CM Punk Resurfaces, TNA Changing Directions, WWE Network Launches, McMahon Reaches Breaking Point With Batista, Risk Factors To WWE Business, WM30 Card Takes Shape, Concern Over WWE Star’s In-Ring Work, Spike TV To Create Their Own Wrestling-Heavy Network?, WWE Trying to Re-Sign Mysterio

WWE News

- R-Truth did a Q&A with The Source where he talked about hanging out with Wiz Khalifa backstage at Monday Night Raw in Los Angeles. Truth said he asked Khalifa if he would be interested in being part of his next album and he agreed. He said he’s spoken with Juvenile and is in talks with DMX and MGK for features on the album. Truth also spoke a little bit with E-40. He said he laid down two tracks with John Cena. R-Truth talked about numerous other topics, including when he met Tupac and revealed the rapper actually paid for his food a couple of times. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Randy Orton won the 2014 WWE Elimination Chamber to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It was announced at the end of the pay-per-view that he will indeed defend the title against Batista at Wrestlemania XXX.

Below is a quick look at the eliminations in the match:

Sheamus was eliminated by Christian when Christian climbed to the top of the pods and jumped off and pinned him.

Daniel Bryan caught Christian with a knee and eliminated him. Christian was examined by WWE doctors, probably kayfabe afterwards.

John Cena made Cesaro tap out in the STF to eliminate him.

The Wyatt Family came out and mauled Cena, which resulted in Bray Wyatt hitting Sister Abigail. Randy Orton pinned him.

Kane came out to send The Wyatts to the back. Bryan ended up getting distracted and attacked him. This gave Orton a chance to come back but Bryan countered and went for the win. Kane pulled the referee out and Orton hit the RKO. Bryan kicked out. He countered again and rolled Orton up for a two count. Kane came back and hit another cheap shot, Orton hit a second RKO and pinned Bryan to win the match.

- WWE Network is now available for purchase. I was able to purchase my own subscription and a few gift subscriptions just after 8:15 AM EST, I’m guessing it’s been online for a couple of hours. The actual live feed does not begin until 9 AM EST, this is a change from the original plan. The original plan was for the Network to go live after Monday Night Raw at 11:05 PM EST. The on-demand portion of WWE Network is up and running. The latest episode of Raw is the January 19, 2014 episode featuring the return of Batista. It goes back to December 23, 2012. The latest episode of Smackdown is the same week, the go-home to Royal Rumble episode, that aired on January 23, 2014. It goes back to the December 20, 2012 episode of Smackdown. All WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views are available as advertised. The latest episode of WWE NXT online is Episode 209 that aired on February 18, 2014. Last week’s episode of WWE Main Event is online as is last week’s episode of WWE Superstars.

- Vince McMahon was and has been upset with the crowd reactions directed towards Batista. We’re told Elimination Chamber could have been his breaking point when extraordinary efforts to get Batista over as a babyface ended up failing. While most people will point to Batista’s best run being his final three months with the company as a heel in 2010, Vince and Triple H wanted him back as a babyface. We’re told Vince is “past upset” that it hasn’t worked but following the pay-per-view, a tweak is seen as inevitable.

- WWE has filed FORM 10-K with the SEC, an annual report as part of their year end filings. In the document, they go over certain risks to the company’s business as a whole. While the document is too long to go over completely, there are some things I would like to highlight:

The company discusses risk factors to their business, explaining just how important domestic television is to them. The following is from the report:

Our failure to maintain or renew key domestic television agreements could adversely affect our ability to distribute television programming which could adversely affect our operating results.

As to what Vince McMahon means to WWE, here’s what is stated about him as a risk:

The unexpected loss of the services of Vincent K. McMahon could adversely affect our ability to create popular characters and creative storylines or could otherwise adversely affect our operating results.

They note in addition to being a part-time character  on television that he is indeed head of creative. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Vince replaced Stephanie McMahon as head of creative last fall. While it was unknown at the time if WWE would acknowledge the change, Stephanie has since been re-titled Chief Brand Officer.

You can read WWE’s annual filing in its entirety at this link.

- Undertaker made his return to WWE on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out with Heyman speaking “on behalf of his client.” Heyman talked down The Authority and said Lesnar wanted to make history. Heyman’s promo was cut off by the gong as Undertaker came out in his full DeadMan gear with the lights down. He got in the ring and went face-to-face with Lesnar. The crowd chanted loudly for Undertaker as the camera panned out to capture the Wrestlemania XXX logo. Brock told him to “sign the damn contract.” Lesnar signed first and handed Undertaker the pen. Undertaker stabbed Lesnar with the pen right in the hand then chokeslammed him through a table that was setup in the ring. Undertaker looked up at the Wrestlemania logo as the lights went back down and Undertaker’s lights and music hit. Brock Lesnar was shown laid out as they ran replays. Undertaker exited to end the show.

- Just for clarification regarding John Cena, he legitimately injured his knee on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw as we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. We ran further updates here and here that detailed what happened and the fallout from it. It was clear to the live audience and from close-up camera shots  that Cena suffered swelling and his knee cap was distorted/tweaked/out of position, however, the word we got from backstage was that a serious injury had not occurred. WWE took what was a legitimate tweak and accentuated into an angle to entice viewers to tune into Backstage Pass on the WWE Network. Cena’s status should considered day-to-day moving forward but he is not scheduled for this week’s Smackdown taping on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is scheduled to appear at Thursday’s NXT Arrival pay-per-view, which will air live on the WWE Network.

- I can confirm that Rey Mysterio’s WWE contract is up in a few months. However, I’m told the company is actively trying to re-sign him and the general belief is that he will re-sign. Mysterio is in no rush to re-sign because he knows the more interest he can garner from outside suitors, the more leverage that he’ll have with WWE. I’m told he has no interest in TNA Wrestling but both AAA and CMLL in Mexico want him and think he’s leaving WWE. However, I’m told as long as he can get another contract at his current downside, which is very high, he doesn’t want to give up that kind of guaranteed money when he knows his body might fail him at any time. This is a situation similar to what happened with Mark Henry last summer. He ended up with a good deal after posturing like he was leaving. Mysterio is hoping for the same.

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