WWE Stars In Auto Accident, Royal Rumble Location Revealed (Tickets On-Sale), WWE Loses ECW Trademark, MITB Winners, How The WWE Championship MITB Match Was Supposed To End, Heat Between Dolph Ziggler & Sin Cara Over Spot That Nearly Resulted In Disaster, Rey Mysterio Returns, Details On Loaded 1000th Raw, WWE Network Update With Everything You’ve Wanted To Know, Former WWE Champ Wants To Return, TNA Show Canceled, Chavo To TNA, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- The official WWE website is reporting that Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, & Justin Roberts were involved in a car accident after leaving San Diego Comic Con. The car they were traveling was rear-ended around 5 PM PT. The website also reports that those involved were evaluated by paramedics, and that no serious injuries were found. Click here for more information.

- Charlie Sheen’s Twitter account, located at Twitter.com/CharlieSheen, has been deleted. WWE  issued a press release that Sheen would Tweet during the 1000th episode of Raw to his 7.5 million Twitter followers on July 23, 2012 as the show’s “social media ambassador.”

- WWE has updated their accident report on Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler and Justin Roberts over on dot com. The piece features a picture of their rear-ended limousine and features quotes from Ryder and Roberts. In it, Ryder says he landed on the floor and his neck “hit the edge of the chair.” Justin Roberts noted he suffered a minor cut on his knee. For more coverage, you can read dot com’s article at this link.

- WWE Royal Rumble 2013 will take place on Sunday, January 27, 2013 from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets are now on-sale through Ticketmaster.com.

- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word WWE has trademarked the term “WWE Spotlight.”

- Wrestling News World reader Samantha Reichle sent word that Kharma Tweeted she is not currently taking bookings. Below is the Tweet:

 

- A Limited Liability Company out of New York called “Mocker” registered the trademark to “ECW” for wrestling use back in March. WWE apparently let the trademark expire and the registration was assigned to an examiner for review last week.

- Dolph Ziggler won the Money in the Bank ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship “match contract” at the pay-per-view. Ziggler went over Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Christian, Santino Marella, TensaiCody Rhodes and Sin Cara as all were in the match.

- The Miz returned to WWE at Money in the Bank and announced himself as a participant in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract. Miz, who called himself a “movie star,” has been away filming The Marine: Homefront, a WWE Studios production.

- John Cena won the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract at the pay-per-view. Cena beat The Miz, Big Show, Kane and Chris Jericho who were all participants in the match. While the briefcase accidentally broke loose, giving Cena the win early, I’m under the impression he was still scripted to go over in the match.

- WWE Champion CM Punk wrote the following on Twitter:

- I can confirm the plan was for John Cena to go over in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract. While the briefcase handle did break, the finish happened a few minutes early. Cena was scripted to hit BIg Show a few more times with him crashing down off the ladder but I’m told company officials thought the briefcase breaking made it “actually look better.”

- Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara were both upset after the blown spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship contract. Cara gave Ziggler some stiff shots in the match and the two were voicing their displeasures to different people backstage.

- WWE has signed Ryan Collins to a developmental contract. You can read more by SandSpringsLeader.com at this link.

- The official WWE ’13 roster page is online at this link.

- Both “Cranky Vince” and “Premium Vince have been deleted from Twitter.

- Rey Mysterio returned to WWE on this week’s Raw Supershow, hitting Alberto Del Rio with the 619. Del Rio had just beaten Zack Ryder and had him in a cross-arm breaker before Mysterio made the save. Rey has been out all year with a knee injury and 60-day suspension due to his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.

- Next week’s 1000th episode of Raw will open with a D-Generation X reunion, as Shawn Michaels and Triple H will kickoff the show in its new 8 PM EDT timeslot.

- Rikishi returned to WWE on this week’s Raw Supershow to squash Heath Slater. After Rikishi squashed Slater, the lights went out and Jimmy & Jey Uso appeared with with him and danced. Rikishi, the real-life father of the Uso’s, appeared as part of the Legends that have been brought back to celebrate next week’s milestone episode.

- As the storyline goes, Daniel Bryan will “marry” AJ Lee at their “wedding ceremony” on next week’s 1000th episode of Raw.

- Christian will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship on next week’s 1000th Raw. Christian’s defense was determined by a poll over on dot com where fans were asked whether they wanted to see Santino Marella defend the WWE United States Championship, Layla defend the WWE Divas Championship or Christian defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

- John Cena announced on this week’s Raw Supershow that he plans to “cash in” his “contract” for a WWE Championship match on the 1000th episode of Raw next week. This confirms Cena vs. CM Punk for the title on the milestone show.

