Popular Sports Franchise Wants WWE To Buy Them, Exclusive First Look At SummerSlam Lineup, WWE To Cut Ties With HoFer?, HHH Berates Talent In Backstage “Team Meeting,” RVD’s First Raw Back, MITB Match Outcomes

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, June 22, 2013 to Friday, June 28, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- This week’s episode of “Backstage Fallout” Smackdown, with the subtitle “count-out controversy riles Bryan,” is available at this link.

- Apparently a script for “Terminator 5″ is being written with The Rock in mind. Examiner.com has the exclusive details at this link.

- If you missed this week’s Smackdown, WWE welcomed Christian back with a post-match beatdown from The Shield. Video highlights from this week’s episode are online here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Rey Mysterio, who had a minor surgery done earlier in the week, is targeting SummerSlam for his in-ring return. SummerSlam 2013 will take place Sunday, August 18, 2013.

- Rosa Mendes is set to return to WWE. The following is from her verified Twitter account:

- Rob Van Dam beat Tommy Dreamer at Family Wrestling Entertainment’s iPPV on Friday night. RVD appeared in great shape ahead of his WWE return at Money in the Bank on Sunday, June 13, 2013.

- WWE has trademarked the term WWE Slam City, presumably for use for a television show.

- The Gazette out of Iowa has a new article online featuring quotes from Big E Langston where he talks about the transition from college football (he played for the Iowa Hawkeyes) to the ring. Langston also discussed wanted to be an Atheltic Director and being introverted. Below is an excerpt from the piece:

“The first month [in WWE], I went without doing any talking at all,” he said. “I was just kind of a stoic bodyguard. But eventually I’ve been given some opportunities. Every performer should have an evolution.

“I grew up very introverted. (Former Hawkeye) Mitch King and guys like him wondered if I could do this for a living because even in my college days I was introverted. But I’ve always been a budding extrovert waiting to come out.

“Honestly, this was something I never considered for a job. But they set up a tryout and everything just kind of happened from there. It’s been a whirlwind, an amazing experience so far.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Philly.com has a new feature article on the USA Network’s Bonnie Hammer, one of WWE’s biggest allies. Below are the highlights from the article.

How WWE helped build the USA Network:

Her USA Network – built partly on the popularity of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. – has been the most-watched ad-supported cable channel for seven straight years and in 2012 earned more than $1 billion in profit.

“She doesn’t stand on ceremony as some executives do,” Vincent McMahon, the chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, said. “She wants to give the audience what it wants.”

Her advice to McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment years ago was to develop story lines and characters, which they did.

In February, acknowledging USA’s momentum and her golden-eyed selection of hit cable shows, NBCUniversal head Steve Burke consolidated all the company’s entertainment cable channels under Hammer, 62, making her one of the most powerful women in entertainment and at Comcast.

Vanity Fair rates her No. 16 on its powerhitters list, and on the day of her interview, superagent Ari Emanuel called to chat up a project. Burke and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts are jointly Vanity Fair’s No. 2 powerhitters. In an e-mail on Friday, Burke wrote: “Bonnie is the whole package. She has great taste, judgment and business skills. She is an important part of our management team.”

Where WWE fits into Hammer’s equation of the USA Network’s success:

The network’s winning formula is based on one-third original series, one-third acquired shows, and one-third World Wrestling Entertainment.

A championship WWE belt, a gift from McMahon for Hammer’s 50th birthday, hangs above the low, cushy couch in her office.

Hammer is a big fan, saying WWE’s live Raw consistently draws five million viewers per episode 52 weeks a year. WWE also has a show on Syfy, Smackdown, and in July E! will launch Total Divas, a reality show featuring female wrestlers. “She is really in charge of the cash of the cash cow at NBCU,” McMahon said.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- We reported a couple years ago that WWE was interested in trying to buy the Harlem Globetrotters. Obviously, despite interest, the parties were unable to come to terms. At the time, WWE’s inquires were rebuked but now, the franchise is now seeking a buyer. A lot has changed since WWE previously had interest and while Vince McMahon was looking to pick up other entertainment properties, that philosophy is out the window after Linda McMahon’s Senate losses and Triple H’s rise to power. The Globetrotters contacted WWE to see if they were interested in a deal similar to previous offers but WWE turned them down. One observer commented how they “couldn’t imagine” WWE being interest given the change in landscape.

- Dolph Ziggler worked against Antonio Cesaro as a babyface at Saturday night’s WWE live event in Daytona Beach, Florida. We have the results available at this link.

- The July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine is now available. In celebration of Independence Day in the United States, the magazine is subtitled, “The All-American Issue.”   John Cena is on the cover with features on Ryback, Kaitlyn, Fandango, Money in the Bank Ladder Match winners, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and The Shield.

- Bray Wyatt suffered a minor arm injury at last week’s WWE NXT tapings in Winter Park, Florida. The injury occurred while working with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan against Adrian Neville, William Regal and Corey Graves in a match that will air on the July 11, 2013 episode of WWE NXT. As a result, Wyatt was replaced in the dark match main event later in the night by Luke Harper against Sheamus. The same thing happened on this weekend’s WWE live events with Harper replacing Wyatt in matches against Alex Riley. They’re doing a bit where Wyatt says he’ll wrestle Riley if he can beat Harper. When Harper goes over, he “doesn’t have” to work. The fact Wyatt remains on the road with WWE indicates the injury is not serious and he’s been pulled for precautionary measures.

- WWE honored Ron Simmons with “Ron Simmons Appreciation Night” on Saturday night in Tallahassee, Florida. Below is an excerpt from our live report:

Ron Simmons was honored by his former tag team partner JBL. Following a thoughtful promo, Simmons came out to be honored. A personal message from Florida State University head football coach Jimbo Fisher was shown on the big screen. June 22, 2013 was deemed “Ron Simmons Day” in the city. JBL asked Simmons if he had anything to say… DAMN!

Photos of the festivities are available at this link.

- John Cena did a photo shoot this weekend for the drink Caprisun. The following is from the Champ’s verified Twitter account:

- Speaking of Cena, he met with troops in Savannah, Georgia. Here’s a photo:

- Trish Stratus did a lengthy interview with John Layfield’s LayfieldReport.com. All bases are covered from Trish breaking in to retiring to the possibility of a comeback. You can read it at this link.

- Jim Ross was with Gerald Brisco over the weekend scouting talent at the USA World Team Wrestling trails from Oklahoma State University.

Speaking of JR, his latest blog is online at this link.

- Byron Saxton, who is known for his work in WWE NXT, was on the road with the main roster over the weekend where he worked as a ring announcer. Saxton is also a creative assistant for WWE’s developmental territory.

- The British Bulldog’s widow, Diana Hart Smith, was asked on Twitter about her husband not being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame:

- Jim Ross feels the possibility of Steve Austin returning for one more match is less than 50/50. The following is from Twitter:

- We’ve been working on the prospective plans for SummerSlam and were told the following lineup as of this weekend:

John Cena vs. Ryback vs. Mark Henry in a triple-threat match for the WWE Championship

Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk

The Undertaker & Kane vs. The Shield

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler. I would assume this would be for the World Heavyweight Championship but I cannot confirm that as of this writing.

As always, these plans are subject to change but they do give you an idea of where storylines are heading into the August 18, 2013 pay-per-view.

- Kevin Iole has a new article online at Yahoo Sports looking at The Iron Sheik. The writer examines his dire need for knee surgery he cannot afford and the aches and pains of his everyday life. Click here to read it.

- Steve Austin told the folks over at LAW that he “loved every second” of Mark Henry’s “retirement speech” from last week’s WWE Monday Night Raw. He did admit, however, that anyone that’s been around the business saw that coming a mile away.

