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, January 7, 2012 to Friday, January 13, 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!
- WWE has posted their full pay-per-view schedule for 2012. Rather than naming the return of WWE Bragging Rights on June 17, the event is listed as “TBD.” As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the current plan is for WWE Capitol Punishment to be scrapped in favor of Bragging Rights. Below is the schedule:
- Royal Rumble: January 29
- Elimination Chamber: February 19
- WrestleMania XXVIII: April 1
- Extreme Rules: April 29
- WWE Over The Limit: May 20
- TBD: June 17
- WWE Money In The Bank: July 15
- SummerSlam: August 19
- Night of Champions: September 23
- Hell in a Cell: October 28
- Survivor Series: November 18
- WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs: December 16
All shows except Elimination Chamber, WWE Over The Limit, WWE Money In The Bank and Hell in a Cell will be on Sky Box Office for £14.95 each. Click here for more information.
- Chelsea Handler responded to Beth Phoenix calling her out on Twitter on her “Chelsea Lately” show on E! You can watch the segment embedded in the video below:
- In an update to the back and forth between WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and comedian Chelsea Handler, Beth wrote the following on Twitter after being featured on E!’s “Chelsea Lately”:
I appreciate @chelseahandler being honest about being too scared to accept my invitation.Who wouldnt be? And now, on to perform for my fans!
— Beth Phoenix (@TheBethPhoenix) January 6, 2012
- Chris Jericho worked last night’s WWE Raw house show from the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas. He came out for a promo but David Otunga came out and requested that Jericho remove his lighted jacket for risk legal action from fans that may suffer from seizures. Jericho obliged and ended up getting physical with Otunga, hitting him with a microphone and locking in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho ended up not speaking and played to the crowd before leaving. He drew a babyface reaction after beating up Otunga.
- Antonio Cesaro, formerly known as Claudio Castagnoli in Ring of Honor, is on the road with the Raw crew this weekend. Cesaro made his main WWE roster debut at Friday night’s Raw house show in Jackson, Mississippi, teaming with Michael McGillicutty against Alex Riley & Mason Ryan. Cesaro has been in Florida Championship Wrestling under a WWE developmental contract since September 2011.
- The top matches are beginning to take shape for Wrestlemania XXVIII. While the only confirmed bout is John Cena vs. The Rock, there are three other matches in preliminary plans. The first match was revealed by Shaquille O’Neal in a media interview. While WWE officials weren’t happy Shaq leaked he was in negotiations, he is still being pursued as a celebrity tie-in against Big Show. Company officials feel there is already an angle in place to sell the match. I’m told Kevin Nash has pushed for a match against Big Show in a “battle of giants,” however, it’s unknown if WWE has any interest in that should Shaq fall through. The latest on The Undertaker is there are plans for him to compete at Wrestlemania. Much to chagrin of many, the favorite for his opponent is Triple H. I’m told Shawn Michaels has been pitched as the special guest referee to add a fresh element to an old match. Finally, I’ve heard WWE is looking at doing CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. With that being said, I do not have details on what WWE plans to do with the Jericho character.
- Both Wade Barrett & Ted DiBiase have hinted at getting new theme music on their Twitter accounts. Barrett, who is using the “End of Days” theme that was used by Corre, posted the following:
New entrance music: Imminent.
DiBiase responded to a fan on Twitter that suggested getting a new theme from a band called Son Soul with the following:
They just did! Not finished yet tho.
- According to Ezekiel Jackson on Twitter, Drew McIntyre tagged with Calvin Raines, not Husky Harris as previously reported at this weekend’s WWE Smackdown house shows. McIntyre and Raines went under to Jackson and Trent Baretta at both shows. Raines is a 6’4 236 lbs developmental worker from Baltimore, Maryland. Click here to view his developmental profile. I apologize for the error.
- The first four participants for the 30-man Royal Rumble match were announced on tonight’s Raw Supershow. They are as follows:
- Jinder Mahal
- Santino Marella
- Wade Barrett
The 30-man Royal Rumble match will take place at Royal Rumble 2012 on Sunday, January 29, 2012 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Edge was announced as an inductee to the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame on tonight’s Raw Supershow. Edge will headline the class as tickets for this year’s induction ceremony go on sale Saturday. The 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from the American Airlines Center in Miami, Florida.
- Brodus Clay made his long-awaited debut on tonight’s edition of WWE Raw Supershow. Clay debuted a gimmick makeover as the Funk-a-sorus from the planet Funk. He went over Curt Hawkins in a squash match. Update: The dancers with Clay were Naomi Knight from WWE NXT and Cameron Lynn from Tough Enough.
