Vince Russo Gone From TNA; Creative Team Shake-Up, Jesse Sorensen Seriously Injured, Kane Unmasked, Former WWE Champ & Current Main Event Star Accused Of Being Jealous; Why An In-Ring Incident Didn’t Do Anything To Help Their Cause, Foley Critical Of Zack Ryder Bump, Randy Orton Concussed; Out Of Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania XXIX Coming To New Jersey, Production Begins On WWE ’13, 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, February 11, 2012 to Friday, February 17, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- WWE’s latest WCW-themed DVD will be centered around “Clash of the Champions.” The set will cover 1988 through 1997. The release date is set for May 22, 2012. You can view the listing on Amazon at this link.

- Bakersfield.com has a new article online promoting Sunday’s WWE Smackdown live event in the city. The piece features a quote from 2012 Royal Rumble winner Sheamus where he talks about staying up late at night as a child to watch Royal Rumble in his native Ireland.

“We were five hours ahead of the United States, so the show would start in the middle of the night,”

Sheamus is scheduled to face a returning Alberto Del Rio. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Rey Mysterio will be signing autographs today at the World of Wheels at the Indiana State Fairgrounds today from 1-3 PM. (Thanks to WNW reader Matt Hartzell for sending this in.)

- The latest edition of “WWE Presents” – The Bellas tour West Point is online embedded in the video below:

- Alberto Del Rio made an appearance on 95.7 The Game in San Fransisco yesterday to promote tonight’s Smackdown live event in San Francisco and was very candid in his comments. He said early in the interview he didn’t like most of the boys in the locker room when asked if they hung-out outside of work. Del Rio claimed to have legitimate hatred for The Miz and said he’s tried to “punch him in the face” several times. He said The Miz “is like a little girl” and called him a “stupid little kid.” One of the hosts agreed with him, saying he had the same opinion of The Miz when he was on their program. Del Rio concluded by saying The Miz didn’t have many female fans because he is “fat and ugly.” So much for anti-bullying and Be-A-Star. You can listen to the full interview at 957TheGame.com.

-

The latest episodes of “Foreign Exchange” and “Backstage Fallout” are embedded in the videos below courtesy of the official WWE YouTube channel:

“Foreign Exchange with Santino Marella” – Episode 2

Exclusive backstage interviews from SmackDown – “Backstage Fallout”

- The Rock was a guest on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last night. You can watch the appearance embedded in the video below:

- The Bermuda Sun recently conducted an interview with John Layfield, in which he discussed many aspects of his wrestling career, including how he got his start, his gimmicks, and his favorite opponent. Layfield explained the genesis of his JBL persona in the excerpt below:

JBL was my favourite. I enjoyed the Bradshaw character — the beer drinking character from Texas. It was just fun. For Ron Simmons and I, that was us. The WWE saw two old football players sitting around drinking beer and they wanted to put that on TV. We had a blast with that.

The JBL character came along. Vince McMahon will deny this because he didn’t see any parallel with the JR Ewing character (from the TV show Dallas), but in my mind it was a JR Ewing character. It was my idea.

I had wanted to be this JBL character for some time, but I was doing so much for the troops and going to Iraq for Christmas and doing shows for the troops.

Because of this Vince didn’t want me to be a bad guy. A confluence of factors happened. Big Show got hurt, The Undertaker got hurt and Brock Lesnar left the company and they needed a guy to face Eddie Guerrero. Vince asked me if I wanted to do the JBL character and I said ‘I’d love to and said let’s give it a whirl’.

When asked about his favorite opponent, Layfield responded:

“The Undertaker was far the best. He and Eddie Guerrero — who was probably the most popular Hispanic character of all time — and those guys were just magicians. Those guys were so good and so professional and talented. With some guys, I wrestled hard, they wrestled hard but there was no chemistry. It’s frustrating because you’re wanting people to be happy because they’re spending hard-earned money. You want them to enjoy the show but I walked away thinking ‘I just didn’t do my job.’”

Click here to read the full interview.

- Wrestling News World reader Shannon sent in the following:

An advertised autograph session in Queensbury, New York with Edge has been revealed to be illegitimate. Edge’s friend Christian wrote the following announcement on his Twitter account:

If ur planning on going 2 meet Edge @ autograph session @ Omega Sports, Queensbury, NY Apr 21 he WON’T be there..Unfortunately owner of store was fooled by someone claiming to represent Edge.. Hopefully something like this doesn’t happen again.

In a similar situation, The Ultimate Warrior suffered the same fate recently, as his team contacted promoter Brandon Bronson, who was misinformed by a fradulent agent regarding Warrior’s June 9th appearance.

If you have purchased tickets to either Edge’s or Ultimate Warrior’s appearance, you can contact Aviation Mall at (518)-793-8818 to request a refund.

- Two matches have been announced for the upcoming live Super Smackdown on February 21 from Rockford, Illinois: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a street fight, and Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship. In addition, the official BMO Harris Bank Center website is advertising CM Punk as a special guest. At this time, it is unknown whether these matches will be dark matches or matches on the televised show.

- The latest episode of “Are You Serious” is now online over at the official WWE YouTube channel. You can watch embedded in the video below:

- Alberto Del Rio returned to WWE at last night’s Smackdown live event from the Cow Palace in San Fransisco, California. After being introduced by Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio came out and cut a promo. Sheamus challenged him to a singles match between Royal Rumble winners but Del Rio declined and made it an arm wrestling match. Del Rio has been out since December with a torn groin that required surgery. In a promotional appearance last week, he said he didn’t like most of his co-workers and said The Miz is like a little girl. Click here for full results from last night’s show.