- WWE has announced a live event on September 7, 2013 from the WFCU Center in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Tickets go on sale Saturday, July 13th at 10 AM.

- The July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine has a feature titled “The Scars of the Superstars” featuring WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose. Below is an excerpt:

Dean Ambrose
“The big one that runs up and down my back I received in a ‘Barbwire Death Match’ in Germany back around 2009. I was facing a known independent rival of mine. We needed up so tangled in the barbed wire that it was in my hair, in my face and my arm was wrapped up in it – basically my whole body was lodged in there with him. Think Terry Funk and Sabu from 1994. At one point we were tangled like two chickens, so much so that it took two or three guys with wire-cutters about 10 minutes to get both of us out. I like the scar, though. It looks cool even though people never really get to see it. There are always emergency guys on call for matches like that one, and they just stitched me right up. But you wake up the next day in the hotel room, and the bed looks like a crime scene, and your T-shirt is stuck to your back because you’re covered in dried plasma. My next match was the very next day: It was just a weekend tour, you know, nothing too crazy.”

The July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine is now out on newsstands everywhere.

- In the July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine, Jack Swaggger reveals how he celebrated his first World Heavyweight Championship win at the March 30, 2010 Smackdown taping in Las Vegas, Nevada a few years ago.  Below is an excerpt:

After I cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase, I was in Vegas with my now-wife. And I remember walking through the Venetian hotel in Vegas with the World Heavyweight Championship on my shoulder. And later that night, I pulled out a ring and proposed to her that night in our room. I thought it was cool, and I wanted to share that moment with her. It was a very good week for me.

The match, against Chris Jericho, aired on the April 2, 2010 episode of WWE Smackdown.

- Last week’s episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,280,000 viewers on SyFy. The show did a 1.71 cable rating. The viewership numbers continue to drop and what makes them even worse is the show wasn’t up against any significant competition.

- The official debut trailer for the upcoming WWE 2K14 video game has been released, and is available at this link.

- In addition, the following characters appear in the trailer:

The Rock
John Cena
Ryback
Dolph Ziggler
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Shawn Michaels
“Macho Man” Randy Savage

- Alex Riley replaced Matt Striker on commentary at this week’s WWE Superstars taping. Riley was alongside Tony Dawson.  Striker was released last week when WWE opted out of his contract renewal.

- WWE has officially announced Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship at next month’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

- WWE has updated their Key Performance Indicators through the month of May. In them, the preliminary buyrate for WWE Extreme Rules is reported. The show, headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H III, did an estimated 228,000 pay-per-view buys. This was down from last year’s show, Lesnar’s return [and subsequent job] against John Cena, which did 263,000 buys. The show did 209,000 buys in 2011.

- WWE ringside physician Michael Sampson is now on Twitter. You can follow him @WWEDocSampson. Make sure to follow me @wnwdotcom.

- For those that missed it, the death of Jackie Fargo was mentioned on commentary on this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw. WWE Champion John Cena Tweeted the following on Monday afternoon:

- WWE unveiled the cover of WWE 2K14 on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. You can view it below:

[information]WWE 2K14 Cover[/information]

- WWE announced the following participants for the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw:

CM Punk
Daniel Bryan
Sheamus
Randy Orton
Christian
Kane
Rob Van Dam

As the stipulation goes, the winner will get a shot at the WWE Championship that they have one year to “cash in.”

We broke the news of Christian and RVD being included in the match here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.

- WWE added Ryback vs. Chris Jericho to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. The bout was announced in a backstage segment with Vickie Guerrero.

- It was announced on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw that CM Punk will team with Curtis Axel to oppose Darren Young & Titus O’Neil, known collectively as The Prime Time Players. Here’s Punk’s kayfabe response to Heyman:

Next week’s WWE Monday Night Raw emanates from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Join us at 7:30 PM EDT next Monday for our “Open Thread” Watch Party featuring streaming results and your discussion.

- CM Punk didn’t miss the Chicago Blackhawks winning the 2013 Stanley Cup Monday night as he watched backstage at Monday Night Raw on a laptop computer. Below is a photo from Punk verified Twitter account:

- After this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, WWE Champion John Cena b. Ryback in a Tables Match to retain in the dark match main event.

- David Otunga resurfaced on this week’s show, appearing in a backstage interview with Josh Mathews that aired on the WWE App. Otunga plugged “The Call” being released on DVD on Tuesday. You can watch the segment at this link.

- John Cena and CM Punk had a wager on their hometown squads for the 2013 Stanley Cup. Monday night after WWE Raw, Cena paid up:

- The latest Wyatt Family vignette is now online at this link.

- Yahoo! Movies has a new article looking at The Rock’s workout routine and unbelievable physique. You can check it out at this link.

- Rob Van Dam discusses his forthcoming WWE return, his schedule and departing TNA Wrestling. You can watch it at this link.

Backstage news and notes from Monday Night Raw in North Charleston…

- The Usos push is still on following their two minute victory over Brodus Clay & Tensai on this week’s show. While some feel it makes very little sense for Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns to work them given the upper tier talent they’ve already beaten, they need something to do before the prospective return of The Undertaker for a match at SummerSlam.

- There was a shoot tossed into the stellar CM Punk/Paul Heyman segment. When Paul talked about “making millions on a tag match,” he actually pitched Punk & Brock Lesnar vs. DeGeneration X in an unsanctioned street fight. The idea was shot down, which was the reason for the reference.

- The “tweener stuff” with CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler was done due to all the writing changes over the last few weeks with their being a lack of long-term direction.

- Speaking of writing changes, we’re told this week’s script was the work of David Kreizman with very little changes. Following up on our story from last week, WWE wants to keep Dave happy and his completed script [for this week] was finished on Friday and reviewed before running with it Monday night. We’re told the script was ran by John Cena, CM Punk, Triple H and Paul Heyman. One of the main focuses this week was to slow down the Heyman, Punk and Lesnar angle to make sure it didn’t peak too early. One observer felt this week’s show already had better flow.

- Coming out of this week’s WWE Raw, plenty of questions remain about a second Money in the Bank Ladder Match. With the already announced WWE title MITB ladder match, who works the second for the World Heavyweight Championship? With the brand extension over, they really can’t brand it as the “Smackdown” match so we’re told a lot of back and forth is going on. We heard someone pitched they do a MITB ladder match for one of the secondary belts but wondered if anyone would care given titles such as the Intercontinental Championship hold so little value.

- Titus O’Neil, who is very well liked backstage, took some heat when he “totally botched” the end to CM Punk vs. Darren Young. The feeling was it came across sloppy and didn’t look good. O’Neil reportedly caught an earful in front of everyone.

- We’re told many guys were watching Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton “closely on the monitors backstage” as Bryan has become must-see TV. One producer remarked how he is on another level in terms of his in-ring work and talent. Vince McMahon’s promo from earlier in the show was basically him making fun of himself for being so wrong about Bryan.

- SunHerald.com is reporting that Jack Swagger arrived at Gulfport Municipal Court with a team of three attorneys Tuesday morning before the start of his DUI trial. His right hand was in a large splint, in which Swagger confirmed he has an injury.

“I severed a tendon in my thumb,” Swagger said outside of the courthouse.

We reported on Swagger’s injury earlier this month. He declined to comment on the trial.

Swagger was arrested after the February 19th WWE Smackdown taping from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi when he was stopped by police for speeding.  The officer determined Swagger was driving under the influence and searched his vehicle. Marijuana was found and he was arrested by local sheriff’s deputies but later released on his own recognizance.

He was charged with DUI, possession of marijuana and speeding.  Alcohol was not a factor.