- Triple H appeared during the commercial break after Daniel Bryan & AJ Lee vs. The Miz & Eve Torres on this week’s Raw Supershow. After the match, Miz called for a “boss to come out” so he could complain. Hunter came out and hit the Pedigree.

- John Cena b. Big Show & Tensai in a 2-on-1 handicap match in a dark match main event. John Laurinaitis accompanied Show and Tensai as Cena was victorious after pinning Tensai.

- Bill Goldberg and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper have Tweeted about the 1000th episode of Raw. Goldberg rules out the possibility of appearing, while Piper wants to roll Vince McMahon. The following is from their respective Twitter accounts:

- WWE Champion CM Punk wants Jim Ross To call his title match against John Cena on next week’s 1000th Raw. The following is from Punk’s Twitter account:

 

- WWE’s war with the Darien Times has continued with a new editorial posted last week where writer Joshua Fisher has more strong criticism of Linda McMahon for her WWE past.

Mrs. McMahon loves to point out how she’s created jobs. But she does not like to answer questions about those jobs. While CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she created jobs that included making fun of retarded men, demeaning women and possibly encouraging steroid use — this does not even touch on how it possibly has influenced the future bullies of American schools. But all of this is apparently forgotten because now WWE television shows are rated TV-PG and the company calls it “family entertainment.” We assume that you and your entire family can’t wait each week to pop some corn and gather ’round the flatscreen for another episode of “Monday Night Raw.” Fisher wrote here on DarienTimes.com

WWE responded with the following letter that was published on dot com on Monday:

Dear Mr. Fisher:

It is regrettable that we find it necessary to once again point out that you have made inaccurate statements and mischaracterizations in the Darien Times regarding WWE, this time in your editorial on July 12. (READ THE EDITORIAL) Although this was an opinion piece, you are still required to report accurately and not distort the truth. This is now at least the second instance in which you have made misstatements that damage WWE’s corporate reputation.

Your assertion that WWE has made “fun of retarded men” is inaccurate, takes our content completely out of context and fails to factually portray a storyline. WWE featured a character — an actor playing a role — named “Eugene,” who was a person with intellectual disabilities. He was often faced with difficult challenges, situations and rivals, including some of the most villainous and dastardly WWE characters. What you failed to convey is that Eugene, like most of WWE’s “good guys,” overcame the obstacles, prevailed and was a hero to our millions of fans.

Your statement that WWE was “demeaning women” is also inaccurate and again takes our content out of context and makes no mention of storylines. WWE has produced a variety of powerful and heroic female characters throughout the years that have come up against malicious villains, who are also actors playing a role. And yes, those “bad guys” do reprehensible things, but they eventually pay a price for their behavior. Our television audience would not be nearly 40 percent female if we were degrading women.

As it relates to the foregoing clarifications, it is important to note that WWE programming, like Hollywood movies and Broadway shows, is an exciting blend of action, characters and fictional storylines of good versus evil that entertains millions every week. Without Darth Vader there is no Luke Skywalker. We, too, create protagonists and antagonists and tell stories of good versus evil.

You also wrote that WWE has been “encouraging steroid use,” which is a blatant misstatement of fact. WWE prohibits steroid use and conducts a minimum of four random drug tests per year for all talent, and any performer that tests positive is suspended. WWE began testing for steroids in 2006, before many major sports leagues, and we currently have one of the most comprehensive talent wellness programs in all of sports and entertainment, managed by world renowned third party medical experts. Additionally, WWE has always encouraged its talent to live a healthy lifestyle, as they are the company’s greatest asset. For more information about WWE’s talent wellness program, please visit www.corporate.wwe.com.

In your editorial, you also state that WWE “influenced the future bullies of American schools.” The fact is that WWE promotes anti-bullying and has created a global initiative called be a STAR (ShowToleranceAndRespect) designed to teach children how to deal with conflict in the real world. We recognize the power and influence of our brand and spend a considerable amount of time and resources to make sure children understand the difference between what they see on television, where storylines and conflicts are resolved in the ring, versus how to deal with challenges in everyday life.

WWE expects you will print this letter in as public a manner as that in which you made the foregoing false statements. In the future, we request you contact us for factual information about our company before attempting to characterize our programming as you continue to do so erroneously.

Sincerely,

Brian Flinn

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications

- WWE Hall of Famer and former Tag Team Champion Road Warrior Animal returned to WWE TV during this week’s Smackdown tapings. He was the latest legend to return during the build to the 1000th episode of Raw, defeating Heath Slater.

-The official WWE website has posted a video in which Nick Dinsmore, who portrayed Eugene on WWE TV, discusses the character. The video was posted in response to an editorial that singled out the Eugene character as “making fun of the mentally challenged.” Click here to watch the video.

