very easy. I am hoping that night I can hold my emotions, because I have to make a little speech,”

The story of his career just may not end there. Talks of a documentary and a feature film have surfaced. To check out the full story and the video, click here.

- After this week’s WWE Raw went off the air Damien Sandow came out with The Rock still in the ring. He questioned Rocky as the WWE Champion and ended up taking a Rock Bottom. John Cena b. Dolph Ziggler w/Big E Langston in a dark match main event.

- Tickets for WWE Extreme Rules from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO officially go on sale February 23rd. You can purchase them at this link.

- John “Bradshaw” Layfield is set to begin climbing Mt Aconcogua on February 26, 2013. According to JBL the mountain has a 30% success rate.

- Hornswoggle was stretchered out of WWE Raw during the commercial break to sell the attack by Mark Henry.

- R-Truth was backstage at WWE Raw and appeared on the WWE App talking about his recent trip to Qatar. Randy Orton was also featured on the App but not on the live broadcast.

- Following this week’s episode of WWE Raw, below is the updated lineup for Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view lineup. Make sure you join us Sunday night at 8 PM EST for exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com:

WWE Championship Match
There is no champion’s advantage as the title can change on disqualification or count out.
- The Rock (c) vs. CM Punk

World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Big Show

Elimination Chamber Match
Winner challenges for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29.
- Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton

6-man Tag Team Match
- John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs. The Shield

WWE Divas Championship Match
- Kaitlyn (c) vs. Tamina Snuka

Elimination Chamber will take place Sunday from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana.

- Rey Mysterio is blaming the storyline attack of Mark Henry on the reason why he wasn’t on this week’s WWE Raw. The following is from his Twitter:

 

Mysterio, who was pulled from the Elimination Chamber Match, has been off on personal leave. I haven’t heard if he suffered a legitimate injury against Mark Henry.

- WWE is planning to book Brodus Clay and Tensai as a tag team moving forward.

- WWE is advertising the return of “The Highlight Reel” with Chris Jericho featuring The Miz on this week’s WWE Main Event. The show will be taped Tuesday night in Little Rock, Arkansas.

- The Rock and Jeff Jarrett exchanged Tweets after The Rock name dropped Jarrett in his promo on this week’s WWE Raw:

- Bruno Sammartino recently stated that he’ll receive $5000 and a WWE Hall of Fame ring for accepting the company’s invitation to be inducted. There are also plans for Bruno and WWE to work together on future projects that should pay him handsomely.

- John Layfield will miss some television time as he climbs Mt Aconcogua later this month. How much will depend on how long it takes him to climb the mountain. JBL will work Elimination Chamber on Sunday and TVs the following week. He’s scheduled to depart for Argentina on Saturday, February 23rd.

- WWE has announced Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. The Rhodes Scholars for the Elimination Chamber Pre Show that will be streamed live on YouTube. We’ll carry the footage live on Sunday night at 8 PM EST here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- We’re told The Rock wasn’t given a script for his show-closing promo on this week’s WWE Raw. Basically he was just “let go” to sell the pay-per-view and this is why there was some rambling. There were finishes talked about at Raw regarding the WWE Championship match at Elimination Chamber.

- Vince McMahon is currently on a “manager kick” which is evident in Paul Heyman, AJ Lee, Ricardo Rodriguez and now Zeb Colter. We’re told some of this has to do with Triple H’s old school wrestling approach but we’re told Vince won’t use the term manager.

- WWE officials continue to go back and forth regarding a second Elimination Chamber match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. As of show time on Monday the plan was for Ryback, Sheamus & John Cena vs. The Shield to remain a 6-man tag team match which was why the gimmick wasn’t announced on Raw. This could still change before Sunday but was off as of Monday.

- We heard some were accusing the writers of booking Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show backwards with two Last Man Stand bouts then a regular singles match at Elimination Chamber as a blowoff.

- Damien Sandow finds himself lost in the Wrestlemania 29 shuffle and his push could be delayed until the pay-per-view or after.

- There was some talk about making Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the WWE United States Championship a late addition to the Elimination Chamber card like it was last month.

- This week’s WWE Raw did a 3.16 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 4,260,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the breakdown of viewership by hour:

  • Hour one – 4,350,000 viewers
  • Hour two – 4,250,000 viewers
  • Hour three – 4,180,000 viewers

Obviously this is not a good headed into Elimination Chamber on Sunday.

- We’re told the reason Rey Mysterio was pulled from the Elimination Chamber Match is because his personal issues are still not resolved. Mysterio posted a kayfabe Tweet that he missed Raw due to Mark Henry’s “attack.” You can read that at this

- WWE has officially announced WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz for the pay-per-view on Sunday. We first reported the match was expected to be added here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.

- The Miami Herald has a feature on DDP Yoga and how it’s helped Jake Roberts. The article includes quotes from Roberts himself and can be read at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Fernando for sending this in.)

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website that features his thoughts from this week’s WWE Raw that you can read at this link.

- Kofi Kingston beat Corey Graves in a dark match prior to this week’s Smackdown taping.