Swagger had just left the venue after taping his segments that aired on the February 22nd episode of Smackdown when police stopped him in a 2013 Ford Taurus for speeding.  Swagger was able to clear the charges of marijuana possession and speeding by paying respective fines of $437 and $188, however, the charge of DUI requires him to appear before a judge in addition to a $1300 fine.  Swagger’s plea date was March 12, 2013 but postponed until April 9, 2013.

WWE has been eerily quiet regarding Swagger’s arrest just over 48 hours after putting him over at the Elimination Champion pay-per-view, assuring him a World title shot at Wrestlemania 29.  Swagger went under to Alberto Del Rio at the show last Sunday.  The company’s lone statement regarding the arrest was as follows:

“Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions.”

- Chris Jericho was pleased with his match against Alberto Del Rio on this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw. The following is from Jericho’s verified Twitter:

- Jack Swagger was found guilty on the charge of Driving Under the Influence in Gulfport Municipal Court in Gulfport, MS on Tuesday. Swagger was sentenced to six months probation, a $500 fine and court costs. A two-day jail sentence was suspended.  He was cleared on a possession charge.

The story was first reported by Robin Fitzgerald at SunHerald.com.

Swagger was arrested after the February 19th WWE Smackdown taping from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi when he was stopped by police for speeding.  The officer determined Swagger was driving under the influence and searched his vehicle. Marijuana was found and he was arrested by local sheriff’s deputies but later released on his own recognizance.

He was charged with DUI, possession of marijuana and speeding.  Alcohol was not a factor.

Swagger had just left the venue after taping his segments that aired on the February 22nd episode of Smackdown when police stopped him in a 2013 Ford Taurus for speeding.  Swagger was able to clear the charges of marijuana possession and speeding by paying respective fines of $437 and $188, however, the charge of DUI requires him to appear before a judge in addition to a $1300 fine.  Swagger’s plea date was March 12, 2013 but postponed until April 9, 2013.

WWE has been eerily quiet regarding Swagger’s arrest just over 48 hours after putting him over at the Elimination Champion pay-per-view, assuring him a World title shot at Wrestlemania 29.  Swagger went under to Alberto Del Rio at the show last Sunday.  The company’s lone statement regarding the arrest was as follows:

“Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions.”

- Randy Orton Re-Tweeted the following on Twitter:

- Mark Henry is featured in a full page Q&A in the July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine. In it, he discusses the backstage atmosphere in WWE. Below is an excerpt:

WWE Magazine – During the past two decades, what’s one thing that hasn’t changed about Mark Henry?

Mark Henry - That I’ve always been helpful. I’ve helped out a lot of people. The Rock, John Cena, Big Show, Randy Orton, the NXT guys, The Prime Time Players, Zack Ryder – the list goes on. I take a lot of pride in giving people advice and helping them out backstage. I’ve had a lot of help myself, so I figure it’s only right to give it back. Here’s another thing that hasn’t changed – my car. I still have the Hummer I won at the Arnold Classic! I drive it every time that I’m home. I got it in 2002, and it only has 89,000 miles on it. Of course, I’m on the road a lot so I don’t drive it too often, but when I’m home, it’s still my car. I’ve taken really good care of it over the years, so it’s in great shape. That’s how I am with anything. Once I’m in, I’m in.

WWE Magazine – We imagine that that kind of backstage help is valuable in the WWE locker room, where the wrong move can put you in some hot water.

Mark Henry - You have to be respectful of the people you work with and, in some cases, the people you work against. If you have differences, you get behind closed doors and say, “Hey man, we’ve got a problem. We need to work it out.” At times I’ve been kind of a legal presence, representing both side: the impartial party making sure the action stays where it belongs – in the ring, not in the back.

The July 2013 issue of WWE Magazine is available on newsstands everywhere and features John Cena on the cover.

- This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 3,980,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the hour by hour breakdown:

Hour 1 – 3,743,000
Hour 2 – 4,287,000
Hour 3 – 3,910,000

The show finished up with a 2.9 cable rating.

- 2K Sports issued a press release about The Rock gracing the cover of WWE2K14 on Tuesday. In it, The Rock was quoted about the honor:

“I am exceptionally grateful to be chosen for the cover of WWE 2K14 and serve as the first cover Superstar under 2K’s leadership,” said The Rock, one of the most recognizable Superstars in WWE history. “I want the cover of WWE 2K14 to electrify the people. I want the artwork to stand out and set a new standard for all WWE video games from 2K, both today and in the future.”

Click here to read the press release in its entirety.

- More details about Jack Swagger’s February 19, 2013 arrest emerged at Tuesday’s DUI trial in Gulfport Municipal Court in Gulfport, MS on Tuesday. Below are the highlights of the arrest:

Swagger did not testify but admitted at the scene he smoked marijuana prior to leaving the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi where WWE taped Smackdown.

“I know I (expletive)-ed up,” Swagger told the arresting officer. “I apologize, man.”

DUI officer Louis Garcia testified that Swagger handed him his credit card when he asked for his driver’s license. Garcia smelled burned marijuana and observed Swagger’s speech was slow and his eyes bloodshot and watery. He was cooperative but nervous and talkative.

Swagger failed a field sobriety test where he was asked to “walk and turn” while counting and a one-leg stand, also while counting.

“It was probably by far one of the worst I’ve ever seen as a DUI officer for under the influence of marijuana,” Garcia said.

Swagger’s defense argued blood was not drawn for a toxicology test, the only way to confirm if THC was in his system.

The officer said Swagger had already admitted to smoking marijuana and he wasn’t going to put him through any more embarrassment.

After finding Swagger guilty, Judge Felicia Dunn-Burkes suspended a two-day jail sentence for six months of good behavior, but fined him $1,000 plus $300 in court costs for the DUI conviction. He was also fined $198 for speeding and ordered to attend an alcohol-safety education class and a victim-impact class. He can get his driver’s license back in 90 days if he completes the classes, instead of a year.

Swagger’s attorney plans to file an appeal in county court.

Robin Fitzgerald covered the story throughout the day and has more here at SunHerald.com.

- Jack Swagger’s job in WWE is safe following his DUI conviction in Biloxi, MS on Tuesday as he was added to the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match at this week’s Smackdown taping. This also indicates the company is expecting him back from his severed thumb tendon injury. Swagger isn’t advertised for any live events this weekend, as he was previously.

- There will be a World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view next month. The following participants were announced at this week’s WWE Smackdown taping in Columbia, South Carolina:

Antonio Cesaro
Cody Rhodes
Damien Sandow
Dean Ambrose
Fandango
Jack Swagger
Wade Barrett

- Below is a photo of CM Punk with the Stanley Cup:

- George “The Animal” Steele teams with Jim Evans on Yahoo! Sports to reveal his take on the Randy Savage-Miss Elizabeth angle. Click here to read it.

- Chris Jericho was asked on Twitter what he thinks of Bray Wyatt’s character in WWE. Here’s what he said:

- Booker T has booked MVP for his Realty of Wrestling show on July 13, 2013 from the Clear Lake City Recreation Center in Houston, Texas.

- Titus O’Neil and Vickie Guerrero are hosting Academy Prep Tampa’s A Night of Fashion on Thursday evening. The event will take place at Revealing Truth Ministries on 5201 N Armenia Ave in Tampa, Florida. VIP tickets are $100 and General Admission is $50. Click here for more.

- Following the release of a video titled “When the Cat is Away…,” that appeared to feature Jake Roberts falling off the wagon, Diamond Dallas Page has confirmed the unfortunate news.

The following statement was released along with a video:

The decision to release these videos was made after much consideration. There has been a tremendous flood of positive media coverage surrounding what happens at the Accountability Crib, and while many things that happen may be kept private, we cannot allow a false image to be portrayed.

As much as we hate seeing people fall, we still believe that anyone can make the decision to get back up. We’re not a rehab center and we’re still learning so much about addiction. We only are here to support our friends if they are willing to do the work necessary.