- The Four Horseman were announced as inductees of the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame on tonight’s Raw Supershow. They will join Edge and Mil Mascaras as part of the class of 2012. The 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from the American Airlines Center in Miami, Florida.
- TMZ has a nice article online on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin surrendering the numbers 316 to Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow. Below is an excerpt:
Austin continues, “A guy named John was using it before me … so if Tebow can do it again, more power to him!”
“I wish him all the luck in the world,” Austin says … adding, “I’m not a Denver fan but Tim’s a great role model for kids.”
Click here to read the full article.
- Randy Orton told his Twitter followers that he and his family are off to vacation in the Bahamas tomorrow.
- WWE has announced a March 10 house show from the Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Michigan and a March 11th house show from Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
- After last night’s WWE Raw Supershow went off the air, Dolph Ziggler cut a heel promo on John Cena. Kane came back out and chased him off. CM Punk came out but was beat up by Kane, Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Big Show hit the ring to save Punk.
- Following his sudden retirement from UFC, Brock Lesnar remains a hot topic in many circles. One rumor that continues to be in circulation is the chance of Lesnar working Wrestlemania XXVIII in Miami this year.
I’m told by a source with knowledge of the WWE mindset is that “it would be too hectic” to get Lesnar out of his UFC contract in time to compete at the pay-per-view this year. My source says with The Rock already in place to headline the show, the feeling is it would be more logical to try and secure Lesnar’s services for Wrestlemania next year.
If Brock were brought in this year he would be programmed with The Undertaker which would bump Triple H off his preliminary planned re-match challenging “the streak.” This is another roadblock for Lesnar working Wrestlemania XXVIII this year as it would leave Hunter with nothing to do on the show with any sort of importance.
Needless to say there is an underlying conflict of interest with Hunter trying to subdue any talk of attempting to bring Lesnar in for Wrestlemania this year as it would eliminate his spot on one of the big matches on the show. (Click here for preliminary Wrestlemania XXVIII plans)
For those doubting Lesnar would be interested in a WWE return, check out this quote from an interview he did with ESPN.com last October while promoting his inclusion in the WWE ’12 video game. In his comments, he not only furthers a program with Undertaker but says he thinks he will work for Vince McMahon again:
“I was a true wrestler. I was a Division I national champion. I came into the business wanting one thing and one thing only, and that was to be the champion, and I wasn’t going to let anybody stand in my way. I think there was one guy that had a problem with that and that was Undertaker. If I were to have gotten in the ring with him I would have ripped his arm off and f—— beat him with it.”
When asked if he thinks he’ll return to WWE for one more match, Lesnar responded:
I think I will. I think under the right circumstances I will. I think if Vince McMahon and I were able to sit down at the same dinner table and break some bread that we could come up with some kind of game plan. At the end of the day, I’m an ultimate fighter. That’s who I am and that’s who I’ll always be. I was an entertainer but at the end of the day, I’m still as real as it gets. I think a lot of things have to fall in the right places for something like that to happen.
The interview is still online at this link.
Wrestling News World reader Brett Bault also sent in the following screen capture from Lesnar’s book, “Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival”:
- The official WWE website has posted an article claiming that Kane‘s attack on Zack Ryder on this week’s Raw left Ryder “seriously injured.” Ryder reportedly suffered no structural damage, but is undergoing further evaluation in the next week.
Although it was previously announced that Ryder would defend his United States Championship on next week’s Raw, the article says that it is “unlikely” that Ryder will be able to defend it.
Stay with Wrestling News World, as more details surrounding this angle become available. Click here to view the full article.
- The episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap” featuring Mick Foley will air Tuesday, January 24th at 9 PM EST.
- The following is from of the official Twitter account of Bret Hart:
Congrats to the inductees so far to the WWE HOF, esp. Edge. He’ll always be one of my crew & I hope 2 be there 2 shake his hand that night
— Bret Hart (@BretHart) January 11, 2012
- Goldust wrote on Twitter that a match putting him against Cody Rhodes was being seriously considered for Wrestlemania XXVIII.
- The following is from the Twitter account of ESPN’s Michele Steele:
WWE says Cena was a $106 million retail brand in 2010
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) January 10, 2012
- WWE has an exclusive video on their official website with Brodus Clay talking about his debut on Monday’s Raw Supershow and how he shocked everyone with his gimmick. Clay assures the interviewer you can take him serious and points to his squash against Curt Hawkins. You can watch it at this link.
- WWE has announced the March 12th edition of Raw Supershow will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
- The following press release hit the wire today:
STAMFORD, Conn., Jan 11, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — WWE(R) announced today that Edge and the Four Horsemen will be among the 2012 class of inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place Saturday, March 31 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, the evening before WrestleMania(R) XXVIII.