- CM Punk and Chris Jericho were recently interviewed by ADMC Sport in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Punk discussed what he’d be like if he’d have been in WWE during the Attitude Era, his straightedge lifestyle, and more, while Jericho discussed remaining silent during his return, his time on Dancing With The Stars, and more. The interviews are embedded below:

CM Punk

Chris Jericho

- Wrestling News World reader Robert Anderson sent in the following recent photo of Kane taken in Abu Dhabi:

- TMZ is reporting that John Cena paid the Florida roofing company that filed a $15,214.92 lien against his home last year.

- An official announcement is expected to be made on Wednesday regarding the location of Wrestlemania 29. While I cannot provide 100% confirmation the word is WWE will announce the show will be held from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

- Alberto Del Rio hasn’t received clearance to wrestle yet which is why he worked in a non-wrestling role on this weekend’s live events. I haven’t heard if there are plans for him to return to Raw Supershow tonight as he isn’t being advertised by WWE.

- There is some nasty gossip going around backstage WWE following The Miz failing to catch R-Truth on the high-risk spot from last week’s Raw Supershow. Prior to the spot last week there was talk amongst some of the talent as well as members of WWE management that The Miz was jealous of R-Truth’s push. From what I’m told many felt like The Miz was not only jealous of Truth’s push but that he also disliked the amount of extra attention Vince McMahon was spending on the R-Truth character. The Miz was McMahon’s “pet project” this time last year and according to those close to the situation, isn’t handling the downgrade well. There are definitely people who are wondering if The Miz “accidentally” missed Truth on the dive out of the ring, however, my source doesn’t believe that to be the case. Nonetheless Miz failing to catch Truth did nothing to help the rumblings that Miz is jealous of Truth’s spot. Given the gossip already making rounds, the botched spot couldn’t have happened at a worse time. While I don’t know what all was said, The Miz met with Triple H over the spot backstage at last week’s show.

- WWE Champion CM Punk is featured in an episode of Gracie Breakdown where he helps Rener Gracie analyze Royce Gracie vs. Dan Severn from UFC 4 in 1994. I’m not sure when it was filmed but it was posted on YouTube today. You can view embedded in the video below:

WNW reader Fernando sent word that Kevin Nash has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Nash went on to explain on his Twitter account today:

 

- The latest episode of WWE Download with Dolph Ziggler is embedded in the video below courtesy of the official WWE YouTube channel:

- Shawn Michaels is being advertised locally for the March 5th edition of Raw Supershow from the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The show will be loaded as The Undertaker and The Rock are also advertised as are all three for the following week’s Raw Supershow from Cleveland, Ohio.

- Beth Phoenix will defend the WWE Divas Championship against Tamina Snuka (yes, a name change WWE is playing up as part of her push) at WWE Elimination Chamber this Sunday. Elimination Chamber will take place Sunday from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was at tonight’s Raw Supershow from San Diego, California with his family.

WWE has announced that the Smackdown brand will be going to Japan for the first time in three years on August 9th and August 10th. An announcement by Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long is embedded below:

- The post-Smackdown footage that WWE showed last night on Raw Supershow is online at this link.

- The official WWE website has a backstage interview with Shawn Michaels that you can watch at this link. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta for sending this in.

- The latest edition of Backstage Fallout is in the video embedded below:

- To answer many of you that have wondered, The Undertaker did indeed cut his hair last year (as shown in the vignette last night on Raw Supershow) and was wearing a wig when he appeared last week. I haven’t heard if he plans on working Wrestlemania XXVIII in the wig but we should find out soon enough.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Mick Foley:

- Mark Henry will soon be a Hall of Famer as it was announced today the International Sports Hall of Fame will induct the former World Heavyweight Champion and 2002 Arnold Classic World’s Strongest Man into their Hall of Fame on March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio. Henry will join Randy Courture, Chuck Wepner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Lalane and Cory Everson as 2012 inductees. For more, go to www.sportshof.org.

- Both Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio were at last night’s Raw Supershow in San Diego, California. Del Rio returned to WWE over the weekend but didn’t wrestle as he’s not cleared from his torn groin injury. Mysterio, who is targeting a return at Wrestlemania XXVIII, lives in the city and was visiting.

- Randy Orton suffered a concussion during his singles match against Big Show (in which Daniel Bryan interfered) at last night’s WWE Raw Supershow from San Diego, California. Orton will not be medically cleared to compete by Sunday and as a result will be unable to participate in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship. The WWE writing team is aware of the injury and will be replacing Orton in the match.

The official WWE website has confirmed the injury as you can view an excerpt from their article below:

“Randy sustained head trauma following his match with Big Show, in which Daniel Bryan interfered, and he was evaluated in the training room immediately afterward,” WWE physician Dr. Michael Sampson told WWE.com. “Due to his symptoms as well as his neurological evaluation, he was diagnosed with a concussion. We will be doing more testing to see how he’s going to do as far as short term vs. long term.”

Orton will not be cleared to compete in the World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match this Sunday.

Click here for coverage by WWE.com.

Under the WWE Wellness Policy, Orton will be required to pass an ImPACT test and then receive clinical clearance by a certified physician before he will be able to return the ring. While I’m unaware if Orton has been tested, initial ImPACT tests are usually conducted 24-72 hours post injury. If failed, the test is usually administered 2-3 days after the first post injury ImPACT test.

- Santino Marella will replace Randy Orton in this Sunday’s Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. It was announced earlier today that Orton lost his spot in the match due to a concussion. Click here for this week’s spoilers. Elimination Chamber will take place Sunday from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE has spoiled Smackdown by posting an article on their official website entitled “Santino to replace Randy Orton in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match,” detailing what happened at last night’s Smackdown taping from Fresno, California. You can read the article at this link. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Schembro for sending this in.

