Vince McMahon Buries UFC, Why Kelly Kelly Has Been Gone From WWE, CM Punk Involved In Airport Incident, Several WWE Returns, Why Jack Swagger Has Been Buried, New Raw GM Revealed, Huge Match Set For SummerSlam, Why CM Punk Turned Heel, Major Legend Wants To Return To WWE, Randy Orton’s Return, Four Expiring TNA Contracts, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

WWE News

- William Regal wouldn’t mind being the new General Manager of Raw and Smackdown. The following is from his official Twitter account:

- Chris Jericho has a new Tout online with some wild contact lenses. You can watch it at this link.

- Bloomberg Businessweek has a new feature online on Vince McMahon. In it, Vince reveals the following for his managerial secrets to success. They are as follows:

  • Listen to Your Employees—and Yourself
  • Treat Every Day Like Day One
  • Don’t Cultivate Fear
  • Clear Your Head and Find Your Zone
  • Don’t Settle for BS Answers When Interviewing Job Candidates
  • Complacency Is Your Worst Enemy

In the piece, McMahon discusses his hatred for sleep but love for bodybuilding. You can read the very interesting piece at this link.

- STLToday.com has a new article up with quotes from Triple H. In the article, Triple H discusses how WWE pioneered reality television, the PG initiative, how he feels about professional wrestling being called “fake,” and more. In the following excerpt, he gives his thoughts on suspended talent Randy Orton, as well as his philosophy on grooming new talent:

Not on the bill? St. Louis wrestling superstar Randy Orton. WWE scratched Orton after he committed his second violation of the WWE’s wellness policy. Levesque won’t say what Orton did wrong, only that the man they call “the legend killer” will be back after completing his 60-day suspension.

“It is important to remember that all of our wrestlers are human but they also have to be accountable,” Levesque said.

These days, Levesque spends more time in gray suits than spandex briefs. His job is to find the next generation of big names. He admits it’s a struggle.

“We’re trying to teach them to be the Stone Colds and the Undertakers of tomorrow, but the one thing we can’t teach is charisma,” said Levesque. “You can teach people to do moves and create story lines and the psychology of what we do, but you can’t teach someone to be the Rock. It’s an innate ability to walk into a room and have everyone pay attention. Put aside the athleticism and what happens in the ring, what our business is really about is connecting with people emotionally. If you are emotionally connected to your character, then people will want to see you. It’s true in Hollywood and movies. You don’t have to be the best actor, just be a presence.”

Click here to read the full interview.

- Rey Mysterio posted the following on Twitter regarding his in-ring return:

- AJ Lee has been seeking advice from CM Punk and John Cena during her latest run in a main event storyline.

- As it turns out Brett DiBiase didn’t appear on Friday’s Raw live event in Jackson, Mississippi. It was actually Ted DiBiase who returned to the ring in a match against Jinder Mahal at Saturday night’s Smackdown show in Sioux City, Iowa.

- For those that missed it in our house show results, WWE developmental talent Leakee worked Saturday night’s Raw show in Little Rock, Arkansas. Leakee is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika of The Wild Samoans. His brother is former WWE star Rosey, who worked the S.H.I.T. gimmick. You can view his developmental profile at this link.

- Deadline.com has some interesting YouTube channel data for July 12-18 that features WWE. You can check it out at this link.

- In a recent interview with Chad Dukes Wrestling, Dolph Ziggler discussed his lack of mic time, his social media presence, Vickie Guerrero, Jack Swagger, and more. In the following excerpt, Ziggler explains how he feels about legends that have returned and taken airtime from the full-time talent:

“You can get angry about it, you can use it to motivate you, but here’s the fact: if they didn’t draw ratings, or money, or people, or merchandise, we wouldn’t bring them back. Obviously, somebody or everybody wants to see these guys and I understand that. These guys are the guys who over the last 10-15 years have been carrying the show, they’ve been the superstars, they’ve gone on to bigger and better things, and they’re an attraction. They’re a draw. You’d be dumb to say you didn’t want to see what they’re gonna do. They’re taking my spot theoretically and I wanna see what they’re gonna do. All I can do is go out there and do my best and work harder than everyone else, stay outspoken, not change, and do everything, so those other 320 days a year when I’m out there, I let everybody know that this is gonna be the next guy.”