- Brodus Clay is surveying followers on Twitter about a name for his new alliance with Tensai. He wants to know about the name “Monsters of Funk.” The following is from Clay’s Twitter:

- After this week’s Smackdown taping, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio beat Big Show in a dark match main event.

- Santino Marella wrote the following on Twitter:

- Tyson Kidd wrote the following on Twitter:

- Zack Ryder wrote the following on Twitter:

- John Layfield and Michael Cole are filming “The JBL & Cole Show” from the New Orleans Arena prior to Elimination Chamber on Sunday. The fan that brings the best sign will win two comp tickets to the show. Alicia Fox and Ricardo Rodriguez will join JBL and Cole for the taping.

- Rey Mysterio has been pulled for Raw’s tour of Qatar and Turkey later this month and replaced by Mark Henry.

- We’re told Scott Hall was released from the hospital last week after being there due to complications with his pacemaker. Sources close to Hall indicate he’s agreed to return to a rehab program sponsored by WWE. The original facility WWE wants him in is in Atlanta, Georgia, however, is currently at full capacity. We received word early this morning the company was trying to find a spot for him at a rehab facility in Florida until the facility in Atlanta has a vacancy. Hall is hopeful about training with Diamond Dallas Page (like Jake Roberts), however, this can’t happen until after he has completed another stint in rehab.

- Kassius Ohno lost some teeth after a stiff spinning heel kick from Xavier Woods at the February 7th WWE NXT live event. Ohno was laughing and joking about it backstage after initially being knocked silly. We recapped his Tweet with a photo after it happened last week here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Ryback will be wearing his opponents on Sunday… literally The Shield are featured on his singlet he plans on sporting during the 6-man tag team match at Elimination Chamber. The following is from Ryback’s Twitter:

- Bloomberg is reporting that Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, the parent company of 2KSports, has agreed to take over development and production of WWE video games from bankrupt THQ. No other details are available as of this writing.

- Jake Roberts, who is currently living with Diamond Dallas Page, posted the following to his Twitter account:

It should be noted that WWE is currently making an effort to get Scott Hall back into a rehab facility.

- To follow-up on what Brooks reported , we’re told Diamond Dallas Page’s crew has already started filming Scott Hall in Florida so they can “get footage of him at his worst.” We noted as of Wednesday morning WWE is trying to get him into a rehabilitation facility while they wait for the facility they want him in Atlanta, Georgia to get a vacancy. Hall is planning to sell his house because he’ll be living with DDP when he’s not in rehab.

- Rami Sebei made his WWE NXT debut at a live event Wednesday as El Generico in Orlando, Florida. He accompanied Brodus Clay to the ring for a match against Conor O’Brian. You can view a photo below:

El Generico

- Tammy “Sunny” Sytch did a new shoot interview with Kayfabe Commentaries where she claimed WWE kicked her out of a drug rehabilitation center that cost $1000 a day last year as soon as Linda McMahon lost her election campaign for United States Senate. She claimed the company transferred her to a cheaper ($106 a day) facility where she said she was treated inhumanely.

Sytch alleged when she asked WWE why they spent so much on Scott Hall yet had her in such a bad facility, she said a company official told her she wasn’t Scott Hall.

SB Nation affiliate, Cageside Seats, sought a statement from WWE regarding the allegations and received the following:

“As part of the Former Talent Rehabilitation Program, WWE has sent Ms. Sytch to rehabilitation numerous times, with all costs covered by WWE. Unfortunately, Ms. Sytch has continued to make poor personal choices and is ultimately responsible for the consequences of these decisions. WWE has always provided rehabilitation at a certified treatment center; however, given Ms. Sytch’s inability to change her lifestyle and successfully complete treatment, WWE will no longer fund her rehabilitation.”

You can watch a trailer of Sytch’s shoot interview embedded in the video below:

[youtube id="YCZHQhNsmhc" width="620" height="360"]

- To follow-up on The Undertaker, he’s still a possibility for Wrestlemania 29. As we reported on Monday, he was in Nashville (the site of this week’s Monday Night Raw) to meet with Vince McMahon and Triple H to work out a deal to get him on the pay-per-view. Undertaker wasn’t seen backstage but that doesn’t mean a meeting didn’t take place. At this point we do not have details of the meeting but are hearing that Undertaker is definitely not out of plans for Wrestlemania. There is still talk about him working a match against CM Punk at the show to defend his undefeated streak for a 21st time. While most are reporting Undertaker working is contingent on his health, we’ve heard it’s over money. Undertaker isn’t 100% healthy and probably won’t be for the remainder of his in-ring career but he’s been holding firm over an amount he is seeking to work the pay-per-view.

- A number of developmental talents were excited to see Kris Kristofferson backstage at Wednesday’s WWE NXT live event in Orlando. Kris’ son Jody is under developmental contract as Garrett Dylan.

- Sports Illustrated has a new article online featuring quotes from Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Cody Rhodes about the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. You can read it at this link.