- I currently have some people checking into the status of Brodus Clay. Clay hasn’t been seen on WWE television since his match against Heath Slater was pulled from the February 3rd edition of Smackdown. He worked live events that weekend but wasn’t on the road last weekend nor did he have a match at this week’s TVs.

- Wrestling News World reader Nick Woods sent word that Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Kane are being advertised for the upcoming Wrestlemania Revenge Tour of the United Kingdom after Wrestlemania. While these will likely change pending the results of Wrestlemania it does give some perspective on the thinking of WWE creative.

- WWE Studios has partnered with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to release three films that will be DVD premiere titles, Deadline.com reported today. The first film is called The Marine: Homefront and will be the latest installment of the franchise that started with the 2006 Fox theatrical release of The Marine that starred John Cena and continued with the 2008 release of The Marine 2 starring Ted DiBiase. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will handle worldwide distribution for all three films, releasing the flicks on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and digital download. WWE will be promoting the films on their television shows as they have done in the past.

- The latest edition of WWE Inbox is now online. You can watch it embedded in the video below:

“WWE Inbox” – Episode 3

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website. In it, he gives his thoughts on Monday’s WWE Raw Supershow and reaction to Santino Marella replacing Randy Orton in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. Below is an excerpt:

The HHH/HBK in ring segment was compelling. I could have listened all night to their interaction. This segment was a hit and provoked thought of which some fans are over thinking. Nothing new there..

Didn’t hate the ‘debate’ that started the show as it did provide talents with an opportunity to speak. Speaking on TV is essential. No talk generally equals not a star.

Seems as if Kofi/Jericho have some chemistry in the ring. Kofi is starting to step forward and hopefully he remains hungry and aggressive in those efforts. Jericho is already a star who is destined for big things likely sooner than later.

It seemed as if I sort of drove up on Orton and Show squaring off in the ring. This is the bout where Orton got concussed and has now been eliminated from competing at the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday. Concussions are not and cannot be dealt with any way but seriously. WWE does a really nice job regarding talent’s injuries with a full time medical doctor at every event along with a certified athletic trainer.

Saw on WWE.com where Santino was replacing Orton in the Smackdown elimination chamber bout. That’s a jaw dropper.

Click here to read JR’s latest in its entirety.

- NJBiz.com is reporting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will announce on Thursday that Wrestlemania 29 will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The news comes as no surprise as news first leaked last month when Triple H was in town to meet with city and state officials about hosting the show.

- The official WWE website has announced that WrestleMania 29 will take place on April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, confirming earlier reports. A press conference will be held tomorrow at the stadium at 11:00 AM, led by Vince McMahon, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, New York Giants President & CEO John Mara, and New York Jets Owner & CEO Woody Johnson, and featuring WWE Superstars such as John Cena, Triple H and Sheamus. In addition, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is scheduled to make a special appearance. Click here to read the full announcement.

- The official logo for WrestleMania 29 at MetLife Stadium has been released by WWE, and is posted below:

- Slim Jim recently conducted an interview with Eve, in which she discussed her friends in the Divas’ locker room, what inspired her to become a WWE Diva, and more. The interview is embedded below:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was joined by Vince McMahon, New York Giants President John Mara, New York Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and WWE’s John Saboor to announce today that Wrestlemania XXVIX will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 7, 2013. John Cena, Triple H, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Brie & Nikki Bella as well as The Rock were all on hand for the announcement.

Below is the official press release:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – February 16, 2012 – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and WWE (NYSE: WWE) announced today that its annual pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania XXIX, will come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday, April 7, 2013 with events throughout the New York/New Jersey region.

Governor Christie was joined by WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, New York Football Giants President and CEO John Mara, New York Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, NYC & Company CEO, George Fertitta and WWE’s Senior Vice President of Special Events John Saboor to make the announcement at a press conference held earlier today. WWE Superstars John Cena®, Triple H®, Sheamus®, Mark Henry®, Brie and Nikki Bella™ and special guest Dwayne “The Rock®” Johnson were also on hand at MetLife Stadium for the historic announcement.

“We are excited to be hosting WrestleMania XXIX in the great state of New Jersey,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Having WWE’s preeminent international event here will strengthen both the regional and local economies and continue to showcase MetLife Stadium as a world-class venue for sports and entertainment. Fans will travel from around the world to enjoy and participate in the WWE’s biggest event of the year.”

A week-long celebration, WrestleMania has generated more than $200 million in cumulative economic impact for its past four host regions. The 2013 event will mark WrestleMania’s fifth trip to the metropolitan area with past visits in 1985, 1986, 1994, and 2004.

“WWE would like to thank Governor Christie, the New York Jets, the New York Giants and NYC & Company for rolling out the red carpet to host WWE’s biggest event of the year,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to making history and adding MetLife Stadium to the list of iconic venues that have hosted WrestleMania.”

“When WrestleMania comes to town, related activities will occur throughout the New York and New Jersey area, but we are looking forward to hosting the main event,” said New York Jets Chairman and CEO, Woody Johnson. “We are confident that both the Superstars and fans of WWE will feel at home in MetLife Stadium.”

“WrestleMania has long been considered one of the most successful sports entertainment events in the world,” said John Mara, President and CEO of the New York Giants. “We are thrilled to welcome the highly-anticipated 29th installment to MetLife Stadium.”
WrestleMania Week activities will occur throughout the New York/New Jersey region including: the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; WrestleMania Axxess, WWE’s interactive fan festival; Make-A-Wish Pizza Party hosted by John Cena; Monday Night Raw; the finals of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge and other community-based events.

“NYC & Company looks forward to partnering with New Jersey on another world-class event in the tri-state area,” said NYC & Company CEO, George Fertitta. “We invite all WWE fans to visit New York City for its unparalleled shopping, dining, cultural and entertainment options across the five boroughs that will surely make WrestleMania Week an unforgettable experience.”