Throughout his storied career, Edge, known as the “Rated-R Superstar(TM),” held every major title in WWE. He is a former WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, Tag Team Champion and King of the Ring(R). His final match took place at last year’s WrestleMania in Atlanta, where he defeated Alberto Del Rio(TM) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 71,000 fans. One week later, in an emotional speech on Monday Night Raw(R), Edge was forced to retire due to a neck injury. Outside the ring, Edge is a New York Times bestselling author.
The Four Horsemen, consisting of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson(TM), Tully Blanchard(TM), Barry Windham(TM) and manager J.J. Dillon, were the most dominant group of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in the 1980s, transcending the world of sports entertainment into all avenues of pop culture. This grouping was the first of its kind, paving the way for the likes of the NWO(R), Evolution(R) and DX(R). While the Four Horsemen would undergo many transformations over the years, none would ever be as paramount as Flair, Anderson, Blanchard, Windham and Dillon.
Additional inductees will be announced on WWE programming over the coming weeks.
Tickets for the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on sale this Saturday, January 14 at 10 AM ET and will be available through the AmericanAirlines Arena box office, www.ticketmaster.com , Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster Charge By Phone at 1-800-745-3000.
- While Brodus Clay’s “Funkasaurus” gimmick surprised many, it got high marks from several people within WWE. Goldust, who works as a producer backstage, said the gimmick was over with him and had “big potential.” Even Curt Hawkins, who had the daunting task of putting Clay over, playfully Tweeted, “What the FUNK just happened? Ouch.” Hawkins was pleased with the amount of attention his job drew and touted the fact he was Trending Worldwide on Twitter.
- Triple H was at the practice facility of the New York Giants today. A photo was taken of Hunter with FB Tyler Sash and CB Prince Amukamara. You can view the photo at this link. The New York Giants are preparing for their NFC Divisional Playoff game this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Diamond Dallas Page. In it, DDP discusses his disappointing run in WWE and who he blames for his lack of success that ultimately ended with his in-ring retirement. Below is an excerpt:
“I thought, coming in, that the stalker angle was going to be awesome. When people ask me about that I say, ‘Hey, I made the decision, I have to live with it’.
“It’s amazing to me how many people it bothered. They knew that I was a top guy and they didn’t use me correctly, but I agreed to it originally and that was a mistake.
“Vince and Shane McMahon told me coming in that they had this great idea and I was going to be working with their No1 babyface.
“I didn’t really like it because it was about me stalking someone else’s wife.
“I would look across the table at Kim [DDP's beautiful ex-wife] and nobody could compare. It was ridiculous, it took out the believability factor.
“There are some people who loved that angle with me and Taker, which I don’t understand. It was definitely not the highlight of my career by any stretch of the imagination.
“The main reason I jumped when I did was because I was six months away from turning 46. How much longer could I really do this at the level that I did it? There was only so long I could run at that pace.
“I get fans telling me they were upset with how WWE treated me but I say, ‘Dude, let it go!’ I already achieved everything I ever dreamed of.”
“But I’m only smart enough to cut that deal because I dropped the ball with WWE when I came in.
“I dropped it, I don’t blame Vince. I’ve got a lot of respect for Vince and everything he has done for the business.
“There are so many guys that have negative, bad feelings after they retire. You’ve heard them. I’m not living that as I lived a dream on so many different levels.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- The go-home to Wrestlemania XXVIII edition of WWE Raw Supershow will take place on Monday, March 26, 2012 from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
- The word out of Triple H visiting New York Giants practice yesterday is that he was in town to meet with city officials about holding either Wrestlemania 29 or Wrestlemania 30 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The news was first reported by PopTheCrowd.com.
- It was announced on the airing of today’s WWE Superstars on the official WWE website that wrestlers who have matches at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view are still eligible for the 30-man Rumble match.
- Ric Flair was called Monday night and notified the Four Horsemen would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame before the announcement aired on Raw Supershow. Ironically enough, Flair was in Orlando for the TNA Impact Wrestling tapings. It’s unknown at this point if Flair’s TNA contract will allow him to make a televised appearance at the induction ceremony this March. His contract will not prevent him from attending as he was there last year for the induction of Shawn Michaels. A lot of readers have asked what Flair’s relationship with WWE is like after returning to the ring in TNA. From what I’ve been told, Flair hasn’t burned any bridges and the feeling is he should be allowed to go out and make a living despite the tremendous send-off he was given four years ago. Flair sees it as he wanted to return with WWE but there wasn’t interest in the return of his on-screen character and his friendship with Hulk Hogan provided him with a new opportunity. As noted in today’s Ask WNW and in a press release yesterday, Flair will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame again along with Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and manager J.J. Dillon. Flair was first inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before his final match in WWE on March 29, 2008 by Triple H.