- Chris Jericho did an interview with Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald to discuss hosting SyFy’s “Robot Combat League.” In the piece, Jericho comments on his return to WWE and other points of interest. Below are the highlights:

Returning at Royal Rumble:

“Nobody knew, that’s why it was such a surprise,” Jericho said. “It’s something that rarely happens nowadays because it always gets leaked online or to one of the sheets or whatever. So I really kept it under wraps and didn’t tell anybody. It was kind of decided on back in November. I was really impressed that we were able to pull of that surprise. That is why people went bananas for it because it was legitimate surprise like when we were kids. I thought it was really, really cool that we are still able to do that.”

His future in WWE:

I have been feeling great,” Jericho said. “I feel like all the matches that I’ve been having are the best matches on the show or close to it. This is especially true the last couple of weeks working with guys like Daniel Bryan. I really like doing other things too.

“Fozzy has been doing great. We are getting ready to go to Australia and then I will come back to WWE after that. The Robot Combat League is a big opportunity. I’ve always considered myself an entertainer more than just a wrestler or just an actor or just a musician. I think it’s very beneficial to do all these other things, but still be able to come back to WWE for good chunks of time or spurts.

“That is probably going to be my career from now on. I will keep coming back as long as I feel I’m still working at the highest level that I can. It won’t be for two years, but if I come back to two or so months at a time. Then I can do that, then it gives me the opportunity to do the other projects I have going on as well.”

Elimination Chamber:

“I’ve actually been in more Elimination Chamber matches than any other human being on the planet,” Jericho said. “It really has been a badge of honor for me. I really wasn’t supposed to be in that match, but Rey Mysterio got hurt, and they put me in there. It’s always great to add to your legacy. It’s one of the most hard-hitting matches you can have. I guess I’m an expert at these chamber matches so I thought, ‘Sure, let’s do it.’”

IOC’s decision to drop wrestling from 2020 Olympics:

“I never was an amateur wrestler,” Jericho said. “It’s a drag, but it’s a big business. It doesn’t affect me like a Jack Swagger or a Dolph Ziggler or Kurt Angle who did that. For me, I think it’s a drag from a traditional standpoint, but it doesn’t really affect anything that I do because pro wrestling will pretty much carry on forever.

“Think about it, pro wrestling as an Olympic sport would be pretty cool. Look at figure skating or gymnastics, what is it? It’s a choreographed performance that is judged. It’s whoever puts on the best performance. Why can’t you do that with different countries like a Canadian team, an American team and a German team go in there. Then whoever puts on the best match according to the judges wins. You take two of the best American workers in a match against each other and get scored by the judges. It’s the exact same thing as figures skating, so why not?”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Studios is is teaming with producer Edward R. Pressman and Jason Blum’s Blum-Hanson-Allen Films for an action comedy called “Cruisin’ For A Bruisin,” Deadline.com reported on Thursday.

The film will be written by Adam Bhala Lough and focuses on two rule-breaking ex-cops who get back together to take revenge on the crooks and corrupt Senator who murdered their mentor.

“As we continue to seek out key creative and strategic partnerships to broaden our release slate, the opportunity for WWE Studios to work with producers like Ed Pressman and Jason Blum, and their talented executive teams, was a natural fit for us,” WWE Studios president Michael Luisi said.

Click here for coverage by Deadline.com.

- Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji sent word that WWE is scheduled to tour Japan on July 4th and July 5th. The shows will take place at Ryougokukokugikan.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available here at JRsBarBQ.com.

- Kevin Nash isn’t convinced Scott Hall will seek the help of Diamond Dallas Page. Below is from his Twitter:

We can confirm WWE is trying to get Hall back in rehab and he was just recently released from the hospital due to complications with his pacemaker.

- Justin Gabriel, Hunico and Evan Bourne spent Valentine’s Day at the Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning NHL game. Gabriel Tweeted a photo with ThunderBug, the official mascot of the Lightning:

 

Justin Gabriel
Hunico is recovering from knee surgery while Bourne is rehabbing a mid-foot fracture.

- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote the following on Twitter:

We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that if a deal got done it’s likely an official announcement would be made this weekend.

- Zack Ryder is doing a meet and greet at Friday’s WWE NXT live event from the Ft. Pierce Fenn Center in Ft. Pierce, FL. For more information, including details
on tickets click here.

- Diamond Dallas Page pulled the video of he and Jake Roberts recruiting Scott Hall from the accountability crib due to Kevin Nash’s comments. DDP claims Hall is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta on Monday.

- The Times-Picayune out of New Orleans has a new article online featuring quotes from The Miz to promote Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Below are the highlights:

Ric Flair passing down to him the figure-four leg lock:

Are you kidding me? When I was a kid, I was giving all my friends figure fours all the time. For him to pass it to me, it was incredible. I was so grateful.