The pay-per-view event will be televised in more than 100 countries and 30 languages. In 2011, a sold-out crowd of 71,617 fans from all 50 states and 30 countries converged on the Georgia Dome for WrestleMania XXVII. This year WrestleMania XXVIII takes place Sunday, April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. The main event will feature the highly-anticipated match between John Cena and The Rock.

- The Rock announced at today’s Wrestlemania XXIX press conference that he will appear at next year’s show from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This will mark three consecutive Wrestlemania appearances for The Rock who was the guest host of Wrestlemania XXVII last year and of course will main event Wrestlemania XXVIII this year against John Cena.

- Former Ring of Honor star Chris Hero has officially been added to the Florida Championship Wrestling roster, under the name Kassius Ohno. Hero was signed by WWE earlier this month. Click here to view his roster page.

- The following images, featuring Randy Savage and Randy Orton, have been posted to the official WWE Games Facebook page and the WWE THQ website, hinting at “getting closer to something” on February 21:

- There was a lot of work being done on WWE ’13 last week in Los Angeles. In addition to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler doing commentary voice-overs for the game, a lot of the motion capture work was done as well. With Austin Aries unavailable, THQ hired talent working for TNA’s Ra Ka King project in India. I cannot confirm all the names that did work but can confirm Harry Smith was among them last week in Los Angeles. I’m told the guys working on the game had to head out to LA almost as soon as they returned from the latest television tapings in India. As for Aries, people at THQ really enjoy working with him and missed him this year.

- Evan Bourne has been removed from the WWE Raw Supershow opener which doesn’t bode well for his future in the company. I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on January 23rd that the talk then was Bourne was likely to be a member of the yearly cuts. He will be available to return from his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy on March 18, 2012.

- Sheamus recently filmed a new WWE-themed Kmart commercial in Los Angeles.

- Wrestling News World reader Robi sent word that CM Punk has been nominated for Most Metal Athlete for Revolver Magazine’s 2012 Golden Gods Awards. Punk will go up against MMA star Gina Carano, motocross racer, Brian Deegan, MLB star Evan Longoria, NBA player Dirk Nowitzki and NFL star Mitch Petrus. Go here for more.

- WWE has full coverage of today’s Wrestlemania XXIX press conference in New Jersey at this link.

- Randy Orton’s concussion is believed to have occurred on the botched RKO on Big Show during their singles match at Monday’s Raw Supershow. In storyline, WWE is going with the concussion was caused by Daniel Bryan’s shot with the World Heavyweight Championship belt.

- Wrestling News world reader Logan Walker sent word WWE has posted footage of yesterday’s Wrestlemania XXIX announcement in New Jersey on their official YouTube channel. You can watch it embedded in the video below:

- Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent this in… Besides Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero), Florida Championship Wrestling features some new talents on their official website. Below is the latest update:

  • Adam Mercer (Evan Singleton, from CZW Academy)
  • Aiden English (Matt Rehwoldt, a former actor from Chicago)
  • Garrett Dylan (Jody Kristofferson)
  • Sonny Elliot (Danny Bolton, from Australia)
  • Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis, formerly known as Britani Knight and hailing from Norwich, England)

- WWE is playing up the kiss between John Cena and Eve Torres with a Zack Ryder interview on dot com. You can read it and watch a video at this link.

- Kelly Kelly was nominated in the “Favorite Buttkicker” category for a Nickelodeon Kids Choice award. Click here to view here profile. (Thanks to WNW reader Angela for sending this in.)

- WWE Champion CM Punk will appear on 540AM ESPN Milwaukee and 100.5FM ESPN Madison today during the 3:00 PM hour promoting Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Click here for more. (Thanks to WNW reader Peter W for sending this in.)

- Available now on MLW.com and iTunes, Mister Saint Laurent talks with All Japan’s Taiyo Kea about his long career in All Japan, his time in MLW, being in Japan last year during the earthquake, his love of MMA and more. The only man to hold All Japan’s Triple Crown Heavyweight title, Unified Tag titles and World Jr. Heavyweight title. He doesn’t do many interviews, but he sat down with MLW Radio for a full hour to answer all the questions that had been sent by fans to the MLW mailbag.

- Embedded in the video below is the latest episode of Z! True Long Island Story, featuring Zack Ryder:

- Amid reports surfacing about his whereabouts, Brodus Clay posted the following on Twitter:

Obviously Clay meant “planet” funk, however, we’ll let him slide on the typo.

Peter Rosenberg from Hot 97 in New York interviewed The Rock, John Cena and Sheamus at Thursday’s Wrestlemania XXIX press conference. You can watch the interviews embedded in the videos below:

The Rock

John Cena

Sheamus

TNA Impact Wrestling News

- WNW writer Rick Craig & WNW readers John McCarthy and David Snay sent in the following:

FOXSports.com has announced that Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants will be making an appearance on an upcoming Impact Wrestling taping for TNA Wrestling at the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida.

Kurt Angle is expected to have a confrontation with Pierre-Paul in the ring, but the football star’s contract will keep him from doing too much physically.

Pierre-Paul will join Pacman Jones, Frank Wycheck, and Bart Scott as football players who have set foot inside of a TNA ring.

Click here to read the full article.

- Hulk Hogan spoke at the ViSalus Health meeting at The Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida yesterday. Wrestling News World reader Derek spotted Hogan and confirmed he arrived at the location at 1:15 PM EST. Hogan is scheduled to be at tonight’s TNA Against All Odds pay-per-view. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage of Against All Odds tonight here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com beginning at 8 PM EST.