Ziggler goes on to discuss working with Vickie Guerrero in the following excerpt:

“I love having Vickie in my corner. Since day one I thought that this was a great, we compliment each other, we talk to each other, even during matches. I love having her out there with me. She’s gotten me so far I think, I’ve kept her relevant at certain times, she’s kept me relevant at certain times, we compliment each other. And I think one day down the line we will have a split up and maybe we’ll go our separate ways, but right now I love what I’m doing.”

Click here to listen to the full interview.

- Vince McMahon recently took part in a Q&A session with The Hollywood Reporter, and discussed topics such as the Monday Night Wars, WWE’s recent social media kick, competing with UFC, and more. McMahon gives his thoughts on UFC in the excerpt below:

THR: UFC gets big pay-per-view numbers.How do you stack up against them?

McMahon: “We’re in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year’s WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then. So, we are looking pretty good.”

McMahon also comments on the tendency of former talent to pursue film careers:

THR: Why has so much of your talent, like The Rock, gone on to film careers?

McMahon: “Our talent is taught not to be prima donnas, to be on time and know their lines. And quite frankly, people in Hollywood, once they see what we do, they are amazed. Our talent doesn’t demand the biggest trailer or a certain amount of grape juice or whatever the h— it is. Our talent is extremely flexible and knows how to act, so it’s a logical extension for them.”

Click here to read the full article.

- WWE has released an official Metro app for Microsoft Windows 8. The free app features news, roster information, and more. Click here for more information.

- Kelly Kelly posted the following on her official Twitter account:

- As Brooks noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kelly Kelly is returning to the road with WWE. Her time off has ended strangely enough with the news that John Cena’s divorce was quietly and privately settled. As I reported here on Richard’s Backstage Blog, the rumor was Kelly was concerned about her name coming up in the Cena divorce because of an alleged relationship they had while he was married and was granted time off.  WWE allowed Kelly to take outside bookings while still collecting her downside which was a very unique situation.

- The Baltimore Sun has a new Q&A online with Jerry Lawler to promote the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Below is an excerpt:

Through the years, you’ve worked with a number of different commentary partners. What has it been like working with such a cast of characters?

I first started as a color commentator when I took the place of “Macho Man” Randy Savage when he jumped ship during the Monday Night Wars. He was doing the commentary with Vince McMahon at the time. I’ve got to tell you; I really, really enjoyed calling the matches with Vince McMahon.

He was so much fun to work with. He never really came out and said it, but he was the perfect foil for me. This was before he was the overbearing CEO of the WWE. I got to make so much fun of him. He even perpetuated the myth that he wore a toupee. Every week, I would say something about his toupee — which of course he didn’t have; he always had a healthy head of hair. I would make fun of him in all sorts of ways and he was so gracious and went along with it. I really enjoyed working with him.

Then, of course, it switched to me and good ol’ J.R. for years and years and years. Man, I don’t know if there’s ever been or will ever be anyone who’s as good at wrestling play-by-play as good ol’ J.R. Nobody who’s going to be more prepared, nobody that’s going to know any more, know all the facts, know all the history, know all the statistics.

That’s just J.R.; he was perfect. He made my job so easy in the fact that I just had to show up and off the cuff come up with a few hopefully witty remarks. J.R. did all the groundwork; he did all the real hard work on the team.

Now, of course, I’m working with Michael Cole, and he’s a different kind of character. He’s sort of taken the place of what I was years ago when I worked alongside J.R. He’s the devil’s advocate, so to speak. He’s not out there trying to win any popularity contests with the fans. He tells it like it is in his view.