Please be patient as we are trying to condense hours of footage into a shorter format.

A Time for Accountability – Part I

- Alicia Fox and Layla are in Los Angeles on Wednesday, filming scenes for “Total Divas.”

- CM Punk, The Shield, Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Ricky Steamboat will represent WWE at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con on August 10-11. Click here for more info.

- Ricky Steamboat being removed as a WWE NXT trainer was seen as part of Triple H looking to overhaul the company’s developmental system. While the word was out at the time that Steamboat would be transferred to Talent Relations, the company didn’t end up finding a position for him. Steamboat has been relegated to an “ambassador” position, basically doing PR appearances like what we reported on Wednesday. He’s well liked by everyone and many in the office feel bad he lost his trainer spot for seemingly no reason other than he wasn’t one of “Triple H’s guys.” It’s not that Hunter has anything against him either, it’s just he wants a team of “his guys.” We’re told Steamboat fears his days in WWE could be numbered, however, the company is pleased with how he represents them when doing PR and appearances. There are no plans as of this writing to get rid of him.

- TMZ is reporting that CM Punk has obtained a restraining order against his estranged mother.

According to their report, Punk’s mother constantly asks him for money and then threatens to commit suicide if he doesn’t come through. Punk claims he’s tried to cut her off for the past year “due to repeated financial demands and years of abusive, harassing and threatening behavior.”

Punk claims his mother suffers from bipolar disorder and that he has given her more than $100,000. She’s threatened to release potentially embarrassing information about Punk’s past, which is believed has to do with arrests when he was in high school.

A judge granted the temporary restraining order on June 10 but Punk is due back in court on Wednesday where he will likely try to extend it.

Richard Reacts: First off, this is none of our business and I hate stories like this.  Do I run it or do I ignore it?  That’s the dilemma but in the end, I can’t turn a blind eye to a story that’s out just because it isn’t pretty.  That said, we’re told Punk’s mother gave up on him in high school.  She didn’t reach out to him until many years later, asking for stuff that is in this article.

- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online featuring quotes from Brodus Clay. Below are the highlights:

Tagging vs. singles:

“I like tagging with T. I think the two go hand in hand,” Clay told SLAM! Wrestling last Monday. “If there was an opportunity for a singles match in a second — but I also like tagging up too. It’s a lot of fun.”

Being left off the WWE Payback lineup:

“I don’t think it was frustrating. You’ve just got to wait for your time and be ready when you get your opportunity,” he said. “Obviously you want to be on every show, you want to do everything you possibly can, but you don’t make those decisions.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Ezekiel Jackson posted a front double biceps pose on his new Instagram account. After receiving a compliment from WWE’s Dr. Michael Sampson, Jackson says he’s ready. The following is from Twitter:

- John Cena, who will be featured on “Total Divas,” alongside real-life girlfriend and WWE co-worker Nikki Bella, wrote the following on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon:

Total Divas premieres Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 10 PM ET/PT on E!

- AJ Lee Tweeted a photo of SummerSlam promotional poster, which also features Dolph Ziggler, <>The Bella Twins, CM Punk, Kane and Daniel Bryan. You can view it below:

- Embedded in the video below is footage of John Cena speaking at the 2013 Susan G. Komen Leadership Conference:

- WWE developmental Diva Brittany Fetkin Tweeted the following photo of her training in Los Angeles:

E! was shooting for “Total Divas” Wednesday in Los Angeles and given this photo was Tweeted from there on Wednesday, I would assume she was part of that. We noted earlier that Alicia Fox and Layla were in LA for “Total Divas” filming.

- Former WWE Diva Eve Torres took part in a female self-defense round table discussion on “Home & Family” on the Hallmark Channel Wednesday morning. Eve is now a trainer at Gracie Women Empowered. You can watch the appearance at this link.

- Jo-Jo Offerman appeared in the ring with Naomi & Cameron for the entrance of Brodus Clay & Sweet T on this weeks’ episode of WWE Main Event. As far as I can remember, this is Offerman’s WWE television debut as she’s scheduled to be featured on “Total Divas” on E! next month. Offerman is only 19-years-old.

- Shawn Michaels recently sat down for an interview with the Ministry of Slam wrestling radio show. In it, Michaels reflected on a recent meeting with Vince McMahon. Below is a transcript that was sent to us:

A multi-time World Champion over his lengthy in-ring career, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels has done it all in the professional wrestling industry. Since retiring in 2010, HBK has concentrated on his outdoor activity show, MacMillan River Adventures, as well as spending increased periods of time with his family.

During a recent interview with the Ministry Of Slam wrestling radio show, Michaels noted a recent exchange between WWE head honcho, Vince McMahon and himself. Going further, “The Showstopper” talks his awareness of not having the typical frame of what is considered a main event talent in WWE.

“I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with the man in charge”, Michaels stated, “and we were talking about a certain individual and he goes, ‘I just don’t see money in him.’ And I said, ‘You said the same thing about me.’ He said, ‘I did not.’ I said, ‘Yes you did!’ (laughs) I said, ‘And it’s okay. It’s just one of those things.’”

“I wasn’t your prototypical – heck, I wasn’t anybody’s prototypical main event guy, and I knew that. So, you just do your absolute best. Yes, I was very scared and very worried, which had a lot to do with how bad I handled stuff. I spent a great deal of my career waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it was a very real view of me and my ability and talent. I’m a firm believer that talent does rise to the top, but you have to be patient. So, I spent a great deal of time worried, intimidated, and concerned that with each passing storyline, it might be the last one.”

To hear the full interview, please visit www.MinistryOfSlam.com for more information, or head over to iTunes and Podbean. MOS Radio airs live every Monday at 9pm GMT/4pm EST from the website, as well as various talk radio stations across the US. The brand have just launched a new ‘Elite’ premium subscription service, offering further content at a low price. Follow on Twitter @MOSRadio! Or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mosradio

Click here to listen to the podcast.

- Dot com has devastating news online about the sister of R-Truth, Francetta Killings, passing away after a seven-year battle with cancer. You can read their coverage at this link.

- Congratulations to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is #25 on the Forbes Top 100 list. The following is from his verified Twitter account:

- Steve Austin disclosed some details about a new reality show he is filming to close out the week. The following is from his verified Twitter account:

- Joey Styles interviewed Jim Ross on dot com about his upcoming spoken word tour of the United Kingdom. Check it out below:

- Concussions have become a hot topic in WWE given recent injuries to Dolph Ziggler, Fandango and Tamina Snuka. Dot com posted a new Q&A with Dr. Chris Amann about diagnosing and treating concussions. Below is an excerpt:

WWE.com: How does WWE manage concussions?

Amann: We manage concussions as do other professional sports organizations. The latest guidelines out of Zurich, Switzerland, that were created in 2012 in a consensus statement give us the latest guidelines and expert opinion on how to manage concussions. We use ImPACT Testing and we also use exertion testing.

Exertion testing is a process of getting somebody in the situation of their own sports-specific exertion. For example, with a Superstar, we want to get them in the ring, exert them in the ring and have them do moves and activities similar to what their sport is. We want to see if that provokes any symptoms of a concussion, such as headaches, blurred vision or dizziness.

Below is the link from dot com:

- The wedding of Tyson Kidd and Natalya was apparently shot Wednesday night for E!’s “Total Divas” reality show. From what I’m hearing the two eloped months back but this was done for the show.

Nikki Bella Tweeted the following with an Instagram link to a photo of her and real-life boyfriend Daniel Bryan:

Speaking of Kidd, he recently stated on Twitter he has another six months to go but recovery is going good.

- As we reported Wednesday night here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Jo-Jo Offerman made her WWE debut on this week’s episode of WWE Main Event. You can watch it at this link.