- Brian Fritz has a new interview online with Crimson to promote tonight’s TNA Against All Odds pay-per-view. Be sure to join us for exclusive live play-by-play coverage of the show tonight here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Embedded in the video below is the February, 11, 2012 episode of Ring Ka King (episode #5):

- TNA X Division Champion Austin Aries sent in the following:

Austin Aries here. Not to let facts get on the way of a good story but I worked for 3 years of THQ’s WWE video game. My voice over work for this years game was done way before I signed with TNA. And I make very good money with TNA for that matter. Thought you might like to have some actual factual info instead of making things up

Austin is speaking of Friday’s installment of Ask WNW on this question and answer:

I would rank Austin Aries as one of the best workers in TNA Impact Wrestling. How did the company feel about him working with WWE for their WWE ’12 video game?

As far as I know TNA had no problem with Austin Aries providing dialogue for the Jacob Cass character in WWE ’12. They probably encouraged it as another revenue stream for him to earn money. Guys like Aries aren’t making a lot working in TNA as it’s not near at the level of WWE. I agree his work is great but just because he’s on television doesn’t mean he’s making a large salary.

I apologize for the error and can assure you I wasn’t “making things up.” I was going on the information I had to answer the question. I am glad he emailed in to provide further details.

- WNW readers John McCarthy & David Snay sent in the following:

According to FOX Sports, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will not be appearing on an upcoming episode of Impact Wrestling, despite previous reports. The deal had reportedly not been finalized with TNA & Spike officials, and Pierre-Paul backed out of the deal, which originally included an in-ring confrontation with Kurt Angle, due to exhaustion.

Click here to read the full article.

- TNA Impact Wrestling posted the following backstage interviews on their official YouTube channel prior to tonight’s Against All Odds pay-per-view:

- – For those that missed the backstage interviews I posted from Against All Odds, Robbie E has issued an open challenge for tonight’s pay-per-view.

- Regarding rumors that Vince Russo is no longer on the TNA creative team, it appears the report was premature. I have heard TNA has been exploring their options as far as a head creative team writer is concerned and it’s not that they no longer want Russo, it’s Russo wants another role in the company. With that being said, Dave Lagana is backstage at tonight’s pay-per-view and Russo is not.

- Zema Xion vs. Jesse Sorensen is set to open tonight’s Against All Odds pay-per-view.

- There continues to be a lot of talk regarding the creative team in TNA Impact Wrestling. No formal announcement has been made to crew and talent regarding the rumored Dave Lagana for Vince Russo transition. The situation gained steamed this afternoon when it was learned that Russo wasn’t backstage at Against All Odds in Orlando. From what I understand Lagana is helping produce pre-tapes backstage at tonight’s show and is downplaying rumors that he’s Russo’s replacement. The creative structure in TNA has been Vince Russo and Matt Conway submitting their work to Bruce Prichard before going to Eric Bischoff who had the final say before the content was executed for television. While many publications are continuing to report Russo is out, my sources seems to believe Russo could be seeking a “less political” role in TNA. It wasn’t long ago I was told Dixie Carter “wouldn’t fire” Russo. Things are always subject to change and with Russo not at tonight’s pay-per-view, there is nothing to support his status one way or another. All and all I can confirm TNA has been actively searching for a new creative team writer. Russo’s absence is notable and an exit would mean a big leg up for the political camp of Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. For those unfamiliar with Lagana, he’s a former WWE creative team writer and was working with ROH Wrestling before being hired by TNA last year to help with Ring Ka King in India.

- The announce team for tonight’s TNA Against All Odds pay-per-view is Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash. Taz will not work the show.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Dixie Carter:

Sorensen suffered a head/neck injury after he caught the knee of Zema Ion after an asai moonsault from the middle rope from Ion. The referee threw up the “X” signal and trainers came out to ringside as the match was ruled a count out and Ion declared the winner. Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash killed time as they tended to Sorensen at ringside.

9:20 PM EST Update: Jesse Sorensen was knocked out cold after taking a knee to the head. There has been a considerable amount of concern for him as Kurt Angle, Karen Jarrett and Hulk Hogan have taken to their Twitter accounts to rally support. Sorensen was unable to finish the match as the referee was forced to go to an impromtu count out.

- Dixie Carter just posted the following on Twitter:

Click here for more on the injury.

- TNA Impact Wrestling has released full details on their upcoming Victory Road pay-per-view. You can view them in the press release below:

On Sunday, March 18, Direct Auto Insurance presents “Victory Road” live on Pay-Per-View and online around the world at TNAOnDemand.com! The epic event takes place from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The event will feature Sting, Bobby Roode, “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, “Cowboy” James Storm, the lovely Knockouts, the high-flying X Division superstars and many more!

TNA PPV events air on Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter Cable, Cablevision, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FIOS, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Viewer’s Choice and more.

Get info on the Pay-Per-View VIP Weekend at ShopTNA.com – Watch IMPACT WRESTLING every Thursday night at 9/8c on SpikeTV for news on Victory Road

- Samoa Joe & Magnus beat Crimson & Matt Morgan at last night’s TNA Against All odds pay-per-view to win the TNA Tag Team Championship.

- The following video was posted on the official YouTube channel of TNA Impact Wrestling:

- Jesse Sorensen spent the night in a Florida Intensive Care Unit last night. No new updates have been made available but there has been a lot of genuine concern after the neck injury he suffered against Zema Ion at last night’s Against All Odds pay-per-view.

- As stated by Mike Tenay on last night’s pay-per-view broadcast, Taz missed the show due to a death in the family. Taz commented on the death of his brother-in-law today on Twitter:

- TNA Impact Wrestling has found another member of the Super Bowl champions to appear on this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling. The following is from the Twitter account of Dixie Carter:

Thanks to Wrestling News World writer Dan Haase for sending this in.