He’s easy to work with, and one thing that I can do with Cole that I never would have done with good ol’ J.R. is if Cole gets too out of line and too annoying, I can just look over and just say, “Shut up, you idiot.” And so it’s not too bad working with Michael Cole.

What are your thoughts on your rivalry with Cole?

It’s had its definite ups and downs. He started this thing off with some disparaging remarks about my mom right after she passed away. That was kind of tough to swallow and tough to live with, but by the same token, that led into something that may be my crowning achievement as long as I’ve been in the WWE. That led into my first ever WrestleMania match.

I’d called a lot of WrestleManias but never actually wrestled or performed on a WrestleMania until I got to have the match with Michael Cole the year before last. That was my biggest financial payday that I’ve ever made in the 42 years of my wrestling career.

That was very gratifying, so it’s hard for me to say too many bad things about Michael Cole because so much good for me personally has come out of that rivalry.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Variety is running a piece to promote the milestone 1000th episode of WWE Raw with quotes from Stephanie McMahon in it.  Below is an excerpt:

“We’re going to use social media in a more enhanced fashion,” besides just promotion, Stephanie McMahon Levesque, executive VP, creative for WWE, told Variety. “Our fans will affect some type of content in the show every week.”

Doing so “keeps your audience tuned into the broadcast for the entire three hours,” she believes. And if it works, the move could pave the way for other shows considering ways to keep distracted auds from changing channels.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE has announced that Extreme Rules 2013 will take place from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday, May 19, 2013. A pre-sale to obtain tickets will begin during the 1000th episode of Raw.

- There was an incident involving WWE Champion CM Punk Sunday night at the airport in St. Louis, Missouri. Apparently a fan rudely requested an autograph from Punk and resulted in Punk rejecting him. This reportedly caused another fan to react angrily that resulted in Punk throwing the fan’s autograph book in the trash.

TSA had to get involved, with Punk visibly upset at the behavior of the fans. Punk wrote the following about the incident on Twitter:

Ricardo Rodriguez witnessed the incident and wrote the following on Twitter:

- Chris Shays, who is challenging Linda McMahon for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate Seat out of Connecticut, says he wouldn’t support Linda McMahon is she won the primary.

“I have never run against an opponent that I have respected less — ever — and there are a lot of candidates I have run against,” Shays told the New Haven Register editorial board on Friday. He also accused her of buying the nomination, and refusing to hold similar meetings with newspaper boards: “It is a huge distortion to say she is out there meeting the public and that is the better way to do it — bulls***.”

Click here for more.

- The announced attendance for tonight’s 1000th episode of WWE Raw was 18,318. The show was a legitimate sellout from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

- Billy Gunn, Sean Waltman and Road Dogg joined Triple H and Shawn Michaels during the opening segment of the 1000th episode of Raw.

- Jim Ross joined Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on commentary for the 1000th episode of WWE Raw to help call the 6-man tag team match which featured World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara beating Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio.

- Charlie Sheen made an appearance on the 1000th Raw via Skype from Los Angeles. Originally scheduled to be the “social media ambassador” for the show, Sheen will check-in throughout the night via Skype after deleting his Twitter account.  The logic here is flawed as Sheen claimed to be watching the show live but the show doesn’t air on the west coast for another couple of hours.

- “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Mae Young and an oversized hand (appearing as May’s “son”) made cameos during a backstage segment with WWE Divas Champion Layla and AJ Lee.

- I’ve been asking around to find out just what exactly Jack Swagger has done to earn the blatant humbling he’s received on WWE television (as he just jobbed to Brodus Clay on the 1000th Raw). I’m told there really haven’t been any recent incidents involving Swagger, he’s just more or less been on the black list ever since his main event push went to his head a couple years ago. One source said he has failed some marijuana tests and just paid the fines the way top guys that smoke pot and test positive would. This did get some extra heat on Swagger because the office didn’t like him acting like he was indispensable. However, these are things that happened in the past and he’s just now paying the price for them.