- TMZ is reporting that Halle Berry was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night after taking a nasty fall while filming a scene for the upcoming movie “The Hive.” This is wrestling-related as WWE Studios is co-financing the film. As for the condition of Berry, she reportedly suffered a minor head injury but there was concern after she began to vomit after falling.

- Wrestling News World reader John Stone sent in the following:

According to THQ’s WWE ’13 roster webpage, the game will feature 38 current superstars, 32 superstars from the attitude era, and 7 Divas. There’s still the possibility of adding more characters through DLC.

- Many have asked about the WWE Network and I have obtained an exclusive update. I’m told that if the projected November 2012 launch happens at all, it will be a very “soft” launch in just a few select markets. January 2013 is becoming more and more likely for the launch but the company is also trying to see if they can technically launch the network in some form in November and expand in January. Under this model, the plan would be for Royal Rumble 2013 to be live on the WWE Network. The big selling point for the network would be that Royal Rumble would be the first of “ten super cards” on the WWE Network next year with Wrestlemania and SummerSlam remaining on pay-per-view. The company has gone back and forth on whether or not to leave the Rumble on pay-per-view but Vince McMahon’s current decision is for it to be free on the network and used as a way to get the network as much penetration as possible. The current plan for pricing is a launch price of $14.95 a month with a plan in place to get the price to $19.95 within the first 30 months of launch, most likely via 2-3 small price increases during that 30 month period. The company wants that $20 monthly price point, but realizes it’s a bit high to launch at that price right off the bat. As for clearance, WWE has pretty much “completely given up” on being a digital tier network. After spending all year trying to get clearances, they failed to get enough systems to agree to carry them to even clear 10% of the country, which was really a “complete disaster.” Launching as a premium subscription service is their only option but because it’s a complete change in direction from the original plan, not only are they still struggling to get clearances, they’re also having to renegotiate the few clearances they were able to get in the first place. All and all, that’s where things stand. To recap, a possible “soft” launch in November 2012 followed by an expanded launch in January 2013. All pay-per-views moving to the network with the exception of Wrestlemania and SummerSlam with the channel being a premium channel that is paid for like that of HBO. As plans change, we will make sure to update.

- ThePitch.com has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE referee John Cone. Below are the highlights:

Bumping for Brock Lesnar:

“It was kind of exciting to get clotheslined by Brock Lesnar,” Cone says, “I gotta admit.”

How WWE found him:

John Laurinaitis came to a wrestling camp that Harley Race was having, and I was one of the referees there. At the end of the day, John Laurinaitis came up to me and asked for my information, said he’d like to stay in touch. Probably about three months later, there was a show at Kemper Arena, and I was invited to come down and have a tryout match. Then I got another tryout match in St. Louis, and I got hired.

Most memorable match ever:

It was just a couple of months ago at Extreme Rules, Daniel Bryan against CM Punk. I was honored to referee that match, and those guys tore the house down. It was just fantastic, probably one of the purest wrestling matches that I’ve ever refereed. It was great.

What a typical work day looks like for him:

If we’re on live events, I’ll go in at 9 a.m. and help to set up the show. We’ll set up the ring and the barricade around the ring. Then we’ll have some free time after that — usually three to four o’clock in the afternoon — so we’ll have some lunch, visit with friends, things like that. Then once we come back in the afternoon, it’s just preparing for the show. … We really have no idea what matches we have until that lineup comes out, so there’s no preparation as far as anything I have to do in the match itself.

How referees are determined:

That is something the talent-relations department does. They’ll just see who is available that day, which refs are booked for the show, and just go down and assign us usually at least two matches if we’re doing a TV taping. But it can be anywhere from two to four matches a night. When we’re doing five shows a week, you could do potentially up to 20 matches in a week.

It’s also mentioned that Cone and his wife are owners of Donut King in Kansas City. You can read the full article at this link.

- Songwriter Jimmy Papa is suing WWE over royalty fees regarding songs that were used on the album “WCW Slam Jam 1.” You can read full details by The Dallas Morning News at this link.

- WWE Champion CM Punk will headline the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in September. For more on the convention that will run September 28-30 from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, click here.

- Rey Mysterio spoke to dot com about his return to WWE on this week’s Raw Supershow where he boldly proclaimed he’s back to stay.  You can watch his comments in a video located at this link.

- TMZ is reporting that John Cena and his now ex-wife Elizabeth Huberdeau have privately settled their divorce. Liz’s attorney, Raymond Rafool, told TMZ the following:

“All matters [in the divorce] have been settled and resolved amicably.”