- The brother of the late Randy Savage, Lanny Poffo, says WWE hasn’t reached out to him since the death of his brother. Furthermore, he’s heard nothing from the company about a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction. Lanny claimed Randy said he would only accept an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame if his entire family (including Lanny and Angelo) was inducted as well.
- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Jerry Lawler. In it, Lawler explains why he didn’t want to accept an induction to the WWE Hall of Fame at first and discusses the inductees that were announced on Monday’s Raw Supershow. Below is an excerpt:
“Vince [McMahon] came to me and said, ‘King we are going to induct you in the Hall of Fame this year.’ Lawler recalled. “My first reaction was, ‘No. I don’t want to.’
“I’d always related the Hall of Fame to baseball and football where you don’t go in until a couple of years after your career is over. So I said to myself and Vince, ‘I don’t feel my career is over. I still want to compete. I still want to perform.’ He said, ‘You have to understand. The WWE Hall of Fame is not like baseball and football in that sense. It’s not that you have to wait until someone’s career is over. If you look around, there are guys in there who still compete, still perform. We just do it to honor and acknowledge what you have accomplished to this point.’
“If someone has accomplished enough to that point, then they are considered for the Hall of Fame. Afterward I didn’t slow down, as I still perform and compete on a regular basis. So it worked out well for me.”
Click here to read the full article.
- WWE has announced the following show dates:
- The March 13th Smackdown taping will take place from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
- WWE will hold a house show from the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida on March 23rd.
- Entertainment Weekly recently shadowed Stephanie McMahon in a feature titled “What Did You Do Today?” The feature will be included in the latest issue of the magazine which will hit newsstands on January 20, 2012.
- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website at this link.
- Ric Flair was asked at a Walmart signing in Burlington, North Carolina yesterday if he would be at the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the induction of The Four Horsemen. Flair said he would be there and on stage. You can see Flair’s comments embedded in the video below:
The 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Saturday, March 31, 2012 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
- The official WWE website has announced that celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton will be the guest ring announcer for the Divas match on this week’s Raw SuperShow. Recently, the WWE Divas served as guest bloggers on the fitness section of Hilton’s website. Click here to read the Divas’ entries.
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- TNA will tape Impact Wrestling overseas later this month. Dixie Carter wrote the following on her official Twitter account:
BIG NEWS FOR TNA. We will film Impact from Wembley Arena in London on 1/28! Cannot tell you how excited I am! Details to follow. PLS RT
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) January 6, 2012
- Velvet Sky posted the following on Twitter:
Due to a recent storyline change, I’mno longer on the UK tour. So sorry to all the fans that were wanting to see me, I will miss u guys
— Velvet Sky (@VelVelHoller) January 7, 2012
It’s interesting I was recently asked about a rumor that WWE was interested in Sky. The only concrete evidence I had she was secure in her position with TNA was that she was booked on the United Kingdom tour. I’m not reporting she’s leaving TNA for WWE, however, it’s interesting she’s been scrapped from the scheduled dates.
- Gail Kim and Devon appeared at a Meet & Greet yesterday in Winter Garden, Florida. Embedded in the video below is footage of the appearance:
- Rapper Rick Ross is at tonight’s TNA Genesis pay-per-view and was shown on camera before the start of the TNA X Division Championship Match.
- TNA Impact Wrestling has canceled the following shows scheduled for this month in Germany:
* January 21, 2012 in Essen
* January 22, 2012 in Leipzig
* January 29, 2012 in Neu-Ulm
You can read the official announcement at this link. Tickets can be refunded at the point of purchase. Shooter Promotions, who was co-promoting the shows in Germany, have confirmed the shows were canceled due to poor ticket sales.
- Jeremy Borash posted a photo of Abyss’ arm after last night’s Monster’s Ball match that you can view at this link.
- TNA Champion Bobby Roode will open this week’s Impact Wrestling that will be taped tonight from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We’ll have full taping results here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- TNA Bound For Glory 2011 will be released on DVD on January 17th.
- Robert Irvine, from the Food Network and the real-life boyfriend of Gail Kim, was at last night’s TNA Genesis pay-per-view.
- Universal Studios has removed scheduled TNA Impact Wrestling taping dates for next Monday (January 16th) and Tuesday (January 17th). As of this writing, the dates remain on the official Impact Wrestling website. Update: TNA has pulled the dates from their website and they have been officially canceled.