Reputation in WWE and trying to get respect despot his “reality star” past:

I’m still trying to earn respect. But I’ve never looked at the reality thing as a negative. It was a positive. It allowed me to realize what I wanted to do with my life. Whenever a veteran says you’ve paid your dues and earned their respect, that’s a great feeling.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE did a feature on dot com titled “14 Superstars you didn’t know appeared in WWE.” Here’s the list:

  • Crowbar
  • The Public Enemy
  • Baron Von Raschke
  • Great Sasuke
  • Kevin Von Erich
  • Samoa Joe
  • Kevin Sullivan
  • KroniK
  • Tony Schiavone
  • The Fabulous Freebirds
  • Tiger Mask
  • The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
  • Buff Bagwell
  • Greg Gagne

- WWE announced Friday afternoon here on dot com that the company would make a “special announcement” on Monday at 12 PM EST. The announcement will be streamed live on dot com. While WWE is keeping the suspense by not revealing what they are announcing, it is stated that Vince McMahon, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, WWE Champion The Rock and John Cena will be on hand. I do not have 100% confirmation but I would assume given the rumors it has to do with the location of Wrestlemania 30. The belief, fueled on Friday by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, is that the show will be held from the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

- I’m told Diamond Dallas Page is shopping a reality television show about he and Jake Roberts living together in the “accountability crib.” This was one of the reasons DDP filmed his phone call with Scott Hall as he wanted to capture Hall at his worst. DDP later pulled the video after backlash from Kevin Nash. My source said Nash was trying to protect Hall but he better “get used to it,” especially if Hall moves in as scheduled. Page invited Roberts to live with him a couple months ago to try and help him get sober by use of his DDP Yoga program.  Roberts has seen early succes, maintaining a sober lifestyle and losing a considerable amount of weight.

- Triple H has been nominated as the Most Metal Athlete at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards. The awards will take place on May 2nd and will be hosted by Chris Jericho.

- The Rock has been nominated for Favorite Male Buttkicker in the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for his hole in “Journey 2.” The awards show will take place on March 28th.

- This week’s episode of WWE Vintage Collection featured the following matches as transcribed by Devin Cutting:

Tower Of Doom Match
The Road Warriors, Steve Williams & The Garvins vs. Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, The Russian Assassin & Ivan Koloff
NWA Great American Bash 1988

Lion’s Den Match
Vince McMahon vs. Ken Shamrock
WWF Monday Night Raw – June 7th, 1999

Asylum Match
Scott Steiner vs. Shane Douglas
WCW Monday Nitro – May 29th, 2000

Cage Match
The Rock vs. Triple H
WWF Monday Night Raw – July 5th, 1999

- WWE has announced a May 4th live event from the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 2nd.

TNA News

- TNA Wrestling issued the following:

TNA PRESIDENT DIXIE CARTER ANNOUNCES MORE LIVE TV MARKETS FOR “IMPACT WRESTLING”, JEFF HARDY RETURNS AND MORE DURING BELLATOR ON SPIKE TV THURSDAY NIGHT

Top names in pro wrestling to make history in new markets across the US, Hardy signs long term agreement with company

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING President Dixie Carter announced during Thursday’s Bellator fight, live from Atlanta on Spike TV, that “IMPACT WRESTLING” will air live from three new locations: Jonesboro, Ark. on Thursday, March 28 from the Arkansas State University Convention Center; Corpus Christi, Texas on April 11 at the American Bank Center; and Duluth, Ga. (Atlanta) on June 6 from the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Carter also announced that current TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy has signed a long-term contract. He will return to “IMPACT WRESTLING” on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 28.

“Being able to make these announcements on Bellator last night shows the synergy between our two brands,” says Carter. “Jonesboro has not broadcasted a pro wrestling worldwide TV taping in more than a decade, and with the return of Hulk Hogan, this will truly be a historic night. This will be our second consecutive, live broadcast from the road after leaving the Impact Zone in early March. We are expecting to have a great crowd in Chicago on March 14 and continue the excitement in Jonesboro and Corpus Christi,” she said.

One interesting occurrence, left unmentioned during the live Bellator fight, was the unusual ringside interaction shared between Carter and TNA wrestler AJ Styles.

“I had to do a double take when I saw AJ,” said Carter. “He was cold, distant and unapproachable.”

More information regarding “IMPACT WRESTLING” on the road will be announced soon. Visit www.impactwrestling.com for our latest updates.

- TNA Wrestling’s announcement they would not be renewing their lease with Universal Studios and would be taking Impact on the road gave the locker room a big morale boost. Several workers had described the Universal crowd as “spoiled,” “calloused,” and even “exhausting” to try and garner a reaction from. The feeling amongst several people was that so many of the Impact regulars had become conditioned to the point where it didn’t matter how good the in-ring work was, reactions remained mundane. The company’s move to take TVs on the road has the majority of talent enthusiastic for an energy boost, making their jobs easier.

- In a story we’ve been following since December, Hulk Hogan continues to make subtle teases regarding a possible in-ring return. On Monday Hogan was asked about a follower for an update on his knee and back, the following is from Twitter:

Hogan stated in December he wanted knee surgery then a TNA title run.