- The condition of Jesse Sorensen is reportedly improving. He has regained movement in his arms and has tingling in his legs. The outlook is much better today than it was last night but it is obviously still a delicate situation. Sorensen, who was injured after taking a knee to the head in the opening match of last night’s Against All Odds pay-per-view against Zema Ion, remains hospitalized in an Orlando Intensive Care Unit.

- New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs is backstage at tonight’s Impact Wrestling taping in Orlando, Florida. Vince Russo is not present.

- Jason Powell reports Jesse Sorensen suffered an injury to his C1 vertebrae. No other information regarding his health is available at this time.

- TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter posted the following update on Jesse Sorensen on her Facebook page:

Jesse Sorensen has sustained a C1 vertebrae fracture with spinal cord edema. He is slowly regaining feeling and movement in his arms and legs. He wants to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Once we speak to the neurosurgeon, we will pass on more details.

Wrestling News World will continue to give updates on the situation as information becomes available.

- There were no commentators at ringside during tonight’s Impact Wrestling tapings from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The commentary will likely be done by Mike Tenay and Taz dubbed over during post production. Taz missed last night’s Against All Odds pay-per-view due to the death of his brother-in-law.

- TNA has announced that New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs will discuss his appearance on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling tonight on ESPN SportsCenter.

- New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs taped material for this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling and next week’s tonight from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The only material they taped for next week’s show was the material involving Jacobs as it doesn’t appear he’ll be available tomorrow night.

Vince Russo is gone from TNA Impact Wrestling, Dixie Carter has now confirmed. The following is from Dixie’s Twitter account:

News regarding a possible TNA creative team change became the talking point going into Sunday’s Against All Odds pay-per-view when it was learned that Russo was not at the pay-per-view and former WWE creative team writer Dave Lagana was. While the structure isn’t 100% clear at this point, Lagana didn’t replace Russo and didn’t write the script for this week’s TVs. Lagana has been helping out backstage with pre-tapes and is not believed to currently have a role in the creative process. The most surprising part of this news is not that Russo is off TNA creative but that he has completely left the company. One of my sources believed Russo was looking to re-position himself in the company as Dixie Carter had always been very supportive of him. As previously noted, with Russo gone, it’s a significant leg up for Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff as they looked at Russo and Jeff Jarrett as their opposition. As things currently stand, Bruce Prichard is still in charge of the creative direction in TNA with Matt Conway contributing. Eric Bischoff gets the final nod before material is taped for television.

- Jesse Sorensen remains in serious condition but doctors are optimistic about his long-term prognosis. There have been rumblings he is expected to make a full recovery, however, I have been unable to confirm that through my sources. Dixie Carter paid to have Sorensen’s mother flown to Orlando, Florida to be with her son.

- On a much lighter note, Ken Anderson is selling three new t-shirts at his new website that is awaiting launch at this link.

- Kurt Angle Tweeted that Jesse Sorensen is moving his arms and legs. He said the doctor’s are projecting a one year recovery time frame. Angle says he’ll be back in four months. As of this writing the Tweet is no longer featured on Angle’s page.

- Spike TV President Kevin Kay was at last night’s Impact Wrestling taping in Orlando, Florida.

- Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have weighed in on Vince Russo leaving TNA Impact Wrestling and Dave Lagana getting an increased role. The following is from their official Twitter accounts:

- Vince Russo is officially gone from TNA Impact Wrestling and rumors continue to run rampant regarding the company’s creative structure. Russo and TNA agreed to part without speaking bad about one another as became evident in Dixie Carter’s formal statement and comments from Hulk Hogan. Much of the discussion as of late has had to do with the exact role of former WWE creative team writer Dave Lagana who was hired by TNA last November to assist with the Ring Ka King project in India. There have been conflicting reports he is the new “head writer” while others state he will simply “help” or “assist” in the creative process. Regardless of Lagana’s job title, it has become clear he will have a hand in the creative structure of the company going forward as Eric Bischoff officially welcomed him in comments last night. To recap, the TNA creative team now consists of Bruce Prichard, Matt Conway, Dave Lagana and of course Eric Bischoff.

- The UK Sun has a new article featuring quotes from Bully Ray. The piece highlights his success in singles competition and he talks about splitting up Team 3D.

“There have been plenty of people that told me I should have broken away from Team 3D a long time ago, but I kept it together for very good reasons

“Financial reasons, fun reasons. Me and D-Von are the most successful team in the world in the past 20 years. Hands down, no arguments.

“How do we measure success? We measure it in two ways in the wrestling business — money and world titles. You can’t tell me another team in the past 20 years that has made more money or had more championship reigns.

“I’m not saying we are the greatest tag team in the world — I would never, ever say that. That’s pompous, That’s bulls***, but we are the most successful tag team in the world.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Marshall University’s student newspaper, The Parthenon, has a new article mentioning tomorrow night’s TNA Impact Wrestling live event in Huntington, West Virginia. Click here to read it.

- The BBC has a new article online highlighting Kurt Angle’s attempt to land a spot on the US amateur wrestling team for the 2012 Olympics.

“I had to give it a lot of thought, it didn’t just come out of my head and say I’m going to try for Olympics,” he says.

“What are my chances of making the team? Slim to none, I’m not going to lie but, if I can look you in the eye and say I have a chance that’s more than enough. That’s worth training five hours a day to get ready for the trials and for the biggest event of all, the Olympics.”

When asked if failing to put on a good showing at the April qualifiers will hurt him, Angle said:

“The only negative publicity I could get is if I didn’t show for the trials. I don’t want people to think Kurt Angle is a quitter,”

“I’ve been chastised for going into mixed martial arts and backing out. But the reason I backed out was the terms – they wanted me ready to fight in four weeks but you’ve got to be out of your mind. “

Angle says he’s been through a “rugged” decade:

“I’ve had a rugged 10 years. I’ve been through painkiller abuse to broken necks to wrestling 300 days a year, beating my body down,” he admits.