- Fox Sports has a new article online on Kurt Angle’s one last bid to compete at the Olympics this year. Angle’s manager and close friend David Hawk is quoted in the piece along with Angle. Below are some excerpts:
David Hawk comments…
“It’s this crisis in his mind, thinking, ‘I’m not Kurt Angle anymore; I’m Kurt Angle, this character on TV,’” says David Hawk, Angle’s manager and close friend. “But Kurt Angle was real once …
“He needs to prove it not to the world but to himself,” Hawk continued. “He wants to regain his youth, prove he’s still there and still has it.”
Kurt Angle comments…
“God has really shown me how to stay focused in these really horrible times of turmoil,” Angle says. “I think that I’ve used that as motivation. You can either step out of it, go beyond your expectations, or curl up into a shell and say, you know what? This happened, and this is my excuse. I’m not that kind of guy.”
“As far as being clean, I would not go to the Olympic trials and put myself in jeopardy to get tested positive,” Angle says. “All I have to do is show up, take the drug test, it’ll show there’s nothing in my system.”
Click here to read the full article.
- SportsVibe.co.uk has a new interview online with TNA Champion Bobby Roode. Below is an excerpt:
You’re the current TNA World Champion. Does that achievement top the lot?
Absolutely, my dream when I got into this business was to become World Champion and that I am. I’m at the pinnacle of my career and it’s a moment I’ve waited for and worked for, for a long time so I’m going to make the most of it, take advantage of this opportunity and hopefully the gold will be around my waist for a long time.
I’m enjoying being the bad guy again and really like the way my character is being portrayed right now; I feel right at home with it. For the most part I well and truly enjoy being on this side of the fence.
Hulk Hogan commented in October that you weren’t ready to be World Champion. Did you take much notice of his remarks?
The comments that Hogan made didn’t bother me in the slightest. People in this industry say a lot of things and you learn to take it with a pinch of salt. Honestly, I think what Hogan said has worked in my favour, it gave the little extra fire I needed and look where I am now, I’m the face of TNA.
A couple of weeks ago on IMPACT! you spat in the face of TNA President and your boss Dixie Carter. What was that like?
It was a great feeling! Anytime you get an opportunity to stand up to your boss and get away with it feels good. There was a lot of built up aggression inside and a lot of feelings that I wanted to get out and I did that. I guess you could say my emotions got the better of me, but at the end of the day when I look back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- Painful news out of the Hulk Hogan camp this morning as TMZ is reporting the Hulkster has been dealing with problems stemming from dental surgery he underwent back in October. In October, Hogan had a sinus graft and then went to a cosmetic surgeon to get implants in his mouth. When the surgeon removed the mold in Hogan’s mouth, they ripped out about 50 stitches from the previous procedure. According to Hogan, he’s been dealing with problems ever since as his mouth became infected and antibiotics weren’t working. Therefore Hogan underwent a CAT scan which revealed there was a metal tack left in his mouth. Hogan underwent surgery last night to remove the tack and clean out the infection. According to TMZ, he is already back home.
- TNA has issued a press release about the company taping two episodes of Impact Wrestling at the Wembley Arena in London, England on January 28th. They are promoting Sting as to appearing for the first time in the UK in a decade and note he will wrestle his final match in England.
Below is the full release:
Top-rated Challenge TV show TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will be recorded at London’s Wembley Arena later this month – the first time the company has ever filmed the programme outside of the USA.
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING superstars including Sting, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode will shoot two all-new episodes at Wembley Arena on January 28 in front of thousands of British fans.
Sting’s appearance on the MAXIMUM IMPACT IV Tour will be his first in the UK in a decade and the final time he will wrestle in the country – with his last ever British match taking place at London’s Wembley Arena.
The shows will then be broadcast on Challenge TV in the UK and Ireland, Spike TV in the US and in more than 100 countries around the world. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING airs every Sunday night on Challenge TV, which can be found on Sky channel 125, Freeview channel 46 and Virgin Media channel 139.
The line-up of wrestlers for the Wembley Arena taping will also include James Storm, Bully Ray, Crimson, Samoa Joe, Gunner, Velvet Sky, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Tara, Doug Williams, Magnus, Mark Haskins, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Matt Morgan, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels.
Prior to the show, the TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT IV UK Tour visits Nottingham (January 26) and Manchester (January 27) for live events. The TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and Xplosion television cameras will be at both to capture elements of the Tour.
TNA President Dixie Carter said: “The show at Wembley Arena will be a truly historic night for everyone at TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and all of our amazing British fans.
“This decision has been years in the making and I’m so excited to announce it is finally happening on January 28.”