- TNA Lockdown will be moving away from its “all steel cage matches” theme as the current plan is to feature a Lethal Lockdown match and the show’s main event (which, will be the TNA Championship bout that you can read about here) in a steel cage. The rest of the bouts are not scheduled to carry the gimmick. TNA Lockdown 2013 will take place Sunday, March 10, 2013 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

- Kurt Angle weighed in on the IOC’s decision to cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympics in an article posted by FOX Sports. Below is an excerpt:

“We’re going to fight this,” Kurt Angle, who provided another stirring Olympic wrestling moment with his gold medal in 1996, told FOXSports.com on Tuesday. “They can’t just drop it. They’re keeping badminton and that sport where you jump on a trampoline, and they’re dropping wrestling. It’s just crazy. I don’t know what this world is coming to. Things are changing.”

Angle’s current employer, TNA Wrestling, has started their own campaign to save wrestling from being cut and features more quotes from Kurt Angle:

“Wrestling is one of the most competitive sports in the world today,” stated TNA Superstar and 1996 Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. “Winning the gold for my country in one of the original Olympic sports was one of the greatest moments in my life.

“The wrestling community is in a state of shock with this decision– we can not sit back and allow this to happen. I will do whatever it takes and work with my company TNA WRESTLING and the competitive wrestling community to determine what we need to do to reverse this decision.”

- As part of TNA Wrestling’s campaign to fight the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling from the Olympics in 2020, TNA President Dixie Carter is calling on WWE to act in a statement published here on ImpactWrestling.com:

“We need to join together right now. We encourage our own IMPACT WRESTLING community, WWE and wrestling organizations worldwide as well as competitive amateur coaches and athletes to have a unified voice to make sure wrestling will be an Olympic sport in 2020.”

For Kurt Angle’s reaction, click here.

- TNA Wrestling has added Hulk Hogan to their April 5th live event in Westbury, NY. Click here for more.

- Below is the official preview for this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling:

- Who will face “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy for the World Heavyweight Championship at Lockdown? General Manager Hulk Hogan has booked four main-event quality matches that will take place on Thursday to help him make his final decision! The matches are:

- Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe

- Magnus vs. Christopher Daniels

- Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode

- James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam

Who will step up and potentially earn the chance to face Hardy at Lockdown? Tune in Thursday night to find out!

- Also on Thursday, the contestants from the “British Boot Camp” series will be in action as Marty and the Blossom Twins battle TNA superstars Gail Kim, Tara and Jesse Godderz in mixed tag team action!
This and much more on Thursday’s IMPACT WRESTLING from England on SpikeTV at 8/7c, plus more news on the upcoming “Lockdown” event on March 10 in San Antonio, Texas!

Click here for full taping results for this week’s show.

- Kurt Angle appeared on SportsCenter on Tuesday to express his shock and opposition for the IOC’s decision to drop wrestling for the 2020 Olympics. He encouraged both the professional and amateur wrestling communities to “fight back.”

- Dixie Carter wrote the following on Twitter:

- TNA Wrestling just posted the following on their official website:

PREMIERING APRIL 5 ON PAY-PER-VIEW:
One Night Only – “X-TRAVAGANZA”

Since TNA Wrestling began, it has been defined by the X-Division, a group of high-risk, aerial flyers who do whatever it takes to win. TNA Wrestling presents “ONE NIGHT ONLY: X-TRAVAGANZA” premiering Friday April 5th, 8pm ET/5pm PT only on Pay Per View. X-TRAVAGANZA will match TNA’s top X-Division wrestlers against some of the top free agents around the world and will also feature some of the promotion’s most popular X-Division specialty matches, including the Ultimate X Match!

Join TNA for a night of X-treme action featuring you favorite X-Division matches, with Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Sonjay Dutt, Zema Ion, Petey Williams, Doug Williams, Anthony Nese, Puma, Mason Andrews, Rubix, Kenny King, Matt Bentley, Jimmy Rave, Rashad Cameron, Kid Kash, Sam Shaw, Alex Silva and the last meeting ever of Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn.

TNA PPV events air on DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Bright House, Suddenlink, Viewer’s Choice and more – check your programming guide for availability!

PREMIERING MAY 3 ON PAY-PER-VIEW:
One Night Only – “JOKER’S WILD TAG TEAM SPECIAL”

The first round of this special will create some intriguing tag team matches. For one night only, old partners will reunite and bitter enemies must work together in order to advance. Once in the finals, however, any friendships or forged alliances will quickly disappear as the wrestlers will compete in a winner-take-all gauntlet battle royal, where it’s every man for himself and the winner will receive $100,000!!!

You can read taping results for both shows at the links below:

- Jesse Sorensen suffered a broken neck in a bout against Zema Ion at TNA Against All Odds on Sunday, February 12, 2012. Sorensen remembered the injury on Twitter:

- Kurt Angle spoke with WTAE: Pittsburgh on the recent news that Olympic Wrestling will be dropped from the Olympic events starting in 2020. Kurt mentions wrestling is the oldest sport and it will hurt countries even more than the United States. The video can be seen here. He also says the young wrestlers may go for the World Championships or the MMA instead of going to the Olympics. This video can be seen at this link.