- Diamond Dallas Page and company posted a video of the conversation with Jake Roberts about his relapse. You can watch it at this link.

- Jake Tweeted the following on Thursday afternoon:

Below is my response:

- Linda McMahon has joined APCO Worldwide as a member of the firm’s International Advisory Council (IAC). Below is the press release, issued on Thursday:

FORMER WWE CEO LINDA MCMAHON JOINS APCO’S INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2013) – Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), joins APCO Worldwide as a member of the firm’s International Advisory Council (IAC), founder and CEO Margery Kraus announced today.

“Linda is a savvy business leader who grew a small, regional company into a global brand that is a leader in the entertainment sector,” said Kraus. “Her firsthand experience in branding, rapid growth, market entry and transformation will allow our clients to have access to even greater insights as they deal with these issues that confront all successful business leaders. We are truly excited to have Linda join our team.”

McMahon brings a strong background in executive leadership within the entertainment industry to APCO, having grown WWE from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded company with global operations delivering its entertainment to 650 million homes worldwide. In 2007, she was named one of Multichannel News’ “Wonder Women,” which recognized her accomplishments as a leader in the U.S. cable industry.

“I’m excited to work with the strong group of IAC members and contribute to APCO’s industry-leading thinking on corporate positioning, branding and market entry,” said McMahon. “Having successfully grown WWE into a global brand, I know firsthand how critical such advice can be when your goal is a true transformation.”

In addition to her work in the boardroom, McMahon has been instrumental in nurturing a wide variety of community and charitable programs. She spearheaded the creation of Get R.E.A.L. educational and literacy programs, including the company’s nationwide Reading Challenge in partnership with the youth division of the American Library Association. In 2004, the Make-A-Wish Foundation awarded WWE its highest honor and in 2005, McMahon was appointed to the organization’s National Advisory Council.

McMahon has also served as the Honorary Corporate Chair of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, running one of the organization’s most successful fundraising efforts. Currently, she serves on the boards of Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Connecticut; the Close Up Foundation, a nonprofit that works to educate and motivate youth to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy; and the American Corporate Partners, a New York-based nonprofit that matches returning veterans with mentors who help them transition into the workforce. She also served on the Connecticut Board of Education in 2009 as an appointee of Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

She joins a robust group of senior business leaders, including:

Barie Carmichael, former vice president and chief communications officer, Dow Corning Corporation

Timothy Cost, former executive vice president, corporate affairs, PepsiCo

J. Norwell Coquillard, former chairman and president of Cargill Investment (China) Ltd.

Delano Lewis, former president and chief executive officer of National Public Radio

Wendy Luhabe, former chairman of Vendome S.A.
Phyllis Piano, former vice president of corporate communications and philanthropy at Amgen

Kirk Stewart, former global vice president of corporate communications for Nike, Inc.

Georges Ugeux, chairman and CEO of Galileo Global Advisors; former head of the international group of the New York Stock Exchange

Joseph Zimmel, former managing director at Goldman Sachs and Co.

- The July 15th episode of Monday Night Raw, the night after WWE Money in the Bank, is loaded. Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Vince McMahon and Rob Van Dam all join the regulars of John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, The Shield and more on the official listing of advertised talent. It’s also worth noting that Jack Swagger is officially advertised for the broadcast. You can view a full list at this link.  The show will emanate from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

- Here’s what Linda McMahon had to say about joining APCO Worldwide as a member of the firm’s International Advisory Council (IAC):

While we’re at it, it’s nice to see Mrs. McMahon put over the Supreme Court for their ruling that DOMA was unconstitutional:

While a Republican, McMahon has been in favor of marriage equality.

- Triple H held a “team meeting” at last week’s WWE NXT tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. We’re told Hunter basically “berated” a lot of the developmental talent, telling them if they didn’t want to be there they could leave and would be granted their release. Apparently this drew a lot of confusion amongst talent as morale had been “pretty good” lately and Hunter’s speech seemed to have come out of nowhere.

Triple H also told talent that some more releases could be on the horizon and anyone that bad mouthed the company on Twitter after being released would never be brought back. He talked specifically about guys getting let go on good terms only to return later. Hunter stressed the importance of staying on good terms with WWE, even if you end up losing your developmental deal.

Richard Reacts: Triple H’s meeting seems to be a reaction to Derek Foore (f/k/a Chad Baxter), who is threatening to sell a copy of his contract and has made other claims against management. I do not believe my source was informed of that story.

- Here’s a fun Tweet from CM Punk:

Punk broke the glass ceiling and guys like Seth Rollins are benefitting. Well done sir.

- The following is from my Twitter account:

WWE will be offering tours to the media.

- Rob Van Dam returns to WWE Monday Night Raw the night after Money in the Bank on July 15, 2013. We noted earlier the show was loaded with more names at this link.

- Vince McMahon wrote the following on Twitter:

- TMZ is reporting that a judge has granted CM Punk’s request for a two-year restraining order against his estranged mother. Punk already had a temporary restraining order against his mom but the judge decided to extend it for two years. Punk also asked the court to ban his mother from attending WWE events but it’s unclear if the judge granted that request as well. As we reported Wednesday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Punk originally filed the restraining order “due to repeated financial demands and years of abusive, harassing and threatening behavior.”

- In this week’s edition of WWE Inbox, Superstars discuss JR’s BBQ sauce and WWE Ice Cream Bars. Watch at this link.

- In the latest edition of WWE Outside The Ring, Triple H & Summer Rae give a fan a “Once in a Lifetime Experience” at a WWE NXT taping. Watch at this link.

- Tyson Kidd and Natalya were married on Wednesday night. Several WWE names were in attendance and cameras were filming for E!’s “Total Divas” reality show. While the rumor is they were actually married prior to the ceremony, it really doesn’t matter. Everything looked great and congratulations are in order.

- The Sioux City Journal interviewed Big E Langston to promote this weekend’s live event in South Dakota. Below is an excerpt:

“It was never something I saw myself doing,” Big E. admitted. “I honestly did grow up a fan though; my dad got me into it.”

“(Bill) Goldberg was my all-time favorite,” Big E. said. “He has a special place in my wrestling heart.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Channel Guide Magazine published a new interview with Natalya to promote E!’s “Total Divas.” The Q&A sheds more light on the show:

“Everyone is trying to get ahead in WWE,” says Natalya, a third-generation WWE Superstar with ties to the famous Hart wrestling legacy. “All of the Divas want that top spot, so you’re gonna see all sorts of conflict and drama.”

“Romance is a priority,” smiles Natalya. “Yes, you will see romance on the show … even if it takes forcing it out of the guys. Some of them need to get in touch with their feminine side and learn how to handle us Divas.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Former WWE Diva Candice Michelle is with Lilian Garcia and Ted DiBiase on Friday. Below is a photo:

- Triple H offered his congratulations to The Rock for making #25 on Forbes list. The following is from Twitter:

- Jim Ross posted a blog on his official website on Thursday. Below is an excerpt:

The new, WWE Performance Center will have its official grand opening, by invitation only and not open to the general public, on Thursday July 11. The 26,000 square foot facility will rival any training facility in the NFL or the best of division one athletic programs. There will be 7 rings available along with top of the line production facilities including a room that talent can work on their verbal skills that one can do on their own and then send the promo to a work station for review with their peers and/or coaches. There will be a voice over room that the talents plus the on air announcers can use to practice. The Performance Center facility will be manned by a full time strength and conditioning coach, the most up to date work out equipment available, fulltime athletic trainers, physical therapists and an on call/on site physician. I see our NXT talents arriving in the morning and leaving in the early evening most days much like one would expect a NFL team to do during the pre season especially.