“We are just a few tickets away from the London show setting a TNA attendance record, so I hope everyone spreads the word. If you are a fan of TNA, this will be one night you won’t want to miss.”
Barbara Gibbon, Challenge’s Head of Channel, added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for Challenge’s loyal TNA viewers to see their favourite sports entertainment shows in a UK context for the first time ever.”
Tickets for TNA IMPACT WRESTLING UK Tour can be bought from www.gigsandtours.com / 0844 811 0051 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk / 0844 826 2826.
- Dixie Carter has released the TNA Victory Road pay-per-view promotional poster featuring Sting. You can view it below:
- In a major breaking news item, TMZ reports Hulk Hogan will be shaving off his iconic mustache and shaving his head for some upcoming movie auditions.
Hogan says he’s doing better after Tuesday’s emergency dental surgery but did provide wisdom to children.
“Theme for the day is … kids, take care of your teeth.” Hogan was quoted by the celebrity-gossip publication.
You can view video of Hogan talking to TMZ embedded in the video below:
- The Daily Star has a new article online featuring quotes from Dixie Carter. In it, she says she believes this will be Sting’s final year wrestling. She also says she hasn’t heard from Hulk Hogan in a while. Below is an excerpt:
“In his mind, I think this is his last year as far as the wrestling is concerned.
“When we booked this, that’s the way he was talking about it – ‘I haven’t played there in a decade, and before I retire I need to come back there and wrestle.’
“Based on where he’s at and what he’s saying, barring something extraordinary this is the last time.
“And for me it’s great to be able to bring him back there.
“He’s spent such a big part of his career helping to build our company, I’m very proud we can bring him over.
“It feels very final. It’s going to be an emotional night.”
Will Hulk Hogan be on UK tour?:
“The truth is I haven’t heard from Hulk in a while.
“He knows what’s going on – he’s a businessman, and he knows that it’s an important date for us. He will be eyeing that very carefully.
“He’s been gone from the scene. My goal would be to have him there. You’ll be the first to know if he is.”
Click here to read the full article.
- Straight off the heels of Dixie Carter admitting she hasn’t heard from Hulk Hogan in a while and seemed unsure of his status of TNA’s UK tour, Hogan wrote the following on Twitter:
There is gonna be some IMPACT in the UK,HULKAMANIA is coming and you know what happens we it’s running wild Brother!!!HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 13, 2012
Richard Reacts: Does anyone else find it strange that we are bringing this news to Dixie? Shouldn’t the fact TNA pays Hogan a salary to head up an “executive role” ensure communication actually exists?
Why does Ring of Honor run shows in the same city at the same time as Wrestlemania? Is this something WWE allows?
Wrestlemania weekend brings tens of thousands of wrestling fans in from around the world – just take a look at the economic impact that has politicians lobbying for their city to get WWE’s biggest event of the year. Ring of Honor runs shows on Wrestlemania weekend to take advantage of all the wrestling fans in the city. It’s a great idea and is an added bonus for anyone looking to try out a WWE alternative. With that being said, WWE has nothing to do with the shows.
While I don’t expect the streak to be ended, doesn’t there appear to be an opportunity with Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhodes? They’re both up and coming main event talents that would benefit tremendously by beating The Undertaker.
I am high up on Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes, however, neither is established enough to beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and end the streak. It’s very complicated in picking an opponent for The Undertaker because if the decision is made to end the streak (which I don’t think it will), it all comes down to who would be worth such a rub. If the streak isn’t ended (which I expect it to remain intact), there needs to be an opponent that won’t be damaged by a loss. The Undertaker is semi-retired and it wouldn’t make sense to bring him back to crush an up and comer like Ziggler or Rhodes. He has to be booked against someone that a loss would not hurt them.
What is the status of Sin Cara?
Sin Cara suffered a torn ACL at Survivor Series in November and is projected to be out 6-9 months from the date of the injury. It’s a tough injury and another bad break for someone that was originally planned to be a future main event star in WWE.
How would you feel if WWE brought back ECW as their “non-PG” show?
With all due respect, I would feel sick. WWE tried the ECW experiment and failed miserably. They took a brand that was still very recognizable by wrestling fans and watered it down to the point of irrelevancy. There are a lot of fans lobbying for WWE to end the PG era but I don’t see it happening any time soon.
Obviously the Chris Jericho storyline is still developing…But is there going to be a woman involved somehow? Should we stop reading into anything else that was in the cryptic videos, especially with the girl that was in them?