- Bully Ray wrote the following on Twitter:

I don’t know whether or not he’s working as the match aired last week but was actually taped on January 25th. He went on to work after suffering the injury but didn’t work matches on last weekend’s TNA live events. He did, however, run-in during the main event on 2/8.

- TNA Wrestling is playing up a Tweet “posted” by thew Aces & Eights regarding a challenge for a Lethal Lockdown match at the pay-per-view next month. The match was already announced here as you can read TNA’s coverage here.

- TNA announced a new partnership with Sport1 in Germany on Wednesday. Below is the press release:

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING announces a new partnership with SPORT1 in Germany.

A weekly hour-long highlights show will air every Wednesday at 10pm on SPORT1 from March 6, as part of the channel’s free-TV schedule. Throughout March, an extra show introducing SPORT1 viewers to the recent history of TNA will be broadcast on Wednesdays at 11pm.

Both programmes will be repeated in SPORT1’s famous ‘Saturday night wrestling’ slot in March, replacing previous shows WWE Smackdown and Bottom Line.

There will also be a comprehensive video-on-demand offering, featuring full episodes of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and TNA PPV events on the SPORT1.de website. Fans can catch the unabridged two-hour edition of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING, as well as TNA’s monthly three-hour-long special wrestling events. In 2013, TNA Lockdown, TNA Slammiversary and TNA Bound for Glory will be offered live. All content will be available both individually and in subscription packages. Further details will be announced shortly.

The TV and video-on-demand formats of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will feature the commentary of Nic Heldt and Mike Ritter.

Olaf Schröder, Chief Editor and Head of Programming at SPORT1, says: “With the extensive collaboration with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING, we are continuing our popular and long-established tradition of wrestling on TV.

“Furthermore, from March onwards we can offer German wrestling fans an exclusive video-on-demand portfolio – with three big live events – that fits very well into our multimedia profile.”

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING General Manager Hulk Hogan is excited about the new partnership. He said: “Some of my biggest matches were shown on SPORT1, formerly DSF. I’m glad that the fans in Germany can now follow the best matches of today exclusively on SPORT1 and SPORT1.de.”

Dixie Carter, President of TNA Wrestling, added: “SPORT1 has been the home of Germany’s wrestling fans for many years. We are delighted to have found in SPORT1 the ideal partner to showcase the action-packed matches from TNA IMPACT WRESTLING to the German fans.”

- It certainly appears Bully Ray was working when he posted about his “injury.” TNA Wrestling covered the Tweet on their official website and said because of it, he would be unable to work in one of the four matches scheduled for this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling. While it’s true Ray won’t work this week’s show (taping results here), he does go on to work future episodes of Impact that were taped overseas a couple weeks ago. Catchup on several episodes of Impact Wrestling here in our TNA Spoilers section.

- TNA Wrestling announced that Kurt Angle has been added to this week’s live events in my home state of West Virginia. I actually heard he’s going to work a local guy (Jared Hartsog) in Morgantown. Whether or not that’s on the card or just something they’re doing before the show remains to be seen.

- The Wing House in Orlando is hosting a TNA Lockdown viewing party on Sunday, March 10, 2013. THe address is 3789 S. Kirkman.

- If you’re lonely this Valentine’s Day check out this gallery TNA uploaded on their Facebook page of the Knockouts.

- Speaking of Knockouts, TNA is running a poll for #MyValentineKnockout. Click here to vote now.

- To update you on the “is it a work/is it a shoot,” injury status of Bully Ray, the word going around is that he has a legitimate injury. Once Ray Tweeted about the injury, TNA played it up for storyline.

As of this writing Bully Ray is scheduled to face Devon in matches on this weekend’s live event loop of West Virginia.

Bully Ray added more on Twitter:

 

 

- Following this episode of Impact Wrestling, below is the non-spoiler lineup for TNA Lockdown:

Steel Cage Match for the TNA Championship
- Jeff Hardy vs. ???

Lethal Lockdown Match
- Sting & Team TNA vs. Devon & Aces & Eights

For Hardy’s opponent and more Impact spoilers, click here.

TNA Lockdown 2013 will take place will take place on Sunday, March 10, 2013 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

- The UK Sun has a new Q&A online with Bully Ray. Below are the highlights:

His character:

“You guys in the press like to use words like heel, babyface, good guy and bad guy. I’m not a heel and I’m not a babyface. I’m not a good guy and I’m not a bad guy. I’m me. Whatever me is at the time is what I am.

Admiration for Hulk Hogan:

“Hulk Hogan paved the way for everybody. There’s a respect level that comes with working with Hulk Hogan. He’s The Beatles of our business.

“I don’t care if you think he’s not the ‘greatest pro wrestler’ in the world. Who gives a s*** if he can’t reverse an armbar? You didn’t pay money to see Hulk Hogan reverse armbars or do arm drags. You paid to be entertained by him, to see him Hulk up, do a big boot and a legdrop.

“I’m a student of my game and respect my business. Of course I have to enjoy working next to him. It’s like a guy like Matthew Broderick, who has done it all, saying that he didn’t really enjoy working with Robert De Niro. He’s not starstruck by De Niro, but he’s enjoying it.”