Loving the WWE Title MITB match which, as has been pointed out to me repeatedly, is loaded with ‘fan favorites.’ Who cares? The men in this match are ‘stars’ and some do have personal issues, Bryan/Orton, plus new issues can certainly come out of the MITB Ladder Match coming up on PPV. That’s the general idea as a rule especially with Summer Slam on the horizon.

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

- We noted earlier here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that WWE is not finished with Ryback. There are some that think they should be given how badly he’s been booked, but he’s still seen as a top tier guy. The match against Chris Jericho at Money in the Bank next month is seen as another “stepping stone” for him and there isn’t anyone that sees him going under given Jericho’s return to Fozzy.

- Mark Henry’s pursuit of the WWE Championship could very well continue past the pay-per-view next month, assuming the company doesn’t surprise people and put him over in the first place. While some are under the assumption that Daniel Bryan will challenge for the WWE title at SummerSlam, the plans for the main event last week involved Cena, Ryback and Mark Henry.

- We’re told the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match was put together at the last minute on Tuesday. There is no plan for a winner at this point, which obviously is a problem.

- Speaking of Bryan, we heard his name has come up as a favorite to win his second MITB ladder match at the pay-per-view next month but so far, it’s by far a sure thing.

- WWE wrote here on dot com that both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton were fined for “chair strikes to the head” used during their match on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.

Dot com, using Triple H’s kayfabe position of WWE COO, quoted the following:

“We don’t allow chair shots to the head in WWE,” WWE COO Triple H informed WWE.com. “We understand it was in the heat of the moment but we take this very seriously and as a result, [Orton and Bryan] were fined.”

Orton was also quoted saying that the fine was “enough.”

I’m under the assumption this is legitimate although no announcement was posted on WWE’s corporate website. The only other time that I can remember fines being issued for chair shots to the head was to Triple H and The Undertaker for their match at Wrestlemania XXVII in 2011. You can read that article at this link.

WWE banned unprotected chair shots to the head in 2010.

- The following is from the WWE & ImPACT Concussion Management Program under the section of “Prevention Programs & Initiatives”:

The WWE has eliminated using folding metal chairs to “strike” an opponent in the head.
The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:The intentional use of a folding metal chair to “strike” an opponent in the head.
Any blow to the head that is deemed an INTENTIONAL act
The Fine and/or Suspension will be directed by the EVP of Talent Relations

You can read the full document at this link.

While Triple H was called by his kayfabe position as COO in the dot com coverage, he is the person that directs the fine and/or suspension as EVP of Talent Relations.

- WWE issued the following statement of the passing of Matt Osborne, formerly known as Doink the Clown:

Reports indicate that Matt Osborne, aka the original Doink the Clown, has passed away. A rugged brawler in promotions like Mid-South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, Osborne made a major impact in WWE under the greasepaint of a prankster named Doink — one of the most enduring personas of the early ’90s.

WWE is saddened by the news of Osborne’s passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Osborne’s family, friends and fans.

Click here for coverage on dot com.

- Kaitlyn breaks down the triple threat match against Layla and Eve Torres at WWE Hell in a Cell 2012 in a new episode of “Behind the Match” at this link.

TNA News

- The fundraiser to assist Zema Ion with his medical bills after undergoing emergency surgery for appendicitis ended on Thursday. Ion raised 22% of the $30,000 he was looking for by bringing in $6,648. You can see the final details of the effort at this link. Ion will require more surgery to remove a tumor from his colon.

- Rob Van Dam was asked on Twitter what made him want to leave TNA Wrestling. He explained his contract expired but he didn’t stop there. The following is from RVD’s verified Twitter account:

- Robbie E and EZ V are back for another episode of The List, this time with Magnus. Can he get a spot? Check it out at this link.

- Christopher Daniels was a guest on Sports Saturday with Al Galdi, “Off The Top Rope” on ESPN 980, Washington, DC. Check it out at this link.

- Jeff Hardy did a kayfabe interview about the Bound for Glory Series that you can watch at this link.

- In a kayfabe video, Magnus discussed his “strategy” for the Bound for Glory Series. You can watch it at this link.

- Check out an “Inside Impact” clip with AJ Styles at this link.

- Zema Ion is scheduled to have surgery at the beginning of next month to remove a tumor from his colon. The recovery time is six weeks and according to Ion on Twitter, he should be “good to go.”

- TNA Wrestling issued a statement on the passing of Jackie Fargo that you can read at this link.

- Who is Suicide? Check out this stellar video teaser for this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling online at this link.

- Robbie E has a new blog on Spike.com where he gives his “top summer tips.” Click here to check them out.

- Check out the Gut Check profile of “The Big O” Adam Ohriner at this link.

- Dixie Carter announced on Twitter on Wednesday that James Storm, Brooke Hogan and Jeff Jarrett will host the “20 Greatest Redneck Videos” on CMT on Saturday at 10 PM ET/PT. The following is from her verified Twitter account:

Click here for more information.

- Taz posted the following on his verified Twitter account on Wednesday evening:

Couple of big wrestling shows in my “hometown” of Brooklyn! #RedHookNearBarclay

— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) June 26, 2013

Taz hails from Red Hook, which is a neighborhood in the New York borough of Brooklyn. I originally thought he was referring to TNA Wrestling’s July 5th live event from MCU Park in Brooklyn, and while he might have been, there’s more to it.

WWE is running at the Barclays Center [in Brooklyn] for the July 15th episode of Monday Night Raw. Apparently Taz’s TNA contract is coming up soon and this was a cryptic tease as he’s already removed the Tweet.

- TNA has announced Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim in a Ladder Match for Saturday night’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Las Vegas. This is a rematch from their bout at Slammiversary, which many are calling the Knockouts match of the year.

Speaking of Gail Kim, Alex Barie penned an article about her here on TNANews.com that drew high praise from the former Knockouts Champion. The following is from Twitter:

- MMAMania.com has a new interview online with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. In it, he discusses working for TNA Wrestling and what he felt like meeting Hulk Hogan. Below are the highlights:

Doing what TNA tells him to do:

I think what will help me is I have no ego. I’ll do what they tell me. It won’t be my way or the highway. I’ll work with them. I want the best just like they do.

Meeting Hulk Hogan for the first time:

It was great, man. Now I know how fans feel when they get to meet their favorite fighter because that’s how I felt. I didn’t realize notice it before. I didn’t know this about myself but I wasn’t really a big fan of anything but pro wrestling. I didn’t realize that until I met Hulk Hogan. I’ve met actors and famous people before and they’re cool and all, but I was literally starstruck when I met Hulk Hogan. The last time I was that starstruck was when I was 17 and I met one of the biggest pro wrestlers in Memphis from back in the day. It was a cool experience.

Oh yeah. It taught me. When I met Hulk Hogan I was startstruck but what I did was I kept my damn mouth shut. I babbled a little bit but I kept my mouth shut. I shook his hands and I kept it to myself. Some fans want to pat you on the back, hug you, do weird things. For a guy like me, it’s hard to explain. You’d have to wear my shoes a bit to understand. I’ve got nothing against anybody but sometimes, you may not know this but I’m a germ freak. I don’t want to eat and have all these people shaking my hand, talking over my food. I don’t even want a waiter hovering over my food. If you sit down at a restaurant and order something, you don’t want to get interrupted. I might not always want to be approached or have fans get mad at me for not taking a picture because I’m in a rush because I’m always late for everything. I’m a human being in a human situation just like them and I thought of that when I met Hulk Hogan and I kept it to myself. I shook his hands, said “it’s an honor to meet you” and I wish a lot of fans could do the same thing. I do sympathize with them, though.

Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

- TNA Wrestling issued the following on Thursday, stating they have hired “Big” John Gaburick:

JOHN GABURICK NAMED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT TELEVISION PRODUCTION TNA ENTERTAINMENT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 27, 2013) – John Gaburick has been named Executive Vice President of Television Production for TNA Entertainment effective immediately. Gaburick is an accomplished production executive who joins TNA from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) where he served as Vice President of Television Production. The announcement was made today by President Dixie Carter, to whom he will report. In his new role, Gaburick will oversee management and production of TNA Entertainment television including LIVE IMPACT Wrestling, marketing and advertising production, special projects and digital assets.

“As TNA evolves, John’s award-winning creative vision and production expertise coupled with his sports and entertainment industry business savvy make him the perfect person to push us in new directions,” said Carter. “He is a gifted and innovative storyteller, and we are thrilled to have him on board.”

“I’ve always admired Dixie Carter and TNA as a uniquely dynamic and growing organization,” said Gaburick. “This opportunity marks an exciting new challenge for me, and I am honored to join the team.”

Prior to joining TNA Entertainment, Gaburick spent the past 13 years in production at WWE. While there, he was awarded the PROMAX/BDA Brandbuilder of the Year Award and guided all image and brand-building media campaigns, as well as network documentary programming. Additionally, he spent 10 years as Operations Manager for National Business Archives in Jessup, Maryland. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Towson University in Towson, Maryland and is a proud member of The Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame. He will be relocating to Nashville with his wife and two young children.

Gaburick departed WWE in May 2013.

- Hulk Hogan was asked on Twitter about his gruesome hand injury where he was badly burned by a radiator explosion. Hogan answered that it “healed perfect.”

- ZooToday.com interviewed Taryn Terrell to promote the 2014 TNA Maximum Impact VI UK Tour. Below are the highlights:

How tough it’s been to prove herself:

It has been real tough for me. I think when a female comes in from the modelling world a lot automatically think you are just a model and not a wrestler. I want to give people a good reason for getting behind me, my passion is wrestling.

Her worst injury:

Once I broke my arm wrestling a match. My humerus bone actually snapped in half. That was the worst and it wasn’t fun! Thankfully nothing else has happened. Just bumps and bruises. All minor things so far in my stunt work.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.

- For those that didn’t read the taping results, Samoa Joe was revealed as the third member of the Main Event Mafia. Joe, who was facing Mr. Anderson in a Bound for Glory Series Match, received assistance from Sting and Kurt Angle when Aces and Eights came out. Anderson ended up submitting, giving Joe another 10 BFG series points. His total is now 12 points.

- Austin Aries is the new TNA X Division Champion after winning the title in a triple threat match at the beginning of this week’s Impact Wrestling, dressed as Suicide, against Kenny King & Chris Sabin in a triple threat match. Aries was revealed to be under the hood in the final segment with Hulk Hogan and TNA Champion Bully Ray. He’ll face Ray for the title at TNA Destination X, a themed episode of Impact, on July 18, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.

- Below are the updated standings for the Bound For Glory Series:

Magnus – 24 points (3-0-0)
Samoa Joe – 12 points (1-0-1)
Austin Aries – 7 points (1-0-0)
Daniels – 7 points (1-0-0)
Jeff Hardy – 7 points (1-0-0)
Mr. Anderson – 7 points (1-1-0)
AJ Styles – 2 points (0-0-1)
Joseph Park – 0 points (0-1-0)
Jay Bradley – 0 points (0-1-0)
Kazarian – 0 points (0-1-0)
Hernandez – 0 points (0-2-0)
Bobby Roode – 0 points (0-2-0)

Here’s where the bouts took place:

June 27th TNA Live (results)

Magnus pinned Hernandez for 7 points. Samoa Joe beat Bobby Roode in a BFG Series match at the shows but the points were not acknowledged by TNA

June 27th Impact Wrestling (results)

Magnus pinned Bobby Roode for 7 points. Samoa Joe made Mr. Anderson submit for 10 points

June 20th Impact Wrestling (results)

Mr. Anderson pinned Joseph Park for 7 points. Austin Aries pinned Jay Bradley for 7 points. Daniels pinned Hernandez for 7 points. Magnus made Kazarian tap out for 10 points. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe ended in a draw for 2 points each. Jeff Hardy pinned Bobby Roode for 7 points.

- Peter Rosenberg sat down with TNA Champion Bully Ray where they discuss Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman, Hulk Hogan, being a natural heel and more. You can watch at this link.

- Here’s what I wrote about Bully Ray during this week’s Impact Wrestling:

- This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling did a 0.91 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 1,108,000 on Spike TV.Popular Sports Franchise Wants WWE To Buy Them, Exclusive First Look At SummerSlam Lineup, WWE To Cut Ties With HoFer?, Triple H Berates Talent In Backstage “Team Meeting,” RVD’s First Raw Back, Backstage News On MITB Match Outcomes

Ask WNW

With Rob Van Dam returning do you see him returning as a babyface or a heel? He can’t be a babyface with Paul Heyman, correct?

Rob Van Dam is returning at WWE Money in the Bank in Philadelphia. He’s coming back as a babyface and should get an ovation that rivals the reception CM Punk received this month in Chicago. While RVD will always be a Paul Heyman guy, I don’t see an immediate pairing. It’s a possibility but there is no way RVD doesn’t return as a babyface and Heyman is the lead heel manager in the company.

If there is a chance of The Undertaker returning at SummerSlam, would you prefer a program with Dean Ambrose or a return of the Brothers of Destruction against The Shield?

If The Undertaker works SummerSlam, which I still consider to be a pretty big “if,” I think it will be in some type of tag team match. A bout where he teams with Kane to oppose The Shield is the most likely scenario. Utilizing Kane gives WWE the opportunity to capitalize on a program that’s been building where it would make sense to insert Undertaker.

When the day comes that Hulk Hogan, Sting and Kurt Angle leave TNA, whether it be for WWE or complete retirement from wrestling, do you think TNA will find or have a formula to succeed without relying on past stars?

TNA Wrestling has a roster full of guys capable of carrying the company past the legends you just mentioned. Talent has never been the problem in TNA because they have an abundance of it. I think a lot of the frustration from fans with TNA stems from the amount of potential the company has. TNA has a great talent roster and an incredible TV deal; yet the company is not yet a viable competitor to WWE despite being in business for 11 years.

Out of which of the new stars brought up by WWE (The Shield, Curtis Axel, Fandango, Big E), which wrestler do you see winning a world title in WWE first?

This is a loaded question and one I feel like I’ve answered before. It never hurts to revisit it considering the evolution we see week-to-week but right now, all three members of The Shield and Curtis Axel are clearly ahead of Fandango and Big E Langston because they already hold titles in WWE. All have a lot of potential and the company hopes they are capable of holding major top roles in the future.

I’m curious as to how you felt about the emotional segment between CM Punk and Paul Heyman on this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw?

I thought the segment with CM Punk and Paul Heyman on this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw was excellent. The goal with any segment, be it on the mic or in the ring, is to tell a story. The story told in the Punk/Heyman story was compelling and sucked the viewer in. The fact that you called the segment “emotional,” shows how it connected with you. Really good stuff, here’s what I wrote about it after it aired on Twitter:

What are your thoughts on the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match announced for the pay-per-view?

The Money in the Bank ladder match can either be used to elevate a mid-card talent or used to help restart on a previous top guy. The latter proves true in this year’s WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match. To recap, the match features CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane and Rob Van Dam. Some have asked about there being seven participants but there have been seven participants in multiple MITB ladder matches in the past. The in-ring work should be outstanding as the match caters to several of the talents featured. In case you missed it, we broke the news about RVD and Christian being included in the bout in our backstage notes last week.

Has CM Punk changed the wrestling business forever and paved the way for guys like Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose to be big stars in the future?