I haven’t heard of a female being involved in Chris Jericho’s return gimmick in WWE. As far as I know the cryptic videos are over and done with and are now falling victim to too much analysis. The fact of the matter is WWE did a poor job in concealing the return of Jericho and had it not been for Jericho’s emphatic denials on Twitter, we would have been able to provide 100% confirmation before it happened. While we were never able to provide that confirmation, we continuously reported the plan was to re-debut Jericho behind the videos.
Given John Cena’s tremendous value to WWE, if you had someone bringing in that kind of money would you change it, even if it has become stale?
That’s the quagmire Vince McMahon finds himself in every time they look at the John Cena character. While many have grown tired of the over-the-top babyface character, he continues to sell a lot of merchandise and his segments draw high ratings on weekly television. Why do you think WWE is now selling “Cena Sucks” merchandise? They’re trying to collect on both ends and it is working. Real change to John Cena will occur when he’s no longer a very strong venue stream for the company.
What time frame is Rey Mysterio projected to return? Is the Royal Rumble likely?
Everything I have heard is that Rey Mystertio is targeting Wrestlemania XXVIII as a possible return date. Here’s a Tweet from Mysterio from early November:
About to start therapy! Working really hard, main goal is to be back in the ring by WM28 Miami!
— Rey Mysterio (@reymysterio) November 7, 2011
I was wondering what are your thoughts on Edge going into the WWE Hall of Fame this year? Do you feel it is too soon or does he deserve to go in as a “first-ballot” Hall of Famer? Also, now that Edge was announced as well as the Four Horseman and rumors of The Rock possibly getting inducted this year as well, do you know who is going to be the headliner for this year’s class?
Edge is the headliner for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012. I would be very surprised if The Rock were to be inducted this year given the fact he’s already involved in Wrestlemania. I would think WWE would save The Rock’s induction for a year where they could use his name as a promotional mechanism. Inducting him this year would waste a valuable opportunity to promote him again in the future. As for my thoughts on Edge, he is very deserving and I have no problem with him being “first-ballot” Hall of Famer.
Brodus Clay – you know, the man from Planet-funk, the Funk-a-sorus. What are your thoughts on his debut gimmick?
Believe it or not, this is the most popular question of the day. Some people loved it, some people hated it but everyone wants to know the skinny on Brodus Clay’s debut gimmick on Raw Supershow. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of gimmick – remember Flash Funk? I’ll admit when Justin Roberts announced him and he came out I thought it was all a huge rib. Originally thought to be a dominant force that was going to eliminate John Morrison from television, turns out to be the Funk-a-sorus from Planet Funk. They fed him Curt Hawkins so it looks like he’ll blow through enhancement workers but I have a hard time believing this gimmick can make it in the main event. It is certainly PG-friendly and gives developmental Divas Naomi and Cameron Lynn a chance to get on TV. While my initial reaction was surprise, it’s not fair to write the gimmick off as a failure or praise it as a success until it’s had a chance to progress.
Is the WWE really going to go ahead and induct the Four Horsemen into the Hall of Fame while Ric Flair is still with TNA? Although they obviously deserve it, is there anything behind this?
If anything it goes to show how little Vince McMahon thinks of TNA Impact Wrestling and doesn’t view them as legitimate competition. I’ve been told multiple times by people close to McMahon that he feels if TNA can’t compete with names like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, they simply cannot compete. Flair still has a good relationship with several of the higher-ups in WWE including Triple H and I think Hunter more or less feels that Flair is working in TNA because he has too. I don’t know if he’ll be able to appear at the Hall of Fame ceremony but we’ll find out soon enough.
Will the WWE Network be on basic cable?
No one knows where the WWE Network will be available – not even close sources within WWE. There is a lot of panic in WWE about clearance for the WWE Network which has resulted in rumors the launch of the network will be delayed from the projected April launch date. Vince McMahon has wanted to launch his own network for years but has always had a very difficult time paving the way for clearance. I was surprised the company began advertising the launch of the network without clearances in place. It turns out they were trying to generate public interest in hopes of forcing cable and satellite providers to carry the channel.
Who is the favorite to win this year’s Royal Rumble, Sheamus?
Out of the four participants announced for the 30-man Royal Rumble match, Sheamus is clearly the favorite. It all depends on who else is announced and which direction WWE plans to go before I can give an accurate prediction for the Royal Rumble winner.
I know WWE usually only inducts one headliner into the Hall of Fame per year and this is year Edge is that headliner, however, what about Randy Savage? Don’t you think he should be inducted given his tragic passing last year?
