- Naomi saw an eye specialist last week and it was determined she will not need surgery, according to a new update on WWE.com. However, the break has caused communication between her sinus cavity and the back of her eye socket. Due to the damage, she cannot travel on an airplane and is expected out another 4-6 weeks. Naomi suffered a displaced fracture in her face during a match against Aksana on the February 3, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw.
- With CM Punk gone, WWE's interest in Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho has "shot up immensely." RVD was backstage at Monday Night Raw in Los Angeles last week and is penciled in for Wrestlemania XXX. Things with Jericho haven't gone as smoothly. We're told Chris feels like he has a lot of leverage now but his issues really haven't been about money. Jericho usually likes to intricately plan his returns and so far he's been upset with the lack of organization on WWE's part in terms of figuring out who his potential opponent(s) would be. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Jericho doesn't want to come back unless he knows who his Wrestlemania program will be with.
While WWE is still sorting out the lineup for the show in April, right now none of the "big names" are in need of an opponent. John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt is pretty much a done deal, Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan is where they're leaning, with Batista challenging Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and of course the aforementioned Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. If they would decide to put Bryan in the title match and make it a triple threat, it would free up Hunter but Jericho wouldn't be getting that match. Vince McMahon still hopes CM Punk comes back and even if he doesn't, it's not likely they'd go Hunter vs. Jericho. So far, the only bout we've heard pitched is Jericho vs. RVD but that hinges on a number of factors.
- Summer Rae spoke about her inclusion on Season 2 of Total Divas with College Times. In the piece, she discussed fans getting a chance to see what her relationship with Fandango is like behind-the-scenes. She credits his post-Wrestlemania 29 popularity for helping her career. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Variety has an update on WWE's ongoing negotiations for a new domestic television distribution agreement. According to their report, WWE and NBCUniversal stepped away from negotiations without a new deal. Below is a statement the company issued to Variety:
“WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired,”
“While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content delivered 52 weeks a year.”
WWE is free to negotiate with other companies and a new deal with NBCU could still be reached once WWE explores all of their options. Variety reports that WWE is considering multiple plans for its shows and that includes airing them all with a single family of networks or splitting them up across multiple network owners.
The main goal is still to significantly increase the $139.5 million in TV licensing fees that WWE currently earns each year for their shows. They want to get closer to the deals that the major sports organizations command for live programming. WWE will also offer up Smackdown as a live show, a change from the current format where the show is taped earlier in the week before it airs Friday nights on SyFy.
Both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown will continue to air on the USA Network and SyFy in their current form through September 30, 2014.
Click here for coverage by Variety.
- We're told WWE reached out to Ring of Honor about a possible agreement to use footage of theirs for specials of past workers such as Cesaro, Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan. Apparently the interest in the footage has to do with features that highlight a particular worker's rise to WWE through the independent promotion.
- Vince McMahon was asked about CM Punk on Thursday's conference call with investors. He said Punk is "taking a sabbatical, let's put it that way." We have complete coverage from the call online at this link.
- - The biggest story we've been tracking is WWE's negotiations for a new domestic television agreement. While the company just recently announced their exclusive negotiating window with NBCUniversal has expired, they've been talking with other companies since the beginning of February. Other entities were unable to submit formal bids on the company's programming until the "exclusive" period had ended. WWE rejected NBCU's final offer, which was expected, and is now "out in the marketplace" with all of their television. While much of this is all formalities, a major development has occurred. We're being told that...
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