- Trish Stratus appeared in a backstage segment on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw, doing yoga with Triple H and D-Generation X.

- Mick Foley appeared as Dude Love during Brodus Clay’s squash of Jack Swagger, even getting a blow in himself after the match.

- Slick served as the “minister” for the AJ Lee/Daniel Bryan wedding segment.

- Vince McMahon announced on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw that AJ Lee is the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw. The storyline was setup with AJ saying “Yes, Yes, Yes” during the “wedding” segment with Daniel Bryan but when Slick was about to announce them as “husband and wife,” AJ said she wasn’t saying yes to him but to another proposal she had from another man earlier in the night. McMahon’s music played and he revealed AJ was now “in charge” of the show as the General Manager.

- The Rock announced on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw that he will challenge for the WWE championship at Royal Rumble 2013. WWE Royal Rumble 2013 will take place Sunday, January 27, 2013 from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- The Miz beat Christian to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Bret Hart appeared live before the match as the guest ring announcer.

- Talk show legend Regis Philbin was featured in a pre-tape on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw where he offered congratulations for the milestone show. Phibin discussed all of the WWE stars he had the chance to interview with clips of Freddie Blassie and John Cena on Live! shown.

- Stephanie McMahon appeared on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw in a segment with Paul Heyman and Triple H.

- Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar was confirmed for SummerSlam on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Lesnar appeared live where he exchanged blows with Hunter after a segment that also included Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon blew up. WWE SummerSlam 2012 will take place Sunday, August 19, 2012 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

- Howard Finkel served as a guest ring announcer for Heath Slater’s open challenge to a no-disqualification, no count-out match that turned out to be Lita. Lita announced that John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Ron Simmons, also known as APA, were announced as her protection. When Slater tried to leave, all the past legends that have faced Slater in recent weeks (along with Sgt. Slaughter and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper) returned to bring him back to the ring for Lita to beat him.

- Sean Mooney returned to WWE on the 1000th episode of Raw, conducting a backstage interview with Daniel Bryan. Mooney is a former WWF play-by-play announcer from Phoenix, Arizona.

- WWE honored their 100,000,000th social media follower Alex Guerrero, Jr. on the 1000th episode of Raw. Guerrero, who won tickets to the show, was interviewed by Michael Cole.

- Fozzie Bear from “The Muppets” was featured in a pre-tape on Raw 1000 where he introduced a clip of top catchphrases over the years on Monday Night Raw.

- “Mean Gene” Okerlund appeared in a backstage segment on the 1000th episode of Raw with Zack Ryder and John Cena that led to The Rock coming in and wishing Cena luck.

- The Undertaker returned to WWE on the 1000th episode of Raw, assisting his “brother” Kane when he was surrounded by Jinder Mahal, Camacho, Hunico, Drew McIntyre, Tyler Reks, and Curt Hawkins. Kane and Undertaker worked together to take out the jobbers and celebrated as the Brothers of Destruction. Undertaker hasn’t been seen in a WWE ring since he went 20-0 by beating Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII. We confirmed Undertaker was in the building earlier this afternoon here on Richard’s Backstage Blog. If you are not yet a WNW Premium Member you can sign-up now at incredibly low prices at this link.

- Charlie Sheen all but challenged Daniel Bryan to a match the next time he was in Los Angeles on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw (saying Daniel could interrupt his challenge however he saw fit). Michael Cole teased Sheen for SummerSlam as the pay-per-view will take place from LA next month.

- The Miami Herald has a new article up with quotes from WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. In the interview, he discusses his new Deuce Brand watch, why he didn’t think Monday Night Raw would be a long-term success, and more.

In the following excerpt, Michaels discusses his retirement and whether he ever wants to compete again:

“I certainly don’t get the itch,” Michaels said. “That is something that does not happen to me. I think I do get satisfied when I get to go back to do an appearance and get to be a special referee or just an autograph session. Things like that, which is something I really enjoy. Certainly, I don’t stay on the sidelines longing to be in the spotlight, but the time that I am, it’s always a great deal of fun.