Mick Foley and his WWE Hall of Fame induction:

“What I appreciate about Mick is obviously the hardcore style, the fact that he is a fellow New Yorker and the fact that he came through ECW. But what I appreciate about him the most is that he proved that a guy like me, who wasn’t exactly on the cover of muscle and fitness, could make it.

“I’ve kind of re-invented myself with my look now, and whenever I see Mick I remind him of just how great I look, how muscular I am and that I have abs now. And Mick’s still old and washed up and tubby!

“No, I have tons of respect for Mick. Mick has always been a big supporter of myself and the Dudley Boys. I’m glad to see him getting the recognition that he deserves — in New York.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling did a 1.01 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers on Spike TV.

Ask WNW

What’s Steve Austin doing nowadays? Are there any plans for an appearance at Wrestlemania 29?

Steve Austin is enjoying success as an actor and has started his own company called Broken Skull Ranch Productions. We reported over the weekend that Austin has agreed to a new two-film deal with Anchor Bay Films that will see him star in two action flicks. Austin’s latest movie, The Package, is out on DVD and Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack next week. As for Austin appearing at Wrestlemania, WWE tried to get a deal done but I’m under the impression it’s not happening.

How much will the WWE Network cost?

There was a major development in the WWE Network recently as DirecTV has begun surveying customers about their interest in the network. As I stated in the Premium Mailbag, a deal with DirecTV would mean enough clearance to launch. In their survey to customers, DirecTV listed the following price points: $29.99, $24.99, $19.99, $16.99 and $12.99. We heard (and reported) WWE was hoping to launch the network at a cheaper price and raising it through incremental increases.

With WWE looking to do The Rock vs. John Cena again at Wrestlemania 29, what are your thoughts about The Rock’s WWE title defense against CM Punk at Elimination Chamber?

I stated prior to The Rock winning the WWE Championship [at Royal Rumble] that the best course of action should WWE choose to do Rock vs. Cena II would be for Rock to beat Punk for the title, successfully defend it at Elimination Chamber and drop it to John Cena at Wrestlemania. I’m not deviating from this and feel it’s important that Rock go over Punk in a competitive match at the pay-per-view. WWE could use the bout to setup Punk’s Wrestlemania program but they need to be careful that it’s a credible defense for The Rock.

Why did WWE add Jeff Hardy to their Alumni section only to see him re-sign with TNA Wrestling?

WWE was aware of Jeff Hardy’s contract status and probably heard he had re-signed with TNA Wrestling. They added him to their website to get people visiting. The entire reason WWE adds former names like Hardy to their website is to make people visit. I have more on Jeff’s new contract with TNA Wrestling at this link.

Were there any big Wellness violation during the Attitude Era?

The WWE Talent Wellness Program was not enacted until February 2006 and was seen as a response to the sudden death of Eddie Guerrero.

Wouldn’t Ric Flair as a babyface be better than Vickie Guerrero as a heel for the lead power figure of WWE Raw?

There was actually talk late last year of making Ric Flair the on-screen WWE Raw General Manager, however, there was some reluctance to give Flair a live mic on a weekly basis. It’s been done before but apparently Vince McMahon was nervous about Flair going “all Ric Flair” on the USA Network. Another problem is Flair is not currently under a new WWE contract although his relationship remains close. As for Vickie Guerrero, she gained a lot of support to replace AJ Lee this fall and that’s what happened.

Do you have an update on the whereabouts on Christian and Ezekiel Jackson?

Both Christian and Ezekiel Jackson are out rehabbing injuries and are under WWE contract. We’ve covered both in detail so now we’re just filing this under “wait and see.”

How will the WWE Network affect the company’s current television deals?

The WWE Network isn’t scheduled to affect the company’s current television deals. The company wants to provide the network in addition to their current deals. Obviously should Smackdown not get renewed when its contract with SyFy comes up this fall, WWE would like to have a guaranteed backup plan. WWE is under contract with all of their deals domestically and internationally and we’ll report of any changes, however, the big one to watch for now will be Smackdown’s deal with SyFy that expires in October 2013.

Why are the Rhodes Scholars still competing together if they’ve been broken up?

The on-again, off-again booking of The Rhodes Scholars underscores the indecision of Vince McMahon. One minute he wants a viable tag team division, the next he wants to focus on singles pushes. When Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes reunited last weekend on live events it was a special occasion, now they’ll work the Elimination Chamber pre-show. Vince has wanted to push Damien in singles so when the tag team was split it was seen as a path to clear the way. Now it’s believed Sandow’s push is being stalled due to Wrestlemania build. Keeping him with Rhodes seems to be a holding pattern.

I for one am getting very tired of seeing The Rock come out and cut all his promos, wouldn’t it make more sense if we actually wrestled on Raw instead of continually talking?

I’ve gone on record in writing that The Rock “must wrestle” on free TV to remain relevant to the viewers. While I’ll admit I was overstating to illustrate how vital I think it is he works, it’s my belief that no matter how good one is on the mic they are bound to get stale without actually working. This is why I’m against overexposing legends that are physically unable to wrestle because their star will eventually fade if they can’t backup their talk. So to answer your question, yes it would make more sense for him to wrestle.