CM Punk shattered the glass ceiling. When I say this, some interpret it to mean he flourished as a “smaller guy” and point to Shawn Michaels and that’s not what I’m saying. Punk was an independent standout, something that used to mean nothing to Vince McMahon. McMahon’s mentality was until you’ve made it in WWE, you really haven’t made it. Now we see WWE not only going out and signing workers like the aforementioned Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose but bringing them to TV and pushing them. The new “Triple H philosophy” is to bring in very talented indy workers that don’t require as much seasoning, which will only help when they are ready to bring them to TV.

Who do you think is the favorite to win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match?

Given the fact the full list of participants was just announced on this week’s WWE Monday Night Raw, I haven’t had enough time to fully process it but here are some things to consider. CM Punk appears slated to work Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam so unless WWE plans to have an extended briefcase holder, like that of Dolph Ziggler, I wouldn’t consider him as likely to go over. Let’s also not forget this strategy caters more towards a guy they are trying to elevate and not someone that’s already a top guy.  Kane is rumored to be pairing with Undertaker to oppose The Shield [at SummerSlam] so that takes away from his chances. Rob Van Dam and Christian will both add to the match but I don’t see an immediate path to book them at the top of the card. RVD is on a limited schedule and is coming from TNA, while I’ve never felt confident in the way Vince McMahon perceives Christian. I know he’s a former MITB winner and World Heavyweight Champion but he doesn’t have the rocket pack going. That leaves Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Sheamus. These are the top three guys in the match and everyone wants to see Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena. WWE could clearly capitalize on the “weak link” stuff as well. Orton is a guy WWE seems to be thinking about restarting on and will hinge on whether or not Vince feels he can trust him as a top guy. Sheamus is a dark horse and someone that will not drop below the upper mid card, so there are certainly several scenarios in which I could see him going over. All seven participants are babyfaces so I’m sure there will be plenty of commentary of “who should turn.”

Recently, you mentioned that you felt it was a bad decision for The Shield’s streak to end on Smackdown instead of Raw or a PPV. Not that long ago, when Edge was battling Undertaker and Batista, Smackdown was not that inferior to Raw. Has the combination of the three-hour Raw and the end of the brand split rendered Smackdown completely irrelevant?

The philosophy of Smackdown has changed. When the brand extension was first put into place it was done as a mechanism to serve as internal competition. The thinking was Raw vs. Smackdown would be like WWE vs. WCW, except with WWE now controlling both shows with separate fan bases. Today, the brand extension has ended and Smackdown is more like it used to be as a secondary program to Raw. The problem lately has been very low viewership and insignificant/questionable creative calls. I can’t give you the reason for the problems but we can all speculate about the creative team being burned out and there being too many hours to write each week.

What’s the latest with Jay & Mark Briscoe, are they really heading to WWE?

Jay and Mark Briscoe finished up with Ring of Honor over the weekend. Their deals were up and apparently they’re going to look elsewhere. Obviously the rumors will begin to swirl about WWE but they do not have offers as of this writing. As of Wednesday, June 26, 2013, The Briscoe Brothers are free agents. The future of the ROH title, held by Jay Briscoe, remains a question mark but will be addressed.

With Daniel Bryan opening and closing this week’s Monday Night Raw, and in plenty of
excellent segments, do you see this as WWE testing the waters with him being the next “top guy”?

From everything we hear, Daniel Bryan has already done enough and is slated for a big push on WWE television this summer. Opening and closing this week’s Monday Night Raw was part of what he’s already earned. Bryan has a ton of backstage support due to his “show stealing work” over the past few weeks.

I see the links on the site regarding your social media, why should I connect with you?

I enjoy interacting with readers of WrestlingNewsWorld.com for several reasons but it’s fun being able to discuss stories, provide instant information and even go a little off-topic. You can feel free to send me a Facebook friend request, follow me on Twitter and add me to your LinkedIn network.

Obviously the WWE Championship is the number one title in wrestling right now, however, what do you consider the #2 title in wrestling? The World Heavyweight Championship or TNA Championship?

Yes, you are correct in that it is beyond obvious the WWE Championship is the number one title in wrestling, however, the latter poses an interesting question. Is WWE’s second title more prestigious than the TNA Championship? WWE is much bigger than TNA and watched by many more people, however, the world title isn’t what it once was. Let’s look at the incumbent champions – Bully Ray (TNA Champion) and Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Champion). If you were a promoter, whom would you pick to oppose your top babyface? I feel Bully Ray is one of the best heels in the business right now and would pick him. Does that mean the TNA Championship is of more value than the World title?

Will the Briscoe Brothers come to WWE as the characters they currently portray or will they get new gimmicks?

First of all, the Briscoe Brothers do not have deals with WWE. There was interest in the past but right now, no deal is on the table. Hypothetically, if they did get signed, they would likely be sent to WWE NXT where they would be seasoned and prepared for a run on the main roster. Many times workers receive a makeover in developmental, only to get another one after a main roster call-up. There is no way to speculate until the situation actually happens. Right now, this question is premature.

What do you think of Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero?

First let me talk Vickie Guerrero and then we’ll shift to Brad Maddox. Vickie has been one of the most consistent heels in WWE for the past five years. I can’t stress enough how good her mic work is to continuously get over without wrestling. This is an extremely difficult thing to do and she deserves a ton of credit. As for Brad Maddox, there’s something about him that is intriguing. I don’t think his money is in the ring but on the mic. He has a quirky personality that is perfect for a heel in this business.

What do you think of The Usos getting pushed?

Jimmy & Jey Uso have a great look, work well together and are one of the better tag teams in WWE. My fear is pushing them out of the gate against The Shield. This is booking backwards as The Shield has already gone over top WWE stars successfully. So this creates a dilemma. Putting the Usos over The Shield invalidates major wins. However, putting the Usos under kills a push out of the gate. While there’s no shame in losing to the dominant Shield, it doesn’t exactly build momentum either.

In your honest opinion, after the Attitude Era ended, do you think the WWE would have survived to this day by running its promotion the same exact way it’s done all these years if there was any legitimate competition out there?

I never like to play the “what if” game because “what if” WCW won the war and it was the other way around? That was an actual possibility, however, the landscape is vastly different in 2013. The way your question is phrased it sounds like you believe WWE is just surviving because there is no other entity to challenge them. WWE is a massive multi-million dollar entertainment company. I know hardcore IWC fans are disgusted by that image but the fact of the matter is, they make a lot of money. WWE isn’t just surviving, they are thriving and they’ve driven any thought of competition back significantly. I only expect the company to continue to grow with international expansion and strong internal direction. I was just thinking this morning of the impact “Total Divas” could have on WWE. Look at what E! did to the Kardashians. I’m not saying the Divas are the next Kim Kardashian but WWE is taking what is basically an afterthought on their programming and putting them at the forefront of pop culture.

What’s the latest on Fandango?

Fandango passed an ImPACT concussion test but did not past further exertion testing. As we noted earlier this week, the return from a concussion in WWE is now a stringent two step process. With that being said, Fandango’s return is imminent and a significant development will be realized on this week’s Smackdown. Click here for taping results.

What does the short-term future of Chris Jericho look like?

Chris Jericho is not scheduled for any WWE pay-per-views past next month’s Money in the Bank as he’ll return to Fozzy to tour with them. He has a part-time deal with WWE and will work when he’s available. The deal is straight out of the new philosophy of the company’s stance on part-timers and Rob Van Dam is coming back under a similar arrangement.

Who do you feel is the most underrated worker in TNA Wrestling?

After this week’s Impact Wrestling I just can’t say enough about the work of Samoa Joe. I don’t care what people say about his look, he has all the tools to be a major star in this business. The way he works at his size is phenomenal. We give a lot of “bigger” guys a pass because of size but Joe is as good as anyone. For me, he’s the most underrated.

Note from Richard: As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve increased my commitment to my Twitter account located at Twitter.com/wnwdotcom. If you follow me, I’ll answer your questions!

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