“I still try to do a good job and try not to phone it in. It’s almost like two different parts of your life. The first part of your life is geared toward one direction, and the second part of your life is more geared toward another. I’m guessing that is sort of where I’m at, but not forsaking or forgetting the first part by any stretch. I’m appreciative for it and thankful for it.”

CM Punk said on Raw last week that a guy like him wouldn’t have made it onto the first episode of Raw. Michaels disputes that in the excerpt below:

“I certainly understand the point he was trying to make,” Michaels said. “It was a different time, and there was a different attitude toward us guys, but because he is a fighter and doesn’t take a lot of guff from folks — for the same reasons that he is on now and the same reason he accomplished what he has in his career now, which is a testament to him — for all of those reasons, all the good reasons and positives because he is a fighter, I think he would have been on the first show.

“I think I understand the point he was trying to make. It was a different time. There were stereotypes that needed to be broken back then, and thankfully, it was done. Hopefully, it has made a difference for Punk and the others. I think because of the type of dude he is, I don’t think he would have had anything to worry about.”

Click here to read the full article.

- After the 1000th episode of WWE Raw went off the air, The Rock and John Cena double teamed Big Show to send the crowd home happy.

- If you’re looking to obtain tickets to WWE Extreme Rules 2013, the presale is now underway with the password EXTREME. Click here to purchase tickets. Extreme Rules will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

- Former WWE Diva and current TNA Knockout Tara was not at last night’s 1000th Raw.

- WWE has announced that Extreme Rules 2013 will be the first pay-per-view after Wrestlemania XXIX, meaning there will not be a pay-per-view in late-April. WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013.

- The latest update on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is he did indeed have a prior commitment that caused him to miss the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. It’s believed Austin was in California, filming his role in the upcoming feature film “Grown Ups 2.” Austin hasn’t posted an update on his official Twitter account as of press time.

- Chyna confirmed she wasn’t asked to appear on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw but gave her thoughts on Twitter. It’s important to note that she also Tweeted about the late Eddie Guerrero but we are only showing her Tweets in regards to her not appearing on the milestone show:

- The heel turn of WWE Champion CM Punk has been a topic of conversation backstage in WWE for the last couple of weeks. The company is aware of the lack of top heels and the feeling is that Punk’s fans are going to be Punk’s fans no matter what. As for the execution of the turn, WWE knew it had to be against The Rock because given the split reactions drawn by John Cena, they wouldn’t be able to get it over. The premise of Punk’s turn is that he is upset he hasn’t gotten the respect a champion deserves, not being featured in show main events. As one source told me, it’s pretty much him playing the real-life story back into an angle.

- Steve Austin has posted a new blog entry on his official website, detailing why he was not featured on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. As it turns out, our initial was report correct in that his filming schedule was clear, however, he wasn’t there because he underwent major knee surgery earlier this month. Below is from Austin’s official website:

On July 23, 2012 WWE celebrated the 1,oooth episode of Monday Night Raw. I watched the show from my home in Los Angeles. After watching the show, I got on my Twitter account, @steveaustinBSR, to read responses to the show. There were many people blaming Vince McMahon and the WWE for not having SCSA on the show. And there were some folks who had some very negative things to say about me, personally.

The reason I did not attend RAW 1,000 was because I underwent a major knee surgery on my left knee on July 2, 2012. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, CA performed the surgery.

The surgery was a complete success. I am currently three weeks post op. I began physical therapy a few days ago. I had a world class surgeon and a great medical team working on me. I am now working with a top notch PT team. I am still on crutches and will probably lose the crutches in another week. Then I will be in a custom knee brace much like the braces I wore in the ring for 9-12 weeks.

STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN IS A 100% ASS KICKING MACHINE. There was no way I was going to limp down the ramp on crutches for RAW 1,000. It was time to get my knee fixed. The decision to no-show RAW 1,000 was made by me and no one else. I have always taken pride in making my shots and have never faked an injury or illness. Pro Wrestling is a tough game and it was time to pay the piper for some of the damage I incurred in the ring. No gripes. No complaints.