Things were expected to get very nasty after Liz claimed that John “blindsided” her by filing for divorce back in May.

- The Miami Herald has a new article up with quotes from WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler. In the article, he talks about his favorite Raw moments, the origin of his “Puppies” catchphrase, why Raw has remained so successful, and more. In the following excerpt, Lawler explains how his long tenure as a WWE announcer began:

“When the Monday Night Wars really got started, I was already there basically as a wrestler,” Lawler said. “Macho Man Randy Savage was doing the color commentating with Vince McMahon, and I was doing the wrestling on Raw.

“In the midst of the Monday Night Wars, several guys jumped ship and left WWE without notice and showed up down in Atlanta for WCW, and Macho Man Randy Savage was one of them.

“I’ll never forget we were about an hour away from going on the air live, and at that time WCW went on the air an hour before us. I remember Vince was looking around, ‘We need to find Randy. We’re going to go over what we’re going to have on the show.’ Suddenly somebody came in and said, ‘Vince, you need to turn on your TV,’ and he looked, and there was Macho Man Randy Savage, walking onto WCW. He left, jumped ship, without telling anyone.

“So Vince came to me and said, ‘King, can you help me out and do color commentary tonight, and by next week I’ll find somebody else to do it full time.’ So I agreed, and I’ve been there ever since.”

Click here to read the full article.

- Jim Ross wrote the following on Twitter:

- David Otunga, who has a roll in the WWE Studios film “The Hive,” posted the following on Twitter regarding Halle Berry’s accident that resulted in her being rushed to the hospital:

- WWE has launched an official Twitter account for their Investor Relations Department. You can follow the account at Twitter.com/WWEInvestor.

- Evan Bourne posted the following injury update on Twitter:

- To update an earlier item, WWE’s sponsorship with the National Guard can continue. The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday night to continue military sports sponsorship. On a vote of 216-202, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., that would have trimmed $72.3 million for sports sponsorships from a $608 billion defense bill for fiscal 2013. Click here for an article written by The Associated Press.

-As Raw 1000 approaches, Trish Stratus has posted lists of her Top 5 personal favorite matches and moments from her time on Raw, including her main event match with Lita. Click here to view the lists.

-After being rushed to the hospital with a head injury, actress Halle Berry has returned to the set of the WWE Studios-financed film “The Hive.” Click here for more information.

IGN has a new interview up with “Mr. Money in the Bank” Dolph Ziggler. In the interview, Ziggler discusses the Money in the Bank ladder match, his backstage mentors, hosting WWE Download, and more.

In the following excerpt, Ziggler discusses his confrontation with Chris Jericho and where it may be heading:

I don’t know where we’re going to go with it right now. He came out on Monday and interrupted me and…you know, believe it or not, whenever I get to talk, I also just get to tell the truth. Mick Foley came out a few months ago and all I did was tell the truth about him. Jericho came out and interrupted me, which was a very Jericho thing to do, and it was supposed to be my big moment. I was just finally grabbing the mic for the third time in years. And I was a huge fan of his when I was growing up, but all I did was tell the truth and ask him ‘When’s the last time you won something? Or did something important?’ And now I would love to see what he has to say back to me on Monday. Because I left him speechless. I’m the first guy in forever to do that.”

Ziggler also discusses the “Let’s Go Dolph!” chants that have recently appeared in the following excerpt:

“I’m a little torn about it because on one hand that means I’m not doing my job and selling myself as a bad guy. But for some reason, the people at our arena shows and our live events and Pay-Per-Views are rooting for me, I would have to say, because I’m just really good at what I do. Whether I win or lose or whether I’m a good guy or a bad guy.”

Click here to read the full interview.

- I’m told John “Bradshaw” Layfield has been slowly lobbying for a return to WWE later this year and is hoping to end up with a match at Wrestlemania XXIX. “He doesn’t want to wrestle much beyond that, if it all.” One source told me under the condition of anonymity. JBL is one of several guys that wants to return for a payoff at Wrestlemania and he is back on good terms with the company after they sponsored his mountain climbing effort earlier this month. While no formal negotiations have been known to take place, he has sent out feelers to gauge interest in him returning to television.

- Road Warrior Animal was on 100.3 FAN-FM and implied Steve Austin would be on next week’s 1000th episode of Raw, teasing that Heath Slater would get the Stunner. He also said he would be there and talked more about the show at this link.

- According to Linda McMahon’s 2010 federal income tax return, which was released on Friday, she and Vince made a total of $30.6 million that year. $4.7 million was paid out in federal income taxes. The McMahon’s have not released their 2011 tax return as it has not been completed. Click here for coverage by The Associated Press.

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