Angle also reveals those close to him aren’t offering him the biggest showing of support either:

“I’ve had my ex-wife Karen tell me you’re not fit for it,” he says.

“I’ve had family members say they’re concerned about my neck, my mother’s always worried and even some of my brothers aren’t taking me seriously.

“Last time they were with me everywhere I went, now they’re like ‘nah he’s not really doing it’. I’ve been doing it by the grace of God as I don’t have near the support I had back then.”

You can read the article in its entirety at this link.

- PWInsider is reporting that Jesse Sorensen has been released from the hospital and is at his home in Tampa, Florida. Given the fact that he suffered fractured C1 vertebrae on Sunday, that’s nothing short of incredible. Kurt Angle said Monday night that doctor’s were projecting a one year timetable for his recovery.

- TNA has announced they’ll be returning to the Lakefront Arena at the University of New Orleans on May 10, 2012.

- Commentary for tonight’s edition of Impact Wrestling was inserted in post-production by Mike Tenay and Taz. Taz was unable to work the taping on Monday night due to the death of his brother-in-law.

- Embedded in the video below is the latest Impact Wrestling Post Show:

Ask WNW

Do you think Batista could return and cheat John Cena out of his match at Wrestlemania XXVIII to give Cena a program after The Rock?

While I have maintained Batista will be back to WWE to finish up his in-ring career, I don’t look for this to be a likely scenario. Cena vs. The Rock is going to be front row and center and I don’t see anyone else returning to detract from that spotlight. The reason I chose to answer this question is because Batista’s recent comments where he said he feels like Cena killed hardcore edgy wrestling provides the opportunity for a future program. Remember Chris Jericho Tweeted remarks about CM Punk that laid the groundwork for their upcoming Wrestlemania feud so if/when Batista returns, a program with Cena would be entertaining.

If two workers have legitimate dislike for one another does WWE avoid booking them against one another?

No one is able to control the plans of Vince McMahon. If McMahon ran WWE like that, it would not still be in business. While a main event worker such as John Cena has much more input in what they do and don’t do, it’d be highly unlikely for someone to reject a program because of personal feelings with someone. No one outside of the top guys is going to reject anything because they don’t want to lose their spots. There have been situations where a main event worker has gone to management over working with a certain worker, claiming they didn’t feel safe. For example, Randy Orton went to WWE officials over working with Ken Anderson and it ended up leading to his WWE departure. There have also been situations where workers will stay out of the business and wait for the right opportunity. An example I can think of off the top of my head is Batista. He recently stated he’s in no hurry to return and work with The Miz.

Will WWE hold a Draft this year with Raw being a Supershow?

With the brand extension still active, as far as I know, there will be a draft to go along with it. The reason WWE began the Raw Supershows is to give Smackdown talent exposure on Raw in hopes of carrying more of Raw’s audience on Friday night. WWE also wants some of the younger guys, like Daniel Bryan, to get maximum exposure by appearing on both shows.

Did WWE ruin The Rock vs. John Cena by having them tag together at Survivor Series?

I was opposed to The Rock competing at Survivor Series and felt like WWE almost got greedy by using him prior to Wrestlemania this year. With that being said I don’t think it ruined the Wrestlemania main event, however, it did take away from some of the anticipation. I don’t know if it will cause someone not to order but I was against it and highlighted my reasons in detail before it happened on my Backstage Blog at this link.

Where is John Morrison?

John Morrison is currently working independent dates as he declined a contract extension offered to him by WWE. Many expected him to go to TNA Impact Wrestling with Melina but so far that hasn’t happened. Morrison recently worked against Shelton Benjamin at World Wrestling Fan Xperience’s show in Manila, Philippines on February 4, 2012. Morrison won the promotion’s championship in the bout.

Are there any plans for The Undertaker to wrestle before Wrestlemania XXVIII or will he be saved for the pay-per-view?

I would expect WWE to save The Undertaker for Wrestlemania XXVIII unless he wants a match to brush off any potential ring rust. I would be against Undertaker working before Wrestlemania because I feel it would take away from his defense of the streak, killing some of the anticipation leading up to the bout.

How much do WWE developmental workers get paid? Are they allowed to work outside indy dates?

I got in trouble last week for mentioning pay but the last time I asked, WWE developmental contracts included downside guarantees in the $25,000/year range. Workers under WWE developmental contracts are not allowed to work independent dates and must remain exclusive to the company. If they are called up to the main WWE roster, they will earn show bonuses for each show they work.

Despite only airing for two weeks the angle of Natalya is tedious already. Is there any purpose in it or is it just a way to keep kids entertained during the PG era?

The Natalya “farting” gimmick is disgusting. I have told people that I feel it is Vince McMahon’s immaturity at the forefront, highlighting his weird sense of humor. I don’t know the purpose but I can’t believe someone would find it entertaining.

Vince McMahon was so eager to push Drew McIntyre but now he’s constantly buried. Why do you think this is?

Back in 2009 Triple H lobbied for Sheamus and Drew McIntyre to get big pushes in WWE. Sheamus has withstood some resistance and maintained relevancy while Drew McIntyre has struggled. We get questions all the time asking about McIntyre and the only thing I can tell you is he hasn’t been looked at as a priority. There isn’t room for everyone to have a storyline so it’s really crucial that someone takes full advantage of any opportunity they are given.

Was there any significance in showing The Undertaker cutting his hair in that vignette on Monday’s Raw Supershow?