Randy Savage getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is a complicated issue and while he certainly deserves the honor, Hall of Fame inductions are ultimately decided by Vince McMahon. It’s very well-known that Randy’s name was off-limits in WWE for years because of an order directly from Vince. Many people, including former WWE creative writers, felt WWE was very hypocritical with their tribute packages for Savage at the time of his passing given McMahon’s strong “Savage ban” while he was living. While I was glad to see whatever issues there were pushed aside to honor Savage’s career, I don’t know where Vince stands in inducting him into his Hall of Fame. There are other deserving names that have been blocked inductions because of personal issues with McMahon but it will be interesting if Randy’s death changes Vince’s stance.
Who all is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame under the Four Horsemen faction?
WWE issued a press release yesterday confirming the following names as inductees as the Four Horsemen – Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and manager J.J. Dillon. In other words, bad news for all the Steve “Mongo” McMichael fans.
Why is Eddie Guerrero’s name not mentioned on WWE television any more? Don’t you think WWE should at least mention him on the anniversary of his death?
Not only did Eddie Guerrero receive a “first ballot” WWE Hall of Fame induction but Chavo (his nephew) had a job in WWE until last year and Vickie (his wife) and Shaul (his daughter) are still employed. I’m not sure what else you expect but not only has Eddie been honored by his former employer but McMahon has been very gracious to the entire Guerrero family.
Why has Mark Henry been booked so weak lately after being billed as an unstoppable force?
Mark Henry is currently injured which is why he’s been booked like he has over the past month. The injury, to his groin, isn’t significant enough to write him off television, however, it was significant enough where Vince McMahon made the decision to take the title off him. The good news for Henry fans is that he’s still working in the main event. I also heard Henry felt like he could work through it and didn’t want to drop the title but McMahon made the decision to book a change at last month’s TLC pay-per-view.
What do you think of inducting stables into the WWE Hall of Fame? I’m against it and while I feel the Four Horseman are deserving, they are all equally worthy of being inducted individually. How can Ric Flair be inducted twice?
I am all for the induction of the Four Horsemen into the WWE Hall of Fame and think the stable should be honored as a whole. There are a lot of people deserving of the honor, however, the fact of the matter is not everyone deserving is going to get in. Inducting the stable together is a fun way to remember the best stable of all-time. Regarding Ric Flair going in twice, how can you induct the Horsemen without him? Also, what’s the damage in putting him in a second time? If/when there is a physical WWE Hall of Fame to actually visit there is plenty to the Flair legacy to have a Flair singles area as well as a Four Horsemen area.
As a fan in my 30′s I feel today’s mainstream wrestling features less and less pure wrestling. What I mean by this is less technical maneuvers and feel this “old school” philosophy is reserved only for talent such as that of the X Division in TNA. What are your thoughts?
Pure technical wrestling is something that has always been reserved to small parts of mainstream pro wrestling such as the cruiserweight division or in TNA’s case, the X Division. A lot of older and smarter fans are baffled by this because they don’t understand why everyone would not want to see lengthy matches involving multiple hip tosses, suplexes and arm drags. The reason why this isn’t the norm is because of the broad and diverse fan base that makes up mainstream pro wrestling. While it sounds bizarre, not everyone wants to see wrestling. Younger fans are captivated by the storylines and the look of certain performers. This is why I recommend promotions such as Ring of Honor to fans frustrated with the lack of wrestling in WWE and TNA because ROH is centered around satisfying fans hungry for wrestling.
Why won’t Vince McMahon put Sting into the WWE Hall of Fame?
This time of year we are flooded with questions just like this as I can’t tell you how many questions I see that go just like this – why isn’t __________ in the WWE Hall of Fame? While a lot of people don’t like to hear this, the WWE Hall of Fame is not a legitimate pro wrestling Hall of Fame. The WWE Hall of Fame is a promotional mechanism to build on Wrestlemania excitement and cash in on the hundreds of thousands of fans that have traveled from all around the world to be there. Furthermore, Vince McMahon makes the final decision on all inductees. There are all types of underlying reasons as to why someone is given an induction. Mainly the company wants to induct someone they can cash in on by selling merchandise around that headliner. Given the fact WWE owns so much footage in their tape library; they can literally pick and choose who goes in based on who they want to develop a DVD project around. I’m sorry if this cheapens the WWE Hall of Fame for you, but it’s the way it is. The reason Sting hasn’t been inducted is obviously due to his contract with TNA and that limits the way they can promote him. With all this being said, it’s still an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame because it is the Hall of Fame of the world’s largest pro wrestling promotion.
Who makes the final decision on where Wrestlemania will be held each year?
Vince McMahon makes the final decision where WWE will hold Wrestlemania each year. Politicians pitch their cities to WWE officials once the company makes the officials aware their city is on the radar. However, McMahon consults with other executives to determine where they feel the event would draw the best.