Why was Rey Mysterio pulled from the Elimination Chamber Match at the pay-per-view on Sunday?

We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Rey Mysterio was pulled from the pay-per-view due to ongoing personal issues. We also noted he’s been pulled from the Raw tour of Qatar and Turkey and replaced by Mark Henry.

What do you think of The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 29 for the WWE Championship?

I’d be in favor of The Rock defending the WWE Championship against Brock Lensar at Wrestlemania, however, it’s not the direction WWE is going. Rock is scheduled to rematch John Cena while Lesnar is scheduled to rematch Triple H. Apparently there has been talk of doing Rock vs. Brock at SummerSlam later this year.

There’s some buzz online about John Cena’s involvement with an adult film star as to be the cause of his divorce. It is also said WWE tried to cover it up. Is this true?

Let me start by saying it’s ridiculous that people spend so much time trying to find out who is sleeping with who when it’s really none of their business. I’ll tell you that WWE worked closely with John Cena during his divorce proceedings with Elizabeth Huberdeau as they didn’t want any dirt getting out about the face of the company. There was even a certain Diva that was put on leave while a settlement was reached. The divorce is settled and Cena is a single man, I have no interest in analyzing/investigating infidelity in his failed marriage.

Is Zack Ryder committing career suicide? Complaining constantly on social media can’t be endearing him to WWE management or his fellow superstars…

Zack Ryder is clearly frustrated with his spot in WWE. I don’t know how much attention WWE pays to his disgruntled Tweets but if anything it’s causing a disconnect between Ryder and his fans. While not at the same level, this almost reminds me of Matt Hardy. Hardy built a social media empire but suffered near irrefutable damage with some of the stunts he played (including the bizarre suicide tease). No one is going to feel sorry for Ryder. He’s got to realize that and do whatever he can to get used. If his relationship with WWE ends, he’ll have other opportunities as long as he doesn’t alienate his fan base.

After the induction of Bruno Sammartino, will the induction of Owen Hart now be possible?

The induction of Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame is a further reminder that literally anything can happen in this business. The hang-up on Owen Hart has to do with his widow, Martha Hart, that has fought WWE tooth and nail in court since his death. The fact of the matter is WWE doesn’t want to pay Martha anymore money and it is keeping Owen out of the Hall of Fame. I know many of the boys (including Bret Hart) want Owen inducted.

What do you think WWE could charge per month for the WWE Network?

If WWE includes 11 out of 12 pay-per-views on the WWE Network, I don’t think the proposed $29.99/month fee is unattainable as that is still less than ordering the shows outright. However, it wouldn’t be wise to start there and WWE probably needs to look more in the $16.99 range and increase it over time.

When two wrestlers who have never faced each other – like The Rock and CM Punk – did they work together for the first time on PPV or did they train and/or rehearse their moves together in a gym a few days before the show?

The Rock vs. CM Punk is a unique situation as most pay-per-view main events get to be rehearsed at live events leading up to the pay-per-views. Due to the fact The Rock is part-time and doesn’t work live events; he has to find other time to brush up on his in-ring work. To the best of my knowledge he didn’t physically work in the ring with CM Punk until Royal Rumble. He trained for the bout with Michael McGillicutty. You can view a photo of them together at this link.

How many days or hours before a show does a wrestler know the outcome of his match? Do they meet with the creative team?

Here’s how the process goes. The writers write the script and it goes to Vince McMahon for final approval. Once Vince has signed off there is a production meeting where the writers meet with producers. The producers are assigned matches to produce on the card and its their responsibility to convey what the writers have written to the talent. The workers involved will usually meet and discuss what they want to do in the match. As for the timeframe, it depends on the show, the match and the situation.

When WWE turns out the lights to get workers in the ring (as was the case on Raw with Sheamus, John Cena & Ryback), how do they know when to turn them back on?

Everything is planned out and coordinated beforehand. They know exactly when the lights are going to go out, when the workers are going to leave gorilla, etc. What you see on television follows a script that has went through a process like I mentioned above.

Is it now or never for the WWE Network? It seems like announcing the network at Wrestlemania 29 is very important given The Rock is at the peak of his popularity.

It’s not now or never but WWE has to get clearance. Last week there was a very noteworthy development with DirecTV surveying subscribers about the network. Should WWE sign an agreement with DirecTV it would be enough clearance to force the cable providers to carry the network.  The best possible time WWE could make an announcement would be live on an episode of WWE Raw the week before or the week after Wrestlemania 29.

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  • RJR

    The headline says “Cesaro’s Push Scrapped”, but I can’t find anything in this article which relates to that. The only piece of news relating to him is his match against The Miz being added to the Elimination Chamber PPV.

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      I’m sorry this is my fault. The headline should (and now does) read “Sandow’s Push Scrapped?” and is in reference to WWE possibly delaying his push until after Wrestlemania. This is also the reason for reuniting him with Cody Rhodes. I apologize for the error.