To the fans that were hoping to see SCSA, I’m sorry I missed the show. I would have loved to be there under different circumstances. I normally keep my personal business to myself, but due to feedback and incorrect speculation, I have posted this blog and given the 411 on why I was not at RAW 1,000.

I will post more blogs about my PT and recovery soon.

Steve Austin

Click here to read the original blog post in its entirety.

- Vince and Linda McMahon have been revealed as six-figure donors to the Mitt Romney for President campaign. According to CNN, the McMahons donated a total of $159,910 to Romney’s campaign, with $9,910 going to his “victory fund” and the other $150,000 going to the “Restore our Future” super PAC. Click here for an updated list of celebrity donors for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

- KPLR 11 out of St. Louis ran an article with quotes from Stephanie McMahon to promote the 1000th episode of WWE Raw last Monday. Obviously the event is over but in the piece, Stephanie revealed what she thinks of her father:

“My Dad is my idol and mentor. He’s taught me everything that I know basically. He has many, many, mantras and some are not repeatable. But, the bottom line is you have to work hard, play hard. Live hard and love hard. As long as you do all those things you’ll be successful.” said Stephanie McMahon.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word WWE has uploaded the SummerSlam pay-per-view promotional poster in PDF format. The poster, which features Brock Lensar, can be viewed at this link.

- The new group attempting to trademark ECW for wrestling use, Mocker LLC, has been refused by a review panel for the United States government. The panel noted in their refusal that WWE’s registration of ECW trademarks could cause confusion in the marketplace because they are providing similar services. The refusal letter specifically mentioned ECW One Night Stand, ECW Extremists and ECW Vixens, all of which are currently owned by WWE. TNA Wrestling was cited as an example how a trademark owner can have a similar place in the marketplace but with a unique trademark rather than using similar ones owned by another entity in the same marketplace. Mocker will have six months to respond.

- Kharma was asked on Twitter if she was granted her release from WWE. She responded with the following comment:

Yes, I was. It doesn’t mean I’ll never be back.

As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kharma was quietly released earlier this month.

- Maxim.com has a new Q&A online with The Bella Twins. In it, Brie tells the publication they “look forward to going back” to WWE. Below is an excerpt:

After five years of making heads spin, you two hung up your metal folding chairs this spring. What have you been up to since parting ways with the WWE?

Brie:We’ve been keeping busy! In August you can see us on Ridiculousness on MTV, and in September we’ll be sharing some thoughts about Tim Tebow on the NFL Network. But honestly, the WWE is a huge family, and we look forward to going back.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Rey Mysterio is headed to Manila, Philippines and Taiwan on a promotional tour for WWE following this week’s television tapings. Mysterio wrote the following on Twitter:

- In addition to John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Dave Batista, believe it or not, I’m told Ultimate Warrior is training for a potential comeback and wants “one last match.” While nothing is beyond the preliminary stages, I’m told he would like to have the match take place at Wrestlemania. For those that feel there is no chance of it happening, my source tells me the company is actually interested in inducting Warrior into their Hall of Fame although there are mixed reactions about him returning to the ring. At 53-years-old, Warrior was training for an in-ring return earlier this year but was injured. Now I’m told he has turned his attention to a potential one final match in WWE.

- The New York Times has an article online on the monster rating done by the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Click here to read it.

- WWE has announced a live event from the Comcast Arena in Everett, Washington on October 5, 2012 at 7:30 PM

- Dot com released a blurb about Lilian Garcia’s new EP entitled “My Time” that is due out August 19th. Click here to check it out.

- Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays continues to hammer Linda McMahon as he challenges her for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat of Connecticut. Shays, who has been a sharp critic of McMahon, said he questions WWE’s motivation for shifting to a PG-rated format. Not only did a spokeswoman for Linda McMahon say they were not “getting down in the gutter with Mr. Shays,” WWE issued a statement:

“WWE’s 13 million weekly TV viewers and our 100 million social media followers would disagree that WWE’s content is violent,” WWE spokesman Brian Flinn said. “WWE programming is TV-PG and family friendly, with women making up nearly 40 percent of our audience. Contrary to the assertion about our content, WWE is in the business of putting smiles on people’s faces.

Click here for coverage by StamfordAdvocate.com.

- Randy Orton, who was backstage at the 1000th episode of Raw from his hometown of St. Louis, is officially advertised to return to WWE on next week’s episode of Raw. As noted here in Ask WNW, Orton is on booking sheets for upcoming WWE live events to work in the top of the card although I can’t confirm whether he’ll work as a babyface or heel. There was a lot of discussion as to what WWE was going to do about Orton following his 60-day suspension for his second documented violation of the WWE Wellness Policy with Triple H and Vince McMahon even trying to scare him to think they were seriously considering firing him. Most of my sources feel cutting Orton was something that was given a lot of consideration but ultimately the decision was to keep him due to the need for full-time top talent (not to mention the threat of delivering a top talent to TNA in the midst of a legal battle). As for the backstage heat, the suspension in itself wasn’t what caused the heat but rather how he handled it by feeling he was “above” the company.

- The lawsuit regarding insurance fraud and the National Wrestling Alliance has been settled and the promotion is now owned by Bruce Tharpe. I’m told this could end up tying into the WWE Network. WWE has actually tried to purchased the NWA a few times over the last decade but the NWA was such a “shady and legally-complicated mess,” that nothing ever came of the talks. WWE wasn’t offering big money but would like to own the brand if they can get it for a responsible price as so much of their tape library and the history that will be featured on the WWE Network revolves around the NWA (or more specifically, the NWA World Championship). Part of the motivation for some of the board members trying to wrestle away control of the NWA with the lawsuit was in hopes they’ll be able to “cash in” if the NWA is ultimately sold to WWE. The story also involves Triple H as I’m told he has a “soft spot” for the NWA brand and it has been discussed in recent weeks that WWE may try to engage the new ownership in acquisition talks at some point.

- – Mark Henry attended a THQ event in Dublin, Ireland to show off WWE ’13. You can view a photo posted on dot com at this link.

- Speaking of WWE ’13, THQ has updated their roster page, adding John Cena, The Miz and Attitude Era Mark Henry.

- TribLive News is reporting that The Great Khali has had a tumor removed from his pituitary gland at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The article explains the procedure in the excerpt below:

The tumor removed during a four-hour procedure on Wednesday led to the growth spurt that caused Singh to achieve a height of 7 feet, 1 inch and a weight of 347 pounds, according to UPMC neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon, who led the surgical team. Maroon said Thursday the tumor causes a condition called acromegaly, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Khali is expected to recover within two to three months.

Click here to read the full article.

- WWE has updated their key performance indicators to reflect happenings during the second quarter of 2012. In them, the company reports approximately 200,000 buys for No Way Out. The final number will be reported when the company announces their second quarter earnings next Thursday, August 2, 2012.

- WWE noted in their key performance indicators that the Wrestlemania XXVIII DVD has shipped 189,000 units to date. The DVD leads the significant trailing non-month releases chart which includes the following:

  • Wrestlemania 28 – 189,000 units
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Most Popular Superstars – 141,000 units
  • The Epic Journey of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – 140,000 units
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart: Rivalry – 94,000 units
  • Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn – 88,000 units

Connect With WNW

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

  • Jamie

    AJ is smart for going to Cena and Punk, wonder if AJ is the one to make Divas more interesting to watch.

    • Robert Rhodes

      If AJ has the ear of both Cena and Punk this could just be the deciding factor to give for one thing more interest to the Diva's .Better storylines for all.And more time.She could be the one that turns or causes the turn around the the Diva.That brings about changes.