The Undertaker cut his hair off last year. Apparently WWE was hoping by the time Wrestlemania came around that it would be long enough to fit the “deadman” persona. His hair wasn’t quite long enough so the decision was made for him to wear a wig. Now it looks like WWE is using the hair as part of the storyline leading to the third Wrestlemania encounter between Triple H and The Undertaker.

Was there any heat over Randy Orton’s botched RKO attempt on Monday’s Raw Supershow? Please note: This was written before news broke of Randy Orton’s injury.

The spot was completely blown. It looked like Randy Orton lost his balance when executing the RKO, causing the weird/botchalicious landing from Big Show. I don’t know what the reaction was like backstage but given the fact it was two reliable veterans it will probably be water under the bridge. Had it been a younger worker or a mid-card talent, it would have been a much bigger deal. I will ask around and see what I find out about what was said backstage.

Now that he is on the same level as guys like John Cena & Randy Orton, how much stroke does CM Punk have backstage?

CM Punk has accumulated a large amount of stroke backstage in WWE after his run last summer. Not only was Punk able to negotiate a new WWE contract but he was able to convince WWE to buy the rights to “Cult of Personality” by Living Color to use as his theme song. While that may seem minimal to a lot of people, getting to pick your own entrance music in WWE is no small thing. Randy Orton did an interview several years ago complaining about workers not being able to pick their own entrance music.

Why do fans constantly scream for heel turns (Randy Orton, John Cena, etc.). What do you think is the psychology behind today’s preference for heels and where does that leave the faces?

I agree that most Internet fans tend to favor heels over babyfaces in today’s WWE. If I had to pinpoint a reason why I would have to blame it on what the PG initiative has done to babyface workers. It’s much more difficult to work as a babyface than a heel but when you throw in the fact workers have to abide by the PG guidelines, it can be very difficult to get over. Take The Rock for an example. In returning to WWE he’s been more over than any babyface we’ve seen since his heyday with Steve Austin in the Attitude Era. However, he hasn’t toned his character down to corny and toes the line by using profanity. It’s not impossible to get over as a babyface in today’s WWE, as we’ve seen with CM Punk, but it’s much more difficult. The babyfaces of today tend to cater to WWE’s younger audience while leaving the Internet/older male audience out to dry.

Does Alberto Del Rio have backstage heat in WWE?

Alberto Del Rio rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in a promotional appearance he did in the San Francisco, California market last weekend. In the appearance, Del Rio admitted he didn’t like most of the boys in the locker room and completely humiliated The Miz (click here for more). Why anyone would come out and talk like that this is beyond me. I understand heels have the ability to do hateful interviews in-character but why a worker would attempt to bury them self in this business is beyond me. I don’t know if it will do anything to alter the way management views Del Rio but it does nothing from a public relations standpoint to improve his image.

There was a rumor last year that Triple H wanted to re-surge the tag team division in WWE by signing new tag teams. Is this still the plan?

The tag team division in WWE is like a yo-yo. WWE forgets about it for months then will build it up with upper mid-card to main event level workers. They are currently using the division to push Primo & Epico to help the Hispanic/Latino interest in Smackdown. I am not aware of an active initiative to bring in new tag team wrestlers.

Do you think there would be a difference in the Divas division in WWE if Lita or Trish Stratus came back?

Lita and Trish Stratus were very talented as I consider Trish one of the best Divas of all-time. However, I do not feel like the way WWE has pushed their Divas is because of a lack of talent. The company has had and still has talented Divas under contract. The reason they are featured like they are is Vince McMahon’s vision for the division.

Is there any update on the Funkasaurus Brodus Clay?

As I noted yesterday, I’ve been checking around as to why Brodus Clay has been yanked from television. While I haven’t heard back from my investigative source, the latest seems to be it is related to his in-ring work. I will update when/if I receive more information.

Did Zema Ion get heat in the back for the Jesse Sorensen injury at TNA Against All Odds?

If Zema Ion got any heat, I didn’t hear about it. I went back and watched the spot a couple of times and can see mutual blame for the injury. Remember, it takes two to execute high risk spots and it’s not only the one delivering the spot that’s responsible as it’s important to bump correctly. Sorensen could have been in better position to take the bump, however, I don’t want to point fingers. The injury was a freak thing and I’m sure Ion feels terrible. The important thing is Sorensen is doing much better and is expected to make a full recovery.

What are the roles of D-Lo Brown and Al Snow in TNA as I saw them restrain Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants on last night’s edition of Impact Wrestling?

D-Lo Brown and Al Snow both work as producers backstage in TNA Impact Wrestling. They help out backstage, acting as a liaison between the creative team and talent. They are also in charge of evaluating matches at live events.

What’s Jeff Hardy’s status in TNA Impact Wrestling?

Jeff Hardy has full support of TNA management and his co-workers and while some will judge Hardy on past mistakes, I commend him for working hard to restore his career. Remember it wasn’t long ago that Hardy encouraged fans to never start drinking or doing drugs. With that being said I think Hardy had a great match on last night’s Impact Wrestling with TNA Champion Bobby Roode.

What are your opinions of the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match?

I share the same opinion as Jim Ross on the decision to replace Randy Orton with Santino Marella… jaw dropping. Passionate Internet fans have reacted with strong negative reactions about the change but I have a hard time believing Santino will be taken serious as a competitor in the match. I have not heard the creative plans but I have to think hope something is up with Santino getting the nod.

Do you see Evan Bourne working Wrestlemania XXVIII this year?

Evan Bourne will be eligible to work Wrestlemania XXVIII but I haven’t heard if he’ll have a spot on the card. Generally speaking, a spot on the Wrestlemania card is a reward as the pay-per-view carries a large payout and is given to the top guys that have carried the company. Given the sticky situation Bourne has put himself in; his chances do not look good. For the latest bad news about Bourne and WWE, click here.

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